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News 2019 (from July)

A broad and diverse mix of Local, National and International faith-related News, Information and Opinions.
Views expressed are those of the Authors and may or may not always represent those of the Parish.
Report on 1st new Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) meeting on 17 July 2019
Photos of new PPC members can be seen on the Leadership Team page, together with a report of their first meeting

Plenary Working Groups Nominations Reminder
Friday 19 July 2019
Applications by Catholics for 'Plenary Council Discernment and Writing Groups' Chairs and Members close on Monday 22 July.     As previously advised The Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council is seeking people who are willing to be key partners and leaders in the process of discernment as the Church in Australia continues to prepare for the Plenary Council in October 2020.        The roles advertised are for Chairs and Members of groups who will each reflect on one of the National Themes of Discernment announced at and since Pentecost 2019.        Details and selection criteria available via the Parish website Plenary page HERE.

First meeting of newly elected Parish Pastoral Council
Friday 19 July 2019
A brief report on the first meeting of the newly elected Parish Pastoral Council is published on the website 'Leadership Team' page HERE (People/Leadership Team page), together with photos of newly elected members.
Cardinal hits back at Pan-Amazon Synod critics
Extract from CathNews, The Tablet, 19 July 2019
A cardinal serving in the Amazon has hit back at critics of the forthcoming Synod on the region, emphasising it will help the Church stand with exploited indigenous communities and become an effective evangelising presence.         Cardinal Pedro Barreto, a Jesuit whose archdiocese of Huncayo covers the western Amazonian region of Peru, has challenged the assumption that the territory is a “backward space”, urging “non-Amazonian societies” to learn from local cultures and their ability to protect the environment.        His intervention, contained in an article for La Civilta Cattolica magazine, comes amid intense criticism from Rome-based cardinals, Cardinal Gerhard Müller and Cardinal Raymond Burke, and traditionalist groups of the Amazon Synod’s working document, published last month.         The Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian region has been called by Pope Francis and will take place from October 6-27 in the Vatican. It is the first Church gathering of its kind to focus on the needs of a vast area covering Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela and the overseas territory French Guyana.         Synod organisers say the aim is to build a prophetic, mission-centred Church in the Amazon, deeply rooted in the indigenous communities, and ecologically sensitive. Its working document includes whether to ordain married elders as priests given the scarcity of clergy, along with liturgies that take into account local customs, and rituals.    Cardinal Barreto said the working document is an “expression of the voice of the people of God”.....(more) Photo: Amazon,
Chittister, Censorship and an Adult Church.
Extract from Patty Fawkner SGS, Pearls & Irritations, John Menadue Website, 19 July 2019
It was decades ago, but I remember the day and the conversation well. It was a Monday morning and I was returning to work at a Catholic adult education organisation after a short break. I was confronted with the news that, during my absence, our newly appointed director had removed copies of Paul Collins’ book, Papal Power, from the organisation’s bookstore.        Nominally, I was the deputy director and when I asked “Why?” was told “Because it only tells one side of the story”. To which I quickly retorted, “Well, wouldn’t the adult thing be to supply other books that told a different side?”       Till then, “Towards an Adult Church” was the mantra of all that we did within that organisation. The phrase encapsulated our vision and guided both content and process of our programs. The words certainly had been the “hook” for my joining the organisation.     Fast forward 23 years and I immediately recalled this event when news broke that an invitation to Sister Joan Chittister OSB to be a keynote speaker at the 2020 National Catholic Education Conference in Melbourne had subsequently been withdrawn. ‘While there’s some contention over whether a formal invitation was made, Joan believes that she was invited and has received no reason for the snub. This is in spite of Recommendation 16.7 of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which calls for Church authorities to conduct a review of Church structures in relation to issues of transparency.      It is reminiscent of the 2018 ban imposed by the Hobart Archbishop on Father Frank Brennan SJ, precluding him from speaking at a conference on marriage equality.      It occurs to me that these three actions are anything but “adult” and, not only say something about the views some Church leaders’ hold about some Catholic religious and clergy, they say something more about their views of us, “the faithful”.      