The Bishopric of Majorca owns Lluc Sanctuary. | Patricia Lozano

The congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, known as the "coritos", is to leave the Lluc Sanctuary, the spiritual centre of Majorca of which they have been custodians since 1891. The general council says that the decision has been taken because of a lack of Majorcan vocations, something from which the congregation has suffered over several years. There is also the fact that the five priests are all eighty or older. This has made the congregation's functions untenable.

The Bishopric of Majorca owns the Sanctuary buildings. These include the Blavets school and the restaurants. The bishopric also owns the car park. None of this is going to disappear, as a management team takes care of everything. Nevertheless, there is a question as to who will take charge of the spiritual direction at Lluc.

The bishopric has expressed its surprise and pain at the decision, which represents a new challenge for the diocese. It says that Lluc will continue to be Majorca's spiritual heart, as it has been since the thirteenth century, and wants Lluc to remain a place of pilgrimage. After the Cathedral, Lluc is the second most visited religious site in Majorca.