Belfast Telegraph

Derry priest suggest marriage and female priest as solution to falling clergy numbers

A priest in Londonderry has said allowing females priests and marriage in the Catholic church could be a solution to a worldwide clergy shortage.

Writing in Derry Now, Father Paddy O'Kane was reflecting on declining numbers of priests in the church.

In the article he notes that when he trained as a priest at the Irish national seminary in Maynooth in 1966 there had been more than 80 in training, while this year the intake was just eight.

Research shows that around a quarter of parishes around the world are without a parish priest.

In his article, Fr O'Kane said the church "needs to adapt to these changing times" and that "we may have to take another look at celibacy and women priests".

"Priest-less parishes are appearing all over Ireland and may be here in this diocese before long," he said.

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