Freitag, 25. Juli 2014

Donnerstag, 24. Juli 2014

Review of Patrick Leigh Fermors "Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece"

A wonderful book chronicling the famous authors travels through northern Greece in the year 1966. The authors deep understanding of Greece and its 5000 year history, language and culture is impressive. Sometimes its almost too much knowledge conveyed for a reader no that much familiar with Greece. Since the book is almost 50 years old it also serves as a kind of time capsule of the times before Greece was mutilated by mass tourism and the ill effects of the recent Euro-crisis. My favourite story in there is the search for Lord Byron's slippers in Missolonghi and a mountain hike with a friendly Greek military officer who turns out to be quite a hedonist. Definitely worth reading for anyone that loves Greece.

Sonntag, 6. Juli 2014

Traditional priests in France until 2050

Based on a suggestion by Christopher Gillibrand, I decided to apply the forecast method used for global numbers of priests to the dramatic situation in France. First I obtained the latest values for ordinations, which is 96 and the total number of priests in France, which is 14000, from the website of the French Bishops conference (1). I also got the information from a different source (2) that the average age of the current 14000 priests is 75. Therefore I assumed a still optimistic retirement rate r of 20% for this group.
From the various sources quoted in the previous post on the traditional groups of priests I obtained the percentage of those traditional priests currently based in France, as shown in table 1.
Table 1
I applied those percentages on the forecast of the number of traditional priests as shown in the previous posts.

It is obvious from the above values that there will be a catastrophic decline in the number of non-traditional diocesan priests in France. The interesting result is that by the year 2038, traditional priests will outnumber priests celebrating the new mass. See chart 1.
Chart 1
Another chart is very impressive in this regard, it shows the % of priests in France that will be traditional during the forecast period. This number increases from 2% in 2014 to 56% in the dynamic of an S-shaped curve. The S-shape is by the way very characteristic of introduction ("diffusion") of innovative or ground-breaking ideas. Quite an irony that the traditional mass will be the innovation that replaces the dying former "innovation" of the new mass. See chart 2.

Chart 2

So in conclusion, if the Roman Catholic faith will be saved from secularism in France, it will be the achievement of the traditional groups of priests celebrating the Traditional Mass such as FSSPX, FSSP and ICRSS.


Freitag, 4. Juli 2014

The number of traditional priests up to 2050

Using available statistical data from the center for applied research in the apostolate (1) and from various sources on the traditional institutes of priests (2), I have put together forecasts on the future number of priests until the year 2050. In order to put these forecasts together I used the simple iterative formula

n (t+1) = n (t) * (1 - r) + o

where n(t+1) is the number of priests in the next year, n(t) is the number of priests in the current year, r is the rate of retirement or priests per year expressed in percent of all priests, and o is the number of ordinations of new priests each year. I was able to obtain the total number of priests as well as the number of ordinations from the sources mentioned above and input into the formula. For the retirement rate I assumed 2.5% which equals to 40 active years for a priest this means that every year 1/40 of all priests becomes inactive. I did all calculations for the individual orders of traditional priests, then summed them up to all traditional priests. I also did the calculation for all priests (currently 414,313) according to the CARA data (1).

Please see table 1 for the input values
Table 1

Here are some of the results in Chart 1.
Chart 1
Chart 1 shows that the Society of St. Pius X (FSSPX) will remain the largest traditional institute, growing to over 900 priests by 2050. Two other large groups of priests are Society of St. Peter (FSSP) which will reach almost 400 priests by 2050 and the Institute of Christ the King (ICRSS) which will reach over 200 priests by 2050. Smaller groups that will not reach 100 priest by 2050 are the Institute du Bon Pasteur (IBP) and the Personal Apostolic Administration of St. John Marie Vianney.

Chart 2

Chart 2 shows that the total number of traditional priests will exceed 1000 for the first time in 2016 in the very near future and reach over 1600 by 2050.

While this growth is impressive, the total number of traditional priests in relation to the total number of priests will remain small, as one can see in the next chart, chart 3.
Chart 3
The total number of priests world-wide will fall from 414,000 to about 323,000 in the period up to 2050. In total the percentage of traditional priests as % of total priests will more than double from 0.23% to 0.5%. However, the number of traditional priests will still remain small (0.5%) in relation to all priests. All this is shown in chart 4.
Chart 4

All these forecasts did not assume any additional events or acceleration or deceleration in the variables used. Clearly, the current rate of formation of traditional priests is completely insufficient, if we want to see that the Traditional Mass and the Traditional Sacraments once completely replace those of the Novus Ordo. Even in 2050 the Novus Ordo would win 99 : 1. More work and more prayer is needed.

(1)   CARA
2.1) (FSSP)
2.2)  (ICRSS)
2.3) (FSSPX)
2.4) (IBP)
2.5) Annuario Pontifico 2012 (PAAJMV)