In this must read column Deacon Nick Donnelly argues the double standards being applied by bishops to dissenting Catholics and faithful Catholics is not only undermining the obedience of faith that should bind us all together, but is also harming the relationship between faithful clergy and laity with their bishops. What is at stake is the sacred communion of the Church and the obligation of the obedience of faith.  

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byAnthony Murphy

The time has come for the laity to demand a thorough reform of St. Patrick’s Seminary

“If a man has the power to do good, it is sinful in him to leave it undone”. This short line from the Epistle of Saint James is a stark reminder of the duty of every Christian believer to do what is right. Why then, we may ask, are our bishops not taking an active role in bringing about a sorely-needed reform of our national seminary, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth? 

by Deacon Nick Donnelly

 

I come from a very pro-life Catholic family, which in part is due to my brothers and I being born very premature, and a brother and sister dying just after birth. Since a young boy I have been very aware of the preciousness and the sanctity of human life. My own two children, Gabriel and Ariel, died in the first trimester and I’ll never forget seeing their hearts beating on the ultrasound screen at seven weeks gestation. One of the reasons why I love the Catholic Church is because of her unambiguous defence of the sanctity of the lives of pre-born babies, expressed in Vatican II crystal-clear statement, ‘abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes’(Gaudium et Spes, 51). 

by Anthony Murphy

 

dog collarLast week I spoke to an Irish bishop about the latest scandal to hit St. Patrick's seminary in Maynooth, while he himself did not want to go on the record he did acknowledge that the Irish bishops were aware of some of the concerns about the seminary but were unable to act because the complaints made by seminarians were always anonymous. Is he serious? Does he really expect anything other than an anonymous complaint? To understand the fear of speaking out openly and why seminarians chose to suffer in silence we first need to visit the Gulag.........

al4by Deacon Nick Donnelly

 

The publication of Pope Francis’Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, The Joy of Love, finally provides us with the Holy Father’s answer to the vexed question that has been at the focus of two synods and three years of intense debate in the Church, ‘can the divorced and re-married receive Holy Communion’? 

 

Nowhere in the 260 pages of Amoris Laetitia will you find Pope Francis write the words, ‘The divorced and re-married can now receive Holy Communion’. Only when speaking of,  husbands or wives abandoned by their spouses, who remain faithful to their marriage vows, will you find Pope Francis state categorically that they must be encouraged to receive Holy Communion. 

by Deacon Nick Donnelly

 

wolfA couple of weeks ago a priest prominent in the Church for his work in the media strongly criticised Catholic bloggers.  He accused us of creating a ‘cess pool of hatred’through character assassination and personal attacks. I myself have cautioned fellow Catholics against personal attacks, especially against the Holy Father, but based on my experience over the past six years I dispute Fr Rosica’s completely negative portrayal of Catholics’use of the social media. For the most part I have found Catholics using social media intelligent, good-humoured, passionate about the faith, and, during times of personal grief and suffering, very loving and caring. 

by Rev. Nicholas L. Gregoris

Within the octave of the horrific events in Paris and on the very Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe – a feast established by Pope Pius XI in 1925, even as most monarchs in the world were vanishing or had already vanished, in a particular way, I find myself reflecting on the closing words of the Preface for that feast. In one of the loveliest and most powerful prefaces in the entire Roman Missal, the Kingdom of Christ is described as “a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.” Seven characteristics, embodying the fullness of reality. I hope they can serve as spiritual food for thought in the light of these events.

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