Catholic Church

  • A priest from Elphin, Roscommon will be ordained as the Bishop of Clonfert this afternoon.

    The celebration of Mass for the Episcopal Ordination of Father Michael Duignan as the new Bishop of Clonfert will take place at 3.00pm today in the Cathedral of Saint Brendan, Loughrea, Co Galway. 

    The Mass will be preached by Monsignor Cathal Geraghty PP, and address Bishop Michael Duignan as the new Bishop of Clonfert. 

  • The Catholic Church has confirmed for the first time that a seriously ill women was healed during a pilgrimage to Knock 30 years ago.

    Marion Carroll, who was in her late 30s, was wheelchair bound, incontinent and almost blind when she visited the shrine in 1989.

    She said that after she attended the 'Anointing of the Sick' in the Basilica, she was cured and could walk.

    Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, Francis Duffy, said that the healing of Marion Carroll 'defies medical explanation.'

  • The Catholic Church in Ireland is to ban services for all funerals, marriages and baptisms in two dioceses for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

    In a statement last night, the Irish Bishop's conference said it was introducing the measures with great reluctance.

    However, Midwest News understands no decision has been made yet in relation to the stand that western dioceses are going to take.

  • Drive-by confessions and outdoor masses could be on the cards as the Catholic Church charts its way out of Covid-19 lockdown.

    These are in addition to bringing services to hundreds of thousands of people who are accessing prayer and Masses online since the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions in March.

    While any return to normal service will be "slow, gradual and evolutionary", Archbishop Eamon Martin, Catholic Primate of All Ireland, is open to suggestions for creative ways to bring people together once again.

    Churches are not due to reopen for ordinary services until July 20, while weddings and baptisms will be subject to social distancing from that date. 

    Drive-in confessions are already on offer in one Dublin parish and the Archbishop said there is no reason they couldn’t be extended to other areas.

    Outdoor masses are not currently an option but the Archbishop is open to the idea in the coming months, weather permitting.

    He sympathised with those affected by cancelled weddings and baptisms and the restrictions imposed on funerals, but said we must be realistic about how quickly normality can resume.

    Archbishop Martin said there's "simply no way" first communions or the blessing of graves can happen at the moment, but added that creative solutions, such as priests offering online services, have been a huge success, offering a "lifeline" to those cut off by the Covid-19 restrictions.

  • The failure of the Catholic Church to intervene in the controversy that continues over what should happen to the more than 800 infant remains, found buried in an unmarked grave in the grounds of the former Mothers and Babies Home in Tuam has been highlighted today by campaigner and historian Catherine Corless.

    Catherine was among a number of west of Ireland recipients last night of the 43rd annual Rehab National People of the Year Awards.

    She was recognised for her work in uncovering the secretive burials.

    Catherine took the opportunity last night, and again on Midwest News today, to highlight the need to have the remains exhumed and identified and buried in consecrated ground. She insists it would be part of the healing process for all of the families involved and said the only thing stopping a full exhumation is money.

     She said all of these children were baptised and she believes it's everyone's right to have a Christian burial and asked why the Church has not intervened in insisting for the same.

  • A conference of Catholic bishops in Rome is set to discuss whether to allow married men to be ordained.


    The three-week conference in the Vatican is working on how to develop the faith in the Amazon -- and will discuss whether it's time to loosen the doctrine of celibacy.


    The Catholic Church wants to spread the faith among indigenous communities in the Amazon region.


    The Synod of Bishops is meeting in Rome over the next three weeks for a major conference on how exactly to do that.


    Part of the problem is there just aren't enough priests in remote areas -- and it means some of the faithful only see a priest as little as once a year.


    The suggestion from bishops in South America and some of those indigenous people is that the criteria for becoming a "minister authorized to celebrate the Eucharist" be loosened.


    And it's being suggested some people in communities in the most distant parts of the region  could be allowed say mass -- even if they have a family already.


    It would mark a break with centuries of tradition for the Church.


    Backers of the move say it might be supported by some bible verses referring to the practices of the early Christian church.