The Priest Shortage

Jude Missa

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

What is a Priest Shortage? 

Priest shortage is a problem caused by a decrease in the number of priests around the world. This results in some parishes not having a resident priest, pastor, or even a small number of priests.

When did the Priest Shortage starts? 

Studies have indicated that the shortage of priests began in 1980 and is still ongoing. Unlike previous centuries, many men, particularly young men, are interested in becoming 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 do not marry. Pope Benedict XVI was opposed to this reasoning, citing the smaller size of the family as the main reason. Another reason is the sexual abuse scandal that some Catholic priests have been a part of. This has damaged the reputation of the priesthood.

The Second Vatican Council is the primary cause of Priest Shortage.

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 for assisting the priest during the Holy Mass while learning the importance of the Holy Mass and the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Because of these reasons, young men are no longer interested in entering the priesthood.

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