The Future of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh
This page holds links concerning the reorganisation of the Archdiocese.
- Procedural guidelines for the modification of parishes
- Code of canon law
- 10 Jan 2015 Archbishop Leo Cushley's letter to the deaneries
Archbishop Cushley writes that the Archdiocesan publication "Now is the Favourable Time.... [is]...the starting point for our deliberations."
The NITFT consultation document for this is here.
The NITFT Nov 2006 report, including discussion of having more parishes than we have priests, is here
- 15 Feb 2015 Interview with Archbishop Cushley, Radio 4 Sunday (from 36min 45sec)
- 29 March 2015 We Have Found the Messiah: The Future of Our Archdiocese - leaflet and video. Pastoral letter read in parishes.
- 26 April 2015 Pastoral Letter by Archbishop Leo Cushley for Good Shepherd Sunday
This list will be added to as authors request. For letters to the Archbishop, this is usually a couple of weeks after the letter was sent.
to Good Shepherd Sunday's pastoral letter
- 29 April 2015 letter to Archbishop Cushley from Clare Roller
to We Have Found the Messiah
- initial response on Vigil Group blog - please add to this.
- 20 Apr 2015: Fr Mike Fallon - Reflecting on the way forward
- 23 Apr 2015: Rosa Murray - letter to Archbishop Cushley and a subsequent letter on 4 June
- 4 May 2015 Danny Friel - letter to Archbishop Cushley (especially concerning NITFT) and subsequent letter on 10 June
to the letter to deaneries (Jan 2015)
from members of the Vigil Group
Two blog posts by members of the Vigil Group follow - one purpose is to stimulate free-thinking in response to the Archbishop's letter.
Do add comments and ideas to these!
- A reflection by one of our members
- A compilation of a few people's thoughts
from around the Archdiocese
- The Dove Newsletter: "Our Parishes" a perspective from St Columba's written by Anne Havard
- From Fr Mike Fallon, St Catherine's, Gracemount on 12 Feb 2015: "I am circulating as widely as I can the attached documents in response to the Archbishop’s letter to the Deans on 10 January. It is clearly a time of great decision-making for the people of our Diocesan Church. The process of consultation at present does not allow the cross fertilisation of thought and opinion.It is my hope that the attached papers will kick-start and give oxygen to a joined-up and informed debate. Please circulate as widely as you can." The two documents are:
- letter to Mgr Burke
- on the Archbishops letter and the Consultation
- From Keith Parkes, St Andrews Ravelston
- Growing a monoculture? (March 2015) What do those with power think they are doing?!
- Priesthood in the 21st century (April 2015) Which is more fundamental: ordained priesthood or the eucharist?
- Learning from the past (May 2015) - Looking back in the archdiocese. See also this blog post on pooling experiences in last 10 years
- Where are we and where are we going? (May 2015). Fr Fallon develops themes from "reflecting on the way forward"
Note links below from both Mexico and the US indicate how having a resident priest is not a necessary part of a sustainable, growing, alive Roman Catholic parish. That is a novel idea to us here, but not if we look a bit wider! The idea that ordained priesthood be opened more widely to allow parish communities to persist is also more often heard.... (priesthood in the C21 and this letter...)
International letter to Pope Francis including concern about megaparishes, and with ideas on priesthood...
About other dioceses in the UK
Hexham and Newcastle - 3 year programme of renewal - Forward together in Hope
Motherwell - SCO article - note tone and principles reported here!
Leeds - report by Kinharvie
North Ayrshire Deanery - a model for discernment and preparation for the opportunities of change as described on website for St Bride's Church
Embracing change - a process of preparation - with external facilitators
Deanery event - 29 June 2014 - 205 parishioners from 12 parishes. Interesting to compare with the 14 March meeting in Edinburgh
Glasgow - Flourish paper, July 2015 - page 2, article on reorganisation in Glasgow
Bishop McDaid at Chrism Mass calls parishes to work together to shape future
"Some years down the road the question will no longer be whether we have a local priest but whether we have active Christian communities witnessing to and passing on the message of Jesus."
Bishop Leo O’Reilly of Kilmore has said he is talking with other bishops about establishing a commission to consider the possibility of ordaining married men to the priesthood. The commission would also discuss appointing female deacons.The Irish Catholic reports that he is making the proposal as a result of a 10-month listening process in his diocese which led to a diocesan assembly and a new diocesan pastoral plan to confront challenges facing the Church, including the declining number of priests.
Letter from Fr Henry McLaughlin (Mar 2015)
From the USA
Talk given in Dunfermline by Fr Mark Latcovich, 20 July 2015 - with bibliography
Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord is a resource for diocesan bishops and for all others who are responsible for guiding the development of lay ecclesial ministry in the United States. From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2005.
Note on page 11:
Canon 517 §2: “If, because of a lack of priests, the diocesan bishop has decided that participa-tion in the exercise of the pastoral care of a parish is to be entrusted to a deacon, to another person who is not a priest, or to a community of persons, he is to appoint some priest who, provided with the powers and faculties of a pastor, is to direct the pastoral care” (Canon Law Society of America [CLSA], Code of Canon Law, Latin-English Edition, New English Transla-tion [CIC] [Washington, DC: CLSA, 1999]). No common title is used throughout the United States for persons appointed under this canon. In 2004, a participation in the pastoral care of 566 parishes was entrusted to deacons, religious sisters and brothers, and other lay persons, an increase from 268 parishes in 1993 (CARA Special Report, Summer 2005, “Understanding the Ministry and Experience: Parish Life Coordinators in the United States,” commissioned by the Emerging Models Project (see www.NALM.org)
National Association for Lay Ministry (USA, in case you were wondering....)
* conference in May in Chicago.
* books here are available from Columba Bookservice, Ireland. http://www.columba.ie/index.php/
CARA is the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.
Recent (July 2015) article in NCR: Should we care about what happens to displaced parish communities?
"What is missing in the sociological analysis is the power and meaning of Christian community.
" What does closing a vital, solvent parish do to believers who have journeyed together over many years in good times and in bad? What does it mean to urban Catholic communities -- formed in the social gospel -- who have found fulfillment in serving the needy in their neighborhoods?
" I can tell you. It disillusions them very, very much.
"Many such Catholics either join other denominations or just stop going to church. And you don't have to take my word for it. "
[Note from this web page's editor: Doesn't this thereby achieve the objective of those who want a "smaller purer church" made in their image? Those content with a clerically focussed ecclesiology, and especially the comfortably off, travel to go to Church; those seeking Spirit-led community shake our dust from their feet. I expect that we have all seen this happen since the new Mass translation came in.]
Future Church website, essay on women in church leadership and lay ecclesial ministers...
From the Netherlands:
From the Dutch Dominicans, in 2007: THE CHURCH AND THE MINISTRY Towards a Church with a Future
From the Church of Scotland
They are undergoing similar reorganisation had an initiative called Future Focus to help congregations discern their way forward.
The organisation Place For Hope supports the difficult large-scale conversations that have to happen in faith communities facing the challenges of the current times. "Place for Hope exists to play a significant part in enabling churches to address difference and diversity positively and be faithful to the purposes of the gospel through the message of reconciliation." They enable such processes for people from any Christian faith community.