The decrease in the population of young men aspiring to the catholic priesthood in Europe and America, and the unbridled influx of young men into Catholic seminaries in Nigeria and Africa at large is a matter of great concern, despite the demand of celibacy, strict rules during seminary formation which lasts sixteen(16) to eighteen(18) years. The factors propelling this increase in the population is as follows;
1.The Economic Situation in Nigeria: The poor economy of Nigeria, which made religion and establishment of churches a more lucrative and successful means of livelihood has propelled many young men to run into the seminary. The country supports investing in religious matters as the solution to economic problems, thereby enriching religious heads, priests, bishops and pastors etc. With this in view, entering the seminary becomes a better plan, since ordination to the priesthood guarantees a comfortable life.
2.Previledges and respect attached to priests: The manner of which people submit to the instructions and words of priests, coupled with the respect and privileges showered on them makes the vocation very attractive. The gift of a car at ordination, money, refrigerators, television etc, makes an average youth in Nigeria to salivate and crave for such, despite the demands of the vocation. Again, Priests are even taken to be immune to many civil laws which must be obeyed by every civilian. The respect accorded to them by the faithful and people who encounter them makes the vocation appealing.
3.Family Condition: The poor state of many families and the difficulties they are facing financially and otherwise, necessitated them to even sell most of their family possession and sponsor one of their sons in the seminary. Who they believe will be the financial Messiah of the family. The young man now endures the many years of hardship and strict rules, bearing in mind to liberate the family from their condition after ordination.
4.Conviction of a Successful Life: Most people who believe that they will not make it in the circular world resort to the seminary/ priesthood, since obeying the seminary rules can guarantee this breakthrough. Hence for them, a priest is sure of three square meal, a comfortable apartment, a good car and money for his upkeep.
5.Genuine Vocation: Notably, many young men in the seminary are in the process to answer the divine call to serve God as priests. This set of young men tolerates and bears all the hardship, with strict adherence to the seminary rules, with the only desire to be priests, ministering to God and his people, without consideration of the respect, privileges and material gains attached to the catholic priesthood in Nigeria.
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