Seamus Ahearne OSA reflects on the story of Lazarus and challenges us to “Wake up. Taste the beauty of life. Notice the wonder and mystery. See God dancing in people, moments and nature. Come out of the tomb. Be bold”
Report on ACP Meeting at Ovens on Wednesday 17 March 2017
Report of the meeting of ACP western region
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. “
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?
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.”
Traditionally, this Sunday is called Laetare Sunday, which means ‘a day for joy’. Lent is half over, and the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus is nearer. At this midpoint of Lent, it is traditional to honour mothers, treasuring those still with us and praying for those we have lost to death.
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.”
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? “
In the heart of Lent, we keep the feast of Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. We mark the day by praising God the creator, who sustained Patrick, and who sustains the Church, in good times and bad.
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. “
The readings in this Sunday’s celebration about water and thirst remind us that this is a baptismal season. During Lent, many people all over the world look forward to their baptism, while those already baptised prepare to renew their promises.
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
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.”
Now that we are ten days into the season of Lent, our goal is clarified in today’s liturgy. The Gospel of the Transfiguration reminds us that we are destined for glory. Like the disciples, we keep this glimpse of glory in our hearts in the dark days ahead. Resurection will follow, as surely as day follows night.
The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), in responding to the announcement that the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, has been transferred to Albania, wish him well in his new appointment.
Following the resignation of Marie Collins ‘We Are Church International’ has issued a call for Cardinal Muller to be replaced at the CDF:
We celebrate the first Sunday of Lent. All over the world today, men and women are beginning a period of preparation for their baptism at the Easter Vigil. Like them, we spend Lent preparing to renew our baptismal vows at Easter, looking forward to our blessing with Easter water and to receiving the gift of a new start.
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
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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