Public consultations ahead of papal visit to begin in Mallow

Summaries of what is discussed will be forwarded to Pope Francis

The first of four public meetings ahead of the papal visit to Ireland next month takes place in Mallow Co Cork on Wednesday evening.

The meetings, in each province, will be held on the four Wednesdays of this month. Their theme will be "What do we need to say to Pope Francis about the Irish Church?"

The format will be a 10-minute introductory talk by the chair who will then open proceedings to the floor. People will be encouraged to speak openly and honestly.

A summary of each meeting will be prepared and a press release issued after the four meetings with the main issues highlighted. The summary will be forwarded to Pope Francis.

Organised by the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), this week’s meeting begins at 7pm in Mallow’s Mercy Centre and will be chaired by Redemptorist priest Fr Gerry O’Connor, a member of the ACP leadership team.

It is intended that everyone who wishes to do so will be afforded an opportunity to have their say.

On Wednesday, July 11th the public meeting will take place at the Árd Rí Hotel in Tuam, Co Galway. It too will begin at 7pm and follow the same format as that at Mallow. On this occasion the chair will be Fr Brendan Hoban, co-founder of the ACP.

Fr Hoban will also chair the meeting in Dublin on July 18th. It takes place at 7pm in Dublin City University’s St Patrick’s Campus, at E-Block, Drumcondra Road Lower.

The final, 'Ulster', meeting takes place in Cavan town at the Kilmore Hotel, beginning at 7 pm also, on July 25th. It will be chaired by Fr Gerry O'Connor.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is Religious Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times