Christmas Greetings to all
from Catholics For Renewal, Friday 23 December 2016
Our world is plainly far from perfect
Despite great effort it may not become much better in our lifetimes
But there is also so much life, beauty, and goodness to be found
Often in stables, shadows and hidden places
And in Christ-like people, clergy and popes, and others
That bring hope and encourage perseverance
Wishing our website visitors in Australia and throughout the world a peaceful Christmas with the joy and hope that is to be found and renewed in our changing world through the birth of Christ.
Painting: God is With Us, by Hanna Cheriyan Varghese, omsc.org
Is Pope Francis campaigning for married priests?
Extracts from Jamie Manson, National Catholic Reporter, 16 Dec. 2016
Just weeks after the conclusion of the Year of Mercy, life for gay seminarians and priests in the Catholic church took a turn toward the merciless. As was widely reported last week, Pope Francis approved a document called “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation,” which bans gay men from seminaries and ordination. Or, at least, most gay men. The document states, “…the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’” Though the Vatican leaves to the imagination what precisely the “so-called ‘gay culture’ might be, the guidelines suggest that gay seminarians who act like straight guys, conceal their sexualities, repress their sexual desires, and oppose any campaign for LGBT rights might be given a small window of clerical opportunity........A married priesthood would be a giant leap forward for heterosexual men, but many steps backward for women and gay men who feel called to ordained ministry in their church.Those who push for a married priesthood must face the reality that they are, wittingly or unwittingly, advocating for the advancement of straight male dominance and privilege in the church. What might seem like an incremental step forward in our church might ultimately create an even more exclusionary priesthood. .....(more) [Jamie L. Manson is NCR books editor. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, where she studied Catholic theology and sexual ethics.] Photo: NCR, CNS/L'Osservatore Romano
Priests 'pitied, patronised, reviled, ignored'
Extract from RTE News. Ireland, 16 November 2016
A leading member of the Association of Catholic Priests has said it would be dangerous for diocesan clergy in Ireland to ignore the depth of depression and despair in their ranks. Fr Brendan Hoban also criticised a small number of bishops for bullying priests and warned of an increasing number of suicides among the clergy. Speaking at the ACP's annual general meeting in Athlone, he further criticised the apparently official policy of bishops of automatically reporting anonymous accusations of clerical abuse to An Garda Síochána. He said this practice would be unconscionable and much resisted if applied to teachers, lawyers, gardaí or any other professional group. Aged 68 and based in Ballina, Co Mayo, Fr Hoban has reached what he says is approximately the average age of diocesan priests in Ireland. In the past four decades very many parish priests have lost the assistance of curates who have become an endangered species, he said. He said no parish priests in his own diocese employ live-in housekeepers. Statistics indicate that most diocesan priests may well die on their own, he continued. In contrast to 50 years ago "there are no vocations to dioceses, congregations (are) melting away …, collections (are) declining … and morale (is) at an all-time low." He said they are often pitied, patronised, reviled, insulted, disrespected, ignored and resented. He said that in some dioceses, the level of distrust between priests and bishops has generated an increasingly obvious build-up of resentment and anger. He added that some - but not many - bishops are bullying priests who do not have the confidence to face them down because of the level of control bishops exercise over their priests' lives.....(more) Photo: RTE
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All the content below was published pre 8 November 2016 on the prior version of our US based website platform.