A leading Irish priest has advised Pope Francis not to visit Ireland. Fr Brendan Hoban, spokesperson for the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland, said a papal visit ‘is exactly what the Irish church doesn’t need’.
Speculation has grown about a papal visit to Ireland following hints by the Papal Nuncio in Dublin, Archbishop Charles Brown. Fr Hoban believes, however, that the Irish church has too many unresolved problems for a successful visit from the Pope in the near future.
Fr Hoban and the Association of Catholic Priests are campaigning for radical changes in the operation of the church, which they believe is facing a crisis. He believes that the spectacle of a papal visit would just distract from the church’s problems and do nothing to fix them.