The children of priests should not be sidelined

Dear Editor, I was pleased to read the news that a new support group has been set up to help the children of priests (IC 09/04/2015 ‘Free counselling ‘vital’ for children of priests – expert’).

Although it is impossible to know how many people are actually in this situation, I think it is more prevalent than Prof. Patricia Casey suggests, and these children have really been side-lined up to now in terms of recognition and support.

While the man interviewed by Cathal Barry seemed to have a relatively good relationship with his father, the fact that it was shrouded in such unspoken secrecy was a difficult burden for a child to bear or even to understand. The children of priests must face issues of guilt, anger, shame, regret and loss, which could overshadow their own family life once they are adults.

I am glad to see that the Church is stepping up to the mark in providing counselling to children of priests and I hope that they find the sympathetic ear that they need in order to come to terms with their identity, and that they are able to be reconciled with the Church.

Yours etc.,

Jennifer Fahy,


Co. Louth.