Priesthood shortage in Church history


#1

Dear Catholic answers,
This is a question for somebody who studied the history of the Catholic church:
It is well known that in North America and Europe there is a shortage of new priests with the consequence of closing down whole parishes. Has there ever been a similar situation in Church history? If yes, than how did the Church cope with it in the past? Or is the current lack of men choosing a priest career unprecedented?


#2

I believe I once read that the priesthood population in the bulk of the 20th Century, which we’ve come to regard as the standard - at least in the U.S. - was in fact atypically high, and that throughout most of its history there were far fewer priests per unit of population than there even are today. Would be interested in hearing from someone who knows more about this topic.


#3

[quote="JFJK, post:1, topic:303504"]
Dear Catholic answers,
This is a question for somebody who studied the history of the Catholic church:
It is well known that in North America and Europe there is a shortage of new priests with the consequence of closing down whole parishes. Has there ever been a similar situation in Church history? If yes, than how did the Church cope with it in the past? Or is the current lack of men choosing a priest career unprecedented?

[/quote]

It could also be an issue of distribution. Back then cities were smaller, one priest (or earlier in Church history, the bishop is the priest) was enough for entire cities, even the big metropolitan cities. Today with the ability to travel long distances in short amounts of time, people are more spread out and thus to have enough priests cover a large area could be an issue.


#4

I just posted about the priesthood shortage, but no one responded to it...

This is what I had to say:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=9943362#post9943362


#5

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