Current state of the Priesthood: Sociological Research


Dean R. Hoge, Catholic University
Presented at Boston College, June 15, 2005

Before the election of the new pope in 2005, academics and experts made list after list of the top problems facing the Catholic Church in the world. Every list contained mention of the condition of the priesthood. Everyone agreed: there is a problem. What is it? A few defined the problem as the weakening of priestly identity, but most defined it as a shortage. In many nations the priesthood is in decline, and in a few, a precipitous decline.
Sociology can contribute to solving the problem by providing reliable information. In this paper I will review sociological findings available today on three topics: the numbers of priests in the Catholic Church, changes in priestly identity, and priestly life today.


The number of Roman Catholics in the world is increasing. The total number in the world now is about 1.06 billion. See Table 1, which compares 1985 with the latest data available. The second and third columns in the table show trends. Membership growth in the world has been 25 percent since 1985, with the greatest growth in Africa and Asia. (World population growth from 1985 to 2001 was 27 percent, with the greatest increase in Asia and Africa.) Growth in the number of priests has been zero. In the United States, membership growth since 1985 has been 21 percent, while the number of priests has fallen off by 15 percent. Europe has seen virtually no growth in membership, while the number of priests has fallen by 11 percent.

Trends in numbers of priests vary widely from continent to continent. Africa and Asia have seen large increases in priests, followed by Central America. By contrast, North America, Europe, and Oceania, which are by far the wealthiest portions of the world, have seen decreases. (I need to explain that 60 percent of Catholics in Oceania are in Australia.) In sum, the wealthy Western nations plus Australia have been losing priests, while the rest of the nations have been gaining priests.

The fourth column in Table 1 reports the number of Catholics per priest in 2001. Latin America is unique in the large numbers of Catholics per priest--that is, the dearth of priests. The fifth column shows the relative wealth of the nine regions, measured in gross national product per capita. Note that the wealthy regions--North America, Europe, and Oceania--have by far the fewest Catholics per priest. They are far wealthier than the rest of the world. The Middle East is an unusual region with very few Catholics, but it has unusually numerous priests for its rather low economic level, and in this respect it is anomalous. The number of Catholics per priest is summarized in Figure 1.

Table 1
World Data on Catholic Membership and Number of Priests

Note: GNP Per Capita data are from the World Population Data Sheet 2004, published by the Population Reference Bureau, Washington DC. All other data are from the Statistical Yearbook of the Church, published annually by the Vatican.

The falloff in number of priests has occurred in most of the developed nations. Table 2 shows the changes in thirteen developed nations. With the exception of Poland, all have faced sizable decreases in sixteen years. In sum: the wealthy nations have the money, and the poor nations have the people and the priests.

Table 2
Changes in Number of Priests, 1985-2001


Let us look more closely at the availability of priests in the United States today. There are today 1,453 laity per priest in the nation, and that compares with 652 back in 1950 and 778 in 1965. In 1900 it was 899. The year 1950 was a highpoint in availability of priests; before that it was lower. Since the 1980s, the number of priests has dropped 10 to 12 percent per decade, and it shows signs of a continuing decline in the years ahead. The dropoff in religious priests has been sharper--about 20 percent per decade, compared with diocesan priests--about 8 to 10 percent per decade. The average age of priests (active and retired) in 2001 was 60, and the active age of non-retired priests was 56. Diocesan priests average five years younger than religious. Ordinations have varied been between 440 and 540 in recent years, but with a long-term gradual decline. Today each year the American seminaries are producing ordinations at between 35 and 45 percent of what is needed to keep the priesthood at a constant size.

Meanwhile the American Catholic membership has been increasing about 10 to 12 percent per decade. The increases come largely from immigration and from the larger family size in immigrant populations. In sum, the number of priests is falling while the number of laity is growing, thus predicting fewer and fewer priests per 1000 Catholics in America in the future. Many Catholics today are thinking about institutional adjustments to ease the problem, since a long-term continuation of present-day trends will weaken the Church.

Most Catholics in America, but not all, agree that we have a priest shortage today. The arguments as to whether or not we have a shortage need to be assessed carefully. A "shortage" can be defined in three ways. The first is a statistical measure of the number of Catholics per priests, as shown in Table 1. It is objective and simple. Using it, we would conclude that the United States faces no priest shortage relative to other parts of the world.

