06Dec Irish Catholic Church – Crisis or Opportunity?

 Joe McVeigh suggests that we need to view the position in which our church finds itself as an opportunity rather than a crisis.
"this is not a crisis for the Church. It is a crisis for a certain model of Church leadership and ministry. The old model was based on the pyramid structure of the Roman Empire.  The Second Vatican council moved away from that model - in theory anyway." ......
"The prophetic role of the priest in Ireland today has been neglected. There has been much discussion about the need to reform the church rather than about how to make the Word of God relate to the lives of people of today."

04Dec AGM still in the News

Our AGM is still attracting interest with Sarah MacDonald writing in the National Catholic Reporter about the 'advice card' for priests that has been published by the ACP and the introduction of "Healing Circles".

03Dec Presider’s Page for 3 December (First Sunday of Advent B)

Advent begins today; the season is at its shortest this year. During these first two weeks, the Church focuses on the end of time, when Christ will come in glory. Then, for the last week of Advent, we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ.

02Dec No foot in the Slamming Door

Chris McDonnell writes in the Catholic Times about the decision of the bishops conference of England and Wales not to address ongoing problems with the language of the 'new missal'.

27Nov The Widow’s Mite

Brian Fahy's reflection on 'The Widow's Mite' reminds us "to give what I have, however little it seems. It will be the more in God’s eyes."
.... "This is a Christian truth. Every human being, every life is important: important to oneself first of all, important to God most of all, and important for all of us to learn."

23Nov A ‘Great Principle’ betrayed and belittled?

We carry reports of the bishops' conference in the U.S. approving liturgical texts according the the no longer approved ‘Liturgiam authenticam’ and the bishops' conference of England & Wales refusing to review the 'new missal' and seeming to again surrender their authority in such matters to the Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments and Divine Worship.
In the context of these reports Mattie Long wonders "With the New Zealand conference of bishops being the only one so far that seems willing to grasp the nettle of beginning to do something to rectify the absolute mess that is the ‘new Missal’, we can only wonder what is preventing others from taking their courage in their hands and responding to the authority and challenge that is presented them in the’ “Great Principle” of Francis."

22Nov The War against Francis

Brendan Hoban, in his Western People column, writes about tensions that exist in church.
"While the big battle – and battle it is – is going on in Rome, there are more minor skirmishes taking place at national, diocesan and parish level, between those convinced of the need to introduce sweeping changes in the Church’s laws and practices and those holding on grimly to the past."
"It is difficult to see how there can be any agreement between sides that are mutually and diametrically opposed to one another – sometimes to the point of bitterness – and every reforming effort by Francis is being fought tooth and nail, even reforms that are necessary for the very survival of the faith in parishes all over the world."

19Nov The Grace of Change

Gabriel Daly, on his ninetieth birthday, looks back at tumultuous change in the church.
Our best wishes to Gabriel on his birthday and our thanks for his permission to publish this article.
Thanks as well to Brendan Walsh, Editor of the Tablet, for permission to include this article on our site. It was first published in the 18 November edition of The Tablet.

16Nov The Church in Dublin: where will it be in ten years?

Dublin Diocese's website has published the speaking notes of Archbishop Diarmaid Martin's talk at the Patrick Finn Lecture Series given at Saint Mary’s Haddington Road, 16th November 2017.
Archbishop Martin made some very interesting points:
" ..... will involve new forms of priestly presence within faith communities in the changing future of Ireland."
"How do we reach out in a new way to people where they are and create a desire among them to deepen their understanding of Christian message?"
"What are the factors that alienate people from the Church structures of today?  Probably the most significant negative factor that influences attitudes to the Church in today’s Ireland is the place of women in the Church.  Next would be the ongoing effect of the scandals of child sexual abuse."
"A survey of young people’s attitude to parish was carried out in the Dublin diocese .... The report was one of the most disappointing documents that I read since becoming Archbishop.  Young people felt unwelcome in parishes."
"But the fate of the Christian is more likely to be that of marginalization rather than martyrdom."
"Why am I still optimistic?  Irish society is still permeated with elements of faith.  Residual faith, however, is probably more fragile in an indifferent world than in a world of hostility.   There are deeper elements of goodness and idealism and generosity among young people but despite years of Catholic education, they do not seem to have been truly touched by the knowledge of the person of Jesus Christ."

15Nov What happened to Seán?

The first Seán Fagan Memorial lecture was delivered by Angela Hanley on 13 November 2017 at the We are Church meeting in the Arrupe Room, Jesuit Communications Centre, Milltown.
We thank Angela Hanley for making the text of her paper available to us for publication.

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