24Nov The Inquisition by any other name

Fr. P. John Mannion in this article explores the disjunction between the Church’s Canon Law and the teaching of the New Testament.
He does so in the context of the dealings of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly The Inquisition, with Fr. Tony Flannery.
The injustice of those dealings and lack of due process is compounded when some commentators lay charges against Tony Flannery on the basis of what the CDF has done rather than anything he actually said.

21Nov Rigidity kills the Heart

Seamus Ahearne wrote this in response to the post 'De-centralisation and the selection of bishops'.
It deserves its own space and as usual Seamus challenges us in a gentle way to expand our horizons.
"We don’t have to protect God. God is used to our mess. Let’s take hold of the vision from Rome and apply it locally."

20Nov Pope Francis’ Advice for Bishops, Priests and prospective Seminarians

Iacopo Scaramuzzi reports on some off the cuff remarks made by Pope Francis at a Conference sponsored by the Congregation for the Clergy.
He told bishops: “Be present in your dioceses of resign”
To priests he said “It is not normal for a priest to be often sad, nervous, or of a hard character; it is not good, and does no good, neither for the priest nor for his people,”
About those wishing to enter the seminary he said authorities should think twice if the young man “is too confident, rigid and fundamentalist”.

20Nov De-centralisation and the selection of bishops

Robert Mickens in his 'Letter from Rome' on Global Pulse Magazine comments on the stresses and strains that surface when trying to attempt de-centralisation in the church. He says "Reactions to the US bishops’ deliberations this week at their fall meeting suggest that Catholics may have drawn the conclusion, unwittingly, that decentralization may not be all that it’s cracked up to be."
However he adds 'it is going to be a rough and rocky road to healthy decentralization in the Catholic Church. It’s not likely to happen until the synodality that Francis is trying to instill in the Church’s way of living and being also embraces and transforms the way bishops are selected.
Even if a change in the discernment process for choosing our pastors were to be implemented in the next couple of years, it would probably take at least two more generations before we’d get an episcopate that would make decentralized government effective.
Having said that, there are some men in miters – even those with the august rank of cardinal – who should be doing everything as the pope wishes, both in style and emphasis.
And they actually do work for him. They are called apostolic delegates and Vatican officials."

20Nov What Needs Reform in the Church?

Sarah Mac Donald reports in the NCR on a recent talk on "What Needs Reform in the Church?" by Fr. Gabriel Daly who was speaking ahead of the launch of his new book, 'The Church: Always in Need of Reform'

11Nov The Iconoclast of Brittany!

Seamus Ahearne writes about the necessity of the ACP.
"I think the ACP exists not just to make noise or to be prophetic but to add ballast and communion to the collective in ministry. We are at breaking point as priests. We will fall apart if we stay apart."
" the ACP is to reach out and call attention to the tiredness and to the ageing of the diocesan priests. What is the support structure for them? Creating clusters and adding on more work to do cannot be the answer. Creative and imaginative ideas are necessary (as Francis said). We cannot go on as we are."
"The ACP isn’t just a vehicle for the journalists to use or an association of renegades. The ACP cannot be about the big noisy issues – nor can we forever be fighting big causes. It is the essentials of faith that are our interests and the ordinary issues of day to day life."

09Nov Fear or Faith

Brendan Hoban writes in the Western People about the type of bishop Pope Francis is appointing and longs for bishops in Ireland 'to take risks, to go forward, to face the future courageously’.

01Nov Priests call for open discussion on the need for equality of Women in all aspects of Church life, including Ministry.

A group of Catholic priests have taken Pope Francis at his word in calling for dialogue in the Church and have called for open discussion on the need for equality of Women in all aspects of Church life, including Ministry.
Their statement is attached for your information.

29Oct The need to grow in Wisdom and Mercy

Tim Hazelwood outlines his thinking, and that of the Pastoral Council of Killeagh-Inch parish, for inviting Tony Flannery to speak in their parish and the subsequent reasons for the withdrawal of the invitation.

The initial fall out from Bishop Billy Crean's intervention has been covered previously at "What did the bishop achieve?" http://www.associationofcatholicpriests.ie/2015/09/what-did-the-bishop-achieve/

20Oct Céad Míle Fáilte Romhat. Really?

Gerard Moloney writing in his own blog places a challenge before us; are we as welcoming as we should be in church?
"If any word summed up the attitude and ministry of the historical Jesus, it was compassion. All were welcome round his table. He used a ministry of inclusion to encourage people to be their best selves."

"Yet it’s clear too that not every Catholic feels welcome in the church, and that not all Catholics are welcoming, or accommodating, of each other."