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Catholic Church wanting of priests

The Philippines is experiencing a shortage of Catholic priests and the Catholic Church  is urging young Filipino men to consider entering the priesthood. Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz said that the Philippines, the only Catholic nation in Asia, needs more priests to serve the growing number of Catholics. “There is a shortage of  priests. Believe me, if all Catholics will go to Mass on a Sunday, our churches will not be enough to accommodate them all,” Cruz said. “Even if Masses are doubled or tripled still it won’t be enough because a parish can only accommodate 500 to 1,000 people,” he  said. There was a year when one priest was equal to 27,000 parishioners, he said. For his part, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action said this is the time for young people to decide what course they would take up in college and  consider serving the Lord. “They should think carefully about their decisions and follow God’s will,” Pabillo said. “Their decision must not only be influenced by the kind of work they would get after college.” Data from the Catholic Directory of the Philippines showed that the Catholic population  rose from 70 million in 2012 to 76 million in  2013. It also indicated an increase in the number of priests from 8,605 in 2011-2012 to 9,040 in 2012 to 2013. Cruz said the distribution is so uneven that a priest has to serve thousands of parishioners. According to the CBCP, the ideal ratio should be one priest per 2,000 parishioners. But in Manila, the ratio is 1 priest to 20,000 parishioners. “Here in Manila, there were 20,000 people per priest. There are many people in just one parish,” Pabillo said.
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