Parish redevelopment - MI Church Heritage Nomination
Friday 22 December 2017
At the last Parish Pastoral Meeting it was announced that the Recommendation of the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria (HV) is that none of the required criterion are likely to be satisfied at State level for (HV) Housing Victoria listing of Mary Immaculate Church. However, it must be kept in mind that as from 17 November 2017, there is a 60 day window for objections to recommendations.
Australian church must take abuse commission report seriously or risk irrelevance
Extract from Truth Justice and Healing Commission Newsletter, 21 December 2017
Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Truth Justice and Healing Council writes in the National Catholic Reporter that this Royal Commission confirms previous reports that cite the lack of accountability and transparency within the church's culture, the propensity for clericalism to create a self-protective caste where power and privilege are the operating principles for addressing conflict and personal promotion, and, finally, where the image of the institution meant more than the welfare of children....(more)
Vatican says royal commission findings deserve to 'be studied seriously’
Holy see says it will support Australian church as it listens to and accompanies victims and survivors ‘in an effort to bring about healing and justice’ Extract from The Guardian, AAP, Saturday 16 December 2017
The Vatican and Australia’s Catholic leaders say they will seriously consider the royal commission’s call for sweeping reforms, although archbishops refuse to break the seal of confession to reveal child abuse. It will be up to the Pope and his advisers to consider many of the inquiry’s far-reaching recommendations, including changes to canon law and voluntary celibacy for its priests. The government of the Roman Catholic church, the Holy See, says the commission’s final report “deserves to be studied seriously”. “The Holy See remains committed to being close to the Catholic church in Australia – lay faithful, religious, and clergy alike – as they listen to and accompany victims and survivors in an effort to bring about healing and justice,” it said in a statement. The royal commission recommended a number of changes to canon law, finding the disciplinary system for dealing with clergy and religious who sexually abuse children contributed to the church’s failure to provide an effective and timely response to perpetrators. It also criticised the Vatican for being slow to respond to petitions from Catholic church authorities in Australia to dismiss those found to have committed child sexual abuse. “It is clear that their approach to child sexual abuse by clergy was protective of the offender,” its final report said. The commission suggested new canons that frame child sexual abuse as crimes against the child, not as moral failings or breaches of the obligation to observe celibacy. It also called for amendments to remove the “pontifical secret” or confidentiality imposed during church investigations of child sexual abuse. Other amendments include making it easier to take internal disciplinary action and permanently remove from ministry priests or religious against whom abuse complaints have been substantiated, or their dismissal if they have been convicted. The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president, Melbourne archbishop Denis Hart, and Sydney archbishop Anthony Fisher rejected the inquiry’s call for priests to break the seal of confession to reveal child abuse. Hart did not expect the church to change its stance on confession, saying the cardinal secretary of state confirmed as recently as last month that the seal is inviolable. But he said Australia’s bishops have asked the Holy See to clarify the extent of the seal and what it includes, after questions about whether it applies to a child revealing their abuse. The Vatican recently said the matter was still being seriously considered, the archbishop told reporters....(more)
Royal Commission's final report released today
Extract from Media Release, Truth Justuce and Healing Council, Friday 15 December 2017
On 15 December 2017 the Royal Commission presented a final report to
the Governor-General, detailing the culmination of a five year inquiry
into institutional responses to child sexual abuse and related matters.....(more)
A copy of the report is available on the Royal Commission's website
A Catholic reflection on the Royal Commission as the curtain closes on Act One.
Extract from Frank Brennan, Pearls and Irritations, John Menadue Website, 14 December 2017
On Friday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which has been part of the Australian political and ecclesial landscape for the last five years, will cease to exist. The commission will present its report to the Governor-General, and the commissioners will return to private life or to their previous public offices. The task of implementation will fall to governments and institutions such as the Catholic Church. The task of public scrutiny will fall to parliaments and the media but without the ongoing forensic activity of a royal commission. The commission has unearthed a continent of human suffering and mountains of institutional obfuscation. The task of change within the Catholic Church will fall mainly to committed Catholics, and not just the clerics. Already and thankfully, many institutional responses which were routine in the past are now unthinkable because they did not put the interests of children first. And yet, as a Catholic priest, I am still feeling perplexed. My church, like all institutions caring for children, contained child abusers. My church, more than many other institutions caring for children, failed to weed out those abusers and even harboured them in the name of maintaining the public standing of the institution and in the hope of protecting the abusers, giving them a second, third or tenth chance. I think these lessons have been learnt. BUT. And it’s a big BUT.....(more)
Royal Commission Final Sitting
Extract from TJHC report with transcripts om the final sitting of the Royal Commission on 14th December
The Royal Commission held its Final Sitting in Sydney on Thursday 14 December 2017. Justice McClellan said that for victims and survivors, telling their stories has required great courage and determination. 'Most are stories of personal trauma and many are of personal tragedy. It is impossible not to share the anger many survivors have felt when they tell us of their betrayal by people they believed they were entitled to trust,' he said....Links to Opening Address, Transcripts from today and Royal Commission's message to Australia.
