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ACP Leadership Team lists three hopes for a New Pope

The ACP welcomes the present period of reflection in the Church, and commends Pope Emeritus Benedict for facilitating this by his resignation. We also welcome the growing realisation at all levels in the Church of the need for reform and renewal, in the Church all over the world, but not least in the Vatican itself.
We hope for the following actions in particular from the new Pope.
Firstly, we hope he will not reappoint the existing heads of congregations within the Vatican, or at least that he will only give them temporary appointments, and that he will bring new people with fresh ideas and attitudes into the system. This, we believe, is the only way that the acute problems in the Curia will be put right.
Secondly we hope that he will dispel the climate of fear and repression that has dogged the Church for some decades, and replace it with a climate of openness and tolerance. In this way the Church can begin to have real dialogue about the many serious difficulties it faces, and the voices of all the believers can contribute to the solutions.
Thirdly, we hope that the new Pope will put the full implementation of the renewal outlined by the Second Vatican Council at the top of his agenda, and that he will pursue it with courage and conviction.
ACP Leadership Team:
Brendan Hoban: 086 6065055. Sean McDonagh: 087 2367612
Tony Flannery: 087 6814699. P.J. Madden: 087 2208882

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20 Comments

  1. Church renewal has to start with education. Educate our children properly in the teachings of Jesus and His church. Currently children are under-estimated in their intelligence or else the modern children are less intelligent than those 50 years ago. Their religious schoolbooks contain cartoons which are supposed to appeal to their mentality but cartoons are never taken seriously. In second level the faith needs to be taught at a deeper level. I say “taught” as much of the “teaching” involves pupils discussing among themselves the various topics rather than being taught the Truth which has been arrived at through study and experience. Jesus was a teacher, He taught with authority, and so should His church.

  2. Ronan Coghlan says:

    One has to aske whether there is anyone in the College likely to pursue the course you recommend. If so, I feel he will need to be a tough specimen to whip certain prelates into line. The task facing him will be vast.
    I suggest that the following reforms are overdue:
    (a) reformation of the celibacy rule which, among other things, would allow the church to appoint non-stipendiary priests as they do in the Anglican communion, to help deal with the shortage of priests; also, it is well known that certain priests are living with women already and bishops have acquiesced to this if it is done secretly. Would it not be better to have them living in honest wedlock rather than surreptitious concubinage?
    (b) closer studies into the past and background of new priests should be discovered; a letter from the PP saying the would-be priest goes to Mass regularly is not sufficient;
    (c) each diocese should have a specific functionary to counsel troubled priests and if necessary refer them to experts;
    (d) appoint layfolk of both sexes to the College of Cardinals.
    I am not particularly in favour of the appointment of women priests because at this juncture there would be no consensus on this in the Church and many would leave because of it. It would also widen the current gap between Rome and Orthodoxy, which so much has been done to heal.
    Liturgical reforms should be carried out to make church services more attractive to young people. There is to little JOY in the church.
    Finally (controversial suggestion) there should be a Pontifical Secret Service to keep bishops and priests whose behavoiur was suspect under surveillance.

  3. For a good woman. says:

    Day of prayer and fasting for the laity as the Cardinals seem not to be doing it. When Peter was exiled from the Church the whole church was fasting and praying for him. Always before big events like this, have prayer and fasting – bread and water one or two days.
    A thought to empower us truly

  4. Kay Murray says:

    “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
    ― Plato
    I pray that our next Pope will be a man of courage who will be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and to the voices of the priests and laity in the parishes who know what changes are necessary to create a church of which we will all be proud and happy to be part.

  5. Mike O Sullivan says:

    We have almost lost one entire generation, Failure to get it right now will be catasrophic, there is much to be done and the cardinals that gather on tuesday can make the first move. I pray and I hope that they have the courage to do the right thing. Sadly history would show the odds may be long! Whatever happens we in the ACP and those in the ACI must not give up

  6. Why did the Holy Father resign? Perhaps when he noticed he wasn’t holy, and that some ordinary people – laity – might well be. Prayer is said to be a search for the truth, and now he’s set his mind on it, Joseph Ratzinger might well have much to discover. So do we all, but it’s not so hard when you never claimed to know so much.

  7. I fully endorse what the ACP has said. If there is not radical reform following the election of our new Pope, I can only see more and more people and youth distancing themselves from the institutional church.Maybe this is what has to happen for real renewal.An evolutionary approach to theology and christianity is called for, so that Christ’s prayer, “that they all may be ONE” becomes a reality.

