10Jan The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP)

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) has produced the first edition of their new newsletter, 'Leading'.
Mary Bergan Blanchard , editor, says that the newsletter "discusses who we are, why we’re here, and what we do.....
We are a prophetic movement. Organized religion needs to be reorganized. Millions of Catholics have given up their faith in disgust. If we do not regenerate the interest in the simplicity of Christ’s message, who will? It is buried in over 1,750 man-made Canon Laws. Women and all their contributions have been ignored for nearly two thousand years. Enough!..................... We are trying our best to inform all curious people exactly what we are about."

05Jan Tony Flannery at 70

Tony Flannery, on his own web-site, announced his decision to say a Public Mass in Killimordaly Community Centre on Sunday, 22 January, at 2.30pm to mark the occasion of his 70th birthday.

22Dec Message from Tony Flannery to Pope Francis

When An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, visited Pope Francis recently he agreed to take a message from Tony Flannery to the Pope.

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."

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