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......

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