THE intake of Irish candidates for theological training for the beginning of the current training year reveals that twice as many ordinands have begun their studies for priesthood in the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, in Dublin, as have Roman Catholic seminarians at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
Twelve students, two of them women, have started at the C of I college at Braemor Park in the city, while six men have begun at Maynooth, in Co. Kildare. It is believed that the Maynooth intake is the lowest since it opened in 1795.
The C of I population in the Republic was recorded in last year’s official census as 126,400, amounting to 3.4 per cent of the overall population, whereas RCs accounted for 78 per cent, or 3.7 million. There are 34 Anglican ordinands in training at the C of I institute, of whom ten are women; a total of 41 men are studying at Maynooth.
The RC Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, said last year that he would stop sending students to Maynooth, because of allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour at the seminary.