Statistics Show Over 21% of Ireland’s Entire Population of Parish Priests and Brothers have Died in 3 Years

Over 21% of Ireland’s entire population of parish priests and brothers, serving and retired, have died in just three years.

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 Irish Examiner: The Association of Catholic Priests says that parishes are going to have to be amalgamated, churches closed, and fewer Masses held.
The number of serving Diocesan priests was officially recorded by the Catholic Church as being around 2,067 in 2014.
However, this was when the number of priests aged 75-84 was increasing steadily compared to previous years, as was the number of priests aged 65-74.
By the end of 2018, there were an estimated 1,800 working priests and around 720 retired priests, some of which were still helping out for holiday and sickness cover.
Clerical deaths in Ireland are recorded each year in the Irish Catholic Directory, the official directory of the Irish Catholic Church published by Veritas Publications on behalf of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
According to those statistics, 174 nuns and 166 priests and brothers died in 2019.
A further 191 nuns died in 2020, and 223 priests and brothers also died.
Up to September 2021, another 131 nuns had died, as had 131 priests and brothers.
However, not every religious order or diocese reports the death of its clergy to Veritas.
In addition, according to, at least another 76 nuns, at least another 36 priests, and five religious brothers died between October and January 4 this year.

Cloyne Diocese-based Fr Tim Hazelwood, of the Association of Catholic Priests, said: “In Ireland, the Church we knew in the past is dying. That's the reality.
"You are seeing the traditional Catholic parish structure disappearing. Covid-19 has accelerated the change, and very quickly, the old traditional way the Church we grew up with is literally dying. There's a huge change going to happen, and churches will close."
The Catholic Communications Office was asked for a comment about the number of deaths and referred the Irish Examiner to a homily by Archbishop Eamon Martin, Primate of All Ireland last year.
In it, he said: “The Covid-19 virus may have struck at the very heart of our outreach and ministry to the sick, the dying and the bereaved but, it could not, and did not, and will not destroy our hope and our conviction that God remains especially near to people who suffer, and God is close to those who are broken-hearted.”