Rome, Italy, Jun 16, 2012 / 06:31 am
A leading commentator on the future of the Catholic Church in Ireland is asking the Vatican to consider appointing non-Irish bishops to currently vacant dioceses on the Emerald Isle.
"I think we need to think outside the box in a big way," said David Quinn of the Dublin-based Iona Institute in a June 5 interview with CNA in Rome.
"We may need to appoint overseas-based priests as bishops in Ireland or bring suitable people in to run the national seminary," he suggested.
At present, four of Ireland's 26 dioceses are vacant. Quinn believes that any new bishop will find a local church where "morale is low" and that is still "very shell shocked" after years of attack from the country's political and cultural elite in the wake of several clerical abuse scandals.