Leadership Team Meeting, 09 December 2015

A meeting of the leadership of the ACP took place in the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone on Wednesday, December 9, 2015.
Among the items discussed were: a review of this year’s AGM, the structures of the Association arising out of decisions at the AGM; the appointment of an Administrative Secretary as agreed at the AGM; the possibility of forward movement on the concerns expressed in the three resolutions overwhelmingly carried at the AGM – on protocols around priests accused of sexual abuse, the disciplining of Irish priests and on unease with the appointment of bishops; and, finally, strategic planning for the coming year.
It was agreed that a report of the AGM be sent to all members.
(i) AGM
Satisfaction was expressed at the content, the level of participation, the turnout and not least with the decisions to help raise the profile and effectiveness of the Association, in order to bring its activities to a higher level. There was a sense at the meeting that, after five years of finding our feet, we needed to push on with the development of the Association. There was much comment on the increased level of energy palpable at the meeting.
(ii) Resolutions
As agreed at the AGM copies of the appropriate resolutions were sent to:

  • Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, the President for the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization – the resolution on the disciplining of Irish priests;
  • Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Prefect for the Congregation for Bishops – the resolution on the appointment of bishops. (This was copied to Archbishop Charles Brown, the Apostolic Nuncio.)
  • the Irish Bishops and CORI – the resolution on the disciplining of Irish priests.

It was decided as well to write directly to the Irish Episcopal Conference requesting a meeting to discuss the three resolutions – on the discipling of Irish priests, the protocols on accused priests and unease around the appointment f bishops – and to request a meeting with the Apostolic Nuncio to discuss our worries about the future of the Church.
(iii) Structures
As agreed at the AGM, the question of the Leadership will be addressed by the new Advisory Council. A first meeting between the present Leadership and the Advisory Council will be held on Wednesday, January 27th in the Hodson Bay Hotel at 2.00pm in order to advance deliberation on this key issue.
The appointment of an Administrative Secretary for the Association was seen as a key component in improving the effectiveness of the Association and the outline of a general job description was agreed. It was decided to advertise the position on the web-site within the next few days with a deadline for the acceptance of applications in the new year.
Some ideas were discussed relating to regional meetings in order to provide increased input from the membership on key questions. It was felt that a meeting of members from a number of neighbouring dioceses would be beneficial and suggestions were made as to how this initiative might be piloted to test its effectiveness.
A decision of some months ago to publish part of the ICEL 1998 translation, possibly Sunday Prayers and the Prefaces, is to investigated further.
A discussion on the care of priests, which is becoming increasingly problematic as priests age, was inconclusive.
The next meeting of the Leadership will be on January 20, in the Hodson Bay Hotel, at 2.00pm.

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