Two ACP members reflect on the AGM
Though I had, at an early stage, as token of support, become a member of ACP, I had not, hitherto, attended an Association meeting. I did go along to the Greenisle Hotel meeting on Tuesday evening but, mainly, to acknowledge the Association award to my friend Sean Fagan– a great theologian, shabbily treated by the Establishment. What I experienced was heartening: especially the enthusiastic support of the Association by the big attendance of lay women and men — they almost monopolized the contributions. I thereupon decided to attend the Wednesday morning session.
I am one converted by Vatican II. My articles in Doctrine and Life, during and after the Council, bear witness. I have been saddened by the betrayal of Vatican II over the past thirty years. I now know, from our meeting, that Vatican II is not dead. Now I am aware that I belong to a sizable group of priests, diocesan and religious, who still believe in Vatican II. And, happily and vitally, not only clergy, but very many lay women and men.
After our AGM I confidently expect that membership of ACP will grow substantially. We, and our like, will sustain the vision of Vatican II: a Church truly the Church of Jesus Christ.
Wilfrid J. Harrington, O.P.
Congratulations to all concerned for a great AGM,
My suggestion for the future. We need to stimulate a groundswell among the Catholic people of Ireland. So begin now to make preparations for a national Assembly of people, religious, missionaries and priests. Don’t consult the bishops, just go ahead. It is easier to get absolution than permission! Motto: “Recover the lost momentum of Vatican 11.”
Keep up the good work. Remember as Paul says “We know that by turning everying to their good God cooperates with all those who love him.” Romans 8:28.
Jim Stanley CSsR.
The AIP now come across as a more dynamic group than the bishops, and certainly as more capable of organizing the national Assembly Fr Stanley calls for. There was a national assembly of British Catholics in Liverpool in 1980, with no follow-up. Such ideas have never been taken up with any seriousness by our bishops. If people still believe in Vatican II and can ignite that faith in others, then they may be hope and healing for a church adrift. But people have been disappointed and left in the lurch so often that the challenge of inspiriting leadership is now huge. May the AIP find the grace to rise to it.
AGM was inspiring and propelled with a new energy for a new vision of church, a la Vatican II. I left with an uplifted spirit.
Thank you for the inspired words I heard at the AGM on Wednesday, October 5.
I arrived late, said a few words, and when sitting down I spotted Fr Wilfrid Harrington.
I knew I was in the right place.
I too would like to add my thanks and congratulations to the ACP for an inspiring and hopeful night at their AGM. It paralled for me the same hope, spirit and dynamism as I witnessed during Vatican 11. We know what has happened to that vision down through the years as great people tried to create a Church of equality, embracing the gifts and talents of all baptised members. It is encouraging to see that this group is capturing that same hope. We, the people are ready and willing to work together to bring this about. WE ARE CHURCH is alive and ready.