Monday, October 29, 2012

Prayers for Kaduna

At least seven people have been killed and dozens injured in a suicide bombing during Mass at a Catholic church in northern Nigeria, officials say.
An explosive-laden vehicle drove into the church and detonated its load, ripping a hole in the wall and roof. St Rita's Church is in the Archdiocese of Kaduna.

The archbishop of Kaduna Diocese, Matthew Man-Ndagoso, visited the injured at St. Gerard Catholic Hospital,  "I feel more pained in my heart over this unfortunate incident as 90 percent of the victims are children. We pray for their quick recovery and fortitude to bear the loss of those who died in the process. My appeal is to the Christians, especially the Catholic youths, not to consider reprisal as an option as this will rather create more tension and add to the already bad situation." (Full report from  UPI )

The attack happened in Kaduna, which has been targeted by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in the recent past.
This report has a particular impact here in Brisbane as we host a number of young Nigerian men studying for Catholic priesthood. While there is still  debate about the cultural tensions that have emerged as  Australian Diocese welcome seminarians and clergy from  overseas, this incident should unite all people of good will in a commitment to nonviolence and  cross cultural sharing.

CathNews Reports on Church in Nigeria

Saturday, October 27, 2012

JURIST - Paper Chase: UN rights expert urges promotion of freedom of religious conversion

October 25 2012

A United Nations independent expert today urged the international community to consistently respect, protect and promote the human right to freedom of religion or belief in the area of conversion.
“The right of conversion and the right not to be forced to convert or reconvert belong to the internal dimension of a person’s religious or belief-related conviction, which is unconditionally protected under international human rights law,” the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, said in a news release, issued as he presented a report on his work to the UN General Assembly.
In his report, Mr. Bielefeldt analyses the patterns of abuses that are perpetrated in the name of religious or ideological truth claims in the interest of promoting national identity or protecting societal homogeneity, or under other pretexts such as maintaining political and national security.

JURIST - Paper Chase: UN rights expert urges promotion of freedom of religious conversion
Vatican Declaration on Religious Freedom 6 December 1965

Amazing Stuff from the CathNews Facebook Page

If you want a good afternoon of religious provocation and reflection you should brew a coffee or pour a stiff drink and scroll around the CathNews Facebook Page. This is a selection of some my responses to  material they have published. My responses are no longer available on the CathNews FB page and I have been "banned" from making further comment. Must be a sensitive mob over there or maybe this is the ripple effect of New Evangelisation lapping our shores.

Perhaps this is a sad reflection of the current state of Church practice. Violent men who like wearing silly costumes have no valid place in the ministry of the gospel and cannot command respect or obedience.

I really object to the publication of this macho violent image being used to promote religious messages. The history of clergy sexual abuse and the associated violence should be enough to deter Church publications from this model

Just wondering if the people in this image are a same sex couple?

Blessed Andy Pray For Us!

Friday, October 26, 2012

"One G-d, Many Voices" ~ Abrahamic Faiths Concert

Thursday, 8th November 2012
7pm for 7.30pm

Annual Evening of
 Jewish, Christian & Muslim
Sacred Voices and Music

Kosher-Halal Supper from 9.30pm

Free entry, all are welcome.
Free parking after 7pm.

RSVP: by 29th October to 3735 7052 or email:
(parking maps, Nathan campus, Building N35 at grid N6)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Give Me Google Mass Anyday!!

As the late beloved Australian Icon,  '"Big Kev" would say: "I'm Excited". Google Translator is  available in Latin to  lead us into New Evangelisation.!!

So I typed in my favourite Mass text to check the Latin and look what I got:

So, it's Googlemass for me. They can stuff their "And With Your Spirit" up their woolly ermines. I'm sticking to the Latin translation from Google!!!

For those on foreign galaxies wondering why this post is of interest, I refer you to the exciting news that the boys in the Vatican  decided that those who speak English in Catholic worship don't know how to do it properly so they have produced a better translation for us to use.

Ite tollentes Romanes cursum luddites saltu

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II

These clips are my celebration of the spirit and direction which the Second Vatican Council offered the Catholic Church in a changing world of the late 1960s.

