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

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

NOTES

EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION
1
Richard Schoenherr and Lawrence Young, Full Pews and Empty Altars: Demographics of the Priest Shortage in United States Catholic Dioceses (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993).
2
Richard Schoenherr, “Holy Power? Holy Authority? and Holy Celibacy?” in Celibacy in the Church, ed. William Bassett and Peter Huizing (New York: Herder and Herder, 1972).
3
From a fragment of the Greek poet Archilochus in Berlin's famous essay “The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy's View of History, in The Proper Study of Mankind (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1998), 436.
4
Lawrence Young, “Assessing and Updating the Schoenherr-Young Projections of Clergy Decline in the United States Roman Catholic Church, Sociology of Religion 59 (1998):7–23.
5
These and other data on the priesthood are from Bryan Froehle and Mary Gautier, Catholicism USA: A Portrait of the Catholic Church in the United States (Maryknoll, N. Y.: Orbis Books, 2000), chapter 6, “Priests”.
6
The same is not true of theologate enrollments of religious priesthood candidates, which continue to decline slowly. See Froehle and Gautier, Catholicism USA, 117–120, and the 2001 Catholic Ministry Formation Directory (Washington, D. C.: Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, 2001).
7
Froehle and Gautier, Catholicism USA, 120.
8
Indeed, in addressing the priest shortage themselves, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops took advantage of “the professional skills of the researchers at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, with whose help the bishops were “able to obtain a much more accurate portrait of the fact of fewer priests, and its impact on the pastoral ministry”. Bishop Richard C. Hanifen, Introduction to Study of the Impact of Fewer Priests on the Pastoral Ministry (Washington, D. C.: National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2000). In the same paragraph, Bishop Hanifen reiterates his gratitude “to Dr. Bryan Froehle [a sociologist!] and the CARA staff for conducting the three phases of this study”.
9
Young, “Assessing and Updating, table 2, 20.
10
Larry Carstens, “The 'Priest Shortage': Natural or Man-(and Woman-) Made?” New Oxford Review (June 2000).
11
John F. Quinn, “Priest Shortage Panic, Crisis (October 1996), 44. CARA statistics reported in U. S. Catholic (January 2002). In a very provocative recent article that I do not have time to fully interrogate here, sociologist Paul Sullins of the Catholic University of America similarly reports a number of statistics that challenge “the supply and demand argument that the Catholic Church is suffering a crisis shortage of priests”. For example, there are more priests per parish currently than there were at the turn of the century (figure 6), and the share of churches without a resident priest in the United States consistently declined over the course of the twentieth century, from nearly 40 percent at the beginning of the century to 20 per

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