Fr. Tim Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, announced the death today of Fr. Daniel Berrigan SJ at the age of 94.
Brian Eyre, writing from Brazil, raises the issue of a chronic shortage of priests in many places and a possible short term solution by inviting back to public ministry those who were debarred from it because they no longer wished to live a celibate life.
Brian also asks why official Vatican documents still refer to priests who have married as ‘defections’; “why use language like this that is mean, small-minded and very hurtful?'”
We can only join with Brian in querying the use of such uncharitable language. With such an attitude still prevalent in curial circles in Rome is it any wonder the ‘Year of Mercy’ has failed to find traction among people?
Pádraig McCarthy points to the 19 March letter of Pope Francis to Cardinal Marc Ouellet of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
Francis has strong words on the importance of laity, and of the dangers of clericalism.
“It is not [for] the pastor to tell lay people what they must do and say, they know this better than we do.”
Hans Küng has released a statement to media about a letter he received from Pope Francis following his appeal for an open discussion about ‘nfallibility’.
The English version was released simultaneously by National Catholic Reporter and The Tablet.
International Coverage for Letter about “A New Process for the Church and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”.
The story has got a full page in la Repubblica, the main Italian newspaper.
Gerard Moloney, a Redemptorist priest, and former editor of the magazine ‘Reality’ writes of the appalling experience he suffered at the hands of the CDF.
“How can you defend yourself if you don’t know you are on trial? How can you defend yourself if you don’t know who your accusers are? How can you defend yourself when your fate has been decided even before you discover you have been on trial? It is an utterly unjust and unchristian system.
Something is rotten in the state of the CDF, and while the current people and processes remain in place, nothing will change. Priests, sisters and brothers will continue to be treated as less than human, and will have their lives hurt or broken.
… injustice has a price, and I am paying it every day.”
Fifteen people, including two bishops, prominent theologians, people working in creative areas of ministry, and Catholic writers and broadcasters, have written to Pope Francis and to the Prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, asking for an open discussion about the procedures of the Congregation and calling for approaches that respect human rights and the need for free speech, pluralism, transparency and accountability within the church community.
They also say that the CDF “acts in ways that are out of keeping with contemporary concepts of human rights, accountability and transparency that the world expects from the Christian community and which the Catholic Church demands from secular organizations.”
Brendan Hoban in his weekly column in the Western People reflects on his 43 years in ministry in the light of the influence successive papacies have had on church.
‘as hope gradually died a long and difficult death and Rome eventually began to implode, a few years ago the cardinals came to the obvious conclusion that the Curia in Rome had to be reformed, rowing back in the general direction of the Council of Trent had failed and that the vision of Vatican Two was worth a second look.
Unexpectedly Francis emerged from the shadows……….’
Pádraig McCarthy has re-formatted ‘The Joy of Love’ on A4 pages as a downloadable and printable PDF file.
A petition to reinstate Professor Hans Küng as a Catholic theologian.
Aidan Hart, a married layman, reviews Pope Francis’ latest gift to the universal Church. He sees it as “a papal document like no other; its underlying tone of God’s compassionate mercy for all human failure and its understanding of the realities and messiness of many peoples’ lives are outstanding.”
ACP appoint Administrative Secretary
Ainead Ní Mhuirthile gives a personal reaction to her experience as a Synod Delegate in the Limerick Diocesan Synod.
Ainead quotes one priest saying “I thought I’d never see the day where lay people would have a vote in a Church Synod,” adding “should have happened a year or two after Vatican 2 of course…”
and Bishop Leahy “This Synod is a real marker, but the journey goes on..”
Brian Fahy is currently writing commentaries on the Sunday lectionary for Mayhew Publications for a book that will be published later this year. While working on this project and with Sunday B ordinary time in mind he wrote this reflection on the publication of ‘The Joy of Love’.
“The issues of what is right and what is possible can be brought together and in this latest document Pope Francis does exactly that. Justice and mercy can meet. The great thing with Francis is that he speaks our language and before him, the popes too often spoke in a ‘language that the strangers (to church matters) do not know.’ “
Pope Francis –
“No one can be condemned for ever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel!”
“Here I am not speaking only of the divorced and remarried, but of everyone, in whatever situation they find themselves.”
“not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium. Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it. This will always be the case as the Spirit guides us towards the entire truth.”
“We have been called to form consciences, not to replace them.”
Following the Annual General Meeting of the ACP some concerns of members, as expressed in resolutions passed at the meeting, were communicated on 01 December 2015 by letter to the bishops’ conference.
On 05 April 2016 a response was received and the text of their letter is attached.
The proposed meeting is a welcome development that one hopes will not be just a ‘once off’ but will lead to what Pope Francis says he always advises, “Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue!”
Seamus Ahearne reflects on recent events and points to the need for real leadership in society and also a need for courageous leaders in church.
Faced by events like Brussels and Lahore, with the seas becoming ‘insatiable cemeteries’ for those fleeing war he asks ‘Where will the needed leadership come from? Who will create the map that we need?
In church Seamus tells us ‘Theology is full of poetic mystery but we were satisfied with crude prose for years and it passed as orthodoxy. It became official and those who stepped outside such thinking were condemned. The New Missal is a monument to fundamentalists who knew nothing of a living God or Grace. Their Liturgy was solemn, static and ignored the incarnation.’
Seamus concludes, ‘Politicians. Church people. Educationalists. Trade-unionists. Society. All need to begin to learn humbly how to live out the Proclamation; the Gospel; the challenge of being a grown up nation and an adult Catholic. There is much to do.’
Details of a conference being organised by the Loyola Institute entitled ‘The Role of Church in a Pluralist Society: Good Riddance or Good Influence? ‘
It will be held in Trinity College, Dublin, from 22 to 24 June.
We publish the text of the talk given by Máire Ní Dhuibhir at the ACI meeting in Galway last Thursday, 31 March. It created an enormous impression among the people who came — long and sustained applause.
It loses something in print, in that Máire sang various parts beautifully, but it is a very worthwhile read.
“I think we would be immeasurably enriched by getting together as women, re-reading the New Testament and try and find the women’s story there and learn about the great women mystics and the independent women of the church who founded orders of nuns and the stories of contemporary women. I think we can articulate like these women before us how the Divine is always with us, just as Jesus promised. I believe we can then change the Church and the communities from within.”
Robert Mickens in his letter from Rome, in globalpulsemagazine.com, writes that “exasperation is also growing over the tortoise-like speed with which Papa Franceso is moving to reform the Roman Curia (and other structures in the Church)”.
Meanwhile ‘reform of the curia is unnecessary’, says Archbishop Gänswein’ . Christa Pongratz-Lippitt reports in The Tablet.
Where are we at? Has all this talk of reform, or lack of reform, or the need, or lack of need, of reform any relevance in the day to day life of an Irish priest in 2016?
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