Tuesday, October 23, 2018

St. Thomas Aquinas on Bad Seminarians and Weeding Them Out

"When public relations techniques are used to promote vocations, with advertising in religious publications and direct mailings designed to encourage young people to join a given society or community, the danger is always present that stress will be placed on numbers to the neglect of quality.  Saint Thomas insists that the weeding out of the unfit is an obligation of those charged with the selection of candidates...Avoid the methods of the world in promoting vocations.  It is possible to win customers in business by publicity techniques, but vocations require a different approach.  We may never be many, we may never be wise in the eyes of the world, but whatever we do must be done through the foolishness of the Cross."

-Fulton Sheen (Priest and Victim, Chapter 4: The Holiness of the Priest)

From the Angelic Doctor:

"Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Deus numquam ita deserit Ecclesiam suam, quin inveniantur idonei ministri sufficientes ad necessitatem plebis, di digni promoverentur, et digni repellent.  Et si non possent tot ministri inveniri, quot modo sunt, melius esset habere paucos ministros bonos quam multos malos, ut dicit beatus Clemens, epist. 2 ad Jacobum fratrem Dom., ante med."

-St. Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologiae III, Supp. q. 36, De Distinctione Ordinum, art. 4 ad I)

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