More Women May Walk Away: ACP Spokesman

Oct 19, 2021 | 0 comments

“Christianity was founded by women and then men took the ball off them and have yet to give it back. There have been many meetings with women over the past decades; all have ended up the same way – the women have walked away. I fear this is going to be the story of the upcoming Synod.”

So declared Fr Roy Donovan of the Association of Catholic Priests – in an interview with Sarah MacDonald in the Irish Independent of October 17th, 2021.

He was speaking on the Sunday appointed for the launch of a Vatican synodal process in every Catholic diocese.

According to Fr Donovan, parish priest of Caherconlish, Limerick diocese, “The Church is not used to listening to lay people speaking their minds and undoubtedly this provides a massive challenge to those at the top of the pyramid Church.”

“Everything – including ‘red button’ issues such as the ordination of women, the celibacy requirement for priesthood and LGBT+ teaching – must be on the table.”

“Let’s hope everyone will follow Pope Francis’ example that gives full permission to speak our minds without fear, judgement and ridicule,” Fr Donovan said.

“Patriarchy [shorthand for conventional male domination] is a stumbling block to mission.”

To read the complete Indo report, click here.

Sean O’Conaill
19th Oct, 2021


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ACI’s Campaign for Lumen Gentium 37

The Promise of Synodality

What we have experienced of synodality so far 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.


"Come Holy Spirit, Renew Your wonders in this our day, as by a new Pentecost. Grant to Your Church that, being of one mind and steadfast in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and following the lead of blessed Peter, it may advance the reign of our Divine Saviour, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace. Amen."

Saint Pope John XXIII, 1962 - In preparation for Vatican Council II, 1962-65.

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