18Feb Things Fall Apart

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."

13Feb “the apostolate of the ear”

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."

12Feb Child abuse scandal ‘almost fatally destroyed’ Catholic Church

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
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.

10Feb Fundamental Rights in the Church

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.

10Feb Grace? Sacrament? Love? God?

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."

05Feb ‘I think, therefore I am.’ (Godly and human)

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!"

03Feb Poem for St. Blaise’s Day

Michael Maginn shares a thought on St. Blaise's Day.
"Lord,
May we see beyond rules,
beyond bricks and mortar,
to the flesh and blood
that is truly Church."

01Feb Rome Revisits ‘Liturgiam Authenticam’

Rita Ferrone reports in commmonwealmagazine.org that Pope Francis has inaugurated a review and re-evaluation of the 2001 document Liturgiam authenticam.

31Jan “Stem parish closures and mergers”; Association of US Catholic Priests

The National Catholic Reporter has a story of how the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests is in the final development stages of issuing an urgent "plea" to the U.S. bishops to "formulate a plan now to meet this emerging crisis" of parish closings and consolidations.
In a working draft it calls a "Proposal for Pastoral Care In & Thru Priestless Parishes," the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests exhorts the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and "dioceses nationwide" to quickly address the issue.

31Jan The Quiet Revolution

Gerry O Hanlon SJ in an opinion piece in the Irish Times maintains that Pope Francis is quietly revolutionising the Church.
"It seems to me that what is going on here is that Francis is proposing a paradigm shift in our model of church that, in effect, reverses the status quo of the past millennium and returns, with appropriate adjustments for our age, to a first millennium model. This is huge, a ‘quiet revolution’, which, strategically, has the potential to unlock many concrete issues of contention within the Church."

Gerry maintains that this model of church needs to be adopted at a local level.




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