We could soon see major changes in how christenings, weddings and funerals are carried out in Ireland, because there aren’t enough priests to do them all.


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Lay women and men may have to take on responsibility for Catholic weddings, funerals and baptisms because of a shortage of priests.

Senior figures at Ireland’s leading seminary are making the claim, however according to reports in the Irish Times, Ireland’s bishops would have to ask the Vatican for permission to have lay people take charge of such ceremonies.

Father Iggy O’Donovan, who is member of the Augustinian Order, says he is not surprised that Catholic ceremonies are facing major changes:

“Just going by the article in today’s Irish Times, they mentioned that baptisms and weddings and so forth could be done by somebody other than a priest and that the priest is really only essential for the Eucharist at mass, and confession. 

The second rung of priesthood is what they call the deacon and certainly they can do nearly all of these things except the Eucharist and the confession.  There’s no great surprise there, to me it’s stating the obvious.”