21Apr Something is rotten in the state of ………… Time for CDF to be stood aside and properly investigated.

Gerard Moloney, a Redemptorist priest, and former editor of the magazine 'Reality' writes of the appalling experience he suffered at the hands of the CDF.

"How can you defend yourself if you don’t know you are on trial? How can you defend yourself if you don’t know who your accusers are? How can you defend yourself when your fate has been decided even before you discover you have been on trial? It is an utterly unjust and unchristian system.

Something is rotten in the state of the CDF, and while the current people and processes remain in place, nothing will change. Priests, sisters and brothers will continue to be treated as less than human, and will have their lives hurt or broken.

... injustice has a price, and I am paying it every day."

20Apr CDF: accuser, investigator, judge, jury, executioner, Christian?

Fifteen people, including two bishops, prominent theologians, people working in creative areas of ministry, and Catholic writers and broadcasters, have written to Pope Francis and to the Prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, asking for an open discussion about the procedures of the Congregation and calling for approaches that respect human rights and the need for free speech, pluralism, transparency and accountability within the church community.
They also say that the CDF “acts in ways that are out of keeping with contemporary concepts of human rights, accountability and transparency that the world expects from the Christian community and which the Catholic Church demands from secular organizations.”

18Apr Still flying a tattered flag

Brendan Hoban in his weekly column in the Western People reflects on his 43 years in ministry in the light of the influence successive papacies have had on church.
'as hope gradually died a long and difficult death and Rome eventually began to implode, a few years ago the cardinals came to the obvious conclusion that the Curia in Rome had to be reformed, rowing back in the general direction of the Council of Trent had failed and that the vision of Vatican Two was worth a second look.
Unexpectedly Francis emerged from the shadows..........'

16Apr Review of ‘The Joy of Love’

Aidan Hart, a married layman, reviews Pope Francis’ latest gift to the universal Church. He sees it as “a papal document like no other; its underlying tone of God’s compassionate mercy for all human failure and its understanding of the realities and messiness of many peoples’ lives are outstanding.”

11Apr Limerick Diocese Synod ….. a real marker, but the journey goes on

Ainead Ní Mhuirthile gives a personal reaction to her experience as a Synod Delegate in the Limerick Diocesan Synod.
Ainead quotes one priest saying “I thought I’d never see the day where lay people would have a vote in a Church Synod,” adding “should have happened a year or two after Vatican 2 of course…”
and Bishop Leahy "This Synod is a real marker, but the journey goes on.."

09Apr Reflecting on ‘The Joy of Love’

Brian Fahy is currently writing commentaries on the Sunday lectionary for Mayhew Publications for a book that will be published later this year. While working on this project and with Sunday B ordinary time in mind he wrote this reflection on the publication of 'The Joy of Love'.
"The issues of what is right and what is possible can be brought together and in this latest document Pope Francis does exactly that. Justice and mercy can meet. The great thing with Francis is that he speaks our language and before him, the popes too often spoke in a ‘language that the strangers (to church matters) do not know.’ "

04Apr ‘Fundamentalists are people who don’t understand poetry.’

Seamus Ahearne reflects on recent events and points to the need for real leadership in society and also a need for courageous leaders in church.
Faced by events like Brussels and Lahore, with the seas becoming ‘insatiable cemeteries’ for those fleeing war he asks 'Where will the needed leadership come from? Who will create the map that we need?
In church Seamus tells us 'Theology is full of poetic mystery but we were satisfied with crude prose for years and it passed as orthodoxy. It became official and those who stepped outside such thinking were condemned. The New Missal is a monument to fundamentalists who knew nothing of a living God or Grace. Their Liturgy was solemn, static and ignored the incarnation.'
Seamus concludes, 'Politicians. Church people. Educationalists. Trade-unionists. Society. All need to begin to learn humbly how to live out the Proclamation; the Gospel; the challenge of being a grown up nation and an adult Catholic. There is much to do.'

02Apr Women – A potential for ministry in the church today

We publish the text of the talk given by Máire Ní Dhuibhir at the ACI meeting in Galway last Thursday, 31 March. It created an enormous impression among the people who came -- long and sustained applause.
It loses something in print, in that Máire sang various parts beautifully, but it is a very worthwhile read.

"I think we would be immeasurably enriched by getting together as women, re-reading the New Testament and try and find the women’s story there and learn about the great women mystics and the independent women of the church who founded orders of nuns and the stories of contemporary women. I think we can articulate like these women before us how the Divine is always with us, just as Jesus promised. I believe we can then change the Church and the communities from within."

23Mar Bishop: Irish hierarchy should reach out to priests like Fr. Tony Flannery

Sarah Mac Donald reports in the NCR on comments by Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry who said that unless the bishops are seen to be "willing to go way beyond our comfort zone then people will say you are just a group looking after yourselves."
Tony Flannery responding said that he has received "great support from many people and priests," but he has also experienced "how quickly and completely church authorities shut you out as soon as the Vatican moves against you...... All I have ever looked for in relation to myself and others who are accused of 'dissent' is a process that is fair, just and transparent."
He added, "The present CDF process is a scandal, and brings shame on our church.""

23Mar “Why are you killing me?”

On the eve of Holy Thursday Pádraig McCarthy reminds us of the cost of true discipleship in many parts of the world with reports of the death of Fr. Vincent Machozi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Coming so soon after the murder in Yemen of four religious sisters, Sisters Anselm, Marguerite, Regina, and Judith, of the Missionaries of Charity, the religious order founded by Mother Teresa, it highlights the immense dangers now faced by so many Christians who seek to practice their faith in a very disturbed world. Twelve others who worked with the sisters as volunteer aides were killed on 04 March by members of ISIS.