One in eight priests joins association

 

One in eight Irish Catholic priests has joined a new representative association since it was set up last year.

Some 540 priests have joined the Association of Catholic Priests, members heard during the final day of its first annual general meeting yesterday. The theme of the meeting was Priesthood in a Time of Crisis.

During Tuesday’s session, Fr Kevin Hegarty, of Killala diocese, said the priesthood needed to be opened beyond the limit of celibate males.

Fr Kevin Reynolds spoke of the impact of allegations on RTÉ’s Prime Timethat he raped a teenage girl and fathered a child in 1982. He was restored to the priesthood after paternity tests disproved the claims.