'This is the future'
Fourth Cloyne parish without resident priest a sign of things to come
Bishop William Crean has issued a stark warning following the announcement of a clerical reshuffle which will see a fourth parish in the Cloyne diocese without a live-in priest.
"Unfortunately, for the immediate future, it will be a feature of diocesan changes that some of our parishes will not have a resident priest."
Mourneabbey becomes the latest in a litany which includes Cill na Martra, Aghinagh and Castlemagner following the reshuffle announced this week.
Massgoers in Mourneabbey, Cloyne's smallest parish, were shocked by the announcement from the altar at Sunday Mass, according to local councillor, Liam Madden.
Diocesan spokesman Fr Jim Moore said the model had worked well in the other parishes and added: "Let's face it, it's the future".
At present there are approximately 80 priests working in the diocese with one candidate priest starting in the seminary this month and another possible candidate for next September.
The latest announcement included a notice accepting the resignation due to retirement of three parish priests, the Very Reverend Donal Coakley in Inniscarra, the Very Reverend David Herlihy in Youghal and the Very Reverend Canon Michael Fitzgerald from Mitchelstown.