When we are denied information and when perspectives are censored, we are treated like children. Is it that we are neither intelligent enough nor mature enough to weigh different opinions and test these against our own conscience, experience and faith?      On a recent visit to Rome I was privileged to engage in an audience with Pope Francis as part of the Assembly of UISG, the international union of leaders of Catholic women’s religious congregations. “Let’s have a conversation,” the Pope said as he discarded his prepared talk.       Among other things, Pope Francis encouraged the 850 leaders not to be afraid of dialogue either within or beyond the Church. He practised what he preached. He invited spontaneous questions from the audience and no topic was deemed to be ‘out of bounds’. My heart warmed as I observed Francis listen intently and ask clarifying questions to ensure he understood the intent of the question. He responded with deep respect, openness, warmth and a refreshing blend of seriousness and humour.      Am I naïve in believing that Pope Francis would be open to dialogue with Joan Chittister?....(more)
New guidelines will inform Church’s response to abuse
Extract from Melbourne Catholic, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, 18 July 2019
The Catholic Church is developing new national policy guidelines to strengthen and standardise Church authorities’ responses to historical and contemporary concerns and allegations of abuse of children and vulnerable adults.       Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said the development of the guidelines is a critical step forward in the Church’s ongoing response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.     ‘The bishops are following through on our commitments made last year, and having a consistent approach to the management of allegations of abuse of children and vulnerable people is central to our reforms,’ he explained.     The Implementation Advisory Group, set up in May 2018 to monitor and advise Catholic leaders on the Church’s response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations, is overseeing the development of the policy guidelines.     The guidelines will serve as a public commitment to integrity and accountability in responding to allegations of abuse. They will make clear the obligations of all Church authorities to respond with processes that are fair and effective, and which comply with all Australian laws....(more).
Missing the Catholic Bus.
Extract from Eric Hodgens, Pearls & irritations, John Menadue Blog, 18 April 2019
The Catholic Church is now in freefall. Vatican II called for adaptation to the modern world. Most of the opportunities for adaptation have been missed. How do we catch the last bus?        Since WW II the western Catholic Church has been visibly in decline. This is part of a huge cultural change which is world-wide. Christendom was the prevailing social and political structure of Europe from the 4th century to the 17th. A high point was Louis XIV, hand in hand with the French hierarchy. But at the same time the Enlightenment was raging, undermining its very core structure. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic in America a new, democratic social order was being established, based on Enlightenment principles. Democracy won the day and the Church was left a disempowered widow.        The full effect of enlightenment ideas, like power from the people and individual human rights, came to the fore in the reconstruction of Europe after the devastation of WWII. The Church still looked the same, but was no longer the political force it had been.       Vatican II was called to work out how to handle this new world order. It changed the preferred image of the Catholic Church from that of a hierarchical organization set up by God, to the People of God on a common journey. The egalitarian and interactive qualities of the new world order replaced the hierarchical and static qualities of the pre-Enlightenment order. The Church was adapting to the modern world – on paper.       Many who formerly had submitted to the old order had sniffed the breeze and abandoned the church. That flow of departures – small enough to start – was to grow into a torrent. Vatican II had alerted us to equality of membership and the need to adapt to fast social changes, but it was up to the membership to be nimble footed in adapting if it was to stem the collapse.....(more)
Catholic traditions are not all sacrosanct, says cardinal
Joao Braz de Aviz says our relationships with the Church and each other need constant re-evaluation
Limited extract from Anne-Bénédicte Hoffner, subscription journal La Croix International, 17 July 2019
"You have to look at what is fundamental and what is not. Many things of tradition, which are more of an ancient culture, are no longer useful," Brazilian Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz told Paraguayan newspaper Ultima Hora on July 14.       Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life since 2011, the cardinal was sent by Pope Francis to participate in a gathering of 90 religious congregations in Paraguay, which was celebrating the 60th anniversary of the South American country's Conference of Religions....(source).   Photo: La Croix International, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz
