The Priest Shortage

Jude Missa

When you attend the Holy Mass, have you come across a priest asking the young men to become priests? The reason for this is that the Catholic Church is currently experiencing a priest shortage.

What is a Priest Shortage? 

The Priest Shortage is a problem caused by a decrease in the number of priests around the world. As a result, some parishes have no resident priest, pastor, or even a small number of priests.

When did the Priest Shortage starts? 

According to studies, the shortage of priests began in 1980 and has continued to this day. In contrast to the previous centuries, many men, including the young men, want to become priests.

What are the causes of Priest Shortage? 

According to a study conducted by Dean R. Hoge in 1985, the main reason why most men don’t enter the priesthood is because of “celibacy”. This is where priests don’t get married. Pope Benedict XVI disagreed with this reason, instead citing the smaller family size as a main reason. Another reason is the sexual abuse scandal that some Catholic priests have been involved in. This has tarnished the reputation of the priesthood.

But the main reason for Priest Shortage is the effect of the Second Vatican Council. 

Why Vatican II? 

One of the negative consequences of Vatican II is the reduction of catechesis in the world, where the Church no longer teaches the basic and important teachings about God and the Catholic Faith. Another reason is the role of Altar Servants was given to the Lay Ministers (men who are not Priests or not part of Holy Orders, and women or girls who serve in the mass). Altar servers, including young men, are responsible in assisting the priest during the Holy Mass while learning the importance of it and the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Because of these, young men are not attracted to enter the priesthood anymore.

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