Friday, March 30, 2012

Catholics look to Asian priests to ease shortage

The Catholic Church is keen to recruit priests from Asia to help overcome a shortage in regional Australia.

Bishop Greg O'Kelly from the Port Pirie diocese in South Australia says the church also needs to ordain younger people.

He says only three of 23 priests in the diocese are under 50.

Bishop O'Kelly says he has been to the Philippines and found strong support for the idea of relocations to Australia.

"The Australian church has never supplied enough priests by itself, we've been dependant on Ireland until relatively recent times," he said.

"There's scarcely a Catholic in the older generation who wasn't taught by an Irish nun or had an Irish parish priest or an Irish brother. Now that source from European overseas, Ireland, has dried up, we have to look to Asia I believe."