Religion: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?

A new study foresees fewer priests for more Catholics

The more the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. has grown in recent decades, the more crippling has become its shortage of priests. In 1966 the American Catholic population was 46 million. At that time, the number of priests available to offer the sacraments was some 59,000, or approximately one priest for every 780 parishioners. Today there are 57 million Catholics and 53,000 priests, or one priest for every 1,100 parishioners. One result is that more than 1,000 parishes now have no priest at all. Last week two sociologists published research predicting that the crisis will only get worse.

& Richard...

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