The Friends of Father Aloysius

Bringing together the friends of Father Aloysius Ellacuria, C.M.F.

Year 1971 — “The Present Crisis in the Church” by Father Aloysius Ellacuria, CMF

The following are excerpts taken from a survey in which Father Aloysius shares his insight into the “present crisis in the Church”. He wrote these words in the fall of 1971. These words are not only shocking but prophetic.

“The present crisis in the Church is a result of a lack of proper spiritual formation in the seminaries, and because of that, priests today are not as they should be. This crisis is going to become much worse because, in the present-day the seminiaries, instead of being improved, are completely deteriorated, and the ones in charge of sacredotal formation, sad to say but it is a fact, are the instrument of deformation for the future priests.”

“The priest, by virtue of this vocation,” in the expression of St. John Eudes, “is called to the highest dignity on earth, and therefore to the highest sanctity.” This great Saint and great director of seminaries in his day used to state this maxim many, mary times to the seminaries and priests in his conferences of spriritual retreats.”

“I stated that the crisis is going to be much worse because, since the Council of Trent, the seminaries have never been so corrupted as in the present-day. Pardon my expression, but this happens to be true. In most of the seminiaries they have a disastrous misinterpretation of Vatican II, and I state this with all my conviction, after spending twenty-five years or more in the spiritual formation of seminarians.”

“As a house, to weather the storms, should have solid foundations and then properly build on them, likewise the seminarian, as future priests, should have a thorough and deep foundation in the purgative life which most of them don’t have, and then led into the illuminative life by the most expert and holy spiritual directors of the diocese or congregation, and by the time of their ordination they should be entering fully the unitive life, because the priest is another Christ and should be one with Christ, not only in name but in deed.”


These words are prophetic, and more importantly, after describing the situation, Father Aloysius gives the reasons for “the present crisis.” Taken together with his other statements on “formation” issues, these comments point in a positive direction. These words are from a spiritual director of seminarians with over twenty-five years of experience. These are words of a saint!

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Tags: Aloysius, Father, church, crisis, formation, of, seminarians

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