Month: July 2018

What would You like to say to Pope Francis about the Church – submit your views

Four public meetings, organised by the ACP, been held countrywide to give people the opportunity to articulate what they would like to say to Pope Francis about the church, and particularly about the church in Ireland.
The ACP realise that many people were unable to attend these meetings and have expressed a wish to have their views taken into account.
We invite people who wish to express their opinions to do so by emailing

Summertime and the living is easy (Gershwin)

Seamus Ahearne finds the ‘living is easy’ in summertime.
“The unexpected has to happen or we have to believe in the surprises of life. The unlikely does occur. ‘Summertime and the living is easy.’ That may not be so always. But in faith and with God, there is always a summertime.  The life of grace. The life of wonder. The life of love. It is there. Our church cannot be dour.”

The Quiet Revolution of Pope Francis – A Synodal Catholic Church in Ireland?

With thanks to Gerry O Hanlon and The Messenger we include the Introduction to Gerry’s new book.

Gerry O Hanlon sj has just published a book on Pope Francis and the Catholic Church in Ireland which may be of interest to readers of the web-site. More info available at Messenger web site.

Fifty years on and still a disputed question

Chris McDonnell writing in the Catholic Times, Friday 20 July 2018, suggests that “So after fifty years, where do we now stand? Acceptance of Humanae Vitae is a matter that has worried the consciences of older Catholics since it was first promulgated; for our children and grandchildren it is a matter of little consequence. Their decision has been reached in the light of practice and is unlikely to change.”

The curious case of the Archbishop’s comments.

Brendan Hoban writing in the Western People suggests that “Part of the problem we have in the Irish Catholic Church is that little respect was given to the critical voices that time and again warned against the icebergs stalking our voyage. A lack of vision, a failure in leadership and an inability to cope with the complexities of a changing world meant that the uncritical voices, especially those that echoed official thinking, were given an inordinate influence in the last few decades. And anyone who didn’t subscribe to the old conservatism was taken out in some shape or form.”

A Broken Dream

Chris McDonnell  writing in the Catholic Times on Friday 06 July comments on the shattering of the ‘American Dream’.
“The current argument in the US is not between Democrats and Republicans; it is between decency and autocracy.”
“”It is a time when the Christian voice of compassion and care must be strong in defence of those who have little, whose strength is insufficient to meet the challenge that they face.”

“Always say …… Always say”

Reflecting on his life’s experiences Brian Fahy reminds us how so many people who were strong and experienced in so many theatres of life were reduced to silence simply by the fact that the Church loomed too large in its authority.
“Let us encourage one another to speak and say how we feel and not allow the often, unconscious forces of power to suppress or stifle the truth that needs to be said and heard.”

‘You are the sunshine of my life.’

We marvel that in Ireland the sun still shines after a couple of weeks of summer weather and Seamus Ahearne gets in the humour to write.
“The sun shines. Faces smile. Hearts are lifted.  There is warmth in the air. There is chatter in the companionship of life. We feel better. We walk with a spring in our steps. The world around us is a revelation of mystery …………. In the dull days of faith, we need to catch the beauty and brightness of God among us. Faith cannot be fearful. God cannot be dour.”

The annual assembly of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP)

The National Catholic Reporter has a story on the annual assembly of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP). It says the conference “heard calls for the church to focus on young Catholics, embrace the pastoral theology of Pope Francis, and affirm the Second Vatican Council’s theological spadework.
In both his opening evening welcome and homily during the June 27 Mass, Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, lauded the group, calling it ‘a wonderfully powerful and necessary voice’ and ‘voice of hope and joy.’ “

Fr. Patrick Burke R.I.P.

Updated with a tribute by Brendan Hoban and with a tribute broadcast on Mid West Radio’s Faith Alive Programme by Monica Morley and Brendan Hoban.

It was with great sadness that we learned of the sudden death on Monday 25 June of our colleague Patrick Burke, priest of Tuam Archdiocese and curate in Westport Parish and Pastoral Co-ordinator of Clare Island and Inishturk.

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