By Gregory Dillon
The ordination of women may not be on the agenda for
either Pope Francis or the October Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome, but
the need for women clergy in a reformed Catholic Church will be strongly
supported at an international forum being held this week in the West of Ireland
market town of Ballina, in County Mayo.
Allowing women to be ordained in a
Church where the traditional male, celibate authoritarian priesthood is
literally dying out as elderly male clerics depart to their eternal reward, will
be a major topic for debate at the Humbert International Summer School, one of
Ireland’s premier not-for-profit voluntary organisations.
Established in 1987
the Humbert School is named after the French Revolutionary General Jean Humbert,
who invaded Ireland in 1798 to liberate the Irish from British rule, but was
defeated in County Longford on September 8 by Lord Cornwallis and his superior
English and Scottish forces. Humbert later migrated to America and was commended
by General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans.
The School’s Patron,
is Mr John Hume, the Nobel Peace Laureate. Its Founder-Director is Mr John
Cooney, an author and journalist specialising in politics and religion.
28th annual School, which opens in Ballina’s Merry Monk will be addressed by
Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party, Joan Burton. Ms
Burton, who is Minister for Social Protection in the Government led by Enda
Kenny, will speak on the subject of “Accountability in Public Life.”
major debates will cover the World War One’s enduring legacy, the EU as a force
for peace in a troubled globe, the implications of Scottish Independence,
climate change and Catholic Church Reform under Pope Francis.
September 7 Frenchwoman Soline Humbert, a well-known Spiritual Guide and
Advocate of the Ordination of Women in the Roman Catholic Church, will address
the School on the Church’s urgent need to ordain women to the ministry.
Her call will be supported by Brendan Butler, Chairman of the Irish branch
of the international We Are Church Movement. Mr Butler will also make the case
for married male clergy and the adaptation of church teaching on sexual morality
to modern insights of human psychology.
An appraisal of Pope Francis’s
pontificate to-date will be deliberated by the influential Michael Kelly,
Editor of The Irish Catholic. .
An innovative feature of this year’s four
day School will be sessions devoted to “Conversations with Authors.”
these authors will Canon Virginia Kennerley, who was the first woman to be
ordained a priest in the Anglican Church of Ireland. The Church of Ireland,
ahead of its sister Church in England, elected its first woman bishop last
Canon Ginnie, who is a former journalist, is Editor of Search, the
Church of Ireland Theological Journal. She is also author of Embracing Women
which tells of her path to the priesthood, and is co-editor of Homosexuality and
the Church of Ireland.
Meanwhile, the Vatican Two veteran reporter of Time
fame, Robert Kaiser, has sent his colleague and fellow Vaticanologist, John
Cooney, a complimentary digital copy of his just published book, What makes
Francis tick. Mr Kaiser addressed the Humbert School in 2010 as did Bishop
Bridget Mary Meehan of the Roman Catholic Women Priests Association.
of the School, Mr Cooney said he will circulate Mr Kaiser’s book among the
Humbert Club readers.
A special extra session will be held on Sunday
afternoon to pay tribute to Albert Reynolds, the former Irish Prime Minister who
along with John Hume negotiated the historic Provisional IRA ceasefire rwenty
On Sunday the “Remembering Albert Reynolds” will be chaired by
John Cooney, who covered the peace process as a journalist.
Also to be
remembering will be John Moran, Humbert School Photographer by Sean Garland, the
retired President of the Workers Party of Ireland, which before taking the
democratic route was the Official IRA.
For details of the programme see the
website humbertsummer school.com
Contact is John Cooney 00 353 87 2418461.
Here below also the Programme:
The 28th Annual Humbert School
Venue: The Merry Monk, Killala Road, Ballina.
Thursday September 4 – Sunday
September 7, 2014
Honorary President, John Hume, Nobel Peace Laureate.
Co-Directors John Cooney and Noel Coghlan
Accountability in Public Life
World War One’s enduring
Humbert Foreign Policy Forum: Is the EU a
force for peace in a troubled globe?
Humbert Book Club
Conversations with Authors.
