02Oct Sin, Mortal & Otherwise

Donald Cozens writing in Commonweal suggests that 'Pope Francis, in harmony with the work of contemporary theologians like Bernard Häring, Charles Curran, Margaret Farley and others, is showing us how to move beyond the narrow legalisms of act-centered morality.'
This is in contrast to the position that has pertained since the time of the Council of Trent when there was 'an emphasis on the “act committed” rather than on the penitent’s encounter with the healing mercy of Jesus Christ and his or her overall moral orientation.'

28Sep Protecting the Pope ……. from us.

The U.S. Secret Service kept Pope Francis safe during his recent travels in the U.S.A., even if some think their methods a little over enthusiastic for a man who prefers to travel in a small Fiat rather than an armoured SUV.
Seamus Ahearne suggests that maybe we now need to protect him from our need for a jamboree by expecting him to attend the Congress on the Family for 2018.
Seamus thinks Francis' time is precious and "I would much prefer that we respect the age of Pope Francis and conserve his energy and reduce his trips abroad. We should be caring for him and protecting him ...We need to keep him at home and let him do as much as he can, in enlivening the Church."

22Sep ‘Ordination ideas have changed over time’

The issue of the ordination of women to the priesthood should not even be mentioned according to some, never mind discussed and debated. For others the fact the the catholic church does not allow ordination for women is an issue of justice and diminishes the church's voice when commenting on other issues in society.
In an interesting article in the National Catholic Reporter Thomas C Fox writes of the approach taken by Gary Macy, professor of theology and chair of the religious studies department at Santa Clara University. Macy argues that we need to look to the history of the church to gain a full understanding of the nature of priesthood and ordination.

25Jul Lets end Clericalism in the Church : Donald Cozzens

Clergy caught up in clericalism are incapable of seeing that it freezes their humanity—their ability to simply connect on a human level with the various sorts of God’s holy people.

By Father Donald Cozzens, a writer in residence at

22Jul The Current Method of Selecting Bishops runs counter to Church tradition

This article is taken from the National Catholic Reporter. It is very relevant to what is happening in the recent appointment of bishops here in Ireland

Robert Mickens’ column calling for a new way of choosing bishops is most timely. …

20Jul Brendan Hoban on Changing Times in the Church

We are glad to welcome Brendan back to the airwaves, being now well on his way to full recovery from a recent illness.

Less than two years ago, in September 2013, representing the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), I visited …

13Jul Priesthood and Vocations: Seamus Ahearne

Ollie Brogan (ESB International ) said: The Irish are welcome everywhere – because of the great work done by the Missionaries. ‘ Should we employ him as our PR person?

A journalist was on the phone. She was writing an …

10Jul Study guide for “Encountering Pope Francis”

I got this email a couple of days ago from Aidan McAleenan, an Irish priest working in Berkeley, California, who has prepared a lively way of getting people in touch with the style and message of Pope Francis. Many of

19Jun Caring for our common home

Sean McDonagh tells us that Pope Francis' encyclical is ' one of the most important documents to come from a Pope in the past one hundred-and-twenty years.'
'Pope Francis is the first to acknowledge the magnitude of the ecological crisis, the urgency with which it must be faced and the irreversible nature of ecological damage.'
Sean reminds us though that while 'this is a most exciting document, it is only a beginning. Real efforts and resources have to be placed behind it if this concern is to find its rightful place at the heart of Christian ministry.'

18Jun Re-admitting women to the ordained Diaconate

Phyllis Zagano in an article in the National Catholic Reporter gives a very interesting analysis of recent developments concerning the questions of re-admitting women to the order of deacon and that of ordaining married men to the order of priest.
Could it be that two Irish Bishops may give a lead to the universal church on these issues?