23Jan My Mass of Celebration

Tony Flannery shares some thoughts on his Mass of Celebration, marking the occasion of his 70th birthday and 40 years of priesthood.
"The Mass, for me, was emotional, but beautiful. I have celebrated many big Masses over the years, at missions and novenas, but nothing that touched me to the core like this one."

Also included is some of the press coverage of the celebration.

23Jan ACP Website

ACP Website – (Information from Google Analytics)

23Jan What Pope Francis was thinking of last Friday – the day of the Irish Bishops ‘ad limina’ and Donald Trump’s Inauguration

Last Friday Pope Francis also had other matters on his mind along with the ‘Ad limina’ visit of the Irish bishops. He gave hour and a quarter long interview with the Spanish Newspaper El País.
A lot of what he says will sound familiar.
"Talk, please. A fraternal conversation, if you feel up to it, or at least in a civilized way. Don't throw insults at each other. Don't condemn before talking."
"Too much order. When you read the Acts of the Apostles, Saint Paul's epistles, it was a mess, there were troubles, people moved. There was movement and contact with people. An anesthetized person is not in touch with people. He protects himself against reality."

20Jan ACP respond to Archbishop’s ‘ad limina’ comments and the letter of the bishops to the ACP

The leadership team of the ACP have issued a strong response to comments made about the state of the catholic church in Ireland by Archbishop Eamon Martin. They say that the Archbishop’s 'ad limina" comments 'bear little relationship to the realities of Irish Church life today'.
They have also commented on the letter received from the Irish bishops' conference. The letter is seen as an attempt to 'pull the plug’ on engagement with the ACP and 'to still the voice of an association that represents over a third of Irish priests (1000-plus) who are prepared to name important and difficult truths at a critical time for the Irish Church.'

18Jan Lions in the Hierarchy, the Inauguration, and a dollop of poetry!

Seamus Ahearne shares some thoughts on world and local events. Looking at such events Seamus challenges us; "how can we enlarge the discussion and reflection on life? How can we bring the poetry of God to our talk? How can the church move away from the nonsensical distractions and wake people up from the simplistic notions of Facebook and Twitter? I do fear that the world of politics is getting very small. We have also made God’s world small."
Seamus reminds us of the accusation that has been levelled against us;' “Your God is too small.” Small minds. Small people. Small faith has led us to this. I have a little theory.
A celibate bachelor clergy can become very linear in its outlook. The awkwardness of family life smashes all simple conclusions to problems. Acceptance of helplessness is the norm. I know that a celibate clergy gives us the chance to be very much family on a 24/7 schedule but something is still missing. The humour and humility of humanity can get diluted. We need chaos. The tidy and clear solutions to life are totally unreal.'

18Jan Ad Limina – no need to be afraid of married priests or of Francis.

Brian Eyre encourages the Irish bishops on their visit to Rome to face the realities about the shortage of priests, about the benefits of having married priests. "Today after 34 years of married life I still feel and know that I have been faithful to the calling of Our Lord and that my marriage has helped me be a better priest."

17Jan Wisdom of an elder for a Nuncio

Kevin Hayes offer some wisdom to Archbishop Brown, Papal Nuncio; as he says "At seventy-seven I feel entitled to lecture even Papal Nuncios!"
"I still have warm regard and concern for our Christian people, in Irish, Pobal Dé. I use that term rather than Church. I am not a great admirer of the institutional Catholic church. I believe the institution has become more important than the Christian message, the Word of God. The institution has become more important than the individual person and so many times its interests have been placed before the good of the person."

16Jan German priests: open the priesthood to women, make priestly celibacy voluntary

The National Catholic Reporter has a story about an open letter on the state of the church and priestly ministry in Germany that a group of 11 German priests from the Cologne archdiocese have written urging the church to open the priesthood to both men and women and to make priestly celibacy voluntary.
Meanwhile Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, writes about his visit to Rome, "No doubt Pope Francis and the other curial officials will be interested to learn how we are facing the current challenges of a decline in Mass attendance in Ireland and in the number of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life.
I, and my fellow bishops, will be able to share with them the resilience of our priests and religious under increased pressure and workload, as well as the tremendous generosity and kindness of the faithful towards us.
We will be able to discuss the seeds of renewal and new growth in catechesis, lay involvement, intentional discipleship and pastoral outreach that are emerging all over the country.

16Jan The Association of Catholics in Ireland (ACI) expresses deep disappointment on the eve of the Irish Catholic Bishops visit to Rome

The Association of Catholics in Ireland (ACI) expresses deep disappointment that the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference (ICBC) has been unable to agree to bring proposals on ending the celibacy requirement for priestly ministry in Ireland to Pope Francis for their Ad Limina visit to Rome.

13Jan Irish bishops divided on issue of married priests and women deacons

RTE is carrying a report that the Irish bishops' conference failed to reach consensus on proposals by the Bishop of Kilmore, Leo O'Reilly, to allow priests who left ministry to get married to return to priestly work and to consider lifting the bans on ordaining married men and female deacons.
Bishop O Reilly is to be commended for actually listening to the outcome of a 'listening process" he started with the people of Kilmore diocese.




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