Irish priest warns of depression among overworked clerics / National Catholic Reporter

“That the bishops and the nuncio don’t want to engage in a structured way with the ACP (Association of Catholic Priests) is symbolic of a church adrift, a church stuck, a church in denial, a church with 26 kingdoms, an Irish church on a parallel path to that which Pope Francis speaks about, an Irish church attached and addicted to an ecclesial vision that is at variance to what Pope Francis is trying to build.” (Redemptorist Fr. Gerry O’Connor)

Irish priests’ ever-increasing workload is threatening to turn this aging, demoralized and declining group into ‘sacrament-dispensing machines’ who find pastoral work less and less satisfying, a co-founder of Ireland’s Association of Catholic Priests has warned.

“In his address to the association’s annual general meeting in Athlone Nov. 16, Fr. Brendan Hoban highlighted how suicide is on the rise among Irish priests, a group he said was also increasingly prone to depression.

“With the vast majority of Irish priests now age 70 or over, elderly diocesan priests are living increasingly isolated and lonely lives and are constantly ‘reminded that we no longer really matter, that at best we’re now little more than a ceremonial presence on the sidelines of life,’ he said.”

By Sarah Mac Donald, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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