Bishops grant ICDLN rebrand wishes

Bishops grant ICDLN rebrand wishes

The president of the Irish Catholic Doctors Learning Network (ICDLN) has said that he’s “very grateful to the Irish episcopal council for their permission” to rebrand as the Catholic Medical Association (CMA).

Dr Keith Holmes of the CMA said the move was “big for us” and that it lends “us a greater sense of legitimacy”.

“The issue was one of complying with Canon Law, and I think whenever you want ‘Catholic’ in your title, you need to go through the bishops,” Dr Holmes told The Irish Catholic.

“It was important to us that while we had originally spoken with Archbishop Eamon Martin when we were setting up our initial organisation, when we wanted to rebrand or rename as the Catholic Medical Association, we spoke to the bishops and they were clear that they had to legitimise it.”


The CMA, initially the ICDLN, was set up in response to a need for a “greater understanding of the Catholic Church’s position on matters relating to healthcare and the clinical practice of Catholic doctors in Ireland today”.

It sees Catholic medical professionals in Ireland come together to educate themselves on the science, medicine and professional issues behind the challenges facing healthcare workers in Ireland today.

Dr Holmes said the reason for the name change was two-fold: inclusivity and international precedent.

“People thought that it [the ICDLN] was a very clumsy title…but it also became very clear from our work thus far that there’s a far broader appetite than just doctors, and therefore we wanted to be more inclusive,” Dr Holmes said.

“There’s that, and also, there are other Catholic Medical Associations in other countries, so it would create a sense of being more in keeping with them.”

The association is also preparing for an upcoming conference on end-of-life issues facing Irish medical practitioners.

“We’ve a very strong line up of speakers from the UK and Ireland, speaking about topics such as assisted dying, assisted suicide and euthanasia,” Dr Holmes explained, the online-only event due to take place October 2.