Brendan Hoban, in his Western People column, counsels against the temptation of directing people how to vote in referendum or general election. “Been there, done that in the last two centuries. It made little sense then. It makes even less now.”
“Telling people from the pulpit what to do in respect of a constitutional referendum or, even implicitly, who to vote for (or not to vote for) would do incredible damage not just to the cause espoused but to the Catholic Church”
We gather as people loved by God, people called to pass on the love we have received. The love God has put into the world will never fail, but will last as long as humanity lasts. We praise God for the gifts lavished on us. (Today is the first day of Catholic Schools Week in Ireland.)
Sean O’Conaill raises some very relevant questions about “the dichotomy of ‘secular and ‘religious’ “.
“In Ireland a militant secularism is obviously bent on ‘binding’ together all those alienated from the remnants of the ‘Catholic state’ into a significant political constituency.”
But Sean asks “How exactly can something so obviously evangelical, pacifically inclined, moralistic, charismatic, ‘binding’ – and salvational – not qualify as a ‘religion’? “
Seamus Ahearne draws on the experiences of varied people, ‘the chorus line in church life’, because they ‘are the ones that help us create a different model of priest and church.’
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity continues until this Monday. With Christians all over the world, we ask God to give us the unity for which Christ prayed.
Fr. Anthony Ruff writes in his praytellblog.com about the change of rules concerning the washing of feet on Holy Thursday.
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments now says that female feet may be washed!
Anthony asks ‘is too much being made about a rather insignificant matter?’
We could add why has it taken Rome so long to catch up with what has been common practice in most parishes for many years.
The Council of Priests of Dublin Diocese commissioned a report by Towers Watson to estimate the number of active Priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin in 2030 and estimate the Mass attendance numbers and number of people presenting for sacraments in 2030.
The report having made this estimate then puts forward some suggested ways of coping with the projected situation. These suggestions are to be discussed by the Council of priests.
How similar is it to projections made by others dioceses?
Are there any new imaginative suggestions as to how the Church in Ireland should respond to the impending virtual disappearance of priests from most communities?
There are echoes of the Christmas season in today’s liturgy, particularly in the Gospel story of the wedding feast of Cana, in which God’s glory becomes visible in Jesus, as it did at his Epiphany and Baptism.
Loup Besmond de Senneville writing in globalpulsemagazine.com draws our attention to the fact that not all bishops or bishops’ conferences take the same approach or strategies when dealing with state authorites or pressing social issues.
Notice of a day on ‘Laudato Si’ and Biodiversity which will take place at the Columban Ecological Institute, Dalgan Park, Navan on March 19th 2016.
Gerry Heffernan, writing from Brisbane, invites each one of us to express our solidarity with the Christians of the Middle East by joining in some way with Chaldean Christians who in accordance with their liturgical tradition are preparing to observe the so-called “fast of Nineveh” (Bautha of Ninwaye).
The Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Luis Raphael I, has invited all the faithful of the Chaldean Church to pray and live abstinence from food in order to ask the Lord for the return of the gift of peaceful coexistence in Iraq and throughout the troubled region of the Middle East.
Brian Eyre, reflecting on his own experience, asks ‘Should the modus operandi of Married Priests be the same as that of Celibate Priests?’
Brain suggests they should have a different focus but many of his suggestions may have equal validity for all priests, married or celibate. ‘If they are to make a significant contribution to the life of the church let them be more people orientated and less church buildings orientated.’
On Sunday 10 January 2016 Tony Flannery and his brother Frank were interviewed by Miriam O Callaghan on rte radio 1.
We provide a link to the rte radio player where you can listen to the interview.
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 Nazareth and the start of his public ministry.
Brendan Hoban, in his Western People column, comments on the recent publicly expressed differences between Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Bishop Eamonn Walsh in relation to comments made by Eamon Walsh at the funeral of bishop Dermot O Mahony.
“Not so long ago bishops never contradicted each other. It wasn’t just regarded as bad form; it was breaking a golden rule because bishops never disagreed with each other – at least in public.”
“But now Pope Francis has brought a refreshing air of realism into the Church, where freedom of speech makes possible an adult debate for the first time in more than half a century. So bishops (and priests and people) can now say what they want – with the Pope’s imprimatur.”
Now that we’re as good as done with Christmas for another year is it time we evaluate how and when we celebrate the birth of Jesus?
Just before Christmas, Father William Grimm writing in globalpulsemagazine.com asked was it time to drop Christmas. “We could re-adopt the ancient multifaceted feast of Epiphany. Or, we could just move the celebration of the Nativity to some other point on the calendar.”
We gather to celebrate the first Sunday of 2016, with thankfulness for the year just gone. We ask God for continuing care and protection as face this New Year, not knowing what it will bring.
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