Friday, February 29, 2008

Increasing defection rate among Catholic entrants

"According to official church statistics, from 1978 to 2005 the number of religious priests worldwide declined from 158,000 to 137,000, while religious brothers decreased from about 75,000 to 55,000. The sharpest drop was in the number of women religious, which went from 985,000 to 783,000.
The situation is clearly going to get worse in coming years, mainly because of the aging population of the largest religious orders.
There are other problems, too, including the increasing defection rate of new entrants; in many places, 40 percent to 60 percent of those entering religious order formation programs leave before making their final commitment.


For example, [Father Lewandowski] said, many orders formed over the last 200 years were based on the secular principle of being useful to society in educational, health care or other social roles, which have now been largely taken over by government organizations or by lay Catholics.
"All of these orders are now in significant crisis," he said.""

Catholic News, Feb-22-2008
The last paragraph shows that it is of the utmost importance with a proper state welfare system.

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