Priests should not baptise children whose parents are just trying to get them into better schools, the Archbishop of Dublin has said.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said that children should not be baptised unless there is a reasonable chance of them being brought up Catholic.
The Labour Party have promised to end the 'baptism barrier' to schools if they get re-elected, however critics say that Labour Party Minister Jan O'Sullivan's most recent Education Bill gave further legal protection to the current 'Catholics First' system of admissions in the overwhelming majority of Irish schools.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said parents and priests should not baptise children if their only motivation is to gain a place in a particular school.
"The church's law, the Canon law, said that people should only be baptised if there's a reasonable possibility, or reasonable probability, that they will be brought up as Catholics," he said.
"It's [just] not this baptismal certificate - it's a religious ... entry into the life of the church, and to baptise somebody for any other reasons is wrong.
"Parents, you know, shouldn't be presenting children to be baptised in that way - but priests shouldn't be doing it either."
He added: “The big problem that we have is that Cathloic schools in areas which are very good, everybody wants to go to them, and you have to have some criteria for a judgement.”