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Showing posts from March, 2017

Thorough Analysis of the Chilean Bishop's Comments

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There was some excitement last Wednesday when The Eponymous Flower blog posted an article which strongly suggested that Pope Francis had finally addressed the dubia and re-stated settled Church teaching on Holy Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics. The article states that
Pope Francis has no longer any "doubts", according to the reports of the Chilean bishops who recently made their ad limina visit to Rome. The papal statements reported by them are a radical turn-around. "Since it is unacceptable that the President of the Chilean Episcopal Conference and his Secretary General have invented the words of the Pope, the news is of the utmost importance," said the Spanish columnist, Francisco Fernandez de la Cigoña. "As Fernandez de la Cigoña says," some of the statements sound as if Cardinal Burke had spoken. I have to say I was extremely sceptical, especially given the criticism endured by this papacy on the ambiguity so far, and the apparent coerc…

Fundamental Catholic Contradictions & Unequivocal Principles

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A bit more following on from yesterday's post as I have been thinking and praying about this a lot. First of all, I would say that this is thinking aloud and not a personal attack on Mr. McGuinness - God rest his soul & have mercy on him. However due to the particular nature of his office and life and the stances he took publicly on a number of issues, I feel this is worthy of further discussion. If only to tease out the socio-cultural challenges faced by the Church today in regard to these issues.

The first issue is his terrorist/ freedom fighter legacy. Broadly it seems clear that all are capable of redemption if they acknowledge their sins and repent. This change - metanoia in the Greek of the Bible - is the principle of Christ's preaching and it conveys the power of the Gospel. It is the action which follows the word. The difference being Christian makes.

I know that Mr. McGuinness did not public repent of his murderous IRA activities, but he did become a peace broker,…

Martin McGuinness - A Complex Legacy

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I have to say I was a little shocked at the responses to the death Martin McGuinness at the age of 66 on social media this morning. There has been a really obvious divide between people really praising him and people really decrying him.

Of course, we have to believe that repentance and God's mercy are available to everyone, no matter how heinous their crimes. But we must also remember that McGuinness has robustly defended his actions in the IRA, stating he is “proud” of what he did and will not apologise to anyone — and he has refused to clarify whether he ever killed. 
I have thought that he was extremely brave in making peace his priority and being prepared to broker peace with his bitter enemies. Although Lord Tebbit, whose wife was paralysed by the Brighton bombing perpetrated by McGuinness, gives a very different assessment, suggesting that at the point where there was no way forward for the IRA, rather than suing for peace, McGuinness in fact grasped for power. 
Whether yo…

Cardinal Müller abusing subsidiarity to protect hierarchical interests?

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Yesterday, Marie Collins, former member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors posted an open response to Cardinal Müller's dismissal of her allegations that his office apparently refused to reply to letters from victims of clergy sexual abuse, a decision which led Collins, the only abuse survivor on the pontifical commission about the matter, to resign her post.

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said in an interview with Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper, it is "a misunderstanding" to think that his office "could deal with all the dioceses and religious orders in the world."

"It is good that personal contact with victims be done by pastors in their area," Müller said "When a letter arrives, we always ask the bishop that he might take pastoral care of the victim, clarifying to him or her that the Congregation will do all that is possible to give justice."

Having the Vatican congregation r…

CofE Trajectory "...will always be shipwrecked on the rocks of secular liberalism and cultural Marxism."

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Andrew Burnham (born 19 March 1948) is an English priest of the Roman Catholic Church. Burnham was formerly a bishop of the Church of England and served as the third Bishop of Ebbsfleet (a "flying bishop"), a provincial episcopal visitor in the Province of Canterbury from 2000 to 2010.

He resigned in order to be received into the Roman Catholic Church. He was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham on 15 January 2011.
Further to the recent decision of Philip North to withdraw his acceptance to be the new Anglican Bishop of Sheffield, Mgr Burnham has written an excellent response to the situation in The Catholic Herald.
The story is that North, 50, who is Bishop of Burnley, is a traditionalist who disagrees with female ordination. North said that the news of his appointment last month had ‘elicited a strong reaction’. A similarly strong reaction greeted his decision on Thursday to withdraw.

