PRESS RELEASE 23 August 2018
Association of Catholics in Ireland
ACI welcomes Pope Francis’ letter but demands proposals for action
The Association of Catholics in Ireland (ACI) has welcomed the letter of Pope Francis
to the People of God which recognises the “abandonment of the little ones” and the
central problem of clericalism in the Church. However, there is no acceptance of the
responsibility of the Vatican and church leadership for allowing the abuse to happen
and for protecting the perpetrators when this became known. It is imperative that
Francis outlines this week the steps he proposes to take to establish zero tolerance of
these crimes and procedures for sanctioning bishops who fail their flock. Otherwise the
benefit of his visit and the World Meeting of Families will be negated.
In his closing paragraph Francis calls on the Holy Spirit for the grace and interior anointing
needed to resolve courageously to combat the crimes of abuse. He needs to use his visit to
outline his combat plan.
The U.S. Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is reported to
have reduced dramatically the instances of child abuse, why can it not be introduced
On the question of sanctioning of bishops, the ACI supports the recent call of Cardinal Sean
O’Malley for the establishment of a clear and transparent system of accountability and
consequence for church leadership whose failures have allowed crimes to occur.
The ACI welcomes the visit of Pope Francis, supports his initiatives to bring about reform
and renewal and recognises the hope he has engendered of a brighter future for the church.
The Association of Catholics in Ireland (ACI) is committed to the pursuit of a reform and
renewal agenda in the Irish Catholic Church based in the spirit of Vatican II. It is committed
to helping to re-build (through words and deeds) a united Church based on the teachings of
Jesus Christ – a Church that is inclusive, compassionate, accepts the equality of all believers
by virtue of their baptism and acknowledges its failures.
For further information contact: Anthony Neville at 086 8112715 or Noel McCann at 087