National religious rep bodies gear up for merger

CORI and IMU plan on united future

The two national representative bodies for Irish religious are heading for a major shake-up, as talks of a merger to create a new organisation intensify.

With almost a complete overlap of membership for the Conference of Religious of Ireland (CORI) and the Irish Missionary Union (IMU), talks have been ongoing for some time on bringing the two groups together in one organisation, making the goals of both easier to achieve.

“We are exploring if it is possible,” CORI Director General, Fr Peter Rogers, OFM Cap. told The Irish Catholic. “People were asking is it necessary to have two groups and why not create something new and give new energy to what we do. Both executives have met and agreed to explore possibilities.

“We want to make sure we would preserve what is good in both organisations, but see where things are duplicated. If change happens too quickly it won’t last so the process will involve a lot of consultation and listening. This is not a merger where one group swallows the other, this will be something new and the work of both groups will be respected,” he said.


It is expected that the union of the two organisations would need Vatican approval and Fr Hugh McMahon SSC, IMU Executive Secretary said that is one of the aspects which will be explored with the appointment of a ‘change manager’.

“Some people have a vision that if we form a new group we can offer a greater contribution to the Irish Church, but that vision is not spelled out so we will employ a change manager to investigate the possibilities and implications of this,” he said.

“It is not just a matter of pooling resources, if we go ahead a union would have to be something better than what we have at present – more effective – and that is the premise we are going on.”