A GROWING religious consciousness among the young people in Czechoslovakia has prompted the state authorities there to step up their campaign of restricting the growth in seminary education.
Although the vocations trend has climbed in recent years — this year 24 priests have been ordained in Bohemia and Moravia — there is a still a desperate shortage with only 35 new priests to be shared among seven dioceses in Czechoslovakia this year.
The Austrian Catholic news agencY, Kathpress, has quoted 87-year-old Czechoslovakian primate Cardinal Tomasek as saying that state-restricted entry to seminaries has meant that there are far more candidates for the seminaries than there are places.
The cardinal maintains that this is a deliberate ploy by the authorities to weaken the Church by denying it new clergy. He cited as an example of this policy the refusal of the state to reopen the Catholic seminary at Olomouc.
Onlookers contend that the restrictions on entries to seminaries and theological faculties are in step with state policy towards the Church, aimed at stemming the noticeable trend towards "growing religionsity".
The Czechoslovakian press has been running a series of articles aimed at turning people's attention away from, what the Church has to offer.