In Spain, Catholic church starting job recruitment push

A priest prays before a mass celebrated by Pope Pope Benedict XVI at the Cuatro Vientos air base outside Madrid during the World Youth Day festivities on August 21, 2011.

Adriene Hill: Spain's unemployment rate is nearly 25 percent. And now one institution says it has plenty of vacancies and a pretty amazing boss. The Catholic church has started a recruiting drive in Spain.
 
From Madrid, the BBC's Tom Burridge reports.


Tom Burridge: With over 23 percent unemployment, there aren't many employers offering a "job for life," not to mention eternal riches -- spiritual riches, that is. Spain's Catholic church spent $9,000 making their latest recruitment video. Several priests talk into camera, selling the virtues of their job.

Commercial: I promise you a job for life.

Like many parts of Europe, Spain has become increasingly secular in recent years. And some parishes are experiencing a shortage of priests.

But Raquel Mallabibarrena from Cristianos Redes, a progressive Catholic movement in Spain, thinks attracting people to the priesthood may actually increase the burden on the already struggling Spanish state.

Raquel Mallabibarrena: This is particularly funny about this video because they are offering a permanent job, but of course the salaries are coming from the state.

Crushing debt burden or no, unemployment is sky-high in Spain. At the moment it's nearly 50 percent for those under 25. And with numbers like that, the church is hoping that more people will be ready to answer the divine calling.

In Madrid, I'm the BBC's Tom Burridge, for Marketplace.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...