Push for Dispensing with Priestly Celibacy in Ireland

Several Irish news sites have expressed disappointment that Irish “bishops” are divided on allowing married men to become priests. According to the Association of Catholics in Ireland:

“the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference (ICBC) has been unable to agree to bring proposals on ending the celibacy requirement for priestly ministry in Ireland to Pope Francis for their Ad Limina visit to Rome, beginning January 15th, 2017.

A proposal that Irish priests who have left ministry to marry be readmitted to ministry was brought by Bishop Leo O’Reilly of Kilmore diocese to his fellow Irish bishops in 2015.  According to the report in the Irish Catholic, the ICBC failed to reach consensus then on this proposal.”(Source) O’ Reilly’s reason for raising the matter was the increasing shortage of priests.

During the Irish “bishops” visit to Rome from 15th – 25th January, the subject was not raised with “Pope” Francis, resulting in disappointment.

The Association of Catholics in Ireland (nothing in common with our website!) is an organisation which aims to “reform and renew” the Catholic church. Its motto is Following Christ, Changing Church(!) ...Little do they know that the Church of Christ is perfect and cannot be changed, because otherwise it would cease to be the Catholic Church.


Let’s have a look at what the Church says about priestly celibacy:

Denzinger: The Celibacy of the Clergy

52b Can. 27. A bishop, or any priest at all, may have with him only a sister or a virgin daughter dedicated to God; it is decided that he by no means have a stranger.

52c Can. 33. It is decided that marriage be altogether prohibited to bishops, priests, and deacons, or to all clerics placed in the ministry, and that they keep away from their wives and not beget children; whoever does this, shall be deprived of the honor of the clerical office.