Report on a meeting between the Association of Catholic Priests and representatives of the Irish Episcopal Conference – Council for the Clergy – in the Columba Centre in Maynooth on Thursday, May 19, 2016
What to do with church buildings when there are no priests is an issue that will face most parishes in the immediate future, despite the fact that church authorities soldier on as though no drastic changes are on the horizon.
Alan McGill puts forward a suggestion on how these buildings can be utilised 'by predominantly or entirely lay communities so as to continue to be oases of prayer and pastoral care'.
Alan McGill works fulltime as Director of Faith Formation and Liturgy at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the city-center of Atlanta. He is a native of Dublin.
Notice of talk by Fr Gerard Moloney CSsR before "We Are Church" AGM
Ainead Ní Mhuirthile gives a personal reaction to her experience as a Synod Delegate in the Limerick Diocesan Synod.
Ainead quotes one priest saying “I thought I’d never see the day where lay people would have a vote in a Church Synod,” adding “should have happened a year or two after Vatican 2 of course…”
and Bishop Leahy "This Synod is a real marker, but the journey goes on.."
Bishops to meet with ACP
Following the Annual General Meeting of the ACP some concerns of members, as expressed in resolutions passed at the meeting, were communicated on 01 December 2015 by letter to the bishops' conference.
On 05 April 2016 a response was received and the text of their letter is attached.
The proposed meeting is a welcome development that one hopes will not be just a 'once off' but will lead to what Pope Francis says he always advises, "Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue!"
We publish the text of the talk given by Máire Ní Dhuibhir at the ACI meeting in Galway last Thursday, 31 March. It created an enormous impression among the people who came -- long and sustained applause.
It loses something in print, in that Máire sang various parts beautifully, but it is a very worthwhile read.
"I think we would be immeasurably enriched by getting together as women, re-reading the New Testament and try and find the women’s story there and learn about the great women mystics and the independent women of the church who founded orders of nuns and the stories of contemporary women. I think we can articulate like these women before us how the Divine is always with us, just as Jesus promised. I believe we can then change the Church and the communities from within."
Robert Mickens in his letter from Rome, in globalpulsemagazine.com, writes that “exasperation is also growing over the tortoise-like speed with which Papa Franceso is moving to reform the Roman Curia (and other structures in the Church)”.
Meanwhile ‘reform of the curia is unnecessary’, says Archbishop Gänswein’ . Christa Pongratz-Lippitt reports in The Tablet.
Where are we at? Has all this talk of reform, or lack of reform, or the need, or lack of need, of reform any relevance in the day to day life of an Irish priest in 2016?
The Association of Catholics in Ireland (ACI) will host a meeting entitled:
WOMEN: POTENTIAL FOR MINISTRY IN THE CHURCH.
Date: Thursday 31st March 2016.
Time 7.30 p.m.
Venue: Clayton Hotel, Galway.
Sarah Mac Donald reports in the NCR on comments by Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry who said that unless the bishops are seen to be "willing to go way beyond our comfort zone then people will say you are just a group looking after yourselves."
Tony Flannery responding said that he has received "great support from many people and priests," but he has also experienced "how quickly and completely church authorities shut you out as soon as the Vatican moves against you...... All I have ever looked for in relation to myself and others who are accused of 'dissent' is a process that is fair, just and transparent."
He added, "The present CDF process is a scandal, and brings shame on our church.""
We regularly receive recommendations that Gabriel Daly's The Church: Always in Need of Reform should receive as much publicity as possible.
We include a number of relevant links.