Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
In December 2011 the news from the Vatican included: Pope decrees sainthood for Italian, beatification for 11 others
Thursday, November 25, 2010
You know you are getting to people by the number of responses you get to a Facebook post.
A post announcing my support for the objections to the inauguration of former General Peter Cosgrove as Chancellor of theAustralian Catholic University indicated that the day would not be one of "rest".
The Catholic Worker Movement organised protests at the Catholic Cathedrals in Sydney and Brisbane to raise awareness of the issues surrounding this appointment. Read Jim Dodrill’s statement . Watch Sean O'Reilly's video clip about the protest.
The Catholic Worker Movement claims Peter Cosgrove should be one of the last people to be given such a position, after he clearly ignored Papal appeals and the declaration of his own bishops in 2003, by leading Australian forces into a bloody and immoral invasion of Iraq.I stand by them on this one as well!
“Where is the intellectual honesty in appointing such a person to lead the Catholic Universities?”, asked Catholic Worker Sean O’Reilly.(pictured above) “Peter Cosgrove demonstrated clearly that when it comes to war, he has ‘No King but Caesar’. He ignored the pleadings of the Pope, and the declaration of Australian Catholic bishops that this was not a just war."
In an interview with the ABC News Cosgrove stated "I wasn't particularly conscious that the church was taking a very strong position". It's hard to believe that the then Defense Chief was not aware of public opposition to the War from the Vatican and the Australian Catholic Bishops. How well informed is the man who has just been inauguirated as Chancellor of Australian Catholic University?
Sean said" "The war caused massive suffering which continues today, especially among Cosgrove’s fellow Catholics in Iraq.”
Sean said: “One worries about the militarisation of Catholic schools and institutions when the ACU appoints a General as it’s Chancellor, and not just any general, but one who made a mockery of the Church’s Just War teaching.”
One of my Facebook friends was more concerned about Peter Cosgrove's lack of serious academic credentials than military background. Another journalist friend noted that Cosgrove is seen by many in Timor Leste as a peacemaker. Sadly, his local reputation as a "folk hero" is dwarfed by his shameful military participation in Afghanistan and Iraq.
See images of the Brisbane protest here
Saturday, November 20, 2010
In a news item earlier this year the Catholic Womens League denounced young people wearing rosaries as "disrespectful to the beliefs of Catholics" I mix with young people who wear rosaries most Sunday nights at The Fox Hotel in South Brisbane. None of them have shown any disrespect to my faith and in fact we have had some great conversations about life and spirituality when discussing the rosary wearing fad.
So, rosaries are everywhere it seems from the necks of the Sunday nights party people to the boutique stall offering designer size for the hip or the pocket. I am happy to see
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Extended version of a Review published in TearAustralia Issue 4/2010
The passing of Roberta Sykes A statement from Bev Manton, Chairwoman of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC)
In 1998 Roger Riordan read Snake Cradle, the first volume of Roberta Sykes’ autobiography. She had been attending a convent school, but when she reached the age of 14 (then the official school leaving age) she was summarily told to leave.
This precipitated a whole series of disasters, and it took her many years to retrieve her life. Roger was appalled by this story, and resolved to try to do something to save other aboriginal children from similar suffering. He contacted Roberta, and at her suggestion, in 1999 he endowed the Koiki (Eddie) Mabo Fund at the University of Newcastle. This has in turn inspired several other scheme
Rights campaigner Roberta 'Bobbi' Sykes dies ABC Report
Friday, November 12, 2010
Jesuit Refugee Service | USA | Jesuit Refugee Service 30th Anniversary Online Retreat | Day 1 - A Strong Foundation: Getting Free to Love
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
The Church is an object of faith. In the Apostles' Creed we pray: "I believe in God, the Father ... in Jesus Christ, his only Son - in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting." We must believe in the Church! The Apostles' Creed does not say that the Church is an organization that helps us to believe in God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. No, we are called to believe in the Church with the same faith we believe in God.
Often it seems harder to believe in the Church than to believe in God. But whenever we separate our belief in God from our belief in the Church, we become unbelievers. God has given us the Church as the place where God becomes God-with-us.
The Two Sides of One Faith
Our faith in God who sent his Son to become God-with-us and who, with his Son, sent his Spirit to become God-within-us cannot be real without our faith in the Church. The Church is that unlikely body of people through whom God chooses to reveal God's love for us. Just as it seems unlikely to us that God chose to become human in a young girl living in a small, not very respected town in the Middle East nearly two thousand years ago, it seems unlikely that God chose to continue his work of salvation in a community of people constantly torn apart by arguments, prejudices, authority conflicts, and power games.
Still, believing in Jesus and believing in the Church are two sides of one faith. It is unlikely but divine!