The second depends on the feeling of lay Catholics in one nation or another that a priest shortage exists. For anyone to feel that there is a shortage, he or she would have had to experience a situation in which more priests were available, either in their nation at an earlier time or in another nation. It is instructive to remember that in the United States there was no discussion of a "priest shortage" until the 1980s. That is, at that time the recent change in availability of priests began to produce a perception of shortage. The same kind of feeling could arise if an individual had spent time in another country where more priests were in service per thousand Catholics. By contrast, a Catholic who had always lived in Mexico or Brazil, where the number of priests was always lower, would say "What shortage?" since he or she has never known anything else.

There is another consideration. In Latin America, which has never enjoyed a large number of priests, a style of Catholicism has grown up over the centuries which does not require as many priests. Latin Americans have evolved a family-based or home-based Catholicism more than a parish-based Catholicism, with religion being taught by mothers and grandmothers and practiced in the home. Nobody felt a need for weekly Mass attendance or frequent sacraments. Put simply, this argument asserts that there is no shortage in Latin America, because the present situation is felt to be normal and customary.

The third definition of shortage is more abstract. It defines shortage as not having enough priests to do what is needed. In a country such as Nigeria, Ghana, or India, with millions of people showing signs of readiness for evangelization, additional priests would be a big help. Using this definition, one could conclude that the whole world has a priest shortage! It is true. What Catholic community wouldn't benefit from having more active, capable, and devoted priests working in it? In much of the world the harvest is ready, but laborers are lacking. Why shouldn't we strive to double the number of priests in the world? In my view, we should. It would truly advance the cause of Christianity. The only limitation would be financial, that is, how many jobs for priests could we sustain in each country, given available money?

I should note that the laity-per-priest ratio in American Protestant denominations is much different from that in American Catholicism. For Catholics in 2003 the figure was 1,453 laity per priest. For American Protestants the figure is much lower, between 270 and 300. What causes this difference? One factor is that the greater number of clergy in Protestant denominations is made possible by the higher level of giving by Protestant members; Protestants want more clergy and are willing to pay to get them.

All in all, most American Catholics have a feeling that they are faced with a priest shortage and that it is a major problem. Many parishes today have no resident priest (in 2003 it was 16 percent of the parishes); fewer Masses are available each weekend; and more priests are being asked to pastor two or more parishes. Nobody likes the trends. The laity want more sacraments and more priestly services such as weddings and baptisms, the priests desire to pastor one parish and not more, and the bishops want enough priests to staff the parishes for which they are responsible. It is a lose-lose situation.

Are there alternatives? In theory, yes, but in actuality, not many. Let me discuss eight
possible alternatives.

1. Recruit more seminarians by trying harder.

This is the most obvious course of action. It assumes that more men could be attracted to the priesthood if we encouraged them, if we gave them positive previews of seminary life and ministry, and if we portrayed priesthood correctly. I have had twenty years experience working with vocation directors and vocation programs, and I do not believe a major increase in seminarians under present circumstances is possible. We are already trying harder, and we are investing immense energy and money into recruiting seminarians. I would grant that a modest increase might be possible here or there, but not the doubling of ordinations we need. Recruitment should continue, but taken alone it is not a solution.

2. Make celibacy optional for diocesan priests.

The most-discussed alternative is to make celibacy optional for diocesan priests. This is favored today by 71 percent of the Catholic laity and 56 percent of the priests. Yet nobody in the hierarchy talks about it. In 1985 I was given a foundation grant to estimate if the celibacy requirement is a large or a small deterrent to keeping men from entering the priesthood, and on basis of a survey of Catholic college students, I found that it was the single biggest deterrent. If celibacy were optional for diocesan priests, there would be an estimated fourfold increase in seminarians, and the priest shortage would be over. The priesthood would grow until it hits financial limits.

3. Ordain women.

The Church could ordain women, and possibly a first step would be ordaining celibate women. This was favored by 62 percent of the Catholic laity in a 1999 survey. I have not seen any figures on priests' attitudes, but the figure would probably be in the range of 35 to 55 percent in favor. A logical first step would be to ordain vowed women in religious communities. To ordain married women would be a more drastic step, albeit one strongly advocated by several Catholic organizations today. It was favored by 53 percent of Catholic laity in 1999.

