In Fr Byrne’s opinion, this is a temporary fix “pressing a pause button to keep the system functioning” and instead what is needed is a debate on the wider issues such as “how can we supply ministry when it is no longer possible to provide clergy”.
“We need a radical reappraisal in Ireland – an honest dialogue about what has gone wrong with the vocation of priesthood.”
He acknowledged that Church scandals and a more secularised society had contributed to the challenges but he questioned if the Church leadership was willing to be honest, brave and courageous enough to name new realities or “are we just sort of foot soldiers at a graveyard”.
He paid tribute to the German bishops for “real leadership” in their discernment around their vocations crisis and the questions it raises.
Source: The Tablet