ACP meeting with bishops next week
A request from the Association of Catholic Priests, after last year’s AGM of
the Association, for a meeting with the Irish bishops, drew a favourable
response in early April when the bishops agreed to a meeting.
The meeting will take place on Thursday, 19 May at 11.00am in the Columba Centre, Maynooth.
The ACP will be represented by Tim Hazelwood (Cloyne); Brendan Hoban
(Killala); Dermot Lane (Dublin); Sean McDonagh (Columban); and Gerry
The bishops will be represented by : Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly (Cashel);
Bishop Philip Boyce (Raphoe); Bishop Denis Nulty (Kildare); and Bishop Ray Browne (Kerry).
Wishing you every blessing for an amicable and productive encounter. Be firm but friendly and insist on a series of meetings not just a one- off. Surely, if they are reasonable men, they will see the value and the sense in this suggestion. Like many here I’d imagine, I don’t have high hopes for much progress but you never know. The Holy Spirit in her or his wisdom may just move things along. My respect for the determination and dedication of the ACP representatives in getting to this stage.? My, but aren’t we slow learners in the RCC!
Best wishes, Gentlemen, and may the better team win! But who ever thought that the RCC in Ireland was an all-island or even All-Ireland or cross-border institution? The one Ulsterman on the episcopal team, +Philip Boyce of Raphoe, is as far from the Wee Six Border as could be. As he’s also in the departure lounge – half way through his 77th year – he’ll soon be heading off home to Downings or Ros Guill for a quiet retirement, kicking off his bishop’s boots as befits a Discalced Carmelite. Why not +Donal McKeown, or +Noel Treanor, or even +Eamon Martin?
But, by the same token, why did no Northern players make it onto the ACP All-Stars? Is there an opening for an Armagh lay(wo)man as referee or even lines(wo)man? What’s this Tom Fee used say about waking the sleeping giant on the sideline?
I am happy that such an encounter is scheduled to happen: I am sad it took so long. I am as comfortable with the respective representatives as I am sceptical about an openness on the part of the National Conference of Bishops to await what their representatives will report (will there be a total absence of “group-think”?). Eddie, I can go along with your dissatisfaction at almost zero representation of Bishops from WITHIN Northern Ireland. But I feel more confident of a less disastrous outcome to this meeting, than that which followed the 1921 Treaty!. But I do hope that it will effect some full blooded Spirit-filled headbeating and soul-searching….so demanded in the limpness that afflicts so much of the Pobal De in our island.