The two national representative bodies for Irish religious are heading for a major shake-up, as talks of a merger to create a new organisation intensify.
With almost a complete overlap of membership for the Conference of
Religious of Ireland (CORI) and the Irish Missionary Union (IMU), talks
have been ongoing for some time on bringing the two groups together in
one organisation, making the goals of both easier to achieve.
“We are exploring if it is possible,” CORI Director General, Fr Peter
Rogers, OFM Cap. told The Irish Catholic. “People were asking is it
necessary to have two groups and why not create something new and give
new energy to what we do. Both executives have met and agreed to explore
“We want to make sure we would preserve what is good in both
organisations, but see where things are duplicated. If change happens
too quickly it won’t last so the process will involve a lot of
consultation and listening. This is not a merger where one group
swallows the other, this will be something new and the work of both
groups will be respected,” he said.
It is expected that the union of the two organisations would need
Vatican approval and Fr Hugh McMahon SSC, IMU Executive Secretary said
that is one of the aspects which will be explored with the appointment
of a ‘change manager’.
“Some people have a vision that if we form a new group we can offer a
greater contribution to the Irish Church, but that vision is not
spelled out so we will employ a change manager to investigate the
possibilities and implications of this,” he said.
“It is not just a matter of pooling resources, if we go ahead a union
would have to be something better than what we have at present - more
effective - and that is the premise we are going on.”