Apostolic Visitation; a reflection by Brendan Hoban
There is, as we know, a lot of cynicism among priests about the wisdom and
effectiveness of the present Apostolic Visitation. After the high
expectations surrounding the much-hyped visit of the bishops to Rome,
fuelled in the main by the media, a more measured and restrained approach to
the Visitation was evident.
Questions were asked about its terms of reference, how accessible it would
be, whether it would listen to the Œawkward¹ voices, what impact it might
have in the present distressed condition of our Church.
Tony Flannery, Colm Kilcoyne and myself (as already indicated) met
Archbishop Prendergast of Ottawa and Rev. Professor James J. Conn of Boston
College in Tuam.
We were pleased that they were attentive and receptive to our
concerns and we felt that they admirably fulfilled their mandate of Œbeing
here to listen.¹
Our conclusion was that, whatever our reservations about the Apostolic
Visit, the visit is happening and our Association needs to take it seriously
and to cooperate fully with it.
We believe that the visit affords a considerable opportunity and a challenge
for the Association and for individual priests who wish to make a
Our positive experience of the Tuam visitation encourages us to recommend to
priests and other members of our Church that they engage with it.
Applications for a meeting can be made through the Apostolic Nunciature, 183
Navan Road, Dublin 7. Keep an eye too on the websites of the Armagh, Dublin
and Cashel dioceses for details of the visit.