Thursday, November 27, 2014

Matthew Moloney: The courage of ordinary people in a time of drought...

"Courage of ordinary people in a time of drought" by Fr Matthew Moloney
This commentary by the Parish Priest of Longreach in Outback Queensland you might find emotionally moving in conflicting ways. Fr Matthew Moloney is one of three priests serving the people of 12 parishes and Mass centres of the Central West Deanery of the Rockhampton Diocese in Queensland. This area of the Diocese is one of a number of regions in Queensland caught up in a severe drought. Fr Moloney's commentary relates some of the depressing and tragic stress people are enduring because of the Drought. But it is also an uplifting story about what a Church and an extended religious community can do at its very best in providing people with hope and the strength to carry on in the most trying of circumstances. ...Brian Coyne, editor and publisher
by Matthew Moloney, Parish Priest, Longreach, Queensland

Friday, November 14, 2014

Music to Open Your Ears: Allegiance

The Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5 1-12
* When he saw the crowds,  he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
 Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Faith leaders call out G20 leaders for failure to act on climate change

open letter to leaders of G20 in Brisbane
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 03:38
fossil fuels versus global poverty at G20
Faith leaders call out G20 leaders for failure to act on climate change
As religious leaders drawn from diverse religious traditions, we see the earth as sacred and it is our human responsibility to protect it. When the earth is respected and cared for, human life can flourish.
We acknowledge that the best science is clear that the burning of fossil fuels is driving global warming, thus threatening the long-term viability of life on earth. At the G20 Summit meetings, we therefore urge national leaders to put climate change on the agenda.
We call upon all national leaders, even those of developing countries, to commit to a rapid transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. It is entirely possible to create thriving economies that are also sustainable. To do otherwise will result in unthinkable suffering, first for our brothers and sisters already at high risk of climate-related disasters, then for our own children and grandchildren.
To this end, ceasing government subsidies for fossil fuel companies is desirable. Subsidies operate as a perverse incentive to destroy the biosphere, to deplete and pollute precious water sources, pollute the air and create significant health problems.
It is a further injustice that, while wealthy countries spend tens of billions annually on subsidies for fossil fuels, most are failing to contribute even the most basic amounts to meet the mitigation and adaption needs of the poor. We call on donor governments to commit substantial public money to Climate Finance, and to the technology transfers needed by developing countries to leapfrog to cleaner and more efficient technologies. 
We urge our national leaders, in their meetings, to place our economies at the service of human prosperity, equity, inclusiveness and environmental stewardship. The pursuit of economic growth will ultimately be self-defeating without due regard for the future of the earth itself.
 Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammad, Grand Mufti of Australia
Sr Berneice Loch rsm OAM, President, Catholic Religious Australia
Rev. Professor Andrew Dutney, President, Uniting Church of Australia National Assembly
Professor Nihal Agar, Chairman, Hindu Council of Australia
Ajahn Brahm, representing Australian Sangha Association (Buddhist)
Mr Kim Hollow, President, Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils
Dr Beth Heyde, Chair, Public Affairs Commission, Anglican Church of Australia
Mr Hafez Kassem, President, Australian Federation of Islamic Councils/Muslims Australia
Jacqui Remond, Director, Catholic Earthcare Australia
Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky, Chairperson, Rabbinic Council of Progressive Rabbis
Rt Rev’d Professor Stephen Pickard, Executive Director, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Charles Sturt University (Anglican)
Professor Neil Ormerod, Professor of Theology, Australian Catholic University
Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins, Chair, Council of Masorti Rabbis of Australia 
Contact person: Thea Ormerod
+61 405 293 466

Another reminder to Tony #Abbott that Climate Change deserves #G20 attention and decisions.
Again it is the voice of religious leaders in our community who speak out for the cause of earth justice and common sense.

