Month: June 2015

The children of this age are more shrewd …

Brendan Hoban writing in his Western People weekly column suggests that church authorities need to re-evaulate how they sometimes dispose of church assets and resources to civic authorities.
” I get the feeling that sometimes civic authorities are laughing behind their hands at the gullibility and innocence of church authorities, especially when there is so little credit given for the donation of sites that run into millions of euros. “

Presider’s Page for 21 June (Ordinary Time 12)

The sight of people being rescued from ricketty boats in the Mediterranean brings home the plight of immigrants and refugees; seeing rescuers coming to their aid inspires us. God is master of the deep; Jesus stilled the storm. May all in need of help be saved through his power today. (On Father’s Day we pray especially for fathers.)

Caring for our common home

Sean McDonagh tells us that Pope Francis’ encyclical is ‘ one of the most important documents to come from a Pope in the past one hundred-and-twenty years.’
‘Pope Francis is the first to acknowledge the magnitude of the ecological crisis, the urgency with which it must be faced and the irreversible nature of ecological damage.’
Sean reminds us though that while ‘this is a most exciting document, it is only a beginning. Real efforts and resources have to be placed behind it if this concern is to find its rightful place at the heart of Christian ministry.’

Does marriage mean exactly what we want it to mean?

Brendan Hoban writing in the Western People wonders if marriage really only means what we want it to mean. Brendan says ‘The Catholic Church, it could be argued, has a similar problem. It makes a distinction between two kinds of marriage: ‘sacramental’ and ‘natural’.
However this ‘may be an important one to remember when the October Synod reassembles in Rome. In short, marriage doesn’t have to be sacramental to be accepted by the Catholic Church.’

In times of crisis be creative

Brian Eyre keeps the question of married priests before us for consideration.
His is a timely reminder in a week where we see the appointment of three priests to “united parishes” in Tuam Archdiocese, i.e. they are to assume the responsibility of a neighbouring parish along with their current one due to the retirement of priests who have reached the retirement age of Seventy Five years, even though these men are still to provide sacramental and pastoral ministry. How long is this situation sustainable in dioceses throughout Ireland?
It was also the week when an Irish Bishop put his toe gingerly in the waters stirred up by Pope Francis and called for discussion about the possibility of ordaining married men.

Voice of the People, Sensus Fidelium and The Synod

Chris McDonnell, using the example of the Marriage referendum result, questions how the voice of the people and the ‘Sensus Fidelium’ can be accommodated at the Synod on the Family.
“We can only hope that the voice of the people is recognised in their debate and reflection, for if the outcome of the Synod is to be accepted within the body of the Church, it has to be accepted by the pilgrim people to whom it seeks to offer support and guidance. “

Who is listened to?

Brendan Hoban writing in the Western People argues that as long as Bishops don’t listen to people and priests “we (as church) relegate ourselves to the sidelines because we present ourselves as controlling and demanding, refusing to listen or engage with the issue.”
Brendan also suggests that there is a crying need for competent church people to be used to communicate effectively with media and public. “Not every bishop is blessed with the ability to think on his feet or to manage the combination of words that does justice to what he wants to say.”

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