Programme for gathering on Monday 7 May

Towards an Assembly of the Irish Catholic Church.

10.15:  First Session:   Naming the Reality
Opening words by Brendan  Hoban.
Chairperson:  Gerry O’Hanlon
Prayer/Reflection:  Brendan Butler
Speakers:  (In the following order):  Joe Mulvanney;  Emer Dolphin;  Garry Keogh;  Phil Dunne  (five to six minutes each).
Open discussion.
11.30:  Coffee Break
12.00 noon:  Second Session:  The Vision
Chairperson:   Tom Curran.
Prayer/Reflection:  Samantha Andrews
Speakers:  (In the following order):  Cathy Molloy;  Aoife McGrath;  Tony Butler.  (About eight minutes each)
Open discussion.
1.15:  Break for lunch.
2.30pm:  Third Session. How to get from the Reality to the Vision
Chairperson:  Padraig O Ceidigh
Prayer/Reflection:  John F. Deane
Speaker:   Adrian Egan  (15 to 20 mins)
Open session.
Summing up by Brendan Hoban.
Day will end at 4.30pm at the latest.
Note:   A company called Eist will record the whole event, and CDs will be available at the end of the gathering.  Contact Paul Daly:   www.eist.ie

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  1. Pat Gaffney says:

    I was wondering if the gathering in the Regency on 7 May is open to all or confined to priests. As the sole organisation in our church in Ireland to give any hope into the future I wish you well for a successful day.

  2. The meeting planned for May 7th is significant, not just for the church in Ireland but for the wider experience of Church in other countres. To have an opinion is important, to pursue argument in support of that opinion is valid, to act in conscience is essential.
    But it is also necessary carefully to choose language that helps rather than hinders and to be patient for the right time to make pertinent comment. Raising the temperature by intemperate words or actions helps no-one and only impedes meaningful dialogue.
    The gathering planned for Dublin on Monday is indeed the right time. It is just a pity that recent actions taken by the CDF do nothing to allay fears that listening is not part of their agenda.
    It is a long road we walk together, plgrims in a prilgrim church.
    Let us hope and pray for care and understanding of each other in these difficult days.
    Chris McDonnell, Staffordshire UK

  3. Eddie Finnegan says:

    To adapt Brendan Behan’s advice to anyone wishing to rebuild a republic, maybe Item 1 on the agenda of the first meeting “Towards an Assembly of the Irish Catholic Church” should be The Split. If The Split doesn’t come in naming the Reality or in outlining the Vision, chances are that getting from the Reality to the Vision will allow lots of scope for The Split – though not necessarily before 4.30 on Monday next. Be Realistic – be Visionary – be Prepared.
    It seems to me that a lot of that broad-based preparation has been going on quietly, though not always widely acknowledged, through the annual conferences of POBAL DÉ. Pobal’s initial paper prepared for the 1987 Synod of Bishops was no doubt the spur for Tomás Ó Fiaich’s call there “to awaken the sleeping giant of the laity”. Twenty-five years later, both that paper and Garry O’Sullivan’s address to Pobal’s February 2012 conference make a good base from which explorers might move ‘towards an assembly of the Irish Catholic Church’. To construct such an umbrella everybody doesn’t have to agree on everything; achieving a broad base might be worth a few compromises.

  4. Paul Byrne says:

    I have a real concern with the stance being taken by the ACP and supporters. The Catholic Church has always been a teaching church -that Christ-given function is at its core. The Church is undermined in fulfilling that role if its teachings are constantly questioned by a group of its own priests. So, we are left with a situation where each person accepts the teachings with which they agree and rejects those that, for whatever reason, they don’t like. Clearly, without an accepted teaching leadership, there will never be unanimity on what’s to be accepted and rejected. Sounds to me like a recipe for disunity, division and chaos. The inexorable logic of the stance seems to be to break from Rome and set up a local, non-teaching church. Is that what the ACP want?

  5. John Gillen says:

    In response the Pat Gaffney, the gathering is open to all.

  6. I want to wish all of you involved, in whatever way, a successful Gathering on Monday and I look forward to reading the reflections/presentations on this site next week. If it had not been for the Association of Catholic Priests of Ireland, and this ACP site, during the last few weeks I, like many others, would have drowned in a sea of deep despair. I am so thankful to all the men and women who shared so many wonderful insights and reflections. I particularily admire and thank the many priests who contributed to this site without hiding behind the cloak of anonymity in this viciously dangerous time for them. When Mary Ruane first made us think seriously about anonymity I was in favour of continuing to allow those who did not want to disclose their identity to contribute. I think I was comment 52 of the 52 comments that Eddie referred to last night and probably one of the most boring and longwinded. Well, I have now, after the last few weeks,completely changed my tune. If somebody does not have the courage of their convictions to identify themselves then I think we should do without hearing those convictions — which are usually the most negative when the contributer remind anonymous. Eddie, I liked your new use of the famous GUBA. The Cruiser will be looking down very impressed though his wife’s uncle — if he still has power up there — will no doubt be calling for your excommunication.

  7. Martin Murray says:

    Will there be an opportunity for some regional clustering at the assembly? This might encourage some future networking.
    “To have an opinion is important, to pursue argument in support of that opinion is valid, to act in conscience is essential.” Thanks Chris. I’m going to stick that quote up on my fridge tonight.