Ballarat's Bishop Paul Bird meets Pope Francis
Extracts from Alex Ford, The Courier, 14 July 2019
Pope Francis expressed his "personal sadness and sorrow" for those sexually abused by priests in a rare roundtable meeting with Australian bishops last month.       The Catholic Bishop of Ballarat, Paul Bird, was at the table, and asked Pope Francis to pray for the diocese.       "He really did express a very deep sadness at any abuse of a child, and I suppose he was trying to express his compassion for those who suffered and I asked him to pray with us, basically, for those who suffered both directly and indirectly - the families or the whole community, as we're very conscious of in Ballarat," he said.           "He was very much in tune with that, I think, expressing his personal sadness and sorrow."      Bishop Bird was in the Vatican for the Ad Limina Apostolorum pilgrimage, which all bishops must regularly complete - this is the first time Australian bishops have visited since 2011.     The 38 bishops also visited several Vatican departments and dicastries, including the Council for the Protection of Minors.     "We met the Pope on the Monday morning, then later that afternoon we met that Council for the Protection of Minors, and it was there we talked about the steps that had been taken in Australia," Bishop Bird explained.    "In Victoria, for example, we had that Victorian inquiry, then there are standards set by the Victoiran government which we as a church had adopted and put into policies and procedures for that.     "And then, they were really expanded when the Royal Commission had their national inquiry.        "We've adopted those, and currently we're having an audit, that's coming up towards the final meetings in a few weeks time - we're having an audit of how that is being implemented in the diocese, both in the parishes and in the schools and social services."        He noted there would likely be an Australian contribution to the Council's major project promoting "best practice" in protecting children.     "I think the Australian experience will be helpful for that - they will draw on that, and the idea is that if you can share good examples, so people around the world, as in every field, can help everybody and they don't have to reinvent the wheel," he said....(more) Photo: Ballarat Courier ACBC  
Brisbane archdiocese preparing to host massive discernment event for Plenary Council 2020
Brisbane Assembly, an archdiocesan Plenary Council 2020 event, is expected to unite more than 600 Catholics across two days of communal discernment on October 4 and 5
Extract from Joe Higgins, The Catholic Leader, July 12, 2019
Brisbane archdiocesan Plenary Council co-ordinator Eric Robinson said the Brisbane Assembly would be a great chance for people to hear directly from the national facilitation team – “where we’ve come from, where we’re at and where we’re heading”.      “It will be a really high-quality experience of listening and discernment from these spiritual conversations,” he said.       This experience of communal discernment was a great tool in itself, Mr Robinson said.      He said it was a tool that event participants could take back to their own parishes and communities.     He also said Brisbane Assembly would be a chance for the diverse parishes of Brisbane archdiocese to discern together and leave ready to implement local action in their communities.    “My hope is that people walk away from the assembly with hope and feeling empowered about this plenary journey and their role in it,” Mr Robinson said.     But it was also a great chance to network.     Mr Robinson said particularly in the informal parts of the event, like lunch or breaks, it was a great chance to meet like-minded people and discover new connections.    In an online invitation video, Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge said the location, St Laurence’s Edmund Rice Performing Arts Centre, was a magnificent facility used for events like the Proclaim conference.     “We’ll be back there and we will be entering into an experience of communal discernment, trying to discern what the (Holy) Spirit is saying,” Archbishop Coleridge said.      “We will have excellent facilitators, top-class presenters, and even if you can’t be there, Shalom TV will in fact be live-streaming many of the sessions.”      Mr Robinson said people should register for Brisbane Assembly as soon as possible because there were limited tickets.     He also had some advice in the lead-up to Brisbane Assembly.....(More)Photo: The Catholic Leader, Mark Bowling
Parish Renewal expert addresses youth and leadership in Perth
The role of young people and their place in the development of the future Catholic Church was the focus of a talk last week by Daniel Ang, the Director of Parish 2020, a process of parish renewal and revitalisation in the Archdiocese of Sydney.
