Irish bishops answer only to Rome – laity, priests and religious kept in the dark
On the 25th of February 2017 letters were posted addressed to each of the 29 bishops of Ireland signed by representatives of 3 organisations:
- We Are Church Ireland
- Association of Catholics In Ireland
- Association of Catholic Priests
The letters asked each bishop to publish their Ad Limina report which they had sent to Pope Francis. The Ad Limina report is a 5 yearly report to the pope about each diocese.
- None of the 4 Archbishops (Armagh, Dublin, Cashel and Tuam) replied
- 19 bishops did not reply
- Only 6 bishops replied:
- Bishop William Crean of Cloyne
- Bishop John Fleming of Killala
- Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry
- Bishop Fintan Monahan of Killaloe
- Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare & Leighlin
- Administrator Mgr Michael Ryan of Ossory
We thank the 6 who replied, indeed some replied in some detail, which was appreciated. But the consensus of the replies was that the Ad Limina reports are considered CONFIDENTIAL and for the pope alone. Yet Pope Francis has been calling for greater transparency and a greater involvement of the people of God in every aspect of our church. Sadly the Irish bishops behave more like managers of a multinational with all reporting going upwards.
An Australian bishop speaking at the Royal Commission made this important point:
“I think we really need to examine seriously that kind of model of Church where it promotes the superiority of the ordained and it facilitates that power imbalance between the ordained and the non-ordained, which in turn facilitates that attitude of clericalism, if you like.“ – Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen (21 February 2017)
We call on our bishops to have the courage to follow Pope Francis and engage fully with all the people of God.
Core Group of We Are Church Ireland