The Diocese of Kerry has refused to comment on the decision to end the training of three Kerry seminarians
One trainee priest had been in training for six years while the other two had five years completed.
The three Kerry seminarians were told by the Director of Faith Formation at St Patrick’s College in Maynooth in May that they would not be allowed to continue their journey to the priesthood.
It’s understood that the decision would have been taken in consultation with the Bishop of Kerry, Dr Ray Browne.
Just six seminarians entered training for the priesthood in Maynooth this year; the lowest number since the college was founded.
There is one Kerry seminarian at Maynooth and another man from the county is undertaking a pre-seminary year.
Last year the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin removed his seminarians from Maynooth and sent them to Rome to complete their training.
In July last year, Bishop Browne stated that a deacon in Kerry would be ordained within the year, becoming the first priest from Kerry ordained in a decade and that four men from the diocese were in training for the priesthood.
To date, the deacon has not been ordained.
Knocknagoshel became the sixth parish in Kerry to lose its fulltime priest this year and the Bishop has warned that the day is coming when it will not be possible to have a weekend mass in every church in the diocese.
The diocesan statement says that the seminarians have a right to privacy and to speak publicly about an individual’s journey for the priesthood seems invasive and inappropriate.
It added that Deacon Sean Jones continues in his full-time ministry as a deacon in the diocese.