Monday, June 26, 2006

Peter Cross RIP

I join fellow blogger David Shutz in remembering the contribution of the late Peter Cross to the ecumenical movement in Australia. During my years in Melbourne, Peter was a priest I admired and respected.
In the midst of joy, we are in grief at the death of an outstanding worker in the vineyard of ecumenism, Fr Peter Cross. Fr Cross died on Saturday night at 9:50pm. He is a great loss to the Ecumenical Movement around the world, particularly in Anglican Catholic relationships as a member of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and most recently in the preparation of the joint statement “Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ” . Rest in Peace, Peter.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Remembering "The Mons"

The great aussie habit of abbreviating honorific titles in Church circles probably works best in Catholicism where such oddities abound. For generations the elder priest in a community who rose to the rank of Monsignor has been known as "The Mons" Readers from outside the tradition may be more familiar with the title from Christopher Reeves worst movie.

Well today, June 26th is the 50th anniversary of the death of a national treasure who is slowly being reclaimed as one of Australia'a most interesting Monsignori, John Hawes.

The life of this truly remarkable man has inspired me for many years.I first came across him in a set of his writings published in the now defunct Capuchin Annual. He also featured in a BBC production screened in the early 1970s which seems impossible to trace now.

Known as the Hermit of Cat Island, Hawes has left the Australian community a legacy in architecture and spirituality that we have yet to explore and discover. I invite you to celebrate this anniversary by taking some time to learn about and promote the life of this man of God who died as a Franciscan tertiary,Fra Jerome.

Online Articles:

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Roman Cardinal misses Brisbane Pride March

In beautiful Rome, the Pontifiical Council for the Family has Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo as its colouful and vocal President. The good Cardinal has a habit of reminding Vatican officials about the correct use of condoms and the place of homosexuals in the family which creates some havoc in the Press Office.He also has a wonderful wardrobe of party gear and a penchant for funny hats.

Due to a hectic schedule rumoured to include family plannng advice to Nicole Kidman, the Cardinal missed out on an opportunity to lead the Brisbane Pride March on June 17. However, in his absence a group of attractive young men from a similar organisation rallied to the cause. Although they lacked the Cardinal's dress sense, they matched his literary output with a series of home made encyclicals for the day.They also demonstated their amazing vocal range which rivaled any cheer squad at an AFL finals series.

Like much of the good Cardinal's writings, the young evangelists stirred a bit of interest and public debate for a few moments until real life caught up with the rest of us who had come along to celebrate the 17th Annual Pride March in Brisbane.

I have published a set of the images of the day and will be posting off the link to the Cardinal in case he wants to include any in future publications of his Council. I'm sure he'll love the family shots and the images of the fervant young protesters, one of whom has trouble spelling Sodom.Perhaps there is a distance course in Biblical terms close to home for this young man..

Another great event during this month of celebrations included a public meeting with Justice Michael Kirby. Congratulations to the Metropolitan Community Church, one of the sponsoring bodies of the evening.I don't think Cardinal Trujillo nor the young evangelists have ever been to a service at MCC.However for many people who identify among sexual minorities, this is a community of faith where they hear the Gospel proclaimed and experience the life of a Christian community.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

William T Cavanaugh

Dr William Cavanaugh, Associate Professor of Theology atUniversity of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota, USA) was in Brisbane on June 7 as part of the Dom Helder Camara Lecture Series. I went to one session whch introduced me to a guy who has much to offer in the discussion about politics and religion in our community. We also share a passion for a Church where where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.

Dr William Cavanaugh was educated in theology and religion at Notre Dame, Cambridge and Duke Universities. His dissertation for his PhD at Duke “Torture and Eucharist in Pinochet’s Chile” drew on his experiences living in Chile in the 1980s and was developed into the highly-acclaimed book “Torture and Eucharist: Theology, Politics and the Body of Christ,” which reflects on the Church, the Eucharist and politics within the context of the Pinochet regime. A well known writer on theology, the church and politics, his other books include “Theopolitical Imagination: Discovering the Liturgy as a Political Act in an Age of Global Consumerism” and “The Blackwell Companion to Political Theology” edited with Peter Scott.

Now, there's a story behind the picture of Bill Cavanaugh. Most of the images used in the PR for his tour show a pretty slick looking "all American" lad. How ever, I found this one on a site that is headed The Church and the Liberal Tradition. It includes links to a number of Cavanaugh's essays and the following item:

Cardinal Pell and the Theology of the Nation State: "What is happening in the relationship between church and state when Christians, who struggle to define their place in the secular, pluralist nation state, suddenly find one of their number a recipient of the nation's top honour precisely because of his Christian leadership?" - Radio discussion w. Cardinal George Pell, Margaret Coffey, William Cavanaugh.[transcript] Sunday 26 June 2005.

View one of his articles (PDF 31kB) Enough is Enough.

Torture and Eucharist

In Torture and Eucharist: Theology, Politics, and the Body of Christ (Blackwell, 1998), William T. Cavanaugh describes the situation of the Catholic Church in Chile under the Pinochet regime, 1973-1990.

Liturgy as politics

Violence, Religion, and the State” William Cavanaugh Draft only – not for citation

Now for those who got past the preferred definition of Church in the first paragraph and are still a little perplexed, I suggest you drop in on the Lake Woebegone Effect