08 April 2015, The Tablet

Catholic reform leaders to meet in Ireland next week

Catholic reform leaders from around the world will meet in Ireland next week for a three-day conference organised by the censured Redemptorist priest Fr Tony Flannery.

Forty representatives from North America, South America, Asia, England, Germany, Switzerland and Ireland are due to attend the conference between 13-16 April in Limerick.

Participants include Martha Heizer, head of We Are Church Austria, who was excommunicated by the Vatican along with her husband, Gert Heizer, for celebrating Mass without a priest present.

Other participants include Australian Paul Collins who resigned his priesthood in 2001 over the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s censure of his book, Papal Power

Speaking to The Tablet, Fr Flannery, who was banned from ministry by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2012 for what it considered heret­ical views on the Eucharist and priesthood, said some of the topics expected to be discussed include the “reform agenda of Pope Francis, the future of parishes and communities, women’s equality and how to communicate with the Vatican”.

“I am interested in getting a sense from people of what they think about Francis – whether he is interested in real reform or whether it is just rhetoric,” he added.

Workshops will be facilitated by Austrian and Canadian leaders. The public is invited to attend an open session on the evening of 16 April which will conclude the gathering.

According to Fr Flannery, no member of the Irish hierarchy had been invited to attend the conference and the priests attending will be representing priests associations.

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