Dioceses hit by soaring cost of care homes for ageing priests

Irish Independent

By Majella O’Sullivan

Wednesday January 04 2012

DIOCESES around the country face another crisis as they struggle to pay for nursing home care for retired priests.

Most dioceses have a fund in place to help to meet the cost of elderly care. But as the number of seminarians dwindles and an increasing number of priests reach retirement age, there are fewer ‘working’ priests to contribute to these funds.

An Irish Independent survey of 20 of the 26 dioceses countrywide has revealed that 450 priests have reached the age of retirement of 75, though some of these remain in active ministry.

Of the priests who have reached retirement age, 79 are no longer living independently and require full-time nursing home care.

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