Irish church in ‘vocations crisis’

The Tablet

August 18, 2020

By Sarah Mac Donald

The Catholic Church in Ireland is living through a vocations “pandemic” which will see more new bishops ordained this year than new priests, a well-known cleric has warned.

Fr Paddy Byrne, who is parish priest of Abbeyleix and Ballyroan in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin told The Tablet he was “genuinely concerned” for the Irish Church as someone who is “passionate about my ministry and very worried about my future”.

The 46-year-old, who is the second youngest priest in his diocese, described the number of diocesan priestly ordinations this year for the Irish Church’s 26 dioceses as “abysmal”. He said: “Could you imagine in the middle of a pandemic if there were only two or three doctors graduating for frontline service?”

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