Major gathering of Catholic Church reform groups in Limerick next week

Redemptorist priest Fr Tony Flannery to host four-day church reform conference

Fr Tony Flannery: will host the Catholic Church reform event. He has been forbidden by the Vatican to exercise his ministry as a priest following articles he wrote for the Redemptorists’ Reality magazine. Photograph: Alan Betson

Fr Tony Flannery: will host the Catholic Church reform event. He has been forbidden by the Vatican to exercise his ministry as a priest following articles he wrote for the Redemptorists’ Reality magazine. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

A major international conference of Catholic Church reform movements will take place in Limerick next week.

The International Network of Church Reform Movements conference is being hosted by Redemptorist priest Fr Tony Flannery. Since 2012 Fr Flannery has been forbidden by the Vatican to exercise his ministry as a priest following articles he wrote for the Redemptorists’ Reality magazine.

The conference will be the first time such a large gathering of leaders of Catholic Church reform movements has taken place and will be the first such event hosted in Ireland.

The four-day conference will be facilitated by Austrian and Canadian leaders, with participants from 12 countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, India and various countries in Europe.

Among those attending will be Fr Donald Cozzens, Sr Jeannine Gramick, Deborah Rose-Milavec from the US, Fr Helmut Schüller from Austria, former priest Paul Collins and his wife Marilyn Hatton of the Australian Catholic Coalition of Church Renewal, Dr Astrid Lobo Gajiwala from India, Christian Weisner and Martha Heizer of We Are Church International.

Reform agenda

Topics expected to be discussed include perceptions of the reform agenda of Pope Francis; the future of parishes and communities; women’s equality; and communicating with the Vatican.

The gathering will not be open to the media or the public but a press conference will take place at its conclusion next Thursday.

Members of the public may attend an open session at 8pm on Thursday in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Limerick at which some international participants will speak of their experience of church reform in their regions and how this can be moved forward.