A Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture meets in Rome 4-7 February 2015, with the above theme.
Notice from the Association of Catholics in Ireland
Soline Humbert reminds us of an international day of prayer against human trafficking on 08 February.
The calling of Andrew and his brother Peter is described in today’s Gospel. Like those early disciples, we too are called. As believers, we gather here to listen to God’s word, resolving to put it into practice in the coming week.
Tony Flannery reviews a new book by Angela Hanley, Athlone based theologian.
Whose A La Carte Menu will be launched on Sunday, February 1st, in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone at 5.00pm.
Chris McDonnell responding to Brendan Hoban’s article and recent events sees hope in the meeting of Pope Francis and Hindu priest Kurakkal Somasundaram and its message of “peaceful understanding between peoples, of religious tolerance and of care not to offend.”
However the reality of the world is that some will continue to go on insulting anyone they choose and “This is the reality we must live with, always willing to respond to what we perceive as unjust comment, always preserving the right for opinion to be expressed, but always careful that violent reaction is not the outcome of thoughtless words.”
Brendan Hoban, in the Western People, muses about the rights and responsibilities of freedom of speech.
“While the right to free expression is important and should be defended, it’s not an absolute right. And those who are prepared to hurt and offend should not see it as a fail-safe or catch-all defence for their bigotry, of whatever hue.”
Brian Eyre expresses concerns about the illogical norms that are being followed in ordaining married men, former Anglican priests, while excluding Catholic priests who wish to marry from official ministry.
Now that the Christmas season is behind us and we are moving into the New Year, the liturgy challenges us to reflect on what following Christ means. We gather as God’s people, called to follow the Lamb of God and we praise God, with thanksgiving.
Gabriel Daly OSA writes that ” In a body as large and as culturally diverse as the Catholic Church, discrepant and irreconcilable attitudes are inevitable. We should try to live with them, not pretend that it is necessary – or even desirable – to smooth them over. “
Gabriel reminds us that “The truth and the will of God may actually be found in the clash of ideas and convictions expressed freely and without the threat of institutional interference.”
Sean McDonagh tells us that the most important part of the forthcoming encyclical on the environment by Pope Francis is that it develops a credible and adequate theology of creation.
Australia’s catholic bishops have produced a new questionnaire of 30 questions, based on the 46 proposed by the Vatican, to survey Catholics’ attitudes to issues relating to family life. The consultation is to help inform October’s Synod on the Family.
Michael Commane OP in a column for INM Irish regionals says that statements from Pope Francis and the German Bishops set him thinking. He found what they had to say ” … heart warming and must give hope to those who pray to an open and forgiving God. How great would it be to see far more of a church that stressed prudence and compassion over authoritarianism and discipline.”
With freedom of the press and the right to free speech very much in the news Brendan Hoban questions, in his weekly column in the Western People, ‘why I should continue to buy or even to read a paper that so consistently belittles my religion.’
Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord: it’s the last day of the Christmas season.
The baptism of Jesus marked the end of his quiet years in Nazereth and the start of his public ministry.
Seamus Ahearne osa offers a refection at the end of the Christmas season.
Brendan Hoban, in the Western People, advises that we need to listen to what Pope Francis is saying. Francis means what he says. His plain speaking in the scathing demolition of the assembled curia in his pre-Christmas address left no room for dilution through interpretation, translation or contextualisation.
Nor should we be distracted from his message by the speculative kite of a Papal visit being hoisted aloft. Such a visit is ‘exactly what the Irish Church doesn’t need at present.’
Homily of Pope Francis for the Epiphany. Francis tells his congregation that “The wise men are thus models of conversion to the true faith, since they believed more in the goodness of God than in the apparent splendour of power.”
On this feast of the Epiphany we celebrate the revelation of who Christ is. The visit of the three wise men reminds us that Jesus came as the Saviour of all nations, including ours. We worship God who wants all people to be saved.
Again emphasizing the global nature of the church Pope Francis has named 15 new Cardinals from 13 countries.
Interestingly Francis has also called a two day meeting of all Cardinals on February 12 and 13 to discuss proposals for the reform of the Roman Curia.
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