26Jun Sunday Eucharist is centrally important

Pádraig McCarthy reminds us, and the bishops, that St. John Paul II said "among the many activities of a parish, none is as vital or as community-forming as the Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist".
John Paul also underlined the importance of “ensuring that parish assemblies are not without the necessary ministry of priests”, but according to Padraig 'the Church is not ensuring this.'
Time has run out for action to be taken but we wait, and wait, and wait......

21Jun Stifle debate, stifle church

Tony Flannery has written an article, published in The Irish Times and on his own website, about the attempted stifling of the debate about the ordination of women.

"The efforts made by the Vatican to silence discussion on the ordination of women over the past 50 years have been both unsuccessful and unwise."
"Though Pope Francis has said that this door is closed, his consistent call for open discussion and dialogue, and indeed for open doors, has created a climate where the whole issue of women’s place in the church is now centre stage."
"The effort by the Vatican to stifle debate, often by using methods that should never be part of the Christian community, is doing enormous damage to the church."

14Jun What do we need? Catholic Intellectuals or Cheer Leaders

Brendan Hoban, writing in the Western People, welcomes Archbishop Diarmaid Martin's recent comments about the lack of 'people of intellect who can address the pressing issues of the day' in the church in Ireland and the need for ‘competent lay men and women well educated in their faith’.
Archbishop Martin's comments, read in conjunction with Siobhán Larkin's research http://www.associationofcatholicpriests.ie/2016/06/nurturing-the-roots/ ,
point to a definite need in church and is a call for urgent action to address this issue.

19May Bishops meet with Association of Catholic Priests

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

15May Priestless Church Buildings

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.

08May ‘My experience at the hands of the CDF’

Notice of talk by Fr Gerard Moloney CSsR before "We Are Church" AGM

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?