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.

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