Parish priest sees the Church 'dying' and praises Minister Madigan for 'taking leadership'

The Parish Priest of Portlaoise has praised the Culture Minister 'for taking leadership' after she stepped in at her local Church when a priest didn't arrive at the weekend.

Josepha Madigan said she had to step in when a priest didn't show up for mass in Mount Merrion in Dublin.

Fr Paddy Byrne said: "Firstly I want to say well done to the minister who is also a committed member of her parish, who was really taking leadership and was doing nothing that isn't already happening across the country and universal church.

"I see [the] Church dying...I mean all we have to do is look at the statistics - most men, and it's an exclusively male order, are now in their 70s."

Archbishop Diarmaid Martin hit out at Josepha Madigan after she said female priests should be allowed in the clergy, calling the comments "bizarre" and claiming the minister had an agenda.

In a statement, Bishop Martin said Ms Madigan's comments have caused parishoners in Mount Merrion and elsewhere “considerable distress”.

“Many have contacted my offices to express their hurt and upset at the Minister’s comments, as reported in the media,” he said.

- Digital Desk

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