Rome, Italy, Nov 10, 2021 / 14:00 pm
New data shows that in 2020, 8.3% of Italy’s diocesan and religious priests were not Italian, while the number of Italian Catholic priests who are missionaries in foreign countries has continued to fall.
Data from the Central Institute for the Support of Clergy, which is connected with the Italian bishops’ conference, found that the total number of priests in Italy in 2020 was 31,793.
The number is down 16.5% from 1990, with a fall of 11% in just the last decade. Meanwhile, the number of foreign-born priests serving in Italy has increased by more than tenfold in 30 years, from 204 in 1990 to 2,631 in 2020.
The average age of Italian priests has also increased slightly to 61.8, while the average age of non-Italian priests serving in Italy is 46.7.