'Church should be ordaining women' - Madigan
Culture Minister Josepha Madigan plans to tell Pope Francis that the Church should be ordaining women and priests should have the option to marry.
The minister - who led prayers in her local parish when there was no priest available - said she hopes to raise both issues when the Pope visits Ireland in August.
Ms Madigan was among parishioners who performed most of the elements of a Mass in the Church of St Therese, in Mount Merrion, last Saturday. The decision was taken not to read the Gospel, but Communion was offered to parishioners as there was pre-blessed bread in the church. Ms Madigan said it showed the need for lay people to be involved in the Church.
"I think the Church should be ordaining women. I think it should be optional that priests can marry. It's something if I get an opportunity to say to Pope Francis in August, I will say it to him. At the end of the day we don't want the Church to sacrifice its core values. But it does need to adapt," she said.
Ms Madigan made the remarks on RTÉ Radio's 'Today with Sean O'Rourke' show. Children's Minister Katherine Zappone backed Ms Madigan's comments, saying she's been making the same argument for decades, and adding: "Women should have leadership positions in any organisation."
Meanwhile, Ms Madigan - who led Fine Gael's effort for a Yes vote in the abortion referendum - said she doesn't believe she needs to go to confession as a result of her stance during the campaign. Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran has urged Catholics who voted Yes to consider going to confession.
"This is about allowing other people to make decisions for themselves rightly or wrongly and so therefore I have nothing to confess. I have my own very private relationship with God," Ms Madigan said.