4. Bring in priests from other nations.

International priests have been brought into the United States for many years. At present about 16 or 17 percent of all active priests in the U.S. were born overseas, and the number is growing gradually. In recent ordination classes, 28 to 30 percent were born overseas and most will stay here. Are there more priests overseas who are available to bring to the United States? Yes, from several countries, especially India, Nigeria, Philippines, and Colombia. But don't those nations have a worse priest shortage than we have (as shown in Table 1)? This question requires some explanation. Those countries have fewer priests per thousand laity than Americans have, in fact many fewer. But they never had as many as we had, so there is no tradition of priests being available, and furthermore, in many of those countries there is not enough money to sustain a large cadre of priests. Poor nations cannot support a large priesthood.

At present about 350 to 400 foreign-born priests are brought into the United States each year, of whom 35 to 40 percent were trained in American seminaries. A portion of the international men are brought here explicitly to minister to immigrant parishes, for example, Korean priests invited to minister to Korean Catholics. But the majority minister to multicultural parishes or European-American parishes.

A survey in 2004 estimated that about 5,500 international priests who began their ministry in 1985 or later are now serving in the United States, of whom 87 percent are diocesan and 13 percent are religious; the majority do not expect to serve in this country their entire lives. The largest numbers are in the West, Southwest, Florida, and the greater New York area. The main nations from which they came are Mexico, Colombia, Philippines, India, Vietnam, Nigeria, and Poland. Their average age is 46, which makes them much younger than American-born priests.

With international priests there are problems. From the point of view of American priests and laity, the problems are mainly threefold: inadequate English, cultural misunderstandings, and too-conservative ecclesiology. From the point of view of the international priests themselves, the main problems are inadequate orientation to American culture and the American church, lack of appreciation and respect by American priests, and unfair treatment by diocesan leaders in placements and appointments. These problems could be alleviated by more careful selection and better orientation programs when the priests arrive.

5. Increase the number of lay ministers.

The number of lay ministers is increasing rapidly, and today there are more lay ministers working in parishes than priests. In ten or twenty years they will far outnumber the priests. About 80 percent are female, and in a recent survey the average age was 52. Fifty-three percent had received professional training beyond the B.A. level. They typically are in charge of schools, religious education programs, R.C.I.A., youth ministry, liturgy, music, and administration. Lay ministers sometimes make priests feel threatened. This is understandable when we recall that many of them have received the same education as priests, they have worked in their parish for a number of years, and they know more about their parish than a new priest coming in. Lay ministers can do most of the work in running parishes, but they cannot celebrate the sacraments, thus their usefulness is limited.

6. Expand the permanent diaconate.

We could revise the theology of the permanent diaconate so that deacons could administer all the sacraments. This would be a major step, but nobody, so far as I know, has been talking about it. At the same time we could take steps to ordain more permanent deacons.

7. Accept more married Episcopalian priests.

We could get more priests by opening the door wider for married Episcopalian priests. There exists a special pastoral provision for allowing married Episcopalian priests (and a few ministers of other Protestant denominations) to come in as Catholic priests, but the protocol is cumbersome and lengthy. Less than 200 have come in over a 20-year period. Why not amend the rules so that inviting them in is more inviting?

8. Expand the special pastoral provision to include married Catholic priests.

We could expand this special pastoral provision to include Catholic priests who have left the priesthood to get married. There are many of them. Estimates range from 12,000 to 20,000. How many would like to return, either full-time or part-time? To my knowledge, only one research study has been done, and it found a total of 40 percent would return either full-time or part-time. So if, as an estimate, let us say there are 16,000 married Catholic priests in the U.S. and 30 percent would return, that would be 4,800 more priests--the equivalent of ten years of ordinations. It is a large number. A 2001 survey of American priests asked about this idea, and 52 percent were in favor of it.

There is another option: do nothing. But it isn't very attractive, because present trends predict unhappy priests, unhappy laypersons, and institutional inertia.


A crucial theological question concerns the nature of priestly ministry. Surveys of American priests have found two shifts in priestly self-understanding from the 1960s until today. During and after Vatican Council II, American priests shifted from an earlier cultic model of the priesthood to a new model which has been called the "servant leader model." Let me explain.

The cultic model, which had prevailed for a long time, saw the priest as mainly an administrator of the sacraments and teacher of the faith. In this view, the priest needs to be celibate and set apart from other Catholics; his life is a witness to faith in God and an example of godliness. This model emphasizes that priests are different from laity; they are higher in holiness, and they alone can serve as mediator between God and humanity. By contrast, the servant leader model emphasizes that the priest is the spiritual and social leader of the Catholic community. As such, he must interact closely with the laity and collaborate with them in leading parish life. The distinctness of the priest over against the laity is de-emphasized, symbolized by the preference of many priests after the 1960s to minimize their wearing of the clerical cassock and collar. Also the priests living the servant leader model invest themselves more in community leadership beyond the parish, attempting to have a beneficial effect on the larger society.

