Limerick Diocesan meeting of ACP
A meeting of the Association took place for Limerick Diocese on Feb. 8th. Twenty one priests attended, and apologies came from four more.
A wide-ranging discussion took place. The following is a summary of some of the main issues discussed.
The group that met today gave me permission to report back what was an unstructured discussion. There was alot of contribution on the sacraments of initiations, with a very strong view expressed by many that the time has come for the sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation (as opposed to the catechetical preparation for them) to be removed from schools and taken into parish, not the parish the children go to school in, but the parish the family practice in. For now, unless there are political developments to reduce the number of Catholic schools. we should continue to work with and support the excellent work done by the teachers in this area. One priest said any statement the association may make in relation to this area should be very clearly seen to support and encourage and thank the good work being done by the teachers.
Priests spoke of how demoralising the celebration of baptisms have become, “I just don’t want to do it anymore”.
There was some discussion on the issue of the new translation, but some felt this is not that big an issue as in reality it is going to be irrelevant to the many who no longer practice, and that in fact evangilisation should be our foucs. However a number expressed that the new translation was a mistake.
The need for the association to highlight continually the changed landscape that lies ahead for priestless parishes and the need to get the faithful to more fully appreciate this and start putting practical things in place to enpower them for the future, was also discussed.
One priest observed what he felt was an important ommission from the aims of the association, namely the renewal of priest in their own spirituality, not just their morale. He would like to see this as an expressed part of the associations objectives.
The next meeting is on Tuesday, April 12th.