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Veröffentlicht am 13­.04.2015

13.-16.4.2015 in Limerick/Irland

Zweites internationales Treffen der kath. Priestervereinigungen und Reformgruppen in Limerick

35 Teilnehmende aus Australien, Canada, Deutschland, Großbritannien, Indien, Irland, Italien, Österreich, der Schweiz, der Slowakei und den USA.

Auftakt des zweiten internationalen Treffens der Pfarrer-Initiativen für Kirchenreform in Limerick
> Pressemitteilung 13.4.2015

Fr. Tony Flannery hosts International Network of Church Reform Movements participative conference in Co. Limerick
> www.associationofcatholicpriests.ie

New Era – Last chance: Catholic Priests Associations and Reform Groups unite in International Conference in Limerick, Ireland
> englische Pressemitteilung 16.4.2015

Weltweite Katholische Reformgruppen fordern Bischöfe auf, die Vision des Papstes aktiv zu unterstützen
> deutsche Pressemitteilung 19.4.2015

Eine neue Ära mit Papst Franziskus (Bericht)
> www.pfarrer-initiative.de

Future Church: What happened in Limerick should not stay in Limerick
> Link

Offener Brief an Papst Franziskus „den Weg freizumachen für neue Formen des Gemeindelebens und deren Leitung“
Offener Brief (inkl. der namentlich Unterzeichnenden):
> PDF deutsch > PDF englisch
> Pressemitteilung 12. Mai 2015


Major gathering of Catholic Church reform groups in Limerick next week
> The Irish Times 10.4.2015

Bishops asked to be more proactive in support of Pope
> Irish Times 16.4.2015

Nun criticises Irish bishops' threat to withdraw priests as civil marriage registars
> Irish Independent 16.4.2015

Katholische Reformbewegung weltweit: «weg von zölibatären Männern, hin zu Frauen»
> kath.ch 19.4.2015

Conference focuses on role of women in Church
> catholicireland.net 19.4.2015

Schüller: Kompetenzen „weg von zölibatären Männern“
> religion.orf.at 20.4.2015
Kirchliche Gräben
> Publik-Forum 8.5.2015

Future Church: What happened in Limerick should not stay in Limerick: 2nd international meeting of priest associations and lay reform groups take up the tough questions

From April 13 - 17, 2015, thirty-eight Catholics from priestassociations and church reform organizations across ten countries met in Limerick, Ireland to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing the Church today and to work together for change. Traveling from Austria, Australia, Germany, India, various regions in Ireland, Italy, Slovakia, Switzerland, the U.K and the United States, men and women, ordained and lay, familiar faces and new, came together around some of the most difficult and painful problems facing the Church today.

This was the second such meeting. The first meeting in Bregenz, held in November 2013, was called by Fr. Helmut Schueller, the founder of the Pfarrer Initiative. It was the Pfarrer Initiative who issued the prophetic andcontroversial "Call to Disobedience" challenging Church leaders to halt the consolidation of parishes while calling for a "new image of the priest." Many who had been in Bregenz also came to Limerick and were joined by more than twenty new participants from four new regions.

The "Limerick 38," as I affectionately like to think of them, called on bishops to courageously support Pope Francis' vision for reform. Fr. Tony Flannery conveyed the group's sense of urgency at a press conference on the final day calling this "Francis era" our "last chance" to get renewal right.

Early on, a number of participants, myself included, raised the issue of women's equality and gender justice as central areas that needed to be addressed. And throughout the conference, we worked in a small group to develop strategies that would advance those reforms including promoting a commission of women to work with Pope Francis on his desire to develop a "theology of women" and create a more "incisive presence for women" in the Church. Had nothing else happened, I would have left Limerick with a strong sense of satisfaction in having created solid plans for working together across diverse regions with plenty of "to do" lists to keep us all busy for months ahead. But, the real formative moment was still ahead.

On the third day, the group entered into the most poignant, painful and ultimately transformative moment of the conference.

A small group of women, myself included, had approached Tony Flannery with the idea that one of the women at our conference might co-preside with one of the priests at our shared Eucharist. We reasoned, the Eucharist, the sign and symbol of our unity in the Church, should reflect our common work together in Limerick as co-equals working for change. One person asked, "After working alongside each other these last few days, how can we celebrate a Eucharist that isn't a sign of our unity?"

Tony wisely suggested that we submit the question to the group. And we did.

On Wednesday morning, participant Kate McElwee, put the question of a woman as co-presider to the group. And it started a conversation like no other I've experienced among priests and lay women and men. Thirty-eight women and men wrestled with the question for several hours. With the guidance of our skilled facilitators, we held the space open as each person expressed their support, concern, pain and, yes, fear.

Tears fell without shame. The space became a sacred space...a transformative space...maybe not so unlike the Council of Jerusalem where Peter and Paul and the community wrestled with who was in and who was out in their day.

After the long, deep and rich conversation, we decided to forego the celebration of the Eucharist in favor of a prayer service that would continue to help us hold the space and the pain felt around the issues of women's participation. A small group volunteered to coordinate it and it turned out to be a sacramental sign in and of itself.

The wine and bread placed on the altar was not shared, a symbol of the painful reality of women's place in the Church and the divisions that tear at the heart of our communities. And all thirty-eight of us took a candle and placed it on the altar, a sign of our solidarity with women in the Church and our hope for a healed, whole and just Church where women can participate fully as co-equals.

Even as I write these words, tears flow. I was transformed...by the grace each person offered in that circle...by the authenticity and honesty of the conversation...by the tears of my dear friends and colleagues...and by the Spirit that washed over us as we struggled together to find a way to come together as a Eucharistic people given the realities of our roles, as well as the injustices in our Church so poignantly and personally felt in this cherished setting.

What happened among the "Limerick 38" was not just for the thirty-eight gathered there. It is my hope that the Spirit felt so deeply in Limerick will flow out of each one of us in a new way so we can create every space necessary to work with our differences and build on our common hope for a renewed and revitalized Church, not only for ourselves, but for those who will certainly come after us longing for a God and a community where justice, love, compassion and mercy are made real in each other.

I am grateful for all those who made the gathering possible, but also for those who participated with such courage and honesty. Every once in a while we get a chance to see the heart of God in each other. Limerick was such a moment for me.

Deborah Rose-Milavec, Future Church










Pressemitteilung zum Auftakt des zweiten internationalen Treffens der Pfarrer-Initiativen für Kirchenreform in Limerick

Wien, 13.04.2015. Auf Einladung der Irischen Kirchenreformbewegung „Association of Catholic Priests“ begann heute Abend in Limerick, Irland, das zweite internationale Vernetzungstreffen der Pfarrer- und Pfarrei-Initiativen für Kirchenreform. Mehr als 30 Mitglieder von Kirchenreformbewegungen aus zwölf Ländern, darunter den Vereinigten Staaten und Kanada, Indien, Australien, Großbritannien, Irland, Italien und der Slowakei nehmen teil. Auch die Reformbewegungen aus Österreich und der Schweiz, die das Netzwerk 2013 ins Leben gerufen haben, sowie internationale VertreterInnen von „IMWAC - Wir sind Kirche“ sind wieder mit dabei.

Ziel der Konferenz sind die grenzüberschreitende Vernetzung sowie der Austausch über aktuelle Themen der Kirchenreform, wie die Wahrnehmung der Reformagenda von Papst Franziskus, die Zukunft von Pfarren und Gemeinden, Gleichberechtigung der Frauen sowie die kircheninterne Kommunikation. Die Konferenz dauert insgesamt vier Tage und endet mit einer Pressekonferenz am Donnerstag, den 16. April, um 14.00 Uhr im Radisson Blu Hotel in Limerick.

Das erste internationale Treffen des Kirchenreform-Netzwerks fand im Oktober 2013 auf Einladung der österreichischen Pfarrer-Initiative sowie der Pfarrei-Initiative Schweiz in Bregenz statt. Damals waren Priester und KirchenbürgerInnen aus sechs Länder vertreten. Zwischen der irischen „Association of Catholic Priests“ und der österreichischen Pfarrer-Initiative besteht bereits seit fünf Jahren ein intensiver Austausch.

Die Pfarrer-Initiative ist eine österreichweite Bewegung katholischer Priester und Diakone, die sich für eine offene Diskussion über die drängenden Fragen und Probleme der römisch-katholischen Kirche einsetzt. Ihre Ziele sind: lebendige Gemeinden, zeitgemäße Kirchenstrukturen und eine glaubwürdige Weltkirche, die den Dienst am Menschen in den Mittelpunkt stellt. Gegründet im April 2006 durch neun Priester, verzeichnet die Pfarrer-Initiative heute mehr als 430 Mitglieder aus den Reihen der römisch-katholischen Kirche, rund 3.100 Laien unterstützen die Reformbewegung um Pfarrer Helmut Schüller.

Pressekontakt vor Ort: Tony Flannery, +35 387 681 4699

Allgemeine Anfragen: Pamina Haussecker, pfarrer-initiative@gmx.at, +43 (0) 680 502 7010

Zuletzt geändert am 19­.05.2015