Documents & Other Resources Relating to
the Archdiocese of Detroit

The AOD Priest Shortage

We are grateful to Rev. Charles Morris for providing the Elephants with the information below. This past April the Archdiocese of Detroit held a Town Hall meeting at St. Theodore, Westland, concerning a 3-parish merger caused by the nationwide shortage of priests. Two sets of statistics are of particular interest to the Elephants: (See below)

The number of priests available to serve all the parishes of the Archdiocese of Detroit
from the year 2000 through 2020

The age distribution of priests in the Archdiocese of January, 2016.
(The average age for all priests is 63.2 years.)


What is interesting is that we have more priests in their 90s than in their 20s. It appears as though within ten years there will be more priests who will be older than 70 than younger even accounting for new ordinations in the next few years, incardinations (as well as deaths and those who will be leaving the active ministry and the Archdiocese of Detroit).

Letters from Cardinal Maida

Letters from the Presbyteral Council

It's All About the Money!

It can be credibly stated that Money—that is to say, Parish indebtedness together with Diocesan pay outs for the victims of clerical sexual abuse—is at the foundation of most parish closures and the resultant creation of megaparishes presided over by a few circuit-riding clergy. Yes, the lack of credibility of the pre-Francis Church resulting in plummeting congregational membership, together with the remarkably dwindling supply of priests are contributing factors.

On December 8, 2015, Tom Kyle wrote a letter to Archbishop Vigneron suggesting that forgiveness of the debt—or at least the interest on the debt—under which many poorer parishes are staggering might be a wonderful act in the Holy Year of Mercy, following the example of the Italian Bishops (and of Jewish custom during a Jubilee Year as well.) On December 16, 2015, the Archbishop replied, declining the request and invoking a rather unusual bit of reasoning to justify the refusal.

You may remember that in 2011 Jason Berry spoke on this same topic.

Patrick J. Wall has written a very interesting study of the Financial Repercussions of Sexual Abuse of Minors, and Jack Ruhl has exposed serious problems in Priests' Pension Plan Funding.

in 1999, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a very important document, A Jubilee Call for Debt Forgiveness.