As a Catholic I am inspired that my religious leadership is represented by two women and a non clerical theologian. I wonder if  Catholic newspapers will carry this item with the same enthusiasm they have for the letter of Pope Francis to Tony Abbott 

CJPC Brisbane Media Release for G20 Summit


Catholic Centre
143 Edward Street
Brisbane  QLD  4000
GPO Box 282 Brisbane  QLD 4001
Ph.  07 3336 9173
Fax 07 3336 9177
ABN 25 328 758 007

Media Statement
G 20 Leader’s Summit                                                                        13th November 2014

On the eve of the G 20 Summit in Brisbane Pope Francis has written a letter to Prime Minister Abbott offering his prayerful encouragement for the deliberations and outcome of the Summit.  

In his letter Pope Francis recognizes the importance of the deliberations and a focus on efforts to relaunch a sustained and sustainable growth of the world economy. He reminds participants that at the centre of their deliberations must be the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people and that a more realistic and complete view of the human and the earth must be at the centre of economic theory and practices.

At the centre of economic principles and policy must be people’s wellbeing through a more inclusive economy that welcomes the participation of the poor, which honours the dignity of all people, improves the quality of life for women and children, promotes access to decent and quality jobs for all and promotes access to education.

It is hoped that through this G20 Summit the voices of the world’s most vulnerable are heard – child workers, trafficked women, Indigenous peoples, refugees, those living with hunger and poverty, those without work, Pacific Islanders whose homes are being inundated by rising seas and many more. Such an inclusive economy must also hear the cry of the earth for justice.

The leaders gathering at this G20 Summit not only have an economic imperative but have a deeply moral imperative and that moral imperative is not only  to respond to the voices of the world’s poor but to invite and welcome them in to the centre of the deliberations and actions.

In the lead up to this G 20 Summit the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has joined with Queensland Churches Together in prayer vigils to pray for those whose voices need to be heard if there is to be economic justice in the world . In addition, Christians will be asked to consider fasting from food or something else important to them and praying for the needs of marginalised people and the earth from the morning of Saturday 15 November to the afternoon of Sunday 16 November.  A prayer service to mark the conclusion of this period of fasting will take place on Sunday 16 November at 4 p.m. at St Francis College Chapel, 233 Milton Road, Milton (enter via Baroona Road).

During this Summit let us continue to pray with Pope Francis that the leaders of the world gathering together will have the courage and conviction to place the human being back into the heart of economics and politics.

Rick Sheehan
Catholic Justice and Peace Commission
For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.

NB  This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Mandate which enables it to speak in its own right.  The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane

Saturday, November 01, 2014

G20: A Faith Response for Christians

Members of churches within the Queensland Churches Together family have compiled a resource with prayers and information to help Christians prepare for the G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane on November 15 and 16.

G20 prayer and info resource

Christians will be asked to consider fasting from food or something else important to them and praying for the needs of marginalised people and the earth from the morning of Saturday 15 November to the afternoon of Sunday 16 November. 

 A prayer service to mark the conclusion of this period of fasting will take place on Sunday 16 November at 4 p.m. at St Francis College Chapel, 233 Milton Road, Milton (enter via Baroona Road).

G20 prayer and info resource

  • What’s it all about?
  • What should we do? 
  • What are the churches saying?
  •  Text of an open letter from religious leaders urging climate responsibility 
  • Minute on Climate Justice 
  • Prayers and Intercessions 
  • Intercessions from “Working for the Common Good”
  • (Catholic Peace and Justice Commission Qld) 
  • Useful Resources & Activities 
Fasting during the G20 Leaders Summit 

With the approval of many of the heads of churches in Queensland, Christians  representing a number of the member churches of Queensland Churches Together  encourage you to participate in a fast from food or something else really important to  you over the weekend of the G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane.

We envisage this as an act of solidarity with those in Australia and around the world  whose needs and concerns will not be heard at the Leaders Summit Table.

During this time, we ask Christians to fast, pray, study scripture and take action to bring  the concerns of marginalised peoples to the attention of the Australian Government  and other G20 Governments.