  8. A really excellent and succinct statement — thank you all.
    “We hope he will dispel the climate of fear and repression ……… and replace it with a climate of openess and tolerence”. We have to have that as an absolute minimum. I think John Allen’s papabile for today (NCR), Cardinal Joao Braz De Avis would give us that – just a thought in case we don’t get Christoph.

  9. Mary Burke says:

    I hope that bishops will be elected by a combination of priests and people from the diocese to be filled and from neighbouring dioceses.

  10. I fully endorse this statement. Jesus was always compassionate and only condemned the self-righteous. I pray that the way forward will be found in trusting the Holy Spirit to do her work without needing to control and silence good people of faith. I thank those who have the courage and commitment to continue the struggle from within the Church even when you are persecuted in subtle and not so subtle ways for doing so.
    May God bless you all.

  11. Thank you, ACP, for your wise and succinct statement and thanks to Fr. Harrington, whose scriptural studies has been very helpful to many, including me. I studied under his colleague, R. T. A. Collins, O.P., at Providence College with Joseph Ratzinger’s aide, Gus diNoia, O.P. 50 years ago.

  12. sean o' sullivan says:

    I fully support the statement and gain consolation in the fact the the Kingdom of God is to be found in all of us in deference to the negativity flowing from Rome .
    Sean O’ Sullivan

  13. I heard this place mentioned on the radio today.
    A priest from Derry called Fr O’ Kane. I am not sure about popes and such, but some of you clearly have your work cut out for you.
    He had several masses, baptisms, counselling someone suffering anxiety and depression, calls to schools, meditation session, prayers and more masses. It’s a wonder the poor man had the five minutes to be on the radio.
    You said you are a member here Fr O’ Kane. It might not always be appreciated, the demands on the ‘front line’ priests. I hope whomever the new pope be that he won’t inhabit some ivory tower pondering the unreal; theorising and hypothesising and writing books about it all and giving the collection an appropriate title like ‘Fantasy Island’.
    That he will be real and realise the demands on the priests, and the needs of those they serve. That other people can get involved which there is no real reason they can not, and share the load.
    As you pointed out, I would not imagine what happens in high places will have much impact on your work as a priest working in a parish, at the coal face, which is unfortunate.
    They might not appreciate you but I am sure the woman you listened to this morning, the children in the schools, the people at the masses, and the others do appreciate all you have done and do, and the others here too.
    Take some time for yourself too. Thank you.

  14. Well done to all concerned. If the actions as outlined are acted upon, it could be the beginning of the new dawn we are all hoping for within our church.

  15. Lloyd Allan MacPherson says:

    I have three things myself that I hope the new Pope brings to the table:
    1. I hope for as much theology he may possess, he is equally equipped with psychiatry and be able to quickly identify evil and take a serious view of it, inside and outside the Vatican walls.
    2. I hope he wishes to work with the marginalized as they have now become the majority in Catholic society.
    3. I hope he understands that society has not become secularized. We’ve recognized that religion has devalued “God” in its purest form and we see this in the ever widening scandals and abuse taking place in the Church.
    With these traits, I believe he could attempt to bring about a kingdom that is a measure of human desire.

  16. What a great statement which I fully agree with. Thank You to all concerned with its compliation. Let us hope that it will now be listened to especially by those who have the power to make it a reality.

  17. Pádraig McCarthy says:

    When Benedict XVI was inaugurated as Pope, representative groups of cardinals, bishops, priest and lay people came him to to promise allegiance. Benedict, I hear, has reinstated the custom of all the cardinals taking part in this action.
    What I would like to see is this: representative groups come to the newly-inaugurated Pope. The Pope, rather than receive their allegiance, first makes his promise to them to serve them and all they represent, as Servant of the Servants of God.
    Then they in turn, in the name of all they represent, promise to work with him and with one another as people called to be co-responsible in the mission of the Church, as indicated by Benedict himself.
    So, if whoever will be chosen as next Pope gets to read this website: pray for guidance as to whether this suggestion is according to the mind of the Spirit praying within us all.

  18. Kathleen Faley says:

    I agree with the statement above in the interest of fairness and justice and the encouragement of a spirit of openness and dialogue.

  19. Nessan Vaughan says:

    Congratulations to all concerned on the statement. I fully endorse it!
    En passant, when I think of the role of the church, proclaiming the kingdom comes to mind. And what would the kingdom look like? Enda Mc Donagh has written beautifully and powerfully on this; he referred to the ‘upside-down kingdom’ where the last would be first, etc. I wonder what the implications of this vision are for Ireland and for the whole church? I realise it is a subject for future discussion.
    Nessan Vaughan
    Baldoyle
    Dublin 13.

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