Church Reform under Pope Francis
Bishop Stock Peace
Thursday September 4
7 p.m. The Merry Monk. Opening of 28th
Welcome – John Cooney, Founder-Director of the Humbert
International Summer School.
The Second Tony Gilroy Memorial Address:
Accountability in Public Life.
Tanaiste Joan Burton T.D,
Minister for Social Protection and Leader of the Labour Party.
Followed by Humbert Annual Dinner
Session 2. 10a.m. The First World War: The Home Front: Mayo’s Own: The
– Speaker, Noel Coghlan, Co-Director of the Humbert
International Summer School and former British Army Officer.
11 a.m. Coffee
Session 3. 11 a.m. John Healy Memorial Address:
Division in Ireland at the Outbreak off the Great War.
Kinsella, author of Out of the Dark, 1914-1918. South Dubliners who fell in the
Great War, (Merrion Publishers)
Chair: John Cooney.
Remembering the Dead - The Act of Remembrance – read by Noel Coghlan.
Session 5 Merry Monk 3 pm. ‘Its been a rough
winter’. Lords of creation – An ethical response to climate change
– Fr Sean McDonagh, theologian and anthropologist.
– Chair, Raymond O’Baoil, Humbert School Committee.
Session 6. 8 p.m. Humbert Book Club
Canon Virginia Kennerley,Editor of
Search, the Church of Ireland Journal. Author of Embracing Women and co-editor
of Homosexuality and the Church of Ireland.
Luke Waldron, author of A Dawn
Unforeseen, Journey from the West of Ireland to the Barrios of Peru, Liffey
Donal Flynn, author of The Future of the Irish Language, speaking
on “The Political Future of the Irish Language”.
Chair Stephen Stokes,
Antiquarian Bookseller, Stokes Books, Dublin.
Session 7 The Merry Monk, Ballina. 10am.
Humbert Foreign Policy Forum:
Is the EU a force for peace in a troubled globe?
Calleary T.D., Fianna Fail Frontbencherand former Government Minister of State
at the Dept. of the Taoiseach.
Dr Paul Gillespie, Irish Times
Ed Kelly, Former director, Irish Studies Programme, University of
Szeged, Hungary, speaking on Continental Drift: Syria, Egypt and the Ukraine in
the Age of Obama, Putin, Hollande and Cameron.
Giovanni Molinari, Italian
journalist living in Sligo.
Coffee Break 11 30 a.m.
Implications of Scottish Independence Referendum.
Dr Dennis Kennedy, former
Head of the EU Commission Office in Belfast and Deputy Editor of The Irish
Times, – Ulster Says No.
John Cooney, Dr Livingstone’s Blantyre Says Yes.
Session 9. 3. p.m. Visit to Kilcummin, site of
Humbert’s landing in 1798.
Speaker Dr Dennis Kennedy, author of Dublin’s
Fallen Hero. The Long Life and Sudden Death of Nelson’s Pillar,
Session 10 Maughan’s, Lacken, 4 p.m.
Humbert as Hollywood
Movie - John Cooney, author, historian and founder of the Humbert International
Daniel Rooney, Graduate student on Film, - Humbert Outside
5.30 p.m. Return to Ballina.
Session 11 8 p.m.
Humbert Book Club
Sean Boyne, Journalist, author and biographer of
Emmet Dalton, Somme Hero, Civil War General, Film Producer.
Author The Polish Irishman. The Life and Times of Count Casimir Markievicz,
Liffey Press, speaking on “Casimir Markievicz and the Great War in the East.”
Sean Boyd, Author Behind the Horseshoe Bar, At Dublin’s Shelbourne
– Dr John Kearns, General Editor of Translation Ireland, presenting a
special issue on Polish/Irish Issues in Translation.
Chair Raymond O’Baoill,
Communications Consultant and former Forfas na Gaelige.
Session 12. Merry Monk, Killala Road, Ballina. 10am.
Reform under Pope Francis.
Mark Vincent Healy, abuse survivor and
campaigner who met Pope Francis in July.
Session 14 Humbert Luncheon
Remembering Albert Reynolds by Dara Calleary T.D.
Moran, Humbert School Photographer by Sean Garland, Retired President of the
Workers Party of Ireland.
Chair John Cooney.