Irish Catholic agitation
Irish Catholics have called on Cardinal Sean Brady to resign, lobbied against celibacy vows and suggested allowing the ordination of women priests.
The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), which represents more than 850 priests in Ireland, said it was crucial to change in order to secure a future for the Catholic Church.
According to the BBC, a meeting held by the ACP, Towards an Assembly of the Irish Catholic Church, took place in Dublin, where one of the organisers, Father Brendan Hoban, warned, ‘In 20 years’ time there will be very few priests in Ireland’.
He said the ‘Plan B’ was to call for a debate on the issue of female priests, change the rules on such matters as clerical celibacy, and restore respect after the sex abuse scandal which has rocked the Church.
The BBC report said, however, it was unlikely the Vatican would give much thought to any of the reforms proposed by the ACP.
Earlier this year, the ACP commissioned a survey of Irish Catholics, which found that 90 per cent would support the introduction of married priests. The survey also found that 77 per cent of Irish Catholics want women to be ordained, while more than 60 per cent disagreed with Church teaching that gay relationships were immoral.