Disperity in Clergy Numbers


#1

I hope my subject line sounded right LOL

I read an article not too long ago talking about the large gap in clergy between Catholics and protestants.

It said that the Catholic church was really short on priests, and in 2004, only graduated around 500, whereas Protestant seminaries graduated close to 15,000 or more ministers. Anyone have thoughts or opinions on why this is? Does the RCC have tougher requirements besides the whole marriage issue?


#2

Thats a huge thing, as well being a Priest is generally tougher as they have to also hear Confessions, do Last Rites, etc, the marriage thing is a big deal, and they must also take a vow of poverty. Those are my guesses. Plus, America is predominately Protestant.


#3

[quote=FuzzyBunny116]Thats a huge thing, as well being a Priest is generally tougher as they have to also hear Confessions, do Last Rites, etc, the marriage thing is a big deal, and they must also take a vow of poverty. Those are my guesses. Plus, America is predominately Protestant.
[/quote]

The article also said most priests leave the priesthood after 3 years due to burnout and lonliness. Do you guys think the RCC should do something to better care for their priests? Sounds like they are very overwhelmed.

The same can happen to Protestant ministers, but many churches now offer support services for them.


#4

This poster is from Lincoln, Nebraska, and you’ll find no shortage here :wink: .

That being said (had to toot my own horn, sorry), I think it could be a lot of different things, but I don’t really think the marriage thing is truly one of them. If God had really given a vocation of the priesthood to someone, and they were in a place spiritually where they would follow that, than that person would have no more difficulty not choosing marriage than not choosing a person they felt they weren’t really meant to marry. I have had the pleasure of being “dumped” for the seminary, and I truly believed he loved me, but nothing was going to keep him from what he knew God wanted. I joke about it sometimes in a very good natured way, but it was actually something I felt very blessed to be a part of :slight_smile: .


#5

[quote=roadrunner570]I read an article not too long ago talking about the large gap in clergy between Catholics and protestants.

It said that the Catholic church was really short on priests, and in 2004, only graduated around 500, whereas Protestant seminaries graduated close to 15,000 or more ministers. Anyone have thoughts or opinions on why this is?
[/quote]

While Catholicism is the largest single Christian denomination in the USA (and in a few other English-speaking countries), it is still heavily outnumbered by the various Protestants in every English-speaking country except Eire. Thus, there are more Protestant churches in need of ministers, and more Protestants who wish to become clergy.

Does the RCC have tougher requirements besides the whole marriage issue?

The requirements for entry to the clergy vary from denomination to denomination. The Quakers simply have no clergy. In many pentecostal churches, pastorship is conferred on the basis of perceived ‘spirituality’, often regardless of formal training. In others, courses in Theology, Divinity, or Biblical Studies can be sufficient. I cannot think of a Protestant denomination which puts potential clergy through as thorough a training regime as the Catholics use, which is, perhaps, one of the reasons for the better public image of Catholic priests. Have you ever noticed the fact that, although the USA is a predominantly Protestant nation, the vast majority of good clergy characters on television or in movies are Catholic?


#6

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