For those who appreciate (love?) Flannery O’Connor
In October 1970, six years after Flannery O'Connor died, The Atlantic surfaced one of her unpublished stories and ran it beneath an almost apologetic preface from her literary executor: "I have consented to this publication with a note making clear ... the earliness of the story and its apparent standing in the estimation of the author." Its standing was, apparently, not very high: Read more ...
No, Not Trump, Not Ever
The voters have spoken.
In convincing fashion, Republican voters seem to be selecting Donald Trump as their nominee. And in a democracy, victory has legitimacy to it. Voters are rarely wise but are usually sensible. They understand their own problems. And so deference is generally paid to the candidate who wins.
And deference is being paid. Read more ...
How an atheist became a leading Christian scholar
As a young teenager, Michael Bird was so anti-religion he would write poetry mocking belief in God. He saw Christianity “as a way of oppressing people, a purely human construct.” He has travelled so far from this view that he is now a heavy hitter in the world of New Testament scholarship, an expert in the origins of Jesus’ divinity. Read more ...
Embracing Our Limits
The Lessons of Laudato Si'
Perhaps the first thing that needs to be said about Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment is that it is an entirely natural development not only of the theology of Evangelii gaudium but also—as the extensive citations show—of the theology of Pope Benedict, especially as found in Caritas in veritate. Both the pope’s critics and his supporters have often missed the point: Read more ...
Between the Knower & the Known
... Laudato si’ highlights three manifestations of how we moderns relate to the natural world: first, our economic exploitation of raw materials and labor-power; second, the technological imperative to transform the “raw resources” of nature according to our own wills and fantasies; and third, the very assumptions about human knowing and desiring that shape the methodology of modern science. It is this final dimension of the critique that is most difficult to hear, especially Read more ...
Cultures of accountability for clergy and celebrities
Andrew Hamilton, Editor Eureka Street
At the recent royal commission hearings Cardinal Pell was pressed on how much he knew of cases of abuse in the Melbourne Catholic Church. His response was that he knew very little, Read more ...
A year after riots, Baltimore leaders unite for Rome pilgrimage
Rome, Italy, Mar 10, 2016.- Nearly a year after violent riots erupted in West Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, religious leaders from across the city have banded together for a pilgrimage to Rome which they hope will help them to build bridges in their community. Read more ...
Putuparri and the Rainmakers
Our neighbour up at Nazareth – Paul Eliot – has made a remarkable documentary on an Aboriginal man and his life journey in two cultures. The film is premiering on NITV Sunday 13th March at 9:30PM. For more information on the film see ...
Pope asks indigenous Mexicans for forgiveness
Pope Francis asked Mexico's indigenous population for forgiveness over the exclusion they have suffered as he led an open-air Mass in native languages in impoverished Chiapas state, reports AFP on Seven News. The Pope said a short phrase in one of the southern region's native tongues in a sign of his effort to reach out to indigenous communities of the country's poorest and least Catholic state. (Note additional links at the bottom of the feature article.) Read more ...
At US border, Francis pleas for mercy
Standing less than a football field away from the southern side of the U.S.-Mexico border, Pope Francis launched anew the biblical cry of Jonah -- heart wrenchingly pleading for mercy and conversion of hearts towards migrants who he said suffer "grave injustices." Read more ...
Pope Francis in Mexico: discourse to bishops
"... Only a Church able to shelter the faces of men and women who knock on her doors will be able to speak to them of God. If we do not know how to decipher their sufferings, if we do not come to understand their needs, then we can offer them nothing. The richness we have flows only when we encounter the smallness of those who beg and this encounter occurs precisely in our hearts, the hearts of Pastors. ..." (An extract from the Pope's speech) - read more ...
Pope invites divorced, remarried Catholics to Vatican audience
ROME — As the countdown builds toward a major document in which Pope Francis is expected to address the controversial issue of Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, the pontiff has invited a group of divorced and remarried believers to a private audience. Read more ...
Spotlight - The Film
The buzz around Spotlight started almost immediately after its release in America late last year. Critics hailed the film, which tells the story of The Boston Globe’s investigation into the cover-up of clerical abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston. Abuse survivors also applauded the movie and box office figures proved very decent. Read more Read review by Jim McDermott. Read also Richard Leonard's review. And finally Michael Kirwan SJ's review.
A History of Sexual Abuse at St John's Abbey Collegeville
St. John’s Abbey, one of the largest Benedictine monasteries in the U.S., released more than 15,000 pages of documents Tuesday related to 18 priests it said “likely offended” sexually against minors dating back to the 1960s. Read more.
Holy Listening - A Spiritual Direction Course
The monastic tradition understands faith as a journey we make in companionship with others. Accompaniment is an important way in which we help each other find our way forwards in faith, hope and love. It can include spiritual direction and counselling, it can take place formally in one-to-one dialogue, in informal but regular meetings, on an individual basis or in groups, in the context of retreats and conferences. It is about sharing insights, listening to questions, seeking wisdom for the journey. Read more
Secret Catacombs Pact Emerges After Fifty Years
On the evening of Nov. 16, 1965, quietly alerted to the event by word-of-mouth, some 40 Roman Catholic bishops made their way to celebrate Mass in an ancient, underground basilica in the Catacombs of Domitilla on the outskirts of the Eternal City. Read more
Join the Climate March in Sydney
Synod's Final Document Gives Questions Rather than Answers
One of the ten prelates responsible for drafting the final document from the ongoing Synod of Bishops on family has said that while it may not give solutions to all the questions discussed by the gathering, it will give good direction to Pope Francis for future decisions. Read more
Information on Australian Bishops' Social Justice Statement on Refugees
Realising the Contemplative in You: Online Course with Joan Chittister
Contemporary spirituality includes multiple forms of devotion and meditation. In this e-course, Joan Chittister looks at the most fundamental of them all -- reading and writing -- and their relationship to the development of the spiritual life. Read more