Fethard priest says ageing priests is a major concern

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The Bishop of Limerick says he can no longer guarantee Mass will be celebrated in every parish every Sunday, due to a shortage of priests.

Bishop Brendan Leahy has written to parishioners explaining a new form of ‘lay leadership’, which would see ordinary members of the community take on more responsibility – such as saying prayers at funerals.

Parish priest in Fethard, Fr Iggy O’Donovan, says it’s due to an ageing priesthood.

“The Catholic Church in Ireland is facing a demographic nightmare, a tsunami, and I don’t want to sound exaggerated there.

“We’re literally in the last chance saloon if you like in that most of us are Old Age Pensioners – I become one myself next week incidentally. Demographically that says only one thing and that is going in the wrong direction.”