Over the centuries the Church has done enough to make any critical person want to leave it. Its history of violent crusades, pogroms, power struggles, oppression, excommunications, executions, manipulation of people and ideas, and constantly recurring divisions is there for everyone to see and be appalled by.
Can we believe that this is the same Church that carries in its center the Word of God and the sacraments of God's healing love? Can we trust that in the midst of all its human brokenness the Church presents the broken body of Christ to the world as food for eternal life? Can we acknowledge that where sin is abundant grace is superabundant, and that where promises are broken over and again God's promise stands unshaken? To believe is to answer yes to these questions.
The Church, God's People
As Jesus was one human person among many, the Church is one organization among many. And just as there may have been people with more attractive appearances than Jesus, there may be many organizations that are a lot better run than the Church. But Jesus is the Christ appearing among us to reveal God's love, and the Church is his people called together to make his presence visible in today's world.
Would we have recognized Jesus as the Christ if we had met him many years ago? Are we able to recognize him today in his body, the Church? We are asked to make a leap of faith. If we dare to do it our eyes will be opened and we will see the glory of God.
Source: Daily Reflections by Henri Nouwen, by subscription to the Henri Nouwen Society:
Monday, October 18, 2010
The locals came along for a BBQ and some music from those who know the journey from poverty to community. Agencies had their banners, the Salvos offered free Fair Trade coffee and Vinnies and Red Cross worked together to prepare the snags and the banquet.
The numbers weren't big. Challenging structures that leave people in poverty isn't good news on a warm Sunday in Brisbane. I noticed that none of the local Churches had a presence and it probably wasn't fair to expect any religious orders to come along to something that wasn't about the vow of poverty.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Voice from the Desert is proud to have published many of Vinnie’s previous work. This one is the best, in my judgment.
Also by Vinnie:
The Pope Soars to new Heights of Hypocrisy!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Hosted by the Multi-Faith Centre of Griffith University and the Qld Forum for Christians, Jews and Muslims.
Venue: Griffith University Multi-Faith Centre, Nathan Campus.
Annual Evening Of Jewish, Christian & Muslim Sacred Voices and Music followed by a Kosher-Halal Supper
The programme will include contributions by Christian school voices, a breathtaking Muslim chant, lively Jewish groups and QCT's Georgia Corowa, Coordinator of the Churches Together Indigenous People's Partnership (CTIPP) and a professional musician.
All are welcome - suitable for youth upwards (children welcome with accompaniment).
Entry is free - gold coin donations welcome
RSVP: by 29th October
Location Map - then click on campus maps, Nathan campus, Building N35 at grid N6. Free parking after 7pm.
Click here to read about last year's event.
Saturday, October 09, 2010
The text of Michael's talk: A PILGRIM’S PROGRESS: RECLAIMING A RICH TRADITION a great introduction to this work from one of Australia's more adventurous Church leaders in recent times.
This book, published by John Garratt Publishing, Melbourne, presents the story of a spiritual journey made over the past few years by Bishop Robinson.
In seeking answers to the urgent longings of the title, he goes back to basics to encounter the spiritual, to consciously respond to the force of his deepest desires and to understand the ways that move him towards higher goals. This is an intensely personal journey, but one that is likely to resonate with many Catholics. It follows Bishop Robinson’s explosive Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus, which offered a critique of the Church’s use and misuse of power.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
ABC Radio National | 10 October 2010
Priest and theologian James Alison believes that there are bright glimmers of hope to be found in the Catholic Church's wrestling with issues around homosexuality. He reflects on his own experience as a gay Catholic, on the givenness of sexual orientation, and on what he calls 'the shape of God's affection'.
Producer: David Rutledge
Repeated Wednesday 16 October, 7.05pm; and Thursday 14 October, 4.05am
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
A study from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that Americans who don’t believe in God scored better on a religious study quiz than those who identify with a specific religion.
The U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey, a nationwide poll of 3,412 Americans age 18 and older, found that out of 32 questions related to various religions, atheists and agnostics typically got the most correct responses. Jews and Mormons also scored higher than Protestants and Catholics.
However, while atheists and agnostics performed highest on religious questions overall, on questions related to Christianity, Protestants and Catholics out-performed all other groups. So, basically, they know more about their own faith than about those of other religions. For those who want to test themselves, a shorter version of the quiz is here.
And this is how you would have to administer the test as a call operator!!
See the Catholica Forum Discussion here
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sydney, Australia: An exhibition of 99 works that explore the religious and spiritual in art will be displayed and for sale online at http://www.blakeprize.com.au from Wednesday 6 October 2010 to Saturday 15 January 2011. The works were selected by the Blake Society Directors from over 300 images shortlisted, for finalist consideration, in this year’s Blake Prize.
The exhibiting artists include Craig Ruddy, Maryanne Coutts, Janette Hanrahan, Shirley Purdie and David Tucker.
