Letter with 1,237 ACP signatories sent to bishops
The following letter has been sent to each bishop, and to the Bishops Conference by the Association of Catholic Priests.
On Wednesday, February 20, 2013, about 250 priests members of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) met in Athlone to discuss the challenges faced by priests in Ireland today.
During a discussion on the rights of priests, the meeting was reminded that the 1971 Synod on Justice produced the document, the Practice of Justice, which emphasised that the Catholic Church must act justly towards all its members, if it to have credibility in preaching on Justice.
The Synod document stressed that everyone has a right to suitable freedom of expression and thought and affirms that in any form of judicial procedure the accused should have the right to know his accusers and also the right to a proper defence.
Seán McDonagh proposed the following motion:
In the light of the above teaching from the Synod of Bishop in 1971, we the undersigned ask the Irish Bishops’ Conference to meet, as soon as possible, with those Irish priests who have been censured by the Vatican in recent years.
The purpose of the meeting would be to request the Bishops’ Conference to enter into discussions with the CDF:
(i) To explore how best to resolve the matters that have led to the censuring of the priests;
(ii) To set up local mediation structures to address any such issues in the future.
We would like to see this happen as a matter of urgency.
The motion was carried unanimously.
We append a copy of the 1,237 signatories of the above resolution.
With every good wish,
Brendan Hoban, PP
on behalf of the ACP