Saturday, June 16, 2007

Catholics and Communion

This weekend over sixty children in our parish will receive Jesus for the first time in Holy Communion. Recently there has been controversy over the fact that Catholic politicians who vote to kill unborn children or allow scientific experiments to be carried out on them cannot receive Communion.
Here's an interesting interview on the subject with Cardinal Pell:

Cardinal Pell Explains Role of Church and Faith in Public Life
Sydney, Jun 13, 2007 (CNA).- Catholic bishops have the right and the duty to point out Catholic teaching to the public and to remind politicians, especially Catholics, “that public acts usually bring public consequences,” said Cardinal George Pell of Sydney in The Sunday Telegraph.
The cardinal issued his response after an investigation was launched into the views of Archbishop Barry Hickey of Perth by the W.A. state parliamentary privileges committee for investigation. The case was referred by the speaker Fred Riebeling, who sees the possible application of Catholic discipline as a “threat”.
“Some seemed to suggest that while a football club, a political party or a business certainly could in some circumstances sack or exclude a member or employee, it was totally out of order to suggest a Christian Church might even consider a similar possibility,” said the cardinal.
“A few intolerant politicians want to ban religious argument in public life, so that the only permissible reasoning will be irreligious or anti-religious,” he observed.
The cardinal said the debate also raised questions about what it means to be a Catholic.
“A Catholic is someone who believes Christ is Son of God, accepts His teachings and lives a life of worship, service and duty in the Catholic community,” he explained. “Catholics are not created by the accident of birth to remain only because their tribe has an interesting history.”
“All Catholics who continue to reject important Catholic teachings, even in areas such as sexuality, family, marriage, abortion, euthanasia, cloning where “liberals” claim the primacy of conscience rules, should expect to be confronted, gently and consistently, rather than comforted and encouraged in their wrongdoing,” he continued.
The cardinal concluded by saying that every Catholic politician who voted recently in favor of the cloning bill “should think twice and examine his or her conscience before next receiving Communion.”

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Pope Encourages Eucharistic Adoration

On Sunday the Holy Father spoke about the importance of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. This is what he said:

Dear Brothers and Sisters!Today’s solemnity of Corpus Domini, which in the Vatican and other nations was already celebrated this past Thursday, invites us to contemplate the great mystery of our faith: the most holy Eucharist, the real presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in the sacrament of the altar. Every time that the priest renews the Eucharistic sacrifice, in the prayer of consecration he repeats: "This is my body … this is my blood." He does this giving his voice, his hands, and his heart to Christ, who wanted to remain with us as the beating heart of the Church. But even after the celebration of the divine mysteries, the Lord Jesus remains living in the tabernacle; because of this he is praised, especially by Eucharistic adoration, as I wished to recall in the recent postsynodal apostolic exhortation, "Sacramentum Caritatis" (cf. Nos. 66-69).
Indeed, there is an intrinsic connection between celebration and adoration. The holy Mass, in fact, is in itself the Church's greatest act of adoration: "No one eats this food," St. Augustine writes, "if he has not first worshipped it" (Commentary on Psalm 98:9; CCL XXXIX, 1385). Adoration outside holy Mass prolongs and intensifies what happened in the liturgical celebration and renders a true and profound reception of Christ possible.Today, then, in all Christian communities, there is the Eucharistic procession, a singular form of public adoration of the Eucharist, enriched by beautiful and traditional manifestations of popular devotion. I would like to take the opportunity that today's solemnity offers me to strongly recommend to pastors and all the faithful the practice of Eucharistic adoration. I express my appreciation to the institutes of consecrated life, as also to the associations and confraternities that dedicate themselves to this practice in a special way. They offer to all a reminder of the centrality of Christ in our personal and ecclesial life. I am happy to testify that many young people are discovering the beauty of adoration, whether personal or in community. I invite priests to encourage youth groups in this, but also to accompany them to ensure that the forms of adoration are appropriate and dignified, with sufficient times for silence and listening to the word of God. In life today, which is often noisy and scattered, it is more important than ever to recover the capacity for interior silen ce and recollection: Eucharistic adoration permits one to do this not only within one's "I" but rather in the company of that "You" full of love who is Jesus Christ, "the God who is near us."May the Virgin Mary, Eucharistic Woman, lead us into the secret of true adoration. Her heart, humble and silent, was always recollected around the mystery of Jesus, in whom she worshipped the presence of God and his redemptive love. By her intercession may there grow faith in the Eucharistic mystery, the joy of participating at holy Mass, especially on Sunday, and the desire to bear witness to the immense charity of Christ.

Monday, June 11, 2007

John Pontifex on persecuted Christians

On Sunday 10th June, John Pontifex from Aid to the Church in Need spoke to Forum Christi. He highlighted the challenges facing the Christian church in Ethiopia and Eritrea, which he had visited in February and March. The bishops in these countries find it difficult to publicise their situation, for fear of reprisal from their governments. John showed us photographs of churches that ACN had helped build. For more details of the work ACN does, look on their website After the talk there was an opportunity to buy some of ACN's publications. The evening ended with a decade of the rosary and was followed by Theology on Tap at the Nightingale.