01Jan Email to all members

The following email will be sent in the next few days to all our members who have an email address:

Colleagues,
                  As we begin a new year our association is now four months in existence, and we are beginning to chisel out a clear identity for ourselves.  We have a signed up membership of nearly four hundred, and we hope to add to that in the new year.
Some of the main things that have occupied our attention during these months:
1. We have taken on P.J. Madden of Kildare and Leighlin to our leadership team.  P.J. is a great addition, and brings a wealth of experience to the task.
2. We have had a number of regional meetings, and in the Spring we will be encouraging our members to have meetings at diocesan level.  The reports of all the meeting are on our website.
3. In mid-December we met with a number of senior law people to discuss the legal position of priests in the current climate.  It was a good meeting, and we are due to meet again in late January.  We are hoping this will develop into a useful and necessary resource for all priests.
4. We were impressed by the article in a recent Irish Times by Bishop Freeman, giving the results of a questionaire initiated by Cardinal Brady after the Pope’s letter to the Irish Church.  The responses to the questionaire, as summed up in the article, are almost identical to our own aims and objectives.  We issued a press statement in response, versions of which appeared in various news media.  If you wish to see the full statement it is on the website.
5. The website has been very successful, with many people contributing to it.  We particularly welcome Pat Rogers generosity in providing scripture reflections.
 We hope to develop a forum for discussion in the next while, also on the website.
6. We have already met with the Apostolic Visitor to Tuam;  a meeting has been arranged with Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor in Armagh for January;  and plans are afoot to meet with the other two visitors, Dublin and Cashel.  If a few of our religious members were willing to get together and meet with the Apostolic Visitor to male religious communities on our behalf it would be great.  Any volunteers?
7. We are having a meeting in the Shamrock Lodge in Athlone on January 19th at 2.00pm.  We are going to invite to this meeting those who have been active in the last few months, and those who have shown an interest in a particular topic.  We will be sending out invitations shortly.  But even if you don’t get an invitation, and would like to attend, you will be more than welcome.  Just come along.
The purpose of that meeting is to review, and plan for the future.  Two major issues that will come up:  the new liturgical texts, and how we should respond;  the possibility of some form of national assembly or synod of the Irish Church.
 
So, as you see, a lot has been happening.  But there is so much more to be done, and we need all the help we can get.
 
Sincerely,
 
The Leadership Team

3 Responses

  1. Jack Convery

    Rather than a synod, a free Catechism of the catholic Church for everyone to go off and study would be better. Once we’ve done that, then we can think about synods. No point having a synod if you don’t know and assent to the Catholic faith in its entirety. There is nothing worse than the blind leading the blind. Both wind up in a hole.

  2. Joseph O'Leary

    Is the Catechism a flawless source of light? At the time of its publication several theologians pointed to fundamentalistic aspects in its treatment of Scripture. The Catechism seems to be a key factor in the restorationist policy of John Paul II, now so heavily under attack. It would be a big error to identify that policy uncritically with “the Catholic faith in its entirety”.

  3. Richard Surprise

    I agree with the idea of a study of the Catechism as a starting point. I do however agree to Joseph’s point that believing in any policy, faith, doctrine, or text uncritically is truly blind as you put it Jack. Understand and then believe. Understand there are things you cannot understand and choose to believe some more. Perhaps rather than a synod, a critical examination of the Catechism? That is sure to produce some interesting conversation, within guidelines of course.