Irish Church reformers call for re-think on contraception, gay marriage
Groups representing the Irish faithful are among a host of international Catholic reform movements who have told Pope Francis that the Church must urgently revise its teaching on contraception, communion for the divorced and gay relationships.
The Association of Catholics in Ireland and We Are Church Ireland, along with more than 50 other international Catholic reform groups, have written to the Pontiff.
They have also appealed to the 279 bishops from more than 120 nations participating in the synod to "Follow Pope Francis's way of dialogue and reform".
However, on the eve of the formal opening of the synod, Pope Francis told the bishops there will be no change in the Church's attitude to gay marriage. On Saturday, Polish Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa (43) lost his job at the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith after he revealed he is in a gay relationship.
In their letter, the Catholic reform groups accused the celibate prelates of not being fully representative of the lay faithful.
They suggested that the bishops were not well equipped to deal with the complexity of problems affecting modern families.
"If the divorced remarried person wishes to receive the Eucharist, he/she must be able to do so without any censorship, direct or indirect, by the Christian community," the letter stated.
The reform groups also called for "every regulation or discriminatory practice against homosexuals in Church and society to be challenged and opposed".