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The Editor reserves the right to shorten letters for length or clarity.

ON BISHOP MALONE'S CONSULTATION PROCESS

from Brian Godsell, 22 May

Great to see that the Bishop of Maitland diocese is sharing the decision making process with the Church community. Oh to think that this could expand to the World Church from the top down especially in the selection of persons for the position of Bishop. Congratulations on the 1 year of On Line Catholics.

ON VOTES FOR BISHOP

From Mary Hahn 20 May

Sir William Deane would have my vote of the four you profiled.

From Tony Robertson 20 May

What a challenge!! The current list online offers much of what I look for in contemporary leadership in our faith community. We should not forget that we have some wonderful precedents in our Tradition: Ambrose of Milan was not baptized when he was nominated Bishop of Milan by popular acclaim in 374.

My nomination is Lowitja O'Donoghue~Elder of our nation, born into the Yankunjatjara tribe in the remote North-West Reserve of South Australia.In 1993 she was a leading member of the Aboriginal team which negotiated with the Federal Government the agreement which provided the basis for the Native Title Act. She led the Australian delegation working on the proposed United Nations Declaration of Rights for Indigenous People and was the first and only Aboriginal person to address the UN General Assembly in 1993. When you ask her what has kept her going, she replies: 'Despite my Christian education when I was young I'm not a church goer. But like most Aboriginals I feel in harmony with the land. There is a spirituality which flows from that and I draw on it when the going gets hard. It helps me to overcome despair in the same way, I suppose, as their faith helps practising Christians in the crises of their lives.'

Lowitja O'Donoghue for bishop!

From James Ingram 18 May

Since there is not much sense in naming people who are not 'celebrities' of some kind, together with Caroline Jones I nominate Paul Collins and Geralding Doogue.

ON FR TED KENNEDY

From Peg Saunders 19 May

I can't think of anyone to nominate as a bishop but I reckon Ted Kennedy should be our next saint.

From Peter Nicholls 19 May

Ted Kennedy was a prophet and if we are seeking to canonize those whom we would hold up as examples of Christ's message, we should canonize him.

From Marnie Kennedy 18 May

Thank you for your loving message and for the beautiful article on Ted. I know his spirit will not be quenched.

from Sean O Connor, Drogheda, Ireland 19 May

In loving memory of the marvellous Ted Kennedy

Oh you were a mindreader
I tell you.

Oh you were a heartscorcher
I tell you.

Oh you were a soulsearcher
when you looked at me.

For you loved a black Christ
And helped us see.

ON BRIAN DOYLE AND THE GAELIC 'OUR FATHER'

From Cait Wallace 19 May

What a charming story. It's so easy to picture the boy and his Grandfather sharing their heritage both religious and cultural. Thank you for bringing a small piece of my cherished language to readers of Online Catholics. Go raibh mile maith agat, (a thousand thanks to you) .

ON ONLINE CATHOLICS' FIRST BIRTHDAY

From William Reardon Dowsley 22 May

I want to congratulate all concerned on reaching your 52nd edition, which I think is magnificent in itself having such a wealth of reading. I do not wish to offend you in any manner but I must tell you we are in our seventies and greatly shamed and disgusted by Rome, Pell and so many. Online Catholics is a breath of fresh air, giving us some hope that our so-beloved grandchildren will have something to draw them to the Spirit in their maturity. Naturally enough, their parents consider our Church irrelevant, or rather, those pompous and arrogant and quite ignorant, really, 'celibate'? males getting about in their frocks telling each other how bloody important they are, and playing their grubby political games. None of them has, can, contribute to the commonweal one iota of what any good mother does, day after day, with love.

I hope you reach your stated target of subscribers for the next year. Surely, your light will shine.

From Mary Cresp RSJ 22 May

Congratulations on your first birthday.

From Gilbert Long 18 May

Congratulations on achieving one year of issues. I certainly appreciate the "good news" you bring each week. In times when one can easily become dissillusioned with "the Church", you show us what is possible for a better future.
Thanks !

.

From Peter Nicholls, 12 May

I think that the article was excellent and reflected some ofthe queries which many of us have had for some time. Importing men from different cultures is not the answer. The Holy Spirit has been telling us for some time that we will have to revise our ideas about suitable candidates for the sacrament of Holy Orders. The two most obvious conditions which need to be changed are that the sacrament be restricted to males and to males who are celibate. There are probably other reforms also needed, such as the training of candidates in the communities where they are going to function as deacons, priests or bishops. Merely importing men to try to maintain the status quo is to ignore the movement of the Spirit in our midst.

From Catherine Crawford 18 May

Thank you for Lambert's article. It demonstrates the different voice within the church and challenges mainstream views.

The article about Gerard Brennan was excellent except for the final 2 sentences which were unnecessary and treated the reader like a fool.

Loved the Ted Kennedy article but would have liked to hear the basis for Power's statements which implied that the church hierarchy were not supportive of his work in practice.

Will now take out a subscription. Keep up the great work.

From Jane Anderson 18 May

HAPPY first BIRTHDAY! Congratulations on learning to crawl, walk and run the marathon in such a short space of time. Wish I was at the party to present to you and your team Olympic Gold, but instead I offer prayers of thanks and gratitude for your service to our church.

From David Lovell 18 May

Lovely piece on Ted Kennedy. congratulations - and on the whole of the venture, 1 year on. Wow!

ON PALMS

From Mary Gilchrist 22 May

Our government has certainly lost its way. The first PALMS volunteers went out in 1961 and valuable orientation and preparation was received by nearly 2000 volunteers up until the present day. PALMS did not get government assistance until the 80's. Most of those volunteers came back with a greater understanding of our multicultural nation and the challenges facing many poor countries in our global village.

As well they have contributed to the training of local people in many different skills which have allowed them to adapt to the international world in which they now live. Why then is such a humane and skilled program - all of a sudden - no longer required? Do we just want to use our overseas aid monies to employ qualified personnel whether suited to a cross cultural experience or not? How can that count as overseas aid when the employed person may not spend much of it in the country in which he/she is working on an aid program?

Is there something scary about religious organisations which has developed when I was not looking? I think we should all be asking our local members why AusAid has taken this line on tried and trusted (in poor countries) organisations.


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