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Irish Church foresees priestless parishes

Catholic World News - August 23, 2012

Anticipating a serious shortage of priests in the near future, the Irish Catholic bishops are actively planning for priestless parishes and lay-led Sunday services, the Irish Catholic newspaper has disclosed.

Given the small number of young men entering the priesthood, and the advanced age of priests currently serving in Irish parishes (and the small number of permanent deacons), the bishops are likely to give permission for lay-led Sunday services, including the distribution of Communion. On weekdays, prayer services and Scripture readings could be arranged, but Communion would not be distributed.

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  • Posted by: koinonia - Aug. 24, 2012 10:37 PM ET USA

    And the good: "...the Church of the Sacred Heart at the Crescent in Limerick, (Ireland)... was recently purchased by a young priestly community called the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. The church and adjacent building...had stood vacant for six years and was in danger of falling into ruin." It's back to the future. Hope must be kindled with prayer animated by Christian charity for souls. These priests and the faithful of this parish will do much to further this vital work. AMDG.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Aug. 24, 2012 12:40 PM ET USA

    I have not yet read of any serious effort to promote Eucharistic Adoration in Ireland. Our vocations profile has totally reversed since Adoration was instituted here.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Aug. 24, 2012 10:09 AM ET USA

    When it comes to "priestless parishes and lay-led Sunday services," I want all bishops to follow Nancy Reagan's advice: Just say no!

  • Posted by: koinonia - Aug. 24, 2012 12:15 AM ET USA

    "As the number of priests continues to decline and faced with an increasingly older age profile, Church leaders are being forced to take radical action that just a few years ago would have seemed unthinkable." What exactly is a priestless parish? Is it possible to have a truly Catholic parish that is priestless? What are the implications for souls? What does it mean when the "unthinkable" becomes reality? Hasn't the Church always had problems like these? Isn't the worst behind us? Imagine...

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