THE ACP FULLY SUPPORTS THE BISHOPS’ ADOPTION OF THE SYNODAL PATHWAY
The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) wishes to place on record our full support for the Irish Bishops’ adoption of the Synodal Pathway as the way forward for the Catholic Church in Ireland, as underlined in the recent representative meeting of the Irish Catholic Church in Athlone on June 18, 2022 and in their commitment to a national synod in a few years’ time.
Pope Francis, who time and again, has placed a focus on synodality as ‘God’s way forward’ for the global Church, will have been well pleased by progress towards a Synodal Pathway in the Irish Church, not least by the significant and providential alignment of the 26 diocesan reports, in focussing on the same key issues.
It will be no surprise to ACP members and our supporters that, as an association, we are overwhelmingly committed to synodality and overjoyed that ‘a new way of being Church’ has received such a confident and determined impetus from both the recent listening process in Irish dioceses and from the active support of our bishops. It can truly be said that we are witnessing a watershed moment in the Irish Catholic Church’s repositioning itself for a difficult future.
On several occasions, Pope Francis has indicated that synodality and the reforms that will accompany it are, effectively, a revisiting of and an implementation of the vision and teaching of the Second Vatican Council.
The ACP, in our constitution ten years ago, positioned ourselves in exactly that space and we feel confirmed in our judgement and validated in our approach by both Pope Francis and the Irish bishops:
We are an association for Catholic Priests who wish to have a forum, and a voice to reflect, discuss and comment on issues affecting the Irish Church and society today (including) the full implementation of the vision and teaching of the Second Vatican Council, with special emphasis on the primacy of the individual conscience, the status and active participation of all the baptised and the task of establishing a Church where all believers will be treated as equal.
We look forward in hope and in confidence to playing our full part in realising and implementing what we believe, with Pope Francis and what our bishops have confirmed by their support, is God’s plan for our Church into the future.
ACP Leadership: Gerry O’Connor, Roy Donovan, Tim Hazelwood, John Collins.