The Leaders Summit will take place on Saturday 15 November and Sunday 16 
November. You are asked to have breakfast before 9 a.m., on the Saturday, begin your 
fast at that time and complete your fast at 4 p.m. on the Sunday.

We recommend you consult the health and safety guidelines prepared for World 
Vision’s 40 Hour Famine before deciding to participate. Please do not take part in a fast 
from food unless you are sure it is safe to do so in your circumstances. The guidelines 
will be found here. and you will also find useful information here.:

Scripture & Prayer 
During the fast, read and reflect on whatever scripture passages you wish. Some 
possibilities include:

Take time also to pray that God’s Kingdom will come and that God’s will is reflected in 
the decisions of the G20 leaders. You may wish to pray the Lord’s Prayer or Mary’s 
hymn of praise (Luke1: 46 - 55)

During your fast, be sure to write an e-mail or letter to the Prime Minister of Australia 
and to your MP and Senators.

Tell them that you are fasting in solidarity with marginalised people and urge them to 
take action to address the injustice they face.

Mention a specific concern of yours, e.g., children living with malnutrition and hunger, 
trafficked women, Indigenous peoples deprived of their land, people in Australia and 
other parts of the world losing their jobs because of economic restructuring or Torres 
Strait Islanders and Pacific Islanders losing their homes to rising seas.

You will find e-mail forms or addresses and postal addresses for the Prime Minister, 
your MP and Senators here

Public Prayer Gatherings 
Public gatherings for prayer will take place before the fast begins and at its end. All are 
welcome to join us to pray for justice globally.

As there will be delays on the roads and public transport on the weekend of the G20 
Leaders Summit, please ensure you allow extra time to get to these gatherings:

Friday 14 November
7 p.m.

Sunday 16 November
4 p.m.
Prepared by representatives of member churches of Qld Churches Together

Friday, October 31, 2014

Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church:A Discussion with Kieran Tapsell and Ian Waters

A conversation in Melbourne recorded at the Pumphouse Hotel on Wednesday October 29th sponsored by Catholics for Renewal and Catalyst for Renewal

These videos have a comment section which at the time of publishing on this blog remain empty. I suggest that the  speakers raise critical questions of morality, history and accountability from differing perspectives.

These videos  add to the  evidence being presented during the Royal Commission into Institutional responses into Child Sexual Abuse.

 I hope that the publication of these videos will encourage conversation and response by all those concerned about the damning history of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Kieran responds to Ian

So I assume that gets Cd Ottaviani who wrote the 1962 revision of Crimen off the hook, and as Congregations, according to Ian operate independently of the Pope, it gets the 1922 and 1962 popes off the hook.

I don't think Ottaviani was ever on the hook. He may have signed the reprint of Crimen Sollicitationis, but he clearly did so on behalf of Pope John XXIII. This is what appears at the foot of the document:

His Holiness Pope John XXIII, in an audience granted to the Most Eminent Cardinal Secretary of the Holy Office on 16 March 1962, graciously approved and confirmed this Instruction, ordering those responsible to observe it and to ensure that it is observed in every detail.
Given in Rome, from the Office of the Sacred Congregation, 16 March 1962.
L.+ S.A. Card. Ottaviani
There could not be a clearer statement that this was an instruction from the Pope, not from Cardinal Ottaviani personally. Further, Pope John Paul II in speaking about Crimen Sollicitationis in Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela wrote this:

“It is to be kept in mind that an Instruction of this kind had the force of law since the Supreme Pontiff, according to the norm of can. 247, § 1 of the Codex Iuris Canonici promulgated in 1917, presided over the Congregation of the Holy Office, and the Instruction proceeded from his own authority, with the Cardinal at the time only performing the function of Secretary"

The Pope is the supreme interpreter of canon law, and here he is saying that this instruction was not just some "guide", but it "had the force of law" because it came from the Pope.
The same kind of statement occurs at the bottom of the instruction Secreta Continere of 1974 from Paul VI. That is why, with all due respect to Ian, I think what he said in the video is untenable. These instructions were "law".

