Tuesday, February 7, 2012

More staff than students

Catholicism still dominant in Caribbean, but its influence wanes
Lights illuminate the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor in 2010 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The cathedral is the oldest in the Americas, with construction beginning in 1514 and completed in 1540. There has been a growth in evangelical churches and followers over the last decade in Caribbean nations.

Here is a thoughtful background piece about the Caribbean, which Pope Benedict XVI will visit next month. Evangelical churches are gaining followers, while the Catholic Church appears to be losing members.

Trinidad's only Catholic seminary educated future clergy members for six decades, sending graduates to ministries throughout the Caribbean, but by 2010, the Regional Seminary of St. John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs had more staff than students and was losing nearly $100,000 a year. The Antilles Episcopal Conference closed it.

The seminary's closing, however, was a symptom of deeper challenges the Catholic Church faces in the Caribbean. While still the dominant religion, Catholicism's influence has been waning here. Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the Caribbean in March may help to change that trend.

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

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