The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) has reinforced the strong disquiet that it expressed last year over the failure of the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Browne, to meet with its members to hear their concerns about the lack of consultation in the appointment of bishops.
This is out of sync not only with the openness that Pope Francis has proclaimed, but also with reforms introduced during the Second Vatican Council.
Since his appointment in November 2011, Archbishop Browne has played a central role in the appointment of 10 Irish bishops, and he is in the process of appointing six more bishops. The ACP feels that the Archbishop’s policies in the choice of bishops are inadequate to the current needs and at odds with the expectations of both the people and priests.
This is a matter for the Church itself, but the Archbishop is not likely to convince anybody if he does not at least listen to ACP, which claims to represent the vast majority of Irish priests.
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