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A new ‘historic’, ‘substantial’, and ‘comprehensive’ report on Catholic Church governance The Light of the Southern Cross was handed to the Australian bishops on 4th May 2020. It will have ‘far-reaching implications for the Church’s life and mission’.
The report recommends a ‘new paradigm’ for church governance in Australia with key principles of transparency, accountability, dialogue and leadership. But the decision of the bishops at their May 7-14 plenary meeting to lock the report away in secret until December is simply ‘business as usual’.
Catholics for Renewal, whose award-winning book Getting Back on Mission: Reforming our Church Together made substantial recommendations on church governance, believes this 6-month delay in making the report available is unhelpful, indefensible and unacceptable.
“This groundbreaking report”, says Dr Peter Wilkinson, President of Catholics for Renewal, “was commissioned and prepared on a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. If Australia’s bishops are to honour their commitment to the Royal Commission they should make the report public at least by June 2020.”
“It belongs to all the People of God,” says Wilkinson, “not just to the bishops and religious orders. We have a right to see it without undue delay.”
Virginia Saldanha, one of our Strategy Team members, the former executive secretary of the Office of Laity of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, and a freelance writer and advocate for women's issues based in Mumbai, India has raised this question. Is the Church changing with COVID-19.
Perhaps this time of empty church buildings symbolically exposes the reality of our lived faith and should move us to examine whether our "Church going" leads us to a more authentic lived experience of faith.
Pope Francis preaching to an empty gathering in St. Peter's Square is symbolic of the empty churches all over the world
Dear brothers and sisters, Happy Easter!
Today the Church’s proclamation echoes throughout the world: “Jesus Christ is risen!” – “He is truly risen!”.
Like a new flame this Good News springs up in the night: the night of a world already faced with epochal challenges and now oppressed by a pandemic severely testing our whole human family. In this night, the Church’s voice rings out: “Christ, my hope, has arisen!” (Easter Sequence).
(Reproduced with permission)
The 21-day lockdown in India that began on March 25 is in its second week. We Indians are slowly getting to grips with our situation.
For practising Catholics and ardent churchgoers, the lockdown has proved a bit traumatic. They are scrambling to find ways to replace going to church.
Quite a menu of livestreamed and recorded Eucharist celebrations is available to choose from. There are online Masses and retreats, and last week even had a holy hour with Pope Francis imparting his special Urbi et Orbi blessing.
While these are soothing to some extent, I feel my faith shaken each morning when I turn on the news. Thousands continue to die and the numbers are increasing each day.
Many Christians of all denominations are not going to be able to attend Church services over the next weeks, and maybe even months.
Rather than film myself celebrating Mass for my friends, and sharing the video, which seemed, to me at least, bizarrely clerical and pointless; or simply preparing video or audio of a homily for the Sunday readings, and posting that; I felt that it may be time to try something a little bolder.