Today's Homily Resource
1st Reading: Sirach 17:1-15
God made us in the divine image, and looks with favour on us
The Lord created human beings out of earth,
and makes them return to it again.
He gave them a fixed number of days, …
February 22nd, 2017
Bishop Vincent Long of Parramatta diocese has been giving evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional response to child abuse in Australia.
He had some very interesting things to say in the course of his evidence.
"It is my concern that there is a trend not only in certain seminaries in Australia but I think it's a by-product of the two pontificates before that of Pope Francis which encouraged a certain restoration, you might say, of the traditional model of Church, and therefore the seminarians who were trained in that period, I would say, were by-products of that kind of culture in the Church."
"I think there's a link between compulsory or mandatory celibacy and clericalism in that compulsory celibacy is an act of setting apart the ordained. It's creating that power distance between the ordained and the non-ordained. Insofar as it is an instrument of subjugation or subservience, if you like, of the laity, it is wrong and it has to be reviewed. "
"I do believe that the marginalisation of women and the laity is part of this culture of clericalism that contributes not insignificantly to the sexual abuse crisis, and I think if we are serious about reform, this is one of the areas that we need to look at."
February 21st, 2017
Seamus Ahearne offers his thoughts on some of the issues and people that have been in the spotlight recently.
"I thank God for working in me and I am in awe. It doesn’t make me good or great. But the fun, happiness and wonder of every day is miraculous. The holiness of each day shouts at me. I have been blessed. I never bother my head thinking if only. If only what. Married. Children. Grandchildren. What has been; is done. What is; I live with. What shape tomorrow is; I can help make. Are there things I would like to make different. Of course, but I don’t have the energy to dream backwards."
February 21st, 2017
Brendan Hoban writing in the Western People wonders what would happen if Francis was more like Trump in his approach to change; "It would be interesting to imagine, for a moment, what might happen to the Catholic Church if Francis was to adopt Trump’s more robust approach."
He concludes "But clearly that’s not Francis’ way. Because he believes that how you do something is just as important as what you do."
February 18th, 2017
Chris McDonnell, in this week's Catholic Times column, writes "We have seen a movement within the Church that, in some ways, reflects the line of Yeats. ‘Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold’, but not completely. For our centre, Christ incarnate, is secure and will always remain. What will change with each generation, and I would suggest, must change, is the manner in which we respond to this eternal experience of the loving God."
February 15th, 2017
A number of regional meetings for priests are being arranged by the ACP.
The first of these will be held in the MacWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris, Co Mayo on Wednesday, 08 March at 2.00pm.
All priests of Killala, Elphin, Achonry and Tuam dioceses are invited to attend.
A meeting for the Southern Region has been scheduled for 15 March in The Parish Centre, Ovens from 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm.
February 13th, 2017
Sarah Mac Donald, writing in the National Catholic Reporter, gives an interesting account of the Irish bishops' visit to Pope Francis.
"But while Francis was telling the bishops he wanted to hear their problems and criticisms, back in Ireland, the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), ... issued a statement expressing themselves as "disappointed, frustrated and angry" that, after six years of attempting to engage the bishops in a "respectful and mutual consideration of issues central to the health and well-being of the Irish Catholic church," the bishops had "pulled the plug on any future engagement with the ACP."
February 12th, 2017
RTE carried coverage by Joe Little of comments made by Gerry O Hanlon SJ by video-link from Dublin to Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Updated with a Link to a statement from The Truth Justice and Healing Council, the body set up by the Catholic Church in Australia to coordinate the Catholic Church's response to the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse with a commitment to justice and compassion for survivors.
And a Link to opening statement by Senior Counsel at the Royal Commission’s 50th public hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional responses to child sexual abuse.
February 10th, 2017
Tony Flannery reports on the work of a group, which formed following the Network of Reform Groups conference in Chicago last October, that is tasked to produce a Charter of Fundamental Rights for all members of the Church.
February 10th, 2017
Sean O'Conaill reflects on the question of Grace in response to a recent article by Seamus Ahearne.
"In spite of that mistaken 1950s 'take' on grace as an antidote to sexuality, at no time in my over seven decades did I ever completely lose hope of encountering a God who was gracious in the sense of freely and constantly loving."
February 5th, 2017
Seamus Ahearne reflects on the demolition and rebuilding of a church in Finglas parish.
"The new church for building in Finglas to replace the old has to be one where thinking happens; where the breadth of God is celebrated; where God is not protected from questions but where we take off our shoes and bow our heads in praise, gratitude and humility. We are forever learning. We are forever questioning. We are forever thinking. The God of our Church is praised if we are thinking. A passive church; a passive liturgy; a passive people does not respect God. I think therefore I am!"