Monday 23 January 2017

Shifting winds in Maynooth - but Church must embrace change or lose its flock

Published 27/08/2016 | 02:30

Pope Francis blesses a child as he arrives to lead the weekly audience in Saint Peter’s Square. Photo: Getty
Pope Francis blesses a child as he arrives to lead the weekly audience in Saint Peter’s Square. Photo: Getty

Another day, another flavourless statement from Maynooth. It is remarkable how an institution as vibrant and effective as the Catholic Church during its 2,000-year history should become now so lost within a gilded labyrinth.

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There is a way out of this maze of its own construction, as leaders from Pope Francis to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin realise. But their dilemma is how to secure buy-in for essential reforms from the Church's management class.

The scale of the necessary overhaul is significant, and many within the hierarchy are resistant to change. This means the reformers have a circle to square: on the one hand, gradual reform will meet with less resistance from traditionalists; on the other hand, it might be dismissed as tinkering at the edges.

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