30Mar Bishops’ Letter to the ACP

14 March 2011

Dear Father Hoban,

I write following the report by Bishop Seamus Freeman to the March General
meeting of the Bishops following the meeting of representatives from the
Association of Catholic Priests with the Commission for Worship, Pastoral
Renewal and Faith Formation on Monday, 28th February, 2011.

Bishop Freeman reported that the ACP had indicated that they would like to
discuss the following issues: the ongoing dialogue leading to the renewal of
The Church, the stepping aside from  ministry by priests, and the
introduction of the Roman Missal; this last item was the main theme of the
meeting.

Bishop Freeman gave a synopsis of the presentations by each of the
representatives of the ACP along with brief responses that were made by the
other participants.

The Bishops are grateful to all who have offered constructive reflections on
the introduction of the new translation.

While they are aware there are many related concerns, it is the intention of
the Bishops to proceed with the introduction of the new translation of the
Roman Missal as planned. The bishops acknowledged the need for comprehensive
and ongoing catechesis for clergy and laity regarding the changes to the
Missal. They are also aware that in dioceses where this catechesis has
begun, people and priests see the introduction of the new translation as a
positive opportunity to improve the celebration of the liturgy.  The Bishops
are also conscious that thre introduction of the new translation needs to be
done in cooperation with the other areas of the English-speaking world.

Efforts will therefore be made in the coming weeks and months to encourage
individuals and parishes to use the range of catechetical resources already
available on this subject through Veritas and a wide range of international
sources. The Catholic Communications Office will also support the process of
introduction with a press release on this issue in the near future, a press
briefing for Religious Affairs correspondents in Ireland, articles in the
Intercom magazine and supporting materiels on  the web site of the Irish
Bishops¹ Conference.

The Bishops also continued their reflection on ongoing renewal in the Irish
Church. They expressed their gratitude for the many contributions made to
them over recent months on this critical issue and saw the level of interest
and desire to contribute as a sign of great hope for the Church. They noted
the many initiatives already underway in Dioceses across the country and
expressed their commitment to reflect on the most appropriate process of
renewal for their own dioceses. It was agreed that listening widely and
discerning the way toward healing and renewal remains a priority for the
Church in Ireland and discerning the way towards healing and renewal remains
a priority for the Church in Ireland and will continue to be a priority in
the work of the Irish Bishops¹ Conference.

With all good wishes, I remain,

Yours sincerely,

Fr Gearóid Dullea,
Executive Secretary