By Sean Ryan - 23 October, 2016
The Bishop of Cork and Ross, Dr John Buckley, has encouraged young people considering their career options to consider a calling to the religious life.
Bishop Buckley made his comments after he personally manned a stand at Career Options Cork 2016 this week.
Speaking on RED FM, Bishop Buckley said the religious life was a great calling. He added, “From my own experience it is a life that I enjoy. I have been a bishop for the last 33 years and I must say it is a great privilege to serve the people, especially in times of difficulties such as bereavement. It is the life of a priest and the vast majority of priests are very happy. What hospital can be without a priest when they say to a family that there is ‘no more I can do’? My greatest joy is in contact with people.”
Speaking about his time at the careers fair, the bishop said he received “positive feedback at the jobs fair with many students taking away leaflets to be examined at a later date.” Commenting on the future of the church, he said he “expected changes to the celibacy rule would be looked at in the future”, but cautioned that he believed “it would not necessarily lead to a dramatic increase in the numbers seeking vocations.”
Speaking to the Neil Prendeville Show on Cork’s Red FM, he said that “It is not our decision. It is a decision for the Holy Father.” He went on to say: “I did make the point interestingly that other denominations have their own married ministers. They too are suffering from a decline in the number of vocations. It will be presented as an option for priests, either celibacy or married clergy. The church is looking at that. Pope Francis himself has said that maybe it is a question that should be addressed.”
Bishop Buckley, who will celebrate his 77th birthday next month, also confirmed that he tendered his resignation to Pope Francis two years ago when he turned 75, but had not yet received any feedback. He added, “When you reach a certain age you submit your resignation to the pope. So far he still hasn’t got back to me. You keep going and you enjoy it. It is a matter for the Holy Father himself.”