A few interesting developments to ponder as we continue to swelter in this appalling heatwave (for overseas readers, Eastern Australia is sweltering with forecasts of temperatures over 35 degrees for the next week or so, and some of our major cities experiencing electricity blackouts and major transport breakdowns as temperatures hit 44 degreess celsius (111 F) yesterday and today)!
First remember those claims that the SSPX would not have to accept Vatican II because it wasn't 'dogma'? Well, surprise, surprise the Pope has firmly stomped on that, reiterating at a General Audience that:
"I trust that following from this gesture of mine will be the prompt effort on their part to complete final necessary steps to arrive to full communion with the Church," the Bishop of Rome said, "thus giving testimony of true fidelity and true recognition of the magisterium and the authority of the Pope and the Second Vatican Council."
Now there is a certain irony in this. As a theologian after all, the Pope wrote, in an epilogue to his book on Principles of Catholic Theology that:
"Not every valid council in the history of the Church has been a fruitful one; in the last analysis, many of them have just been a waste of time."
Nonetheless the point is that the Magisterium as it stands has to be treated with respect - even if in the end the historical significance of the Council "will be determined by the process of clarification and elimination that takes place subsequently in the life of the Church."
Traditional Anglican Communion
The second piece of important news is rumours - reported in WA's The Record - that the TAC will be admitted to full communion at Easter, with the protection of a personal prelature. Their conservative influence could make a big difference in places like Brisbane for example (where one of my classmates is a TAC priest), where the TAC is quite strong, and where I gather local traditionalist a attended a talk on the state of play last night.
Various reports around the net suggest that the delays have been due to the need to sort through and get proper approval for the wide assortment of liturgical texts used by the TAC.
Life issues: a call to action
And finally, its time to start gearing up folks. In the wake of President Obama's decision to allow foreign aid funds to be used for abortions, a push has started to have Australia rescind its similar restrictions. On weekend, the Age carried a claim that the Government was under 'strong cross party pressure' (see Cooees). Now left-wing e-journal New Matilda is pushing the argument. Time to start emailing your Senator folks...
Pope on You tube
And while you are at it, annoy the folks at New Matilda for their outrageous anti-catholic jab at the Pope in a so-called horoscope (OK, it is supposed to be humour, but really...), and go and take a look at the new Vatican you tube channel if you haven't already. It really is quite cool...