Ireland    'BUMPY JOURNEY' AHEAD FOR YOUNG IRISH PRIESTS
The National Conference of Priests was told yesterday that the Irish Catholic Church needs a 'quantum leap of faith' for the task of 'abandoning old certainties in the embrace of an unpredictable future'.
    Fr Michael Drum, who teaches theology at the Mater Dei Institute in Dublin, told the gathering that evidence suggests that "everything is not well amongst the newly ordained".
    He said: "From their lower levels of academic achievement to their stark absence from programmes of on-going formation to their growing conservatism, these guys had better realise that they are in for a bumpy journey."
    "What the church needed today most of all were people who could articulate the significance of Christian faith and speak a word of healing and hope in a secular but broken world," he added.
    Referring to celibacy, Fr Drumm said there could be "no reversing the insights of psychology or the power of the sexual revolution. We know that life cannot be lived in a humane way without intimacy and friendship, that celibacy can be an escape mechanism from these realities but that it can also be lived in a way which overcomes isolation and fear."
   
    Irish Times 12:07pm 29/9/99

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