12Apr Sledge hammered or airbrushed – getting rid of ‘beautiful things’­

Brendan Hoban in his weekly Western People column wonders what we are losing by the ' gradual, insistent airbrushing of religion out of Irish life.'
He says that as a result 'to refer to the challenge and comfort of a lived faith in a God of love and compassion is almost to speak a language that so many now either refuse to speak or don't really understand.'

10Apr Submissions for the Synod

Attached are two submissions to the Synod.
One from ACI and the second from AUSCP.
The Association of Catholics in Ireland have provided a lengthy document and the AUSCP have provide a summary of what they say "U.S. priests with decades of family ministry have presented to the Vatican office for the Synod of Bishops on the family. The survey results, with responses from almost 600 U.S. priests, were presented today (April 10) to Msgr. John Abbruzzese of the Synod office".

07Apr At Easter, Austria’s bishops remembered the “forgotten” women

Maria Teresa Pontara Pedervia reports in the vaticaninsider.lastampa.it website that Austrian bishops reminded us all that despite the crucial role women play in the life of the church it can often be overlooked!
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn commented that 'the Gospel stories are full of female figures that have played important roles, but “none of these women has ever been canonized,” he regretted.'

06Apr The celebration of the Eucharist: Could it become a museum piece?

Brian Eyre wonders if the celebration of the Eucharist could become so rare it could be seen as a museum piece?
He hopes not but suggests the only way "This can be avoided is if the priesthood is opened up to others and not limit it to male celibate candidates only."

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.