2007-04-29 16:24:49 UTC
has been forced to change it's recruitment tactics. The cartoons are a
concept whose time has come.
Japanese manga cartoons have become a multi-billion pound global
market, commonly associated with martial arts warriors rather than
with nuns and monks. But the Catholic Church in England and Wales is
launching its own comic strip this week to attract teenagers into the
It is using the comic book art form in an advertising campaign that
aims to combat the dramatic decline in the number of applicants for
ordination, and the resulting dearth of young priests.
The Church hopes that its manga comic, with pictures of nuns and monks
playing pool and surfing the internet, will help to improve the image
of the vocation, which leaders believe is seen as "monotonous and
The minimum age to enter a seminary is 18, but children as young as 10
are being targeted by the recruitment drive, which is encouraging them
to consider life as a parish priest or in a religious order.
"After Pope John Paul II died we saw an increase of interest not only
in the priesthood, but in Catholic life in general," said Fr Embery.
"The challenge for the Church is to recognise this and build on it."