An ‘on the spot’ survey conducted by the Association of Catholic Priests in the run-up to the visit of Pope Francis, has revealed huge support for a radical reform of the Irish Catholic Church.
The survey was conducted at four regional meetings held in July, on the ACP website in early August, in parishes and with a number of groups from different parts of Ireland representing priests and people with age-levels from teenagers to elderly.
Participants were asked an open-ended question – What do you want to say to Pope Francis about the Irish Church? - And could give single or multiple responses.
In all, 1,396 participants contributed 2,288 submissions.
2088 submissions or 78% of respondents, proposed a series of reforms under a number of headings, listed in order of priority.
In first place was an equal role for women in the Church, in second priesthood and vocations, third – reforms in Church governance and worship, fourth – dealing with abuse and its fall-out, fifth – LGBT issues, sixth – young people, seventh –bishops and leadership.