Clonfert Diocese meeting of ACP

A meeting of the Clonfert group of priests members of ACP was held in Gullane’s Hotel, Ballinasloe on Monday 24th. There were eighteen present – among them P.J. Madden
from the Leadership Group and Fr Kevin Reynolds recently reinstated as Parish Priest in Ahascragh.
It was an excellent meeting . Kevin Hegarty’s paper to the AGM had been circulated in advance and P.J. gave an account of the various gatherings at the AGM and some of the
really positive learnings and experiences shared by people present at the event. Some of the topics discussed included Marie Keenan’s paper and the inaction of bishops in the case of priests who have been sidelined because of allegations against them even though the Garda have said “No case to answer”. There was quite a bit of anger around this topic. The apathy regarding the forthcoming Eucharistic Congress and the frustration of those trying to cope with the new Missal were other topics that emerged.
Kevin Reynolds was warmly welcomed and congratulated by the group and outlined for us the various events, meetings, encounters he has had since being doorstepped by the RTE PrimeTime team. He was deeply appreciative of all the support he received from all sources and from the ACP who directed him to the legal people who are taking up the cudgels for priests who have false allegations against them. Kevin spoke also of the pain of the whole exercise and the hurt that will take ages to heal. This is primarily what he wants and finds himself now having been cleared by RTE’s apology – finds himself in a ‘happy place’.
Kevin’s presence and what he shared with us was marvellous and all wished him well in the next phase of his healing as his case against RTE goes to court.
Another topic touched on was the possibility of a ‘Synod” of the Irish Church organised by the ACP in the near future Like the AGM, this Clonfert meeting was wonderfully empowering and hope-filled.

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