Anna Arco's Diary

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Archive for October 2009

Anglican speculations…(cont.)

5752391There’s been a lot of speculation about married men and the Catholic priesthood. It’s not so long ago that people would have thought it unthinkable that married Anglican clergy could become (Roman)Catholic priests, but this happens quite often now when an Anglican clergyman converts to Catholicism.

Perhaps the most novel aspect of the Anglican provision–barring the novelty of the new structure–is the idea that Catholics in the Ordinariate will be able to put forward seminarians for ordination. While it is likely that ordinariates will hold themselves to the Church’s teaching on priestly celibacy, married men will be able to be put forward for the priesthood on a case by case basis (and with the permission of course of the local bishops’), somewhat along the lines of the Eastern Rite model.

Could this be preparing the way for a Catholic-Orthodox reunion?

Written by annaarco

October 22, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Crushed by the Ditchkens-Fry express…

Apologies for not posting on the Intelligence2 “The Catholic Church is a force for good” debate as I had promised the other day. But what with the news about the Anglican Provision, I’ve been hard at work. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

October 22, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Harvesting the fruits of ecumenism in a slightly different way

7943003Tuesday’s news—that the Holy See is offering a canonical structure Anglicans wishing to become Catholics, but keep aspects of their identity—has set the Christian (and secular) interweb a-humming.

A million different interpretations of the statements made both in Rome and in London about the Apostolic Constitution, the highest form of Papal decree, abound, while experts attempt to unravel the process and the politics behind the Vatican move. Speculation is varied: Does this announcement mean the end of the Anglican Communion? Was Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, hopping mad over the news?  Had he been implacably opposed to the idea? How will the hierarchy of England and Wales react? Was the Vatican fishing/poaching from the Anglican pool? Showing a vote of no confidence in the Anglican Communion? Is this the end of the ecumenical process? Will it make the Catholic Church more conservative? Will it put an end to mandatory celibacy?  Will it foreshadow a structure which the SSPX could adopt if it were to return to the fold after the conversations start on Monday? Is the Pope simply moving forward in his greater plan for Christian unity?

For a comprehensive overview of reactions and coverage of the story as it has developed, see my editor Luke Coppen’s blog. Read the rest of this entry »

This week in atheism

Tortured SoulsRumour has it that Britain’s New-Atheist-in-Chief, Prof Richard Dawkins of God Delusion fame was spotted at the Oxford Oratory during the visit of St Therese of Lisieux. As one source put it, “it looked like he was singing hymns with much gusto”.

Another atheist (now a proselytising  atheist), the journalist Matthew Parris also went to see the relics, in Westminster Cathedral last week. It seems he had no moment of conversion, just an affirmation of his unbelief.

In other news, Stephen Fry, actor, comedian, atheist and public innerllectshualist has linked Polish Catholicism to the Holocaust:

He said “There has been a history, let’s face it, in Poland of a Right-wing Catholicism which has been deeply disturbing for those of us who know a little history, and remember which side of the border Auschwitz was on, and know the stories, and know much of the anti-Semitic, and homophobic and nationalistic elements in countries like Poland.”

Mr Fry is set to join Christopher Hitchens, another New Atheist (loud)talking head and author of God is not great, arguing against the motion the “Catholic Church is a force for Good in the world” at an Intelligence2 debate on Monday. On the for side: Ann Widdecombe and Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria. According to the National Catholic Reporter, Archbishop Onaiyekan is really looking forward to a battle of wits with the two men.

Watch this space, the debate should be interesting. I’ll be there.

See how they love one another…

 Cardinal Walter Kasper — the gap-toothed Swabian official in charge of the Vatican’s ecumenical department (or Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity as it is known for short)—has launched a book celebrating 40 years of Catholic-Protestant dialogue this week.

Even the people who worked on the book were “positively surprised at how much has been accomplished in these years. It is a very rich harvest that overcomes the polemics and the great historical problems of the Reformation”, the cardinal said.

He said that although there had been great progress, there were some “even among some members of the curia” who held a less than positive view of ecumenism. They believe, he said, that ecumenism “has not borne any fruit and left us with our hands empty.”

Harvesting the Fruits: Basic Aspects of Christian Faith in Ecumenical Dialogue comes at an interesting time for ecumenical dialogue in Cardinal Kasper’s native Germany, where ecumenical relations have, until the last week, been on the rocks. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacred made real…

After almost four days of hosting the relics of St Therese at Westminster, celebrating yesterday’s farewell Mass and going to a book launch promoting vocations last night, Archbishop Vincent Nichols went to see the Sacred made real exhibition earlier today. Luke Coppen, the Catholic Herald’s editor has posted a pic on his blog (thanks Luke).

It looks like it will be a cracking exhibition…I posted about it here in September

Written by annaarco

October 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

She’s off

At the end of the Mass after they brought the casket containing St Therese’s relics out they let loose a rain of rose petals in front of the cathedral. And now she’s off….

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Written by annaarco

October 15, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Last glimpses

The last pilgrims pass to venerate St Therese’s relics…

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Written by annaarco

October 15, 2009 at 2:05 pm

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Farewell Mass

The pews are filling up for the farewell Mass before St Therese’s relics return to France.

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Written by annaarco

October 15, 2009 at 1:51 pm

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Two million expected at Spanish pro-life rally

7065918Organisers expect over 2 million people to take part in a pro-Life demo in Madrid this Saturday.

Rising in protests against the Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s plans to liberalise Spain’s abortion laws, millions are expected to take to the streets under the slogan “Every life matters”. It is also the name of the umbrella group for over forty pro-life groups who have joined forces for the rally.

“We are counting with around 2 million people who will take part in the March for life,” said
Benigno Blanco, the president of the Spanish forum for families, a lawyer and former politician and one of the demos organisers according to a report in an Austrian newspaper.

“We strive towards three goals with this demonstration: to restore a lost culture of life, to explain to worried mothers that they are not alone, and to make it clear to the Government that a great majority of Spaniards are against the new abortion laws,” he said.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

October 15, 2009 at 11:28 am