FG organiser 'given hope' by leadership


SPEAKERS:FINE Gael general secretary Tom Curran, who helped organise the conference for the Association of Catholic Priests, said the leadership of the organisation had given him hope.

Mr Curran, who chaired one of the conference sessions, told the conference “I am an ordinary member of the church” in Enfield, Co Meath. “Today has made me a very happy person. It has given me hope.”

Speaking afterwards, Mr Curran said he was at the conference purely in a personal capacity and “absolutely in a non-political role”.

He said “I am a committed member of the church in my own parish.

“I would be horrified and disappointed by the leadership in the church and decided to become involved” in the work of the ACP.

A former clerical student, he gave up his studies to be a priest when he met his wife, but “I made a firm commitment and promised to stay involved in the voluntary sector. I have worked all my life in the voluntary sector.”

Mr Curran said: “I’m committed to try and have a church that reflelects everybody whether male or female, straight or gay.”

Opening the session on “vision” he said the ACP leadership “have really given people hope”.

During the session, lay speaker Samantha Andrews said she was “very aware of my place in the church as a woman”. She did not believe the church was a club because a club screened its members and “Jesus never came to form a club”. There was a need for dialogue and discussion and she was “hopeful those in the Vatican will be open to hear our voices”.