Ireland Church crisis to have clerics filling supermarket shelves

A leading priest in Ireland has launched a stinging shower against the Catholic Church hierarchy, accusing them of sticking their heads in the sand over a number of crucial issues.

Fr Joe McGuane warned that if the current church regime continued, financial problems facing the church could leave some clerics “filling supermarket shelves at night or on the dole if they have bad backs,” and Mass attendances in Ireland would soon be reduced to small groups of old women.

His comments came after Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore confirmed the forthcoming shutdown of Ireland’s embassy in the Vatican.

In a hard-hitting assessment of the crisis that now faces the church, he warned: “The Papal Nuncio knows as much about the abuse-rocked Diocese of Cloyne as a cow knows about a holiday.”

Fr McGuane said that some Dublin parishes now had greater populations than some west of Ireland dioceses.

He said the Eucharistic Congress, to be held in Dublin next summer, was “designed as a distraction”, with interest in it – on a scale of one to a 100 – ranking as minus three.

He added: “Priests will have to drag themselves along to – I suppose – the Phoenix Park or Croke Park for a ridiculous jamboree, and dragoon as many parishioners as possible along with them.”

Fr McGuane says he takes no pleasure in his assessment of the problems facing the church – but warned that those problems could only be overcome with honesty, courage and transparency.


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