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Luke Coppen's Catholic Herald Blog

Archive for the ‘Priesthood’ Category

What’s in The Catholic Herald this week

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In this week’s paper we report on the clash between Harriet Harman and the bishops of England and Wales over the Equality Bill, the installation of the popular new Archbishop of Birmingham and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor’s decision to reject a seat in the House of Lords.

We also interview the son of St Gianna Beretta Molla, publish a robust defence of Anglo-Catholic “patrimony” and present a forceful appeal for a sharper divide between the roles of clergy and lay people.

This is just a hint of what’s in the paper. To get the whole story, you may like to pick up a copy (at the back of churches in Britain and Ireland) or subscribe.

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This morning’s Catholic must-reads

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Here are a few interesting news reports and comment pieces to start the day:

Mgr Andrew Faley says incoming Anglicans must not become a “sect” within the Catholic Church.

Senior Irish Church leaders prepare to discuss child abuse with Pope Benedict XVI later today.

The head of the Holy See’s delegation in Copenhagen explains what he hopes the summit will achieve.

The Vatican confirms the programme of Pope Benedict XVI’s May trip to Fatima.

Talks between Israel and the Holy See have reportedly hit another dead end.

Archbishop Chaput explains why he signed the Manhattan Declaration.

Matthew Milliner names the theological book of the decade.

Rod Dreher discovers what St Nicholas really looked like.

And Zenit wonders if cuddly toys might be the solution to the priestly vocations crisis.

Cardinal George: Imagine a world without priests

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Reading Cardinal George’s address to the US bishops, I’m struck by the remarkable passage in which he imagines a world without the sacrament of Holy Orders.

He says:

The priest teaches the people in Christ’s name and with his authority. Without ordained priests, the teaching ministry would fall primarily on professors, whose obligation is first to seek the truth in the framework of their own academic discipline and whose authority to teach derives from their professional expertise.

The priest governs the people in Christ’s name, exercising Christ’s authority in collaboration with the bishops. Without ordained priests, the only instance of real governance in any society would be that of civil and political leaders. Their authority comes from God through the people they have sworn to serve; but, in Catholicism, secular kingship confers no religious authority and a civil government has no right to deprive the Church of freedom to govern herself by her own laws and under her own leaders.

The priest counsels people to see the hand of God directing human affairs, using the discernment of spirits to govern souls and to free people from what oppresses them. Without ordained priests, counseling passes into the hands of therapists, dedicated to their clients and skilled in examining the dynamics of human personality, but without consideration of the influence of God’s grace.

The priest leads his people in worship, making possible the real presence of Christ, the head of his Church, under the sacramental forms of bread and wine. Without ordained priests, the Church would be deprived of the Eucharist, and her worship would be centered only on the praise and thanksgiving, the petition and expiation open to all by reason of baptism.

Without ordained priests who love and govern their people in the name of Christ and with his authority, the Church would not be connected to Jesus Christ, the great High Priest, as Christ himself wants us to be joined to him. Without ordained priests, the Church would be a spiritual association, a faith community, but not fully the Body of Christ.

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Written by Luke Coppen

November 17, 2009 at 9:09 pm

A priestly anniversary with rope and ashes

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FATHER GROESCHEL

Fr Benedict Groeschel will mark the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination on October 18.

But don’t expect to see any photos of him cutting a cake with 50 blazing candles. He says:

I don’t believe in these things. Ordained priests should celebrate their anniversary by putting a rope around their neck and ashes on their heads and asking God forgiveness for their sins.

Meanwhile, Tom Hoopes profiles the man who inspired the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and who believes his time in purgatory will be spent reading the New York Times.

Hat tip: Margaret Cabaniss

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Written by Luke Coppen

October 9, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Posted in Priesthood

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