Pope Francis celebrates Mass at Monza Park in Milan, Italy, March 25, 2017. REUTERS/Max Rossi – RTX32OEJ
Priests are Catholicism’s greatest figures: shepherds who manage the relationship with the divine. But their numbers have been dwindling worldwide since the 1930s.
In Argentina, the Church lost 23% of its priests and nuns from 1960 to 2013. France and Spain have also seen a dramatic reduction in clergy. In Europe, the number of priests declined 3.6% between 2012 and 2015 alone.
The demands of the job are a killer combination today. Between restrictions on sexuality and the loss of priests’ social status, there are ever fewer seminarians and, consequently, ever fewer men of the cloth, particularly in remote regions of the world such as the Amazon, where there is