"When leaders in various fields ask me for advice, my response is always the same: dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. It is the only way for individuals, families and societies to grow, the only way for the life of peoples to progress, along with the culture of encounter, a culture in which all have something good to give and all can receive something good in return. Others always have something to give me, if we know how to approach them in a spirit of openness and without prejudice. I call this attitude of openness and availability without prejudice, social humility, and it is this that favours dialogue. Only in this way can understanding grow between cultures and religions, mutual esteem without needless preconceptions, respectful of the rights of everyone. Today, either we stand together with the culture of dialogue and encounter, or we all lose, we all lose; from here we can take the right road that makes the journey fruitful and secure." (Pope Francis, Address to leading members of Brazilian society, Saturday July 27 2013, reported online by Official Vatican Network.)

Mary McAleese Criticises Plans for Synod on the Family

JMaryMcAleese01Mary McAleese - who will be the guest of Aquinas Academy and Catalyst for renewal on Sunday September 7, 2pm, in Sydney Town Hall - has criticsed the plans for te Synod on the family. Ms McAleese, a two-term President of Ireland, strongly questioned Pope Francis calling a synod to review the Catholic Church's teaching on family life. She won the backing of the Association of Catholic Priests with some of her comments, which demanded a "new theology of women" instead of an "old boys club". She said there was "just something profoundly wrong and skewed" about asking clergy for their views when they were all "male celibates". Read more.