A Mitchelstown priest has been branded a ‘dictator’ after telling members of his congregation to 'go to Mass at Kingston College', saying their beliefs are 'more in line with the Church of Ireland'.

During his homily on Sunday night in the Church of Our Lady Conceived Without Sin, Fr Gabriel Burke said the Catholic Church should be handing over most of their schools and that they should 'wash their hands with the hospitals in which they are involved.

“We should push the Government to take God out of the constitution altogether. The bishops should write to the Government and say take out the preamble to the constitution that says in the name of the most Holy Trinity because, from a Christian point of view, what you have now is something blasphemous in that you have what we would consider as Christians ‘sham marriages’ and the child now killed in the womb – and you’re doing that in the name of God.

"I believe in the absolute separation of Church and State and I would prefer if we took our schools out of the State system so that we would have Catholic schools that are genuinely catholic.”

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