The predominant self-understanding of American priests shifted from the cultic model to the servant leader model during the 1960s, and then it began shifting back, beginning in the middle 1980s. According to research in 2001, the second transition was already well advanced, and the young priests were quite a distance from their elder brothers in their understanding of what a priest is. Specifically they differed from their elders on whether ordination confers on a priest a new ontological status making him essentially different from laity, whether a priest is a "man set apart," whether celibacy should become a matter of choice for personal priests (the young men were more opposed), and whether the Church should welcome more lay ministers (the young men were more opposed). The younger priests have been more conservative not only in the theology of the priesthood but also in ecclesiology and liturgy. Numerous observers have noted that they follow the letter of the law much more rigidly on matters of liturgy, morals, and priestly life. They find it more important to be seen in priestly attire.

The newest priests in recent years, and especially the youngest diocesan priests, have held most ardently to the cultic model of the priesthood. The priests holding opposite viewpoints in 2001 were in the 56 to 65 year old age cohort, not the very oldest priests. The oldest priests--over 70 years old--were between the extremes, not clearly upholding either the cultic or the servant leader model. The age differences in the priesthood were large, and they formed a U-shaped curve, the bottom of the U in the 56-65 year cohort. Today many American priests adhere to one or the other model, but others avoid taking sides by seeing the good in both. I have heard reports of American presbyterates which are divided and which exist in a state of uneasy tension.

A few research findings help us evaluate each model. In favor of the cultic model, it has been found that priests adhering to it have stronger priestly identity. One study had an opportunity to study this question with both 1970 and 2001 data, and in both times the priests adhering to the cultic model reported stronger priestly identity and higher morale. Also in favor of the cultic model is that seminaries and dioceses adhering to it have been more successful in attracting vocations. The cultic model with its clarity about a distinctive identity of the priest as a man set apart and its focus on administering the sacraments seems to be more attractive to men today. The cultic model has been closer to the teachings of Pope John Paul II and has received his support.

The argument against the cultic model comes partly from laity and lay ministers, who assert that tomorrow's parishes must be led by collaborations of priests and lay ministers, and since priests holding the cultic model are less open to lay ministers, the cultic model will lead to tensions and conflicts. A survey of professional lay ministers in 2002 found that older lay ministers in fact found cultic-model priests to undervalue lay ministers and to be difficult to work with. Older lay ministers prefer to work with priests of the servant leader model. The research found that younger lay ministers, contrasted with older ones, are more in accord with cultic-model priests. If there are tensions between lay ministers and priests, it will be between older lay ministers and younger cultic-model priests.

An additional argument against the cultic model is that it fosters stronger clericalism in a church which is seen as having given priests and bishops too much power, privilege, and secrecy as it is. This argument contains both theological and organizational elements, some of which are not researchable by social science. It is unclear how many laity feel this way. I can only note that in a 2003 survey 77 percent agreed of Catholics agreed that "the Catholic Church needs better financial reporting at all levels," and 73 percent agreed that "lay people should have some say in who their parish priest will be." American Catholics are ready for laity to have more input into church governance.
A tug-of-war over models of the priesthood is underway today and promises to be with us for years to come. Judging from research on trends, the cultic model will gain ascendancy in coming years.

New Ordinands

Each year since 1998, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops made a survey of the newly-ordained priests. In 2005 the average age at ordination was 37.3, and this was up from 35 in 1998. Eighty-eight percent were diocesan and 12 percent were religious. In 2005, 27 percent were born outside the U.S., a figure which varied between 27 and 32 in the last few years, with a gradual upward trend. The most frequent countries of birth after the U.S. were Vietnam, Mexico, and the Philippines. When the 2005 survey asked about race, 10 percent said they were Hispanic and 12 percent said they were Asian or Pacific.

The level of education of priests prior to their seminary education has been rising. In the 2005 ordination class, 32 percent had completed a graduate or professional degree beyond the baccalaureate, a figure which had gained markedly from 13 percent in 1998.


