Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bridget Mary Meehan will speak on Roman Catholic Womenpriests Movement in Ireland on Aug.20,2010

Humbert Summer School
News Release

August 13, 2010

A gathering of “democratic republicans” will assemble next week to discuss a radical blueprint for reforming the relations of the Irish and American Catholic Churches with the Pope and the Vatican.

The gathering will bring together leading progressive Catholics from Ireland and the United States, including survivors of child clerical abuse, a senior attorney specialising in litigation against paedophile clerics, a psychiatrist dealing with paedophile priests and a woman Catholic bishop.

The assembly will open in Castlebar, Co Mayo, on Thursday August 19 under the banner of the Humbert Summer School dedicated to the republican ideals of General Jean Humbert, the French Revolutionary General, who landed in Killala Bay during the 1978 Rebellion to liberate Ireland from British rule.

The independent forum will provide a platform for reform-minded Catholics to express their outrage at the unaccountability of the Vatican and continuing clericalist control of church affairs.

“It will discuss ways of liberating the Irish and American Churches from the diktat of of the papacy and the Roman Curia, as well as iniating new forms of ministry such as married male clergy and women priests,” said Humbert School Director, John Cooney.

“It will be the biggest public focus for establishing structures for innovative people-based church governance since the publication last year of the damning Murphy Report into six decades of cover-ups in the archdiocese of Dublin from the reigns of Archbishop John Charles McQuaid to Cardinal Desmond Connell,” added Mr Cooney, the Religion Correspondent of the Irish Independent.

Announcing details yesterday (FRIDAY) of the four day School from August 19 to 22, Mr Cooney, said that the reform blueprint would be unveiled in the opening-keynote address by the veteran American journalist and author, Robert Blair Kaiser.

Mr Kaiser, who reported the Second Vatican Council, 1962-65, will talk on “Reforming the Catholic Church- No more thrones.”

Responding to Mr Kaiser’s scheme for decentralising local churches from the power of the Roman Curia while retaining communion with the papacy will be Michael Kelly, deputy editor of the Irish Catholic and Augustinian monk, Fr Iggy O’Donovan.

The case for the ordination of women priests will be put on Friday August 19 by Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, who belongs to the fast-growing Women Priests Movement in America and Europe.

The Movements insists that its women bishops and priests have been validly ordained in line with the Catholic Church’s apostolic traditions and have ignored Vatican warnings that they incur automatic excommunication from Rome.

Irish survivors, Marie Collins and Andrew Madden, will receive their first public honours next Friday with the presentation of the Humbert School’s “Outstanding Courage Awards.”

Other prominent speakers will be One in Four Chief Executive Maeve Lewis, Californian Attorney Patrick Wall, who is currently investigating abuse claims in Germany, Boston survivor, Bernie McDaid, and Washington-based psychiatrist, Tom Drummond.

Taking part in debates will be religious affairs correspondents, Patsy McGarry of the Irish Times and Joe Little of RTE.

Speakers in debates on “A New Constitution for 20th Century Ireland” and “Can the European Union survive the euro crisis?” will include Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach, Dara Calleary, Labour Party Deputy leader and Finance spokesperson, Joan Burton, and Fine Gael Senator Eugene Regan and MEP Jim Higgins.

The School’s annual peace address on Sunday August 22 will be given by Church of Ireland Bishop of Tuam, Achonry and Killala, Bishop Richard Henderson.

For details www.humbertschool.ie and for registration humbertschool@gmail.com

MEDIA CONTACT – JOHN COONEY
087 2418461