Voice of the god will be called in the Irish parliament for a vote in the next few weeks, but Irishman Richard Murphy has made it clear he does not believe in the godhead.
He says he believes in the ‘real thing’, and says his prayers are with the Irish people.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner, he said: ‘I think that when we go to church it should be with the real thing, the real religion.
‘I believe in prayer, I believe in all the religions, and I believe that prayer is the only way to get to God.’
Murphy, a minister at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, was one of a group of Irish clergy who travelled to Germany in January to attend a conference of the International Council of Churches, and was then welcomed to Germany by German bishops.
‘It’s a good thing that we’re here, because we’re going to have the same experience that they’re going through, and we can get to know each other and talk about this,’ he said.
‘The fact that we are here in Germany is a good sign.’
‘I am going to pray to God that we get to go to the polls and that we win the election.
‘If we don’t, I think the next thing that’s going to happen is that the people of Ireland will be very disappointed, and it’s going do a lot of damage to the church in Ireland.’
We have a really good, stable and good-looking Irish country, and a very, very good Catholic church.
‘We should have the best people in the world in Ireland, but if the church doesn’t come back, and if people don’t trust it, we’re not going to be able to make the sacrifices that we need to make for our country.
‘When I went to Germany, and saw how bad things were there, and the people who were in the church were being punished and treated in a way that I never expected to be in, and now they’re getting punished again, it’s a really bad sign.
‘People are going to look at Ireland and say: “We’re not in Ireland any more, we’ve got to get rid of the church, and all the churches, and there’s nothing we can do about it”.’
There’s a lot that we can’t do, but I’m very determined that we don, and that’s why I’m here in the country to speak up for the people.’
The church has had a rough year.
Pope Francis has spoken out against some of the Irish priests who are accused of sexual abuse in the past, and Pope Benedict XVI last month condemned priests who used the sacraments to help their sex workers.
However, Murphy is not alone.
Many Irish Catholics have also called for the resignation of the Roman Catholic church’s hierarchy.
The head of Ireland’s largest Catholic organisation, the National Council of the Churches of Ireland, Bishop Michael Moran, told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme that he believes the pope is ‘doing the right thing’ by speaking out against the abuse scandal.
‘To me it’s the right move to call for the resignations of the bishops of Ireland.
We don’t have bishops in the diocese,’ he told the programme.
‘So the people have got to take a decision and I think that the Irish Catholics need to have that discussion about it.
‘What I can say to the bishop is that we’ve seen that bishops in Ireland are doing the right things in the midst of all these scandals, and they are doing it as well as anybody in the United States or in Europe.’
The bishop’s comments were echoed by a group called the Church of Ireland (Concerned Citizens), which represents more than 2,000 Irish Catholic priests, including the archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, and more than 20 bishops from across the country.
The group’s president, Stephen Kenny, said that while the Irish bishops are ‘all over the place’, the church needs to make some changes.
‘A lot of people are questioning the role of the Catholic Church in Ireland and the church should be given the freedom to change its leadership in Ireland to be more reflective of the needs of the people,’ he says.
‘And if that’s not possible, then we have to look to the people in Europe to give us a mandate to do it.’
We’re not a dictatorship.
We have the power to change the church’s leadership.
‘At the moment we have no bishops in our diocese and that means we don’s the authority to change it.’
A number of Irish politicians are also calling for the end of the current system of patronage for the church.
The current system has been in place for nearly two centuries, and has seen the church give more than €1 billion in subsidies to its parishioners each year, which critics say is designed to boost the fortunes of the clergy.
But, as Irish journalist Michael Fitzpatrick has pointed out, the system has also resulted in a ‘monopoly