Month: March 2017

The Language of Doctrine

Tony Flannery writing on his blog wonders if “Some of the very basic doctrines of the Church no longer make sense to the modern mind, and are being quietly rejected even by people who still attend church. Some of these doctrines are not Scripture based, but came out of the early centuries of the Church, a time when there was a very different understanding of the world and of humanity, and, probably most significant of all, a very different language which is still used to proclaim these doctrines. “

The ongoing missal problem – light at the end of the tunnel?

We carry two interesting articles about the proposed review of ‘Liturgiam Authenticam’, the Vatican’s official guide for liturgical translations.

“The New Zealand bishops are delighted with the news that Pope Francis is arranging for a review of the 2001 document Liturgiam Authenticam.”

“Why haven’t the American bishops or the other English-speaking conferences joined the New Zealanders in welcoming the review? Have they so bought into Liturgiam authenticam that they now oppose Pope Francis’s plan to review and revise it?”

We could well ask what do our Irish bishops think about this issue?

A no-brainer

Brendan Hoban, writing in the Western People, suggests it’s time church authorities caught up with the outlook of the vast majority of the membership of the church with regard to the issue of married priests. Brendan says that ‘inevitably, the penny eventually drops’.
Brendan points to the outgoing Papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown stating “after his last public Mass in Ireland, that he was alarmed at the age-profile of Irish priests, the few entering seminaries and his fear that the Irish Church was on a cliff edge, ready to go into ‘free fall’. Strangely, while in office as papal nuncio, Archbishop Brown didn’t strike such a pessimistic note; indeed to the frustration of many he kept talking about ‘green shoots of recovery’ in the Irish Church.”

Bishop Eamonn Casey

The death of Eamonn Casey, former bishop of Galway, has evoked different reactions and emotions.
Kevin Clancy has his own special memories; “Having been a diocesan priest myself for several years, working with and coming across a considerable number of bishops, charisma-wise none of them could compare with him or match his passion in promoting the social message of the gospel.”

Brendan Hoban in his weekly column in the Western People says that “If the values of the gospel of Jesus are to find its space in a different world, we need ordinary words to communicate truths that resonate with the deepest reaches and we need rituals, religious or otherwise, that speak gospel truths.
Eamonn Casey urging on thousands of young people in Galway to tell the Pope that they loved him is now part of the baggage of a by-gone era. We need to stop visiting it.”

Our need for heroes and the curse of certainty

Seamus Ahearne decides to be “totally irreverent”.
“I want less perfect people and more colour and character. We have produced a faith that glorifies perfection and is totally unreal. We spun yarns about the so-called saints and made them very unreal. We did the same with Jesus. We had no taste for the poetry and metaphor and story of Scripture and then deadened everything with literalism.”
“Life is complicated. We get glimpses of insight. Nothing is simple. We need our heroes. We need our colourful characters. We need people who have a go at living. Does it really matter if they fail or fall? “

Man made for the Sabbath

Peter Feuerherd writes in the NCR about the plight of married deacons who wish to remarry following the death of their spouse.
In such a case if the deacon marries he must be laicised and ‘As part of his laicization, … is prohibited from performing sacramental ministry pertinent to the ordained, as well as bringing Communion to the sick and reading at Mass, duties that can also be performed by laypeople. “

An intimate act of love

Chris McDonnell shares some thoughts on how we could use the ‘washing of the feet’.
“It is also a liturgy that can be shared without raising contentious issues in an ecumenical setting. There need be no divisions in this mutual giving, no barriers of race, age or social status. It fundamentally cuts through these restrictions and offers an example of Christian love in a simple yet powerful manner.”

“An intimate act of love” was first published in the Catholic Times on 10 March 2017

Open Letter to Cardinal Gerhard Müller from Marie Collins

Marie Collins resigned the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave an interview shortly following Collins’ resignation. Marie Collins has written an open letter to Müller in response to that interview, which she asked NCR to publish.
“I would ask that instead of falling back into the Church’s default position of denial and obfuscation, when a criticism like mine is raised the people of the church deserve to be given a proper explanation. We are entitled to transparency, honesty and clarity.

No longer can dysfunction be kept hidden behind institutional closed doors.”

Statement from the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) on the Tuam Babies revelations and the resignation of Marie Collins from the Vatican Commission on Clerical Sex Abuse

Statement from the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) on the Tuam Babies revelations and the resignation of Marie Collins from the Vatican Commission on Clerical Sex Abuse

‘Apologia pro vita sua’ (or something like that).

Seamus Ahearne, in thinking of the late Des Connell, asks that when he was appointed “Who thought about the man? Who worried about the suitability of this person? Could this man face the burden of leadership of a Church in Dublin at that time? Was he flexible in his thinking; was he adaptable; was he good humoured; was he strong enough to cope; had he the personality to bend and laugh and mix and take the arrows and stones that could be thrown at him? Was he a team worker? “
Questions as relevant for the appointment of a bishop today.

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