September 17, 2006

Nuns out of time, out of style

So, what will happen to mainstream western religions when there is no-one left who wants to be a nun or a priest? The numbers have been dropping for decades (and the wealth increasing), yet the churches are doing nothing. Perhaps they're praying for an answer, or perhaps in their usual patriarchal arrogance, they don't think nuns are worth saving, so long as there are a handful of priests left on earth to tell everyone what to think, nuns can go the way of the dodo?

"The sisterhood is a dying way of life in America. Forty years ago, the United States had about 180,000 nuns. Today there are perhaps 70,000. Fewer than 6,000 are younger than 50. There are estimated to be about 5,000 cloistered, contemplative nuns, a piece of women’s history that may be on the way out."


  1. Actually, this is only an issue for the Roman Catholic church, and perhaps some small sects of which I'm unaware, as most of the other mainstream Christian denominations have no similar requirement of celibacy for the clergy.

  2. Not entirely Brian, it's just a more acute problem for the Catholics, because of the celibacy matter, as you rightly identify.

    Just letting their head reps rollick around having sex doesn't let any of the other churches off the hook. It's not as though there are queues of men lining up to dedicate their lives to the church, no matter how much sex they're allowed to have. The churches have to compete with a squillion of other career options, many of them also being of an altruistic, yet more handsomely paid and less demanding nature.

    So, it's not necessarily a lack of people who want to "do good" with their lives, it's that the spectrum of "doing good" is now vast and infinitely interesting. Combine that with an increasingly secular society, there is less appeal to a church vocation when the respect and relevance is more and more diminished – not to mention congregations shrinking and dying off, literally.

  3. Especially difficult if the moslems dogs decide to shoot more of them like they did that poor Italian nun in Somalia.

    Meanwhile the Moslem faithful keep on growing.

    What a world.

  4. I know what the problem is....

    Q: What kind of meat do priests eat?
    A: Nun.

    (Sorry Caz :)

  5. LOL.

    Jai reaches new low! Who would have thought it possible?