A priest has said he believes marriage should be an option for Catholic Church clergymen.
Paddy O’Kane, of Holy Family Church in Ballymagroarty, said the move could help address the global shortage of Catholic priests. A quarter of Catholic parishes worldwide now have no resident priest.
He said the Church may have to “take another look at celibacy and women priests.”
“Many priests might choose to be celibate, but for those who want to get married it should be an option,” he said.
“Priest-less parishes are appearing all over Ireland. This year the national seminary in Maynooth had only eight students entering to study for the priesthood. Half of these will probably leave during their training.”
“There are times I miss having a family and there are many times of loneliness and there have been times I have only held on to my faith by a hair’s breadth.”