RC priest shortage

The New York Times reports on the shortage of priests in the Roman Catholic Church in the US and efforts to recruit clergy from overseas. The story relates the challenges and benefits of international clergy:


“If we didn’t get international priests,” he said, “some of our guys would have had five parishes. If one of our guys were to leave, or God forbid have a heart attack and die, we didn’t have anyone to fill in.”

In the last six years, he has brought 12 priests from Africa, Asia and Latin America who are serving in this diocese covering the western third of Kentucky, where a vast majority of residents are white. His experiences offer a close look at the church’s drive to import foreign priests to compensate for a dearth of Americans, and the ways in which this trend is reshaping the Roman Catholic experience in America

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Read it all here with links, a slide show, graphics, and charts.

Comments (3)

Well, I guess all those devout Catholics who don't have a regular priest can still rejoice that the priest who visits occasionally is male, straight, and celibate. I'm sure that will be comforting when they are ill or in need of last rites...

What would the local RC diocese do without the priests from the Philippines? One drawback is that some of them go into the pulpit to preach before they have mastered English pronunciation enough to be understood.

Well, God bless them, anyway. When will the RCC ever learn?

June Butler

I believe in relatively open immigration policies.

Overall, I believe there are cultural benefits to Americans if foreign clergy are brought in.

However, as in healthcare, I have to wonder if the US is poaching skilled workers from poorer countries.

While I, too, mourn the Catholic Church's standards for ordination, I would remind fellow commenters to please be respectful.

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