After he had informed Downing Stre…

Sorry Cardinal Nichols

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Few things in our Church have astounded me more than the news yesterday that Cardinal Nichols has written to the Pope, on behalf of Catholics of England and Wales, thanking him, of all things, for "his steadfast defence of Church teaching".





THE WHOLE WORLD is talking about the FACT that the Pope is ANYTHING but clear and steadfast, let alone defending Church teaching, but Cardinal Nichols chooses these words???
To be honest, it reminded me of a politician trying to pretend that the government haven't just done something that they have clearly just done. 


The problem with this sort of attempt at wool-pulling-over-eyes is that it can only serve to destroy his credibility with anyone who still thinks they can trust him.
Is there anyone -ANYONE who would agree with the statement that Cardinal Nichols makes in this letter?
It is utterly insulting to think that he would write this given the present situation.
I have tweeted as much to the Cardinal with the hashtag  

Cardinal Nichols Supports Maltese Directive

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So yesterday the inevitable happened when Cardinal Nichols praised the Maltese bishops’ guidelines on Amoris Laetitia. In the Jesuit magazineAmerica, our Archbishop of Westminster is reported as having endorsed the Maltese document, which says some divorced and remarried Catholics should be allowed to receive the Eucharist.

This marks a direct split with the directives already issues in Portsmouth and Shrewsbury Diocese in the UK.

In the interview, Cardinal Nichols says of the Maltese directive:
“It doesn’t start by saying, ‘What about this rule or that rule?’ It starts by saying if this is your position and you feel uneasy, you want to know where you stand, what you ought to be doing, then come and we’ll talk. But let’s be honest, let’s be open and let’s see where we go,” the cardinal said.In the United States, not all dioceses are on the same page when it comes to implementing “Amoris.” The Diocese of San Diego, for example, said that it will adopt guidelines similar to Malta, while…

Gay Witches for Abortion

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In Cork yesterday...




*Slow hand-clap*
Well done Ireland. Well done. 



Tuam Babies at Bon Secours

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As a person of Irish heritage, I feel drawn to comment on this, or at least to point my readers to some useful facts about this horrible story.

It first broke in 2014 and I posted about it here, giving an eye witness account of the experience in the Bon Secours home. 
Now with the release of the results of the investigation into the contents of the grave, the media storm has been re-ignited in full force! What a great opportunity to beat the Church up!
Caroline Farrow has done a great deal of work looking to forensically discover the truth behind the stories, see here.
There is a lot of vicious hatred being poured out in the direction of the Catholic Church in Ireland at the moment as a result of this. No one seems particularly interested in the truth. Caroline says:
One of my points is that while institutional cruelty did exist actually this order doesn't seem to have a bad reputation, like some of the other orders and interestingly, up until this scandal broke there were no surv…

Should Porn be on the School Curriculum?

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This is in the news at the moment and poses some really interesting questions if you are a parent and a Catholic. The Church teaches that parents are children's primary educators (see Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church, 238ff). Despite this, the Catholic Education Service has welcomed the UK government's decision to introduce compulsory relationship and sex education in England for 4-year-olds and upwards (see here).

While it is clear that children need to be educated in a broad range of social and sexual issues, my own experience of sex education in Catholic Secondary Schools is that it is inadequate, mechanical and damaging. All three of my own sons were disturbed by what they were taught at 11. Not because they didn't know about it, we had discussed it a great deal at home, but because it was given without the social context they were used to hearing about it in.

The point I'm making is that I don't trust schools to provide this important, delicate inf…

Is it right to criticise the Pope?

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There's no doubt that we Catholics are in an unenviable mess right now, a mess caused directly by the person elected to guide us and speak clearly about the faith which was deposited by Christ and His Apostles.

But given the doctrines of Papal Primacy and infallibility, can we criticise the Holy Father? Perhaps Steve Skojek answered this question more eloquently and expansively in May 2015 after Pope Francis made the deeply questionable appointment Timothy Radcliffe to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Of course things have got a good deal worse since then, but his words are just as valid, especially that: "Being afraid to speak the truth in times like these is a very dangerous thing indeed."
It strikes me as a most common Catholic reaction to ignore problems, especially problems like this. Perhaps we think that God will take care of it? Or that to admit there are issues somehow damages the Church? Personally I think this is not a healthy attitude or any sor…