More than 20% of Irish priests and brothers have died in past three years
#1
More than 20% of priests and brothers have died in past three years

SAT, 08 JAN, 2022 - 06:00
NEIL MICHAEL
More than 21% of Ireland's entire population of parish priests and brothers — both serving and retired — have died in just three years.


The Association of Catholic Priests says that parishes are going to have to be amalgamated, churches closed, and fewer Masses held.


Fr John Collins, one of the ACP’s directors, said: “The figures are shocking. It is very sad to see so many have died in such a short space of time.


“We are all aware of an ageing priest population, but it is only when you look at the figures that you realise what a high number it is. 



He added that the number of those dying every year is "only going to keep rising".

The number of serving Diocesan priests was officially recorded by the Catholic Church as being around 2,067 in 2014.

However, this was when the number of priests aged 75-84 was increasing steadily compared to previous years, as was the number of priests aged 65-74.

By the end of 2018, there were an estimated 1,800 working priests and around 720 retired priests, some of which were still helping out for holiday and sickness cover.

The list of most — but not all — clerical deaths in Ireland is contained each year in the Irish Catholic Directory, the official directory of the Irish Catholic Church published by Veritas Publications on behalf of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

According to those statistics, 174 nuns and 166 priests and brothers died in 2019.

A further 191 nuns died in 2020, and 223 priests and brothers also died.

Up to September 2021, another 131 nuns had died, as had 131 priests and brothers.

However, the figures from the directories are likely to be conservative, because not every religious order or diocese reports the death of its clergy to Veritas.

In addition, according to Rip.ie, at least another 76 nuns, at least another 36 priests, and five religious brothers died between October and January 4 this year.

The Irish Examiner reported recently that the number of priests is set to decline dramatically over the coming months as pressures on parishes from the pandemic ease.

This is because priests who were due to retire but stayed on to help colleagues are now hoping they can now finally retire.

In the Diocese of Cork and Ross, for example, around 11 priests are due to retire over the next three years.

Nine of the diocese’s 94 serving parish priests are over 75 years old.

Cloyne Diocese-based Fr Tim Hazelwood, of the Association of Catholic Priests, said: “In Ireland, the Church we knew in the past is dying. That's the reality.
"You are seeing the traditional Catholic parish structure disappearing."


The Catholic Communications Office was asked for a comment about the number of deaths and referred the Irish Examiner to a homily by Archbishop Eamon Martin, Primate of All Ireland last year.

In it, he said: “The Covid-19 virus may have struck at the very heart of our outreach and ministry to the sick, the dying and the bereaved but, it could not, and did not, and will not destroy our hope and our conviction that God remains especially near to people who suffer, and God is close to those who are broken-hearted.”


https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40780641.html
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#2
That's the scenario in most countries unfortunately. People don't realize without priests it's going to be more and more difficult to get baptisms and funerals and sacraments. We're going to come to the world, live and die like dogs, without as much as a prayer to soothe our souls.
A priest I know says the lack of vocations is due to abortion because the Lord has a mission for each soul, but if that soul doesn't make it to the world we are inevitably going to lack charismatic priests that can restore the Church and, by extention, society as a whole.
"We thought we could stay healthy in a sick world" - Pope.
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#3
A priest I know who offers the TLM every day of the week recently (in a homily) reflected that over the past 40 years, our reverent and traditional parish has yielded only a single priestly vocation.  Just one man.  No women. 

Even though my kids are grown, I hung my head in shame.  Seems to me like most of us are there just for the smells and bells and the feeling of holiness and tradition.  I've read claims of how the TLM is booming.  I'll wonder if the proportion of vocations coming out of main stream Catholic churches might be much higher.
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#4
(01-13-2022, 12:30 PM)Matas Wrote: I've read claims of how the TLM is booming.  I'll wonder if the proportion of vocations coming out of main stream Catholic churches might be much higher.

