Goodbye Father: The Celibate Male Priesthood and the Future of the Catholic Church

By Richard A. Schoenherr; David Yamane | Go to book overview

2
COMPULSORY CELIBACY AND THE PRIEST SHORTAGE

Priesthood is the linchpin that links structural elements in the Catholic Church. This link is giving way, however, as the priesthood population steadily declines. In a companion volume, Full Pews and Empty Altars, Lawrence Young and I document the extent of the priest shortage in the United States. We report the results of a six-year study in which we collected data from church officials in 86 dioceses and constructed a 19-year census registry of the American clergy covering 1966 through 1984. The registry contains demographic information on 36,300 diocesan priests. It provides original data on the extent and speed of growth and decline in priest populations across the country. 1 These data show that from 1966 to 1984, entrances into the priesthood through ordination and incardination amounted to just over 15,000; exits through leave, resignation, and natural loss totaled just over 22,000; hence the net loss in the number of priests in the United States was a little under 7,000. According to our census counts, in round numbers there were 35,000 active diocesan priests in the United States on January 1, 1966, and 28,000 on January 1, 1985—a 20 percent decline.

We also use these data to describe the demographic transition of the clergy for a period of 40 years, using empirical data for 19 years (1966–84) to make projections to the year 2005. With the presumption that only Catholic males willing to be lifelong celibates will be recruited and retained, we constructed three different projections based on optimistic, pessimistic, and moderate assumptions. The optimistic projection assumes that the relatively high ordinations and net migrations and low resignations and retirements experienced during certain specific years between 1966 and 1985 will continue. 2 Furthermore, if any of these events showed consistent trends toward even more optimistic levels in the future than experienced in the past, estimates of their 1990–94 levels are used. The pessimistic projection assumes the opposite, namely, the relatively low ordinations and net migrations and relatively high resignations and retirements during certain other past years are likely to continue. Similarly, if any of these events showed consistent movement toward more pessimistic levels, estimates of their 1990–94 levels are used. The moderate projection results from assuming that the level of ordinations, net migrations, resignations, and retirements occurring between 1980 and 1984 will remain more or less unchanged from 1985 through the turn of the century. The assumptions about fu

-15-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Goodbye Father: The Celibate Male Priesthood and the Future of the Catholic Church
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 275

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.