15Mar While all the others were away at Mass (Seamus Heaney)……….

Seamus Ahearne finds hope in the language used by Pope Francis. "He talks in a new and real language. Is it possible that our bishops have the gumption to learn from him? Have they got the backbone to listen to Francis and to Gerald O Collins? The people aren’t coming to us. When they come; let’s talk in words that they understand."
The language we use in church has to connect to the reality of people's lives. "We have to knock down the walls of a Church that uses ‘bad language’ or shouts out meaningless rules about what family is. We all have to listen and learn."

10Mar Open letter to English speaking bishops – Gerald O’Collins SJ

Gerald O’Collins SJ writes to all English speaking bishops asking that they 'act quickly to help English-speaking Catholics participate more effectively in the liturgy.' Gerald suggests that the “Missal that wasn’t,” the 1998 translation be used.
Fr O’Collins SJ, who was a professor at the Gregorian University in Rome for 33 years, made his comments in a letter sent to The Tablet entitled “An open letter to English-speaking bishops”.

03Mar Confronting racism and homophobia

Brendan Hoban in his weekly Western People column raises the issue of how we deal with racist and homophobic comment. He reminds us that
"The Catholic Church has had to learn some big lessons in this regard. It wasn’t so long ago that papal letters used the phrase ‘intrinsically disordered’ to describe homosexual people. I don’t think it will happen again. Or at least I hope not because its use didn’t just diminish homosexuals."

27Feb Big Tobacco Flexes its Muscles

Sean McDonagh comments on the current conflict between Dr. James Reilly, the Children’s Minister, and Japan Tobacco International over the issue of plain packaging of cigarettes.
Sean challengingly reminds us that "Religious people do comment on alcohol miss-use, but not on cigarettes. I wonder why, because every time you use tobacco products as described by the producer you harm yourself and those around you."

25Feb God in Winter

As winter lingers in many parts of the country, and with Moygownagh being no exception, Brendan Hoban offers this reflection on God in Winter by Pádraig Daly.

"Daly’s poems penetrate to the core of reality, dissecting the human condition, finding rumours of the divine in everyday experiences and mining a seam that echoes the experience of priests and people in parishes in Ireland today."

04Feb ‘Who will say Kaddish for me?’ – remember, lest we ever forget.

Last week, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the world marked Holocaust Memorial Day. Brendan Hoban in his weekly Western People column tells us that forgetting or allowing time to diminish the significance of Auschwitz is not an option. Remembering is a human and historical imperative.

28Jan International day of prayer against human trafficking

Soline Humbert reminds us of an international day of prayer against human trafficking on 08 February.

20Jan A gathering of peoples

Chris McDonnell responding to Brendan Hoban's article and recent events sees hope in the meeting of Pope Francis and Hindu priest Kurakkal Somasundaram and its message of "peaceful understanding between peoples, of religious tolerance and of care not to offend."
However the reality of the world is that some will continue to go on insulting anyone they choose and "This is the reality we must live with, always willing to respond to what we perceive as unjust comment, always preserving the right for opinion to be expressed, but always careful that violent reaction is not the outcome of thoughtless words."

15Jan Let Battle Commence

Gabriel Daly OSA writes that " In a body as large and as culturally diverse as the Catholic Church, discrepant and irreconcilable attitudes are inevitable. We should try to live with them, not pretend that it is necessary – or even desirable – to smooth them over. "
Gabriel reminds us that "The truth and the will of God may actually be found in the clash of ideas and convictions expressed freely and without the threat of institutional interference."

07Jan Pope Francis actually means what he says.

Brendan Hoban, in the Western People, advises that we need to listen to what Pope Francis is saying. Francis means what he says. His plain speaking in the scathing demolition of the assembled curia in his pre-Christmas address left no room for dilution through interpretation, translation or contextualisation.
Nor should we be distracted from his message by the speculative kite of a Papal visit being hoisted aloft. Such a visit is 'exactly what the Irish Church doesn’t need at present.'