Saturday, May 5, 2012

priests to be allowed to marry

Almost nine in 10 Catholics in Ireland want priests to be allowed to marry
Survey of Catholics by Irish priesthood's unofficial association also finds 77% believe women should be ordained
Dr Edward Daly, the former bishop of Derry, who has called for priests to be allowed to marry.
An overwhelming majority of Catholics in Ireland want priests to be allowed to marry, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the Irish priesthood's unofficial representative association.
The Association of Catholic Priests' opinion poll, released on Thursday, found that 87% of Irish Catholics said priests should be allowed to marry.
The survey of 1,000 Catholics questioned over a fortnight in February by Amarach Consulting also discovered that 77% of believers said women should be ordained.
And 60% of Irish Catholics disagreed with the hierarchy's hardline on homosexuality. Only 9% of those polled "agreed strongly" with Catholic traditional teaching that homosexuality was immoral.
The report for the rank and file of Ireland's priesthood also revealed the à la carte attitude of most Catholics towards their faith in the republic. Only a third of Catholics said they attended mass once a week, although only 5% said they never went to mass.
Possibly as a result of the fallout from the Irish hierarchy's mishandling of the paedophile priest scandals, 55% of Catholics want their bishops to serve fixed terms. Under the current system, they remain in the role until they are 75.
Ireland's Association of Catholic Priests is involved in a bitter dispute between the Irish hierarchy and the Vatican over the Holy See's attempt to gag a liberal priest from Cork over his writings on celibacy, contraception and women's ordination.
The Vatican has told Father Tony Flannery – the editor of the Redemptorist Order's magazine Reality – that he should go to a monastery and "pray and reflect" on his situation. He came under fire from Rome after he questioned the papacy's hardline opposition to the ordination of women and priests being allowed to marry.
However, not all senior Catholic clergy have followed Rome's hardline position on issues such as celibacy – including one of the most famous bishops on the island.
Dr Edward Daly, who was bishop of Derry for 20 years during the Troubles, became the first senior Irish Catholic cleric to call for an end to celibacy in the church. His intervention last autumn in the debate was significant because he is still one of the most respected figures in the Irish Catholic church at a time when faith in the institution has been shattered by the clerical child abuse scandals.
The retired bishop, who tended the wounded and dying in front of television cameras on Bloody Sunday in 1972, said: "I think priests should have the freedom to marry if they wish. It may create a whole new set of problems but I think it's something that should be considered. I'm worried about the decreasing number of priests and the number of older priests. I think it's an issue that needs to be addressed and addressed urgently."

  • Providing news for the nine million Catholics in Great Britain and Ireland
  • You are here: Home  News  News - UK and Ireland  Irish Catholics want married priests, says clergy association.
  • Irish Catholics want married priests, says clergy association.  
  • Published on Sunday, 15 April 2012 14:19
  • The vast majority of Irish Catholics want married priests, according to a survey conducted by an organisation representing more than 800 Catholic priests in Ireland.
  • The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), which has had one of its founding members silenced by the Vatican for his views, insists it has public support for Pope Benedict to open dialogue on several controversial topics.
  • Almost nine out of 10 Catholics questioned said priests should be allowed to marry, with 77% believing women should be ordained.
  • Fr Brendan Hoban, of the ACP, said the group believe in the fundamental teachings of the Church and is not leading any breakaway from Rome.
  • "We are not dissident priests. There are not 815 dissident priests," he said.
  • "We are reflecting what we are hearing in parishes and have heard in parishes for years."
  • The ACP said its all-Ireland survey put statistics behind anecdotal evidence that parishioners want change from the heart of Rome.
  • It criticised the silencing of founding member Fr Tony Flannery, who was told to stop writing his monthly column with the religious publication Reality.
  • The Redemptorist was also ordered to spend six weeks in a monastery for spiritual and theological reflection.
  • "We think it's not the way the church should go about doing its business," said Fr Hoban, a parish priest in Mayo in the west of Ireland.
  • "There are differences and there are problems and I think the way to face them is not by silencing the messengers, but teasing out what the message is.
  • "We are disturbed by that sort of blunt kind of reason to questions we are asking."
  • Fr Hoban said Ireland's Catholic church will be in crisis in 20 years when the country's ageing clergy retire.
  • He said there is no reason why a married man should not be ordained, adding that concerned priests with up to 40 years service believe they have a right to raise questions that need to be addressed.
  • "We are operating this for the good of the Church, we love the Church, we want to be in the Church," said Fr Hoban.
  • "We have questions about the Church. But like any family, you don't turf out the guy who says there's an elephant in the living room.
  • "You don't put him out the door. You bring him in and talk to him."
  • A total of 1,000 Catholics in the north and south of Ireland were surveyed by Amarach Research over a two-week period in February.
  • It found 35% attend Mass once a week - one of the highest rates in Europe - with 51% attending once or more each month, 20% a few times a year, and only 5% never at Mass.
  • Elsewhere, three-quarters of respondents did not see Catholic Church teachings on sexuality as relevant to them or to their family, and more than six out of 10 disagreed with the Church's stance "that any sexual expression of love between gay couples is immoral".
  • Fr Hoban said Irish bishops and Rome recognise there were issues in the Catholic Church in Ireland, which has been rocked by a series of sickening clerical child sex abuse reports in recent years.
  • The CPA wants to see the Second Vatican Council, which was also known as Vatican II and aimed to address relations between Rome and the modern world, enacted.
  • "We want to talk about them (the issues), discuss them and bring people's needs and rights to the heart of this dialogue," he said.
  • Meanwhile, the church is preparing for about 25,000 pilgrims from almost 100 countries to attend the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in June.
  • Pope Benedict is expected to make a live televised address to the major international Catholic event.
  • In a statement, Irish Bishops said: "The recent Apostolic Visitation highlighted the need for a new focus on the dignity and role of all the faithful and for deeper formation in the faith.
  • "The results of this survey confirm the importance of all in the Church taking up this task in a spirit of communion and sharing the good news of the Gospel in a rapidly changing social and cultural environment in Ireland today."
  • end
  • end

No comments:

Post a Comment