FEBRUARY 26, 2013
UCAN’s deliberately slanted questionnaire: covertly pursuing the women priests agenda
This report is the fourth in a series on — as its blurb boasts — “Asia’s most trusted independent Catholic news source”, UCAN. [Emphasis mine]
UCAN, a Trojan horse in the Church, especially since its September 2008 take over by liberal Jesuit Fr. Michael Kelly, allies itself with liberal and “progressive” groups world-wide, working to destroy the Catholic Church from within by providing them with a platform for expressing and promoting dissent. Fr. Kelly also controls the editorial policies of the now liberal Australia-based Church Resources, www.cathnews.com.
UCAN may deny my allegations as baseless, but anyone with an iota of discernment can perceive that this news agency is by no means neutral in its reporting. It is definitely heavily biased against orthodoxy.
The danger that comes from Catholics informing themselves from UCAN is that they are subtly channeled into accepting a secularised worldview of their faith and the heretical choices of a small rebellious minority as the genuine picture of the state of the contemporary Church.
Apart from copying and presenting Catholics with news items from secular publications that could never provide them with an authentic perspective of Catholic issues, UCAN has become the Asian echo of the U.S. National Catholic Reporter [NCR] which Kansas City-St. Joseph bishop Robert Finn declared on January 25, 2013 can in no way be considered as “Catholic”. The NCR promotes the very same ideologies as UCAN.
In my preceding reports, I have asked if UCAN has any moral right to define itself as Catholic. See
WOMEN PRIESTS-THE NCR-UCAN-EWA NEXUS JANUARY 24/31, 2013
UCAN WANTS TO DO AWAY WITH THE PRIESTHOOD
13/25 FEBRUARY 2013
UCAN CONFIRMS IT FAVOURS WOMEN PRIESTS
15 FEBRUARY 2013
UCAN CONFIRMS IT FAVOURS WOMEN PRIESTS-02
16 FEBRUARY 2013
Second Bishop Calls National Catholic Reporter into Question
By Tim Drake, February 26, 2013, at 5:10 PM
Following the lead of Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn, who recognized that the National Catholic Reporter isn’t “Catholic,” Colorado Springs’ Bishop Michael Sheridan has publicly criticized the newspaper as well.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews.com*, Bishop Sheridan described the newspaper as “an embarrassment to the Catholic Church.” “I believe exactly what [Bishop Finn is] saying,” said Sheridan. “That is a big deal for me… I don’t understand why some of these publications use the word Catholic when in some of their editorial stances they stand absolutely opposed to Church dogma.”
Bishop Sheridan added that Catholic parishes should “absolutely not” make the newspaper available to parishioners in their magazine racks.
“NCR is proud to call itself a Catholic publication,” wrote publisher Thomas Fox on January 27**. Fox pointed out that the newspaper is a member of the Catholic Press Association.
*See following page
Colorado bishop: National Catholic Reporter ‘is an embarrassment to the Catholic Church’
By Patrick B. Craine, February 22, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Colorado bishop is supporting the local bishop in his call for the National Catholic Reporter to drop the name “Catholic.”
Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview this week that the national paper is “an embarrassment to the Catholic Church.”
The newspaper is often called the “National Catholic Fishwrap” by conservative Catholics because of its stances against Church teaching. Fr. John Zuhlsdorf / WDTPRS.com
In January, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, where NCR’s offices are located, published a column reminding the paper and the faithful that NCR has been forbidden from using the name “Catholic” since 1968.
The Code of Canon Law stipulates in canon 216 that no organization can use the name Catholic without permission of the ecclesiastical authority.
NCR is renowned for opposing Catholic teaching on women’s ordination, contraception, homosexuality, and other issues, yet still enjoys privileged access to many Church leaders and regularly features ads paid for by Catholic dioceses and parishes.
“I believe exactly what [Bishop Finn is] saying,” said Sheridan. “That is a big deal for me… I don’t understand why some of these publications use the word Catholic when in some of their editorial stances they stand absolutely opposed to Church dogma.” Even if the paper continues to defy the bishop, he continued, churches should “absolutely not” make it available to parishioners on their magazine racks.
In his January 25th column, Bishop Finn noted that NCR’s “positions against authentic Church teaching and leadership have not changed trajectory” since the original ruling in 1968 by Bishop Charles Helmsing.
“In light of the number of recent expressions of concern, I have a responsibility as the local bishop to instruct the Faithful about the problematic nature of this media source which bears the name ‘Catholic’,” he added.
