LOCAL PRIEST CALLS FOR SYNOD BETWEEN PRIESTS AND LAITY TO HELP SAVE CHURCH

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A Killeagh priest is calling on Church authorities to convene a diocesan synod whereby clergy and laity representatives can collaborate on issues concerning the Catholic Church locally and beyond, writes Christy Parker.

Fr. Tim Hazelwood P.P. says the move would accommodate diverse views and help both to resolve problems facing the Church and devise initiatives for the future. He says he is making the call because of “the seeming lack of communication and collaboration between those making decisions and the people whom those decisions directly affect”.

Challenging the diocese to “trust our people and be led by the Holy Spirit” he says “the real crisis in the Church in Ireland is, “we don’t know where we are going” adding that similar synods in Limerick and Killala, County Mayo had proved very successful.

The priest’s call follows a recent e-mail to the priests of Cloyne from Bishop William Crean explaining that there would presently be “no changes of priests”. The bishop instead encouraged them to reflect on “the adjustments of mentality and approach,” (i.e.” more work”, says the priest) and “to reconfigure our ministry across parish boundaries”. The bishop added that a discussion amongst priests would ensue “at deanary level” only.

Fr Hazelwood, further reflects on a resolution from last June’s Council of Priests of the Diocese of Cloyne, which stated that instead of a synod, “some representatives of parish pastoral councils” would meet with priests twice a year. “What all this amounted to”, he summarises, “is ten fellas below in Cobh made a decision that is affecting the whole place and nobody even knows about it!”

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