Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In Memoriam Fr Jose Comblin

March 27, 2011

Jose Comblin with Dom Helder Camara
Belgian priest José Comblin, one of the most important representatives of liberation theology and who was expelled from Chile and Brazil during various periods for his ideas, died today at 88 in the Brazilian city of Simoes Filho of natural causes, church sources say.

Comblin, a scholar of the Church in Latin America and author of works such as “Teología de la Liberación”, “Teología de la Azada” and “Ideología da Seguridad Nacional”,died in the small city of Simoes Filho, in the state of Bahía (northeast) where he had traveled to give a class to the base communities.

The priest, who had heart problems and used a pacemaker, was found dead in the room where he was staying by other religious who were waiting for him for morning prayers and were surprised at his delay.

The body of the Beligian priest will be waked today in the city of Salvador, the regional capital near Simoes Filho, and buried in a small town in the impoverished Brazilian state of Paraíba according to his wishes, EFE was told by spokespersons for the Archdiocese of Barra, which is also in the state of Bahía where he lived.

(Full text of the memorial page with a Comment box here)

Jose Comblin on the state of liberation theology after the “victory of capitalism” 2007 JUNE 18

"The Way: Following Jesus" -- José Comblin at the Iglesia Bautista de Viña del Mar, Chile, 2009

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lenten Invitation to Journey with L'Arche Brisbane

As a member of the L'Arche Brisbane Board I invite you to join us each week of Lent 2011  in prayer and response to the call for a change of heart. The reflections provided are simple steps in building a community of love among people living with and without intellectual disability.A new reflection  will be added each Sunday of Lent.

You are invited to join us for a Foot Washing Ritual and Simple Passover Meal at 6pm on Wednesday 20th April at St Oliver Plunkett Church Hall, 21 Beauvardia St Cannon Hill Please call the L'Arche Brisbane Office to rsvp on 3217 3011

Week One Looking Lovingly at Nature
Week Two Send a Card to Someone
Week Three Smile at People

Friday, March 25, 2011

United Nations recognise Archbishop Romero's legacy

March 24th has been designated by the United Nations' General Assembly the International Day for the right to truth about gross human rights violations and for the dignity of victims. The initiative pays tribute to the murdered Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Arnulfo Romero who was shot and killed by a hired assassin while celebrating Mass on March 24th 1980.

While Romero has been held up by Christians as a martyr and a model for justice and peace workers in countries around the world, his legacy is also increasingly being recognised outside the Church as well.

Philippa Hitchen talks about that legacy with Franciscan Fr Gearóid Francisco Ó Conaire who worked in El Salvador for many years and who now heads the Justice and Peace office of the UISG, the International Union of Superiors General here in Rome....

Original report from Vatican Radio
Listen: RealAudioMP3 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Love Upside Down Life, Love and the Subversive Jesus


An extraordinary take on love Steven Ogden grounds us in the life and witness of the subversive Jesus, who radically challenged and challenges all religious and political institutions in the name of love. This is not Christianity reinvented, this is spirituality on fire.

Brisbane Launch at St Francis College,Milton  Saturday 21st May at 5pm, to be launched by Nigel Leaves.

Sydney Launch:  Justice Michael Kirby will launch Love Upside Down: Life, Love and the Subversive Jesus at St James King Street Sydney, on Tuesday 17th May at 6:15pm. Tickets and registration: institute@sjks.org.au.

The Justice Crew Support Project Compassion

Remembering Japan, Libya, Bahrain and the world

The following order of service was prepared by the worship committee of the Ecumenical Centre, Geneva for a prayer of lamentation held at the chapel of the Ecumenical Centre, Wednesday, 16 March 2011. It may be reproduced and adapted for parish use freely. 

From Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice: Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.

We pray for all those caught up in the turmoil of North Africa and the Middle East.
May your will be done on earth, O Lord, and your kingdom come in righteousness...
May justice and peace be revealed in the daily lives of nations and peoples...
And may the voice of the Prince of Peace be heard in every land.

Prayers for the enemy (from the Eastern Orthodox tradition)

O Christ, Our God, who prayed for those who crucified You,
and asked us, your servants, to pray for our enemies;
forgive those who hate and oppress us and, through Your Grace and love for humanity,
change their lives from doing wrong and wickedness
to love for their neighbours and life filled with goodness:
that none of them may perish because of us but rather they and we together
be saved through penitence; we pray You, Lord, hear us and have mercy.
We are longing for the day when the prophecy of Micah will come true, when "they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Did George Cardinal Forget to Welcome His Old Classmate?

On 16 December 1966, George Pell was ordained a priest by Cardinal Grégoire-Pierre Agagianian at St. Peter's Basilica. In that same ordination group was  Emmanuel Seemampillai popularly known as  S.J.  Emmanual

Fr SJ Emmanuel has been described by Rev Jessie Jackson, the rights activist in USA  as the “Archbishop Tutu of the Tamil struggle”. Fr Emmanual visited Australia in February as President of the Global Tamil Forum

So, where do you think you might find some news of Fr Emmanuale's visit to Sydney in February? Perhaps the columns of the Catholic Weekly? Not only does a search of the CW reveal no results for Fr Emmanuel, it doesn't even have a result for Tamils!! There is no mention of the two former ordinands having a reunion in any media from the Archdiocese of Sydney.