Extract from Eric Martin,The Record, Archdiocese of Perth, 12 Jul 2019
Mr Ang addressed a Perth audience at Newman Siena Centre on 4 July, in a speaker event organised by the Centre for Faith Enrichment.      “Our culture is changing, our Church is changing and the role of young people in our Church is perhaps a prophetic sign of how we can live the mission of Jesus in possibly new ways that have not been imagined before,” Mr Ang said.     “I think that often parishes especially want young people for their life and their vitality and the hope that young people bring to our parish communities.    “And yet, there’s a drop off in Years 11 and 12 in high school, a disinterest from Year 10 onwards – we sense also that we’re losing a lot of people after school during university and when other things come into play.     “We lose a lot of people between 25 and 35, so we don’t see many people in their late 20s and early 30s – they quietly leave and we don’t see them again.”      Previously serving as Director of the Office for Evangelisation in the Diocese of Broken Bay, encompassing the youth ministry, adult education, CCD, and life, marriage and family apostolates of the Diocese – Mr Ang also holds a Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney, and a Master of Divinity from the Sydney College of Divinity, undertaken at the Catholic Institute of Sydney.       As such, he is an acknowledged expert in the area of Youth Ministry, which served as an important source of information and encouragement to Perth’s parish youth leaders.        “If youth ministry is there to prepare young people for adult discipleship, how well are we preparing young people for that broader life?” Mr Ang asked the Perth audience.     “Youth ministry is not simply to hold people in the Church when they’re young but it’s there to actually animate and inspire and equip young people to leave youth ministry and become adult disciples.      Mr Ang explained that his research shows that young people aren’t necessarily attracted to parishes and communities that don’t show any life in themselves: making youth ministry not just for young people, but one that actually engages the whole Church and asks bigger questions around “what kind of Catholic culture do we foster to enable young people to be missionaries?”.....(More).
Church welcomes push towards Indigenous recognition
Extract from CathNews, ACBC Media Blog, 12 July 2019
A Morrison Government proposal to recognise Australia’s First Peoples in the Constitution has been broadly welcomed by key Church organisations.         In a National Press Club address on Wednesday, Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt pledged to “bring forward a consensus option” during the current term of Parliament.       Mr Wyatt said the government was committed to Indigenous constitutional change and would design the model with First Australians, having allocated $7 million towards the process.       John Lochowiak, chair of the peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander body in the Catholic Church, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC), said: “It is heartening to see a bipartisan approach to discussion on this issue. We, as Australians, need to work together on this. It is the only way forward.       “Whatever the outcome that is decided, the result has to be meaningful change in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”          Craig Arthur, national administrator for NATSICC, said the Council supported any initiative to strengthen the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.       “NATSICC believes it is important that a strong focus is placed on emp[owering all people within all communities," he said. However, representatives would like to see more details on what is proposed.....(more)  Photo: Cathnews, Bigstock.
Natural and Unnatural
Extract from J.A. Dick, Another Voice, Reflections about Contemporary Christian Belief and Practice, 12 July 2019
On Monday, July 8, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the creation of an advisory commission: the “Commission on Unalienable Rights.” He hopes it “will provide the intellectual grist of what I hope will be one of the most profound re-examinations of inalienable rights in the world since the 1948 Universal Declaration.”      The Commission on Unalienable Rights will be headed by Mary Ann Glendon, the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and a former United States Ambassador to the Holy See. When he was a law student at Harvard, Pompeo was Glendon’s research assistant. Glendon, when thanking Pompeo for the appointment, stressed that this is a time when “basic human rights are being misunderstood by many, manipulated by many and ignored by the world’s worst human rights violators.” One can agree with her, perhaps, but then one needs to make some important distinctions.      Mary Ann Glendon’s statement, underlines my current concerns about the basis for human rights today and what has been called the “natural law.” Indeed, when setting up the commission at the State Department, the Secretary of State said its purpose would be to redefine human rights based on “natural law and natural rights.”             What is natural is a perennial question. Viewed over several centuries, “natural law” has often had a wax nose, which has bern twisted to accommodate the morality of those in power, in church and state.      Arguments based on natural law have been used to justify slavery, condone torture, denigrate women, condemn gays, and of course (in the Catholic Church) to condemn contraception.     Nevertheless, my observations today are not about politics, Pompeo, or Glendon. The more important issue is clarifying, first of all, what we mean by “natural law” and, secondly, how one can promote an international ethic, still struggling to be born under the rubric of human rights.....(more). Photo: Another Voice
