Sunday, January 31, 2010

Top Ten Catholics of 2009?

Being part of the catholic community puts you in relation to people from the mediocre to the eccentric. The shades between can be disturbing as well as inspiring. A few years ago I reflected on "What sort of Catholic are You"? It may be time to re-visit that script.

Each year for the past 10 years, Inside the Vatican has selected 10 people to bring to the attention of our readers because of the important work that they do, and the courage, wisdom and charity with which they carry out that work.
So the breakdown is seven of the ten are clerics or members of religious orders. The only women who count are members of religious congregations who wear habits.Only two are non Europeans. Surely for the top ten we could have found a bit more gender balance.

Somehow our very own George Cardinal was overlooked. This is surprising for as recently as May 2009 the Canberra Times described him as Australia's Top Catholic cleri
If anyone finds the application forms for the 2010 selection, please forward them before the closing date!! 

The Top Ten People of 2009  site will take you to the official biographies of the nominated people. My hyperlinks  will provide details over-looked by the writers of Inside The Vatican as well as amazing trivia about the candidates!!

1. Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos Former Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, he is the former President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei A man whose  support for right wing dictatorships remains a source of scandal and shame in the Vatican.

2. Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson (Wow about the only one of the ten that fills a whole page of google images . How did Obama get in the collection?) The new president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, he is a leader of the Church in Africa

3. Leonid Sevastianov He's even on Facebook Executive Director of the St. Gregory Nazianzus Foundation, he is working for the renewal of Russia and Europe

4. Don Luigi Maria Epicoco He could be my holy superman any day!! A parish priest in L’Aquila, Abruzzo, he saved people during the earthquake in the region in April 2009

5. Suor Giovanna Gentili An Italian nun, she retired this year after 25 years of service in the Vatican Press Office (you might need Bablefish if your Italian is a bit rusty)

6. Abbess Maria Tekla Famiglietti (Whoopsie, poor old Thela got caught in full regalia fratting with  Nasty Mr Castro according to a loopy site managed by the temple police) She is the energetic head of a religious order of nuns in rapid expansion worldwide

7. Bishop Mario Toso (Another "Good News" story if this link is to be believed) The new secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, he advised the Pope on his last encyclical

8. Professor Antonio Paolucci (Bit of a youtube coverage in Italian but also great for the background to the speech) The director  of the Vatican Museums, he has great responsibility for the cultural patrimony of the Church

9. Dr. Johann Marthe (Pretty cool bio notes on this site) An Austrian scholar, his work with the “Pro Oriente” Foundation has brought Christians closer together

10. Archbishop Antonio Mennini (Informative interview with the Archbishop here) An Italian papal diplomat, he this year successfully negotiated the upgrade in Vatican relations with Russia

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lesbian Priest Ordained in Brisbane

Brisbane lesbian Narelle Oliver (pictured) has been ordained as the first female priest within the Independent Catholic Church of Australia.

The social worker, who was ordained late last year, said her vows were not a political statement but rather a personal decision, reported The Courier-Mail.

“This is a deeply spiritual journey, not a political statement for me,” she said.

Oliver, who says mass every second Sunday in a decommissioned Methodist church in Hemmant, said the Independent Catholic Church – a small denomination of ‘Old Catholics’ who split from the Roman Catholics in 1870 – was “a place where people come and celebrate their faith and be accepted”. 
For mass times and other information, visit or call (07) 3841 4674.
News Source: Queensland Pride 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Extreme Catholicism or Pope Prepares for Holy Mosh Pit

Being catholic can have its "moments" It's like a cross between Ashtons Circus and a Grand Opera (although the Church isn't keen on any ladies, much less the fat one who sings). I couldn't resist a comment on this latest news item: Feature - Bring back the sedia to guard Pope

Yes, let's bring back some of the old 'pomp and circumstance'. Why should the Brits have it all? Problem is that today we are hemmed in by so many WHS regulations.

Will Papa need to wear a seat belt at a certain height and will it co-ordinate with the liturgical colour of the day?

Will there be height restrictions on the sedia which limit it to being carried at waist level? (is the sedia a waste level anyway?) LOL

What speed limits should be placed on the palafrenieri? Will the palafrenieri be expected to do daily gym workouts to keep up the stamina needed?

Should Papa always be carried 'ad orientum' in keeping with the reform of the reform?

In the interests of reflecting the universal and inclusive nature of the Church, should the palafrenieri be drafted from each continent and could they perhaps wear a national costume? 

I expect the option of female palafrenieri is out of the question as they can be usefully employed to throw rose petals on the ground to break the fall should the palafrenieri lose their grip.

And lets bring back a few more Flabella but let's not stick with the ostrich feathers. Let's include more birds. Maybe Kevin could send Papa a Magpie Flabella?

And I want the job of the little friar who gets to run out in front of Papa's sedia at the traffic lights and yells 'sic transit gloria mundi'! (This has nothing to do with traffic conditions on Monday.) 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tradional Catholicism and the Iraq War

Forum Friday: Iraq an Unjust War?
In the Catholicism Forum, our moderator, Steven Hepburn, has begun an interesting thread on a report issued in the Netherlands that found that the war in Iraq, which the Dutch government supported, had "no basis in international law." Steven, like I and the current and previous popes, opposed the war because it did not meet the requirement of just-war theory, but I'm interested in hearing from those who thought (at least at the time of the U.S. invasion) that it was justified. Have you changed your mind? Why or why not? Please join in the discussion in the forum!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Mary Daly Memorials

If God is male, then male is God. The divine patriarch castrates women as long as he is allowed to live on in the human imagination. 

Mary Daly (October 16, 1928 – January 3, 2010[1][2]) was an American radical feminist philosopher, academic, and theologian who taught at Boston College, a Jesuit-run institution, for 33 years. Daly consented to retire from Boston College in 1999, after violating university policy by refusing to allow male students in her Women's Studies classroom. She had, however, consented to teach male students separately

Wilde's De Profundis

Jarrod Saul McKenna Tony I loved this essay and thought of you. Thanks for your witness and courage.
Oscar Wilde shows us faith without belief.  Oscar Wilde's radical reinvention of Christianity while he lay in Reading Gaol is a profound justification of faith. read Wilde's De Profundis here