24Nov The Inquisition by any other name

Fr. P. John Mannion in this article explores the disjunction between the Church’s Canon Law and the teaching of the New Testament.
He does so in the context of the dealings of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly The Inquisition, with Fr. Tony Flannery.
The injustice of those dealings and lack of due process is compounded when some commentators lay charges against Tony Flannery on the basis of what the CDF has done rather than anything he actually said.

21Nov Rigidity kills the Heart

Seamus Ahearne wrote this in response to the post 'De-centralisation and the selection of bishops'.
It deserves its own space and as usual Seamus challenges us in a gentle way to expand our horizons.
"We don’t have to protect God. God is used to our mess. Let’s take hold of the vision from Rome and apply it locally."

20Nov Pope Francis’ Advice for Bishops, Priests and prospective Seminarians

Iacopo Scaramuzzi reports on some off the cuff remarks made by Pope Francis at a Conference sponsored by the Congregation for the Clergy.
He told bishops: “Be present in your dioceses of resign”
To priests he said “It is not normal for a priest to be often sad, nervous, or of a hard character; it is not good, and does no good, neither for the priest nor for his people,”
About those wishing to enter the seminary he said authorities should think twice if the young man “is too confident, rigid and fundamentalist”.

20Nov Faith, Ethics, Elections, Citizenship

Pádraig McCarthy poses some interesting questions as we face into a general election in the Republic of Ireland early in the new year.
"We have an election coming early next year, significant for the centenary of 1916. How does our faith in Jesus Christ inform our active citizenship?
What inspiration and challenges can faith offer to setting goals in political and public life? "

20Nov De-centralisation and the selection of bishops

Robert Mickens in his 'Letter from Rome' on Global Pulse Magazine comments on the stresses and strains that surface when trying to attempt de-centralisation in the church. He says "Reactions to the US bishops’ deliberations this week at their fall meeting suggest that Catholics may have drawn the conclusion, unwittingly, that decentralization may not be all that it’s cracked up to be."
However he adds 'it is going to be a rough and rocky road to healthy decentralization in the Catholic Church. It’s not likely to happen until the synodality that Francis is trying to instill in the Church’s way of living and being also embraces and transforms the way bishops are selected.
Even if a change in the discernment process for choosing our pastors were to be implemented in the next couple of years, it would probably take at least two more generations before we’d get an episcopate that would make decentralized government effective.
Having said that, there are some men in miters – even those with the august rank of cardinal – who should be doing everything as the pope wishes, both in style and emphasis.
And they actually do work for him. They are called apostolic delegates and Vatican officials."

20Nov Mercy can heal the wounds of the Church

The Tablet recently carried an edited version of a lecture written by Cardinal Walter Kaspar for The Spirit of Catholic Renewal, a conference held at Durham University as one of the events to mark The Tablet’s 175th anniversary. In his absence due to illness, the lecture was delivered by Professor Eamon Duffy. 

In his address Cardinal Kasper asked "How can we heal the many wounds of the Church caused by its divisions? How can we heal the many wounds of our world? Once more Pope Francis gives us the right cue. It is taken from the very centre of the Gospel; its name is mercy. Reconciliation, including reconciliation of divided Christians, can be achieved only by mercy."

20Nov What Needs Reform in the Church?

Sarah Mac Donald reports in the NCR on a recent talk on "What Needs Reform in the Church?" by Fr. Gabriel Daly who was speaking ahead of the launch of his new book, 'The Church: Always in Need of Reform'

18Nov A Clear Voice?

Fr. Anthony Ruff OSB reports on the meeting of the U.S. bishops at Baltimore.
He raises the possibility of some movement on the ongoing problems with the current "translation" of the Roman Missal with the election of a new chair to the U.S. bishops liturgy committee.
"it is noteworthy that the bishop who spoke most negatively about the new translation, Archbishop Wilton Gregory, was a candidate to be chair of the USCCB liturgy committee. He was elected. His term will begin in 2016."
" Archbishop Wilton Gregory, also a former USCCB liturgy committee chair, rose to echo Trautman’s concerns. Before printing up more books with the current translation, we ought to look at the problems with the translation. There should be a review of the problems with the new Missal."

Isn't it time the Irish bishops addressed the problem realistically and had a real discussion about it?

15Nov Receiving Eucharist: a goal to achieve or something to share on the journey of life?

Rocco Palmo reports that Pope Francis today, Sunday 15 November, visited Rome's Evangelical Lutheran church for an ecumenical dialogue.
Speaking of her marriage to a Catholic, a woman member of the Lutheran congregation addressed "the hurt we've felt together due to [their] difference of faith" and asked about their ability "to finally participate together in Communion."
In response Francis said "I ask myself and don’t know how to respond – what you’re asking me, I ask myself the question. To share the Lord’s banquet: is it the goal of the path or is it the viaticum [etym. “to accompany you on the journey”] for walking together?"

11Nov The Iconoclast of Brittany!

Seamus Ahearne writes about the necessity of the ACP.
"I think the ACP exists not just to make noise or to be prophetic but to add ballast and communion to the collective in ministry. We are at breaking point as priests. We will fall apart if we stay apart."
" the ACP is to reach out and call attention to the tiredness and to the ageing of the diocesan priests. What is the support structure for them? Creating clusters and adding on more work to do cannot be the answer. Creative and imaginative ideas are necessary (as Francis said). We cannot go on as we are."
"The ACP isn’t just a vehicle for the journalists to use or an association of renegades. The ACP cannot be about the big noisy issues – nor can we forever be fighting big causes. It is the essentials of faith that are our interests and the ordinary issues of day to day life."