Rocky Road From Dublin: Irish Bishops In Rome – seeking end of celibacy?

The Irish Bishops are in Rome for their ad limina visit

shamrockBelow, report from The Irish Catholic…

The Irish hierarchy will not ask Pope Francis to consider permitting priests who left to get married to return to ministry at a meeting in Rome next week after failing to reach a consensus, The Irish Catholic can reveal.

However, Bishop Leo O’Reilly, who first brought the proposal for discussion with his fellow Irish bishops, said the issue may well come up during a series of meetings the Irish bishops are due to have with the Pontiff and senior Vatican officials in coming days.

The possibility of married men being ordained to the priesthood in Ireland may come up in next week’s meeting between the bishops and Pope Francis, according to the bishop who in 2015 said the idea should be considered.

The bishop’s observation comes against a background of rumours that the Pope is willing to allow married former priests to return to ministry in Brazil on a phased and experimental basis, and as Ireland’s bishops are due to make their first ad limina visit  to Rome in a decade.

In June 2015, Kilmore’s Bishop Leo O’Reilly said he was liaising with other bishops about setting up a commission to discuss the possibilities of ordaining married men and of appointing female deacons, saying that the Pope encouraged individual bishops and bishops’ conferences to be creative in looking at ways to do ministry in the future, and that Ireland bishops must “consider all options”.

Saints are used to handling snakes...

Saints are used to handling snakes…

However, Dr O’Reilly told The Irish Catholic, no decision was made when he raised the matter with his fellow bishops in 2015. 

“There was a discussion about it at the bishops’ conference, and it was inconclusive – there was no decision taken at that point, and that’s where it rested,” he said.

“Where it came from originally was the diocesan pastoral plan,” he said, highlighting how it had arisen following an 18-month listening process in his Kilmore diocese which had led in turn to a diocesan assembly and a new diocesan pastoral plan to tackle such challenges facing the Church as the declining number of priests.

“The request of the plan was that I would bring it to the bishops’ conference, which I have done,” he continued. “I don’t know whether there is anything more that I could do on it.”

At the same time, he said, there was a chance that the proposal could be raised at next week’s ad limina visit of the Irish bishops to Rome. “I’d say it’s possible,” he said, “because I would have sent in the pastoral plan as part of the submission of the report to the Vatican.”  Source

Comment…

Well.. will Catholic Irish eyes be smiling at the end of this ad limina d’ye think, at all, at all? 

Pope Francis: Dublin Next To Host World Meeting of Families – Joke, Right?

Pope-Francis-and-Archbishop-Diarmuid-MartinPope Francis has announced that the next World Meeting of Families will take place in 2018 in Dublin. 

He made the announcement at the concluding Mass of the World Meeting of Families which ended in Philadelphia this evening. It was the final stage of Pope Francis’ historic trip to United States. Tonight’s Mass in Philadelphia was attended by almost one million people. Before Mass, the Pope greeted Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.

Held every three years and sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family, the World Meeting of Families is the world’s largest Catholic gathering of families. It has been described as a celebration of family life and of the Catholic Church’s commitment to support families.

Throughout his visit to the United States this week Pope Francis spoke on the theme of the family in a broad manner referring to issues of education, child parent relationships, employment and poverty. Speaking on the family at the prayer vigil for the World Meeting in Philadelphia on Saturday night Pope Francis said:

            “I think of all those families which lack access to basic health services.  Families which, when faced with medical problems, especially those of their younger or older members, are dependent on a system which fails to meet their needs, is insensitive to their pain, and forces them to make great sacrifices to receive adequate treatment.

            We cannot call any society healthy when it does not leave real room for family life.  We cannot think that a society has a future when it fails to pass laws capable of protecting families and ensuring their basic needs, especially those of families just starting out.  How many problems would be solved if our societies protected families and provided households, especially those of recently married couples, with the possibility of dignified work, housing and healthcare services to accompany them throughout life? 

            God’s dream does not change; it remains intact and it invites us to work for a society which supports families.  A society where bread, “fruit of the earth and the work of human hands” continues to be put on the table of every home, to nourish the hope of its children.”

Previous Meetings have been held Rome in 1994, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1997, Rome again in 2000, Manila in the Philippines in 2003, Valencia, Spain, in 2006, Mexico City, in 2009, Milan in 2012, and Philadelphia 2015.

Pope Francis, speaking of the World Congress, stressed that “the family which experiences the joy of faith communicates it naturally. That family is the salt of the earth and the light of the world; it is the leaven of society”.

