Sunday worship
Ann Bristow, Foxground, NSW.

I have recently returned from Lord Howe Island, a testament to God in its beauty.  There are three churches in a row going up a small hill .The first is the Anglican serving a small congregation, the second is the Catholic and the third is Seventh Day Adventist which serves a full day of worship for the large majority of locals who attend zealously.

The Catholic church has only visitors, as the local Catholics do not go. It is administered by a couple in their late seventies, "Father" Dorothy and "Father" Ken.  The PP, from the mainland, visits three times a year and as they don't use computers communication must be by phone.

The Sunday we were there Dorothy presided at the service.  She wore an alb and cincture with a wooden cross around her neck and apart from the consecration, the service was as one would expect, homily on the gospel and all.

My husband, a protestant, was impressed. With out them, and mainly her one suspects, Sundays would pass for Catholics unheralded with the only Christian worship in the two churches on either side.


Male mindset in our patriarchal church
Helen Oxenburgh-Lowe, Little Grove, WA.

What a joy it was reading Fred Janshon's article (Sainthood? Okay. Priesthood? No way!  OLC # 132)

May I add a personal note:  Last Sunday, I had just finished reading the second reading and was still in the sanctuary whilst the Deacon read the Gospel.  It was the first time I had felt real resentment that he could read the Gospel because of his gender, but I couldn't because of mine.

But Fred Janshon has written something that should be read by all members of the hierarchy who can change this, and it has been written by a man. Surely this would add an authenticity which would not be the case if written by a woman!!   Sorry Fred, I couldn't resist the dig; not at you, but at the male mindset of our patriarchal church. 

Thanks to Online Catholics, these important and relevant issues can be and are being discussed and no amount of blocking from the hierarchy will still the momentum.


Women in their rightful place
Angela J Doherty, Marion, SA.

Hear, hear, Fred Jansohn.  (Sainthood? Okay. Priesthood? No way!)

I have long been puzzled as to why it is so necessary for priests to be men only, just because Christ was a man and chose men to be His apostles.  If one looks closely at the gospels one finds that major revelations of His mission were first made to women and women were charged with the task of spreading the news. 

The woman of Samaria whom Jesus met at the well was the first person told that He is the Messiah.  She went off and told the people in a nearby city what Christ had told her.  Her response was a sense of having a mission to tell others about Christ.  They responded to her by going to see Jesus for themselves and many came to believe.  Now she must have been a very good preacher indeed.

After the Resurrection to whom did Christ first appear?  Women.  According to Matthew the women first saw the angel of the Lord and then Christ Himself who told them to "go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee and there they will see me".   In other words, women were the first people to preach that Christ had risen.

If it was good enough for Christ, why isn't it good enough for the Church authorities to have women as priests?  Christ may not have called women as apostles but he did use women to carry the most important messages he had to give.

The trouble is that all down the centuries men have dominated society and thought of women as nothing.  Therefore, many of the salient points of Christ's interaction with women have been totally ignored by the male hierarchy of the Church. We can only hope that one day Christ's actions in using women as preachers will be acknowledged and women will be given their rightful place in the Church if they are called by God to be priests.


Suitably qualified?
Anthony Gooley, Brisbane, Qld.

Fred Jansohn seems not to know much about theology in the various articles which he has authored over the past few months.  I notice that he had been a lawyer.  Writing about law in an online journal/newsletter just because we live in a society governed by laws is not much of a qualification for opinion pieces.

In this article (Sainthood? Okay. Priesthood? No way!) Fred compares two completely unrelated processes and areas of theology in a very unconvincing manner.  Arguments can be found for the case for ordaining women but this is not the way to proceed.

I am not sure that Fred's contributions, as well meaning as they may be, qualify to meet your stated editorial policy of commissioning from appropriately qualified and experienced people. Conjecture and fact are sometimes blurred in his writing.


Surely all should be ‘in’?
Terry Herbert, msc, Sydney, NSW.

Contradictions! Is another one, the proposed change to a word in the Consecration: from ALL to MANY? Looks exclusive. Are some "in" and some "out"?  Isn't our gracious God's TLC, compassion, forgiveness, welcome, promise, desire-to-share-life-to-the-full .....  for ALL? I'm sticking with ALL at each Mass I offer.


Thumbs up to the Apostolic Nuncio on faith education
Kevin J. Murphy, Ballarat, Vic.

It is good to note that the Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, Archbishop Ambrose de Paoli, in a report from the recent meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, has spoken about the importance of adult faith education.

Many people and many resolutions from Church Assemblies have made similar recommendations in the past but nothing comprehensive has been implemented. Perhaps the statement by the Apostolic Nuncio will carry more weight with the Australian bishops.

Often the attempts at adult faith education have relied on the relatively easy but generally ineffective method of the lecture. If adult faith education is to be attractive, effective and experienced as useful, then interactive methods of learning need to be followed.


Push to have condom ban lifted is wrong
Joan Clements, Special Projects Officer, Catholic Vocations, Archdiocese of Melbourne, East Melbourne, Vic.

The article The ABC method (OLC, #132) says: the ban on condoms is wrong, dangerous and irresponsible, and it should be lifted as a matter of justice.

What, in fact, is "wrong, dangerous and irresponsible" is this push to have the ban on condoms lifted.  All studies of condom-use in the prevention of the spread of infection point to the fact that when two similar populations are studied, one of which uses condoms and the other does not, by the end of seven years the numbers of infections are the same.  Certainly in the population using condoms the rate of infection is initially slower, but in only seven years the numbers are the same.  Therefore, to promote condom use, however well meaning, is offering false hope and encouraging dangerous and inappropriate behaviour.


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