By Sarah Mac Donald - 24 September, 2014
A group of lay catholics in Ireland has reacted angrily to the news that a nun will represent the Irish faithful at October’s synod on the family in Rome.
Sr Margaret Muldoon of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Bordeaux will join Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin as the Irish representatives at the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on ‘The Pastoral Challenges of the Family’ which will take place in Rome from 5-19 October.
We Are Church Ireland (WACI) has described the decision not to select a lay married representative as “extraordinary”.
A spokesperson for the group said it was “outrageous” that no Irish Catholic married family person would be present to offer their lived family experiences and their advice to the synod.
The synod has been called by Pope Francis to advise and find solutions to the grave challenges facing families in the contemporary world.
WACI spokesman, Brendan Butler, lashed out at the “secretive selection process” in which Sr Muldoon was chosen as the Irish lay participant.
He said it ignored the commitment given by Pope Francis “to involve all the People of God” in the synod.
Brendan Butler called on Sr Margaret Muldoon “to turn down her invitation to the synod in favour of a married family person, even at this late stage.”
Last April, We are Church Ireland requested the Synod Secretariat in Rome to accept former Irish president and canon lawyer, Dr Mary McAleese and theologian Dr Gina Menzies, as suitably qualified Irish representatives to the Synod.
“To-date we have not even received the courtesy of an acknowledgement from the Vatican,” Brendan Butler said.