INTRODUCTION

The American Byzantine Catholic Research Center was initiated by Joseph P. Bonchonsky Sr. in 1985, to research and present the activities of the One Church as understood by a member of the faithful in the Eastern Catholic Churches. The documents prepared were in need of a support team of fellow Byzantine Catholic faithful. Joseph's brother Andrew Bonn and brother-in-law Stephen Mikitish, and cousin Frank Sabach, all four solidly engrained as parishioners in  St. Michael's Greek Catholic Church, Pittston, PA, a coal mining town where we were well catechized by three married Carpatho-Rus born (primarily today's Slovakia) Byzantine Catholic priests, responded to the initial tasks of selling the book to raise funds for the re-construction of the Rusyn seminary in Uzhorod that was lost earlier to the communists. The objective here was to provide Rusyn priests to the USA Byzantine Catholics who were being denied their papal approved canon law by the USA Latyin Catholic Bishops and the Roman Curia for a married clergy.
 
As the years passed, four documents per year were printed annually and mailed by post to over 700 valued recipients during the years from 1994 onward. During the recent past years, ABCRC shortened the articles but increased the number of articles to one per month (and often more frequently) and emailed them in large numbers. By early 2013, we have disseminated over 260 ABCRC letters, articles, documents, and have concluded the following: we have failed to impact in having an increase of priests to alleviate the awesome priest shortage. While there has been measurable success in providing statistics and analyses, we have decided to change the communication tactics, once again, to assist the bishops worldwide in solving the priest shortage. At the present time, our primary communication goal is to prepare this transparent website, www.abcrc.us for all the faithful to study and create their research groups.
 
Naturally, we always based our articles on presenting the truth. Now, our challenge is to increase the readership. Our initial ABCRC articles, although based on factual activities, have been deemed to be "overly polite" albeit presenting the truth and the facts therein. Recently, we decided to provide some of our stronger articles to a limited number of USA bishops, bishops overseas, every Byzantine Rusyn Catholic pastor in the USA, every Orthodox Patriarch in the world, and many very important members of the faithful. With no major visible successes in solving the USA priest shortages, we decided to change tactics, once again.
 
Because of the limited time remaining, as the "priest shortage" disaster increases at a rapid rate, it was decided to not only prepare a website to present the "more significant" ABCRC  articles of the past but also become more transparent by including "stronger text," but always the truth and with the best of intentions. We recognize that some may be embarrassed but in all cases, the truth prevails.
 
To add credence to the ABCRC articles, a greater number of them were statistically oriented to present the information from  our worldwide Catholic bishops' statistical reports to Rome. It may be that, on occasion, an error in transposition has been made, but in all cases, it is the trend of the status that reveals the statistical directional conditions of the One Church.  Occasionally, because of different formulas, time of computation with a changing base, and additional statistics, there will be a  mathematical difference from other articles, but in all cases, the statistical trend is not compromised. It is important in reading an article that you note the calendar month of preparation simply because the statistics change from year to year and will impact our comments at the time of preparation. 
 
In your reading of the statistical information presented, not only should you be aware of the trend of the statistics but most importantly, the ratio of faithful per priest to fully understand the priest shortage. The annual number of seminarians will be included in the calculations to forecast the priest numbers of the future years. 
 
ABCRC has researched every country with a Catholic population, in every continent, to allow you to study the statistical status throughout the world. Comparisons between countries will provide transparency vital to your understanding the areas of severe priest shortage, worldwide.
 
ABCRC presents the suggested papal-approved canonical solution, a celibate and married clergy, to solve the "priest shortage;" however, our  Latin Catholic bishops are adamant in the Latin manmade mandate of celibacy and after 874 years (1139 to 2013) of celibacy, and its advantages, the Early Fathers' married clergy, based on Our Lord selecting married men in the First Twelve Apostles, is the present-day solution to the "priest shortage." The facts of a married clergy solving the "priest shortage" are presented in the European Byzantine Catholic Churches.    
 
It is the intention of ABCRC  to present the transparency of the statistical facts to our bishops as their priest numbers decline and thereby awaken them to take papal-approved canonical action to solve the crises.
  
If you find a statistical error, please inform via Email: jpbonchonsky@snowcrest.net. All corrections will be included in the website as soon as possible.
 
 
 
 
 
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