The Association of Catholic Priests regrets the Irish Bishops’ decision not to make public the results of the consultation they have conducted with the Irish people on the Vatican questionnaire (Irish Catholic, 13 February).
Their statement that the results of the survey are ‘a matter for the Synod of Bishops and not for the local Church’ is contrary to the openness that Pope Francis is encouraging at all levels in the Church.
We fear that, at a time when the Church in Ireland is regarded with suspicion, this decision of the bishops will only serve to make many people question if they have really reported the views of the people.
It will also create the suspicion that the results of the survey may be adapted to make them more palatable to traditional views in the Vatican. And it will arouse needless speculation about their content.
This secretive approach confirms once again the need for the Irish Catholic Church – at all levels – to learn the value of transparency.
We hope that this approach of the Irish bishops does not indicate a lack of enthusiasm for the message Pope Francis is offering our Church.
ACP Leadership (Contact details on our website)