Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eric dumped from Hogan's Heroes

Among the daily "drops" I receive in my email is the e-bulletin coverage from CathNews. It's a useful service not just for the content but also for gauging the ecclesial landscape. The most recent change in editorial staffing has also introduced some odd if not disturbing items into the columns.

However, one of the promised features in a recent e-bulletin did not appear as advertised and is well covered by a discussion on the Catholica Forum. The controversy has also been picked up by The Age in Melbourne. In an alarming statement from the Australian Bishops Conference the newspaper reports:

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference general secretary Brian Lucas said the Cath News editorial team withdrew the article ''when some of the content was brought to their attention and they realised it fell outside their guidelines to provide informed opinion. They apologised for their error.''

Is Brain Lucas suggesting that the editorial team do not understand the guidelines of providing "informed opinion"? Does Brian Lucas consider Eric Hodgens writings "out of bounds" as informed opinion? Which Bishops if any spoke out against this absurd decision? Is the baptism of a Murdoch Scion meant to provide us with a more informed opinion than a reflection by a leading pastoral observer and practitioner?


On the Golden Anniversary of his generation's ordination, Eric Hodgens reflect on the aspirations of priests and the church over the past 50 years, in The Swag, the magazine of the National Council of Priests of Australia.


Now to the item in question: When you click "more" you will find a syndicated article from The Australian. However, although the alternative article was published on December 22nd it does not appear in the archive listings for that day on the CathNews site.

What is really interesting about the original Hodgens article promo is the image used of JP11. In his article Hodgens says of the media savvy pontiff:

"..John Paul II. Charismatic in front of the TV camera; brilliant at languages; but – out of touch in scripture and limited in theology, a bad listener and rock solid is his self-assessment as God’s chosen man of destiny. His whole life had been spent in the persecuted church of Poland with its fortress church mentality frozen in time.

Was that comment too much for some of the "satin and lace' brigade who prefer extraordinary rites of liturgy?

I for one am happy to be able to promote the informed opinion of Eric Hodgens.
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