The National Catholic Reporter recorded on January 25th, 2018 that the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests has called upon Catholic bishops in the United States to enlist lay pastoral workers to administer parishes.
This move arises out of increasingly gloomy statistics for the numbers of Catholic priests in the US, as compared with the growing number of parishioners. While there were over 58,000 priests in 1965, there are only 37,000 now – and in the same period the number of Catholics has grown from 48.5 million to 74.2 million.
Already 347 US parishes out of 17,156 are administered by lay people – so this trend seems set to grow. How long before that happens in Ireland also?
For the full NCR report, click here.