Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Monday, May 30, 2016
Sunday, May 29, 2016
Paul, who speaks fluent Farsi, spoke to them for over an hour about Christianity. They expressed great interest in the topic. It was a special moment in Christian Islamic relations.
Paul Lawlor with Islamic scholars at the Irish Dominican priory in central
Tehran. Paul is on the left, wearing a Dominican habit.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
A couple of scenarios come to mind: when a celebrity or a well-known Catholic receives Communion in a non-Catholic church and then the annual dress-up day when we see and read about young children making their first Holy Communion and some of the practices that surround the day.
There is also the phenomenon of people receiving Holy Communion who are 'deemed' ineligible to receive the Eucharist.
Lady Gaga was in the news some weeks ago when she posted a story on Facebook praising a Fr Duffell for saying that the Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect but the food that God gives us.
Perspicacious of Lady Gaga to quote the wise words of her favourite priest.
We don't often hear sensible or real words about the Eucharist in the public forum.
Tomorrow is the feast of Corpus Christi or the Body of Christ. According to Canon Law it is one of five days in the year when a diocesan bishop is not to be away from his diocese unless for a grave or urgent reason.
In tomorrow's Gospel St Luke (9: 11 - 17) tells us how the disciples of Jesus were able to feed a large crowd with five loaves and two fish. It certainly is a remarkable achievement.
Without in any sense taking away from the 'traditional' meaning or understanding of the Eucharist surely it is important to try to place the Sacrament in the context of the world in which we find ourselves. In other words to make an attempt to giving it meaning for people who think of it only in terms of Communion dresses and how it can create controversy.
The Catholic Church believes that Christ is really and truly present in the Eucharist. That the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ.
What exactly does that mean for the majority of people who particiapte at Mass on the feast of Corpus Christi in Catholic churches around the world?
Yes, it means that Christ is really present. But Christ is not physically present in the same way that I am sitting down writing these words. Christ is present sacramentally in the Eucharist.
But consider the meaning of the word 'Communion'? Surely it is about people living in communion and harmony with one another. And like all the sacraments, the Eucharist is both a sign but it also helps bring about the reality of that sign.
Maybe part of the miracle in tomorrow's Gospel is the fact that the crowd realised that there was a large number of people present so in order that everyone would have enough to eat they had to make it their business to share the little they had.
Imagine if that ethos prevailed in our society, in our world. Can we really feel easy receivng the Eucharist while at the same time allowing one billion people on our planet live lives close to destitution?
The Eucharist is about communion, commuion with God, but that means communion with one another.
Is there really any point in 'looking up' towards heaven if we do not play our part in bringing about the beginnings of the kingdom of God in this world, in the here and now in which we find ourselves living out our daily lives?
Well done to Lada Gaga for quoting Fr Duffell in pointing out how the Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect. Indeed, it is anything but. Instead it is part of that sacramental story of the church to bring a broken and fractured world into the arms of an all-merciful God.
Friday, May 27, 2016
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Monday, May 23, 2016
“When I [Snowden] was at NSA, everybody knew that for anything more serious than workplace harassment, going through the official process was a career-ender at best. It’s part of the culture,” Snowden told the Guardian.
“If your boss in the mailroom lies on his timesheets, the IG [Inspector General] might look into it. But if you’re Thomas Drake, and you find out the president of the United States ordered the warrantless wiretapping of everyone in the country, what’s the IG going to do? They’re going to flush it, and you with it.”
Sunday, May 22, 2016
- There was a long discussion on how to translate Pope Francis’ concern for the poor to direct action at parish level, the role of the St Vincent de Paul and the need to focus attention on this gospel reality.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Friday, May 20, 2016
Thursday, May 19, 2016
When people 'trade' in God does it give them pompous ideas about themselves?
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
As a boy he enjoyed playing football. But over the last many years he has lived a solitary lifestyle. He was in his late 50s and was regularly seen out walking. He seldom if ever acknowledged a greeting when one passed him on the road.
Monday, May 16, 2016
According to a well-respected musician, John O'Reilly was the finest organist with whom he ever worked and the most outstanding organist of his generation in the Irish Dominicans.
Sunday, May 15, 2016
Jürgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool FC, paid tribute to Cardinal Lehmann on this evening's ZDF news.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Friday, May 13, 2016
Simon was born into a famous milling family in Limerick in 1934, joined the Dominican Order in 1953 and was ordained a priest in July 1960.
He spent many years working in the Dominican-run seminary in Nagpur in India. From India he moved to Dominican HQ in Rome where he was an assistant to the Master of the Order, Irish man Damian Byrne.