Catholic literature has contained repeated laments about low priestly morale. Yet research has not supported the claim that morale is low. Trend studies of American priests have found that morale improved, on average, among priests from 1970 to 2001. For example, on surveys asking the priests if they are thinking of staying or leaving, the percent saying "I will definitely not leave" rose from 59 to 79 during those 31 years. The percentage saying that if they had the choice again, they would enter the priesthood, rose from 78 to 88. It is possible that a partial explanation is because 1970 was a lowpoint, a consideration supported by the surge of priestly resignations between 1967 and 1973. This is certainly one factor but probably not the whole explanation. I may also note that the greatest gain in morale in recent years was among young priests, while older priests in 1970 and 2001 were similar in morale (and higher than young priests).
The level of happiness is fairly high. In 2001, 88 percent said that they would choose the priesthood again, and only 5 percent reported that they were thinking of leaving the priesthood. In a Los Angeles Times survey in 2002, 90 percent said that they would choose the priesthood again.

Researchers were also able to compare priests with other American men of comparable age and education (borrowing from other research), and concluded that the level of happiness and morale was roughly the same. In general, there was not a morale crisis in the priesthood as of 2001. Since 2001 it is probable that the sexual abuse crisis of 2002-2004 has depressed priestly morale, judging from reports I have heard. Nobody knows how much.

Satisfactions and Problems Felt by Priests

The 2001 survey of priests, mentioned above, asked them what were their main sources of satisfaction. The top three sources were "joy of administering the sacraments and presiding over the liturgy," "the satisfaction of preaching the word," and "opportunity to work with many people and be a part of their lives." In sum, satisfaction derives mainly from public roles in which the priest functions in a way specific to priests, especially sacramental roles. Service to laity is a second satisfaction. Religious priests were slightly different in that their satisfaction was less derived from sacraments and liturgy, more from engaging in work for charity and social reform.

What are the main problems priests feel today? In 2001 the top three were "the way authority is exercised in the Church," "too much work," and "unrealistic demands and expectations of lay people." Older priests were bothered more than younger priests by "the way authority is exercised in the Church," while younger priests were more bothered by "too much work" and "unrealistic demands and expectations of lay people."
Are many priests thinking of resigning? No. It was estimated in 2002 that between 10 and 12 resign within the first five years; how many resign in subsequent years is unknown.

The number who would like to be married is also not high. In 2001 it was 12 percent, lower than the 18 percent in 1970.

Heretosexuality and Homosexuality

The percent of American priests who have a homosexual orientation is unknown, but observers estimate that it is between 25 and 50 percent. The number who are active homosexuals is certainly much lower. A widely-read book by Donald Cozzens said that homosexual orientation is not a major issue for the priesthood, but there is one dangerous aspect: homosexual subcultures in seminaries and dioceses. Subcultures may be harmless groupings of priests who prefer to meet together or go on outings together, but they may turn into divisive factions which engage in verbal scuffles with other priests. This situation occurs in some seminaries, and it can be damaging spiritually and psychologically.

The 2001 survey of priests asked if there is a homosexual subculture in their diocese or religious community. Nineteen percent said "yes, clearly," and 36 percent said "probably." The survey also asked about the seminary the priest had attended. Fifteen percent said "yes, clearly" that there was a homosexual subculture in the seminary, and another 26 percent said "probably." Young priests reported a much higher level of homosexual cultures in their seminary than older priests, and the researchers were unsure if this was because fewer homosexual subcultures existed in the past or because they were more hidden. Given all available information, I would guess that the homosexual subcultures have grown. Seminary faculty agree that they need to be controlled.


In this paper I have described multiple changes in the priesthood since the 1960s and 1970s. The ancient institution of priesthood is under pressure today, and some adjustments seem to be needed. The situation requires re-evaluation on both theological and institutional levels.

We can anticipate a period of debate over what should be done. Probably parties will develop over whether the priesthood should be defined mainly in terms of ontological status or in terms of how it contributes to the Church's overall mission. Other parties will develop over how to restructure parish life in a time of few priests. More theological and sociological research will be needed, plus abundant goodwill, to help us through the years ahead.

http://cara.georgetown.edu, accessed April 15, 2005.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, "The Study of the Impact of Fewer Priests on the Pastoral Ministry," Unpublished report, June 15, 2000.

Not everyone agrees that the American Catholic Church is facing a priest shortage. D. Paul Sullins argues that no shortage exists. He says that while the number of priests in service is declining, this is not a serious problem because the rate of Mass attendance among American Catholics is also declining, thus fewer priests are needed. Also the sharp increase in lay ministers allows pastors to delegate major leadership responsibilities to others. See D. Paul Sullins,"Empty Pews and Empty Altars," America, May 13, 2002, pp. 12-16. Also see Robert G. Kennedy, "Will We Ever Have Enough Priests?" America, September 13, 1997, pp. 18-22.

