The World Needs the Priest...
According to the 2006 Australian Census, the Catholic population was about 5 million or 26 percent of the total Australian population. The latest research figures from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Pastoral Projects Office shows that about 709.000 people or around 13.8 % of all Australian Catholics, attended Mass every Sunday, compare with the 2001 figure of 15.3 %.
There are 33 dioceses in Australia with 1363 parishes listed in the 2007-08 Official Directory. To service these in 2007 there were 3178 priests, made up of 1996 dioceses priests (with 424 of them retired) and 1182 priests belonging to about 40 religious orders. There was a decline in numbers of priests of around 18 percent between 1971 and 2007. In 2007 there were 179 young men training to be priests in Australia’s diocesan seminaries. In contras there were 546 in 1969.
By 1991, that figure had dropped to 172, and it has remained around that mark since then, although it fluctuates somewhat from year to year. In Australia in 2006, there were 1613 Catholics for every priest. According to the Statistic Yearbook of the Church, the number of Catholics per priest by continent in 2005 was as follows: Africa 4741, South America 7129, North America 1499, Asia 2329, Europe 1415 and Oceania 1845. The overall World average was 2743.
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