Constitution

1. Name: The Association of Catholic Priests (Ireland). (ACP)

2. Purpose of the association: To promote the aims and objectives, as laid out below:

Providing a voice for Irish Catholic priests at a time when that voice is largely silent and needs to be expressed.

Giving an opportunity for Irish priests to engage proactively with the crucial debates taking place in Irish society

Full implementation of the vision and teaching of the Second Vatican Council, with special emphasis on:

  • the primacy of the individual conscience.
  • the status and active participation of all the baptised.
  • the task of establishing a Church where all believers will be treated as equal.

A redesigning of Ministry in the Church, in order to incorporate the gifts, wisdom and expertise of the entire faith community, male and female.

A re-structuring of the governing system of the Church, basing it on service rather than on power, and encouraging at every level a culture of consultation and transparency, particularly in the appointment of Church leaders.

A culture in which the local bishop and the priests relate to each other in a spirit of trust, support and generosity.

A re-evaluation of Catholic sexual teaching and practice that recognizes the profound mystery of human sexuality and the experience and wisdom of God’s people.

Promotion of peace, justice and the protection of God’s creation locally, nationally and globally.

Recognition that Church and State are separate and that while the Church must preach the message of the Gospel and try to live it authentically, the State has the task of enacting laws for all its citizens.

Liturgical celebrations that use rituals and language that are easily understood, inclusive and accessible to all.

Strengthening relationships with our fellow Christians and other faiths.

Full acceptance that the Spirit speaks through all people, including those of faiths other than Christian and those of no religious faith, so that the breath of the Spirit will flow more freely.

3. Membership: Membership of the ACP is open to all priests, those working in Ireland and also those working abroad.

4. Associate Membership: This is open to other Catholics who wish to join.

5. Becoming a member: To become a member a person can register on the website, or give their name and details to any of the leadership team.

6. To cease being a member a person can unsubscribe on the website, or inform one of the leadership team in writing.

7. Membership fee: This is currently €20, but may be changed by the leadership team, with the approval of an AGM. The funds of the association can only be used for the purposes of the association. A statement of account will be given at the AGM each year.

8. There will be a leadership team of five. Each person on the team may serve for three years, with the possibility of being elected for further three. Nobody can serve on the Leadership Team for more than six consecutive years. A leader may resign before the end of his term if he so wishes.

9. Leaders will be chosen at the AGM, which will be held annually.

10. An extraordinary general meeting may be called by two thirds of the members at 21 days notice, or by the Leadership Team.