Minister for Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dublin Rathdown TD, Josepha Madigan said she is “very disappointed” by personal criticisms by the Archbishop of Dublin.
It comes after she led prayers at her local church in Mount Merrion when the parish priest did not show to say mass.
Minister Madigan did not read the Gospel or consecration because they can only be carried out by ordained priest, however mass goers did receive communion, as there was some pre-blessed bread in the church.
The Dublin Rathdown TD said there is a “shortage of clergy” and she believes the church should be “ordaining women.”
“When I look in the church and I see alter girls, I don’t see female priests. There is something inherently wrong with that and I would like to see that changed. The church needs to change”
In a statement, Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin said Minister Madigan’s comments caused parishioners “considerable distress.”
“Many have contacted my offices to express their hurt and upset at the Minister’s comments.
“There is no shortage of priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin for the celebration of Sunday Mass. It is regrettable that that Minister Madigan used this occasion to push a particular agenda.
“She might consider the hurt she has caused to parishioners who deem her actions deeply disrespectful.”
Minister Madigan responded and said the only agenda she is pushing is one of “equality.”
“I feel there should be quality in the church just as I believe there should be equality in all facets of society.
“If the church is to be truly reflective of its people, and if it is seeking an obvious solution to the shortage of clergy, then ordaining women is the answer,” said Minister Madigan.
Minister Madigan said if she gets the opportunity, she will raise these matters with Pope Francis in August.