|The Roman Catholic Cathedral in Armagh|
(BBC) - Radical plans for "priestless parishes" will not apply to Sunday services, a diocese of Down and Connor spokesman has said.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Priestless parishes are parishes that will not last long. It seems to me that what will quickly follow is a consolidation plan by the local bishop, wherein some parishes will simply be closed, the property sold, and parishioners told to go to another parish nearby.
Speaking to BBC's Good Morning Ulster, Father Edward McGee, said certain liturgical celebrations could take place in the absence of a priest.
Fr McGee said bishops were looking at pastoral situations during the week when priests would be unavailable.
He said plans were due to "a changing scene".
"The bishops are looking at guidelines to establish maybe the training of people to assist the priest in these situations and try to follow the norms already in place within the church and how these should be carried out," he said...
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Ireland has but only two hopes, and both will require some time to get them going. The first, is to reinstate the Traditional Latin Mass and organise traditionalist communities. The second is to open up the priesthood to married men of good reputation. The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham might offer some relief in Northern Ireland, but I don't think there is a strong Anglican tradition in Ireland proper (Republic of Ireland). Lacking an Anglican patrimony, I don't think Our Lady of Walsingham would do well there. So it's probably going to take a dispensation from the pope, to allow married clergy in Ireland proper for a number of years, just to see if they can get their vocations back up.
In all of this, there must be reform, and I'm not talking about cosmetic reforms in regards to clergy sexual abuse of minors. I'm talking about deeply rooted reforms in the formation of priests. The old traditions MUST be revived. You can have your Novus Ordo mass, but you'll need to back it with sound traditionalist rubrics, and fiery homilies, that challenge the faithful to holiness. Outside of these things there is no hope.
The Catholic Church in Ireland has some serious soul searching to do, but they should not despair. The American Church has been there too. While it is true the liberal national media will never let it go, it is also true that those bishops who returned to tradition are now seeing an uptick in vocations and mass attendance. Do not despair Ireland. Return to your roots, and you will be revived!