Belfast Telegraph

'Frustration' as bishops stay silent on celibacy call

By Sarah MacDonald

A group of lay Catholics has expressed "deep frustration" over the failure of Irish bishops to bring proposals on ending the celibacy requirement for priests to Pope Francis during their visit to Rome this week.

According to a spokesman for the Association of Catholics in Ireland (ACI), bishops are "sticking" their heads "in the sand hoping the problem will go away".

More than 26 bishops representing every diocese in Ireland have begun their ad limina visit to Rome this week. But after an "inconclusive discussion" on celibacy, they decided not to bring to the Pope's attention a proposal that priests who left ministry to get married should be invited to return to ministry.

The comments come after it was revealed that a middle-aged man has claimed he was sexually assaulted by a young cleric he met through a gay dating site.

Last August, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin announced he was withdrawing some seminarians from Maynooth after it was revealed that some trainee priests were using gay dating app Grindr.

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