Tony Flannery reports on the work of a group, which formed following the Network of Reform Groups conference in Chicago last October, that is tasked to produce a Charter of Fundamental Rights for all members of the Church.
My Mass of Celebration
Updated 26/01/2017 with video link and further media coverage
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.
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.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) has produced the first edition of their new newsletter, 'Leading'.
Mary Bergan Blanchard , editor, says that the newsletter "discusses who we are, why we’re here, and what we do.....
We are a prophetic movement. Organized religion needs to be reorganized. Millions of Catholics have given up their faith in disgust. If we do not regenerate the interest in the simplicity of Christ’s message, who will? It is buried in over 1,750 man-made Canon Laws. Women and all their contributions have been ignored for nearly two thousand years. Enough!..................... We are trying our best to inform all curious people exactly what we are about."
Tony Flannery at 70
Tony Flannery, on his own web-site, announced his decision to say a Public Mass in Killimordaly Community Centre on Sunday, 22 January, at 2.30pm to mark the occasion of his 70th birthday.
When An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, visited Pope Francis recently he agreed to take a message from Tony Flannery to the Pope.
Brendan Hoban in his Western People column questions if we're ready to hear the message of our Papal visitor.
... "the sad and difficult truth is that we’re not ready in Ireland for the man from the pampas of Argentina or the message of mercy and compassion that reflects the gospel Jesus preached..."
"The terrible tragedy is that we won’t listen because we can’t hear what Pope Francis is saying or accept the direction in which he’s pointing the Church.
The sad truth is that while a defensive Church is up to its neck in denial, our people will have their tongues out for the message Francis brings and the promise he represents wishing it, willing it and wanting it."
In response to the advertised discussion topic of " Are We Killing Our Priests?" at our upcoming AGM Prof. Thomas O'Loughlin, President of the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain and Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham draws our attention to an article he has published about the number of priests that are required in church.
He raises some points well worth considering and his conclusions are challenging;"it is obvious that there has been a serious crisis of under-ordination not just since the mid-twentieth century but since the mid-sixteenth century when as an effect of the Reformation debates the full-time, professionalized, seminary-educated cleric became the norm. Bringing the number of clerics up to quota would initially be a great shock to the churches: the education system of clerics would have to be altered radically, the expectation that this particular ministry would be funded by others Christians (who, incidentally, are expected to offer their ministry to the church usually without payment) would have to be swept aside, along with discriminatory canonical restrictions on who can be appointed presbyter within a given community."
Press statement from the Chicago conference of International Catholic Priest Movements and Reform Groups.
Tony Flannery reports from Chicago on the recent 3rd International Conference of Church Reform Network.
" A wide range of issues were discussed and worked on. The one I myself was most involved with had to do with the need for some type of Declaration of Rights in the Church. We believe that at all levels in the Church there is a lack of accountability in the exercise of authority, and little or no means of appeal or redress. A group, of which I am a member, was set up to work on this over the next year."