Eric Hodgens. No Change in Priestly Recruits

The Melbourne Age said on Sunday 3 May that the Catholic Church was attracting more trainee priests.

SBS had a similar article.

Both are factually wrong. The last big year of seminary entries was 1968. Recruitment dropped steadily for 20 years and has been steady for the last 35 years.

Corpus Christi College is Victoria and Tasmania’s Catholic Seminary. It is typical of all Australia’s seminaries. Have a look at its entry numbers.


CCC Entrants - 1923- 2015

For 35 years Corpus Christi has averaged 9 entries a year. Only a third of them stay till they get ordained. That results in 3 or 4 ordinations a year.

CCC Ordinations per Year

Corpus Christi College should be ordaining at least 12 a year if it wants to have a ratio of one priest for each 5000 Catholics.

Because numbers have been so steady for the last 35 years you are entitled to predict it’s not going to change. Change the way the Church is run – or die out.

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