Category: European Church

Muslims join Catholics at Mass across France and Italy to show solidarity after 86 year old Priest is murdered


In a gesture of solidarity following the gruesome killing of a French priest, Muslims on Sunday attended Catholic Mass in churches and cathedrals across France and beyond.

Source: Muslims join Catholics at Mass across France to show solidarity – Crux

Historic Moment in the Vatican – Irish Bishops, Pope, Sexual Abuse Crisis

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Irish Summit

This week, a historic moment in the Vatican’s response to the global clergy sex-abuse scandals arrived as Ireland’s 24 diocesan bishops began an unprecedented two-day summit with Pope Benedict and his senior Curia over the devastating fallout of November’s Murphy Report on the history of abuse and its handling in the archdiocese of Dublin.
While the American cardinals were addressed by Pope John Paul II and met with the relevant heads of dicasteries nearly four months after the outbreak of the US’ edition of the crisis in 2002, never before has an entire national bench been summoned to Rome on the hot-button issue… and neither has a pontiff himself led the discussions as Benedict XVI did with his Irish visitors. Whisper’s in the Loggia (week of Feb 14, 2010) has a number of posts and links to read more about this historic meeting at the Vatican about a crisis that has caused and continues to cause excruciating pain, suffering, and scandal to Catholics (victims, laity, and clergy) around the world.

Living and Celebrating Our Catholic Faith

Sometimes when I surf the various Catholic blogging sites, I am dismayed (even saddened) by the harsh critical words that Catholics use on one another. Living in a pluralistic society requires vigilance, if one hopes to remain true to one’s faith. But it seems that the pressure is just too much for some, and they turn to name calling, insults, and all types of derogation, as they strive for faithfulness. If we can’t be respectful of one another, what chance have we of witnessing to the world the Love of Christ? The planet we live on is very small, and the challenge we all face today is living together in love, forgiveness, and respect. This month America Magazine tackles this very issue. Although the article is written for and about the American Church, it still has relevancy in our Canadian context. The concluding paragraph is particularly relevant: 

In his book Models of the Church, the late Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J., highlighted the image of the church as a “community of disciples.” This image from the early church (Acts 6:1-2) sees every Christian united in learning from and following Christ. Here the church is always a learning church led by the Spirit, not yet in full possession of the truth. A disciple is by definition one who has not yet arrived, but is on the way to full conversion. This more humble view of a pilgrim church always in need of purification and improvement may help to tone down the rhetoric and encourage Catholics to work together in addressing the great issues of our day, especially those involving the culture of life. True dialogue, as Cardinal Dulles noted, enables the church “to understand its teaching better, to present it more persuasively and to implement it in a pastoral way.” America Magazine Article: Community of Disciples

Desperate Times – Desperate Strategies

Few priests and many parishes are making Catholics pretty scared. Where is it all heading? Will my parish survive, and if it does, what will it be like?

The other day a parishioner said to me: “I thought the Eucharist was the source and summit of the faith, why does the church seem so unalarmed by the shortage of priests. Aren’t these desperate times deserving of some kind of emergency brainstorming and strategy?” I pointed out that many of us are concerned, very concerned, but there just didn’t seem to be any solution on the horizon. The response to this statement was one of charitable chastisement. “If Rome really cared they’d be doing something about it – they just want the status quo in terms of ordained clergy. Emergency meetings should be taking place all across the country to deal with this situation on a temporary and long term basis. Sitting around hoping and praying that things are going to get better is equivalent to hiding one’s head in the sand as our parishes slowly melt away and our clergy age and die. I’m scandalized!!!! As far as I am concerned there are things that could be done, but Rome isn’t interested in any change.”

At this point in the conversation I thought it would be best to have a few moments of quiet silence – then we changed the subject.

It is so easy to get into the blaming game and I always try to avoid it, as it is very seldom productive. I must admit, however, that most church attending Catholics are very very concerned, but they just don’t know what to do. Maybe it is time for some serious emergency meetings. Desperate times are usually a sign that it is time for desperate measures and strategies. The problem is will anyone call the meetings – and who should call them?

As I was discussing this issue with another person, I was referred to this article in the Australian Paper Catholica: A Plaintiff Cry From the Emptying Pews It definitely describes the concern, but to my mind does not really deal with the priest shortage and the eventual unavailability of Eucharist and the other sacraments, and the closing of parishes. It is more about the people of God taking their rightful place in the Christian community. If any one has other ideas etc. please post in the comments. I would definitely be interested, as would many others.

Inspiring Words from Cardinal McCormac Murphy-O’Connor at Liverpool Conference

“If we are to live out the search for real hope in pluralistic, democratic societies, we need to recognise that not all people share our views or even our deepest convictions. Some people could be tempted to describe this as relativism but that would not be correct. We can recognise people’s differences without saying that our differences are unimportant. This is precisely why we need to have space in our societies for proper dialogue where nobody is prevented from expressing his or her convictions simply to conform to somebody’s idea of political correctness. True dialogue respects everybody’s integrity. Genuinely strong people have no fear of other people’s views, so they feel able to allow people of radically different convictions to speak freely. They are happy to hear what others have to say.” Read the full text

Irena Sendler – Angel of Mercy – Dies at 98

Irena Sendler was a Polish Nurse who risked her own life to save hundred of young innocent children from the gas chambers. In her valiant work to save these children she was brutally tortured, but they were unable to deter her. Today, most are not familiar with her courageous life and faith, but for the hundred she saved, she was everything. Let us say a prayer that she is now happy in the eternal home of the Lord. View a video on her life.