Shortage of priests with worrying number due to retire

The shortage of priests in New Zealand was highlighted by Archbishop John Dew in his homily at the Chrism Mass on Wednesday. He told his congregation that in the six years he has been been Archbishop of Wellington he has ordained one priest. In Cardinal Williams’, his predecessor’s, first six years, thirty two men were ordained to the priesthood.

Because of this growing is a shortage of priest, with a “worrying” number of priests due to retire in the next 10 the Labour Department’s soon to be to announced new visa policies for religious workers, has been welcomed by Paul Bayliss, general manger of the Wellington Archdiocese.

At the present about a quarter of Catholic priests in New Zealand are estimated to have come from overseas, mostly from Ireland, other English-speaking countries and the Pacific Islands

According to Bayliss the Catholic Church, which does not pay priests for their services, has been struggling with immigration laws that were increasingly centred on “market-based principles”,

It has been almost impossible for priests from other countries to gain residency in new Zealand because the church does not technically employ the priest and many of the categories available for obtaining residency require evidence of paid employment


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