Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Jess Marquina Marano is a godsend for Pope Benedict XVI.
The 41-year-old Filipino head of the parish of Nosta Signora di Fatima, in a working-class area of
The shortage reflects the faith's decline in
``The future of the Church is clearly in the developing world,'' said Kevin F. Pecklers, theology professor at
Apathy toward the
Some bishops say easing the ban on celibacy or allowing women into the priesthood might help the vocation appeal to more Catholics in the
Pope Benedict XVI has made it clear that those changes aren't in the cards. Just days before being named pope, he said in a
In the five years through 2002, the Catholic population increased 22 percent in
The number of priests in
The decline in priests began in the 1960s, when young people began questioning institutions such as churches and pursuing social change through protest rather than prayer, said Mary Gultier, a senior research associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, or CARA, at
A Low-Paying Job
``The status of clergy has declined in the
The college of cardinals, once dominated by Italians, now gets more than a third of its 120 voting members from developing countries. Italian cardinals account for just 17 percent of the voters, down from 23 percent in the 1978 conclave that elected Pope John Paul II, a Pole. In the two previous elections, Italians had more than 30 percent of the vote.
The number of foreign clergy in
The higher number is also a result of the historical animosity between Romans and the
``Having a person so important living in your neighborhood can create a certain sufferance,'' said Marco Fibbi, spokesman for Cardinal Camillo Ruini, who fills in for the pope in administering many of his duties as the Bishop of Rome.
``The Church isn't getting basket loads of new priests, but on the other hand it's getting a steadily growing trickle of extremely loyal and motivated'' priests, said John Allen, author of ``The Rise of Benedict XVI: The Inside Story of How the Pope Was Elected and Where He Will Take the Catholic Church'' (Doubleday, 256 pages, $19.95).
Marano, who graduated from the
The cleric attributes his decision to remain in
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