Groups that offer the traditional Mass, like the SSPX and FSSP, are where the vocations are. They have to turn men away because there's no room in their seminaries, while many dioceses don't have a single seminarian, which means no ordinations for years. It also hasn't helped that since Vatican II, vocations directors (often nuns who were all too eager to get rid of the habits) would refuse to accept orthodox men, or subject them to all sorts of psychological testing for things like being too rigid. Much of the priest shortage was created that way, and it's catching up to us.
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#5
(01-13-2022, 01:08 PM)Paul Wrote:
(01-13-2022, 12:30 PM)Matas Wrote: I've read claims of how the TLM is booming.  I'll wonder if the proportion of vocations coming out of main stream Catholic churches might be much higher.

Groups that offer the traditional Mass, like the SSPX and FSSP, are where the vocations are. They have to turn men away because there's no room in their seminaries, while many dioceses don't have a single seminarian, which means no ordinations for years. It also hasn't helped that since Vatican II, vocations directors (often nuns who were all too eager to get rid of the habits) would refuse to accept orthodox men, or subject them to all sorts of psychological testing for things like being too rigid. Much of the priest shortage was created that way, and it's catching up to us.

Thanks Paul.  That's the TLM narrative that is often repeated.  I'm challenging that narrative.  The FSSP almost abandoned my little parish because of their priest shortage here in the USA.  This is what almost happened a year ago.  And we can't get an assistant priest right now.  Reason - not enough priests to go around.  The FSSP is not flush with priests despite having "to turn men away because there's no room in their seminaries."  

What's happening in Ireland is happening all over the place.  But I suspect that most of us are already aware of that.
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#6
(01-13-2022, 01:29 PM)Matas Wrote: The FSSP is not flush with priests despite having "to turn men away because there's no room in their seminaries."

True. There aren't enough priests from the traditional orders to fulfil the demand, even if there are proportionally more vocations there. If the Pope were really interested in addressing the issue, he'd encourage the growth of groups like the FSSP, but instead he tells bishops (or at least lets his minions do so) that the traditional rite of ordination is banned and that the traditional Mass shouldn't be celebrated in parish churches and. if it is, the time shouldn't even be published in the bulletin.

There's this article from a few years ago:
https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/over-2...-orthodox/

It says that 20% of the 114 ordinations in France in 2018 were from traditional orders, and, if current numbers continue, half of French priests will be traditional by 2038. But that will still only be 500 priests in the entire country by then.
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#7
Not only the FSSP Seminary in Denton is full, but our Diocesan Seminary is bursting at the seams, with many of those men learning the TLM from the professors in Denton (the two Seminaries are only 24 miles apart). This is the fruit of orthodox Catholic Bishops ever since the Council. In fact, probably the most liberal Bishop we've ever had sat at the Council. He was responsible for the monstrosity that is our Cathedral:

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From an article in The Liturgy Guy a few years ago:



Quote:Despite having a Catholic population of only 97,000, the Lincoln diocese ordained 22 men from 2010-2012.  Only seven dioceses in the entire country ordained more.  One of those, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (with a Catholic population of over 4.2 million) ordained 34 men during those same three years.  In other words, L.A. only ordained four more men per year on average despite having a population 44X greater than Lincoln.

The point I've made over and over is that men don't want to give up marriage and family life to be a social worker in a Roman collar who presides over the family meal. They are willing to make that sacrifice to be 'other Christs' and to stand at the Altar of God offering the Unbloody Sacrifice of the Son to the Father. Ergo, Traditional and orthodox seminaries are full. The standard NO Seminary (if it's still open! Ours was founded when diocesan seminaries all over the country were closing.) is almost empty. But as the article in the OP implies, and as Paul pointed out, even all the Trad Orders and orthodox NO seminaries can't turn out enough Priests to make up for the shortfall. Plus, many Bishops would rather see Churches closed than tolerate actual orthodox Catholicism taught in them.
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