The National econference  for this anniversary sponsored by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and the Broken Bay Institute is an excellent resource of local Australian content.

The role of women in the contemporary Church cannot be underestimated and I  invite you to listen to their voices and stories. I have included the Janet Mead "Our Father" as a significant moment not just in Australian Music History but also as one of the most powerful public religious experiences for many of my generation  outshining Billy Graham crusades and Papal visits.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

The Blake Book Comes to Brisbane

In 2002 Rosemary Crumlin was described by a journalist as Australia's Sr Wendy Beckett.. Ten years later on October 7 2012, Brisbane priest, Tom Elich also made reference to this similarity when welcoming Rosemary to the Francis Rush Centre in the grounds of the Cathedral of St Stephen to speak about her most recent work, The Blake Book, Art Religion and Spirituality in Australia.

Rosemary Crumlin has published her own 'four gospels" of Australian Art::
Images of Religion in Australian Art, 
Aboriginal Art and Spirituality, 
Beyond Belief 
The Blake Book, Art Religion and Spirituality in Australia.

I can claim three as "read" in my Goodreads collection. As a responsible social media practitioner I will be using this blog post to promote  these works which I believe are essential reading  for anyone exploring issues of art, spirituality and that enigmatic "Australian Character".

Rosemary Crumlin is an educator at heart. Her presentation to an appreciative audience in Brisbane was  an engagement in expectations of those attending and a generous respect of people's ability to "read" art and explore layers of meaning in a work.

The Blake Book, Art Religion and Spirituality in Australia. is a beautiful book at many levels. The pages reveal a chronological history of Australia's major  prize for religious art. The illustrations of works by those who have won the award throughout its history provide a personal exhibition of the art that has made the Blake Prize a dynamic presence in art history in this country.

The biographical details compiled for each winner  are largely the results of personal interviews by Rosemary.  In each interview she explores intentional questions of the artists' motivation and response to the prize. Tracking down the artists would have tested the best skills of Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher combined.Throughout the text there are quotable quotes both by artists and commentators. These gems are like  the "pearl of great price" imagery found in the Gospel of Matthew.

The Blake Book, Art Religion and Spirituality in Australia. also contains a "book within a book", which is Rosemary's description of the glorious foldout pages of  non-winning works submitted for the Blake Prize during the first 50 years of its history. The genius of these pages is that they provide a visual social history of Australia from 1951 to our present day. The first panels of the 1951 contributors are immediately recognized as dominant themes of the Christian Story. The names of artists as well as being exclusively masculine are associated with major art schools of the era. The final panels from  the most recent awards are images that reflect the cultural and religious diversity of contemporary Australian artists.

Any history is fraught with personalities, perspectives and passion.The Blake Prize has its fair share of these and the book is divided into six sections. As with any creative venture you would expect the first section to deal with  "Beginnings". As each section  ushers in a new era  the tension  mounts through the Art/Religion/Spirituality  divide. The fifth section points to new horizons in "2007-2010 Breaking Boundaries, Youth Justice and the Marketplace". The sixth section  features  an extended interview with Rosemary about the foldout pages. Each section concludes with informative and useful notes for both general readers and  art historians.

The scope of the images provided in this book is obvious in the list of plates index which runs to 7 A4 size pages. Readers should  be grateful for the extraordinary work of obtaining permissions and copyright to publish these images. The selected bibliography is offered as " invitation and resource for those who choose to continue engaging with diverse ways of seeing, and with the questions, influences and concerns  opened up and entered into by the Blake"

This is not just another coffee table book although it would be worth having  at hand for quiet moments of reflection and wonder as the art works invite regular viewings. After the presentation with my newly signed copy of this valuable book under my arm I sat down in  a classic Australian shrine, my local pub to  prepare this review. This choice comes from an inspiration more than 20 years ago when I saw Rosemary's inclusion of John Perceval's Christ Dining at Young and Jackson's in her first publication.I could not imagine a better place to ponder the mystery of art religion and spirituality in Australia.

The Brisbane visit of Rosemary Crumlin was an activity of COSSAG , the Cathedral of St Stephen Art Group.

 The Blake Book
By Rosemary Crumlin
$69 paperback (incl postage)
Blake book e order form.pdf [