SSM: A global perspective on Australia’s change
Extract from Interactive Digital Storytelling team, ABC News, 7 December 2017 (updated 8 Dec)
Millions of Australians are celebrating Parliament’s passage of same-sex marriage laws after decades of political debate, activism and a drawn-out postal survey. But as Australia joins the dozens of nations that have already extended the right to marry to the LGBT community, there are still many places around the world where simply being gay carries with it the risk of jail or even death....(more)
Australian Catholic Youth festival kicks off at Sydney’s Olympic Park
Extract from Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese, Melbourne Catholic, Thursday 7 December 2017
Tens of thousands of young Catholics have descended on Sydney Olympic Park, kicking off three action-packed days with some of the world's best known Catholic speakers and musical artists. The Australian Catholic Youth Festival has already attracted national media attention, with Australia's youngest bishop, Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Richard Umbers of Sydney speaking to the Nine Network about the effect of the festival on the city. Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP welcomed the nation's youth to Sydney this morning at the first plenary session, where an estimated 19,000 young people gathered for a morning of inspirational talks and live musical performance....(more)
An update from Bishop Vincent Long about the Royal Commission
Extract from Bishop Vincent Ling, Catholic Outlook, 6 December 2017
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will shortly release its final findings on public hearings, and its recommendations, related to the Catholic Church in Australia. These case studies included evidence around the pain and hurt that was inflicted upon victims of abuse by Church authorities, including Diocese of Parramatta personnel. Once again, I apologise on behalf of the Catholic Church and the Diocese of Parramatta for the irreparable harm caused to people who were betrayed by clergy, religious and lay people who were entrusted to lead ministry in this Diocese. Our response and processes at the time were clearly inadequate. For these failings, I wish to express my profound sorrow. Throughout the Royal Commission, the Diocese of Parramatta has strived to engage in their processes with openness, transparency and a commitment to learning about our history so that our child protection policies and procedures are strengthened and there is restored confidence in Church ministry. As we await the final reports and recommendations to be handed down, I would like to remind you that should anyone wish to report abuse by Church personnel to the Diocese, or require support......(more)
Hinch pushes for federal assisted suicide laws
Extract from MelbCatholic, SBS News, Friday 1 December 2017
Independent Senator Derryn Hinch wants federal and state governments to follow Victoria's lead in legalising assisted dying, SBS News reports. Senator Hinch moved a motion in the Senate yesterday, praising the Victorian parliament for passing assisted dying legislation on Wednesday. "Who are you to tell me that I cannot voluntarily end my suffering if my body is racked with pain and a relentless terminal illness?" Senator Hinch asked parliament. The long-time voluntary euthanasia advocate said he believed in people's right to say "enough is enough" by ending their own life. He is calling on all states to follow suit with Victoria and the federal parliament to respect the wishes of Australians "with regards to dying with dignity". Cabinet minister Matt Canavan opposed the motion, saying he gravely feared what legalised voluntary euthanasia would mean for society....(more) Photo: CathNews Hinch 3 Derryn Hinch Justice Party
Clerical sex abuse disclosures skyrocket in Pope's Argentina
Extract from Voice Of The Faithful, Associated Press, 28 November 2017
“The allegations are part of a growing trend: While Pope Francis struggles to make good on his ‘zero tolerance’ pledge to fight clerical sex abuse worldwide, victims in his native Argentina are denouncing abuses in unprecedented numbers. An analysis by The Associated Press shows that the number of clerics publicly identified as alleged sexual abusers has increased dramatically in the last two years.”....(more) AP/Natacha Pisarenko. (In this Oct. 11, 2017 photo, Karen Maydana, center, Mailin Gobbo, behind right, and Yasmin Detez, behind left, pose for a photo at San Jose Obrero church in Caseros, in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The schoolmates returned to the church and adjacent school they’d attended to describe to journalists what had happened, saying they hoped it would help protect children.)
Archbishop unable to face abuse hearing
Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, 67, has failed to appear in Newcastle Local Court less than a week after having had a pacemaker fitted. Extract from News.com.au 28 November 2017
A NSW court hearing involving the most senior Catholic official worldwide to be charged with concealing child sex assault has been delayed because of concerns about his physical and mental health. Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, 67, did not appear in Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday after having had a pacemaker fitted on November 22. Defence barrister Stephen Odgers SC told the court Wilson had been advised by his doctors not to travel from Adelaide to Newcastle for at least a week. Mr Odgers said a neurologist had also expressed concerns about Wilson's mental health and his ability to understand the case against him. The case was briefly adjourned to give Magistrate Caleb Franklin time to read submissions from Wilson's lawyers. Wilson, who claims he should be well enough to be in court on Thursday, has been accused of concealing information about the alleged sexual assault of a 10-year-old boy in 1971 by the now-dead pedophile priest James Fletcher in the NSW Hunter region town of Maitland. Wilson allegedly had information between 2004 and 2006 about Fletcher which might have helped to have the priest prosecuted. The archbishop is the most senior Catholic official worldwide to be charged with the offence of concealing child sex assault. Mr Odgers told the court Wilson was "very keen" to participate in the trial despite his recent heart surgery and hoped to fly into Newcastle on Wednesday night to be ready to attend court the following day.....(more)
Working Bee Thanks - Saturday 18 November
Friday 24 November 2017
Many thanks to the generous parish volunteers who lent a hand at last Saturday’s Spring Working Bee around the Parish Office and Mary Immaculate Church. Those to be thanked: John Costa, Elizabeth Craven, Lucy dal Pozzo, Bill Edebohls, Robert Erbacher, Sue and Pat Kelly, Elsa Pertile, Michael Rocco, Pia Boutsakis and Merle Gilbo.
First opening of Christ's tomb in centuries documented using new media
Extract from The Tablet, Catholic News Service, 23 November 2017
National Geographic Explorer set up cameras inside the shrine, hanging above the tomb, to capture the moment when the slabs were lifted. In 2016, when renovations around the site believed to protect the tomb of Christ in Jerusalem were underway, religious leaders agreed to the temporary removal of the marble slab covering the tomb so that restorers could install a moisture barrier to protect it. It would mark the first opening of the space in perhaps centuries. team from National Geographic, which had been at the site to document the restoration, was allowed, during a relatively short window of time, to document the opening of tomb, in words, photos and video. National Geographic noted the interest by the number of clicks on the story and images the team posted about those 60 hours, which appeared on its website, not its iconic magazine, because of its immediacy....(more) Photo: The Tablet
What brings a Jesuit Pope to Asia?
The seeds of the pope's interest in the region and his missionary zeal were sewn by the former head of the Order, Pedro Arrupe.
