Tuesday, 3 January 2012

News briefs for Tuesday

New year 2012
AP/Pier Paulo Cito
Today's feasts: Most Holy Name of Jesus (Optional Memorial, OF)

The Secularist push
  • Homosexual lobbyists are asking Labor MP Stephen Jones to delay introduction of his private members bill on same sex marriage until the Coalition grants its MPs a conscience vote - if it goes forward now, they probably don't have the numbers, but by delaying hope to change the Coalition's position...
  • A case claiming discrimination because the body of a homosexual man with AIDS was not 'reconstructed' after an autopsy in NSW due to the presence of the virus was rejected on technicalities (apparently you can't discriminate against the dead!).  The dead man's partner and friend didn't want to reveal to family members that he had AIDS, and argued that AIDS was a 'disability' rather than an illness that posed risks to doctors, morgue workers and undertakers...
  • The Sydney Morning Herald has an opinion piece demanding an end to religious exemptions in Australia, basing its case on the recent attempts of orthodox Jews in Israel to insist on segregation of the sexes and other such incidents;
  • The SMH also has a quaint piece repackaging Christian values around marriage as 'Eastern'  (in this case reflecting China) and a way to reduce the divorce rate.  In a piece on research about Chinese and mixed marriage couples in Australia, values such as perseverance, an emphasis on mutual support and working to preserve harmony together with an emphasis on seeing marriage as about having children and financial support of them is presented as 'eastern', and contrasted with the 'Western' emphasis on personal fulfilment and the pursuit of pleasure.  There is something sadly 70sesq about having to present traditional values as 'Eastern' for them to get a hearing!
  • Death of the Church in Detroit?  The SMH features a series of photos of abandoned and decaying churches and congregations in Detroit, America, claiming they represent a story of a church struggling to survive due to the priest and parishioner shortage across the USA.  Detroit is the diocese that is currently trying to stomp on the efforts of rad trad Michael Voris' efforts to promote (genuine) renewal of the Church...
World news
Oz Bishop Christmas messages

Archbishop Wilson of Adelaide's recent PR push doesn't seem to have included a Christmas message to his flock (or if he has, it is not yet available online), so today a link to Archbishop Hart of Melbourne's.  It is short and written (call me old-fashioned but I actually like to read the text as well as hear it so that is a plus as far as I am concerned!) and uncontroversial.  One nice feature of the page it is on though is an ad aimed at those interested in becoming a Catholic - though the alternating ad relating to Madrid WYD may perhaps be a tad out of date...

Another Christmas letter you might want to take a look at is from Bishop Finnigan,, Administrator of Toowoomba.  It's oddities can perhaps be accounted for by the challenges posed in constructing such a letter!  Here is an extract:

"The sorrow of Bp Bill’s departure was mitigated somewhat by the outpouring of affection and gratitude during the Mass of Thanksgiving. Perhaps we can gain inspiration from his frequent declaration that he is experiencing deep peace and loves the Church and wants her mission to flourish. It is pleasing to hear that the process for the appointment of a new bishop is now under way. It is appropriate to pray for the influence of the Holy Spirit in the selection of the new bishop. There is a Mass for the Election of a Bishop, page 1308, in the Roman Missal which could be used frequently or occasionally."

Pray for good bishop appointments across Australia indeed, and for those with the difficult task of trying to restore unity in the meantime!

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