The announcement comes just days before the inauguration of the 14th Ordinary General Assembly World Synod of Bishops which will take place in the Vatican from 5th to 26th October on the theme: “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and the Contemporary World”.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said that he hoped the holding of the Meeting in Ireland would be an occasion to take up the programme of the Synod to strengthen the place of the family in handing on the faith in the face of many new challenges.  He said, the family in Ireland is strong and the Church is called to take up the challenge of ensuring that future Catholic generations are prepared to live their marriage as an itinerary of faith.

The date and the programme of the 2018 Meeting  will be decided at a later stage in consultation with the Pontifical Council for the Family.  The 2018 World Meeting is expected to  extend to various parts of Ireland and given the size of the country, the event will take on different dimensions to that of the Philadelphia event which concluded tonight.

Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, has welcomed the announcement saying, “I am delighted to hear that Pope Francis has announced that the 9th World Meeting of Families will take place in Dublin, and that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is in Philadelphia with our delegation to hear the news directly from the Holy Father.  Three years ago the 50th International Eucharistic Congress was a great celebration of faith for Ireland, and it attracted pilgrims from all around the world.  I am confident that the World Meeting of Families in 2018 will also be an uplifting event for all of us.

“Despite many challenges, the family remains at the heart of faith and of so much that we hold important in this country.  Our preparations for the World Meeting of Families will inspire us as we implement, over the next few years, the recommendations which will emerge from the Synod on the Family in Rome next month.

“At the ‘Festival of Families’ on Saturday night in Philadelphia, Pope Francis said: “What God most wants from us is to knock on the doors of families and to find people who love each other, who bring up their children with love and who contribute to a society of truth, goodness and beauty.”  I look forward to sharing the joy of this announcement with Archbishop Diarmuid, my fellow bishops and with people from all around the country as we begin thinking about how, together,  we can best plan to make this significant international event a success.”  Source

Comment

Lots of references to “family” and “marriage” in there, but in a formerly Catholic land where the Bishops (especially Archbishop Diarmuid Martin) did nothing to discourage Catholics from voting for same-sex “marriage” and, in fact, gave their tacit, some of us think open support to the YES campaign, this announcement comes as yet one more scandal.  Pope Francis, remember, to this day has remained silent on the pro-same-sex “marriage” vote in Ireland. It is curious, then,  to say the least, that he has chosen Ireland as the host country for the next meeting on “the family” in 2018.  What’s going on?  Precisely how will “marriage” and “the family” be defined by the Irish authorities charged with preparing this World Meeting of “Families”? I’m already seeing rainbow flags and “pride” marches celebrating the event. St Patrick, pray for us!

Court Vs Conversation…

Obviously, it is wrong to use an employer’s time to evangelise (or do anything else that is unrelated to the job  – that’s stealing) but what about breaks, lunchtime etc?  Is it OK to discuss religion, hopefully bring colleagues to at least think about the Faith? Or is it a case of “not the time or the place” ?  On a more sinister note, is it too risky to evangelise in the workplace? The point is made near the end of the short video that these cases of perceived inappropriate remarks by one employee to another, could easily be settled by a conversation with the employer – as any boss with even a modicum of management skill would know by instinct. So, what do you think – is a call to the boss’s office for a conversation about the complaint preferable to an appearance in court?

General Discussion (8)

If there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to  GeneralDiscussion3peoplemake about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you. However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment.  Readers have occasionally gone straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes before posting here, please and thank you!

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions. Whatever.

Enjoy!

To read General Discussion Thread (1) click here (2) click here (3) click here
(4) click here (5) click here (6) click here (7) click here

Same-Sex Vote: Priests For YES – Resign!

FrEgan2Fr Adrian Egan (above) published a letter in the Irish Times, 30 April, in which he asserted his intention to vote YES in the same-sex marriage referendum to take place in Ireland on 22nd May. Click on the photo to read his letter, published on a new website called Priests For Yes – I mean, can it get any worse?  Brazen priests boasting about their support for unnatural and immoral sexual behaviour, basing their opinions on a childish understanding of “love” and “equality”.  

Then another priest, Fr Brian O’Fearraigh, announced (to his congregation at Mass) that he, too, would be voting YES.  It’s not a Church matter, it’s a state matter was his crackpot defence.  What was that about “diabolical disorientation”?  You bet… For if the Devil isn’t working in these priests, I can’t think what’s driving them – definitely not logic, theology, scripture or even elementary knowledge of the natural moral law.   Here’s the report from the Irish Examiner – brace yourself…

“In voting Yes we are saying that the state will be recognising and cherishing all of it’s citizens regardless of their sexual orientation or who they are,” said Fr O’Fearraigh.      FrBrianOFearraighDonegalPriestMarRef_large

Fr O’Fearraigh said that his conscience is clear with regard his decision, regardless of the fact that his bishop, Bishop of Raphoe Philip Boyce, had publically declared he would be voting No.