Extract from executive director of ucanews.com Fr Michael Kelly SJ, subscription journal La Croix International, 21 November 2017
One of the biggest influences on Pope Francis remains relatively unexplored — Pedro Arrupe, the Superior General of the Jesuits who appointed Jorge Bergoglio as Provincial of the Jesuits in Argentina at the fairly tender age of 36. Though he described the appointment as "crazy," the present pope, who served as Provincial from 1973-79, was set on a path of leadership by someone who was to shape his imagination in ways that almost daily are reflected in his ministry as the Bishop of Rome. This also manifests in the priority he gives to Asia.....(source)
Parish Census & Thanksgiving Renewal
Friday 17 November 2017
Included in your printed newsletter this weekend is a Parish Census form and a renewal of Thanksgiving form. All parishioners are asked to: 1: Complete a Parish Census Form so that we can update our parish records. 2: Complete a Parish Thanksgiving Program Form so that you are actively participating in supporting the life and mission of your Parish through regular giving. If you already participate in the program please renew your commitment by filling out a new form. If you are not currently participating please seriously consider being a part of the program as a part of your Christian Discipleship. You can participate by using weekly envelopes, Credit Card or Direct Debit. Each method gives you the opportunity to support both the Thanksgiving Offering (1st Collection for the Parish) and the Presbytery Offering (2nd Collection).
Yes-voting Muslims push minority solidarity
Extract from Irfan Yusuf, Ereka Street, 16 November 2017
Let's be honest. Abrahamic faiths — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — find any behaviour outside what they deem the sexual norm to be a fundamental threat to family and community. Muslim LGBTQI advocateThat doesn't stop Jews, Christians and Muslims from being gay, lesbian, bisexual etc. It also doesn't stop some religious leaders from overcoming their moral qualms and embracing LGBTIQ parishioners. But the fact remains that a fair few devout folk, as well as not-so-devout bigots, will take all lawful steps to stop the lawful recognition of same sex marriage. Notwithstanding all the obstacles, despite the No folk having virtually the entire Newscorp press on side, Aussies expressed an overwhelming wish to have parliament change the definition of marriage to include Adam and Steve. Most Aussies, but not all. I strongly doubt my mum voted Yes. A majority of her Sydney electorate of Bennelong, which has a huge South and East Asian population, voted No. Western Sydney electorates, including Parramatta, Reid and Blaxland, home to large Middle Eastern communities (both Christian and Muslim) voted No. It wasn't just conservative Sydney Anglicans, Catholics or the Australian Christian Lobby that encouraged people to vote No. During the month of Muharram, sacred to Shia Muslims, the No message was being handed out at mosques and spoken from the pulpits....(more) Irfan Yusuf is a Sydney based lawyer and blogger.
Ballarat Parish Priest speaks about his journey through the Royal Commission
Extract from Media Release, Truth, Justice Healing Copuncl. 16 Noveber 2017
Fr Peter Sherman, West Ballarat parish priest, has spoken confrontingly about his journey over the past five years as the Royal Commission has exposed the shocking extent of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. Speaking at a community gathering at Emmaus Catholic Primary School in Ballarat earlier this month Fr Sherman told a group of more than 100 local school parents, staff and community members of the challenges he has faced as he has tried to come to terms with the abuse crisis. “If I want to see change within the church, then I know that I also need to have change within myself. A change of mind and heart,” he told the gathering. “And this asks of me to continually return to the grand tradition of the person and the story of Jesus Christ. “My faith is not in the Church. My faith is in Jesus Christ. This relationship I must nurture above all, this is what gives me hope and sustains my faith.” Fr Sherman spoke about what he has done within the Parish to rebuild trust for faith filled communities....(more)
Pope Francis reaffirms primacy of conscience amid criticism of ‘Amoris Laetitia’
Extract from Nicole Winfield Associated Press, America Jesuit Review, 14 November 2017
Vatican City (AP) — Pope Francis on Saturday reaffirmed the “primacy” of using one’s conscience to navigate tough moral questions in his first comments since he was publicly accused of spreading heresy by emphasizing conscience over established church teaching. Francis issued a video message to a conference organized by Italian bishops on his controversial 2016 document on family life, ”Amoris Laetitia” or “The Joy of Love.” Francis told the conference that priests must inform Catholic consciences “but not replace them.” And he stressed the distinction between one’s conscience—where God reveals himself—and one’s ego that thinks it can do as it pleases. “The contemporary world risks confusing the primacy of conscience, which must always be respected, with the exclusive autonomy of an individual with respect to his or her relations,” Francis said. Pope Francis said that priests must inform Catholic consciences “but not replace them.” Francis reaffirmed the centrality of “The Joy of Love” as the church’s guide to Catholic couples today trying to navigate complicated family situations.....(more) Photo. America Jesuit Review, (Tony Gentile/Pool Photo via AP) .
Papal loyalists become dissidents
Extract from Opinion Piece, Thomas Reese*, Religion News Service, National Catholic Reporter, 8 November 2017
Vatican. Scripture tells us that they will know that we are Christians by our love (John 13:35), but the media tell us that they will know that we are Catholics by our fights. There have been lots of fights in the Catholic Church lately as reactionary cardinals, theologians and commentators have gone after Pope Francis and his emphasis on God's compassion and mercy. These dissenters believe that he should stress the rules and divine judgment. What is remarkable about these critics of Francis is that many were papal loyalists during the papacies of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. During these papacies, they harshly criticized as dissidents and heretics anyone who questioned papal teaching. What is clear now is that their loyalty was not to the successor of St. Peter but to their own theological opinions.....Yesterday's papal loyalists are today's dissidents. Yesterday's dissenters are today's papal defenders. The true scandal in the church is not what one theologian or pope says, it is that we are not capable of dialoguing with each other. That is the fault of John Paul and Benedict, not Francis. They attempted to impose their theologies (their way of explaining the faith) on the church and silenced anyone who disagreed.With the papacy of Francis, we are being invited to dialogue in a truly collegial fashion. Why does that scare people like Weinandy? Because they can no longer impose their views on the church. They are no longer in charge.....(more) [*Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese is a columnist for Religion News Service and author of Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church.]
