Another factor, he said, was the “hyper-individualism” of contemporary society that makes it difficult to decide to sacrifice one’s life for others.
The Catholic Church in Poland is undergoing a reckoning on clerical abuse.
It announced in June that it had received 368 allegations of clerical abuse in the past two and a half years.
Since November 2020, the Vatican has disciplined a series of mainly retired Polish bishops after investigations under Pope Francis’ 2019 motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi.
But despite the decline, Poland remains one of the European countries with the highest number of priestly vocations. The website Notes from Poland reported last year that one in four priestly ordinations in Europe takes place in the country.
In Ireland, a former Catholic powerhouse with a population of almost five million people, nine candidates are beginning their studies for the priesthood this year.
In 2020, there were 56 ordinations to the diocesan priesthood in Germany, a country neighboring Poland with a population of 83 million people.
The “Church in Poland” report, issued in March this year, found that 91.9% of Poles -- 32.5 million people -- described themselves as members of the Church.
It concluded that 36.9% of Poland’s Catholics regularly attended Mass.
The report said that the Polish Church had two cardinals, 29 archbishops, 123 bishops, 33,600 priests, and around 19,000 religious sisters.