|Ireland||IRISH LOCAL COUNCIL CALLS FOR MARRIED PRIESTS|
Cork County Council yesterday called on the Roman Catholic Church to make the vow of celibacy for priests and nuns optional in an attempt to reverse the trend of falling vocations. The Council said church authorities should view the dwindling numbers entering religious life as an urgent matter, and that the Church should also consider ordaining women.
Councillor Conor O'Callaghan said that the council should use its weight to press for radical reform of the church, and added that the current trend could also damage local communities. He said almost half the priests in Ireland are at retirement age, and with high numbers of younger priests abandoning their vocation the clerical population in Ireland was expected to drop drastically over the next 10 years.
Three people in every five in Ireland currently backed calls for the Church to ordain women as priests and Mr O'Callaghan believed similar numbers were in favour of allowing priests to marry.
|12:23pm 26/5/99 / RTE|