Papal pokes in priestly eyes

Seminarians of my acquaintance, many of whom had barely made their First Holy Communion in the waning years of the John Paul papacy, name him as their model for priestly life and ministry; Benedict is likewise highly valued by our seminarians – most of whom maintain a respectful silence about the current Pontiff, lest they show disrespect or even disdain. That is quite telling. It also explains why seminary numbers are so far down, precisely over the past eight years. Frankly, why would a young man find inspiration in a man who had even called seminarians “little monsters”?