05Dec We’re not ready to meet 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."

09Nov How many priests do we need?

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."

31Oct Chicago conference of International Catholic Priest Movements and Reform Groups

Press statement from the Chicago conference of International Catholic Priest Movements and Reform Groups.

21Oct 3rd International Conference of Church Reform Network; Chicago, October 2016

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."

17Oct Marco Politi – The Association of Catholics in Ireland in association with the Loyola Institute, Trinity College

Marco Politi will speak in the Loyola Institute, Trinity College, on Tuesday 18th October at 6.30 pm.

21Sep Church faces ‘huge wake up call’

Noel Baker reports in the Irish Examiner on the The Irish Examiner / ICMSA Farming Poll that brought to light the latest views and opinions on religion and the priesthood among the farming community.
Taken among what is regarded as a very traditional group (69% of the respondents said they attended Mass every week), 82% of respondents agreed that priests should be allowed to marry.
Regarding the ordination of women 70% of those aged 34 and under supported such a move, but a higher percentage of older farmers backed the idea of women priests, from 75% of those aged over 65, to 87% of those aged 55 to 64. While 82% of men supported the idea of women priests, 76% of women were in favour.

Sean McDonagh commented “The most interesting thing is here are lay people and people of faith seeing that the present rules are not functioning and want to see a change to allow it to function better,”

The survey certainly shows a hierarchy with views at total odds with the laity.

Archbishop Brown, Papal Nuncio, said "allowing serving priests to marry or allowing women priests would not be following the Catholic tradition."

26Jul Breaking New Ground

Chris McDonnell writes in The Catholic Times about the shortage of priests and states that "It will soon be too late to consider a possible resolution to the problems we face unless we take active steps now to address our difficulties."
"there is a now a clear necessity for Commissions to be set up both in the UK and Ireland by the respective bishops’ conferences to examine the whole issue before the model we are currently struggling to manage breaks and we are left to pick up the pieces."

09Jul International Conference of Reform Movements in Chicago

Tony Flannery reports on the the third International Conference of Reform Movements which is scheduled for Chicago next October.
"we aim to enter into deep dialogue, understanding our similarities and our differences, enjoying our diversity and finding common ground leading to common action. In this way we hope to strengthen our commitment, and energise our work, for Church reform."

04Jul A failure of imagination and courage

Brendan Hoban writing in the Western People continues to question when the bishops will find the courage and imagination to face the 'vocation crisis' in the Church in Ireland.
"The simple truth is that the problem with vocations to the priesthood is that young Irish men are no longer saying YES to a celibate vocation, their parents are encouraging them to say No and the vast majority of priests in parishes know that prioritising celibacy over the Eucharist is not just bad theology, it isn’t working."

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......




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