14Jul Artifacts show that early church women served as clergy

Sarah Mac Donald writes in the National Catholic Reporter about how research of Artifacts show that early church women served as clergy.
"New research recently unveiled in Rome suggests women had a greater role in the early church's ministries and liturgies than previously thought and were present at church altars as deacons, priests and even bishops.
Ally Kateusz, research associate at the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research, presented her findings July 2 to the International Society of Biblical Literature, drawing on iconography from ancient Christian art."

14Jul All The World A Thin Place: An Urgent Call for Eco-Theology

Eco-theology is very much in the news - with some treating it with the utmost suspicion. However it is an area where great exploration is taking place. "All The World A Thin Place: An Urgent Call for Eco-Theology" is an essay carried by Progressing Spirit.that gives a taste of some recent thinking in this area.

10Jul ‘Change’ Comes Dropping Slow

America magazine reports on the appointment by Pope Francis of seven women to be full members of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

09Jul Behind the Taoiseach’s Comments

Brendan Hoban, writing in The Western People, expresses disappointment with An Taoiseach for his comments in the Dáil.
"While many people admire Leo Varadkar for his ability and, not least for the new Ireland that’s being created under his watch, as I do, it was disappointing that in the Dáil chamber he descended to the mocking and stereo-typing of Catholic priests..."

08Jul That sinning priest behind the altar!

Seamus Ahearne is not getting too worked up about recent comments made by An Taoiseach about priests, but does offer a whispered bit of advice.
"This is a great life. The life of priesthood. It is full of humour and fun and grace and beauty.  We are privileged. And it is delightful.  You can use us in any way you wish."

07Jul A cry from the depths

Chris McDonnell writes in the Catholic Times about the urgency of the cry from the depths about the future of our church.
"Current critics have rocked the complacency of many priests and laity who simply prefer not to think of failure within the church. They still occupy a Church of peace and tranquillity that is the stuff of false memory. That is why the urgency to change is not recognized. The first stimulus  to begin reform is a recognition that current circumstances cry out with the urgency of a wounded child."

01Jul Presider’s Pages for July 2019 published

To facilitate those taking summer holidays, the presider’s pages for all of July have now been published on the ‘Presider’s Page’ of the LITURGY section, and under the title PRAYERS OF THE FATHFUL, as well as within the LITURGY menu …

23Jun Women and the Diaconate

We are indebted to Sharon Tighe-Mooney who has written this article for us about the very topical issue of women and the diaconate.
Sharon clearly outlines what has been the stumbling block for the hierarchy - "the fear that including women to any extent would lead to a call for admission to the priesthood", ... "Fear, which is signified by the prioritising of the preservation of the self, has been the dominant feature in the Vatican’s response, both to the exposure of its faults as well as to the challenges that are a normal part of the human evolutionary experience. That is why a perfectly reasonable proposition, to restore women to a formal ministry within their own church, has floundered."

21Jun How much corruption can we tolerate in the church before we leave?

This article was recently published on-line on the NCR website in the US. It is a response by Don Cozzens to a piece by James Carroll in the Atlantic journal. Our thanks to Don Cozzens for forwarding it to us.

"Carroll has named for me what continues to unsettle my soul — the superior status and lofty identity the church claims for its priests, cultivated and sustained by clerical celibacy and the withholding of meaningful leadership roles from the laity, especially women."

19Jun Out of the Depths, I Cry to You, O Lord (psalm 129)

Seamus Ahearne says of “Dancing to my death” by Daniel O’ Leary that "His honesty;  taunts, teases and torments us.   The final canvas from this artist, is a challenge to all of us in every aspect of ministry."
..... "remind us of the delicacy and gentleness that is needed, as we meet with sickness, dying, funerals, bereavement and absences.   We have to be ever so careful with our Rituals and with our Religious demands."

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