26Jan Meeting of ACP in Cloyne

Meeting of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) for Cloyne diocese at Blarney Castle Hotel

A meeting of the ACP took place at Blarney Castle Hotel on January 24th 2011.  Ten priests from the diocese of Cloyne attended and two from the ACP leadership team, Tony Flannery and Sean McDonagh. Tony Flannery gave a brief introduction about the origins of the ACP and Sean McDonagh followed that by highlighting some of the aims of the ACP.

Tony and Sean spoke about the ACPs contact with those who are carrying out the Visitation of the Archdiocese of Ireland.  Already ACP representatives have met with three of the visiting archbishops in Tuam, Dublin and Armagh.

The concerns of the priests on the Diocese are centred on the imminent publication of the Cloyne Report on the sex abuse by clergy in the diocese.  Naturally, there are high levels of anxiety among the priests.

Apart from that priests are also concerned about how allegations are handled in the diocese of Cloyne.  This is particularly true in cases where the accusations are groundless.  But it was also pointed out that the Church must show pastoral case for those who are convicted.  The modern media is often baying for the blood of those involved in sex abuse. However, forgiveness and redemption are at the heart of the Christian message and the Church, including leaders, must act according to the dictates of the gospels, not the agenda set by the media.

Tony Flannery assured the priests the ACP would do all it can to help priests in the diocese of Cloyne in the weeks and months ahead.