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Celebrity Cruises

Cruise line cuts ministerial services, freebies for Catholic priests

Jan 25, 2010

A group of priests have claimed they will experience serious financial losses after cruise liners cut ministerial services.

This month Celebrity Cruises dropped its number of onboard masses to cover only key celebrations such as weddings, Easter and Christmas.

The decision came following passenger complaints that people were passing themselves off as priests in order to gain a free ride, according to catholic news website The Catholic Spirit (TCS).

However, the decision to cut-back on priests has left some ministers disappointed as they say cabin crew and holiday-makers will not have proper access to church facilities for the duration of their time at sea.

Texan priest Father Sinclair Oubre, who heads the US Apostleship of the Sea, told the Catholic News Service there are many well-intentioned priests working long hours on cruise ships who will suffer as a result, according to the TCS article.

"We're looking as an organisation at losing tens of thousands of dollars and putting the whole program into question," he said.

Celebrity Cruises is one of the world's largest cruise holiday providers, sailing to a range of destinations including the Caribbean, Alaska and Panama Canal.

According to TCS, it was one of the last remaining cruise operators to allow priests onboard.

Cruise line cuts ministerial services, freebies for Catholic priests
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