Association of Catholic Priests

  • The Association of Catholic Priests will hold a public meeting in Tuam this Wednesday evening, ahead of the Pope's visit to Ireland next month.

    This is one of four regional meetings being held across the country ahead of the Papal visit, asking what do we need to say to Pope Francis about the Irish Church ?

    Wednesday's meeting takes place at the Árd Rí Hotel in Taum from 7 to 9.30 pm.

    Fr Brendan Hoban, who will speak at the meeting, says it's open to everybody to make a submission, and a summary of the meeting will be forwarded afterwards to Pope Francis via the Papal Nuncio to Ireland.

  • The Bishop of Galway has called for an end to the current system of direct provision.

    In a statement from the Catholic Communications Office Bishop Brendan Kelly said the Direct Provision system strips people of their independence, their cultural identity, and their dignity and has lasting traumatic impact on residents.

    He went on to say that the direct provision model is not fit for purpose as it prevents people from integrating and it contributes towards the deepening of ignorance, resentment and suspicion. 

    The Galway Bishop questioned the level of transparency in the management of, and in the quality of the operation of Direct Provision centres. 

    Bishop Kelly says the State has fallen short by inadequately preparing local communities to effectively plan for asylum seekers, highlighting a lack of consultation, ineffective communication and information-sharing, and an absence of required social infrastructure and resources in health and education. 

    The Galway Bishop called on the Department of Justice to inform communities at the earliest opportunity about proposed Direct Provision centres.

    He affirmed to all in the Diocese of Galway that human dignity does not depend on the colour of a person’s skin, their nationality, accent, or their religious affiliation.

    Finally he urged the faithful to open the doors of their hearts, homes, parishes and communities to asylum seekers.

  • An ‘on the spot’ survey conducted by the Association of Catholic Priests in the run-up to the visit of Pope Francis, has revealed huge support for a radical reform of the Irish Catholic Church.

    The survey was conducted at four regional meetings held in July, on the ACP website in early August, in parishes and with a number of groups from different parts of Ireland representing priests and people with age-levels from teenagers to elderly.

    Participants were asked an open-ended question – What do you want to say to Pope Francis about the Irish Church?  - And could give single or multiple responses.

    In all, 1,396 participants contributed 2,288 submissions.

    2088 submissions or 78% of respondents, proposed a series of reforms under a number of headings, listed in order of priority.

    In first place was an equal role for women in the Church, in second priesthood and vocations, third – reforms in Church governance and worship, fourth – dealing with abuse and its fall-out, fifth – LGBT issues, sixth – young people, seventh –bishops and leadership.

  • A conference of Catholic bishops in Rome is set to discuss whether to allow married men to be ordained.

     

    The three-week conference in the Vatican is working on how to develop the faith in the Amazon -- and will discuss whether it's time to loosen the doctrine of celibacy.

     

    The Catholic Church wants to spread the faith among indigenous communities in the Amazon region.

     

    The Synod of Bishops is meeting in Rome over the next three weeks for a major conference on how exactly to do that.

     

    Part of the problem is there just aren't enough priests in remote areas -- and it means some of the faithful only see a priest as little as once a year.

     

    The suggestion from bishops in South America and some of those indigenous people is that the criteria for becoming a "minister authorized to celebrate the Eucharist" be loosened.

     

    And it's being suggested some people in communities in the most distant parts of the region  could be allowed say mass -- even if they have a family already.

     

    It would mark a break with centuries of tradition for the Church.

     

    Backers of the move say it might be supported by some bible verses referring to the practices of the early Christian church.