New Zealand Bishops Committed to Exploring Alternative Missal Translation
Extract from Editor, Pray Tell, November 6
A statement released from the New Zealand conference of Catholic bishops on October 26 voiced support and thanks for Pope Francis’s guidance on liturgical translations, offered in his motu proprio, Magnum principium, which they describe as a “bold directive.” They also expressed the desire to “explore prudently and patiently the possibility of an alternative translation of the Roman Missal and the review of other liturgical texts” along with the other English speaking conferences. The full statement (see below) is signed by the president, Bishop Patrick Dunn, and secretary, Bishop Charles Drennan, of the conference, as well as Cardinal Archbishop John Dew, who serves as an adviser to the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome, and others.....(more) Photo: Pray Tell
Parkville: a huge parish, in miniature
Extract from Media and Communications Office, Melbourne Catholic, Friday 27 October 2017
There’s no school attached, although the Melbourne Uni campus is right over the road. The leafy streets are full of multi-million dollar two storey Victorian homes, but the local St Vincent de Paul is flat out. The modest sized church has no grounds to speak of, sandwiched in between the terraces, but at the weekends 800+ come here for Mass. Parish priest Father Michael Elligate has been here at St Carthage’s University parish on Royal Parade for 30 years. He plays host at the nearby presbytery in Bayles Street to a number of active groups who, he says, bring a great and varied dynamic to conventional parish life. There’s a feminist theology group, for example, a women’s reading group, a men’s reading group (meeting on another night!), there’s a newly formed meditation group that’s just getting its legs but looks like being a winner. St Carthage’s also plays host to a children’s liturgy group, as well as a parish hospitality group. As well, live music in the church is a permanent feature for the Sunday evening students’ Mass, with everything from string quartets to chamber choirs, harpists to organists, performing live ...(more) Photo: St Carthages, Holy Week Mass
Developments in our Neighbouring Parishes (Yarra Deanery)
John Costa, Friday 13 October 2017
Two of several interesting items to emerge from last Wednesday's Neighbouring Parish Meeting (at St Pius X parish on this occasion) were, firstly, the extraordinary extent to which a new 'Gathering Place' at recently renovated St Kevin's Parish Templestowe had strengthened the reality of Parish Community, and the encouraging growth of a Neighbouring Parish Youth Group, initially centred at St Kevins. The latter was established by university student Mishika Perera from St Kevin's Parish who previously received financial support from the Deanery for attending the last World Youth Day in Krackow. The Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe was represented at the Deanery meeting (Fr Wayne Edwards Chairperson) by Merle Gilbo, Diane Dixon and John Costa. The New Youth Group has a particular Interest in the forthcoming Year Of Youth. On 21 October a Catholic Leadership Centre Workshop for Parish Members will explore ways to equip parishes with ideas, tools and resources for engaging in the Year Of Youth. The topic and details of the workshop are discussed in a Melbourne Catholic video interview by Shane Healy with Bishop Mark Edwards, Episcopal Vicar for Tertiary Education & Youth HERE
Overflowing audience at "Building a healthier Church: where to from here?" conversation evening
Thursday 12 October 2017
The evening of conversation with Bishop Vincent Long, Maria Kirkwood and Francis Sullivan at YTU Box Hill this evening was packed beyond capacity and an overflow room with video screen (but bad sound) had to be used. Details of transcripts and audio recordings are expected to be made available shortly and will be advised here. The topics discussed were:
Francis Sullivan - What are the challenges that are coming from the Royal Commission?
Maria Kirkwood - Sharing leadership in a collaborative Church
Bishop Vincent - What sort of Church should we be? How are you going to approach these issues in your Diocese?
Australian church facing biggest crisis in its history, says Brisbane Archbishop
The archbishop said the Church had been 'shaken to the core' by the abuse scandal and today was being called to a 'greater authenticity'. Extract from Christopher Lamb, The Tablet, 9 October 2017
A leading Australian bishop says the Church in his country is facing the biggest crisis in its history after taking part in talks with the Vatican over how to address the problem. The Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, who is Vice President of the Australian Bishops’ Conference, told The Tablet that he and fellow bishops were in Rome to discuss the fallout of the clerical sexual abuse crisis, and how the Church will adopt a new approach. This, he says, will look at how to include women in positions of “governance”. High on the agenda at the Vatican summit was Australia’s Royal Commission inquiry into how institutions handled child sexual abuse. This has seen the Catholic Church facing unrelenting criticism for its response to the scandal. The problem has been magnified after the Australian police’s decision to charge Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican treasurer and former Archbishop of Sydney, with historic sexual offences. It was the day after Cardinal Pell appeared for a hearing in Melbourne Magistrates court last Friday, the Vatican issued a statement that an Australian delegation had met with a range of Holy See officials to discuss the “situation” facing the Church. These included Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State and Pope Francis’ number two, and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s foreign minister equivalent whose previous job was papal ambassador to Australia. Cardinal Pell has taken a leave of absence from his job as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy while he seeks to clear his name and the cardinal has firmly denied the charges against him. Archbishop Coleridge said the case was discussed with the Vatican officials but only to provide the Holy See with an insight "into the atmosphere in Australia around this case." In the interview the archbishop said the Church had been “shaken to the core” by the abuse scandal and today was being called to a “greater authenticity”. He explained: “In this, the call of the Royal Commission and the call of Pope Francis converge in what looks to be one of the strange disruptions of the Holy Spirit.” The crisis, Archbishop Coleridge stressed, was “both threat and opportunity” but required the Church to adopt a new approach. To that end the bishops have announced a plenary council to take place in 2020 which will undertake a wide ranging review of it’s mission including how to give more responsibility to lay people. One of the major criticisms of the Australian church has been clericalism, which has seen too much responsibility placed in the hands of priests and bishops. In the interview, the archbishop said that one to be discussed at the plenary council is how to involve women in the running of the Church, and not simply its “management” within which they are already heavily involved. “It’s clear then that the Church here is passing through a time of deep, painful and permanent change – which is why the bishops have decided for a Plenary Council, which was also discussed in our meeting in Rome. The Plenary Council will have to make bold decisions about the future, taking into account the changed and changing facts on the ground,” he said. Below is the full question and answer with Archbishop Coleridge.....(more) Photo: The Tablet
Not just George Pell is on trial
It’s a story that would do the best Greek tragedians proud.