However, you will find pics and a promise of further coverage of Fr Emmanuel's  visit on the Australian Tamils For Greens web. I wonder what the "Gang of Ten" who drafted the Green Agenda will make of this partnership?

You will find other good reading on the plight of the Tamil People in these sources: 

CathNews provides some results in a search for Tamils with coverage of the recent refugee crisis. The Brisbane Catholic Leader also provides a good archive of material supporting justice for the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Missio provides an excellent coverage of Church Endeavors for Human Rights and Dignity in Sri Lanka. It also analyses the complexities of a Church divided along ethnic lines.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh! St Patrick Day Blessings upon you

Dedicated to the deceased and the survivors of clergy abuse in the ancient home of my ancestors.

May Patrick who according to legend rid Eire of snakes, also drive those bishops and clergy involved in the abuse and the cover-ups into exile so they may learn to repent of their evil.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Welcome Downunder Ray!

Raymond Leo Burke (born June 30, 1948) is an American Cardinal[1] of the Holy Roman Church.[2] He is the current Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, having previously served as Archbishop of St. Louis (2003–2008) and Bishop of La Crosse (1994–2003).

And thus begins the  bio of Ray Burke on Wikipedia. The dress conscious cleric is gracing our weather beaten shores for a flying visit to deliver a speech The Fall of the Christian West

 I wasn't aware of any fall. more like a sinking under the weight of the cover up of sexual abuse, the personality cult of the Papacy in recent times, the extravagant lifestyle of senior clerics, the dismantaling of Vatican 11 and some such as The Legionnaires of Christ and the Society of St Gerard Majella.

As well as the speech Ray Cardinal also made a cameo appearance at St Brigid's Church Marrickville to perform one of those all male dress up Extraordinary Rites. You can see some cool piccies here , including the one of Ray wearing the Cappa Magna which is like a built in red carpet for higher clergy.

Now, what  you may notice is that the parish bulletin for this week made no mention of Ray Cardinal's Extraordinary appearance in the Parish Church!! They didn't even give him a "Welcome Ray" message. I wonder if Ray looked up the web site prior to his visit so he could include a few local references in his homily?  

According to the official site of the Archdiocese of Sydney, "Before returning to Rome Cardinal Burke is hopeful of seeing a little more of Sydney. He has already been on a "walking tour" of Hyde Park and the CBD area." Oh dear, I do hope he didn't walk into any of Sydney's Famous Gay Beats in his day wear.

Friday, March 11, 2011

PALMS Australia Volunteering Workshops

PALMS Australia

2011 Volunteer Information Session

If you have ever thought you have something to offer people seeking a peaceful, just and sustainable future for themselves and their families, PALMS AUSTRALIA INFORMATION SESSIONS are a first opportunity for you to ask questions, hear about volunteering, speak to returned volunteers. You may be very surprised at just how life-changing volunteering can be! Scroll down to your location or the on-line enquiry form.

Saturday 19 March, 10:30 – 12:30 pm

Uniting Church Centre, 60 Bayliss St., Auchenflower, Brisbane
Sunday 20 March, 10am – 12 noon,
Brisbane Square Library & Customer Centre, 266 George Street, Brisbane

If you are unable to attend any of these sessions, but would still like information about volunteering overseas, please contact Palms Australia on (02) 9518 9551 or complete our quick online enquiry form.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

My Lenten Reflection will focus on water and just peace

River transport in a quilombo, Brazil. © Carlos Penteado/Comissão Pró-Indio
When I was growing up in Geelong in the late 50s and 60s we lived close to two popular suburban beaches: Rippleside and Saint Helen's. We played "under the hose" and had long showers. Water was one of life's gifts we took for granted. 

A lifetime of travel has made me more aware of the fragile gift of water. I have seen the destruction of the OK Tedi River system in PNG. I have lived in Queensland with the experience of drought and most recently the impact of flooding.

It seems appropriate this year to use the  Lenten reflections provided by the Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) on "Water Conflict and Just Peace" .
"The theme has been chosen because of its relevance to communities and churches around the world" says EWN coordinator Maike Gorsboth. “At the same time, the Seven Weeks are a chance for groups and individuals to prepare themselves for the call to just peace that will emanate from the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation that will be taking place in Kingston, Jamaica in May.”
Worship materials for World Water Day on 22 March and for Maundy Thursday are alreadyavailable on the EWN website.
The importance of access to water was recently affirmed by the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The WCC governing body issued a statement during its meeting in February calling for the implementation of the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right.
Sign-up for e-mail updates on the Seven Weeks for Water:
More information on the Ecumenical Water Network: