The Synod on the Family – Success or Failure?

by Paul Collins

I was talking recently about the Synod with a very experienced parish priest. He said that if the bishops thought we were all waiting with bated breath for their decision regarding the divorced remarried receiving Communion, then they really do live in cloud cuckoo-land. Nowadays divorced Catholics don’t just hang around waiting for a bevy of bishops to decide. They follow their consciences and do what they think is right, especially if they have talked to a sensible, pastoral priest. Sure, many have understandably walked away from the church, but many have stayed having made their own decisions about going to Communion – the internal forum solution.

So really it’s irrelevant what the Synod decided. Even on the gay issue sensible Catholics already understand that talk about people being ‘intrinsically disordered’ is not only utterly insensitive; it is also ‘intrinsically’ un-Christ-like and evangelically ‘disordered’!

But that doesn’t mean the Synod was a failure. It was a success because it recovered something of the church’s Catholicity. Genuine Catholicism implies a universal, multi-ethnic, non-sectarian church, a community of many parts and differing views. My major criticism of the two popes before Francis is that they were essentially ‘uncatholic’; they promoted a narrow, ‘pure’, sectarian church, the antithesis of Catholicity. That’s why they loved outfits like the Neo-Catechuminate and Opus Dei; they are sectarian in structure and intention.

How our Church needs to be fixed

by George Rippon

Article originally published in Catholica

As I sit down to write I am often not quite sure where I will end up. This time I know. Having seen most of my recommendations ignored over the years I will in faith and hope give them another run, with some variations.

Starting at the top I wish Francis in Rome progress in sorting out the entrenched Curia. Maybe he should sack the lot and start again. At this time I do not propose to give direct advice to His Holiness.

We need to have a say in the appointment of bishops...

The Age of Entitlement is over

by David Timbs

Read paper HERE

Abstract: It is becoming more and more obvious that one of the most significant obstacles to the systemic reform of the culture and legal system of the Catholic Church is clericalism. The leadership of the Church has become increasingly more estranged from the prophetic roots of its mission to animate and to serve. As the Church became more institutionalised, its bishops became increasingly socialised into a patriarchal and autocratic mentality and praxis with little transparency and no provision for accountability, the essential safeguards of good governance. Ultimately a massive social, psychological and spiritual chasm was created which lead to dangerous disconnection between bishops and their people.

Selecting Australia’s Bishops: Finding a Role for All

Reprinted with permission from The Swag, Autumn 2016

Underlying the proceedings at the 2nd Vatican Council were two major principles: ressourcement, calling for a return to the sources, and aggiornamento, calling for a genuine update of the Church to increase its relevancy to the modern world.

For two millennia the ecclesia, founded on the leadership of the Apostles, had held firm to the essence of its faith, worship and governance, but with the passage of time and the vicissitudes of history had also acquired much peripheral baggage of beliefs, customs and practices far removed from the apostolic tradition. Many were also anachronistic, with little or no meaning for the Church and world of the 20th century, and they were hindering, not helping evangelization.