Limited extract from Michael Kelly, SJ, subscription journal La Croix International, 9 October
Here is the lead role in the tragedy – Cardinal George Pell – having to endure the humiliation of facing charges for alleged sexual abuse. The October 6th “mention” at the Melbourne Magistrates Court did not specify charges but reported that there would be up to 50 witnesses testifying in court proceedings. The “mention” occurs to set a date for the committal hearing which establishes whether Pell has a case to answer and provides rules so that all parties have access to the available evidence. The process is likely to drag on for a long time. After the committal hearing, trials may follow for each of the charges or clusters of them if there be a collection that can be broken up into different trials. It’s a process that will attract intense, global attention from the media. Cardinal Pell’s profile has been high for decades. Now he’s an object of international interest after his web televised appearance before the Royal Commission into the abuse of minors in institutions. Whatever the outcome of the legal process, charges against clerics, whether proven or dismissed, stick in the popular imagination. Once the finger is pointed at a cleric on sexual matters, the game is up and his life in the chosen profession is finished. What’s more, for Pell, his life in the Vatican is over as these court proceedings will extend well beyond his current contract there. Here is the lead role in the tragedy – Cardinal George Pell – having to endure the humiliation of facing charges for alleged sexual abuse. The October 6th “mention” at the Melbourne Magistrates Court did not specify charges but reported that there would be up to 50 witnesses testifying in court proceedings. The “mention” occurs to set a date for the committal hearing which establishes whether Pell has a case to answer and provides rules so that all parties have access to the available evidence. The process is likely to drag on for a long time. After the committal hearing, trials may follow for each of the charges or clusters of them if there be a collection that can be broken up into different trials. It’s a process that will attract intense, global attention from the media. Cardinal Pell’s profile has been high for decades. Now he’s an object of international interest after his web televised appearance before the Royal Commission into the abuse of minors in institutions. Whatever the outcome of the legal process, charges against clerics, whether proven or dismissed, stick in the popular imagination. Once the finger is pointed at a cleric on sexual matters, the game is up and his life in the chosen profession is finished. What’s more, for Pell, his life in the Vatican is over as these court proceedings will extend well beyond his current contract there...(source)
Words of hymn suggest a new Parish theme hymn
Friday 6 October 2016
The words of Marty Haugen's hymn "All are welcome - Let us Build A House" suggest an appropriate theme as the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe continues to evolve towards a new future. At four and a half minutes it would make quite a lengthy opening hymn for Mass, however selected verses may be used. In this context and starting from this weekend the full version will be introduced progressively in our parish so that the words and music may become familiar, and subsequent shorter versions might comprise selected verses.
In the face of mental health issues see 'Jesus' urges Costelloe
Extract from CathNews, 5 October 2017
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has encouraged Catholics to welcome, support and pray for those experiencing mental health issues and their families, The eRecord reports. Speaking ahead of 2017 Mental Health Week Western Australia, which commences this Saturday and includes World Mental Health Day on Sunday, Archbishop Costelloe said whatever the cause, our call, as followers of Jesus, is to care about people with mental health issues. “The question for each one of us becomes, when we meet someone with a developing mental health issue, will they see in us the face of Jesus, or will they see someone in fear?” Archbishop Costelloe said. “I am sure Jesus met many people experiencing mental health issues, whom he treated with dignity and respect,” he said. The theme for this year’s Mental Health Week WA is "Connect with nature, community and self for mental wellbeing". There is also a second complementary and culturally-inclusive theme: "Connect with country, community and you for strong social and emotional wellbeing". Mental Health Week is celebrated all around Australia, with each state adopting their own theme and holding their own events each year. In speaking about 2017 Mental Health Week WA, Archbishop Costelloe also promoted the work of Perth Archdiocesan agency the Emmanuel Centre, a self-help centre run for, and by, people with disabilities and their families. The centre works to promote the inclusion and full participation of people of all abilities in every aspect of the community and the Church.....(more(Photo: Cathnews, Marco Ceccarelli 1005perth_30389artthumb
Vatican signs treaty to ban nuclear weapons
Extract from Cindy Wooden, Crux, Catholic News Service, 22 September 2017
ROME - The Holy See ratified and signed the new U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and the high-level Vatican diplomat who signed the treaty told a U.N. conference that the Catholic Church supports efforts “to move progressively toward a world free of nuclear weapons.” Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Vatican foreign minister, signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations Sept. 20. More than 40 other countries signed it as well. The treaty would enter into force 90 days after at least 50 countries both sign and ratify it....(more)
Wuerl: Pope sees ’journeying together’ as essential to life of church
Extract from Mark Zimmermann, Melbourne Catholic, Catholic News Service, 15 September 2017
The process of ‘journeying together’ during the Catholic Church's synods of bishops examining contemporary challenges on marriage and family life offers a map for the church's outreach, Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl said on 12 September. This process reflects not only the pontiff's pastoral approach, but also offers a template for how priests and laypeople can accompany others to help them understand and live the faith, he said. Cardinal Wuerl made the remarks at Georgetown University in an address on ‘Pope Francis: Fresh Perspectives on Synodality’ as part of the university's Dahlgren Chapel Sacred Lecture series. Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl speaks during a 12 September lecture at Georgetown University's Dahlgren Chapel. The cardinal spoke on the topic ‘Pope Francis: Fresh Perspectives on Synodality’ as part of the university's Dahlgren Chapel Sacred Lecture series. He explained that ‘synodality’ refers to coming together or journeying together, which he said is how those gatherings of the world's bishops tackled issues facing married couples and families. The cardinal noted that Pope Francis emphasised the importance of dialogue as those discussions unfolded. ‘We can recall his advices to the bishops ... to speak with openness and clarity, to listen with humility and be open to the Holy Spirit.’ Cardinal Wuerl said that the pope's understanding of synodality, that journeying together, involved not only dialogue with bishops who teach and transmit the faith, but also drew upon insights from married couples and families in dioceses around the world. The proceedings formed the basis for Pope Francis' 2016 apostolic exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia’ (‘The Joy of Love’)....(more)
How on Saturday, Pope Francis gave us his bottom line on Vatican II
Extracts from John L. Allen Jr., Crux Now, Melbourne Catholic, 13 September 2017
While Pope Francis was in Colombia on Saturday, the Vatican issued a new legal document in his name that transfers the lion's share of the control over translation of texts for use in Catholic worship to local bishops' conferences and away from the Vatican. In effect, it was the clearest signal to date of where Francis stands in debates about what went wrong after Vatican II, especially on the issue of collegiality...........for anyone familiar with the history of Catholicism since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), something momentous happened on Saturday, and its significance will reverberate long after Francis returns to the Eternal City. (Where, as it turns out, things aren’t quite as ‘eternal’ as they sometimes seem.) While the pontiff was on the road, the Vatican released a new motu proprio from him, meaning a legal document issued under his personal authority, amending canon 838 of the Code of Canon Law. Bypassing the legal fine points, in essence what the changes mean is that from here on out, more control of the process of translating texts for use in Catholic worship into vernacular languages around the world will be vested in local conferences of bishops as opposed to the Vatican, and, specifically, as opposed to the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. In particular, the edict limits the Vatican’s role at the end of the process, when a bishops’ conference submits a proposed translation for approval. No longer will the Congregation for Divine Worship submit an extensive list of required amendments to the text at that stage; instead, it will simply say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’...(more)
Chinese Communist Party expected to tighten its grip on religion after October Congress Meeting
expected to hand President Xi Jinping power until 2022 while clergy
predict this will also intensify crackdowns on religions.
Extract from ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong China La Croix International, ucanews.com reporter, 7 September, 2017
China watchers say one of the outcomes of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party is that the regime will become even more controlling of religious followers. Catholic experts have unanimously predicted that the Chinese government will further tighten restrictions on religions in the name of “rule by law” after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held from 18 October. In the past summer, communist authorities have continued to tighten their grip on practicing Christians with at least four regional governments across China issuing notices that restrict children from going to Christian churches or attending religious activities. Chinese clergymen are not optimistic about the development of religious affairs following the congress as the government's religious policy is consistent and new officials appointed will be keen to display their skills in keeping religions hewing to the Party line....(more) Photo La Croix International.
Britain's economic model is 'broken', warns Archbishop of Canterbury
Extract from Lorna Donlon, The Tablet, 6 September 2017
'Our economy is no longer working for everyone. And for some groups of people..it doesn’t seem to be working at all'. Britain's economic model is 'broken', warns Archbishop of Canterbury. Britain’s economic model is “broken” and widespread inequality in the UK is growing, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned in a report backed by business leaders. This is a watershed moment where there needs to be a “fundamental reform” of the economy, Justin Welby said. “We are failing those who will grow up into a world where the gap between the richest and poorest parts of the country is significant and destabilising.” His comments came in a report by a commission set up by the centre-left Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) that includes senior business, trades union and other public figures alongside the archbishop. The ‘Commission on Economic Justice’ says the “economy is unfit to face the challenges of the 2020s, adding that “for too many people and parts of the country, the ‘economic promise’ of rising living standards has been broken.” A new approach is necessary, the IPPR argues, which is on the scale of the “Attlee reforms of the 1940s and the Thatcher revolution of the 1980s.” For the majority of the population now, the reality is that their earnings are no longer rising, while young people today are set to be poorer than their parents, according to the report. “I am convinced that most people in Britain want the same things from the economy: a system in the service of human flourishing and the common good, where all are valued and all have a stake, regardless of their perceived economic worth and ability,” Archbishop Welby wrote in the Financial Times. The deeper question this raises, is whose economy is it? he added. “Our econo my is no longer working for everyone, if indeed it ever has. And for some groups of people and some parts of the country, it doesn’t seem to be working at all.”....(more) Photo, The Tablet
‘Christian America’ dwindling, including white evangelicals, study shows
Extract from Kimberly Winston, Religion News Service, Crux, 6 September 2017
A new study, “America’s Changing Religious Identity,” shows Americans are also continuing to move away from organized religion altogether, as atheists, agnostics and those who say they do not identify with any particular religion — the group known as the “nones” — hold steady at about one-quarter (24 percent) of the population. The future of religion in America is young, non-Christian and technicolor. Almost every Christian denomination in the U.S. shows signs of growing diversity as white Christians, once the majority in most mainline Protestant and Catholic denominations, give way to younger members, who tend to be of different races, according to a study released Wednesday (Sept. 6) by the Public Religion Research Institute. And American evangelicals - once seemingly immune to the decline experienced by their Catholic and mainline Protestant neighbors - are losing numbers and losing them quickly....(more)
A credibly Christian church would respect gay employees
Extract from Andrew Hamilton, Eureka Street, 29 August 2017
Debates about social issues tend to bring out blanket statements, sweeping claims, dire threats and feverish reporting. They usually carry historical baggage that needs to be unpacked and the contents tested against contemporary reality. This is true also of the coming plebiscite on gay marriage. A threat reportedly made, and later denied, by some church leaders was to dismiss from employment in Catholic organisations people who contract same-sex marriages. Regardless of what was said the threat will be featured in the coming debates. It may be helpful to set it in its broader context. The argument for taking such action is that Catholic organisations must uphold the teaching of the church, and that this implies living in a way consistent with it. Where the public relationships of people working in Catholic organisations are inconsistent with Catholic teaching they call into question the teaching itself.....(more) Image: Eureka Street
From next Monday (28 August) our Parish Office hours will change to allow for a formal lunch break for staff. The office will close each day between 1.00pm and 2.00pm.
