Imagining pastoral leadership
Imagining pastoral leadership
ADELAIDE: Pastoral initiatives that are flourishing in the face of gloomy predications will be the focus when more than 100 members of the National Council of Priests meet later this month.
“Priests face such huge church issues today they run the risk of being demoralised,” said Fr Bob Wilkinson, of Adelaide, a spokesman for the convention organisers. “They can be the meat in a triple-decker sandwich between the official church, the sociologists and popular expectations. Priests have life-times of experience they need to start sharing more with one another. We are focusing in this convention on what is actually giving priests and people energy,” he said.
The convention will be held at The Lakes Resort, West lakes (Adelaide), from October 23-27. Australia’s newest bishop, the Most Rev. Greg O’Kelly, will open the convention. Another guest will be the Apostolic Nuncio, the Most Rev. Ambrose De Paoli, from Canberra. (bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Recollection renews purpose
ALICE SPRINGS: Pope Benedict XVI has called for a renewed purpose in meeting the challenges facing Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, in a personal message delivered to an indigenous gathering in Alice Springs.
“The art of remembrance, exercised within an arch of hope, is not just an occasion of simple recollection,” Pope Benedict said. “It renews purpose.”
He appealed to the Elders of communities to exercise authority wisely through faithfulness to their traditions and a renewed expression of their deep awareness of God; and to the young people “keep alight the flame of hope and walk tall”.
All Australians were urged “to address with compassion and determination the deep underlying causes of the plight which still afflicts so many Aboriginal citizens”. (full text of the Pope’s address)
The Pope’s message was delivered by Papal Legate, retired Cardinal Edward Cassidy, to more than 600 people from Australasia who were gathered in Alice Springs for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council’s Dreaming from the Heart Assembly, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s landmark speech to indigenous Australians at Alice Springs in 1986.
Towards a global common good
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (ZENIT): Work is at the centre of the Church's reflection on human identity and activity. When the dignity of the person fades from its central position in the realities of work, then upheavals and insecurity inevitably emerge in society. Each generation then must address the challenge of how the centrality the human person in the world of work is respected within the changing and ever complex situation of its time… (The text of the keynote address given by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, of Dublin, at Villanova University to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the encyclicalLaborem Exercens)
What the Amish are teaching America (and all of us)
WASHINGTON: On October 2, Charles Carl Roberts entered a one-room schoolhouse in the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. He lined up eleven young girls from the class and shot them each at point blank range. The gruesome depths of this crime are hard for any community to grasp, but certainly for the Amish — who live such a secluded and peaceful life, removed even from the everyday depictions of violence on TV. When the Amish were suddenly pierced by violence, how did they respond? (article by Sally Kohn for CommonDreams)
No to any expansion of nuclear power
LONDON: More emphasis on energy efficiency and the promotion of green energy is preferable to any expansion of nuclear power, according to Sean McDonagh, an eco-theologian and Irish Columban priest. Speaking in Central London, at an ecumenical meeting organised by London and Southwark Churches Action on the Environment, he urged that nuclear power should not be seen as the solution to global warming. He also urged the Vatican to withdraw its support for nuclear power, reports Ellen Teague for Independent Catholic News (ICN).
The call comes after church leaders backed a report that described a low consumption, non-nuclear, energy strategy as a 'moral imperative.' The report, entitled Faith and Power, urged an energy strategy informed by Christian principles of wise stewardship, peacemaking, justice, love for neighbours and moderation in consumption. (Ekklesia)
Hong Kong Christians press for fair wages amid great wealth
HONG KONG: Christians in Hong Kong have joined a public rally calling for justice for workers in one of the world’s wealthiest financial centres, arguing that the gap between riches and poverty is morally unacceptable and damaging to the health of society.
A Catholic commission specialising in work issues has also written to the Hong Kong authorities, urging them to pass legislation to introduce a minimum wage at a living and sustainable level. (Ekklesia)
What will Wal-Mart do?
MANILA: Bishop Alberto Ramento, a former Prime Bishop of the Philippine Independent Church, and a dedicated advocate for workers' rights, was stabbed to death in Tarlac City, in the Philippines, earlier this month. His body was found in his church. Local police claim that Ramento was the victim of an ordinary robbery, but his murder takes place in the context of a wave of violence against human rights advocates who have criticized the Arroyo government. Ramento had received death threats as a result of his activism, and he is the second pro-labor clergyman to be killed in the province, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer… (by Liza Featherstone, The Nation)
ONTARIO: A Canadian woman is asking the Ontario Court of Appeal to recognise her as the third parent of a boy she is raising with her lesbian partner. The application, if allowed, would mark the first time in Canada a child would legally have more than two parents, and would fundamentally change the definition of the word "family". The woman claims the law must allow for three parents because same-sex couples are equal with others before the law but they require assisted reproduction to have a child. Globe and Mail