Diocese ignoring priests, says cleric


FR MICHAEL Collins, who serves in Haddington Road parish in Dublin, said the greatest worry Dublin priests had was lack of security. Frequently they were being moved around without consultation. He had been moved three times in the past three years without discussion, he said.

He was in Dundrum before being moved to Blackrock three years ago, then on again to Haddington Road this year. The fear was that, as priest numbers decline and workload increases, this could become even more frequent in the years ahead.

It also grated on priests that while so many of them were on about €24,000 a year, so much of the Share collection was going to pay salaries ranging between €60,000 and €120,000 for those running diocesan services. Originally the Share collection was intended to help poorer parishes, but 75 per cent cent of it was now going on other things, he said.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Dublin’s archdiocese has said the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, never suggested lapsed Catholics should leave the church, as reported in some media. It had been reported he had said so on the RTÉ TV programme Would You Believe? last Sunday.

What he said was: “It requires maturity on those people who want their children to become members of the church community and maturity on those people who say ‘I don’t believe in God and I really shouldn’t be hanging on to the vestiges of faith when I don’t really believe in it.’”

On the programme he called for “a radical new look” at religious education in Ireland. “You can’t be a mature Catholic in today’s world just on the basis of what you learned in primary or secondary school,” he said.