Sacrament of reconciliation
Every Saturday 5.00pm - 5.20pm at Mary Immaculate; 5.30pm - 5.50pm at St. Bernadette’s or on weekdays at Mother of God by appointment with the Parish Priest
Big business and government unite against slavery
Extract from CathNews, SMH, 25 August 2017
Mining magnate Andrew Forrest has declared “the beginning of the end of modern slavery” following a landmark meeting between big business and the federal government, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Mr Forrest said other companies from the Indo-Pacific region, including Walmart, Adidas, Thai Union and JD.com now shared his company's commitment to scrutinise their supply chains to eliminate slavery. Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop addressed the business leaders at the meeting in Perth yesterday. "This is really ground breaking," Mr Forrest said. "This is the beginning of the end of modern slavery. "Business and government working together are the only combined powers which can effectively end modern slavery and it has finally come together in a landmark forum." Mr Forrest, the Australian business co-chairman of the forum, said companies who had attended the inaugural Bali Process Government and Business Forum would meet again next year to review work plans and mark progress. The federal government last week said it would introduce legislation requiring big Australian companies to examine their supply chains and report annually on measures they are taking to combat slavery, including human trafficking, debt bondage and forced labour. Companies with an annual turnover of at least $100 million will be asked to publish "Modern Slavery Statements" and will be held to account on a publicly accessible central repository. Mr Forrest said two-thirds of the estimated 46 million people trapped in slavery were in the Indo-Pacific region. It is estimated almost 4500 people are trapped in some form of slavery in Australia – and millions more are victims around the world....(more).
Pope invokes ‘magisterial authority’ to declare liturgy changes ‘irreversible’
Extract from Inés San Martín, Vatican Respondent, Crux, 24 August 2017
Although acknowledging that more than fifty years after the Second Vatican Council there are still tensions and unfinished business in terms of implementing its vision for the liturgy, Pope Francis in a session with Italian liturgists on Thursday nevertheless invoked his "magisterial authority" to declare, "The liturgical reform is irreversible." Addressing a group of liturgical experts on Thursday, Pope Francis said that after the teaching of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) and a long path of experience, “We can affirm with certainty and magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible.” The declaration came in a speech on Thursday to Italy’s “Center of Liturgical Action,” which sponsors an annual National Liturgical Week. By “liturgical reform,” Pope Francis meant the changes in Catholic rituals and modes of worship which followed from Vatican II, the most immediately visible elements of which included Mass facing the congregation, the use of vernacular languages, and a stronger emphasis on the “full, conscious and active” participation of the people....(more)
Mother of God School Closure
Extract of Letter from Fr Bill, 18 August 2017
Dear Parents, Staff and Parishioners,
I have some sad news for the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe and our local community today. Mother of God School will close at the end of this year and its students will be warmly welcomed by Mary Immaculate and St Bernadette’s Schools. As you are aware a Working Party established by Catholic Education Melbourne has been investigating the provision of education within the Parish of Ivanhoe. At the heart of all discussions and final recommendations was the imperative of ensuring that the provision of Catholic education in the Parish is both financially viable into the future and the very best education we could provide for our children. Catholic education has been particularly well-catered for in the Ivanhoe Parish, with three schools, however, changing demographics in the area have led to changes in demand. Enrolments at Mother of God have declined since 2010 and we have also seen a drop in enrolments at Mary Immaculate. The demographic trends suggest there will be limited enrolment growth in the Parish over time and all three schools have an excess capacity of places and facilities well above any actual or expected demand generated from within the Parish.... (full letter published in Parish Newsletter or separately available HERE)
Church reform groups support call for Year of the Laity
Extract from Peter Feuerherd, National Catholic Reporter, 17 August 2017
U.S. Emboldened by Pope Francis, church reformers are endorsing a call by the Brazilian bishops for a Year of the Laity, expanded to include conferences and observances around the world from November of this year until November 2018. The meetings will focus on why "the people of God need to be treated equally in the church" and "the people taking the Gospel out into the world," Rene Reid, director of Catholic Church Reform International, told NCR. Groups lining up in support of the Year of the Laity include Catholic Church Reform International as well as Call to Action, she said. Participants from those groups will be urging an increased role for the laity in the church. They will promote lay participation in the selection of bishops, an end to mandatory celibacy for clergy and openness to allowing the Eucharist for divorced and remarried Catholics as well as the LGBTQ community. Reid said the impetus for the movement comes from Pope Francis. "He wants the people of God to step up and take a leadership role, and we are," she said....(more)
NSW Tent city to be dismantled - again
Extract from CathNews, 4 August 2017
The NSW state government is planning to dismantle a homeless camp at Martin Place for a second time, and police threaten to throw anyone who resists "in the back of a truck", the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The long-standing camp of 44 tents, which house about 50 people in front of the Reserve Bank, was first dismantled by the City of Sydney council in June but many of its residents have returned. Yesterday, as some of the residents were zipped into their tents to escape the cold, others gathered around a marquee, where volunteers cooked hot food and offered tea and coffee as part of a 24-hour kitchen. It was hours after Social Housing Minister Pru Goward said about the camp: "We will move these people on. I don't care what it takes." NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller told radio station 2GB the "problem" could be fixed "easily" if council workers were sent to confiscate equipment from the camp....(more)
Preparing to be a synodal church in
Extract from Fr Noel Connoly, St Columbans eNews. 18 July 2017. Published originally as an article in The Francis Effect III: Mission of Love and Mercy. Reprinted with permission from the author, the publisher, Catholic Mission & Catholic Religious Australia, and St Columbans eNews. 31 July 2017
