Analysis and Comment

‘My Body Is Not a Prayer Request’ imagining a disability centered church

Monday, May 16th, 2022

“God told me to pray for you!” is about the last thing Amy Kenny wants to hear when she cruises into church riding Diana, the mobility scooter she has named after Wonder Woman. It’s not that she has anything against prayer. Kenny, a Shakespeare scholar and lecturer at the University of California, Riverside who is Read more

LGBTQ+ and ideological agenda

Monday, May 16th, 2022

There are men and women whose attraction is to the same sex, who just get on with their lives, often with the support of others of the same disposition, and in many cases living chastely. This essay is not about them. Rather, it is about those who have an ideological agenda. Yet, in either case, Read more

Social science research can replace no-longer-effective answers to no-longer existing problems

Monday, May 16th, 2022
living in the world

The Gospels contain quotes attributed to Jesus that do not always agree with each other. Sometimes the differences are insignificant, a matter of wording. In other cases, the versions radically differ from one another. In yet other cases, the evidence is strong that a saying is not what scholars call ipsissima verba, the very words Read more

War’s deadly distractions

Monday, May 16th, 2022
Child labour

War is deadly. While this is an obvious fact regarding those who fight, it is less obvious regarding the life and death plight of many non-combatants trapped within battle zones. And even less obvious are war’s deadly effects on countless poor people far removed from the fighting. The Russian-Ukrainian war is a case in point. Read more

Clericalised laity

Thursday, May 12th, 2022
Clericalised laity

The denunciation of clericalism can no longer wait. And led by Pope Francis, the Catholic Church is reacting strongly. There are two faces of clericalism. One is the authoritarian priest who decides and does everything on his own. The other is the clericalised laity. These two major errors prevent the laity from developing the charisms Read more

Religion’s search for belonging

Thursday, May 12th, 2022

Among clergy and sociologists, film directors and songwriters it’s become practically a matter of cliché that people are searching for wholehearted belonging and not finding their needs met — the phenomenon, in short, behind the phrase “spiritual but not religious.” These people are setting out on an open-ended quest, on their own or with trusted Read more

Analysing Pope Francis’ comments on LGBTQ Catholics

Thursday, May 12th, 2022
lgbtq catholics

Pope Francis’ recent “mini-interview” on the topic of LGBTQ Catholics provides some of the building blocks for a re-imagined ministry to gay people. “A ‘selective’ church, one of ‘pure blood,’ is not Holy Mother Church, but rather a sect,” the Pope explained in a handwritten reply to questions from Fr James Martin, a Jesuit priest Read more

Discipleship and Society in the Early Churches

Thursday, May 12th, 2022
Early Church

Whenever there is a matter of dispute in the modern-day Church, there is a tendency to ask what would be the opinion of those members of the Early Church? Those of you already familiar with the writing and teaching of Tom O’Loughlin, Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham, will welcome his Read more

The value of open and transparent processes

Monday, May 9th, 2022
vocations sunday

There is an old joke about the civil servant who was put in charge of implementing the government’s new policy on “freedom of information”. When asked by a journalist how the new freedom of information policy was playing out, he replied: “I’m afraid I cannot comment: that matter is classified!” It may be an apocryphal Read more

Will diocesan mergers become more common

Monday, May 9th, 2022
diocesan mergers

The Holy See announced last Wednesday that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff, Wales, appointing Bishop Mark O’Toole of the Diocese of Plymouth, England, to succeed him. At the same time, O’Toole has also been named the Bishop of Menevia, the neighbouring Welsh diocese, which has had no bishop Read more