Welcome and updates read to group from Noel McCann re the 11 October Meeting on ‘Starting a National Conversation’, to be held in Regency Hotel Dublin. Julie will place notices up in Kimmage Manor Church.
Teresa advised the group re. late September meeting of ACI representatives with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on Synod, and to advise on what has come up during our meetings.
Prayer together at start of meeting.
We discussed problems facing family life in our own experience. When did the cracks appear, when did it all start unravelling?
The various reasons given for this included
- sex abuse scandals and particularly the ‘cover up’ by hierarchy in Church, lack of ‘culpability’ by higher echelons in the Church, e.g Bishops/Cardinals not resigning;
- Scandals with priests such as Michael Cleary and Eamon Casey did huge damage to younger Church members who would have looked up to these priests;
- Political situations/structures affecting Families. Pat outlined the roots of the banking crisis as originating in pursuit of bankers’ wealth and power, spreading from Goldman Sachs across the world banks, with participation of Vatican Bank , displaying lack of morality and leading ultimately to economic havoc, stress and family breakup;
- People feel misled by Bishops. Bishop Comiskey was mentioned as an example when he assured people that abuse problem was being handled properly. Trust in Clergy damaged and find it difficult to support the family anymore;
- Bishops are viewed to be ‘absent’ not able to support their ‘flock’ anymore;
- John drew attention to the fact that many people were very disappointed that the Synod Survey was disseminated in only 6 of the 199 Dublin parishes;
- As a result of scandals…older people feel hurt and younger people feel ‘free’;
- Is the Church ‘fit for purpose’? Lay people feel they should have a ‘say’ in who their Bishops are;
- Younger clergy are viewed as being ‘very right wing’, focussed on institutional inessentials. We find that worrying, a step backwards. Jesus was not an institution person, but led by example;
- the Church attitude and teaching with regard to divorcees, gay people, unmarried mothers;
- Humanae Vitae is not accepted by the majority of Catholics today and should it be discarded, Church needs to change;
- Women – their position in the Church needs to be reviewed. Very unacceptable that women do not have a voice in the Synod;
- The only ’experts’ on marriage are people who have not been married, the celibate clergy;
- Most of the young volunteer members of communities such as SIMON, Vincent de Paul and the many others serving the poor and marginalised are not connecting with the Catholic Church yet much of the funding comes through Church collections. Great work is being carried out by these organisations.
Families – what does the Church do for them
Church is not encouraging cohesiveness – bringing families together within the Church Community. After Mass there is no mingling. Are we properly celebrating the Eucharist?
Major Family related Church teachings are being questioned by lay Catholics nowadays. The Church:
- doesn’t approve of unmarried mothers
- doesn’t approve of divorce
- doesn’t approve of gay relationships/marriage
- doesn’t approve of co habitation
- doesn’t approve of contraception……..etc
We are looking for Bishops’ accountability to the people they serve. We need leaders, our voices need to be heard.
There has been too much ceremony around Bishops- regalia and kissing of rings……not acceptable anymore. David Norris’s ‘Bishops being dressed up as a Christmas Trees’ was jokingly quoted.
The cult of Bishops is not any use to anyone, putting people off religion
They need to be ‘as one’ with the people.
Highlighting of Major Points we want addressed in the Synod
Accountability of Bishops
Humanae Vitae be withdrawn
Women have voice in the Synod on Family
Synod Survey not circulated by parishes. Why?
Next meeting will be Tuesday 21st October to discuss meeting with Archbishop Martin