The Australian church is about to enter an exciting, challenging and hopefully rewarding three-year process of consultation. Last August Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane announced that the Australian Bishops will convoke a Plenary Council at which “everything is potentially on the radar screen”, and at which a wide representation of the church, lay and clerical, female and male will be present. From now till the Plenary Council there will be a wide consultation of the entire Australian Church so that all voices can be heard. This is going to be a massive and possibly messy task but if we do it well it could change the nature of the church in Australia. To some degree the process of consulting and talking with one another will be more important than the decisions the Plenary Council may make. As Pope Francis is always keen to point out, “time is more important than space” or it is the process, the change of attitudes, the new style of consultation, the different type of church that this generates is as important as the results. What Pope Francis wants is a new synodal church not just an occasional “Synod”....(more) Author photo: St Columbans eNews Note: The Francis Effect III: Mission of Love and Mercy together with Parts II and I are available for purchase online from the publisher HERE
Ordinary Catholics must help with reform
Extract from Kevin Liston*, Eureka Street, 30 July 2017
There are many reform movements active in the Catholic Church. Most seem to focus on changing the structures and systems of the church, on reshaping doctrinal positions and updating teachings. Organisational reform is necessary and long overdue but there is also need for a complementary movement among ordinary Catholics. In recent decades, the sense of ownership that people have over their own lives has undergone a significant shift. Personal authenticity and autonomy are the order of the day. More people feel they each have unique ways of being themselves and seek forms of expression that frequently do not fit traditional moulds. There is a historically unique process of individuation going on. Finding one’s identity and understanding one’s personal experience are core concerns. More often now we understand we have a role in and responsibility for what we are to be. The structures of communities are quite different and more varied and complex. The relevance of community has not disappeared but it has taken a different shape. In modern Australia, community is often taken for granted and accepted as background, evidenced for instance in social media. Parishes are important local realisations of the church but there are many Catholics who do not feel comfortable or at home with present structures and ways of operating. I regard myself as a faithful Catholic, steeped in the tradition, theologically and spiritually literate, seeking a relevant, supportive community of like-minded people. However, I do not find the weekend liturgies in our parish churches to be reflective or expressive of my understanding of Christianity; they just do not speak to my world....(more) Image: Eureka Street 3765 Kevin Liston recently completed a Master of Theological Studies at ACU after a long career working with refugees and migrants.
Statement of Archbishop Hart Ministerial Advisory Panel Report on Voluntary Assisted Dying
Extract from Media Release from Director of Media, Communications and Philanthropy, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, 21 July 2017
The Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart has expressed dismay following the release today of the Ministerial Advisory Panel Report into the legalising of Physician Assisted Suicide in Victoria. Archbishop Hart said “I urge all Victorians to look closely at what is being proposed. I am proud to be a Victorian but this report makes me very concerned for the future of our elderly and most vulnerable citizens. We need to see this report and its recommendations for what they are and so I am taking this opportunity to bring this vital matter to the public’s immediate attention.” Archbishop Hart said “I commend efforts to strengthen and better resource Palliative Care but that is a minimum necessity. While the report recommends what it calls safeguards, the truth is that these safeguards are never going to be enough and that there are no flawless medical procedures. All procedures and interventions can have complications. I have watched supporters of this proposal and they are going out of their way to convince us that assisted suicide is acceptable, seeking to lessen our human, moral and natural distress because of suicide. It seems that on the one hand we are seeking to lessen suicide in our society – an admirable aim – but here we have this report looking to normalise it. When viewed from the perspective of the whole Victorian community these two objectives cannot be reconciled.".....(MORE). Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide information and resources HERE
Kakadu dig rewrites Australia's history
Extract from CathNews, The Guardian, 21 July 2017
An archaeological discovery in the Northern Territory has extended the known length of time Aboriginal people have inhabited the continent to at least 65,000 years, The Guardian reports. The findings on about 11,000 artefacts from Kakadu National Park, published today in the journal Nature, prove Indigenous people have been in Australia for longer than the much-contested estimates of between 47,000 and 60,000 years, the researchers said. Some of the artefacts were potentially as old as 80,000 years. The new research upends decades old estimates about the human colonisation of the continent, their interaction with megafauna, and the dispersal of modern humans from Africa and across south Asia. “People got here much earlier than we thought, which means of course they must also have left Africa much earlier to have travelled on their long journey through Asia and Southeast Asia to Australia,” said the lead author, Chris Clarkson, from the University of Queensland. “It also means the time of overlap with the megafauna, for instance, is much longer than originally thought – maybe as much as 20,000 or 25,000 years. It puts to rest the idea that Aboriginal people wiped out the megafauna very quickly,” Associate Professor Clarkson said. He said the Madjedbebe rock shelter where the artefacts were found – which has been excavated four times since the 1970s – had been controversial in the past but the processes used to date the artefacts meant the team could say “precisely” that the area was occupied 65,000 years ago and “hopefully put the controversy to rest”....(more) Photo: Cathnews, Chris Clarkson/Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation
Report confirms over 500 boys abused at top German Catholic school
Extract from Daniele Palmer, The Tablet, 19 July 2017
A report confirms the physical and sexual abuse of over 500 children at a prestigious choir school in Bavaria, Germany. Commissioned by the diocese of Regensburg, a report has been published