Where is the church heading and episcopal appointments?
There can be no doubt that we are living in a time of crisis within our Church. It is not just in Australia that Mass attendance numbers are progressively diminishing. The Faith in Ireland is in a state of extreme crisis. Many people do cast the blame for the current demise on the sexual abuse scandal, but maybe the basic problem is deeper in its foundation than that.
Moving the Church beyond a Synod.
I am concerned about the proposed pastoral Synod Plenary Council. There does not seem to be much energy around the traps. There are some who are waiting and hoping for someone to do something, and there is a sizable group stricken with apathy. In the background, some of the hierarchy keep saying well-scripted niceties and speak of developing new structures – God preserve us from structures born of existing dysfunctional ecclesiastical structures.
When priests are found not guilty
As we await the recommendations of the Royal Commission into sexual abuse in institutions like our Church, the big challenge for priests and people is how will we manage in the future? Our task to be true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to work together with people of goodwill be so much harder. Our ability to restore trust and really reform ourselves will take a miracle of grace. With God, nothing is impossible.
The role of the Priest – parish collaborator and missionary
The time has come for us priests to re-invent ourselves. The Royal Commission into the Sexual Abuse of Children has shown up a clerical culture that can perpetrate and cover up shameful crimes. What can be done now? To do nothing is to acquiesce silently in what has gone before. The Gospel injunction is a start: “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (Matt. 3:1-2, 4:17). Repent does not mean breast-beating but a change of heart and mind, opening up to what is new, recognising the signs of the times.
In defense of Mulkearns
I would like to thank and applaud Michael Costigan and Patrick J Flanagan for their letters in The Swag, in defense of Bishop Ron Mulkearns. To my mind they compensated for the out of balance treatment and misrepresentation that he often received during his long ordeal.