Judge questions church priorities after it moved guilty priest around
Extract from Amber Wilson, The Age, 12 July 2019
A judge who will soon sentence a repeat offender paedophile priest has condemned the Catholic Church for prioritising "the sinner" over his young victims.   Robert Claffey, 76, is already serving more than a decade in prison for sexually abusing 12 children as young as five, between 1969 and 1992.     The church became aware of his behaviour in the 1980s, but moved him from "parish to parish" throughout western Victoria, at one point even installing him as a replacement for notorious paedophile Gerald Ridsdale.        In 2016, Claffey was jailed for a minimum of 13 years and four months.   But on Monday, Claffey admitted he abused another two boys in Ballarat during the 1980s, following fresh allegations.     One of the victims was aged between 12 and 15 at the time, while the other was aged six to seven.....While noting the Catholic Church was "not in the dock", Judge Higham added the church did not report Claffey to police, but simply moved him around.   "Their priority was to bring the sinner back to the church rather than protect the children," he said.    "The church did not report him to the police and he did not report himself to the police. Where is the evidence that he had this matter hanging over him ... over the decades?....(more)
General secretaries share perspectives on Church life
Extract from CathNews, ACBC Media Blog, 11 July 2019
The general secretaries of the bishops conferences of England and Wales, Germany and France have completed a three-day visit to Canberra that examined key issues facing the Church in Australia and globally.             Fr Stephen Hackett MSC, general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said he was “delighted” to host the “very beneficial” gathering, which moves from country to country each year.         “I find it very reassuring that every time we meet, in different ways we’re facing many of the same issues,” Fr Hackett said, while acknowledging that some of those issues have arisen at different times in the various countries.        It’s good to get the different perspectives on how we respond to the issues that concern us at this time.”       Among the key topics for discussion were the Plenary Council 2020 and the Church’s response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.      Fr Christopher Thomas, general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said while the Church in those countries can be “a bit parochial”, learning about the various “joys and difficulties” in other contexts around the world is important.      “The Plenary Council is a bold step because it’s most definitely not a top-down approach. It’s a listening and discerning exercise which I think the Church, under the leadership of Pope Francis, is certainly being encouraged to take,” he said.            Fr Thomas said another of the fruitful discussions that took place during the meeting of general secretaries was on the royal commission and the Church’s response to the commission and its recommendations. Germany’s Fr Hans Langendorfer SJ, who has attended a number of meetings of general secretaries, said the gatherings are filled with energy and provide insights into the Church and its mission in various countries.     He said the Church in Germany had suffered a loss in credibility and in its reputation, but a process similar to the Plenary Council could help the Church there respond to those challenges. He and other Church leaders in Germany will closely watch how the council unfolds in Australia, Fr Langendorfer said......(more). Photo CathNews ACBC Media Blog    
Can laypeople lead a parish? Look to Louisville for a thriving example
Extracts from by Joseph Martos, National Catholic Reporter, 11 July 2019
....For almost 30 years, the St. William Catholic Community in Louisville, Kentucky, has had a lay parochial administrator but, even before that, all-important decisions were made by the people of the parish.        Founded in 1901 to serve Irish immigrants who worked in the nearby railroad yards, membership was down to 85 by the early 1960s as railroad workers were displaced by computers to disassemble and reassemble freight trains passing through Louisville.      The crashing together of boxcars and flatbeds can still be heard in summer when the church windows are open. We had decided sometime back not to install air conditioning in an effort to save energy and do our bit to preserve the environment.     No one knows why the parish was named St. William, or which St. William the bishop had in mind, but some point out that the bishop at the time was named William and hint at a personal motive. Around 1995, the parish adopted St. William of Donjeon as its patron, a medieval monk who objected to being chosen bishop and who was known for ministering to the poor, the sick and the imprisoned. Clearly our type of guy.    Faced with the option to close the dwindling parish in 1969, Archbishop Thomas McDonough decided to put it in the hands of a young priest named Ben O'Connor, suggesting that he try implementing the liturgical changes approved by the Second Vatican Council. Out went the Gothic altar; in came a plain wooden table. Out went the pews; in came chairs that could be rearranged as wanted. Out went Gregorian chant; in came guitar Masses.        Within a few years, St. William became one of the most popular churches in the city, drawing people from around the archdiocese and even from Indiana, across the Ohio River......Archbishop Thomas Kelly adapted to the priest shortage by appointing an active church member to be parochial administrator for the parish. With no priest in charge, community members became even more involved in sustaining the parish and creating new ministries....(more)      Photo: NCR St William Catholic Community.
