Kochi — In what could be termed a novel idea, a Catholic organization named Knanaya Fellowship has come up with a suggestion to introduce a qualifying exam for those aspiring for priesthood in Catholic Church.
“A qualifying exam has become common these days to get recruited to a profession or to get admission to a professional course such as MBBS, engineering and MBA. Many youngsters join priesthood under the impression that it is easy to follow life in priesthood. Considering activities of certain young priests, one may think it is high time that there should be a facility to ‘filter’ those aspiring to become priests, as they bear the responsibility to be models for others,” Knanaya Fellowship president Dominic Savio said in an article , The New Indian Express reported.
“In this context, it would be ideal if the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, conduct an exam for aspirant priests every year. There are numerous incidents proving that training in seminaries are not upto date. A priest, who is entrusted with the responsibility of to lead a parish has to face multiple problems. The most important task is to lead, people from different walks of life to a single goal. Once ordained, a person is a priest till dearth. Therefore his qualification should be tested,” it is stated in the article.
Anyway, the Catholic church is unlikely to consider the suggestion. The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) has ruled out the suggestion saying that enough ‘filtering’ of candidates was happening during the 12-year-long training of a person in seminary.
“What the Church requires is not good performers, but good persons. Good persons come from good family background. The KCBC does not believe that the quality of a priest can be enhanced through a qualifying exam. Being a good priest is a continuing process. If that organisation has anything else to suggest to enhance quality of priesthood it would be certainly looked into,” said KCBC deputy secretary Fr Varghese Valikkat.