Washington Seminarians Answer the Calling

7:37 PM, Mar 11, 2013   |    comments
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VATICAN CITY (WUSA9) -- On the eve of Conclave 2013 the staff for the Sistine Chapel was put under oath. In a ceremony they had to promise not to speak about anything they see or hear in the Sistine Chapel once the Cardinals begin the conclave.

Not far from the Sistine Chapel a group of men from the DC area will be watching anxiously for the outcome.  They are preparing for the priesthood.  Studying at the North American College in Rome.  WUSA9's Bruce Johnson talked with these seminarians about celibacy, women as priests and the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic church.

According to Catholic Church records 480 men were ordained priests last year in the United States. That compares to nearly 1,000 ordinations 50 years ago.

In 1965 there were 549 parishes in the United States with no resident priest. By last year that number had grown to nearly 4,000 parishes without a resident priest. 

For up-to-the-minute updates from Bruce Johnson, follow him on Twitter @brucejohnson9 as well as at wusa9.com. To get papal text alerts on your phone, text the word POPE to 25543.

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