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Catholic Church laments its lack of priests

Updated:
(Milwaukee-AP) -- It's tough being a priest these days -- a new study says many feel inadequate, stressed, and exhausted.

America's Catholic bishops talked about the church's priest problem during a meeting in Milwaukee. The study notes that in the past 35 years, the number of American Catholics has risen almost one-third while the number of priests has fallen 20 percent.

The result is that on average, there is one priest for every 12-hundred parishioners. As one auxiliary bishop puts it, "The problems are simply enormous."

The study found many parish priests complain of too many expectations, too much paperwork, and not enough ministry.

In the future, the study predicts fewer Masses, more priestless parishes, and deacons leading worship services.
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