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Inside the VaticanApril 03, 2024
Priests put their hands on the heads of newly ordained priests during an ordination Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 12, 2019. (CNS photo/Yara Nardi, Reuters)

Catholics from the pews to the pope are worried about young priests. At the October meeting of the Synod on Synodality, Pope Francis gave an unexpected intervention denouncing clericalism and lamenting the “scandal” of young priests and seminarians trying on fancy vestments in Roman shops. The synod’s final document echoed some of these concerns, pointing to the “formalism and ideology that lead to authoritarian attitudes” in some priests, and calling for a consultation of seminary formators on how to teach priests to lead in a synodal style.

To understand the synod’s recommendations, though, one first needs to understand how priests are formed, and how that process has undergone major changes in recent years.

In this special “Deep Dive” episode of “Inside the Vatican,” host Colleen Dulle speaks to seminarians, rectors (seminaries’ top administrators), professors and psychologists from across North America to give a comprehensive picture of seminary formation today and the challenges formators are seeing.

Along the way, the episode explains the synod’s specific requests and what we know about what will happen next.

Links from the show:
Parish priests were missing at the Synod. Now 300 will meet at the Vatican.
Deep Dive: What just happened at the Synod on Synodality?
The Catholic Project: Polarization, Generational Dynamics, & the Ongoing Impact of the Abuse Crisis

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