Friday, August 31, 2012

Alcohol, Bishops,Controversy The ABC of a Drinking Catholic

All around the religious blogsphere this weekend  people are posting about the  colourful Archbishop Elect of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone who managed to collect a DUI ticket after  dinner with his Mum. Cardileone has apologised for being caught over the limit with the usual references to family, Church and himself.

Wherever the Catholic sun does shine,
There’s laughter and music and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!
Hilaire Belloc 

Drinking clerics of pre and post Vatican orientation have always been part of the structure. Some have more colourful and public exhibitions of their lack of temperance. The colonial history of Australia includes many legends of the life around the pubs that Catholic families established. I remember going to a post ordination celebration of a mate in Koroit Victoria. The  local pub was the only venue that could cater for the numbers and its furnishings included an old confessional stall under the stairs.

In 1979 as a young seminarian in Melbourne I was assigned to work at an inner city parish. One of my regular chores was to  go to The Perseverance and pick up  the grog supply for the clergy card night on Fridays. A couple of years later and having handed in my soutane I dropped into the old watering hole for a beer with a friend. Culture runs deep and the manager recognizing me, gave us "drinks on the house"  remembering my good custom.

So,  here's wishing Salv Cordileone "good health" as he takes up the reigns of episcopal bohemia in San Francisco. He seems to like  parades and fancy dress and is a fan of the "Cappa Magna" set. He may need to brush up on his  sexuality statements and pastoral skills if he wants them to have him lead the 2013 Pride Parade.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Catholic Acronyms for the 21st Century
Acronyms have always been part of Catholic Culture for much of its colouful history.As a young student at St Joseph's College in Geelong I discovered that ABC had nothing over AMDG written at the top of every page of work from Maths to Geography. Even our college "tag" was SJC.

Religious Orders have built their marketing and attraction on impressive acronyms. The various Franciscan Orders of men managed to move from a plain OFM to OFM Conv, OFM Cap and in more recent times  CFR,  FMC FSF ,LBF and  SA (not to be confused with the verdant fields of South Australia)

Then we have the women who embrace full strength Nuns to congregations. Probably best known in Australia are the Sisters of Mercy, not to be confused with the acronym free rock band. The good Sisters who administered schools hospitals orphanages and corporal punishment were probably not too keen to promote their acronym, RSM In lesser numbers but a genuine  Australian made product,we have the popular  "Brown Joeys". Their full title is Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart which is condensed down to RSJ.

The acronym trend took off during the pontificate of  John Paul 11 with HH dashing around the world to  teen cries of " JPII we love you". The trend spread to Brisbane where the Archbishop of the day, +John Bathersby was renamed ABJB. His successor is is not encouraging the trend as he runs the risk of becoming ABC.

So here is a new contemporary list  for trivia buffs and those who like to drop an acronym into their next parish council meeting. This is a work in progress and reader contributions are more than welcome!!

  • CCC Catechism of the Catholic Church. Available online or if you have room on your bookshelf,  in hard cover with lots of nice piccies or the easy read soft cover. Everything you need to know to be a good practicing Catholic. When typing this title beware of the keyboard inclinatino to prefer the V rather than the C leaving you with a Vatechism.
  • EF Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is Mass celebrated by lots of priests and servers in lace and brocade gear facing east (literally or metaphorically) spoken in Latin, well at least the bits anyone on the front pew is allowed to hear.
  • EWTN Eternal Word Television Network was founded by the jolly old Mother Angelica. MA is swathed in  more habit than a Thomas Aquinas could define.
  • FTTM Faithful to the Magisterium a popular acronym for the self appointed guardians of truth and right practice in the Church. They included the Temple Police as well as contributors to various web sites offering a "true" Catholic perspective.
  • NE New Evangelisation is an all expenses paid trip to Rome for higher clerics to discuss strategies for improving the collection of Catholics.
  • OF Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite which was popularised by Vatican II with local languages, lots of lay participation and an opportunity to greet those around me midway
  • PF Public Figure is a new category of clergy on Facebook popularised by Brisbane cleric Fr Paul William Catchlove
  • SM Sancta Missa a good bit of Latin about the various and colourful ways Catholics worship. Well, we all know Catholics don't "worship". It's such a "proddo" term. Real Catholics 'go to Mass'
  • VC  Vox Clara is not a new Italian singing sensation. It is a group of older men who like to please the Pope by providing  poor translations of religious texts.
  • WYD Wordl Youth Day  is Catholic Woodstock held as often as possible according to Papal travel schedules. The next one  in 2013 is in Rio where the relics of Peter Allen will be carried around for veneration.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Ten Days For Peace

Ten Days for Peace is an initiative of the Catholic Church in Japan that runs from August 6 to August 15. It has its origins in the "Appeal for Peace made by Pope John Paul II when visiting the Hiroshima Peace memorial in 1981.

In the 2012 Letter launching the Ten Days for Peace, Leo Jun Ikenaga SJ said:
"This appeal called upon everyone in the world to abolish nuclear weapons, denounce nuclear wars, and commit ourselves to peace. Responding to this, the Catholic Church in Japan defined the days between August 6 and 15 as “Ten Days for Peace”, a special period to think of our responsibilities to peace, to learn about peace and to work for peace."

I invite you to join me in a time of solidarity with the Church in Japan as we pray these ten days. The following themes are suggestions you may like to use as a focus for each of the days.

Day One August 6: Prayer for the abolition of Nuclear Weapons
Day Two August 7 Prayer of World Religions for Peace
Day Three August 8 Prayer for Syria
Day Four August 9 Prayer for the ANZACS from  the Sisters of St Joseph
Day Five August 10  Prayer for Peace in Sudan
Day Six August 11 Prayer for Sri Lanka
Day Seven August 12  Prayer of St Francis
Day Eight August 13 Prayer for Palestine
Day Nine August 14 Prayer of Micah the Prophet Today is the feast day of the prophet)
Day Ten August 15 Prayer for Christina Peacemaker Teams

Suggested Readings for the Ten Days For Prayer