BY MICHAEL MULLINS
The ACBC Media Blog backgrounds the decision to invite Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd to launch Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion appeal in Brisbane last week.
“Minister Rudd is the champion and architect of Australia’s big picture battle to reduce global poverty. He has overseen a progressive and innovative drive to improve delivery of in-country programs and built a much stronger relationship between the Government and aid and development agencies.”
Australia Incognita calls this “fawning nonsense”, referring to Rudd as a “notorious ex-Catholic”.
She asks: “Does no one in Caritas have any judgment whatsover?” Incognita goes on to question the timing “right in the middle of a State election campaign. And right in the middle of Rudd's own campaign to unseat the Prime Minister and destabilise the Government.”
“Fans of Mr Rudd will also enjoy today's story about his miraculous new-found love for his alma mater Marist… A few years ago… he reportedly declared that 'his memory of Marist College was of ''tough, harsh, unforgiving institutional Catholicism of the old school'". As Prime Minister he refused an invitation to open a new science block named for his old headmaster.
"Now, however, serendipitously given the school's location in a key, hotly contested electorate, he apparently remembers finding happiness there.”
At v2catholic, David Timbs blogs on Lent. He suggests we need to remind ourselves that self-denial is not an end in itself.
“People throughout the ages have used rituals of dust and ashes to express human grief, self-loathing and even a deeper sense of being incomplete, unfinished and not fully created… More positive catechesis is grounded in the Christian belief that Lent is not so much a time of negative self-criticism or denial but rather of radical hopefulness.”
Father Chris Ryan at Seeing Swans at Night also stresses that Lent is a season of joy, with a comparison of the old and new liturgical translations.
“This invitation to self-denial and ascetical practices… seems to convey all of the gloomiest stereotypes about Christians: as a pleasure-depriving, joyless, and even masochistic people…
"Let’s look to the liturgy to help us get a better handle on Lent. In the old translation of the preface for Lent we used to say, ‘Each year you give us this joyful season when we prepare to celebrate…’.
"In the new translation which we will use for the first time this year it says:
"‘For each year by your gracious gift your faithful await the sacred paschal feasts with the joy of minds made pure’.”
Ahead of today’s release of the Gonski report on school funding, priestdownunder quotes from a historical note from a recent homily of Melbourne’s Bishop Peter Elliott.
“From 1912 to 1961, not one cent of government money came to Catholic education… In 1961, the Dandenong parents held a big and forceful public meeting demanding justice for Catholic education. We thank God that fifty year later in these times matters are very different, as we have seen in recent years with construction of the fine new buildings funded by the Commonwealth… The Church only claims what is rightly due to her tax paying Catholic parents – that they should benefit from a just share in the allocation of resources for the education of their children.”
Divine Wedgie comments on President Obama’s “failure to respect the freedom of conscience as protected by the American Constitution… it can be argued that the current HHS Mandate is more than a mere administrative measure, but an ecclesiological attempt by the secular sovereign to redefine the Church itself, in a way that suits the ends of the secular sovereign.”
At America’s In All Things Sidney Callahan suggests Obama’s rejected compromise bid has enraged Catholics across the ideological spectrum.
“Catholics who do not agree with the current Church teaching on contraception and other sex and gender issues can agree with their Bishops’ stand on the larger principles of religious liberty and conscience involved… Neither a majority of theologians or Catholic laity (as the sense of the faithful) support the present teachings on contraception… But everyone can understand the importance of the principle of religious liberty and the rights of conscience.”
Liturgy Lines is a longstanding column written by the Liturgical Commission’s Elizabeth Harrington for the Catholic Leader. It is not technically a blog but has the energy of a blog and manages to engage bloggers.
A recent example is the column’s defence of Communion in the Hand in the face of the misapprehension that the new translation of the liturgy comes with an implied directive that we should receive communion on the tongue only.
“The General Instruction of the Roman Missal # 161 makes it quite clear that the choice of how to receive communion is the communicant's. No minister may dictate whether communicants receive in the hand or on the tongue”.
Coo-ees from the Cloister takes to task Liturgy Lines “terse defence of the practice” in a line by line refutation, for example Elizabeth Harrington’s assertion that “there is nothing unworthy about our hands.”
“Our hands are, in themselves, neither more nor less “worthy” than the other parts of our body. There are some things, however, that you just don’t do with your hands ‘cause is just ain’t right.”
Finally Country Priest blogged yesterday on “First day at the seminary”, as it was the day of the reception of the first year seminarians at Corpus Christi College in Melbourne. 2012 is is first year out of the seminary. He recalls his first day and the value of hospitality offered to parents of the new seminarians.
“It helps, I think, that the families of the First Years are invited to stay for a formal introduction and an informal afternoon tea… I have seen again and again that the opportunity to meet the older seminarians, and get a feel for the place, makes an enormous difference to worried mums and other friends and family!”
Michael Mullins, founding editor of CathNews, compiles this 'Blog Watcher' column every Monday.
Disclaimer: CathBlog is an extension of CathNews story feedback. It is intended to promote discussion and debate among the subscribers to CathNews and the readers of the website. The opinions expressed in CathBlog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference or of Church Resources.