A 2003 survey of Catholics found that the priest shortage was rated as the second most urgent problem facing the Church, after the problem of sexual abuse of young people by priests. See James D. Davidson and Dean R. Hoge, "Catholics After the Scandal: A New Study's Major Findings," Commonweal, November 19, 2004, pp. 13-17.

A recent study by a sociologist who visited parishes without resident priests found that the laity much preferred having resident priests in their parishes, and that the visiting priests were over-extended. The laity were relieved that at least their parishes had not been closed. See Ruth A. Wallace, They Call Him Pastor: Married Men in Charge of Catholic Parishes (New York: Paulist Press, 2003).

I have been told several times that Protestants have as much a clergy shortage in America as Catholics. This is false. The Protestant seminaries have been growing in the last two decades, and they produce more ordinations than there are positions available. The only shortages in the Protestant denominations are in small or marginal parishes which newly-ordained ministers do not want to serve. The United Methodist Church is unique in that it has an appointment system similar to the Catholic's, which alleviates the placement problem. Also the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod is unique in that it accepts only male ministers and carefully monitors seminarians; it has a modest clergy shortage but not nearly as extreme the Catholic Church's. See James D. Davidson, "Fewer and Fewer: Is the Clergy Shortage Unique to the Catholic Church?" America, December 1, 2003, pp. 10-13.

It has been argued that Catholics could not afford to pay for married priests. This is incorrect. In 1987 a team of researchers compared the total costs of celibate Catholic priests with the costs of married Lutheran and Methodist ministers. The total costs included housing, food, pensions, insurance, and salary. It was found that Lutheran and Methodist ministers cost about 38 to 40 percent more than Catholic priests. See Dean R. Hoge, Jackson W. Carroll, and Francis K. Scheets, OSC, Patterns of Parish Leadership (Kansas City, Mo.: Sheed and Ward, 1988), p. 58.

William V. D'Antonio, James D. Davidson, Dean R. Hoge, and Katherine Meyer, American Catholics: Gender, Generation, and Commitment (Walnut Creek, Calif.: Altamira Press, 2001), p. 109.

Dean R. Hoge and Aniedi Okure, O.P., "Two Important Issues Concerning International Priests," Touchstone 20:2 (Winter 2005), pp. 6-7, published by the National Federation of Priests' Councils. Also see Dean R. Hoge and Aniedi Okure, O.P., International Priests: New Ministers in American Catholicism (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, forthcoming).

Philip J. Murnion and David DeLambo, Parishes and Parish Ministers: A Study of Parish Lay Ministry (New York: National Pastoral Life Center, 1999); Dean R. Hoge and Jacqueline E. Wenger, Evolving Visions of the Priesthood (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2003), pp. 127-31.

See Joseph H. Fichter, The Pastoral Provisions: Married Catholic Priests (Kansas City: Sheed and Ward, 1989).

Andrew M. Greeley, The Catholic Priest in the United States: Sociological Investigations (Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, 1972), p. 292.

Hoge and Wenger, pp. 58-59, 113-115. Also see Katarina Schuth, Seminaries, Theologates, and the Future of Church Ministry (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1999).
Hoge and Wenger, pp. 54-59.

Hoge and Wenger, pp. 124-5.

Rodney Stark and Roger Finke, Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), pp. 182-4.

Hoge and Wenger, pp. 124-32.

Davidson and Hoge, 2004, p. 16.

Dean R. Hoge, "Report on Survey of 2005 Priestly Ordinations." Research report (Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), April 2005. Accessed April 22, 2005 at www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2005/05-089.shtml.

A notable essay on how to raise priestly morale, compiled and written by a task forces of priests, appeared in 1988. See NCCB Committee on Priestly Life and Ministry, "Reflections on the Morale of Priests," Origins 18:31, pp. 497-505.

Hoge and Wenger, pp. 32-41.

Stephen J. Rossetti, "Post-Crisis Morale Among Priests," America, September 13, 2004, pp. 8-10.

Hoge and Wenger, p. 28.

Hoge and Wenger, pp. 26-27.

Dean R. Hoge, The First Five Years of the Priesthood (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2002), pp. 2-3.

Donald B. Cozzens, The Changing Face of the Priesthood (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2000), pp. 99-102.

Hoge and Wenger, pp. 105-10.

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