Bishop says some priests believe allowing clergy to marry will help vocation crisis

The Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise has started a conversation about the possibility of allowing priests to marry.

Bishop Francis Duffy last year issued a pastoral letter expressing his fears for the future of the church as he witnessed the continuing decline in vocations.

Twelve months on from expressing his original concerns, he has now revealed there is presently no one studying for the priesthood in the diocese.

A number of non-Irish priests are successfully working within the diocese and it has been suggested that one way to encourage more people into the vocation would be to allow priests to marry.

He told Northern Sound's Joe Finnegan Show that if Pope Francis was to introduce marriage for priests many people might welcome it.

"Last November I went around all the deaneries, those are collections of about ten parishes, and I met each deanery grouping. That was brought up in some of them about having married priests that that might alleviate the problem," he said.

"It may or may not. It is hard to know. Other denominations have married clergy and they also are facing vocations crises and not many people attending church in many denominations," he said.

"I'm not sure it is a solution but certainly it is something that is being discussed," he added.

Digital Desk

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