  8. John Lawless says:

    Paul Byrne’s view is that “The inexorable logic of the stance seems to be to break from Rome and set up a local, non-teaching church”. This begs the question, “What is Church ?”. Surely the gathering of a people, of every shade and hue, who are genuinely seeking to hear God’s voice in the modern world constitute “Church”. God’s voice is heard in the tradition of the “teaching” church; but it would be a mistake to limit divine revelation to just one narrow strand. Maybe we do need to break from the Vatican, but that is not to say that we would break from the demands of our informed conscience and from the traditions of the church (as distinct from the oppression of Rome) as we attempt to seek God’s voice in the here and now. Many people in Ireland, disillusioned by the failure of the celtic tiger, are desperately struggling are seeking meaning. They are certainly not getting this meaning from the Vatican. To whom shall they go ? I am looking forward to hearing a variety of views on this and hopefully the meeting of 7th May will give me a glimpse of God’s people in action.

  9. John Duffy says:

    I wish all participants on Monday the 7th. well as they assemble in another ‘upper room’ to reflect and debate the pastoral meaning of the actions on that First Holy Thursday and the specific meaning of the washing of the feet. The mindset of the late Pope John XX111 as reflected in his autobiography “Journal of a Soul” clearly indicates what is likely to have motivated his initiative to convene the Second Vatican Council. Church leadership while demanding respect for “true teaching” – must exercise its power and authority with all humility and respect for all its brothers and sisters in Christ. The lessons of Church History speak volumes and I hope and pray that your dileberations will bear much fruit and that the true spirit of Vatican 11 will be revived and used as a fruit of the Holy Spirit to promote real renewal in our Church.

  10. Hiya. I see you’re no longer accepting registrations for Monday. Can I turn up on the day without registering? Thanks.

  11. Soline Humbert says:

    FR. OWEN O’SULLIVAN, a capuchin, is one of the Irish priests who is known to have been silenced by the CDF. His 2003 piece from the Furrow “WHERE ARE THE PRIESTS-PROPHETS?”asks some very timely questions as we are preparing for a prophetic gathering. http://www.womenpriests.org/teaching/osulliva.asp
    May the Holy Spirit be with all the participants.

  12. Martina Kealy says:

    Saturday 5th May. Marie Collins was wonderful on the radio at lunchtime RTE1 today. Follow your conscience, not necessarily the rules in the Church. Well done Marie!!

  13. I rang the Regency a wee while ago to enquire if they had the Loop System and would it be installed in the hall where the assembly will take place on Monday? Answer: negative…
    Oh, dear. That sets me back on my heels.
    My hearing – or lack of it – is such that I will be able to hear very little, if at all.
    I will go along and sit as close to a monitor as possible.
    If all comes to all, I may have to retire – bail out…
    My hearing aids are a help – up to a point.
    But in a crowd context they are pretty useless.
    (Tell me about it!)

  14. Kevin Healy says:

    Sean, re your hearing problem – that makes two of us.
    If we were handicapped in some other way, which God forbid,
    we could probably sue the hotel for failing to cater for us.
    Unfortunately, hearing problems don’t seem to be important.
    I need a Hearing Loop System installed.
    If I go on Monday I will wear a green orchid so you can reck me.

  15. Joan Finlay says:

    Dear All
    No great discussions, just a desire to say I will be with you in spirit tomorrow, circumstances do not allow me to be physically present. I will pray that the Spirit will be strongly present among you all, and am glad for people like yourselves doing this for our chuch God be with us all, Joan

  16. From the UK my thoughts and prayers are with you all day and beyond. Be bold, be brave, be open and reclaim the glorious libtery of the children of God for us all.

  17. Alan Gillen says:

    Just saw the event on news. Good luck to you. About time someone looked at church organisation. Married/women priests are not matters of faith and dogma, merely a reflection of changes in society. When Christ was carrying out his ministry it was a male led society. Times have changed considerably and some day there may well be women in charge of countries (!). Lets move the organisation forward and make it relevant to the 21 Century without materially impacting the core message.

  18. Shirley Larkin says:

    I have only just heard about this group and your meeting today on the national news. I would like to offer you my prayers and best wishes for a fruitful and productive meeting. You are engaging in important work in discussing the way forward for our church. I was so pleased to hear that at last there is a voice for people who wish to think about and discuss these ideas. The only voice I ever seem to hear is that of spokespeople from Catholic Voice and I have to remind my non-Catholic friends that they do not represent all Catholics. It seems that your organisation is only available in Ireland – I would love to be part of such an organisation as a lay person in England. Does anyone know of such a group? Thank you and may the Holy Spirit guide and protect you.

  19. Pat O'Gorman says:

    Thank you for an inspiring day and well done on the organization. It was great to hear the many voices of church expressed in criticism, in support, in prophetic vision and in hope and encouragement. It appears that there are many paths to the many mansions. I hope many hearts burned within. My wish is that we find communion through education, social justice, real belonging, active participation, shared calling, dialogue, listening, engagement and silence. I can experience all that without a magisterium even without a hierarchy or structure. “God alone is enough”; the structures need to support that pilgrim road.
    Lets go forward without fear. “We are all the Body of Christ, and even more so in our togetherness”
    (1 Corinthians 12:12).
    Best wishes for May 30th. Unfortunately I will be away but look forward to developments.

  20. Christine Lynch says:

    Is your organisation looking to reform the whole Catholic Church or just the Church in Ireland? If relating solely to Ireland, then we will end up with a kind of Anglican Communion, with separation from Rome in which case it may be more expedient for members of the Association of Catholic priests to join the Church of Ireland. Women can then become priests and in time bishops; and priests who wish to marry can do so. This would seem to solve many problems. For those who believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation, an opening could be found among our Orthodox brethren, who permit married priests. Our Lord Jesus Christ said that the “gates of hell will not prevail” against His church, so in time we will trust that God will provide replacement priests – perhaps from the third world? in order the serve the needs of Irish catholics.

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