Still waiting for action on diocese boundaries

There are 26 Catholic dioceses covering the island of Ireland. They cater for 4.3 million members. At present, 26 bishops, one coadjutor and four auxiliary bishops are in charge.

The average number of Catholics per diocese is about 167,000. Eighteen dioceses are below that average and eight are above it. Three dioceses have less than 40,000 souls, while Dublin has well over a million. It is not beyond the wit of man (or woman) to redefine diocesan boundaries in order to balance that distribution. In 2010, a team of Apostolic Visitors submitted such a recommendation to Rome. We are all entitled to a fair system for our eternal salvation. A parallel from history indicates not to expect rapid results. Under Article 16 of the Lateran Treaty of 1929, Italy agreed with Vatican City to set up a joint commission to revise the boundaries of dioceses to align them more closely with the provinces of the State. We still await action, 84 years later.

Michael Mernagh


Co Cork

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