Reality trumps reality TV in Br Harry's reno blitz
Edited Extract from CathNews, The Age,  11 July 2019
Meet the non-celebrity but crack team of builders, plumbers and gardeners whose renovations have given 14 disadvantaged people a place to stay.      Taking their cue from reality TV, the no-nonsense citizens of Heidelberg West, and supporters, have staged their own renovation rescue of four houses earmarked for demolition.       The ringmaster is Marist Brother Harry Prout, a community worker for 18 years who has built such goodwill that the reply to his calls for help most often was: ‘‘No worries, I’ll be there’’.      On Friday, single mother Micaela*, 24, and her daughter Harper*, 20 months, will move into a two-bedroom house, with central heating and backyard, after spending Harper’s life in a women’s refuge and then at a friend's house.     Two other houses are going to single mothers with children, and the fourth will house five asylum-seeker and homeless adults.      More than 60 volunteers worked on the houses, or donated goods.     The project started a year ago following a state government plan to demolish a housing estate of more than 80 flats to build four, 10-storey public housing blocks.        Owners of four houses adjoining the blocks who didn’t want to live near the huge development sold them to Banyule council.      The council planned to bulldoze the four and sell them to private developers.        But no one took up the construction tender on the 10-storey public housing, and some tenants of the old estate are yet to be re-housed.      Br Harry realised the latter project could take years, and he enthusiastically supported Banyule councillor Craig Langdon’s idea to postpone razing the four houses, to turn them into temporary accommodation.     He said the houses might be available for only a few years, but would be a boon to people in urgent need.      Fourteen people ‘‘now have a secure and safe place to be, and just seeing the joy and relief on their faces, is great’’, he said.....(more)    Photo: CathNews, 
Service expands to meet 'unprecedented growth'
Extract from CathNews, 11 July 2019
More vulnerable West Australians will receive low cost or free mental health treatment with St John of God Social Outreach’s community mental health service expanding its services in the state’s south metropolitan and regional areas.     Over the past year Social Outreach has opened two new locations in Cockburn and Pinjarra in addition to existing community mental health services in Fremantle and Mandurah.     The service provides individually tailored counselling and group therapy for people experiencing mental health issues. The diverse therapy options are provided by a team of experienced psychologists, mental health social workers and mental health occupational therapists.     Director of St John of God Social Outreach’s community mental health services, Anna-Marie Thompson, said the expansion is needed given the unprecedented growth and need in the Peel region for mental health services.    “Over the past two years we’ve helped more than 1,600 people and by taking our services into Pinjarra and Cockburn we’ll be able to support more families and communities in need closer to home,” she said.    “We are also looking to broaden our footprint in WA’s South by opening a service in Waroona later this year.”....(more)
Vatican hailed for lifting apostolic nuncio's immunity
Victims applaud the Vatican for its 'historic decision' to allow the pope's representative in France to be tried for alleged abuse
Linited extract from Nicolas Senèze, Rome, subscription joural La Croix International, 10 July 2019
The Vatican has officially waived the diplomatic immunity of the Apostolic Nuncio in France, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, allowing him to appear before a civil court where six complainants have accused him of sexual assault.       This decision, unprecedented in the history of modern Vatican diplomacy, was communicated last week to the French authorities by the Secretariat of State of the Vatican.      Even before that, according to our information, two victims met a key figure in Rome: Father Hans Zollner, President of the Centre for the Protection of Minors of the Pontifical Gregorian University, a specialist in cases of sexual abuse in the Church....(source)
The radical theological vision of Pope Francis
In an overlooked address the Jesuit pope offers a renewed theology for our turbulent times
Limited extract from Robert Mickens, Rome, subscription journal La Croix International, 5 July 2019
