Parishes to share mobile priests

parishes and priests

Parishes and priests will have to be more flexible as change is inevitable, says the Bishop of Cork and Ross Fitan Gavin (pictured).

He says there will have to be changes in how priests minister to parishes with more lay people taking on great responsibilities.

Priests will share parishes, he says.

Right now the Catholic church in Europe is facing a stark decline in the number of young men joining the priesthood.

Dublin’s Archbishop Dermot Farrell admits the collapse in numbers joining and an ageing clergy means the way the church operates in Ireland currently is ‘unsustainable’.

Recently eight priests in the Cork and Ross diocese retired. Three others returned to their religious orders.

A radical new framework could work

Given disparity between parishes and priests, Cork’s bishop is proposing a new framework to manage the problem.

Parishes will now be bunched together in “families of parishes” and overseen by a moderator priest.

In this way, scores of existing single parishes will become 16 ‘Families of Parishes’. Each will have a team of priests that would minister ‘across the whole family of parishes’.

In his pastoral letter, Bishop Gavin said this would mean parishes working much more closely together. They will need to share their gifts, talents and resources – including their priests.

Major events in the church calendar, including Communions and Confirmations would be organised on a multi-parish basis. This will cut down on the duties of priests and allow more people to come together.

The new arrangements will come into effect next month.

Pope Francis recently moved to open the door more to women.

While he has appointed lay women to the Vatican council that appoints bishops, he has so far refused to consider admitting women to the priesthood.


Additional reading

News category: Top Story, World.

Tags: , ,