According to the Vatican’s Central Office for Church Statistics Asian and African priests could fulfill the functions performed by the priests of the Old Continent and North America.
The analysis concerns diocesan clergy and stretches over the period 1978-2017. It shows a sharp collapse in the number of priests coming from Europe (-56.9%), America (-55.8%), and Oceania (-55.3%), in contrast to priests who come from Africa (+ 366.2%) and Asia (+ 99%). Half of these African and Asian priests end up in Europe, while North America has taken in 36%.
In comparison, in 1978, 282 diocesan priests left the African continent, versus 4,514 in 2017. Similarly, in Asia, the figure has increased from 857 departures in 1978 to 2,189 in 2017.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, this migratory movement of African and Asian priests may “grow in the coming years,” contributing thus to “making up for the shortage of parish priests in Europe and America.”
Editor's Note: Certainly, but alleviating the vocations’ crisis will not do away with need for an analysis of its causes in order to respond to it with appropriate remedies. The solution lies in the restoration of the Catholic priesthood, in all its doctrinal purity and missionary charity.