Fr. Tony Flannery hosts International Network of Church Reform Movements participative conference in Co. Limerick

An International Network of Church Reform Movements conference will take place next week, from Monday 13th April to Thursday 16th April, in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Limerick. Hosted by Fr. Tony Flannery, the participative conference will be the first time such a large gathering of leaders of the Church Reform Movement have met. It is also the first time such an event has been hosted in Ireland.
The four day workshop will be facilitated by Austrian and Canadian leaders and participants will come from twelve different countries around the world, from the U.S. and Canada, Australia, India, many countries in Europe, and of course Britain and Ireland. Each of the main reform movements in Ireland will be represented. Many familiar names in the reform movement will attend; Paul Collins and his wife Marilyn Hatton from Australia, Donald Cozzens, Deborah Rose-Milavech and Jeannine Gramick from the U.S., Astrid Lobo Gajiwala from India, Helmut Schuller from Austria, Christian Weisner and Martha Heizer of We Are Church international, and many others.
​The main focus of the event will be to get to know each other, with the aim of supporting Church Reform, both at the level of structures of authority and at the grass-roots. This is the first time that this group will come together, so a lot of it will be sharing experiences and ideas on Church reform. Some of the topics expected to be discussed throughout the week include sharing perceptions of the reform agenda of Pope Francis, the future of parishes and communities, women’s equality and how to communicate with the Vatican.
A Press Conference will take place at the end of the conference, at 2.00pm on Thursday, 16th in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Limerick
This four day event is not open to the public but there will be an open session at 8.00pm on Thursday, 16th April in the Radisson Blu in Limerick. Some of the international participants will speak of their experience of Church Reform in their parts of the world, and how we can move forward. Members of the public are welcome to this event.
Sr. Jeannine Gramick, a Loreto sister who has worked all her life for equality for gay people in the Catholic Church, and who has had a long running dispute with the Vatican, will speak in the Unitarian Church, Stephens Green, on Saturday, April 18th, at 3.00pm. All are welcome to this talk.

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  1. Good luck to you, Tony, Helmut, Christian, Donald, Jeannine, and to your fellow reformers. Pope Francis can fail with his own futile current Synod strategy or at least try to succeed by switching now to John XXIII’s general council strategy. I hope you all speak up in favor of a new general council. Decisions by “infallible” popes (and their curial cliques) cannot work and have not worked. There are good reasons the Catholic Church made its key decisions by general councils with open debate over almost 2,000 years.
    It is now Pope Francis’ choice and decision to make, but you and your fellow reformers can help nudge him. Either way, the escalating government investigations will relentlessly increase and multiply. The Catholic Revolution that began recently in Osorno’s Cathedral in Chile will continue to expand and accelerate.
    The Vatican will be reformed soon — voluntarily or involuntarily. That appears inevitable at this point. Cardinals and bishops’ only real chance to save their hides is to urge Francis to call for a general council pronto, in my view as an international lawyer.
    With Pope Francis’ escalating stresses and strains that he still faces at his advancing age, including from the strongly reverberating bishop revolt in Chile, the pope must call for a worldwide and open general council while he still can. Otherwise, he will likely have a failed papacy.
    He should make his prophetic call for a council in this joyful season of Easter, or as soon thereafter as practicable, before it is too late.
    Pope John XXIII wisely, humbly and successfully did this a half century ago when faced with far fewer and less threatening crises than Francis increasingly faces.

  2. Joe O'Leary says:

    The synodal process has indeed failed, mostly because Francis chose a topic that brought out the culture warriors in force. Francis could indeed call a Council, but he would probably die under the massive strain of such a venture. And he would need to rethink the conciliar format, drawing on the vast variety of models followed in ecumenical councils over the centuries, instead of sticking to the bishops-only model that ensured the irrelevance of the synod.

  3. I hope it’s not a meeting held in vain…If the “reformers” have not a vision of the Church…that identifies real leadership for the Catholic women…then…the “reformers” may not succeed as they would desire.

  4. Desmond Donnelly says:

    Are there any plans to stream some of this conference on-line for those unable to attend? Many thanks

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