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Wedding Talk

'They have no credibility, they never lived the experience' - Irish Cardinal says priests shouldn't prepare people for marriage

Priests "have no credibility" for training people for marriage as they have no experience, Ireland's most senior cleric at the Vatican has said.

Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who is the prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, said that 'priests are not the best people when it comes to training people for marriage' in a new interview.

Speaking to Intercom magazine, he said: “They  have no credibility; they have never lived the experience; they may know moral theology, dogmatic theology in theory, but to go from there to putting it into practice every day....they don’t have the experience.”


Cardinal Farrell, who is also behind the World Meeting of Families event in Dublin next month, claimed that said that Clericalism is dying, “but not because we’ve done anything to kill it, but out of the sheer numbers.”

The Dublin-born Cardinal claimed that marriage training courses is putting more pressure on priests.

Using the example of Dallas, where he was a Bishop between 2007 and 2016, he said: "We have a million and a half Catholics and 75 priests, with a 45 to 50 per cent rate of (Mass) attendance. Those 75 priests are not going to be interested in organising marriage meetings."