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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 16 November, 2019
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'According to the papers, Katherine Zappone practises witchcraft and now Josepha is saying mass'

Varadkar was speaking today at the National Economic Dialogue.

Image: Leah Farrell

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR says that while he would be in favour of female Catholic priests, he strongly believes in the separation of Church and State.

Varadkar was speaking today at the National Economic Dialogue and was asked about Culture Minister Josepha Madigan’s war of words with Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

On Saturday, Madigan stepped up at her local church, the Church of St Therese in Mount Merrion, Dublin, to lead prayers after a priest failed to show up. A local parish priest confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the absence was caused due to a miscommunication of the monthly rota.

On Saturday, Madigan stepped up at her local church, the Church of St Therese in Mount Merrion, Dublin, to lead prayers after a priest failed to show up. A local parish priest confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the absence was caused due to a miscommunication of the monthly rota.

However, this led to Martin saying a suggestion by Madigan that more laypeople be involved in the Church had caused parishioners of Mount Merrion “considerable distress”.

“It is regrettable that Minister Madigan used this occasion to push a particular agenda. Her expressed view that a mix-up in a Dublin parish on one particular Saturday evening should lead to the universal Church changing core teachings is bizarre.”

Today, Varadkar said that he understood Madigan’s readings at Mass went down well, but said he would not be legislating for female priests.

“I have a very interesting and diverse cabinet. According to the papers anyway, Minister Zappone has practised witchcraft in the past and now MInister Madigan is saying mass, though I’m not sure if either of those things are true.

“From what I know of the events – I actually know someone who was at the mass for a month’s mind – the priest wasn’t able to attend mass and a number of people including Josepha led prayers, but certainly did not say mass. I understand she received a round of applause.

“I believe in equality in all things and in the workplace. And that would include allowing priests to marry and female priests. But I’m also strongly believe in separation of church and state.”

Madigan yesterday said that if she gets the opportunity, she will share her opinions on the matter with Pope Francis during his visit to Ireland in August.

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