Month: February 2018

When Compassion is seen as Sin – The Stalking of Fr. James Martin sj

Brendan Hoban in the Western People outlines the campaign being waged against Fr. James Martin. “What’s clear is that Fr. Martin is no heretic. He’s in good standing with his Church, supported by his Jesuit colleagues and respected in his ministry. He’s not rejecting church teaching. He’s doing what Pope Francis himself has done, creating a space in the Catholic Church for LGBT people and creating greater awareness of the need to respect them”.
“The truth is that, in America, the presence of homophobic groups who place themselves under the umbrella of ‘Catholic’, are spewing unimagined levels of vitriol on anyone whom they believe is compromising what they see as ‘Catholic teaching’. It is a sinister and corrosive development that runs counter to the gospel, to the mercy Pope Francis consistently underlines and even to minimal standards of civility and respect.”

A time of waiting

Chris McDonnell writing in the Catholic Times offers some thoughts on how to make the best of Lent.
He suggests “So how about a ‘Listening Lent’ this year? ” Chris offers what could be very useful advice for us all when it comes to social media! “In our western culture, listening is an acquired skill. We have lost the experience of quiet time, silence, that space between words, the opportunity to consider what we hear before we rush into making a response, is scarce.”

Is the World Meeting of Families discredited?

Writing in his blog, Tony Flannery questions why changes were made in some of the literature circulated by the organisers of the world meeting of families. He suggests that “the message that is being taken from withdrawal of the (original) leaflet is that only marriage relationships that are in complete accord with Church teaching are welcome at the event.”

World Meeting of Families – Let’s be real.

Faced with the ‘lucky bag’ of glossy advertising material about the world meeting of families regularly reaching most parochial houses, Seamus Ahearne pens a few thoughts, and hopes, about this upcoming event.
“We need the messed up, chaotic struggle of most ordinary and real families to be centre stage. We have to reflect the life of the family in Ireland and not some idealised version.”
“I don’t dismiss or undermine anything of the mighty work being done in preparation. I am concerned that it can reflect something of what we see daily.”

Speaking from Eternity – “I will be love, and then I will be all things.”

Joe O Leary offers these thoughts for next Sunday, World Day of the Sick. (Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes)
“Lourdes shows a loving, healing God bending over the mass of human filth and misery, like Christ at the pool of Bethdaida, or like Christ in today’s Gospel compassionately touching the unclean leper.” …….
“So many people are locked in spiritual and psychological paralysis — and the physical paralysis that he cures could be a result of that spiritual paralysis; so many people are impoverished and marginalized and treated as lepers in our society; so many people are possessed or obsessed by demons of various kinds — by prejudice, hatred, fear, greed, enslaving attachments and addictions. The healing activity of Jesus is a blow to liberate us from all these forms of bondage.”

The Feast of Rabbie Burns – An opportunity to have a go at everyone!

Seamus Ahearne casts his eye over some recent events and wonders at the chaos and if the world has gone mad; he wonders if there is ‘an absence of proportionality’ about grieving over public figures. At the funeral of a friend he is struck by his family’s ‘utter conviction of faith in all that they did’.

“We need to stop sending mixed messages on important issues.”

Statement from The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) regretting both the removal of pictures of same-sex couples from World Meeting of Families (WMOF) booklets circulated to Irish parishes and the barring of the former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, from a conference to be held in the Vatican on “Why Women Matter.”

World Meeting of Families: Who’s welcome?

Tony Flannery, on his own website, responds to a letter to the Irish Times from Angela Hanley. Tony suggests that “the organizers of the World Meeting of Families have made a major mistake by redacting their booklet, and getting rid of any reference, by picture or text, to same sex couples.”
Another regular correspondent, Brian Eyre, asks if married priests and their families will be welcome at WMF.

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