26Mar Presider’s Page for 26 March (Fourth Sunday of Lent)

Traditionally, this Sunday is called Laetare Sunday, which means ‘a day for joy’. Lent is half over, and the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus is nearer. At this midpoint of Lent, it is traditional to honour mothers, treasuring those still with us and praying for those we have lost to death.

20Mar Our need for heroes and the curse of certainty

Seamus Ahearne decides to be "totally irreverent".
"I want less perfect people and more colour and character. We have produced a faith that glorifies perfection and is totally unreal. We spun yarns about the so-called saints and made them very unreal. We did the same with Jesus. We had no taste for the poetry and metaphor and story of Scripture and then deadened everything with literalism."
"Life is complicated. We get glimpses of insight. Nothing is simple. We need our heroes. We need our colourful characters. We need people who have a go at living. Does it really matter if they fail or fall? "

04Mar Statement from the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) on the Tuam Babies revelations and the resignation of Marie Collins from the Vatican Commission on Clerical Sex Abuse

Statement from the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) on the Tuam Babies revelations and the resignation of Marie Collins from the Vatican Commission on Clerical Sex Abuse

03Mar ‘Apologia pro vita sua’ (or something like that).

Seamus Ahearne, in thinking of the late Des Connell, asks that when he was appointed "Who thought about the man? Who worried about the suitability of this person? Could this man face the burden of leadership of a Church in Dublin at that time? Was he flexible in his thinking; was he adaptable; was he good humoured; was he strong enough to cope; had he the personality to bend and laugh and mix and take the arrows and stones that could be thrown at him? Was he a team worker? "
Questions as relevant for the appointment of a bishop today.

27Feb ACP Regional Meetings – Well being of priests

A number of regional meetings for priests are being arranged by the ACP.
The first of these will be held in the MacWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris, Co Mayo on Wednesday, 08 March at 2.00pm.
All priests of Killala, Elphin, Achonry and Tuam dioceses are invited to attend.

Update:
A meeting for the Southern Region has been scheduled for 15 March in The Parish Centre, Ovens from 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm.

21Feb ‘Thinkers needed for the Wasteland!’

Seamus Ahearne offers his thoughts on some of the issues and people that have been in the spotlight recently.
"I thank God for working in me and I am in awe. It doesn’t make me good or great. But the fun, happiness and wonder of every day is miraculous. The holiness of each day shouts at me. I have been blessed. I never bother my head thinking if only. If only what. Married. Children. Grandchildren. What has been; is done. What is; I live with. What shape tomorrow is; I can help make. Are there things I would like to make different. Of course, but I don’t have the energy to dream backwards."

13Feb “the apostolate of the ear”

Sarah Mac Donald, writing in the National Catholic Reporter, gives an interesting account of the Irish bishops' visit to Pope Francis.
"But while Francis was telling the bishops he wanted to hear their problems and criticisms, back in Ireland, the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), ... issued a statement expressing themselves as "disappointed, frustrated and angry" that, after six years of attempting to engage the bishops in a "respectful and mutual consideration of issues central to the health and well-being of the Irish Catholic church," the bishops had "pulled the plug on any future engagement with the ACP."

12Feb Child abuse scandal ‘almost fatally destroyed’ Catholic Church

RTE carried coverage by Joe Little of comments made by Gerry O Hanlon SJ by video-link from Dublin to Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

UPDATED
Updated with a Link to a statement from The Truth Justice and Healing Council, the body set up by the Catholic Church in Australia to coordinate the Catholic Church's response to the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse with a commitment to justice and compassion for survivors.

And a Link to opening statement by Senior Counsel at the Royal Commission’s 50th public hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

05Feb ‘I think, therefore I am.’ (Godly and human)

Seamus Ahearne reflects on the demolition and rebuilding of a church in Finglas parish.
"The new church for building in Finglas to replace the old has to be one where thinking happens; where the breadth of God is celebrated; where God is not protected from questions but where we take off our shoes and bow our heads in praise, gratitude and humility. We are forever learning. We are forever questioning. We are forever thinking. The God of our Church is praised if we are thinking. A passive church; a passive liturgy; a passive people does not respect God. I think therefore I am!"

29Jan Sean McDonagh, Tony Flannery interviewed by Miriam O’Callaghan on RTE Radio 1

Sean McDonagh and Tony Flannery spoke today with Miriam O’Callaghan on RTE Radio 1.
Tony said that the Church in Ireland is “in a state of utter collapse”, with people “leaving the Church in droves”, and action is needed to change this. They said the Catholic Church also needs to apologise for how it has treated women and give them more power in the Church.




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