2. Traditional confirmations in Oz
Once upon a time, getting your children confirmed was a serious problem for traditionalists. No longer it seems.
Last weekend, bishops confirmed children for two different traditional communities - Bishop Grech of the Wangaratta Latin Mass group, reported here, and Bishop Joseph Oudemon OFM Cap for Brisbane's Latin Mass Community. The latter is perhaps the more startling (and if anyone took any pictures, I'd love to put them up on the blog, do email me...)! And in another week, Bishop Elliot will confirm children from Melbourne's Latin Mass community.
Wonderful to see.
3. Catholic students have a compulsory RE exam
According to the Catholic Weekly, this year, for the first time, students from across New South Wales in Year 6 sat a compulsory exam to test their Religious Education knowledge:
"Anthony Cleary, director of Religious Education and Evangelisation at the CEO, Sydney, said that the 2009 test paper consisted of a good balance of questions focusing on scripture, young people’s relationship with Jesus, and knowledge of the Catholic tradition."
Hmm, sounds good but has anyone seen the questions?
4. Indulgences are making a comeback
I've highlighted the indulgences available for the Year of the Priest on this blog - and Pope Benedict XVI's willingness to offer them is getting a bit of wider media coverage now too. Apparently these latest indulgences are his ninth set on offer.
5. Another monastery adopts the EF - Norcia, Italy
This small American colony at the birthplace of SS. Benedict and Scholastica (and now a gourmet paradise centring on black truffles, add it to your itinerary Joshua!)) have always been very traditionally inclined - but constrained, until Summorum Pontificum, from saying mass in the Extraordinary Form for the usual reasons. Now they have a specific endorsement from the Holy See to take on the Extraordinary Form as part of their apostolate:
"Very Reverend Father Prior:
His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, from the very beginning of his pontificate, has made known his desire to foster the unity of the Church. As in the past so also today, the careful celebration of the Sacred Mysteries is a most efficacious instrument for achieving this goal.
For this reason, faithful to the intentions of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, this Pontifical Commission, responding to your request, entrusts to the Monastery of San Benedetto in Norcia the special apostolate of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist “in utroque usu”, that is, both in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, in collaboration with the Holy See and in communion with the diocesan bishop.
I am confident that your young Benedictine community will always support the pastoral activity of the Supreme Pontiff with faithful prayer,
With my best Easter wishes,
Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, President
Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”
6. More bishops discover the internet...
A week or two back I noted the blog of Archbishop Mark Coleridge, chronicling the pilgrimage he has been leading to conclude the Year of St Paul. It is a growing trend. There was also an 'e-conference' on St Paul, managed out of Broken Bay Diocese this week (I haven't looked at the content yet, put off by the applause from acatholica...), and the blog of Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit to read this week, the latter following his journey to receive the pallium in Rome.
7. The Inquisition hits dissenting US nuns (but not hard enough yet!)You might recall that a few months back the Vatican announced a formal Visitation of US women's religious communities. The Visitation is looking at why these communities are dying - including questions of theological dissent. And apparently its hitting these ageing liberal hard, even garnering a front-page article in New York Times.
But if their US sisters are seriously worried about this long-overdue action, it doesn't seem as if their Australian sisters have quite gotten the message yet, with our very own Good Sammies looking forward to the visit in December of one of the most famous dissenter of them all, 'Sr' Joan Chittester.