General Meeting of ACI announced
The ACI will hold a General Meeting on Saturday 10 November 2012 in the Regency Hotel, Dublin. The meeting will commence at 11.00 am and will follow the ACP Annual General Meeting which is scheduled to conclude at 10.30 am. The principal items for discussion at the ACI General Meeting will be the draft ‘Statement of Objectives’ [see below] and the ‘next steps’ in the development of the ACI. Further details will be published on the website after the ACP Regional Assembly in Cork on the 13th October 2012.
Association of Catholics in Ireland
[‘Opening Pathways to Communication’]
Statement of Objectives [DRAFT]
The Association of Catholics in Ireland (ACI) is committed to the pursuit of a reform and renewal agenda in the Irish Catholic Church based on the letter and spirit of Vatican II. We are committed to helping to re-build (through words and deeds) a unified Church based on the teachings of Jesus
Christ – a Church that acknowledges failures, that is inclusive, compassionate and one which accepts the equality of all believers by virtue
of their baptism.
The ACI is committed to the renewal of the Catholic faith in the changed and changing circumstances of the 21st Century and to the reform of the institutional Church which, at this time, is experiencing conflict, crisis, and lack of credibility.
The ACI believes in particular:
- That the Spirit speaks through the voices of all the baptised (clerical, religious and lay).
- In the consequent right of all the baptised to have their voices heard (Sensus Fidelium) in the formation of church teaching and to participate
fully in the life of the Church, including decision-making at parish, diocesan, national and international levels.
- In the need for new and appropriate structures at parish, diocesan, national and international levels to facilitate the full involvement of the baptised lay faithful as ‘partners’ in the renewal of our Faith and the reform of our Church in the 21st Century.
The ACI is committed to working collaboratively with all who share these values to bring about:
- A renewed understanding of the primacy of the individual conscience.
- The full participation of women in every aspect of the Church.
- A recognition of the wisdom of God’s people in the shaping of Catholic
- teaching especially in the areas of sexuality, ecumenism and ecology.
Membership of the ACI is open to all who share the above objectives – including members of existing lay groups, ‘non-aligned’ individuals and
members of religious orders/congregations.
If you believe in the concept of a new lay organisation please engage in
the consultation process ‘on line’ via the ACP website, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org , through organising discussions in your local parish
or by attending the ACP Regional Meetings in Galway (6th October) and Cork (13th October).
I am desperately disappointed that I won’t make it up to Dublin for either 9th or 10th November. Doing my best to raise interest here though not having any success so far. Still, nil desperandum. The ACI has my wholehearted and prayerful support and I look forward to reading enthusiastic, heartwarming, affirmative reports and Peter McVerry’s talk online later. (and being stirred into action!)
“We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation
in realizing that. This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well. It may be incomplete,
but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.” (Oscar Romero)
I feel the following “the consequent right of all the baptised to have their voices heard (Sensus Fidelium) in the formation of church teaching” is an odd statement, as if the Church makes up its teaching on the hoof, through straw polls and public consultation, is that what ACI thinks and wants? I am reminded of when Jesus asked his disciples “who do people say that I am?”, the resultant answers were barmy, if not hilarious! Surely, there is a lesson there for any such ventures. I worry that what ACI is doing is planting the seeds of an Irish Reformation, a break away that will result in a large, modernist (anything goes) ACI Church, with only a small, but faithful Catholic Church left in Ireland. Is that what you guys want?
Mel, Vatican II talks of the infallibility of the kingdom of God — do they mean the infallibility of sheep who keep silent or do they mean a chorus of voices expressing Christian truth in rich harmony, with a consequent impact on the way this truth is expressed? The words “formation of church teaching” seem to be misleading you (I think you are hearing “tampering with defined doctrine”). In your opposition of “people” and Peter in Caesarea Philippi scene you reduce the people of God to mere outsiders. Then you toss in an anti-Protestant scare and a Modernist smear for good measure. One-sided thinking leads to such injustice.
Note also that the phrase “have their voices heard” echoes Newman’s “On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine.”
I wish to congratulate all concerned in the great work undertaken to date in establishing the Association of Catholics in Ireland.
I fully support the Statement of Objectives. I feel strongly, however, that there is a significant omission as there is no reference to the pursuit of justice within the Church and, more importantly, the pursuit of social justice within society. The wonderful insights provided by Liberation Theology could help inform us here.
I respectfully request that urgent consideration be given to this.