"I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. I do not want a Church concerned with being at the centre and then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures. If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life. More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: 'Give them something to eat' (Mk 6:37)." (Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (November 2013), #49)

 

News

Inside Pope Francis’ Statement on the Family

jPope Francis with a family

In Pope Francis’ long-awaited apostolic exhortation — “Amoris Laetitia,” or “The Joy of Love” — he urges church leaders to serve as nurturing pastors, not as rigid enforcers of doctrine. 
Read more (1).  
Read more (2).      
Read more (3).

Click here for the full text of Amoris Laetitia.

For those who appreciate (love?) Flannery O’Connor

The Barber
JFlannery OConnor 1947

In October 1970, six years after Flannery O'Connor died, The Atlantic surfaced one of her unpublished stories and ran it beneath an almost apologetic preface from her literary executor: "I have consented to this publication with a note making clear ...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

JDonaldTrump

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

JMike-Bird-Winter

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' 
JFrancisFiatUS

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

JFrancisAssisi Main

... 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

Jandrew hamilton

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

JArrest the police Credit Dren Pozhegu via Flickr CC BY NC 20 CNA

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

JPutuparri

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

JPOPE-CHIAPAS-INDIGENOUS

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

JPope Francis at Mexico-USA border

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

JPope Francis in Sombrero

"... 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

JMarriageandDivorce

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

JSpotlight

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

JStJohnsAbbeyCollegevilleSt. 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

JholylisteningThe 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

JCatacombsOn 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

JClimatemarchSunday Novcember 29 at 1pm - the Domain. For further details copntact Simon Habel: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Synod's Final Document Gives Questions Rather than Answers

JCardinalatSynodOne 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

JBishopsSocialJusticStatementSeptember 27 is Social Justic Sunday. The Australian Catholic Bishops have published a very challenging document. To see an introductory video and find out more about that document, click here. To see Andy Hamilton's comments in Eureka Street, click here.