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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Reason to cheer

After decades of glum trends — fewer priests, fewer parishes — the U.S. Roman Catholic Church has a statistic to cheer: More men are now enrolled in graduate level seminaries, the main pipeline to the priesthood, than in nearly two decades. This year’s tally of 3,694 graduate theology students represents a 16 percent increase since 1995 and a 10 percent jump since 2005, according to Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, Washington, D.C. Seminary directors cite more encouragement from bishops and parishes, the draw of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and the social justice-minded Pope Francis, and a growing sense that the church is past the impact of the sexual abuse crisis that exploded in 2002.


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July issue

JULY issue:

Economic inequality

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