“The reality of same-sex marriage is a reality that in no way threatens me or in no way offends me as an individual, as a priest and ultimately as a citizen of this state.”

Barry Jones, a spokesperson for StandUp4Marriage, a group advocating a No vote was speaking on the same station to Greg Hughes and said that the referendum was “a matter for every individual, it’s as simple as that, and that is a matter for him whatever way he wants to vote. It certainly sounds to me that he [Fr O Fearraigh] is misguided”.

The referendum takes place on May 22Source – note, includes short audio clip of Fr O’Fearraigh defending his indefensible position.

Comment

We’ve had a number of threads to discuss the forthcoming referendum in Ireland.  This thread is not about that. It’s about the following:  

1)  how come these priests have no awareness of the nature and purpose of conscience?  

2) why is their Superior/Bishop not insisting that they resign from active priestly ministry? Do you think they should resign?

3) What should Catholics do if their priest publicly announces his intention to vote for same-sex marriage or otherwise publicly attacks dogma or morals?  I once told a priest after Mass that if he did that again, I would publicly correct him. Should we do that, even though, I’m told, technically it’s against the law of the land. Does anyone care?

Finally….

The key question MUST be asked and answered:  is it possible for a Catholic priest to “disagree” with God’s natural moral order and undermine the Church by handing over guardianship of God’s objective moral law to the State?  Is that possible? And still remain in a position of influence over the Catholic people, to feed them stones instead of bread?  What does Canon Law have to say on the matter?

Homosexuality: Judge For Yourself…

There’s a “new kid on the block” in the form of what looks to be an excellent new website full of  factual information on homosexuality. Below is the text from their home page. Check out the statistics – very interesting indeed, although not at all well known.  I wonder why not?     Statisticssamesexlifestyel

“Pope Francis made his famous comment “Who am I to judge?” in the context of a question on homosexuality. The Catholic Church reminds us everyone is called to chaste “self-mastery”, according to our state in life, married or single, irrespective of sex, age or orientation. There is no discrimination in this call to self mastery, it applies to everyone.

In the face of a one-sided campaign by sections of the media in promotion of the same-sex lifestyle, this website presents facts, statistics and insight into the nature of marriage between husband and wife compared to other household structures.

Then you the reader can make up your own mind.

“This is an educative, information project.  Whilst the information on some of these websites and links are excellent, we cannot take responsibility for the content provided on other websites, or for statements or comments of their representatives in other contexts.”  Source

Comment

Hopefully, the faithful in Ireland will be able to put the information provided on this new website to good use as they continue to battle against the introduction of same sex “marriage” in their once Catholic island.  St Patrick, pray for them!

Of course, the information provided on this new website, the studies and the statistics, stand in stark contrast to the propaganda peddled day and daily by the UK and Irish media.  Why?  Isn’t the media mantra that they are seekers after facts and truth?

Evil: Is It Ever Moral To Be Neutral?

collarpriestAfter a consultation with our members, the results of which indicated clearly a wide range of views, the Association of Catholic Priests has decided not to adopt a position in favour or against the Marriage Equality referendum.

At the same time we appeal for a respectful and civilised debate in which the issues involved can be discussed in a calm and reasonable manner. Sexual orientation does not debar anyone from God’s love. If as priests we are speaking on this matter, we need to remember that the use of intemperate language can cause deep hurt among gay people and their families, as well as doing further damage to an already ailing church.

The ACP asserts the particular responsibility that devolves on priests to measure their words carefully, and not to direct their parishioners to vote Yes or No.

We look forward to a debate that will be characterized by freedom of speech and respectful listening so that the best result for the Irish people might be reached.   Source

Comment:

In the English-based Catholic Herald dated 27 March, Irish journalist, Mary Kenny, wrote: “I have a vote in this referendum, but I shall abstain. As I am not a formal resident of Ireland, I don’t think I should seek to influence the laws of Irish society. That doesn’t stop me from having an opinion, of course.”  Her opinion has obviously given rise to the headline There’s no such thing as ‘equal marriage’ [because] Ms Kenny argues, “all marriages are power struggles. ”   Eh? shamrock

Is it ever right to remain neutral, to abstain, in the fight against evil? Or have the goal-posts moved so far along the way now that civil partnerships/same-sex marriage (and other couplings outside of lifelong, traditional marriage) are no longer to be considered “evil”?  

Ireland goes to the polls to vote to overturn God’s moral law on 22 May.  Is it possible for any Catholic to remain neutral in the run up to this awful event, especially those charged with preaching the Catholic Faith and true morals?  And is it possible, in good conscience, for any Catholic to abstain from voting – no matter where he/she lives?  Comments invited…

Some time later…

The following video was brought to my attention – worth taking 3 minutes to view…