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UK dioceses, parishes told not to import priests from mission countries

British Dioceses and parishes which think of 'importing' priests from Third World countries to solve the priest shortage problem have been told instead to look within their own country.

Pauline Stevens, of the Society of St Peter the Apostle, which helps to train priests overseas, says in her latest newsletter that vocations in mission dioceses continue to increase while in this country the shortage of priests is growing.

"Understandably, therefore, people sometimes ask whether priests from developing countries could not come here to help," she says.

"However, the Church itself is growing in those countries to such an extent that even more priests are needed."

She gives figures which show that in England, Wales and Scotland the number of Catholics for each priest was in 1999 some 822 - five times fewer than in Africa, and nearly 10 times fewer than in South America.

Pauline Stevens says solutions to the Church's problems in our own country have to be found within our own dioceses.

"It will be a long time before the mission dioceses have more priests than they need," she said

The Pontifical Society of St. Peter the Apostle
Catholic Mission (Australia)

Total Catholic

4 Jul 2002