Update Association of Catholic Priests Discuss Future of Irish Church

The ACP which represents 850 Irish priests held a meeting on 7 May 2012 to discuss the future direction of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

The organisers said they expected only 200 people to show up but there were more than 1,000, which they said was proof of the demand for a more open and democratic Catholic Church.

The meeting comes at a turbulent time for the Church in Ireland. Its leader, Cardinal Sean Brady, is facing calls to resign over his handling of a clerical sex abuse case.
The ACP meeting, entitled "Towards an Assembly of the Irish Catholic Church", took place  in Dublin. 

It has been described as a first effort to bring people together to discuss the current state of Catholic Church in Ireland which has been rocked in recent years by a series of high profile child abuse scandals.

One of the event's organisers, Father Brendan Hoban, said: "We believe that in 20 years time there will be very few priests in Ireland.
"We believe too, as everybody understands, that without priests you have no eucharist, and without eucharist you have no church.
"We are saying, 'what's the plan B'?"

 This is today's BBC Video Report from the Conference 

The Statement from Towards an Assembly of the Irish Catholic Church below is from their website here

"Over 1000 people, representative of a broad range of opinions in the Catholic Church, gathered today at a meeting called by the Association of Catholic Priests.   The meeting agreed on the need to recapture as a matter of urgency the reforming vision of the Second Vatican Council. 

The meeting called for a organised dialogue in the Irish Church, a dialogue that would work towards establishing appropriate structures that would reflect the participation of all the baptised.  

This dialogue should take place at parish, diocesan and national levels, and should address all issues facing our people at this time of crisis. We call on all who are concerned with the future of our Church, including our Church leaders, to participate in this dialogue. 

Despite all the difficulties, despite the fear, today was a real experience of hope and of the presence of the Spirit among us all."
 In recent months, some of Ireland's most vocal, liberal priests have been disciplined by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). They include leading ACP member, Father Tony Flannery, and the broadcaster and newspaper columnist Fr Brian D'Arcy.

 Fr Flannery, who is based in County Galway, was ordered to stop writing articles for a Redemptorist Order magazine to which he had contributed for 14 years.

 Fr D'Arcy was told he must get prior approval to write or broadcast on topics dealing with church doctrine. Further report and comments from Fr. D'Arcy here
 Source BBC News  here
Update  ***************

Report of meeting from The Irish Times here

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