Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Today's Caption Competition: What is George Reading?

In this image of Cardinal George Pell by David Roberts the Archbishop of Sydney is caught out reading a book in his favourite nook. What is George Cardinal reading?

So, that's my list..what do you think is in the Cardinal's hands?
Thanks to the Catholica Discussion Forum for their responses

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Holy Planking!

According to Wikipedia, "Planking is the act of lying face down with arms to the sides of the body, in unusual public spaces and photographing it.The term "planking" was coined in Australia and became a fad in 2011. "

 I can in fact confirm that "Planking" has its origins in liturgy. It is an ancient religious act of lying on the floor of the Church during the chanting of the Litany of the Saints. It is also practised by more evangelical groups during prayer sessions.  Here is  the pictorial evidence of Holy Planking. Can someone please update the Wikipedia entry to reflect this research?

Infallible Planking

Nave Planking
Comfy Planking 

Extraordinary Planking

Episcopal Planking
Line Planking

Mass Planking
She Planking
Friar Planking
Nun Planking
Super Planking
Synchronized Planking
Discalced Planking
Evangelical Planking

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Perth Sets New Record in Bad Taste

Over in the oft forgotten plains of WA is the usually sleepy Catholic Archdiocese of Perth. They live a genteel life and take pride in their newly renovated Cathedral. The world of Vatican politics and life on the East Coast is usually too far away to worry about.

However , the ground has shifted as the official paper of the Archdiocese of Perth, The Record has  published a scathing editorial on the recent "sacking" of Bishop Bill Morris of Towoomba. The editorial heading: "A Bishop That Had To Go" presents an official view of events that differs in tone and content from the statement of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

The damaging impact of the editorial for Archbishop Hickey is obvious on The Record webiste where it is placed much lower than the story on the  Australian Catholic Bishops response.  I suspect the proverbial "hell will freeze over"  before the Archbishop runs out for a photo opportunity with the editor.

A "warning bell" in the editorial was the reference to Christopher Pearson as a reliable source for information on the Bishop Morris issue. This is akin to hiring Richard Dawkins as a guide to the Vatican!!

A very good analysis of the editorial is available on the Catholica Discussion forum. A very bad discussion on the  editorial can be found on the hard-nosed benches CathPews Discussion Forum.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Vatican Plays Politics With Child Abuse

Online Catholic News services and blogs have attacked Amnesty International for releasing a report in which it names the Vatican for failing to protect children from abuse.In a traditional political trick of deflecting attention away from the core issue prelates and bloggers have instead chosen to attack AI for its policy on  sexual and reproduction rights.

Vatican official: Amnesty International 'betrays’ mission with abortion stance
 Amnesty International's dig at Vatican called 'preposterous'
Amnesty International hits out at Vatican - 

The Amnesty International report begins:" Increasing evidence of widespread child sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy over the past decades, and of the enduring failure of the Catholic Church to address these crimes properly, continued to emerge in various countries. Such failures included not removing alleged perpetrators from their posts pending proper investigations, not co-operating with judicial authorities to bring them to justice and not ensuring proper reparation to victims."

The report notes: "Canon law does not include an obligation for Church authorities to report cases to civil authorities for criminal investigation. Secrecy is mandatory throughout the proceedings."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Prayer for peace - Sunday 22 May 2011

Celebrate with the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Jamaica

On Sunday, 22 May 2011, in a worldwide event, churches in every corner of the world are invited to celebrate God’s gift of peace. Those who take part will be together in spirit, song and prayer with the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) in Jamaica, united in the hope of peace.

God of peace and possibility, Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier:

We approach you to ask once again for your mercy, forgiveness and a fresh start.
We ask you to help us give peace a chance, in this world.
We want to give peace a chance, yet we have already missed so many opportunities.
We have sabotaged so many initiatives; instead of overcoming evil with good,
we have stood by while good was overpowered.
Forgive us, Lord.
Dona nobis pacem: Give us peace, we pray.

Just as we claim your forgiveness, we also claim this moment in the name of peace.
We accept anew our responsibility as peacemakers and creators of justice.
We give thanks for the Decade to Overcome Violence, for its work in raising our awareness and our yearning for peace. And yet, we admit that there is much more required if we are truly to give peace a chance.
Dona nobis pacem: Give us peace, we pray.

By the moving of your Spirit, commit our hearts and minds to peace, and help us dedicate our lives to becoming the starting-points of peace. “Let this be the moment, now.”
Help us cooperate with you, giving peace a chance, creating a world where peace may be our ethos and our essence.
Give us peace, we pray. Grant us wisdom and courage to seize the initiative: wisdom to discern the things that make for peace, and courage to be faithful and obedient to you.
Dona nobis pacem: Give us peace, we pray.

God of peace and possibility, make us instruments of your peace at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation and in all places so that we may fulfill your will, and so that we may give peace a chance.
In the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
Prayer from the Caribbean

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Catholic Activist Calls for Removal of Pope's Image From Churches

Brisbane Catholic activist, Tony Robertson has called for Catholic Churches in Australia to remove the image of Pope Benedict XVI which by custom has a place of honour in Churches, Schools and other religious buildings.

Mr Robertson said "This is a symbolic way of expressing the anger hurt and dismay at the treatment of Bishop Bill Morris of Toowoomba who has been forced to resign following a Vatican investigation."

"The investigation denied Bishop Morris any natural justice by not allowing him to see the report which was published following the apostolic visit of Archbishop Chaput of Denver in 2007" he said.

By removing the images of the Pope from our public buildings we will send a strong message to Rome about our dissatisfaction with the policies and Church direction currently practised by the Pope and the Roman Curia". he said.

Mr Robertson said: "Catholic Liturgy includes prayers for the Pope and Bishops of the Church and these prayers will continue to remind us  that those who govern are not always acting in good grace. We need to continue these prayers that the current generation of Bishops from the Pope to the local ordinaries will not be consumed by their status, power and finery"

"For this action to be effective I suggest that parishes schools and other Catholic centres send their pictures of the Pope  to the Apostolic Nunciature in Canberra where such action will be recorded and reported in Rome" he said.

Vatican blesses Mugabe and wonders why Catholics abandon the Church!!!

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, and his wife Grace attend a solemn celebration led by Pope Benedict XVI where late Pope John Paul II was beatified, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, May 1, 2011, in the fastest beatification in modern times. Photo: Anja Niedringhaus / AP Read more

As recently as April 18 Amnesty International expressed concerns that "State sponsored violence and malicious prosecutions of perceived  opponents of President Robert Mugabe remain a major concern"

It is even more amazing that  the Mugabes scored front row seats at this Vatican event when he  was recently quoted as saying: “I am confused by my own Catholic bishops, they must learn from you (ZCC leaders). Often Catholic bishops expose that they are not their own men; they are mere puppets of Western Countries. I grew up in a Catholic Church but now I am totally frustrated by how these so called men of God who lie. All Catholic bishops are liars, they demonise my party every day,”  (Source)

Mugabe's welcome at the Vatican stands in stark contradiction to the isolation  and excommunication meted out to Sr. Margaret McBride and Fr Roy Bourgeois who remain among my contemporary heroes of the Gospel. On the day of the Beatification Australians were stunned to hear that the Pope has removed Bishop Bill Morris from his see in Toowwomba without due process using the similar methods to those that kept Mugabe in power for so long!!

And they wonder why so many walk away from the Church?