Would a married clergy solve the vocations problem which many dioceses are experiencing today?

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Would a married clergy solve the vocations problem which many dioceses are experiencing today?

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It is often suggested that if the Church had a discipline of optional celibacy many more young men would be attracted to the priesthood. This claim is not supported either by experience or objective data. While it is true that there has been a serious decline in priestly vocations in the developed countries of the West, this is not the case in other parts of the world. In Africa the number of seminarians, diocesan and religious, increased five-fold between 1970 and 1997. There was a three fold increase in Central and South America in the same period, while candidates for the priesthood in South East Asia more than doubled. Yet, there are good reasons for hope in the West as we can see from the healthy developments in some dioceses in the US and elsewhere. Peoria (Ill.), Arlington (Va.), Denver, and Lincoln (Neb.) have been singularly successful in attracting young men to the priesthood. Atlanta, which in 1985 had nine seminarians, now boasts sixty one. Another diocese with a healthy se

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