"If I cannot listen to the subtle manifestation of rich reality in my environment, I will necessarily try to impose my wilful codes on others. If I am not open to reality and do not obey the voice of reality, a terrible distortion takes place. Sooner or later I will turn the whole relationship around: Instead of listening to reality in people and events, I become convinced that reality in people and events should listen to me."

[Adrian van Kaam, The Art of Existential Counseling, Dimension Books, 1966, 80.]

News

Pope Celebrates Weddings

JPopeMarriesCouopleinStPetersIn the first wedding he has performed in his 18-month-old papacy, Francis yesterday took each couple through their vows in turn - including Gabriella and Guido, who already had children and thought such a marriage would be impossible. Read more.

 

LCWR National Assembly (August 12 2014

JLCWRThe recent Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States has posted a number of the papers and reflections delivered. Click here

Makeup of Synod of Bishops on the Family Disappointing

JCardinalsCuriaThe appointment of 25 curial officials to the synod on the family is a sign that Pope Francis still does not understand what real reform of the Roman Curia requires. It makes me fear that when all is said and done, he may close or merge some offices, rearrange some responsibilities, but not really shake things up. Read more.

 

Real Dialogue Called for at Synod

Jvatican1The Church must step away from its defensive, antithetical stance and seek anew the path of dialogue" on moral issues, he wrote in the 22-page letter posted on his diocese's website in five languages. Read more.

 

Nuns Murdered in Burundi

JSistersmurderedinBurundiPope Francis mourned the deaths of three Xaverian Missionary Sisters of Mary, who were murdered in two separate attacks in their residence in Burundi. Read more

 

Communion for the Remarried?

JPopeFrancis01The pope has given the go-ahead for discussion. He doesn't say whether he is on the side of those in favor or those against, but he appears to be much closer to the former than to the latter. An Australian theologian explains why. Read more

 

Church Must Welcome Unconventional Couples

JPopeFrancisandBishopGalantinoThe Catholic Church should make "unconventional couples" feel at home instead of making them targets of "de facto discrimination," the leader of the Italian Bishops Conference and an ally of Pope Francis said this week. "Couples in irregular matrimonial situations are also Christians, but they are sometimes looked upon with prejudice," said Bishop Nunzio Galantino, an apparent reference to divorced and remarried Catholics. Read more.

 

Oscar Romero to be Beatified Soon

JOscarRomeroPope Francis opened the way Monday to a quick beatification for Oscar Arnulfo Romero, saying there are no more doctrinal problems blocking the process for the slain Salvadoran archbishop who is one of the heroes of the liberation theology movement in Latin America. Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador, was gunned down in 1980 while celebrating Mass. He had spoken out against repression by the Salvadoran army at the beginning of the country's 1980-1992 civil war between the right-wing government and leftist rebels. Read more.

 

Pope Francis and the Papacy - Opinions of Two Leading Catholics

JBainchiwithPopeFrancisThe prior of Bose, Enzo Bianchi, and archbishop emeritus of San Francisco John R. Quinn are presenting it as a given that Francis will completely overhaul the role of the pope. But some acts of this pontificate contradict their expectations. Read more

 

Mary McAleese in Sydney in September

JMaryMcAleese04The former president of Ireland, Mary McAleese, will be the guest of Aquinas Academy and Catalyst for Renewal in Syndey in September. There will be a forum with Maryin the Sydney Town Hall on Sunday September 7 at 2pm. Entry by ticket only. Book now. For more information about Mary McAleese click here. To watch a video of Mary McAleese click here. Mary will also be the guest of the Global Irish Studies Centre at UNSW - click here for details.

US and UN Silent On Plight of Christians in Iraq

JRep Frank R Wolf R Virginia CNA US Catholic News 7 11 12Christians are facing genocide in Iraq while the US government and the United Nations are silent, Rep Fran Wolf (R-Va) said on the House floor Thursday. "I believe what is happening to the Christian community in Iraq is genocide. I also believe it is a crime against humanity," Wolf said on July 31. Read more.

Pope Francis and the Pentecostals

JPentecostalsHe is not Catholic, but Pentecostal, a part of those Christian communities which are in breathtaking expansion all over the world. Little by little the pope is meeting with their leaders. From rivals he wants to become friends, to the point of asking their forgiveness. Read more.

 

Pope Francis' Moves for Cultural Change in the Vatican

Jvatican1It was possibly a watershed moment in Holy See media relations. The scene was the Sala Stampa of the Holy See some 10 days ago. Australian Cardinal George Pell was presenting the New Economic Framework for the Holy See, a document which outlines proposed major reforms not only to IOR (the Vatican bank) and to APSA (the Vatican City treasury), but also to all the various Vatican-run media. Halfway through the press conference, a reporter from Milan newspaper Corriere Della Sera asked a question. She wanted to know why, among the six new lay members of the board of IOR, there was no Italian representative. For a brief moment, almost the entire press room started to laugh. Read more.

 

Irish Priests Back Francis' Comments on Celibacy

JpopefrancisThe organisation representing Catholic priests in Ireland has called for an end to the Vatican's celibacy rule. The Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland warmly welcomed recent comments by Pope Francis hinting that priests may be able to marry in the future. Read more.

Tom Petty Album Rocks the Catholic Church

Jtom pettyIn new song titled "Playing Dumb," famed rocker Petty and his band the Heartbreakers -- who together have produced classics such as "Runnin' Down a Dream," "Free Fallin'" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance" -- address their outrage with the church's decade-long abuse scandal. Read More

 

Francis Speaks, Scalfari Transcribes, Brandmuller Shreds

JVaticanCuriaPriestAs a Church historian, the German cardinal refutes the notion according to which clerical celibacy was an invention of the 10th century. No, he objects: its origin is with Jesus and the apostles. And he explains why. Read more.

 

Pope Francis Meets Victims of Sexual Abuse

JPopeFrancis03Pope Francis met for the first time Monday with people sexually abused by priests, saying Mass with six survivors and then meeting privately with each for half an hour. Read more

 

Peacemaking Calls for Courage - Much More So Than Warfare

JPopeFrancisMiddleEastPeacemakingThis was Pope Francis message to his guests Sunday evening – the Israeli and Palestinian Presidents Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas – as he welcomed them to his home for an Invocation for Peace in the Holy Land. Read more

"Still I Rise" - Remembering Maya Angelou

JMayaAngelouMaya Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928, died May 28, 2014. She was an American author and poet who published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than 50 years. Watch her recite her most famous poem.

 

Adult Bible Classes Standing Room Only

JSisterCarolToday, people around the world view Sr Carol Perry's 10 a.m. Sunday Bible study class, live through the church's website. A gifted storyteller, she makes the Bible's ancient people seem like relatives remembered from childhood. "They're our ancestors," she said. Read more