ACP meets Steering Group of new lay association

A meeting took place in Dublin on July 5th between three members of the Steering Group appointed to work towards setting up an umbrella body of lay Catholics and a representative of the Leadership Team of the ACP. It was a very constructive meeting, at which we discussed the relationship between the ACP and this new association, the process by which this new body could be launched, and what its aims and objectives might be.
The ACP assured the Steering Group that they fully supported this new initiative, and would do everything possible to help get it off the ground.  While they will be two separate associations, it is hoped that they can work closely together, and have regular contact between the leadership teams.

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  1. Anne Jordan says:

    I very much look forward to exploring and perhaps joining this group- trusting it will give me a positive lay group within the church to join – one which is focused on the love of Jesus Christ for all of us.
    I joined two others groups in the past – but both left me weary.
    Prayer groups have become focussed now on relics or gloves or divine mercy devotion and I for one, am left wondering what they are really all about.
    That’s why I hold out hope that maybe this group will help me celebrate living my faith as part of my community – a positive and life giving step.

  2. seán eile says:

    Anne – I wish you the best of luck. Yours is one of the most healthy and sincere contributions I’ve read on this site. It’s you (and like minded) hold the future of the church. Peace.

  3. Eddie Finnegan says:

    A Steering Group for an Umbrella Body – the imagery suggests very wet and very windy weather ahead, and “getting it off the ground” hints at flying a kite in a storm. So much more Petrine to call it The Baldacchino Band. Then we can all take shelter or shade on its bandwagon.

  4. Des Gilroy says:

    Mary Wood (July 7th) asks the question – is it another case of us and them? Let’s be positive and say that the two groups, operating in a spirit of togetherness but independently, avoids the accusation of one group being dominated by the other. The new group is to be welcomed as it will give an independent voice to the lay baptised. Its independence will allow it to focus on developments in the Church from a lay perspective as distinct from the ACP which will continue to represent the views of the ordained. Additionally, the ACP will want to deal with specific issues which are particular to the welfare of priests and they should be allowed the independence to do so with discretion.
    The relationship of the new lay body with the ACP should be similar to that between brother and sister – of the same family, working closely together with the same objectives but facing some issues from different viewpoints based on different experiences and requirements. There are a number of groups currently speaking for the lay Catholic. This umbrella group will hopefully make the lay voice stronger in the Church by unifying these groups. United we stand, divided we fall. Hopefully Mary will go along to an introduction meeting in her area and will then have an opportunity through the new group to make her contribution to promoting the word of God.

  5. Brendan Ryan says:

    Very belated arrival at this site!!!
    It’s just over 25 years since Sean Mac Reamonn R.I.P, Louis Mac Redmond R.I.P and others organised the first Pobal conference. The objective was to enhance the role of the laity in a church which is after all “our church”. Prophetic warnings were issued then about the corrupting nature of power. Sadly all that happened was retrenchment.
    Then came Ryan and Murphy. Murphy ( paragraphs 1.14, 1.15)bluntly dismissed the cherished excuse that the hierarchical response to abuse (and all abuse is abuse of power) was some kind of innocent mistake born out of ignorance. Murphy concluded that what the Archdiocese of Dublin did was not some kind of mistake. It was a deliberate decision to sacrifice children to protect the church.
    That was a scandalous wrong doing which calls not for apologies but for repentance.
    We still await statements and acts of repentance.
    And please please before all our hearts are broken will someone confront the tragic contradiction between the threat to immediately strip Sean Fagan of his priestly faculties and the assertion that child rapists were entitled to proper (and slow moving) due process.
    Our hierarchy tell us, by the way, that Sean’s situation is a matter for his order and the Vatican. They apparently “forget” that they named Sean Fagan as a prime example of “relativism” back in 2004.
    We need openness and we are getting retrenchment.
    My basic question is. Should I move to the Church of Ireland. It has many faults but it does have a role for the laity which extends beyond fund raising and and school board tokenism


    Very happy to learn of your progress in setting up a lay association. Once had a prayer wish, when a member of the Laity Commission, that there would be such a group where non-ordained persons could discuss frankly issues affecting our church and us as believing members, and then speaking our truth in love and if necessary confront as St Paul did St Peter in a walk towards understanding and unity in the Holy Spirit. Praying that the Holy Spirit will grant you the courage and love to work well and fruitfully with ACP and may they grow stronger in their committment to the Gospel of Jesus

  7. Actually, John Charles set up one of these in the 1960s. It was called the Patrician Group. I went to a lot of local meetings and did some papers until the local curate, who was a very tolerant man, called a halt to my gallop.

  8. I was delighted to see that the lay umberella group will be distinct from the ACP. I agree with those contributors who make the point that each group needs to have its own independence. The priests’ group is in a difficult position; if they speak their mind openly they are liable to be silenced. As such, I wish to express my full support for them, we need the prophetic voices.
    The lay group on the other hand has a different focus. I attended the meeting in the Regency Hotel and was heartened to see that so many lay people are disillusioned but are willing to work for change. Personally, change for me will come from the ground up. I certainly will not be looking towards the Vatican or the Irish Hierarchy for any movement. I have given up on them…if their voice was ever prophetic it has been compromised by years of watching their own backs. In the process, the gospel message has been corrupted. So it’s back to the ordinary laity to work together, to discover faith together and to find ways of bringing that faith (freed from the vestiges of religion) to a world which hungers for the spirit.
    I look forward to the gathering in Cork in October. Well done to all who are doing the hard work of organising this initiative.

  9. John Ryan says:

    I am so envious (in a nice way) of you lot having the grace of a Lay Gathering – whatever you wish to call it. Across the pond here, we have nothing, except a sea of apathy. Don’t squabble please. Look on your Lay Gathering as a New Grace to be nurtured and fostered. My prayers go with you in the hope that it you all will grow in strength. We have to be strong or we will be crushed – again. May God go with you as you progress in perhaps a series of stumbles. We in England watch you and hope to gain wisdom from your endeavors. Pray for us as a small band of brothers and sisters try to make a start on the long and stony road.

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