Month: March 2016

Bishop: Irish hierarchy should reach out to priests like Fr. Tony Flannery

Sarah Mac Donald reports in the NCR on comments by Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry who said that unless the bishops are seen to be “willing to go way beyond our comfort zone then people will say you are just a group looking after yourselves.”
Tony Flannery responding said that he has received “great support from many people and priests,” but he has also experienced “how quickly and completely church authorities shut you out as soon as the Vatican moves against you…… All I have ever looked for in relation to myself and others who are accused of ‘dissent’ is a process that is fair, just and transparent.”
He added, “The present CDF process is a scandal, and brings shame on our church.””

“Why are you killing me?”

On the eve of Holy Thursday Pádraig McCarthy reminds us of the cost of true discipleship in many parts of the world with reports of the death of Fr. Vincent Machozi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Coming so soon after the murder in Yemen of four religious sisters, Sisters Anselm, Marguerite, Regina, and Judith, of the Missionaries of Charity, the religious order founded by Mother Teresa, it highlights the immense dangers now faced by so many Christians who seek to practice their faith in a very disturbed world. Twelve others who worked with the sisters as volunteer aides were killed on 04 March by members of ISIS.

Showing respect for flag, nation, and electors

Seamus Ahearne contrasts the, sadly failed, herculean efforts of one national ex-serviceman to exercise his right to cast his vote in the recent general election with the ‘The squabbling and childishness of many of the TDs (that) dishonours the flag and our country.’
But Seamus concludes that “Yes, I should be more gentle with our politicians and the electors – we probably all suffer from the same ‘sin’ of today. The immediate and the superficial and obvious is all we can cope with.”

The question of infallibility

Next week, Hans Küng, the Catholic priest and Swiss theologian, will mark his 88th birthday. The fifth volume of his complete works, titled Infallibility, has just become available from the German publishing house Herder. In connection with the release of Infallibility, Küng has written the following “urgent appeal to Pope Francis to permit an open and impartial discussion on infallibility of pope and bishops.” The text of his urgent appeal was released simultaneously by National Catholic Reporter and The Tablet.
“Receive this comprehensive documentation and allow a free, unprejudiced and open-ended discussion in our church of the all the unresolved and suppressed questions connected with the infallibility dogma.”

Eco-theologian Fr. Sean McDonagh: Don’t let this ‘Laudato Si” moment pass

Sean McDonagh kindly provides the text of an interview he did with Brian Rowe of the National Catholic Reporter during his recent 10-day speaking tour of the East Coast of the U.S. which focused on his new book on Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home.”
Sean tells us “This is potentially an extraordinary moment for the church,” … “… Now do we take it or do we go back into our burrows? I hope we take it.”

A funeral well celebrated; sad, emotional, beautiful, with an abundance of love

Tony Flannery writes of his experience of a funeral celebrated with love and dignity.
“God was just as surely present there today, not just in the host and the wine, but in the gathering of the people, and the way in which they surrounded the mourners with love. “
“It was sad, it was emotional, but it was also at some deep, mysterious level, beautiful.
Sometimes it is good to be part of this too often broken Church. Today was one of those days.”

We extend our sympathy to all of Tadhg Mc Donnell’s family and friends, especially his wife Kathleen, and sons John and Patrick.
May he rest in peace.

Burying the Dead; Corporal Work of Mercy or ‘succour to murderous thugs’?

Brendan Hoban, in the Western People, gives his thoughts on a very topical subject at present; should the church ever refuse a funeral Mass?
Brendan says “One of the most difficult truths of the Christian faith is that no one is beyond the reach of God’s mercy. No one. This is easy to understand in theory but a difficult concept to accept in practice.”
“So whether it’s the funeral of an IRA bomber during the troubles in the North or a priest pedophile buried in the dead of night or gangsters who have brought incredible suffering to countless individuals and families, that one truth applies to everyone. None of them is beyond the extended reach of God’s love and moderating that reach is not an option for a Christian church.
Jesus Christ expressed that truth clearly in just two words in Luke 6:37, ‘Judge not’ “.

Rejoice in difference, Struggle against Division

Seamus Ahearne shares two personal letters he wrote to the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown, about the nuncio’s refusal to accept an invitation from the ACP to meet with us.

“You will meet the formal church in your work. People will dress up. All the Liturgies will be done beautifully. You will be invited to a celebrating Church. I would suggest that the church you need to meet is the one on the ground; the informal one; the broken one; the hurting one; the one where most people have walked away; the one where lives are messed up totally.”

“Your job is much too important for you to opt out of hearing the views of a very serious and passionate group – the ACP. How can you shape the Church in Ireland if you are dismissive of the experience of those who know the scene best?”

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