Shortage of Roman Catholic Chaplains: Can It Be Fixed?
Strategic research project
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
Almost every year since the end of the Vietnam War, the number of Roman Catholic priests serving in the Army has declined. Today, priests represent less than eight percent of the total active component Chaplaincy. At the same time that the real number of priests has gone down, the real number of Catholic soldiers and family members has increased. The Army is now 23.4 percent Catholic. The present ratio of priests-chaplains to Catholic soldiersfamily members caused the Army Chief of Chaplains to designate Roman Catholicism a critically short faith group. This shortage jeopardizes the Chaplaincys ability to accomplish its mission assisting the Commander in ensuring the right of free exercise of religion. As a result, Catholic soldiers can be sent into combat without adequate religious support. The Chief of Chaplains has vigorously addressed this problem but to date nothing has been fully successful. This Strategic Research Project examines the causes of the problem, analyzes the many efforts to correct it, and makes recommendations for future action.
- Humanities and History
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations