26May ‘Where is love in the Lineamenta’?

Press Release by the Association of Catholics in Ireland concerning the forthcoming Synod on Family .
" a synod without the significant involvement of married laity will lack authority."

12May An open letter to Pope Francis

As a result of the 2nd international meeting of priest associations and lay reform groups that recently took place in Limerick an open letter has been sent to Pope Francis.
"Pope Francis, we – priests and deacons, ministers and Church citizens, women and men – need you! We appeal to you to clear the way for new forms of parish life, their ministry and management. Let us open the priestly office to everyone who has the charism. Let us develop new management models and forms of pastoral ministry so that parishioners can participate according to their charisms. Let us establish a new culture of co-responsibility and joint decision-making in all structures of our Church. Let us remember how Jesus understood and lived community. God’s spirit compels us. Let us be courageous and tackle this together!"

28Apr Lay reform groups discuss equality of women, church governance at international meeting

Sarah Mac Donald, a freelance writer based in Dublin, reports for NCR on the recent meeting of Catholic reform groups in Limerick.

28Apr Disaffection with Disconnection

Brendan Hoban in his most recent Western People column wonders when the limits to loyalty will reach breaking point for Irish Catholics. "The Catholic Church, as bishops and sometimes parish priests remind us, is not a democracy but if people are used to their opinions being taken seriously in every other walk of life, they tend to raise a collective eyebrow when the Catholic Church decides that decision-making is confined to a tiny elite."

23Apr What happened in Limerick should not stay in Limerick

Deborah Rose-Milavec reports on www.futurechurch.org about the 2nd international meeting of priest associations and lay reform groups that recently took place in Limerick.

17Apr New Era – Last chance: Catholic Priests Associations and Reform Groups unite in International Conference in Limerick, Ireland

Press statement following international conference in Limerick, hosted by ACP, that brought together over 30 Catholic priests and church citizens from Ireland, Austria, Australia, Germany, India, Italy, Slovakia, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S.

09Dec Vatican asks for wide input on 2015 synod, not based on doctrine

Joshua J. McElwee, NCR's Vatican correspondent, reports on the latest request from the Vatican in preparation for Synod 2015.
Will our bishops' conference be better organised, and willing, this time in getting the views of 'all levels' of church in Ireland?

17Nov Homily of Archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary, to the Association of Papal Knights

Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam, in a recent homily commented on 'Evangelii Gaudium', the recent apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis. He said that Pope Francis has called for a Church which ‘goes forth’, for a Church which as a spiritual home keeps its doors permanently open.
For this, he said, we need, more than anything else now, trained and committed personnel on the ground. Priests, of course, but also full and part time lay evangelists.

13Nov Association of Catholics in Ireland (ACI) Open Information Event, Belfast, Saturday 6th December 2014

"Helping the Church to become self-critical:
Why the laity are best equipped for this role"

21Oct Stones still Standing

Chris McDonnell reflects on the recent synod.
"What’s changed?
We don’t deny the faith of earlier generations by asking that question".
Chris is a retired head teacher having taught in London, Leeds and on Merseyside. Married with three children and eight grandchildren. He is a regular contributor to discussion in the catholic press, journals and blogs.