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."

22Feb 22 Feb, 2017. The Chair of St Peter, Apostle

Today we celebrate Saint Peter’s leadership of the church in Rome. The magnificent marble cathedra,  fashioned (c.1650) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini for St. Peter’s basilica  surrounds a small wooden chair that may have been used by Peter himself, as … Read the rest

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."

21Feb The Way of Francis – a real alternative

Brendan Hoban writing in the Western People wonders what would happen if Francis was more like Trump in his approach to change; "It would be interesting to imagine, for a moment, what might happen to the Catholic Church if Francis was to adopt Trump’s more robust approach."
He concludes "But clearly that’s not Francis’ way. Because he believes that how you do something is just as important as what you do."

21Feb 21 Feb, 2017. Tuesday, Week 7

Saint Peter Damian, bishop and doctor of the Church

1st Reading: Sirach 2:1-11

Experience shows that those who hope in the Lord are not forsaken

My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for testing.
Set your … Read the rest

20Feb 20 Feb, 2017. Monday, Week 7

1st Reading: Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 1:1-10

All wisdom comes from God and returns to him

All wisdom is from the Lord, and with him it remains forever.
The sand of the sea, the drops of rain, and the days of eternity–who … Read the rest

19Feb Presider’s Page for 19 February (7th Sun. Ordinary Time)

Loving the enemy and praying for those who make life difficult are two marks of a Christian, or so Jesus teaches us today. We gather, aware of how difficult love can be, yet united by the saving mercy of God, on which we rely.

19Feb 19 Feb, 2017. 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Theme: We naturally resent those who do us wrong. But hatred, if nurtured, can come between us and God, whose ideal of perfection is mercy.

1st Reading: Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18

God calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves

The … Read the rest

18Feb Things Fall Apart

Chris McDonnell, in this week's Catholic Times column, writes "We have seen a movement within the Church that, in some ways, reflects the line of Yeats. ‘Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold’, but not completely. For our centre, Christ incarnate, is secure and will always remain. What will change with each generation, and I would suggest, must change, is the manner in which we respond to this eternal experience of the loving God."

18Feb 18 Feb, 2017. Saturday, Week 6

1st Reading: Hebrews 11:1-7

Heroic examples of faith, from the Scriptures

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds … Read the rest

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