11Apr Limerick Diocese Synod ….. a real marker, but the journey goes on

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.."

06Apr 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!"

02Apr Women – A potential for ministry in the church today

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."

01Apr Church Reform; too much, too little, too fast, too slow?

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?

29Mar Women: Potential for ministry in the Church

The Association of Catholics in Ireland (ACI) will host a meeting entitled:
Date: Thursday 31st March 2016.
Time 7.30 p.m.
Venue: Clayton Hotel, Galway.

23Mar Bishop: Irish hierarchy should reach out to priests like Fr. Tony Flannery

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.""

19Mar Gabriel Daly, The Church: Always in Need of Reform

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.

01Mar Rejoice in difference, Struggle against Division

Seamus Ahearne shares two personal letters he wrote to the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown, about the nuncio's refusal to accept an invitation from the ACP to meet with us.

"You will meet the formal church in your work. People will dress up. All the Liturgies will be done beautifully. You will be invited to a celebrating Church. I would suggest that the church you need to meet is the one on the ground; the informal one; the broken one; the hurting one; the one where most people have walked away; the one where lives are messed up totally."

"Your job is much too important for you to opt out of hearing the views of a very serious and passionate group – the ACP. How can you shape the Church in Ireland if you are dismissive of the experience of those who know the scene best?"

01Feb The Church: Always in Need of Reform – Book Review

Paul Graham OSA reviews Gabriel Daly's, "The Church: Always in Need of Reform".
He says of it 'I expected to find an intellectual outlook that had become passé, full of the thoughts of an old man unable to accept that the theological frontline has moved on. Quite the contrary, in fact. This book is a distillation of the best of liberal Catholic thought, expressed clearly and with conviction.'

20Jan Dublin Diocese 2030 – Quo vadis?

The Council of Priests of Dublin Diocese commissioned a report by Towers Watson to estimate the number of active Priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin in 2030 and estimate the Mass attendance numbers and number of people presenting for sacraments in 2030.
The report having made this estimate then puts forward some suggested ways of coping with the projected situation. These suggestions are to be discussed by the Council of priests.
How similar is it to projections made by others dioceses?
Are there any new imaginative suggestions as to how the Church in Ireland should respond to the impending virtual disappearance of priests from most communities?