Nevertheless, the paper has remained defiant. “NCR is proud to call itself a Catholic publication,” wrote Thomas Fox, the paper’s publisher, on January 27th. “We report and comment on church matters including official teachings. We also report and comment on those who call into question some of these official teachings.”
Fox also pointed out that NCR is a member of the Catholic Press Association, which is approved by the Catholic Church.
7 selected comments at LifeSiteNews
The National Catholic Reporter is a tool of the Liberals who are essentially at war with God. I smell Freemasonry every time I read one of their articles. Ethan Clarke
I think it is time for the USCCB to get involved and get every diocese and parish to stop supporting this anti-Catholic publication. To start, each of us can contact their Catholic advertisers requesting that they stop advertising. I contacted “The Word among us” last year and told them I would not renew my subscription if they continued to advertise there. They stopped. I recently renewed. There are small steps we can all take to fight back. The more people that complain to the advertisers, the better our chances are of success. One person can make a difference. If it is available in your Parish, ask your pastor to stop. Let’s all do something, and together we can stop them. Let’s start by each of us writing to Cardinal Dolan and the USCCB. B. Corr
A while ago I had a look at the NCR on Kindle, thinking (understandably) that it was “Catholic.” I quickly saw that it was ultra-liberal, and didn’t subscribe. (I think the rag has since been removed from Kindle’s offerings.) The newspaper should be ashamed of continuing to use the name “Catholic,” but, as a Catholic convert, I quickly learned that liberals/progressives are shameless and will use any tactic to subvert the Church’s true teachings. With “angels” like these, who needs the Devil? Lars Troide
We called it the National Catholic Distorter in the seminary. Michael J. Donlan 2.
To me they are not only schismatic but also heretics (except for John Allen). Look at most of their writers and readers when you see their comments. Eventually they will probably have to shut down because of a lack of leadership. The Economist recently talked about how Traditional Orthodoxy is the direction the Church is going in mostly in the papacy of the current Pope Benedict XVI. Janet O’Connor
The problem is the National Catholic Reporter lies. They call themselves Catholic but attack, mock, and disobey doctrines of the Catholic Church. They have been told by the Bishop NOT to call themselves Catholic but they still continue this lie.
If we reject the teachings of the Church and disobey the Bishops and call ourselves Catholic that is a lie.
They have a right to print what they want but do not have a right to call themselves Catholic – unless of course they believe lying to people is OK. Jennifer Stevens
He [John Allen] admires the Pope stepping down because he (they) are hoping for a new Liberal Pope that is going to be pro gay marriage, pro choice, pro women priests, etc. If that is what God intended the Holy Spirit would have guided the last 265 Popes in that direction, but He didn’t. B. Corr
Just as NCR is “hoping for a new Liberal Pope that is going to be pro gay marriage, pro choice, pro women priests, etc.“, as B. Corr opined above, so too is UCAN!
UCAN mailed its subscribers a questionnaire. Twice.
Subject: UCAN Survey on the next Pope
Subject: Last chance to have your say on the next Pope
The resignation of Pope Benedict, as the free act of a serving Pontiff, is actually unprecedented. Previous Popes have “resigned” because they’ve been pushed out, have become mentally unstable or have been considered illegitimate (because there was another “Pope” considered entitled to the position).
This time, Benedict has announced his retirement while in full possession of his physical and mental faculties, under no pressure to resign and as a free act. That’s a first!
It also gives you the chance to offer a reaction and name what the next Pontificate should focus on**. We will run this survey over the next 10 days and write it up before the Consistory begins.*
Click here*** to have your say and contribute to the discussion!
With best wishes,
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
*Is it the intention of UCAN to use the results of their survey to influence the consciences of the papabile Cardinal electors, before they enter the conclave? It would appear so. Given that UCAN has been disseminating poison in tiny doses for long enough to have created a fairly dependable liberal base among its readers, the feedback could well be as skewed as the questionnaire is, thus erroneously projecting that Asian Catholics are clamouring for a roll-back of Pope Benedict XVI’s orthodox stand “on women’s ordination, contraception, homosexuality, and other issues“, to cite Patrick Craine of LifeSiteNews, above.
**A second point that I wish to emphasise is that I have observed that most of the recent media speculation on Pope Benedict XVI’s successor, since the news of his abdication broke, is just that – speculation. UCAN‘s questionnaire reflects such speculation. Any type of speculation in the flesh will naturally [pun intended] fail to factor in the Holy Spirit if one has not understood that the election of a Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth, — for the better or for the apparent worse of the Church – is decided or permitted by God. Granted that there might be a bit of lobbying [remember the contest among the Twelve?] wherever human beings seek to elect a leader, this is not the U.S. Presidential race that we are talking about but God’s uninterrupted intervention in human salvation history.
With that in mind, UCAN‘s quiz becomes a juvenile, almost ridiculous attempt to “play God”, except that this is no laughing matter; UCAN is a “trusted Catholic” news source!!
Not a single word in Fr. Michael Kelly‘s brief letter to UCAN subscribers is used by him without good reason.
I cite him from the first paragraph above, “Previous Popes have “resigned” because they’ve been pushed out, have become mentally unstable or have been considered illegitimate (because there was another “Pope” considered entitled to the position).” The choice of words reflects on the priest’s true disposition towards the highest Church authority and is unbecoming of the director of a “Catholic” news agency.
In his letter, Fr. Michael Kelly fails to say that his questionnaire probes the readers’ preferences of who they would like to see elected as the next Pope, in other words, their speculation on Benedict XVI’s successor.
Late this afternoon, the 27th of February, I watched BBC’s two-hour live coverage of the Pope’s last public appearance in St. Peter’s square. BBC’s Vatican correspondent David Willey and a female colleague did an excellent job, presenting with honesty an unbiased analysis of issues that had confronted and been dealt with by the Pope during his tenure in office, considering that BBC is notorious for its anti-Catholic rhetoric.
While UCAN and their cohorts attack the pontificate for its perceived failures, they gave the reign of Pope Benedict XVI a good certificate, saying that most of the problems he faced, including the pedophilia scandal, were inherited, and that he had done an excellent job dealing with them.
Brief interviews were conducted with four of five overseas visitors to Rome and one of them was a young Tanzanian youth who, at 11:48 am Rome time, was asked if he would like to see an African as the next Pope. Displaying a wisdom that belied his years, he answered that he was confident that the Holy Spirit would ensure who would be elected! O that UCAN and others of their ilk had but a little of that Catholic’s wisdom!
Taken completely by surprise — I had presumptuously imagined that I was isolated in my opinion — my wife Angela and I spontaneously cheered and applauded and did a high five, I with a hint of tears in my eyes!
Willey’s female colleague later opined that the Church did not need an African or a Latin American Pope as much as it does a European Pope because the Church in those continents is thriving whereas Europe is faced with dwindling numbers of faithful and other crises. The BBC commentators also believed that the most serious problems confronting the Church and the next Pope are secularism and relativism [the belief that all religions are the same, something that many Indian and Asian bishops appear to promote with a missionary zeal], which our beloved Pope has unrelentingly battled. Also mentioned was the “new evangelization”.
These issues do not even figure in UCAN‘s questionnaire, while certain others — most critical to liberals and progressives and dissenters — do, thus underscoring UCAN‘s true disposition, Matthew 12:34, 35.
The questionnaire contained six basic questions to be answered and UCAN subscribers were offered multiple [sometimes loaded] choices in answering them. My responses are indicated in the respective boxes.
1. How did you react on hearing of the Pope’s resignation?
sorry to see him go
sorry for his age & infirmity
pleased to see a younger person in the job
Other (please specify)
2. Rate the main challenges facing the next Pope:
Conflicts in the Church in Europe & the USA
Sex abuse scandal
The diversity of the Church across so many countries and cultures
The fear felt by many about thinking differently on Church policies
Religious pluralism and diversity as the context for the Church’s mission
World conflicts and terrorism
3. What Continent should the next Pope come from?
4. Rate these issues in their importance for the future of the Church:
building effective Church unity
reconciliation with groups dissatisfied with Vatican II
ending mandatory celibacy for the clergy
providing ways for divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the Sacraments
achieving progress on the inclusion of women in sacramental ministry
recognizing same sex relationships
empowering bishops conferences to deal effectively with Vatican bureaucrats
5. How old should the next Pope be?
6. How long should he remain in the job?
Referring to question number one, UCAN and their think-alikes must be “joyful to see him go”. Though the choice was not made available, one could always enter it in the box where I had typed in, “grateful that he has discerned God’s Will correctly”, as I am sure he had responded to God’s will after proper discernment. One of my favourite maxims is, “God’s will; nothing more; nothing less; nothing else”.
In response to question number two, I ranked “low” the conflicts in the Church in Europe and the USA as one of the main challenges for the new Pope not because I believe that they are a low priority but because the Asian Church and more specifically the Indian Church needs a conservative Pope’s immediate attention because of open conflicts between episcopal bodies [e.g. the CBCI-CCBI undercover war], the growing territorial competition and hostility between the three rites, the epidemic of the paganisation of the liturgy and other elements of worship, an inculturation and interfaith dialogue gone awry resulting in syncretism and relativism, the New Age, heretical Catholic Ashrams movement which demands – among other things — substitution of the Eucharist with yoga and meditation, seminary formation that is producing hundreds of subverted priests loyal only to their theologian-masters and seeking to usher in an autonomous Indian church, the feminist/women’s ordination movement supported by theologians, some bishops and sections of the Catholic media, widespread abuse of power and corruption in many of the major archdioceses, and more.
The Indian Church has almost all the problems, barring one or two, of the Euro-Church or the U.S. Church, and many other unique ones endemic to Asia. I believe therefore that the Asian Church needs Rome’s attention on a war-footing. And, for that to be effective, I do not want to see an Indian or Asian as the next Pope, though I concede that God can work wonders with the mind and heart of any one of the candidates.
What is “The fear felt by many about thinking differently on Church policies” that UCAN is so concerned about, what does UCAN mean by “thinking differently“, and who are the “many“? They are those who call themselves Catholics but are really heretics, who disagree with Rome’s traditional interpretation of the Scriptures [magisterial teaching] and foment the same dissent among others. The Church has castigated some of these, excommunicated others, banned certain theologians from teaching, and instituted Apostolic Visitations on groups like the LCWR in the U.S., and that is what UCAN and their kind fear will happen to them if the Church gets a Pope who will continue the purification process commenced by Pope Benedict XVI.
As I said earlier, I avoided responding to questions 3, 5 and 6 where I believe that the Holy Spirit is better equipped to make the right decisions for the good of the Church.
In the case of those questions that I have elected to answer, I do not defend my choices against those of others as I am aware that my understanding of many issues is far from thorough. Consequently, I do not insist that all decisions and results are influenced by the Holy Spirit for reasons that need not be elaborated. I trust that the reader gets the drift of what I am trying to explain.
Against questions 2 and 4, I wonder why UCAN did not offer the alternative choice of “Other (please specify)” as they did with question number 1. Had they done so, I might have been able to offer my opinions.
If the reader is familiar with my other reports on UCAN, I do not need to comment on the offered choices of “ending mandatory celibacy for the clergy“, “achieving progress on the inclusion of women in sacramental ministry“, and “recognizing same sex relationships” in question number 4.
As regards “empowering bishops [sic] conferences to deal effectively with Vatican bureaucrats“, what else is it but an attempt to get Catholics to demand “legalising” dissent against Rome at the episcopal level?
Below, I have reproduced a May 2011 UCAN story. In response to it, Fr. Stephen Alathara, the spokesperson of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Conference wrote a strong comment alleging that UCAN is accustomed to “poor research“, “fabricating stories” and “quoting anti-Catholic persons“.
Nothing new!! This is what I have been stating all along.
I had saved the story and the comment and retrieved them today from my archives.
Now comes the even ore astonishing part: when I clicked on the link to review the web page, I found that UCAN had deleted Fr. Stephen Alathara’s comment!!! The page now says, “0 comments” and “No one has commented yet”; and they call themselves “Catholic”?
Experts hail ‘dark horse’ victory
ucanews.com reporter, Kochi, May 27, 2011
Bishop George Alencherry’s election as the head of the Syro-Malabar Church has been widely welcomed even as it has surprised many.
Bishop Alencherry was also elected yesterday after the post fell vacant following the death of 84-year-old Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil on April 1. The cardinal had led the Syro-Malabar Church, the larger of the Oriental rite Catholic churches in India, since 1997.
“His election indicates divine intervention. He is simple… and not a man of confrontation. The Syro-Malabar Church needs a person like him to guide the Church in modern times,” said Babu Paul, a theologian and expert on Church affairs.
Bishop Alencherry emerged as the “dark horse” as he was not even among the probables, he said.
Sebastian Paul, lawyer and former Member of Parliament, said Bishop Alencherry’s election “surprised us all.” He said: “I’ve no doubt that he emerged as a dark horse. Nobody thought about him till he was elected. Most of us were expecting Curia Bishop and Administrator Bosco Puthur would be elected.”
Several television channels in Kerala state, where the Church is based, flashed Bishop Puthur as the winner, prior to the official announcement, he said.
“He is the best choice who can unite the Church in crucial times. He has indicated that he was for consensus in all matters. It’s a good sign as it will open space for laity in the decision making process of church,” said Charlie Paul, a youth leader.
