Editor's Briefing

Luke Coppen's Catholic Herald Blog

Archive for December 4th, 2009

In the paper this week

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In this week’s issue, Andrew M Brown challenges Keir Starmer, Director of Public Prosecutions, over his guidelines on assisted suicide. Dennis Sewell examines the deadly impact of Darwin’s followers. Mark Dowd wonders why devout Catholics happily ignore Pope Benedict XVI on the environment. Angelo Stagnaro explains why the European Union owes a debt to the Virgin Mary, and I interview Bishop William Kenney, CP, the administrator of Birmingham archdiocese.

Hugh David applauds as a another myth about faith schools crumbles. Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith traces the origins of English anti-popery. Will Heaven wonders why no one is defending the traditional family and Nick Thomas feels betrayed by a musical hero.

David V Barrett explains why obsessives are attracted to the Templars. Francis Phillips hails a revisionist study of the Gunpowder Plot and Stuart Reid discovers how hard it is to practise the corporal works of mercy.

This is only a small part of this week’s paper. You may like to pick up a copy (at the back of Catholic churches in Britain and Ireland) or subscribe here.


Pope accepts resignation of Southwark archbishop

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The Vatican has just announced that the Pope has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Kevin McDonald of Southwark.

This is the announcement on the Vatican website:

Il Santo Padre ha accettato la rinuncia al governo pastorale dell’arcidiocesi di Southwark (Inghilterra), presentata da S.E. Mons. Kevin McDonald, in conformità al can. 401 § 2 del Codice di Diritto Canonico.

Canon 401 § 2 states:

A diocesan Bishop who, because of illness or some other grave reason, has become unsuited for the fulfilment of his office, is earnestly requested to offer his resignation from office.

Here is the press release sent on behalf of the Archdiocese of Southwark:

Pope Benedict XVI has today accepted the resignation of Archbishop Kevin McDonald of Southwark in accordance with Canon 401 §2. The Archbishop submitted his resignation to the Holy Father having taken account of medical advice. The Archbishop has had a triple heart bypass and also suffers from severe osteo arthritis. This has already necessitated surgery and the Archbishop envisages further surgery in 2010.

Archbishop McDonald said:

‘I feel great sadness at having to relinquish my post as Archbishop of Southwark. Although I have had to contend with illness over the last three years, this appointment has been a great grace. It has been a privilege to lead this great Diocese and I have received a wonderful response to everything I have tried to do. I have also been very appreciative of the prayers of so many people while I have been ill. The Diocese will continue to be very much in my thoughts and prayers in the time ahead.’

A Diocesan Administrator will be appointed soon and he will be in charge of the Diocese, until a new Archbishop takes possession of the Diocese.

When the Pope formally accepts Archbishop McDonald’s resignation (11am 4th Dec), the Diocese of Southwark is classed as being vacant. Southwark has three auxiliary Bishops, Bishop John Hine being senior (ordained bishop 27th Feb 2001; Bishops Patrick Lynch and Paul Hendricks were both ordained on bishop on 14th Feb 2006). In accordance with Canon 419, Bishop Hine immediately takes up governance of the Diocese, until a diocesan Administrator is elected. It is the duty of the College of Consultors to elect a diocesan Administrator. Bishop Hine is required by Canon 419 to arrange for the College of Consultors to be convened.

The College of Consultors is to elect a diocesan Administrator within eight days of being notified of the formal acceptance of Archbishop McDonald’s resignation (Canon 421 §1). The College of Consultors is made up of Bishops and priests of the Diocese appointed by Archbishop McDonald. The present College of Consultors is made up of the following:

Bishop John Hine, Bishop Patrick Lynch, Bishop Paul Hendricks, Fr Matthew Dickens, Monsignor Canon Nicholas Rothon, Fr John Lavery, Fr Anthony Plummer, Canon John Madden, Canon Michael Bunce, Fr John O’Toole, Fr Geoffrey Pointer, and Fr John Clark.

On acceptance of the election, the diocesan Administrator assumes responsibility for governing the diocese (Canon 427 §2) until a new Archbishop is appointed and takes possession of the diocese (Canon 430 §1).

The archbishops resignation letter is here (hat tip: Mulier Fortis).

Written by Luke Coppen

December 4, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Fr Bob Barron: Why Eucharistic Adoration matters

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Fr Robert Barron, the skilled American Catholic evangelist who we recently interviewed, has posted a new video in which he defends the practice of Eucharistic Adoration against its critics.

Written by Luke Coppen

December 4, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Searching for the 10 most important Catholic moments of the decade

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As the decade draws to a close there are a lot of lists appearing in the papers and on the web: the 100 best films of the decade, the 100 best books of the Noughties and so on.

They’ve got me wondering: what were the 10 most important Catholic moments of the decade? If you have any thoughts, leave a comment or email me at editorial@catholicherald.co.uk, with “Most important Catholic moments” in the subject line.

I’ll post the list later in the month.

Written by Luke Coppen

December 4, 2009 at 9:29 am

Posted in Uncategorized