Mattie Long, moderator of the comments on this site, raises the issue of anonymous comments being published on the ACP website.
“It would appear to me that doing so encourages less than charitable, and less than Christian, instincts to get the better of some people who otherwise would see themselves as Christian in word and in deed”.
The Association of Catholic Priests
is seeking applications for the following position:
PART-TIME ADMINISTRATIVE SECRETARY
Today is part of the continuing Christmas celebration. In today’s Mass, we honour the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. As during this week we say goodbye to 2015, we entrust our families to their patronage, and pray for God’s help in the New Year.
In the dark of Christmas night, Christians proclaim the new light that has shone on the world: Jesus Christ is born! With the angels, we worship God who saves us — for through the life, death and resurrection of this child Jesus, salvation is ours.
Christians celebrate today an amazing mystery — God is born in time. The eternal God shares our nature, he has pitched his tent in the midst of humanity. With joy in our hearts, we contemplate the mystery of the Word made flesh.
Brendan in his weekly Western People column outlines how we can all experience Christmas in very individual ways.
Brendan then suggests; “Make sure you take a bit of time off from Christmas. Let the water under your feet settle into a little puddle so that you can see a bit of yourself in it. Let the bustle fade into a silence. Find a clear space where you can hear what life is saying to you. Sit somewhere and look out at the world as it rages and races past. Find a quiet corner ….”
Pope Francis, suffering from a cold, in addressing the curia prescribed a course of “curial antibiotics”.
He said that last year when speaking to members of the curia he “spoke of certain temptations or maladies – the catalogue of curial diseases. …Diseases which call for prevention, vigilance, care and, sadly, in some cases, painful and prolonged interventions.”
However this year “.. in the context of this Year of Mercy and our own preparation for the coming celebration of Christmas, I would like to present a practical aid for fruitfully experiencing this season of grace. It is by no means an exhaustive catalogue of needed virtues for those who serve in the Curia and for all those who would like to make their consecration or service to the Church more fruitful.”
A challenge for all, not just the curia!
Advent draws to a close this week, so we have just a couple of days left to prepare for the birth of Christ. On this Sunday, we’re invited to follow Mary’s example of concern for others.
The NCR carried an interesting Editorial about the “Year of Mercy” and what is intended by it.
“The fear inspired by legalism dominated the community’s life for decades, but we’ve learned that fear stifles and kills; it does not nourish or transform. Mercy is an encounter with the other, and ultimately an experience of God. Mercy is transformation. “
“Speaking at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 8, Francis said: “We have to put mercy before judgment, and in every case God’s judgment will always be in the light of his mercy. Let us abandon all fear and dread, for these do not befit men and women who are loved. Instead, let us live the joy of encounter with the grace that transforms all.”
Brendan Hoban in his weekly column in ‘The Western People’ reviews Gabriel Daly’s most recent book, ‘The Church always in need of Reform’.
“This is a remarkable book in the clarity of its thought and the conviction of the writer. Gabriel Daly’s contribution to theology has been immense but I would suggest that nothing he has written is as important as this book.”
” … a robust and convincing analysis of where we are as a Church, and, if there’s a book I’d recommend for Christmas, this would have to be it.”
Sean McDonagh comments on the multilateral treaty on climate change that was signed by 195 countries at the end of the Conference of the Parties (C0P21) in Paris.
“At most of the COPs which I attended during the past decade, the Catholic Church was barely visible, but at COP21 in Paris, the reverberations from Pope Francis’ powerful encyclical Laudato Si’ could be heard.”
“Despite major omissions, the Paris agreement demonstrates that global cooperation has the potential to steer us on to a safer path for both people and the planet.”
Pádraig McCarthy writes about Bishop Dermot O’ Mahony who died on 10 December, aged 80.
Our sympathies to bishop O Mahony’s family and friends.
The Website IP5, or onepeterfive, carries an interesting article about an open letter written to Pope Francis by a “former member of the curia”.
The letter originally appeared in the German-language magazine, FOCUS.
While clearly meant to be read as a criticism of Pope Francis it perhaps unintentionally gives a disturbing insight into much of the culture and mindset of the curia and how they see their position, power and status in the church.
Do all bureaucracies, in the spirit of “Yes Minister’s” Sir Humphrey, eventually come to think that they are there to be served rather than serve, that all wisdom resides in them and none in the temporary ministers, or popes, who come and go and that all decisions should be left firmly in their control?
Pope Benedict’s reasons for retiring become clearer every day.
[for international readers; “Yes Minister” was a BBC tv comedy. The chief civil servant, bureaucrat, Sir Humphrey was apt to reply ‘Yes Minister’ to every request of the Government Minister and then worked wholeheartedly at subverting every single plan and policy of the minister if it in any way infringed on the power and control of the civil service.}
Traditionally, today is called Gaudete Sunday, which means ‘a day for rejoicing.’ The reason for celebration is that the day of the Lord’s coming is nearer.
Report on a recent meeting of the Leadership of the ACP.
Tony Flannery, on his own blog, reflects on his experience of the past four years.
“I tell myself I have coped reasonably well….
I think it has also served to strengthen my views on the urgent need for reform in the Church…
I believed the process they (the Vatican) engaged in with me was seriously unjust and abusive…
His (Pope Francis) coming brought a great ray of light and hope for the Church, and lifted my spirits also…
But there are times when the reality of this enormous upheaval in my life hits me, and I feel oppressed by it…
Some of the things that tend to make me angry:
– The total indifference shown by the Irish bishops to the sanctioning of myself and five other Irish priests.
– Bishop Crean’s banning of my invitation to speak in Killeagh … did hurt me …
– the opposition to Pope Francis by very senior figures in the Church…
I have great support from my family and close friends, which of course is crucial. There is also a wide body of people who give me encouragement. “
Brendan Hoban in his latest weekly column in the Western People suggests that we in church, (people, priests and bishops), are traumatised by “the fact that an institution (church) at the heart of Irish life, apparently so secure in its world and so confident in the support of its people, could become a marginal and often scorned presence on the periphery of Irish society.”
The late Michael Paul Gallagher sj had warned us but we couldn’t believe what he and others were saying. He had taken the “example of French-Canada where the level of practice among Catholics plummeted in a relatively short time. It could happen in Ireland too, he warned. And none of us believed him. But it did.”
Brendan says we need to name, accept and engage with the new realities.
“We need prophets, like Michael Paul Gallagher, to help us realise and accept where we are if we are even to begin to take responsibility for the choices we have to make.”
Brian Fahy shares a memory of Gerry Reynolds, ‘ a happy lunch hour spent in the quiet of the countryside with a very gentle soul. . .
It remains forever in my mind and heart as a joyous moment in my life. And the words he spoke come to me over the years and across the divide of death, to give me courage and to encourage me on my way.’
“It will be all right. Let things unfold.”
Fr. P. John Mannion critically evaluates the ‘new missal’.
” The fact of the matter is that the Roman Congregation responsible for the current translation, completely ignored the directives of Vatican Two, and gave us instead the Mass we were using since Pope Paul VI laced with Tridentine insertions plus prayers rehashed in a supposedly “sacred language” and translated from the Latin according to Rome’s directive “in a most exact manner” thus giving us a translation that is ungrammatical and laced with pious, phoney verbiage.”
It’s just one week since the season of Advent began. Our time of waiting continues. We try to prepare a way for the Lord, encountering John the Baptist, his messenger, during this Sunday’s liturgy.
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