MOST Irish priests would like the Catholic church to end its celibacy rule while also allowing the ordination of women, a survey has revealed.
More than 300 diocesan priests were questioned and over two-thirds were favourable to abolishing the celibacy rule allowing them to have families, while many said they suffer profound loneliness and feel depressed because of their isolation.
However, the clergy was split on the issue of allowing openly gay men to be ordained as priests, with just over 46% of those polled opposing the measure.
Most who favoured an end to celibacy said that allowing priests to marry would encourage more people to join the clergy.
More than half of those who took part in the survey said they favoured the introduction of female priests while many said they would not object to the ordination of openly homosexual clergy.
Both allowing priest to be married and allowing those with same-sex attraction in the clergy is a matter of prudence and not doctrine. It is sad to see sixty percent of the 325 Irish priests polled were in favor of woman’s ordination. Of course it is always difficult to tell by these polls how many priests rejected filling out this questionable because they disagreed with it. Especially since these types of questionnaires are usually generated by questionable groups in the first place.