Written by The Knitter
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Topics: Ireland, dublin

Friday, 21 March 2008

image for Dublin declared "missionary position territory"

Dublin has been officially declared "missionary position territory" by Archbishop Dick Smartin amid falling numbers in the use of the missionary position. A major plan to renew the Catholic Church in the country's biggest diocese was unveiled on Wholly Thursday in the Pro-Cathedral. He said its aim is to restore the power and prestige of the missionary position in day to day affairs.

Dr Smartin threatened that a Catholic Church representative will visit every household in the Dublin Archdiocese next year. He predicted his evangelisation programme would promote greater use of the missionary position between laid people and temple priests in the Church's Missionary Position Prayer Group. The archbishop announced that initiatives will include converting a Diocesan Pastoral Council Hall for the intermingling of temple priests with laid people , the establishment of a Diocesan Office for the Missionary Position and a training programme for unlaid pastoral workers in parishes throughout Dublin.

Grappling with an aging clergy and dwindling numbers of recruits to the missionary position, Dr Smartin went out of his way to praise his "great temple priests", and encouraged them to convince young people of the sanctity of the missionary position. "Renewal in the diocese of the missionary position means reaching out to as many people as possible in a missionary position spirit, if you pardon the pun" he continued. "Today there is a true sense that the Archdiocese of Dublin will become missionary position territory again".

He praised the extraordinary commitment of laid people to demonstrations of the missionary position in services in parishes, and diocesan agencies. It is encouraging to see laid people emerging as co-presenters in this pastoral mission, and, there are many people who are waiting to do more of this sort of stuff within the church and to do things differently but in accordance with ancient doctrine.

Some will say that we are opening up to laid involvement as a stop-gap solution to the shortage of priests. But if we look on laid involvement as a stop-gap solution, it will simply fizzle out, and become limp".

Today Archbishop Smartin will lead the annual Way of the Missionary Position procession in the Phoenix Park which begins at 12.30pm from the Rubber Monument to the papal cross. This Goodnight Friday service is organised by the Missionary Position Liberation movement.

His call was mirrored by the Administratoress of the Tuam Position (Tridentine) who yesterday said there is a need to reclaim the "Missionary Position". Sr Stephenie Farragher said: "There was a time when the Missionary Position was sacrosanct and once entered into (no pun intended) it remained in until business was concluded. But all this seems to be changing and more people are slipping out and approaching it from different angles and sometimes remaining open all day and night. In many mainland European countries, the missionary position is still observed with street processions in the afternoon especially in Italy, parts of Germany and Spain."

And in a letter to the public this week, Bishop of Wateringford and Letshavenomore Willy Lee has made a desperate plea for people to consider the missionary position as a way of life. The last use of the missionary position in Waterford and Lismore was eight years ago. Shortly there will be a number of parishes which will not have anyone practicising the missionary position" he wrote.

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