B16 as Cd Ratzinger gets a serve from Ian for not being as au fait with canon law as he should have been since it wasn't his specialty.

This is what Ian said about Cardinal Ratzinger:
I understand that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, when Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that is, before he became Pope Benedict XVI, asserted that Crimen Sollicitationis was in effect until 2001, when replaced by the norms attached to Pope John Paul II’s legislation, Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela. That was clearly his opinion, which in my opinion, was misguided. Ratzinger certainly had a doctorate in Dogmatic Theology, and he had what the Germans call an “habilitation” and the American’s call a “higher doctorate”, to qualify him to be a University Professor. But he had no qualifications in canon law, and should have been briefed by reputable canonists before making such an assertion. In my opinion he could only have given advice such as, “We have no instruction at present to elucidate the penal process in canons 1717 to canons 1731, and until it comes, it may be useful to you follow, mutatis mutandis, the norms of Crimen Sollicitationis , which was an instruction to elucidate the 1917 Code, not the 1983 Code.”

Ian's use of the words, "reputable canonists" is interesting because the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1995 to 2002 was the then Archbishop Bertone. He was a canon lawyer with a doctorate in canon law. He was the one who told the American canon law society in 1996 that Crimen was still "in force", and he also signed the letter of 18 May 2001, with Ratzinger, saying that it was "in force until now". Further, Archbishop Wilson at the Australian Royal Commission confirmed that he had written to the CDF on 28 January 1998 asking if Crimen was restricted to confession and received back a letter from Cardinal Bertone on 28 February 1998, effectively saying that it was not so confined, ie it was still in force for dealing with child sexual abuse matters outside of soliciting in the confessional.
Ian's criticism of Ratzinger has perhaps been unfair. He did take advice from a canon lawyer, and it was Archbishop Bertone. Whether or not Bertone was a "reputable" canon lawyer is another matter. You can read about the confusion created by these statements in chapter 9 of Potiphar's Wife.

In that chapter, I discussed the repeal of Crimen Sollicitationis in 1983, and what I wrote there was largely based on Professor Nicholas Cafardi's book, Before Dallasand some articles that Cafardi wrote in Commonweal magazine. It appears from the above, that Ian Waters agrees with me. Crimen Sollicitationis was repealed by the 1983 Code of Canon Law and was not "in force" up until 2001.

And that is the reason why I have said that Crimen Sollicitationis was really irrelevant to when the vast bulk of the cover up occurred in Australia - after 1983.

It does not surprise me that canon lawyers in Australia did know about Crimen Sollicitationis in the distant past, but their numbers would gradually have dwindled once it was repealed in 1983 by the new Code of Canon Law. I have dealt with this "ignorance" of Crimen at p 107 of Potiphar's Wife.
But to recap what was said there,

 "The evidence before the Murphy Commission was that Archbishop McQuaid of Dublin (1940-1971) had used the 1922 document in the case of Fr. Edwards in 1960 (par 1.89), and that during his time as Archbishop, the document was well known to senior Church figures and was “well thumbed”, but there was no evidence that the Archdiocese had received a copy of the 1962 document (par 4.21). In the United States, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago in court evidence said that the 1962 document was taught to him in the seminary, and Bishop Madera said that it was discussed at a meeting of clergy with Archbishop Manning of Los Angeles in the early 1960s:, par 14 (Accessed 5 December 2013)."

But the most probable reason why knowledge about Crimen both in Australia and elsewhere dwindled comes from Professor John P. Beal in his 30 page article on Crimen Sollicittionis: “The 1962 Instruction: Crimen Sollicitationis: Caught Red Handed or Handed a Red Herring?” 41 Studia Canonica 199 at 230: Somewhat unusually for an academic article, this has been published on the Vatican website. For those who don't want to wade through it, the generally answer to his rhetorical question in the title seems to be a bit of both. However, he has his own red herring as well, when he says (like Ian Waters did in Melbourne) that confidentiality is preserved by police, the FBI and CIA. That is a red herring because that confidentiality did not prevent the information they gathered going to the State, because they are the State, not an independent organisation like the Church. The effect of the Church's "confidentiality" was to keep that information from the State. Anyway, this is what he says about the knowledge of Crimen Sollicitationis.

