‘Whistle- Blower’   (Life, Death, Hope and the Eight Amendment)

Seamus Ahearne reviews a new publication by Pádraig McCarthy.

“Whether you agree with Padraig McCarthy’s line of argument in this book or not, he ruthlessly presents the core questions. The seriousness of the proposed Referendum makes it important that his book be read and studied. He has done us a service.”

Updated with a summary of the main points made by Pádraig McCarthy

Mary McAleese to Pope Francis -‘develop a credible strategy for the inclusion of women as equals’

A report on the Voices of Faith International Women’s Day Conference from the National Catholic Reporter and the text of the talk given by former President Mary McAleese.
“Today, we challenge Pope Francis to develop a credible strategy for the inclusion of women as equals throughout the church’s root and branch infrastructure, including its decision-making.”
Mary McAleese

Misogyny in the Vatican

Kevin Hegarty, writing in The Mayo News, comments on the decision not to allow Mary McAleese express her views on Vatican property. Kevin sees the decision as a symptom of a huge problem. “This recent controversy highlights once again the density of patriarchy in the institutional Catholic Church. It is the last bastion of exclusive male domination in the western world.
Misogyny in the Vatican is draped in theological abstractions especially in regard to female ordination. Such patriarchy is as insidious and destructive as woodworm in furniture.”

We Are Church – “open all ministries to women”

‘We are Church’ in call to bishops; “The continued exclusion of women from all ministries including the priesthood and from executive functions in the Catholic Church is an injustice that must be ended. How can our Church continue to proclaim global justice for the marginalised when it accepts an injustice within the Church that marginalises half of its own members” 

Handle with reverence

Thomas O’Loughlin takes issue with Cardinal Sarah following his most recent statement on the Eucharist.
“I suspect many Christians have been taken aback by Cardinal Sarah’s judgment that communion in the hand is the most recent engagement between the good angels, and Lucifer and his demons”.
Our thanks to Brendan Walsh editor of The Tablet for permission to publish this article which first appeared in The Tablet, 23 February.

No room in this Inn?

Sarah McDonald writes in the Irish Independent of the further censoring of material issuing from the World Meeting of Families.
On this occasion “A bishop’s comments expressing conciliatory views on same-sex couples raising children were edited out of a video promoted by the World Meeting of Families (WMF).”

Updated to include We Are Church Statement.

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’.

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