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What Archbishop Martin thinks of the ACP

Justine McCarthy writes: ‘As for the left, namely the Association of Catholic Priests, he [Archbishop Diarmuid Martin] says: “The challenge is to find a way of dialogue with an organization like that. It can’t be done in press communiques…… not everything in church doctrine is up for grabs”.’
ACP’S REPLY: Is it that the Archbishop does not know what we stand for?  We have consistently stated that we are, and wish to remain, at the heart of the Church. (Check our aims and objectives, and the statement underneath it). We do not want to overthrow Church doctrine, but we do consider that some aspects of Church governance need to be looked at urgently. We too want dialogue, and we agree that press communiques are not the way to go. We would be happy to meet with the Archbishop, or indeed other bishops, at any time. We have made this clear from the very beginning.

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  1. Pádraig McCarthy says:

    I did not read the full context of this quotation, but I would imagine that the Archbishop knows clearly what we stand for. Rather than imply that he does not know, it seems better to me to take up the comment as positive: an openness to dialogue with ACP, which ACP is also ready for, and which clearly cannot take place in press communiques.

  2. Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh says:

    I have tremendous respect for the courage of the members of the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland. At this time in the history of our church, you are fostering dialogue, which is critically needed in our church.
    I do not know how the Association of Catholic Priests is doing in the States. If they are looking to you as their model, I will be hopeful that something good will come of all of this for the church.
    However, if the American ACP prefers to reflect the views of the American hierarchy, who just seem to want to please the Pope at any cost, rather than face the real needs of the church, then I do not have much hope for the American ACP.
    In regard to the clergy sexual abuse scandal, Archbishop Martin is doing a fine job in Dublin in making the abusers accountable. In contrast, the American hierarchy are still denying that sexual abuse by priests is happening, when they can get away with their lies. The American bishops even re-victimize the victims in court through their lawyers. The American bishops are definitely not acting as Good Shepherds, in my view, and neither is the Pope acting as a Good Shepherd.
    If the priests, bishops, cardinals and the Pope would reflect on and do what they believe Jesus would do in similar circumstances, I believe that there would be more success at ending the abuse of innocent children. In my experience, as a Catholic physician, the hierarchy in the US are just looking to the Pope as their model, and not Jesus.
    I believe that the Pope and Curia want to suppress all dialogue, and want us all to act as obedient children, so that they can maintain their power. Unless there is dialogue, there cannot be healthy change.
    Thankyou for supplying ways of being able to dialogue about the critical issues in our church.
    Sincerely, Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh, Chicago, IL.

  3. Anne Jordan says:

    As a lay person I am astonished that the Bishops and the priests in this organisation – the ACP – are not meeting regularly.
    How can we possible move forward if the leaders of our church and 1000 of it’s local leaders are not even meeting to talk! Press communiques are a very poor substitute for conversation.
    For an organisation that constantly preaches the value of individuals, families and countries talking through their difficulties, in an effort to reach a respectful understanding of differences, surely it’s the classic example of ‘do as I say but not as I do’.
    It’s no wonder the church is falling apart if Bishops in their palaces and priests in their comfortable homes refuse to pick up the phone and arrange to meet and begin the most vital conversation the Irish church needs if it is to remain a part of our children and grandchildren’s lives.
    Do we have to go the route of the northern troubles….everyone stay entrenched until so much is lost.
    What a terrible example from adult men who proclaim themselves pastors and leaders of a christian community.

  4. The Archbishop is quoted as saying “not everything in the Church is up for grabs”. Well, I can think of two items of church teaching that are no longer up for grabs as it would appear that the faithful have made their decisions. (1) Humanae Vitae is not followed by a majority of the faithful–I sometimes wonder if the people under 50 even know what it says. (2) Many people do not see second marriages as a barrier to full attendance at Mass-but, in the absense of any leadership from the teachers (i.e the bishops according to Lumen Gentium) they have just given up.
    Anne wonders why bishops and priests are not taking up the phone to each other. It is my understanding that Bishops were invited to the Assembly in Dublin in May. None attended. They are being invited to the assemblies in the West and South–let’s see if they come.

  5. Kevin Walters says:

    We too want dialogue, ACP
    It’s difficult when you are been stonewalled isn’t it?
    Or is it, JUST, what’s good for the Goose is good for the Gander
    I have been stonewalled for many years
    I have been trying (asking) for an answer to a question
    Is God’s Word Inviolate? And then respond to what I am saying.
    This fundamental truth (that God’s Word Will is Inviolate) has been breached by those who sit at the top table (Rome) but it appears no one has the integrity to call them to account, why?
    Will the heart of God’s church within the ACP respond to my questions?
    Or will you just place another brick in the wall?
    In Christ

  6. People like me are still attending mass for one reason. The kind of kind practical, courageous priests represented (at last!) by the ACP. We go DESPITE clericIsm, not because of it. Disingenuous comments by bishops, especially the ‘better’ ones like DM are so disheartening for ordinary Catholics. EVERY fool can see that the ACP is trying to rail against clerical bullying and not Catholic Doctrine. If ONE bishop was going to show a modicum of courage and offer their support I would have hoped it would be DM. Very disappointing.

  7. Joe O'Leary says:

    The Archbishop’s reported remark sounds like the quintessence of touchy, defensive clericalism. I hope the good nature and common sense of the ordinary faithful and their ministers can overcome this miasma of clericalism. As with Pobal, the bishops seem unable to respect any grouping that is not directly under their control, and no doubt the Vatican are urging them not to tolerate such groupings (hence Cardinal Brady’s remark about how the bishops would like to set up an association of priests, hoping the ACP will join it).

  8. Joe, where did you find Cardinal Brady’s remark–so that I, too, may go and adore it!

  9. Joe O'Leary says:

    It was in his reply to an invitation from the ACP reported on this website.

  10. Thanks Joe. I must have missed it. I believe that the the present goverment of our church have real difficulty in grasping the fact that the Association of Catholic Priests is independent of Church authority. I believe that, to placate Rome, the Irish bishops feel obliged to either ignore it or undermine it.

  11. As priests, all the bishops are more than welcome, and (you would imagine would want to be there) at any of the ACP meetings. Their difficulty might be that they would be one among equals.

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