The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) hopes to hold discussions with the three bishops of the Archdiocese of Dublin as part of a diocesan Council of Priests meeting in the coming weeks.
This is one of a
series of meetings requested by the ACP of the Diocesan Councils of
Priests of which the local bishops are members.
“The first and the most positive response was in Dublin,” said Fr
Tony Flannery, leadership team ACP. “We would presume that when we are
meeting with these councils that the Bishop would be there.”
In October ACP stated it was “disappointed and saddened” with the
response to its request for a meeting with the Irish Episcopal
The written response from the IEC stated: “The Bishops are of the
opinion that engagement with the Association of Catholic Priests would
best take place at local level by using established structures such as
the Council of Priests.”
So ACP has had been in touch with the priests councils and has had at
least half a dozen positive responses so far.
“You are better talking
than not talking and any little step is important because we believe
we’ve got major problems and that shouting at each other across the
media won’t achieve much,” said Fr Flannery.
“Under the (agenda) heading of Vocations we want to talk about is who
is going to provide the Eucharist in 20 years time," he said.
the agenda is the handling of allegations against priests which he said
is "a thorny issue as what we have learned is there is no uniformity
between one diocese and another in how that is handled.”
The ACP’s proposed agenda, published in response to requests from Priests’ Councils includes:
2. Procedures for dealing with allegations against priests.
3. Following the New Missal, the impending translation of the Lectionary.
4. Pastoral implications of the current economic situation.
5. The role of priests in the appointment of bishops.
6. The renewal of the Church in this Year of Faith.