Friday, 30 December 2011

Where are we up to? End of year roundup by State and diocese....

Rorate Caeli today has a post saying that the crisis in the Church is a crisis of the bishops.  It is an obvious point in a way: the fish rots from the head as they say, and nowhere I think has this been more obvious than Australia over the last year!

This is a time of change for the Australian Church though, with more than a few bishoprics already vacant and several more coming up soon.

Accordingly, I thought a bit of end of year state of play listing and performance appraisal might be in order in order to focus our efforts for 2012.

So please, do email me offline, or comment on this post, with any points you think should be noted as I embark on a state by state/diocese by diocese round-up of the state of the Church in Australia next week. 

Remember to be charitable - I'm particularly interested in the good things individual bishops have done; the things we want to see more of in 2012.

I'm also keen to highlight the great parishes (if there are any!) and priests that constitute our hope for the future - the ones promoting 'reform of the reform', that offer both the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form, or that are centres for Adoration, charity or other helpful initiatives.

And I'd be very keen indeed to highlight any key initiatives on the part of the laity.

But where there are problems that need to be fixed, let's be frank about them too.

Send in your thoughts and I'll see what I can come up with!


R J said...

Whilst I'm unsure how renowned this fact is among Australian traditional Catholics in general, none other than Fr Bob Maguire has been quite frequently celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass at his South Melbourne parish during the latter months of 2011. Whether he'll be able to do so, or desirous of doing so, after January (by which time Archbishop Hart wants him out), I don't know. I'm uncertain if anyone else knows. Yet in all the media coverage of his doings this year I haven't seen any public mention of his willingness to offer the Old Rite. Therefore I thought I should note it.

This promising initiative has been uniformly well attended, I believe (indubitably when I've been present the pews have been full). If it continues into the New Year, it will provide a valuable non-SSPX alternative within the archdiocese. Given that congregational numbers for Sunday Mass at the longest-established archdiocesan TLM church in Melbourne's suburbs have consistently remained low for years, Summorum Pontificum notwithstanding - the specific personality issues for this enduringly poor attendance are famous but perhaps best not expatiated upon in a public forum - such a choice is highly welcome. Happy 2012.

Pablo said...

Hi from Tasmania. Things continue as they have done for many years. Mass attendance very low (probably as few as 6% of baptised Catholics are weekly attenders). Given the age structure of mass attendance (more than 2/3 are over 50) on current trends weekly attendance could be as low as 2-3000 for the whole state in 20 years.

Re: RJ's comments - I visited Melbourne recently, and attended the TLM there for the first time. The church was sparsely attended, probably no more than 30-40 people? I was expecting a much bigger community, I have been to the TLM in Hobart once, and the congregation was a similar size. RJ's comments therefore give a clue.

David said...

re Melbourne - RJ"s comments are inaccurate. Numbers vary. You need to remember there are 3 Masses on Sunday in Melbourne, so the combined total is the only figure that counts - not simply selectively looking at a single Mass. Numbers have definitely risen over the years. You also need to keep geography uppermost in your mind - Melbourne is the 3rd largest Catholic diocese in the world, and is immensely spread out. Many people have to travel very great distances to get to Mass, so may not be able to make it every week, but come every 2nd week for example - the answer as always in these cases is much simpler to explain.

Kate said...

Oliver wrote:

"I read with interest RJ Stove's encomium of Fr Bob Maguire's regular celebration of the EF Mass at South Melbourne.

Foolishly, perhaps, I had imagined that those attached to the Extraordinary Form would possess devotion and loyalty to the Church, and fidelity to the deposit of faith.

Or, has Fr Bob undergone a conversion thanks to his celebration of the old Mass? It seems not. At Christmas, the Herald Sun reported this theological gem from Fr Bob:

"Christmas is a celebration of God looking for a safe place for himself, herself, themselves. And the mystery of Christmas is that humanity is the safest place for God to be."

Then again, perhaps this is not about the old rite at all..."

This comment has been edited by the moderator.

R. J. Stove said...

My attention has just been drawn to the remarks by "Oliver", remarks which, it would seem, had to be edited (de-loused?) by the moderator before they were publishable.

In my original comment about Fr Bob Maguire's celebrations of the TLM, I simply stated the known facts of the matter - the existence of the celebrations, the large crowds attracted thereby - as far as I could. Whether doing so amounted to an "encomium," as "Oliver" puts it, others must judge.

But speaking purely as a traditional Catholic layman who wonders when the litany of intra-church sex scandals will ever end, I am prepared to cut some slack to Fr Maguire - whatever unfortunate comment the Herald Sun, hardly most people's idea of an orthodox Catholic source, has reported him as making - purely and simply because Fr Maguire is not a homosexual pervert, has never been one, and, please God, never will be one. Those are my priorities. Perhaps the priorities of "Oliver" are different.