These numbers are a bit unsettling!
The secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life said in an October 29 address that over 3,000 men and women religious leave the consecrated life each year.
In the address – a portion of which was reprinted in L’Osservatore Romano – Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo said that statistics from his Congregation, as well as the Congregation for the Clergy, indicate that over the past five years, 2,624 religious have left the religious life annually. When one takes into account additional cases handled by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the number tops 3,000.
The prelate, who led the Order of Friars Minor from 2003 until his April 2013 curial appointment, said that the majority of cases occur at a “relatively young age.” The causes, he said, include “absence of spiritual life,” “loss of a sense of community,” and a “loss of sense of belonging to the Church” – a loss manifest in dissent from Catholic teaching on “women priests and sexual morality.”
The article goes on to explain the difficulties caused by the cultural shift from modernity to post-modernity in the West, specifically, the current emphasis on radical individuality.
Post-modernity is best described as the cultural manifestation of a prolonged adolescence brought on by the failure of the Baby Boomers to hand on our family's philosophical, spiritual, and theological traditions.___________________
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