At that time two other Irish men, Flannan Hynes and the late Malachy O'Dwyer were on the general council of the Order, supporting the Master of the Order.
It meant four Irish men were working at the Dominican curia in Santa Sabina. They became known as 'La Murphia irlandese'.
On completion of his term in Rome Simon returned to Ireland taking up residence in Cork, living in both Pope's Quay and in Ennismore.
He died in a nursing home back in his home town, Limerick.
He was a tall, stooped man, patrician in style. His years in India added an almost 'guru' touch to his character. He had a great sense of humour, could be a rogue too. He was a man devoted to speaking the truth.
Simon Roche was a wise and kind man.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Dingle was a busy place over the May bank holiday weekend.
It was the venue for the 23rd year of Féile na Bealtaine festival.The organisers told me that every event was close to full.It was the brainchild of the late Mícheál Fanning, who was a local GP and a poet.
I had the good fortune to meet his daughter Ruth with her three-week-old baby daughter Orla at the festival.Ruth was at the door of the courthouse on Saturday with babe in arms welcoming guests, who were attending the interview with Redemptorist priest Tony Flannery.
The festival authorities had asked me to conduct the interview with Fr Flannery.
The courthouse is an old forbidding building and I certainly would not like to be heading there to face justice. I was nervous enough about the interview ahead.
I had familiarised myself with Fr Flannery's case and had read his book 'A Question of Conscience'.Fr Flannery is one of a number of priests in Ireland who has run into trouble with the Holy See's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) for views he has expressed on a myriad church issues.
Fr Flannery would be the first to say that he is not a professional theologian. Over the years he has written in various church publications, including the Redemptorist magazine 'Reality'. The row with Rome began over an article he had written in 'Reality' concerning the origins of priesthood.
But that row has now developed into a full-blown war between Fr Flannery and the CDF. He has been 'silenced' by the Holy See. He is not allowed administer the Sacraments.
There are always two sides in a row. But there are aspects to this row that throw up all those issues which seem to alienate so many people from the Catholic Church.
When the dispute first erupted Fr Flannery was more or less treated like a small boy. The Vatican dealt with the Superior General of the Redemptorists in Rome and reading Fr Flannery's account of things the Redemptorist boss handled the case badly.
And then there is all the silliness of anonymous complaints going to the Vatican. Fr Flannery says that he received letters, which were not written on headed notepaper from the CDF.
During our interview Fr Flannery was critical of the Irish bishops and the current papal nuncio. He said that there has been no communication between any of the Irish bishops or the papal nuncio, who is the Holy See's ambassador to Ireland.
He has a good relationship with the Irish Redemptorists, who support him.
During question time former Senator Brendan Ryan pointed out that over 100 people had paid €10 to attend the event. He said that people were interested in their faith and church and that if change were to happen in the church then it would have to come from the people.
Four days later I was in a church and spotted the different titles on the nameplates on confession boxes.
But I was struck with the titles. After one man's name was CC, after another OP, CC. One man had nothing at all after his name. Two had Fr before their names and two others had Rev. in front of their names, with one of them giving himself the title V Rev. and then PP, VF after his name. In case you may not know, VF stands for Vicar Forane.
Journalist Vincent Browne wisely said that once we give people titles we give them power over us.
I keep saying to myself: the church just doesn't get it. Does it?
Monday, May 9, 2016
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Sunday, May 8, 2016
It has become grudgingly custom and practice for some time to publish comments attrirbuted to anonymous contributors on this blog.
The comment received today is of serious matter and needs consideration before publication.
If the person who sent the comment identified his or herself it would make it much easier to publish the comment.
The author of the blog is sympathetic to the comment and is also interested in publishing the downloaded article,which accompanies the comment.
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Friday, May 6, 2016
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Is David Quinn also an expert on the Red Army and the Soviet Union? Does he know what happened on the Volga?
It sounds preposterous.
If all the ifs and ands...... but had the leaders in State and church worked for the genuine good of the people in the Weimar Republic would Hitler have been given the oxygen to be who he became.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Is that not a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black.
The money the church wastes, the money religious congregations waste.
Does anyone know anything about the finances of 'Alive!? Does anyone know anything about the finances of the church and religious congregations and how they waste money?
Reading the May issue of the freesheet 'Alive! is a horrible experience and it is difficult to understand how church authorities stand over the freesheet? Or is it that this is the real colour of the Catholic Church?
The crass bigotry of the editorial, the freesheet's denuncation of Irish Catholics are just some of the articles in store for the reader this month.
How it insults individuals and organisations is shocking.
The Catholic diocese of Limerick published a card-sized promo on the 'Year of Mercy'. On the front there is a quote from Pope Francis:
"No one can be excluded from God's mercy'.