Obstacles to Church renewal must be overcome – bishop

Obstacles to Church renewal must be overcome – bishop Bishop Brendan Leahy

Priests must get used to a more inclusive style of ministry, where they work alongside parishioners, Bishop Brendan Leahy has said.

Speaking at the Diocese of Limerick’s annual Chrism Mass, Bishop Leahy said Pope Francis’ vision directly addresses the needs of the Irish Church.

“One of Pope Francis’ goals is to establish the synodal Church, meaning a more all-hands-on-deck Church and that objective entirely fits the need we have in our Church here in Ireland,” he said.


Acknowledging that changing in this way is not easy and entails moving into unfamiliar territory, he said it would entail new pastoral units and could entail new lay ministries.

“We are challenged to pursue an increasingly inclusive and egalitarian team style of ministry,” Dr Leahy said, adding: “It’s one thing to say we believe that yes, God has a plan whose name today is synodality. But at times we experience tension, stress, fear. We face many obstacles.”

Despite this, he said, “it’s not the falling that matters, but rather our ability to get up again and go on”.