I saw this at CWN:
Curial official: over 3,000 religious leave consecrated life each year [Makes you wonder how many enter religious life. I’ll bet not 3k!]
The secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life said in an October 29 address that over 3,000 men and women religious leave the consecrated life each year.
In the address – a portion of which was reprinted in L’Osservatore Romano [HERE] – Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo said that statistics from his Congregation, as well as the Congregation for the Clergy, indicate that over the past five years, 2,624 religious have left the religious life annually. When one takes into account additional cases handled by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the number tops 3,000.
The prelate, who led the Order of Friars Minor from 2003 until his April 2013 curial appointment, said that the majority of cases occur at a “relatively young age.” The causes, he said, include “absence of spiritual life,” “loss of a sense of community,” and a “loss of sense of belonging to the Church” – a loss manifest in dissent from Catholic teaching on “women priests and sexual morality.” [read: LCWR]
Other causes include “affective problems,” including heterosexual relationships that continue into marriage and homosexual relationships, which are “most obvious in men, but also present, more often than you think, between women.” [Not more often than I thought!]
The world, the prelate continued, is undergoing profound changes from modernity to postmodernity – from fixed reference points to uncertainty, doubt, and insecurity. In a market-oriented world, “everything is measured and evaluated according to the utility and profitability, even people.” It is “a world where everything is soft,” where “there is no place for sacrifice, nor for renunciation.” [The problem, however, is not just that the “world” has gone that way, but that the world’s way as been permitted wholesale into the Church and into these religious institutes with virtually no resistance at all.]
In a culture of neo-individualism and subjectivism, he added, “the individual is the measure of everything,” and people feel “unique in excellence.” “Modern man talks a lot” but “cannot communicate in depth.” [Yes. Yet another reason for me to call for, once again, a deeper theology of communication, beginning with Christ as the true communicator.]
The solution, he said, is a renewed attention to the centrality the Triune God in religious life, which in turn “brings with it the gift of oneself to others.” There must be a clear emphasis on the “radical nature of the Gospel,” rather than the “number of members or the maintenance of works.” [Your Excellency… until we have our LITURGICAL WORSHIP squared away again, no other effort of renewal can be effective.]