Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Signs of life in the Church around the world!

Here in Australia, the Church is struggling, with the Royal Commission into child abuse having its first meeting today; the media is running a nasty campaign against religious freedom protections for Churches; and more than half a dozen dioceses without a bishop (Wilcannia-Forbes, Canberra), with bishops over the age limit waiting for their successors to be chosen (Hobart, Rockhampton, Lismore), or expected to be vacant shortly one way or another.

But around the world there have been a number of good news stories this week, signs of a fightback and regeneration on the part of Christians.

So here is some of the good(ish) news.

Wearing a cross at work is not a sackable offence!

In the UK the European Court of Human Rights handed down rulings on four religious discrimination cases cases in the UK this week.

The good news is that it found that wearing a cross at work was found not to be a sackable offence (except where there are occupational health and safety issues at stake)!

The bad news is that the court didn't uphold the conscience rights of workers who refused to perform same sex civil unions or to provide sexual therapy for homosexuals.

Resistance to same sex 'marriage'

There were also two promising signs of gathering steam on the resistance to same sex marriage.  In the UK, a thousand priests signed a letter to the editor of the (UK) Daily Telegraph opposing same sex marriage and pointing out the likely consequences for persecution of Catholics.

And in France, the fight against same sex marriage picked up its pace this week with a massive demonstration in favour of traditional marriage.

Traditional religious life

Yet surely the most heartening sign of life in the Church is that at least some of our religious orders - namely the traditionally oriented ones - are going from strength to strength

The Tyburn nuns (aka Benedictine Adorers of the Most Sacred Heart of Montmatre) have just opened a new house in Nigeria.  It's their seventh foundation in the last twenty years.  The order now has around 80 nuns in total.

Another source of strength is the traditional Benedictines of Fontgombault (of the Solesmes Congregation), who has something like that number of monks in their mother abbey alone, and have made four foundations, all now independent abbeys, since 1971.  And now a fifth - the foundation, or rather refoundation, of the failing Abbey of Wisque.

No comments: