Features

Seminary formation and the Royal Commission

The Royal Commission focused on seminary formation on February 14 in the hearings to assist the Commission’s response to the Catholic Church. Sr Lydia Allen (Good Shepherd Seminary psychologist), Fr Peter Thompson (Rector, Wagga seminary) and Fr John Hogan (Rector, Parramatta seminary) offered some very interesting insights into their practice.

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Enemy inside the gate

The opposition to the attempts by Pope Francis to reinvigorate the reforms that the Second Vatican Council initiated does not come from outside the Church but from some of those closest to him.

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Young people to set agenda for Synod

Instead of working through episcopal conferences as has been done traditionally, the Synod on Young People in 2018 will seek input directly from young people around the world writes Robert Mickens, English-editor of La Croix International, 13 January 2017.

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Burdens of office

Catholic priests are feeling under pressure, and increasing numbers are suffering from depression and anxiety. But support for clergy with mental-health problems is patchy and piecemeal.

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Association of Catholic Priests

The US Association of Catholic Priests has produced a proposal for lay pastoral care in priest-less parishes. Experience shows we need personal presence of authorized pastoral ministers, ordained or non-ordained, working in collaboration and within the principle of subsidiarity.

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Bishop Mulkearns – canonist and friend

The late Bishop Ronald Mulkearns was my friend from when we were both eighteen, my seminary classmate and room-mate, fellow canon law student in Rome, travel companion to other parts of Europe and, during most of the 1960s, my associate in the priestly ministry in Melbourne.

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Towards a change of parish contours

In so many ways, Pope Francis has entreated reform and renewal, consistently warning that a ‘more of the same’ mindset is an obstacle in a church wishing to remain relevant in the lives of its people, and in society.

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Back to following the way

Before they were known as Christians they were Followers of The Way. Now, after fifteen centuries, the Church is trying to return to walking that way again.

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New body to test Church resolve on professional standards abuse and intercessory prayer

Yesterday I watched last week’s Four Corners episode ‘Broken Homes’ on the child protection system for children in residential care. The moment that stayed with me, and no doubt many others, was former Victorian children’s commissioner Bernie Geary talking about the case that affected him the most – ‘the child who said “I’m not special in the eyes of anyone”’.

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Having a say in selecting our Bishop

Catholics, both priests and laity, have too few opportunities to have their voices heard within the Church. The lead up to the appointment of a new bishop is an obvious example of when this should occur. Instead we have a highly secretive process, carried out by the representative of the Vatican in Australia.

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