How would a worldwide abundance or even an overabundance of priests impact the Church?


How would a worldwide abundance or even an overabundance of priests impact the Church? Would things really change that much, if at all? If there was an abundance of clergy to operate now closed parishes, would the faithful support them? Would many new parishes be established/erected?

Would the Church prove adroit at deploying these new human resources, or would it merely lead to more bureaucracy?

Would problem priests be disciplined more thoroughly and perhaps differently than today?

Would it stem the formation of permanent deacons in some (arch)dioceses?

So many ills of the Church today are pinned on the shortage of priests, but I wonder how much change (and improvement) there would be were there not a “shortage.”


Let’s just say this, if each Catholic Church had their own priest (NO priest taking care of more than one Church) I do believe you would see more opportunities for activities outside of Mass for the parishioners. Priests can’t be everywhere at one time, they are only one person who has MANY MANY MANY “jobs” to do.


I don’t think an overabundance of priests is very likely. The church isn’t going to admit that many more men into the seminary than they have positions to be filled.

I was listening to a priest from Pittsburgh on the radio, a number of years ago, the late Msg Charles Owen Rice. He had a talk show on KDKA. He reported when he was ordained,
the diocese didn’t have a position for him, so he just went home and waited for an opening.


There certainly has been an overabundance in the past.

When my Dad was a child, he remember hanging out on the parish grounds with friends. A priest appeared, said hello to them and asked the way to the rectory? About a half hour later he passed them again and mentioned the parish had no openings.


One definiite improvement would be the return of priests to Catholic secondary education… the last priest/teacher at my school died over 10 years ago, and I would love to see priests return to the role


Do you think that would happen, by and large?


I think that vocations directors would probably encourage men who want to teach high school, just to become religious brothers and do that work, rather than send them to a theological seminary at great cost.


I believe so… considering that was done in the past, I cant consider another more important role, especially at an all boys Catholic high school, than being a strong example to high school boys of the priesthood.


They would do this to men who had been called to the priesthood? I sure hope not.


Possibly. My parish already has an abundance of priests and out parish enjoys very few activities outside of the Mass.


I still remember grade school when one of the Priests would show up and cover a couple Religion classes. They are fond memories.

I would definitely like to see Priests, given an abundance, specialize in what they do best. Some are great at Theology, some are Wonderfully Pastoral, some are great at comforting the sick, some are wonderful teachers.

Having an abundance means each can serve God even better in what he is good at.

That is not to take away from other religious: Deacons, Brothers and Sisters.



Pre-Vatican II when we DID have the abundance of Catholic Priest the world was more “sane”; abortion was not legislated; GAY unions were not legalized or TERMED “marriages”; the Catholic Faith was ACTUALLY taught, Mass attendance was 80%+ and the majority of Catholics actually believed and lived like the Real Presence was [is ]REAL. And most of them regularly advantaged Sacramental Confession. Amen!


Pray very much



I believe the “problem” isn’t the lack of priests but the lack of faithful. In my diocese the overall population of the area has grown by 1.5 million in the last 50 years. In that time while the active duty priest have dropped by 65%, the number of Catholic Marriages (recognized by the Church, not both Catholic) has dropped by 76% and the number of infant baptisms has dropped by 74%. Church attendance has dropped by 69%. We have enough priests, we just don’t have faithful coming to church and practicing the religion (and passing in down to their kids). We have closed or consolidated over half our churches in the past year. Even with the closing of a church within five miles of my church (and all those people needing a new parish) our church attendance has dropped IN THE LAST YEAR once again…and they are going to put on an addition…why? I have no idea. The parish has more families registered but less people attending Mass…go figure…


I think in a great many parts of the world and in specific (arch)dioceses, a lack of priests is a real issue. Notice I said “priests”, not “priestly vocations.” In other words it’s a man-made problem.

That addition is likely feel-good salve…

Sometimes I really do wonder if the hierarchy of the Church (at least in the US) truly understands what’s impacting individual Catholics’ faith and if they truly know what to do?


I don’t think Vatican Council II has caused the great decline in the Church over the past 50+ years. I think the hideously poor implementation of the OF Mass (and not the form of the OF Mass itself) and a terrible drop in the quality of catechesis played parts in the decline, but I think think the decline is effectively the product of a GREAT many things – including a huge number that many dismiss out of hand as not being important, largely because they are so terribly difficult to deal with.


EXACTLY! Not Vatican 2 itself, but the ‘spirit’ of Vatican Two


“The Spirit of Vatican II” was and is a lie that has long been used as license to justify and do some pretty horrible things.




OK, but in my experience these were the ill-gotten gains of the POST Vatican II changes

God Bless you,



What do you mean exactly?

Also, what do you mean by “Vatican II changes”? The promulgation of the OF Mass?

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