June 07, 2017

Rev. Paul Sullins, research professor, sociology, was quoted in a National Catholic Register story on priests who pastor beyond retirement.


Father Paul Sullins, a sociology professor at The Catholic University of America, told the Register that priests on average tend to retire at a later age today than they did a generation ago. The main reason is longer life span, because, “like everyone else, priests tend to live longer today than they did a generation ago.”

So the retirement age in many dioceses has risen in response.

“From a norm of 65 years of age in the 1970s, almost all dioceses today have a retirement age of 70, and some, like Boston, have gone to 75,” Father Sullins said. While financial concerns could lead some priests to delay their retirement, he added, this is a secondary consideration for many.

“Some priests look forward to a change of pace and venue when they retire; most prefer to stay as active as possible in priestly ministry for as long as they can,” he said.

Continue reading in the National Catholic Register.