Report on meeting of Steering Group
The Steering Group met on Thursday the 19th July 2012. The following are the main points arising from the meeting.
· The recent meeting with the ACP was discussed, in particular the agreement to establish a separate and independent lay organisation.
· It was agreed that the interim ‘working title’ for the new lay organisation would be ‘The Association of Catholics in Ireland’ (ACI).
· A draft ‘Statement of Objectives’ was agreed – see below.
· It was agreed that this draft ‘Statement of Objectives’ would form part of the report on the meeting to be posted on the ACP website and to be circulated to those who have provided their email addresses to the Steering Group. It is hoped that this will initiate a vibrant discussion on the ‘Statement of Objectives’.
· ACP Regional Meetings ( Galway 6th October & Cork 13th Oct ) – the ACP have offered to facilitate discussion on the ‘Statement of Objectives’ at both Regional Meetings. It is hoped that these discussions (both ‘on line’ and at the Regional Meetings) will provide the impetus for agreement on the key issues at a General Meeting to be held in the Autumn. The Steering Group would like to acknowledge and express appreciation to those who have contributed to the ‘on line’ discussion to date. This process is a vital ingredient in developing the profile and policies of the ACI and all those interested in the formation of the new lay organisation are encouraged to participate in this process in the coming months. It is the view of the Steering Group that, having drafted the ‘Statement of Objectives’, the Steering Group should allow the discussion to proceed without further comment until the Regional Meetings.
· In the meantime the Steering Group will continue to work on drafting proposals on a range of issues such as organisational arrangements, media & PR policies, establishing a website, financial considerations, etc.
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’, through organising discussions in your local parish and by attending the ACP Regional Meetings.