The new “Association of Catholics in Ireland” (ACI) launches tomorrow in Dublin.
ACI is lay-led and has adopted the motto, “Following Christ, Changing Church.” It lists the following “objectives” on its website (click the link to see a more extended statement):
Statement of Objectives
Association of Catholics in Ireland
Following Christ, Changing Church
Ar lorg Chríost chuig Eaglais athnuaite
The Association of Catholics in Ireland ACI is committed to the pursuit of a reform and renewal agenda in the Irish Catholic Church based on the letter and spirit of Vatican II. We are committed to helping to re-build (through words and deeds) a united Church based on the teachings of Jesus Christ – a Church that is inclusive, compassionate, accepts the equality of all believers by virtue of their baptism and acknowledges its failures.
The ACI is committed to the renewal of the Catholic faith in the changed and changing circumstances of the 21st Century and to the reform of the institutional church which, at this time, is experiencing conflict, crisis, and lack of credibility.
The launch event is from 10am to 4pm in the Clarion Hotel, Liffey Valley. The programme is as follows:
Schedule for ACI Launch on Saturday June 1st.
The Open Space will be facilitated by an independent facilitator, who will introduce the process. Attendees will be invited to participate, interact and be part of a number of workshops on the theme of the laity in the future of the Church.
10:00 Event Registration (for those who have not already registered online)
Tea and Coffee on arrival
10:45 Welcome and Outline of the Programme
10:50 Report from Steering Group
Introduction to Website
11:00 Feedback and Clarifications on Report from the Floor
11:15 ACI Launch Ceremony
11:30 Briefing on Steering Group Elections
(click here for info on steering group election process)
11:40 Open Space and Introduction to Workshops
12:40 Lunch and Completion of Election Process
2:45 Plenary Session
3:45 Conclusion and Announcement of Election Results
The formation of ACI is to me a hopeful event – a sign that some lay Irish Catholics are taking it upon themselves to change the church.
(This echoes Fr Brian Lennon SJ’s exhortation in his book, Can I Stay in the Catholic Church?)
Apart from attending tomorrow’s meeting, people can get involved by signing up for an annual membership (10 euros waged, 5 euros unwaged), or volunteering their time and skills.
The ACI website also contains a number of resources, including articles, press releases, and book reviews.