20% of Priests Who Leave Ministry Eventually Return

VATICAN CITY, APR. 4, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Twenty percent of the priests who leave the ministry eventually return to full service, says the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy.

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At the presentation this week of John Paul II´s annual Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday, Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos said there is reason for hope about the future, despite the ongoing vocations crisis.

“We have data according to which 20% of those who leave the priestly ministry eventually return,” Cardinal Castrillón said. “Moreover, the number of vocations is growing; in many parts of the world seminarians have doubled.”

In response to reporters who referred to the cases of “tiredness and discouragement” mentioned in the papal letter, the cardinal said, “The crisis of priests is in the process of being overcome.”

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