Since the early days of his pontificate Francis has shown himself to be non-ideological and surprisingly non-partisan. Despite the ranting of some of his detractors, even within the most intransigent sectors of the Church's hierarchy, this pope is very definitely Catholic. But even more than that he is a Christian.         Similar to his papal namesake, Francis of Assisi, the pope's faith and leadership are profoundly grounded in a radical reading of and adherence to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.....(source)
Putin keeps Francis waiting – again
Extract from CathNews, CNA,  5 July 2019
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Pope Francis at the Vatican yesterday for a 55-minute private discussion.       “Thank you for the time you have devoted to me,” Mr Putin said after his audience with the Pope in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.      It was Mr Putin’s third meeting with Pope Francis and fifth visit to the Vatican. The Russian leader arrived nearly an hour late for the meeting, as he did for both of his prior meetings with Francis.     The day before Mr Putin’s visit Pope Francis expressed his condolences and closeness to the families of the 14 Russian sailors who died when a deep-sea submarine caught fire in an Arctic port on Tuesday. Russian officials confirmed that the top-secret submarine was nuclear-powered less than one hour before the papal audience was scheduled.     “The Holy Father was informed of the Russian submarine tragedy. He expresses its condolences and its closeness to the victims' families and those affected by this disaster,” Holy See press office interim director Alessandro Gisotti said on Wednesday.    The Russian ambassador to the Holy See, Aleksandr Avdeev, said ahead of the meeting that he expected Mr Putin and the Pope to discuss “the instability of international relations, the crisis in the Middle East, the fate of Syria, the problem of nuclear disarmament, the situation in Iran.”     “The time has come when Catholics can no longer solve many problems and open challenges, without taking into account the political logic of Russia and the experience of our Orthodoxy,” Mr Avdeev said in an interview with Ogonek, a Russian magazine....(more).  Photo: Pope Francis Putin CNS Paul Haring 2019
VincentCare spends $47m on house for the homeless
Edited extract from CathNews, Pro Bono, 2 July 2019
VincentCare’s revamped Ozanam House will transform the response to homelessness in Australia, says chief executive Quinn Pawson. “This new approach will allow us to assist more people than ever before,” Mr Pawson said of the opening of a 10-storey, $47m accommodation centre in North Melbourne last Friday.  VincentCare is the leading provider of support services in Victoria for people experiencing homelessness, family violence, alcohol and drug issues.        “We will support people to make lasting and sustainable changes to their lives, whether that be accessing training and education, reconnecting with family and community, improving their health or finding secure housing.”         VincentCare’s revamped Ozanam House is Australia’s largest accommodation centre for rough sleepers, offering 134 rooms and apartments specially designed to support people’s recovery from homelessness.        The North Melbourne facility will cater for up to 250 people a day, offering health services – including Victoria’s only homelessness-specific dentist – a tech hub with free Wi-Fi and computers, a gym, café, library and amenities such as showers and a laundry.         Case management support and personal and financial counselling will also be provided.     Mr Pawson said VincentCare had spent three years consulting with experts and examining other major homelessness centres around the world before developing its homelessness recovery model and updating its North Melbourne site.    He said an understanding of trauma as both a cause and effect of homelessness underpinned everything VincentCare did....(more).  Photo: VincentCare
Australia’s bishops are presently visiting the Pope.  What are they telling him and will
Australia’s ordinary Catholics ever find out?   
Extracted from Daviid Timbs,  Pearls and Irritations, John Menadue blog, 1 July 2019
Australia’s bishops are currently in Rome for their regular ‘ad limina’ visit to the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul .      Their last visit was in 2011. While there they will meet Pope Francis, have meetings with many of the Vatican dicasteries (government departments), be briefed on Vatican policy, and in turn will background the Vatican bureaucrats on how they see the state of the Church in Australia. But what will they be telling the Pope and the bureaucrats? Will it accord with what Australia’s lay Catholics have been saying and thinking?....(HERE)
News January 2019 - June 2019 HERE