Statement from Catholic Bishops on the outcome of June 2004 Meeting in Maynooth

16 Jun 2004


16 JUNE 2004



The Irish Bishops’ Conference (IBC) held its June Meeting over the three day
period: Monday 14th, Tuesday 15th and today. The following issues were decided
by the Irish Bishops’ Conference:

The Most Reverend Dr Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, was
elected Vice-President of the IBC;
The Most Reverend Dr Leo O’Reilly, Bishop of Kilmore, was elected
to the Standing Committee of the IBC.

Pope John Paul II
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the visit of His Holiness Pope John
Paul II to Ireland, the IBC established a subcommittee to manage various
initiatives to commemorate and celebrate this visit. The members of the
subcommittee are:-
– The Most Reverend Dr Colm O’Reilly, Bishop of Ardagh & Clonmacnoise;
– The Most Reverend Dr Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath; and,
– The Most Reverend Dr John Magee, Bishop of Cloyne.

A national day of celebration is proposed for Sunday 19th September next,
and this will centre on Clonmacnoise.

The Most Reverend Dr John Buckley, Bishop of Cork and Ross and the Most
Reverend Dr Gerard Clifford, Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh will represent the
IBC on August 15th next, when the Pope will celebrate Mass in Lourdes.

The citizenship referendum, the 27th amendment to the Constitution
The conference will prepare a position paper on the issues to be examined
in the legislative process that will follow the passing of the 27th amendment
to the Constitution, which resulted from the referendum on citizenship on
June 11th.

This paper will present some principles of Catholic social teaching relevant
to the protection of fundamental human rights for all residents in Ireland,
citizens and others; it will examine elements of a comprehensive immigration
policy so as to ensure full protection for migrants who contribute much to
the Irish economy; it will reject as unchristian any racist tendencies towards

The Draft translation of the Ordo Missae
Different bishops have made individual submissions to the International
Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). ICEL is the agency that
produced the translation of the Order of Mass in February 2004. While
recognising the necessity of assessing the current Missal, the IBC has
requested a revision of the new draft translation so that it may have an
English text, faithful to the Latin original, but reflecting a style that
is contemporary and accessible to people in their worship and prayer.

CURA – the IBC agency for pregnancy counselling
The Irish Episcopal Conference has approved the appointment of Ms Louise
Graham as National Co-ordinator of CURA.

Ms Graham lives in Kilkenny City, educated at the Convent of Mercy, Carlow.
She obtained a B.Soc.Sc. (Hons) from TCD. Having worked with the South
Eastern Health Board, Kilkenny, Geraldstown House, Family Resource Centre,
Ballymun and Cluain Mhuire Centre, Blackrock for the past number of years.
She has been the co-ordinator of St Catherine’s Community Services Centre,
Carlow. Louise has overseen its development and the completion of its
building project.

The IBC discussed the Civil Registration Act 2004. The bishops decided to
prepare guidelines which will govern the celebration of marriages of Catholics.

Day for Life 2004
The Day for Life will be celebrated this year on Sunday October 3rd. In a
Pastoral letter, bishops will address suicide, especially its effect and
impact on young people. This letter will be published as a public information
leaflet and will be circulated widely.


Further information:
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)

Notes to Editors:
The Irish Bishops’ Conference (IBC) is the collective term used to describe the
formal meetings held between all 34 Catholic bishops. The bishops meet at least
on a quarterly basis. Bishops are represented on the IBC from all the 26 dioceses
in Ireland (32 counties).