Archdiocese Outlines Priest Shortage Plans

If the priest shortage continues to get worse, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati plans to organize itself into 100 pastoral districts, most containing more than one church, as a way of operating with fewer priests.

That is one of the results of a process the Archdiocese has been going through to cope with the continuing priest shortage. There are now two plans for the 100 district system, one based on equalizing the number of Catholics in each district, and the other based on limiting the geographical size of rural districts.

The Archdiocese is seeking reaction to these two plans, but is hoping not to need to use them. Neither of the plans would be needed if more pirests could be recruited. One response to the shortage us that the Archdiocese's Futures Committee is planning to call for each parish to establish a plan to recruit priests..

If the district plan were implemented, non-priests would assume some administrative duties with priests travelling around more to attend to duties that the Roman Catholic Church reserves for priests. At present the Archdiocese has 205 priests serving 224 parishes.