Although lay people, who were the most likely victims of these crimes, might not be aware of the details of canon law, confessors, who were supposed to be aware of these matters, were to alert them to the gravity of these matters and of their obligation to report these offenses, and, if need be, to threaten canonical sanctions and refusal of absolution if they failed to do so. In addition, the seriousness of these offences, their reservation to the Holy Office, and, at least in general, the procedure to follow when confronted with them were topics dealt with in the manuals of moral theology (117) and canon law (118) used in seminary formation and were broached at study days and other opportunities for continuing formation after ordination.(119). Thus, Yanguas could say with confidence in 1947, "knowledge of the crimen pessimum and of the shape of the process for [dealing with] it is considered to be divulged universally among clerics today." (120)

 One can be skeptical of Yanguas' claim about how widespread knowledge of these matters actually was even among the clergy in his day, but he was correct that the information most people, both clergy and lay, needed to know should a complaint of solicitation or one of the permutations of the crimen pessimum arise was at least accessible.

 Not long after the 1962 Instruction was disseminated, however, the Church underwent profound upheavals in the way in which the clergy were formed. The traditional manuals of moral theology were jettisoned; the study of canon law was relegated to a minor place in the seminary curriculum, and canon law itself was not widely viewed as an appropriate instrument for enforcing ecclesiastical discipline; as the study of Latin became at best marginal to priestly formation, fewer priests were able to read official documents in that language; junior clergy examinations which had pressured the newly ordained to remain abreast of developments in Church teaching and practice vanished;(121) and the focus on ongoing clergy formation shifted from casus conscientiae in confessional practice to more "pastoral" and "relevant" subjects.

 As a result, the traditional channels by which the clergy (and, through them, the laity) were kept abreast of their responsibility when they became aware of the offenses treated in the instruction quickly eroded. Meanwhile, the 1962 Instruction gathered dust in the secret archives of diocesan curias until a reference to its existence in the Holy Father's 2001 apostolic letter took most people, including most bishops, by surprise. What is truly surprising is that there is no evidence that the Holy See reminded bishops of the existence of this document and of their obligation to follow it as the clergy sexual abuse crisis began to unfold in the United States and elsewhere during the 1980s and after.

 Defenses of the policy of maintaining the confidentiality of the 1962 Instruction are not without merit, but they overlook the most serious harm that resulted, albeit inadvertently, from this secrecy. This secrecy was so strictly observed that those for whom the instruction was intended were, for the most part, unaware not only of the procedure set forth in the document but even of its existence.

As a result of this ignorance, local ordinaries and those who assisted them could not and did not use the procedure prescribed in the instruction when they were confronted with accusations of misconduct. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith seems to have seen the wisdom of these criticisms of the secrecy in which previous instructions were shrouded. It has made its 2001 substantive and procedural norms for cases involving reserved delicts (but not formularies and detailed norms for specific cases) more accessible than were those of the 1962 lnstruction. Although these norms were not published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the Congregation has permitted their publication elsewhere both in Latin and in vernacular languages as well as scholarly commentaries on them."

