Do You Care?
Are You Interested?
In February 2012 the Association of Catholic Priests posted an announcement on its’ website that in conjunction with some others, they were organising a gathering called “Towards an Assembly of the Irish Catholic Church”. This gathering will now take place on Monday, May 7th in the Regency Hotel, Whitehall, Dublin from 10.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. Entrance is free, but there will be a charge for lunch. Those interested in attending should register at - www.associationofcatholicpriests.ie
This gathering is meant to be a first effort at bringing clergy and laity together to discuss the current state of the Catholic Church in Ireland. It is hoped that it will be the beginning of a process which will continue at all levels of the Church, culminating in a National Assembly at some point in the future.
The event is open to all who are interested including the committed and the alienated. The Bishops will be invited. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has been particularly strong in alerting us to the deep nature of the crisis in the Irish Catholic Church. He has noted that the abuse issue has opened peoples’ eyes to a much deeper crisis and has argued that the period up to 2020 will be the most challenging years that the Irish church has had to face since Catholic Emancipation. (Mater Dei Spring Lecture, February 2012). He believes that without renewal, the Church will end up as a ‘culturally irrelevant minority’ in Ireland. (Lecture in Cambridge University, February 2011).
Some Irish dioceses have already engaged in serious consultation processes in order to map a way forward e.g. the Diocese of Ossory, Waterford and Lismore, Down and Connor, Kerry and others. In Germany, the Catholic Church has committed itself to a 4 year consultation process at all levels of the Church and in France an Assembly of the Catholic Church has been convoked for Autumn 2012.
On May 7th, at our gathering there will be speakers, followed by discussions on the following topics:
(1) Naming the Reality, (2) The Vision, (3) Where to from here?
This will be an attempt to find a way forward as we struggle with the many crisis in Irish life, Unemployment, Poverty, Emigration, Sexuality, Spirituality, Care of the Environment etc. We believe that these initiatives by both priests and lay people are Spirit inspired and are an expression of our concern and our commitment to the spirit of Vatican 2’s understanding of the following of Christ.
For further information, please contact:
Matt (0504) 44013; Mary (0504) 22541; Joe (0504) 34994 or Pat (0504) 26466.