Thursday, 31 May 2012

Archbishop Angelo Becciu : The Pope's Stolen Papers

An article published on the L'Osservatore Romano website makes interesting reading.

 Aconversation with Archbishop Angelo Becciu, Substitute of the Secretariat of State,  The Pope’s stolen papers,” has the following quote from Archbishop Becciu. “
“I consider the publication of the stolen letters an immoral act of unheard-of gravity.”

I can’t help thinking this reaction  is a little over the top.  “Unheard of gravity” ?  Within a couple of months of their theft  this archbishop calls the leaking of some letters “an immoral act of unheard of gravity” ?
It took decades for the Vatican to face up to the immoral acts of thousands of clergy who abused children.  Having begun to face up to the abuse crisis it now appears to recognise  the leaking of some letters as a greater immoral act – unless Archbishop Becciu hasn’t heard of the abuse crisis. . . . .

Friday, 25 May 2012

Civil partnership

This article appeared in "The Tablet," 19th may edition and can be wiewed here.
Photo credit www.simplyperfection.co.uk

Rings by wings

HISTORY WAS made in Liverpool on Sunday when the first civil partnership on religious premises in the United Kingdom took place.  The Ullet Road Unitarian Church played  host to the civil partnership ceremony  between Kieran Bohan, a Catholic, and Warren Hartley, an Anglican. Both men are  involved with LGBT – lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender – groups for people of  faith in Liverpool.

The law allowing religious buildings to  conduct civil partnerships came into effect  in December 2011 and the church received  confirmation from the city council that it  could register civil partnerships days before  the ceremony was scheduled to take place. 

The event included an interesting “liturgical  innovation”, with a trained owl flying the length of the Grade-I listed building to  deliver the rings to the best man. The Gospel was read by a religious sister of the Bethlehem Community in Liverpool, which is part of the breakaway “Ecumenical Catholic Church”.

Information can also be found on Ruth Gledhills blog here
Warren Hartley and Kieran Bohan sign the Schedule of Civil Partnership at Ullet Road Unitarian Church, Liverpool, in the first service of its kind on religious premises. They are accompanied by witnesses Camryn Hicks, Anne-Marie Martindale,... Liverpool City Council registrar Janet Taubman and Untitarian lay minister Angela Howard. Photo credit: Simply Perfection www.simplyperfection.co.uk

The first civil partnership in the UK has been hosted at a church in Liverpool.

Ullet Road Unitarian Church received final confirmation from Liverpool City Council last week that it could register civil partnerships in its Grade 1 listed building.  Kieran Bohan, 41, and Warren Hartley, 36, had already booked a blessing for the bank holiday weekend.  So when the registrars gave the go-ahead, they were able to sign the legal documents recognising their partnership after the service.
The couple have been together for four and a half years.  They have been involved in groups for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of faith in Liverpool for several years.  Kieran is a member of Quest, the group for LGBT Catholics.  Warren co-ordinates a monthly Anglican eucharist service for LGBT Christians.  Together they coordinated Spectrum of Spirituality, the interfaith service for Liverpool Pride for the last two years.

Kieran is originally from London but has lived in Liverpool for nine years. Warren’s father was from Liverpool and emigrated to Australia in the 1960s. Warren, born in Sydney, has lived in Liverpool for five and a half years.

Kieran, who runs an LGBT youth group, said: “When we booked our blessing over a year ago we had no idea that this would be possible. 
"We are delighted to have achieved this milestone on the road to equality.”

Read it all The Times and The Sunday Times blog Articles of Faith by Ruth Gledhill
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/articlesoffaith
See More

Friday, 11 May 2012

Vatican Versus American Nuns - Richard Rohr

Richard Rohr has published an incisive article on his his blog, reproduced below and can be accessed here.  

Vatican Versus American Nuns

We must be honest and admit that there are only two remaining large systems in the world that are totally patriarchal in their style and in their leadership: Communist states and the Roman Catholic Church. Ours never looked quite as bad since we at least used the language of Jesus, the symbols of communion, humility, and service, and we men even dress in rather feminine robes. The Communist states make no display of humility themselves or respect for the feminine side of anything. But the real bottom lines in the Roman Church are becoming more and more apparent to thinking and spiritual people in the last decade or so. Despite the very clear reforms of the II Vatican Council in the 1960′s, the Roman patriarchy, a closed system that allows no prophetic critique, and their branch appointed officers (bishops), are step by step rolling back both the spirit and the letter of the Vatican II reforms–while pretending and saying they are not. (Remember, if you can reject this Council, then you have the basis for rejecting the other 20 Councils of the Church too! The Pope and bishops had better be very careful!)

Deceit and supposed magnanimity are at the heart of all patriarchies, or otherwise their subjects would see what they are actually doing. North Koreans also believe their “Great Father” is protecting them, as did many Filipinos under Marcos, and Russians under their Czars and Czarinas.

No group accepted the reforms and tried to renew itself following the Council like the American Sisters. Yes, they made their mistakes, and also enjoyed certain matriarchal benefits over the laity. Nevertheless, this cruel, humiliating, and intimidating attempt by the Roman Curia (“the place that cares for”) to punish and control the American sisters is being seen for what it is, and what it is not:
It IS male patriarchal control, hurt feelings because they are not that much in control any more; and it is certainly NOT anything like Jesus or the Gospel. Patriarchal systems normally engineer their own demise by such gross misuse of power.

We all need to sincerely pray–and speak much needed Gospel to very worldly power.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

"Towards an Assembly of the Catholic Church"

The Irish Times has a number of articles relating to the day conference in Dublin yesterday "Towards an Assembly of the Catholic Church"

Meeting hears calls for dialogue at all levels in Irish church

Older church members behind desire for change
pic courtesey of Irish Times.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Christian United Church of Poland

The Christian United Church of Poland, a community of former Roman Catholics unhappy at the exclusion of anyone from the sacramental life of the Church, has been in contact for some time with Bishop Terry and discussing their future as church community.
The UECC has offered a warm welcome to the Polish groups through the Council of Bishops and the opportunity to walk together the path of God’s love and service.

At a recent conference the Polish church elected Fr Szymon Niemiec as their bishop elect and decided to formally affiliate themselves to the UECC, the first step in full membership.

In response the Council of Bishops has agreed to consecrate Fr Szymon when he visits the UK, hopefully in late August. (Details will be announced as they are confirmed.)
This is a great step forward for the UECC in Europe and a very humbling moment as we realise that others are being drawn to us by our faith in action approach.