  • 117 See, for example, Thomas IoRio, Theologia mora/is, Naples, M. D'AuRJA Editori, 1954, vol. 2, pp. 158-159. 
  • 118 118 See, for example, WERNZ and VIDAL, Ius Canonicum, vol. 7, p. 584; Eduardo REGATILLO, Institutiones iuris canonici, Santander, Sal Terra!, 1951, vol. 2, pp. 571-572.
  • 119 See, for example, Ulpianus LoPEZ, "Casus Conscienti:E- I," in Per, 27 (1938), pp. 32-35. YANGUAS, "De crimine pessimo," p. 438. 
  • 120 YANGUAS, "De crimine pessimo," p. 438. Emphasis in the original. 
  • 121 See 1917/CJC, c. 130, §1

 Crimen Sollicitationis had on the front page of the document, "NOT TO BE PUBLISHED OR AUGMENTED WITH COMMENTARIES", but Aurelio Yanguas SJ, a Spanish canon lawyer did publish an article about it in 1946. It was in Latin in a Spanish canon law journal, so he probably thought it was safe from the eyes of the naughty outside world. De crimine pessimo et competentia S. Officia relate ad illud,” Revista Espanola de Derecho Canonico. 1(1946): 427-439

 As I have said before, I don't think too much should be made of this particular "ignorance" in Australia simply because it seems that even Ian Waters accepts that Crimen Sollicitationis was repealed by the 1983 Code of Canon Law, and while undoubtedly there were allegations of sexual abuse before 1983, the real "tsunami" as Archbishop Coleridge called it, really only started in the late 1980s. That is when Brian Lucas then started to try and convince these priests to resign because, as he put it, the canonical system was "unworkable" for getting rid of them.

Significantly, that informal process did not involve reporting the allegations to the police. That too is unsurprising, given the fact that in 1974 Secreta Continere was promulgated by publication on the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, and no one has so far suggested that senior clergy were ignorant of the pontifical secret because it also applied to consultations over the appointment of bishops. One former priest at the Melbourne meeting specifically mentioned being so consulted and being aware that those consultations were subject to the pontifical secret.

Material sourced from Catholica Forum

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Music to Open Your Ears: Halloween Music - Souling Song - All Hallows Version - Kristen Lawrence

Souling Song - All Hallows Version Lyrics

Soul Day, Soul Day, we be come a souling.
Pray, good people, remember the poor,
And give us a soul cake.

Soul, soul, a soul cake!
Please, good lady, a soul cake!
An apple, a pear, a plum or a cherry,
Any good thing to make us merry.
Soul, soul, a soul cake!
Pray we for a soul cake!
One for Peter, two for Paul,
And three for Him who made us all.

God bless the master of this house, the mistress also,
And all the little children who round your table grow.
Likewise, your men and maidens, your cattle and your store,
And all that dwell within your gates, we wish you ten times more.

Souling Day, so we pray for the souls departed.
Pray give us a cake,
For we are all poor people well-known to you before.

Little Jack, Jack sat on his gate,
Crying for butter, to butter his cake.
Up with your kettles, and down with your pans,
Give us our souling, and well be gone.

Down into the cellar, and see what you can find.
If your barrels are not empty, we hope you will prove kind.
We hope you will prove kind with your apples and your grain,
And well come no more a souling til this month comes again.

Soul Day, Soul Day, we have been praying
For the souls departed, so pray good people, give us a cake.
So give us a cake for charitys sake
And our blessing well leave at your door.

Kristen Lawrence

Soul Cakes Recipe

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Refugee (Have Mercy): Music to Open Your Ears from With One Voice

One of the voices in this great  choir belongs to Catholic Leader journalist and Brisbane poet,  Paul Dobbyn..

This song will be sung as part of the Waling Borders Project

“Sometimes doing something poetic can be political

and sometimes doing something political can be poetic”

-Francis Alys -

The Walking Borders project is to be enacted
during the gathering of the G20 in Brisbane,
to advocate for the rights of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

A RAP For Anglicans in SEQ!!

Passionate about reconciliation?
Are you passionate about reconciliation? Would you like to play an active role in progressing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) process for the Anglican Church Southern Queensland? The Anglican Church SQ is seeking expressions of interest from individuals interested in being a part of a RAP working group. We’re eager to hear from members of the Anglican community anywhere in southern Queensland.

Contact or 3838 7553.

What Does A RAP Look Like?

Micah Projects Inc RAP

Images That Open Your Eyes