Feature

You want priests? We’ve got plenty.

The week's news at a glance.

Poland

Jaroslaw MakowskiGazeta Wyborcza

Since Poland joined the E.U., Western Europeans have been petrified that Poles will steal their jobs. But there’s one Polish worker who is welcome everywhere, said Jaroslaw Makowski in Warsaw’s Gazeta Wyborcza. He is the Catholic priest. Catholic countries such as Ireland, France, Spain, and Italy are in desperate need of priests to staff their churches. Their priests are dying off, and hardly any natives of those countries are signing up to replace them. “The anachronistic celibacy requirement” seems to be the discouraging factor. Poland, though, is still churning out more priests than even our pious population can use. Some 7,000 young men enter Polish seminaries every year. Once they’re ordained, the church often sends them abroad. It’s the perfect example of market forces at work: a Polish supply for a European demand. Even the movement of labor contributes to the trend, as Polish workers who settle in other European countries push up church attendance there. If this keeps up, priests “will quickly become Poland’s biggest export.”

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