21Mar Bishop Eamonn Casey

The death of Eamonn Casey, former bishop of Galway, has evoked different reactions and emotions.
Kevin Clancy has his own special memories; "Having been a diocesan priest myself for several years, working with and coming across a considerable number of bishops, charisma-wise none of them could compare with him or match his passion in promoting the social message of the gospel."

Brendan Hoban in his weekly column in the Western People says that "If the values of the gospel of Jesus are to find its space in a different world, we need ordinary words to communicate truths that resonate with the deepest reaches and we need rituals, religious or otherwise, that speak gospel truths.
Eamonn Casey urging on thousands of young people in Galway to tell the Pope that they loved him is now part of the baggage of a by-gone era. We need to stop visiting it."

20Mar Our need for heroes and the curse of certainty

Seamus Ahearne decides to be "totally irreverent".
"I want less perfect people and more colour and character. We have produced a faith that glorifies perfection and is totally unreal. We spun yarns about the so-called saints and made them very unreal. We did the same with Jesus. We had no taste for the poetry and metaphor and story of Scripture and then deadened everything with literalism."
"Life is complicated. We get glimpses of insight. Nothing is simple. We need our heroes. We need our colourful characters. We need people who have a go at living. Does it really matter if they fail or fall? "

16Mar Man made for the Sabbath

Peter Feuerherd writes in the NCR about the plight of married deacons who wish to remarry following the death of their spouse.
In such a case if the deacon marries he must be laicised and 'As part of his laicization, ... is prohibited from performing sacramental ministry pertinent to the ordained, as well as bringing Communion to the sick and reading at Mass, duties that can also be performed by laypeople. "

15Mar An intimate act of love

Chris McDonnell shares some thoughts on how we could use the 'washing of the feet'.
"It is also a liturgy that can be shared without raising contentious issues in an ecumenical setting. There need be no divisions in this mutual giving, no barriers of race, age or social status. It fundamentally cuts through these restrictions and offers an example of Christian love in a simple yet powerful manner."

"An intimate act of love" was first published in the Catholic Times on 10 March 2017

14Mar Open Letter to Cardinal Gerhard Müller from Marie Collins

Marie Collins resigned the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave an interview shortly following Collins' resignation. Marie Collins has written an open letter to Müller in response to that interview, which she asked NCR to publish.
"I would ask that instead of falling back into the Church's default position of denial and obfuscation, when a criticism like mine is raised the people of the church deserve to be given a proper explanation. We are entitled to transparency, honesty and clarity.

No longer can dysfunction be kept hidden behind institutional closed doors."

09Mar “Cardinal Muller should be replaced” – We are Church International

Following the resignation of Marie Collins 'We Are Church International' has issued a call for Cardinal Muller to be replaced at the CDF:

03Mar ‘Apologia pro vita sua’ (or something like that).

Seamus Ahearne, in thinking of the late Des Connell, asks that when he was appointed "Who thought about the man? Who worried about the suitability of this person? Could this man face the burden of leadership of a Church in Dublin at that time? Was he flexible in his thinking; was he adaptable; was he good humoured; was he strong enough to cope; had he the personality to bend and laugh and mix and take the arrows and stones that could be thrown at him? Was he a team worker? "
Questions as relevant for the appointment of a bishop today.

02Mar New Models of Christian Community – Toward a Post-Clericalist Church

Werner G. Jeanrond writes in Doctrine and Life about models of church for the future.
"Christian communities are called to become communities of love – and not models of some perfect society with a well-ordered male hierarchy."
"We live and work at the intersection of two competing models of Church: the Church as well-ordered society and the Church as dynamic community. "

"All kinds of conflicts may appear on the road toward a better Church. All kinds of vested interests will show their often ugly heads when challenged. But in the present period of transition, we are invited to remain faithful to God’s love command,............. this love command applies also in any struggle within our Church."

22Feb Bishop Vincent Long of Parramatta at the Royal Commission into Institutional response to child abuse in Australia.

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."

21Feb ‘Thinkers needed for the Wasteland!’

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."




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