Friday, April 30, 2010

French church recruits young priests via Facebook

posted April 30, 2010

PARIS — As he sat in Church last Sunday afternoon, Guillaume Humblot found himself troubled by the declining number of Catholic priests in France, and asked himself if he was ready to join the cloth.

"There are almost none left," the 31-year-old Humblot said.

On Facebook, Humblot discovered a forum dedicated to people who, like him, are considering the priesthood. The page was part of a campaign, launched by the Catholic Church this month, to attract young people to the priesthood following decades of dwindling ordainments — and amid waves of sexual abuse allegations that have darkened the reputation of the Catholic priest.

There are around 24,000 priests in France today, down from 42,000 in 1975. The number of Catholics entering the diocese has declined as well, from 116 ordainments in 1999 to 89 in 2009. the rest


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