18Jan Lions in the Hierarchy, the Inauguration, and a dollop of poetry!

Seamus Ahearne shares some thoughts on world and local events. Looking at such events Seamus challenges us; "how can we enlarge the discussion and reflection on life? How can we bring the poetry of God to our talk? How can the church move away from the nonsensical distractions and wake people up from the simplistic notions of Facebook and Twitter? I do fear that the world of politics is getting very small. We have also made God’s world small."
Seamus reminds us of the accusation that has been levelled against us;' “Your God is too small.” Small minds. Small people. Small faith has led us to this. I have a little theory.
A celibate bachelor clergy can become very linear in its outlook. The awkwardness of family life smashes all simple conclusions to problems. Acceptance of helplessness is the norm. I know that a celibate clergy gives us the chance to be very much family on a 24/7 schedule but something is still missing. The humour and humility of humanity can get diluted. We need chaos. The tidy and clear solutions to life are totally unreal.'

18Jan Ad Limina – no need to be afraid of married priests or of Francis.

Brian Eyre encourages the Irish bishops on their visit to Rome to face the realities about the shortage of priests, about the benefits of having married priests. "Today after 34 years of married life I still feel and know that I have been faithful to the calling of Our Lord and that my marriage has helped me be a better priest."

17Jan Wisdom of an elder for a Nuncio

Kevin Hayes offer some wisdom to Archbishop Brown, Papal Nuncio; as he says "At seventy-seven I feel entitled to lecture even Papal Nuncios!"
"I still have warm regard and concern for our Christian people, in Irish, Pobal Dé. I use that term rather than Church. I am not a great admirer of the institutional Catholic church. I believe the institution has become more important than the Christian message, the Word of God. The institution has become more important than the individual person and so many times its interests have been placed before the good of the person."

16Jan German priests: open the priesthood to women, make priestly celibacy voluntary

The National Catholic Reporter has a story about an open letter on the state of the church and priestly ministry in Germany that a group of 11 German priests from the Cologne archdiocese have written urging the church to open the priesthood to both men and women and to make priestly celibacy voluntary.
Meanwhile Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, writes about his visit to Rome, "No doubt Pope Francis and the other curial officials will be interested to learn how we are facing the current challenges of a decline in Mass attendance in Ireland and in the number of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life.
I, and my fellow bishops, will be able to share with them the resilience of our priests and religious under increased pressure and workload, as well as the tremendous generosity and kindness of the faithful towards us.
We will be able to discuss the seeds of renewal and new growth in catechesis, lay involvement, intentional discipleship and pastoral outreach that are emerging all over the country.

10Jan The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP)

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) has produced the first edition of their new newsletter, 'Leading'.
Mary Bergan Blanchard , editor, says that the newsletter "discusses who we are, why we’re here, and what we do.....
We are a prophetic movement. Organized religion needs to be reorganized. Millions of Catholics have given up their faith in disgust. If we do not regenerate the interest in the simplicity of Christ’s message, who will? It is buried in over 1,750 man-made Canon Laws. Women and all their contributions have been ignored for nearly two thousand years. Enough!..................... We are trying our best to inform all curious people exactly what we are about."

09Jan Pope of the possible

Brendan Hoban, in the Western People, questions why Irish bishops when faced with the dramatically reducing number of priests in the Irish church 'are not good at maths. It takes them a long time to get their heads around something and then when they do the sums they seem to lose their nerve and back away from the obvious answer.'
Reports suggest the Brazilian bishops are asking Francis to allow married priests to resume their priestly ministry. 'So shouldn’t we be doing something about it, now? Couldn’t our bishops do what the Brazilian bishops are doing?'.

08Jan A new beginning

Brian Fahy has been doing some very early spring cleaning and unearthed some notes made in the past that are still very relevant today.

03Jan Putting our World back together again

Brendan Hoban, in his weekly Western People column, ruminates on the passing of 2016 and what 2017 might hold for us.

03Jan The presumption of doing good and the harm it can cause

Brian Fahy, reflecting on his own life experiences, warns against the presumption that we're always doing good merely because we think we are 'working for God'.
'People in the church presume that what they do is always good since they are working for God. They do not think to question many of the practices they perform precisely for this reason. They do not ever think that they might be mistaken.'

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