A ‘Threshold Moment’: Bishop Michael Duignan

May 3, 2022 | 0 comments

“The more and more I see, the more and more I am convinced that much of our infrastructure, our systems, our pastoral practices that were beneficial in the past, now hinder rather than help the life of faith.”

So declared newly installed Bishop of Galway and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora, Michael Duignan, on May 1st, 2022. The first bishop to be given full responsibility for more than one Irish diocese at installation, Bishop Duignan’s appointment is reportedly to set a pattern for the future that will gradually reduce the number of Irish bishops overall, without amalgamating dioceses

‘Re-evangelisation’

Bishop Duignan continued:

“Here too we stand at a ‘threshold moment‘. Inevitably, there will be a sense of genuine mourning in letting go but these Easter days tell us that out of such death comes new hope and new life. Perhaps the Lord is asking us to throw out our nets in a different direction. In the direction of a new and profound re-evangelisation of ourselves.

“As individuals and as a community, perhaps we now need to focus on rediscovering that living presence of the risen Christ among us. We need to experience again the joy and excitement that His message gives. We need to rekindle our confidence in its ability to transform our oft broken lives and transfigure our suffering world for the better. We need to sense anew that, this joy, like all joy, is a joy that calls out to be boldly talked about and respectfully shared with our fellow travellers on life’s journey.”

For Bishop Duignan’s complete installation homily on May 1st, click here.

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ACI’s Campaign for Lumen Gentium 37

The Promise of Synodality

What we have experienced of synodality so far - and especially the presentation by Dr Nicola Brady on February 24th 2022 - gives ACI real hope that a longstanding structural injustice in the church may at last be acknowledged and overcome.

As all Irish bishops well know, the 'co-responsibility' they urge lay people to share - as numbers and energies of clergy decline - has been sabotaged time and again by canonical rules that deny representational authority and continuity to parish pastoral councils.  ACI's 2019 call for the immediate honouring of Lumen Gentium Article 37 becomes more urgent by the day and is supported by the following documents - also presented to the ICBC in October 2019.

The Common Priesthood of the People of God and the Renewal of the Church
It was Catholic parents and victims of clerical abuse who taught Catholic Bishops to prioritise the safeguarding of children in the church

Jesus as Model for the Common Priesthood of the People of God
It was for challenging religious hypocrisy and injustice that Jesus was accused and crucified. He is therefore a model for the common priesthood of the laity and for the challenging of injustice - in society and within the church.

A Suggested Strategy for the Recovery of the Irish and Western Catholic Church
Recovery of the church depends upon acknowledgment of the indispensable role of the common priesthood of the lay people of God and the explicit abandonment by bishops and clergy of paternalism and clericalism - the expectation of deference from lay people rather than honesty and integrity.

For the full story of ACI's campaign for the honouring of Article 37 of Lumen Gentium, click here.

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