Statistics on US Priests and Related Matters

Statistics on US Priests and Related Matters

Appendix to The Old Breed: The Priests Who Pastor Beyond Retirement (Nicholas Wolfram Smith, National Catholic Register, JUN. 7, 2017)

[Don’t quote Mark Twain’s “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics” and I won’t quote “The spring(?)time of Vatican II has come to America” or “The chickens of Vatican II have come home to roost”]

Average age in 1970: 35

Average age in 2009: 63

Total Number of Diocesan Priests in 1970: 37,272

Total Number of Diocesan Priests in 2016: 25,760

Ordinations in 1970: 805

Ordinations in 2016: 548

Total Number of Parishes in 1970: 18,224

Total Number of Parishes in 2016: 17,233

Parishes without a resident pastor in 1970: 571

Parishes without a resident pastor in 2016: 3,499

Catholic Population in 1970: 47.9 million

Catholic Population in 2016: 67.7 million

Source: Georgetown University Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA)

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4 comments on “Statistics on US Priests and Related Matters

  1. Georgetown University Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) says:

    Catholic Population in 1970: 47.9 million

    Catholic Population in 2016: 67.7 million

    I ask how many of them are “practicing” Catholics, and I opine that the ratio of “active” priests to “practicing” Catholics has remained about the same, but I do not know for how long before there is a real increase in that ratio because of the continuing decrease in the number of “active” priests.

    • A fair assessment, Tom. I recall Fr Rutler making the same point many years ago.
      /
      The Jesuits who discovered ancient colonies of Japanese Catholics, centuries ago, learned that the Faith had been handed on by these hidden-away faithful with only two Sacraments, Baptism and Marriage, each of which can be (baptism) and by definition (matrimony) provided by laymen, supplemented by devotional prayers.
      /
      May our own culture be spared such a fate.

      • gpmtrad says:

        May our own culture be spared such a fate [as that of the “Hidden Christians (i.e., Catholics)” of Japan].

        I second that – as well as being spared the fate of the “Recusant” Catholics in Reformation England (“recusant” meaning “refusing” to attend the Protestant Church of England services and thus endured penalties and persecutions for such refusal), although many of them were clandestinely served by missionary priests from what the Brit-Prots called the “Jesuit invasion of England,” whereby many of those priests were tortured and exiled or martyred.

        IMHO, our fate may be more similar to that of the “Underground” Catholics in the still ongoing history of Communist China, which first persecuted them (and continued such) and then established a state-run “Patriotic” church to wean them away from the Catholic Church, which today seeks a settlement with the ChiComs that may legitimate the Patriotic church at the expense of the Underground one.

        • A plausible theory, Tom. The Left is not particularly creative. They tend to stick to tried and proven methods of tyranny.
          /
          Re-reading EM Jones’ work on the jewish revolutionaries, it becomes clearer and clearer that the collapse of faith in the 60s, among the clergy and religious as well as the laity, blinded even well-intended Catholics who later would face down abortion supporters.
          /
          According to Jones (who did a fine job in the book despite his persistent anti-SPPX vehemence) it was the total failure of the hierarchy to face up to the reality that it was jews and prots who led the charge to impose abortion.
          /
          This latest excursion by a batty pontificate is another example. Bergoglio and his evil guardsmen are really, in the final analysis, fully Judaized revolutionaries. Anything and everything possible to literally destroy the Church is all they devote themselves to.
          /
          Even Burke, Sarah, etc. are self-contained and, thus, so far totally ineffective since they uphold V2, the high water mark of the jewish takeover of both secular and ecclesiastical norms. Nostra Aetate was the death knell of an effective Church militant.

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