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Brazil’s bishops discuss priest shortage

Catholic World News - May 02, 2014

The bishops of Brazil-- the nation with the largest number of Catholics-- are meeting to discuss an increasingly acute priest shortage.

In Brazil, nearly 21,000 priests minister to 165 million Catholics; in the United States, by contrast, nearly 40,000 priests minister to 69 million Catholics.

“Many of our communities here in Brazil are not able to have daily, or even weekly or monthly Mass,” said Bishop Elias Manning, the recently retired bishop of Valença, Brazil.

He told Vatican Radio that “the number of priests [is] not sufficient to take care of all of our communities, so here in Brazil, the lay ministers receive a lot of value: the ministers of the Eucharist, of Baptism and we also have qualified witnesses of Matrimony. We have received permission from Rome to have these qualified lay witnesses.”

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  • Posted by: bruno.cicconi7491 - May. 02, 2014 12:08 PM ET USA

    As a Brazilian, I have never experienced here the situation that I've experienced in Spain - a celebration, conducted by laymen, without the Eucharist for the lack of a priest. I have also never failed to find more than one option of daily mass during weekdays as well.

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