Irish reform groups petition Pope

Groups write to Pope seeking reform

About 100 Church reform groups from around the world – including three from Ireland – have co-signed a letter to Pope Francis urging widespread reform of the Catholic Church.

In response to the Pope’s call for dialogue within the Church, the groups who claim to represent four million Catholics worldwide, wrote to the Pontiff pressing for a decision-making voice for the laity in the Church.

The Irish groups which are signatories to the letter include the Association of Catholic Priests, the Association of Catholics in Ireland and We are Church Ireland.

In their petition, the international group of reformers seek an audience with the Pope to discuss Church governance.

In it they ask that the Pope and his cardinals give priests, religious and laity a major role in areas including the selection of their bishops.


They also call for dialogue and respect for conscience to replace authoritarian rule, that social justice is promoted and that Church officials who have facilitated or ignored the scandal of clerical sex abuse be removed from office.

The petition was sent to the Vatican prior to the Pope’s October 1-3 meeting with a group of eight cardinals he has appointed to advise him on the reforming of Church structures.