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The shortage of priests grows even worse. You report in your April edition that between 2004 and 2005 the Catholic population of the world increased by 17 million. During the same time the number of priests increased by a mere 520. So 520 priests have to cater for an extra 17 million faithful. That gives a ratio of one priest to every 28,856 new Catholics. Seeing that one priest is needed to provide pastoral care for every 1000 Catholics, 15,000 new priests were required - not 520.
For a comparison, note that in Australia and New Zealand in 1968 there was one priest for every 794 Catholics.
DR FRANK MOBBS
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 20 No 4 (May 2007), p. 14
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