But there have been more than a few things of interest to note, so here is just a quick guide to some of them.
I'll come back to the recent Australian Catholic Bishops Conference plenary meeting in due course, but a couple of points of note that warrant highlighting sooner rather than later!
Ordinariate progressing? First I haven't seen any reporting of the establishment of an ad hoc Bishops Commission for the Personal Ordinariate comprising Archbishop Hart, Bishops Peter Elliot, Geoffrey Jarrett and Brian Finnigan. Maybe things are starting to move at last??
So 'acculturation of migrant priests' really does mean heteropraxis and heterodoxy! Secondly, the Cath News report of the Bishops meeting (picture above from the Multicultural Mass held during the plenary, courtesy Catholic Media) called forth a classic response, with a commenter horrified that their non-Australian born priest actually insisted on following the rubrics and practising the faith:
"...We have in our parish one after another of these men whose spirituality is mainly devotional [perhaps supports devotion to Our Lady as Mother of God, contrary to the Magisterium of Cath Blog and the ACU?] and pre-Vatican theology [presumably insists on being pro-life and rejecting homosexuality as a valid 'lifestyle' option?]...One of these priests announced that only men should come forward for the Washing if the feet on Holy Thursday [oh the horror. Insisting on actually following the rubrics!] which angered many of the faithful!" [the unfaithful more like!]
Reform of Religious Orders
Just how parlous the state of some of our religious Orders are has been highlighted over the last week by:
- the Pope's decision to close down a Cistercian monastery (picture above, Flickr: Kraen) addicted to running extravagant parties, some creative financing approaches, and promoting the efforts of a liturgical pole-dancing nun...;
- the dismissal of the head of the Dutch Salesians after his extraordinary defense of paedophilia; and
- a letter of support for Bishop Morris from the National Coalition of American Nuns (I'm not going to link to it!); and
- yet another attack on basic Catholic concepts such as truth as an absolute in opposition to secularist relativism, and the idea of actual missionary work in the traditional sense, from Columban Fr Charles Rue, over at, you guessed it, Cath Blog!
There is also an important speech from the President of Cor Unum, Robert Cardinal Sarah, that is worth a read pointing out that charitable work must be an integral part of the Church's missionary work; that social justice is not an end in itself altogether detached from faith.
The Cardinal draws attention to the important but entirely neglected teaching on this subject of the current Holy Father on this subject in his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est.
Both documents should be compulsory reading for those in our religious orders who would apparently rather play politics, both secular and ecclesial, than actually contribute to the Church's mission of spreading the Gospel...
If you engage in homosexual acts, surely that makes you a homosexual!
The Pulp.it has been collecting up some of the better analyses of the US John Jay study of the abuse crisis, which claims inter alia that just because 81% of the victims were male doesn't mean that the perpetrators were homosexuals (what an interesting definition of homosexuality that is!).
'Policy purity vs political pragmatism'
And on the secular news front, another clanger from Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
The Gillard Government has proved itself to be morally bankrupt with its 'export asylum seekers to Malaysia policy', compromised by its need for Green support, and utterly incompetent at selling the merits polices. Any good policy it manages to put up (and more than a few of the budget measures fall into that category in my view) inevitably seem to drown.
But how could one support an Opposition Leader whose admitted only motivation is political opportunism, as opposed to the good of the nation? Well, unless you accept of course that the only good for the nation would be calling an early election and electing him!
Here is an extract from the SMH report on (one of the) latest internal stoushes amongst the Liberals:
"In what sources said was a pointed observation about Mr Abbott's style, Senator Minchin said that when the Coalition was last in opposition in the 1980s, ''we supported good reforms''....He [Mr Abbott] told Senator Minchin that faced with a choice between ''policy purity and pragmatic political pragmatism, I'll take pragmatism every time''.
This isn't an approach to Government and the duties of an MP that seems in any way compatible with Catholic social teaching principles.
No wonder the Liberal party seems to be falling apart at the seams at the moment!