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What are Priests for?

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In recent decades the decline in vocations to the priesthood and the increasing age-profile of the clergy have become noted aspects of Church life in Ireland and in other western countries. There are many reasons for this clerical decline. The main reason is probably that it is part of a general decline in the life of faith. There is a shortage of clergy because there is a shortage of laity. However, one factor in this complex situation may be that for many people it is not very clear what the vocation to the priesthood is. In other words, what are priests for?

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