A well known Irish cleric has said that he thinks getting married would have made him a better priest.

In a new BBC documentary, Fr Brian D'Arcy, said he contemplated leaving the church following him being censured by an Irish Catholic watchdog, over his views.

Last April, the Sunday World columnist was censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, over his outspoken views on the churches mishandling of clerical sexual abuse and their teachings. It was revealed that D’Arcy’s Sunday World newspaper column were vetted by a church censor on a weekly basis.

The documentary, titled 'The Turbulent Priest' is due to be aired on BBC Northern Ireland this coming Monday. It offers an insight into the life of the high profile cleric, as he confronts the biggest dilemma of his life - can he continue on as a Catholic priest?

In the new documentary he asks: "Is the price of being a priest that you stay quiet, that you don't be a whistleblower, and that the price of dying a priest is that you don't speak the truth?"

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The production team followed the 67-year-old Fermanagh based priest over a number of months as he spoke with individuals in the church.

It follows him to the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin last June, as well as his travels to the UK as well as to Austria, where he spoke with controversial Fr Helmut Schuller, who has described the Vatican an “absolutist monarchy”.

Fr D’Arcy reveals that his personal struggle with the core teachings of the church, especially celibacy.

“I would have been a much better priest had I married. I think it would have been the whole thing of sharing your life with somebody else and the whole thing of making sacrifices for somebody else and also that idea of a companion, a closeness, a friend, someone to call home.”

In a letter to Cardinal Sean Brady, Fr D’Arcy questioned the future of the church.

Cardinal Brady responded "I know that with your excellent access to media and superb communication skills you are well placed to share the fruits of such reflection with others. I wish you well as you continue to do so."

'The Turbulent Priest' will be aired on BBC NI on Monday at 10.35pm

The Turbulent Priest - Fr Brian D'Arcy prepares to meet the rest of his Order

Fr Brian D’ArcyJournal.ie