Pope Francis expresses concern over ‘haemorrhage’ of priests and nuns from the Catholic church amid fears the loss of clergy is weakening the religion
- The pope told participants at a Vatican gathering he is fretting over the loss
- He said the loss of the clergy is weakening the Catholic Church
- He said society is discouraging lifelong commitments which causes nuns and priests to quit their vocations
The pope has told participants at a Vatican gathering that he is increasingly concerned about a loss of priests and nuns from the Catholic church, citing a ‘haemorrhage’ of clergy members.
Pope Francis on Saturday told those at a gathering on religious life that the loss of clergy is weakening the church.
First among the factors he cited as causing nuns and priests to quit their vocations is a society that discourages lifelong commitments. Francis lamented that many conduct their lives based on ‘a la carte’ choices.
Pope Francis meets Brazilian Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, at the Clementine Hall, at the Vatican Saturday
For decades, the Catholic church in many developed countries has seen the number of priests and nuns on the decline.
Pope Francis poses with bishops and cardinals at the Clementine Hall, at the Vatican
The pope has been involved in a dispute over condoms in the last week, after the Knights of Malta, an ancient lay Catholic religious order that runs hospitals and clinics around the world, was involved in aid programs that were distributing thousands of condoms in Myanmar.
The order’s health minister at the time, Albrecht von Boeselager, stopped two of the three programs immediately and the third after the Vatican intervened. Boeselager went on to be elected grand chancellor — essentially the order’s interior and foreign minister.
Boeselager was asked to resign at the beginning of December and refused, so the Knights’ leader, Matthew Festing opened a disciplinary process against him and suspended him.
Later that month, the Vatican announced a five-strong team at investigate Festing’s decision which became problematic as the Knights were to be sovereign.
The pope is known to have poor relations with the Knights in his native Argentina, as he appreciates the Knights’ charitable works, but loathes the aristocratic pomp that the Knights relish.