The Blake Prize Exhibition Program continues to be one of Australia’s most committed to allowing artists to engage and explore the religious and spiritual in art. This year’s online exhibition includes works that look traditional religious themes including parables and symbolism. Many works also undertake a personal exploration of the religious and spiritual encompassing themes of stillness, loss, life experience and fertility.
Rev Dr Rod Pattenden, Chairperson of the Blake Society said, “The Directors cut provides a stunning survey of the range of works submitted for this year’s Blake Prize. The standard is extremely high and the range of ideas and modes of expression are prickly with interest for both collectors and people interested in ideas of cultural diversity in Australia.”
The Exhibition runs from Wednesday 6 October, 2010 to Saturday 15 January, 2011 For MEDIA enquiries and images contact Stefanie Lewis on 0419 442 643 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, September 25, 2010
This Statement is issued at the conclusion of the United Nations’ International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of theWorld and theWorld Council of Churches’ Decade to Overcome Violence. Key goals have been the promotion of fundamental human rights, addressing wide varieties of violence – direct and structural – in homes, communities and in the international arenas, and learning from local and regional ways of
Sunday, August 29, 2010
A practical suggestion in the process of redress for victims of clergy abuse has to be the public acknowledgement of the criminal history of clergy like Kevin O'Donnell
- All parish and archdiocesan histories should include an appendix noting the abuse history of clergy who are named as pastors and assistants in Parish and Diocesan records.
- Deceased Bishops and Archbishops who contributed to the scandal of silence should be removed from their burial sites in Cathedrals and interred in public space with plain headstones and a comment explaining why their remains have been removed from a place of honour.
- It is a custom in Catholic schools to have an honour board of former students who have ben ordained. I suggest clergy who have been convicted of sexual abuse and stripped of their priesthood have their names removed from such honour boards and an explanation included at the base of the board.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Chrissie and Anthony Foster were like any other young family, raising their three daughters in suburban Melbourne with what they hoped were the right values. Chrissie could not have known that the stranger-danger she feared actually lurked in the presbytery attached to the girls' Catholic primary school. Father Kevin O'Donnell, a long-term paedophile, lived and worked there.
Two of their young daughters became victims of O'Donnell. And once the truth was revealed, the Fosters began a battle to find out how this could have happened. The Church offered silence, lies, denials and threats. Meanwhile, their daughters tried to piece together their fractured lives.
This is the chilling true story that made national and international headlines. Chrissie Foster's heartbreaking account of her family's suffering, and their determination to stand up for themselves against the might of the Catholic Church, is testament to the strength of a mother's love, and the resilience of the human spirit
James Campbell Sun Herald August 2010
Abuse of Trust: Child Sexual Abuse and the Churches ABC Radio National
Friday, August 27, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
In the original report from the Herald Sun, Wahlberg is photographed arriving at the airport in what seems to be his golf gear, possible ready for Mass.
However, Church Resources chose to use a Wikipedia image of Wahlberg seen here in his "Sunday Best".
Both reports noted that Wahlberg is "a committed Catholic and Calvin Klein underwear model" so why couldn't we have one of those great shots in his undies that you can find all over google. Was he wearing CKs under his golf pants and in good sagging manners, did they peek out as he knelt in prayer? I'm sure Church Resources would have seen their ratings go through the roof had they used this pic of Wahlberg to accompany the article.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
As a Christian I stand in prayerful solidarity with my Muslim friends who are entering the season of Ramadan. I was alerted to the beginning of this Holy Season by one of my young Islamic friends on Facebook. Thanks Ayman for your call to all of us to consume less, to do random acts of mercy and to stop 5 times day to pray, be still and wonder at the 99 Most Beautiful Names of God.
When the Bishops offered their resignations they wrote:
"As we celebrate the Feast of Christmas, the Birth of our Saviour, the Prince of Peace, it is our hope that our action may help to bring the peace and reconciliation of Jesus Christ to the victims/survivors of child sexual abuse."
Pope Benedict's refusal to accept their resignations suggests that the Vatican is not concerned about bringing " the peace and reconciliation of Jesus Christ to the victims/survivors of child sexual abuse."
There are heretics in the Vatican By Vinnie Nauheimer © All rights reserved was published on August 12 2010 provides a perspective from survivors of clergy abuse
- Bishop Walsh was a member of the first Advisory Panel of the Archdiocese of Dublin established in 1996 to manage child abuse cases. Did Bishop Walsh ensure every case reviewed by the panel was referred to the police? It appears he did not.(extract from Colm O'Gorman's Column full text here
- Reports from the Irish Times
- Pope Benedict has rewarded Irish child sex abuse coverup
- Pope rejects Dublin bishops' resignations
- John Cooney: Latest Papal diktat spells doom for people's church