Month: March 2019

The Christchurch Massacre – social media another tool of bigotry and terror

Brendan Hoban writes in his Western People column about the murder of worshippers in a Christchurch mosque and how social media meant “the world wide web was bringing live to the eyes of the world the personal holocaust he [the murderer] was inflicting on his victims.”
“Uncontrolled and, it would seem, uncontrollable media have added to the effectiveness of those who can – apparently with impunity – inflict their warped ideologies on the public by perpetrating indefensible outrages, in an effort to publicise their malign philosophies.”

The Church of the Future

Diarmuid Martin  Archbishop of Dublin, spoke recently at Saint Michael’s Church of Ireland, Limerick, on the ‘The Church of the Future’. His words have been widely reported and are on the Dublin Diocese’s website.
“My hope is that the future of the Church in Ireland will be one where we truly learn from the arrogance of our past and find anew a fragility which will allow the mercy and the compassion of Jesus to give us a change of heart and allow others through a very different Church to encounter something of that compassion and faith for their lives.”

The days we call Lent

In his Catholic Times column Chris McDonnell reflects on Lent.
“Too often we are quick with our answers on matters of faith and morality when really we should look more at the options and context……….Maybe that is what Lent gives us, more time than usual to ask the difficult questions, not of others but of ourselves. And if the answers are not immediate, then we should not worry.”

Presider’s Page for Sunday 17 March (Lá Fhéile Pádraig)

As the second week of Lent begins in other countries, we pause from our lenten penances to honour Patrick, the apostle of the Irish. In our celebration of this solemn feast, we worship God, creator, redeemer and sanctifier, who brought our ancestors into the Christian fold through the preaching of St Patrick.

Celibacy, Sexuality and the Crisis in the Priesthood

Paddy Ferry reminds all readers in Scotland that Tony Flannery will be there on Thursday evening, 21 March, at Edinburgh University talking about “Celibacy, Sexuality and the Crisis in the Priesthood”.
“A Conversation with Fr. Tony Flannery”, 6th Floor Common Room, Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15a George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD. 7.00pm to 9.00pm.

Paddy also draws our attention to the fact that the German bishops have started “a binding synodal process”, as Cardinal Marx has called it, to discuss much the same topic.  It  has been reported in many outlets including the Catholic Herald.

Don’t let life get you down

Seamus Ahearne writes against the backdrop of current experience where “We can feel got at … we feel accused of sexual chaos  …. we are deflated … the Church is battered. …. the priesthood is in a mess.” and states that we still need to be “people who have a view of a bigger picture and can give a real context to every day and always have a broader outlook. We can’t be a slave to the News or to the Moment.” We can’t let life get us down.

Time running out to save the church

Christa Pongratz-Lippitt reports in La Croix International on a press conference given by Father Helmut Schüller of Austria where he said that the sex abuse crisis shows an urgent need to ‘desacralize’ the Catholic priesthood and empower the laity. Time, he warned “is running out for the Church to make major structural changes if its leaders want to save it from collapse.”

Listen to my people

Chris McDonnell writing in the Catholic Times about the crisis in which the church is mired states “First of all, we cannot expect, nor should we presume, that the bishops can achieve change by carefully chosen phrases and pious pleasantries. There must be deep and meaningful exchange with the laity, using the latter’s experience and expertise to inform and develop a satisfactory strategy. Ownership by all achieves more than the instruction from a selected group.
Secondly, we must ensure that women are allowed and encouraged to participate fully in such developments……….The singular male voice has dominated for too long and the story that has been told has been incomplete. Maybe now, at long last, change will be forced upon us and we will recognise that appreciation of the broader picture will only come when the response is from both men and women.”

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