Monsignor Andrzej Steckiewicz offered that assessment during a recent visit to the charity Aid to the Church in Need.
\"Where there is no family, there is no vocation,\" he told the Germany-based group.
\"Today, there are just about 200 Catholic priests in Russia and about the same number of religious sisters,\" the vicar general noted. \"There is still hardly a Russian citizen among the Catholic priests.\"
But he added: \"Some 50 young men from all over the country are preparing for the priesthood in the St. Petersburg Seminary.\"
Monsignor Steckiewicz identified religious literature and construction aid for church buildings as matters of priority for the Catholic Church in Russia.
\"The Catholic Church has declared 2006 as a Year of the Bible,\" he said. \"We are planning to organize exhibitions, conferences and Bible workshops in all dioceses. We also want to distribute copies of the holy Scriptures to as many Catholic households as possible.\"
\"Another problem is that many of our faithful are not given a chance to pray together in public because there is no church or chapel,\" he explained. \"We are grateful for any kind of help in this respect.\"
Aid to the Church in Need annually finances more than 8,000 projects worldwide.