Felix Pullooden, an official of the Joint Christian Council, also welcomed the election as did Sebastian Chacko, secretary of the Church’s laity commission.
May I humbly request UCAN Editorial desk to publish the reporters name so that we could find out the person. As I had indicated earlier, very many times UCAN reporters quote anti catholic persons from Kerala and never they approach official persons of the Church. This report shows the poor research or purposefully fabricating the stories. We doubt UCAN an anti Catholic news site?
Stephen Alathara. Spokesperson, Kerala Catholic Church
A few days ago, UCAN carried a most irreverent — considering the sanctity and gravity of the issue — article by a Rev. James Martin. Fr. Martin is
culture editor of the liberal-left dissenting ‘America’ magazine which has been castigated by Rome, http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/dissent/index.html. A priest who identifies himself as Fr. Osie wrote in the comments box, “What is your purpose in publishing this. To entertain us?”
Rev James Martin tells us why he should be pope
February 22, 2013, Father Martin has come up with 12 reasons why he should be the one elected.
Eminences, I know you’ve got a tough job coming up in the conclave. You have to do the impossible: elect a guy who is super holy, wicked smart, speaks about a dozen languages and can run an international conglomerate. And if I can be a little blunt, chances are you may not know everyone in the room that day. Especially if you’ve just gotten that red hat you might be sitting in the Sistine Chapel listening to someone talking in French about aggornamiento and ressourcement and be too embarrassed to say to the guy on your left, “Who’s the heck is that?” Besides, everyone sort of looks the same: gray hair, red hat, glasses. It’s hard to keep them straight, no matter how many of those handy “Who’s Who” charts you might have studied.
So to make things easier, I’d like to suggest a candidate who you might not have thought about but upon a few seconds of reflection you’ll know is your man: Me.
Here are 12 reasons why you should elect me pope, which I’m calling: Twelve Reasons Why You Should Elect Me Pope.
1. I’m a man. That’s half the battle, right?
2. I’m baptized. And I’ve got the papers to prove it. No birther controversy here.
3. I speak several languages. Not well, but you know, who does really? I speak English, as you can see from this little essay. And guess what: Bonjour! That’s right: French! I started studying français when I was in seventh grade. (Notice I used the little thingy under the “c.”) That means I can talk to pretty much all of West Africa and France: that’s a lot of Catholics. Unfortunately, if I have to use the subjunctive or the pluperfect we’re out of luck, but all I have to do is avoid saying, “If I were” in any of my encyclicals and we’re golden.
But there’s more: Hola! That’s right: I speak Spanish. More or less. Or, “Mas o menos,” as we say in the biz. Now, in this case, I can’t really handle the past or future tenses, but that’s OK, because that means I’ll be speaking all about the present — which will make me sound forceful and confident. You know, “Now is the time!” Or “Ahora es la … well, ora, I guess.” Anyway, there are lots and lots of Spanish-speaking Catholics and once they hear my rendition of “De Colores,” they’ll be sold on the Servant of the Servants of God muy rapido.
4. I’m half Italian. I almost forgot: Ciao! I’m half Italian. On my mom’s side. So once I’m the Bishop of Rome I’ll easily be able to deal with any problems in the curia, because all the Italian curial officials will instantly recognize me as a paesan. Scandals? Finito! Mismanagement? Basta! (That’s Italian for “done” and “over,” in case yours is rustissimo.) My election will also satisfy anyone looking for an Italian pope: i.e., all the Italian cardinals, who you definitely want on your side. The other half of me, by the way, is Irish, which goes a long way in the States, believe you me.
5. I worked in Africa. I almost forgot my other language. Jambo! That’s right! I speak Swahili. Or Kiswahili. (That’s Swahili for Swahili.) Well, at least I used to. I worked in Kenya for two years. So for all those people who want a pope from the developing world, well, I’m not exactly from there, but there are three babies who were named after me while I was working in Kenya. (They’re not mine, if that’s a worry.) That’s got to count for something.
Now that you know that I speak English and Spanish and French and Swahili, you’re probably thinking, “Gee, why not Jim as the Pontifex Maximus?” Why not share that thought with the guy in red sitting next to you?
6. Books. You probably want a pope who is literate but maybe not someone who spends so much time writing books, what with all the stuff he has to deal with. I know that this was sometimes a criticism of Pope Benedict XVI — not that I’m casting any stones! But I’ve already written my books, so when I’m in the Vatican I’ll be 100 percent on the job. Nine to five. Weekends too, if things ever get really busy. Sundays, of course, I’ll be available for Masses.
7. Business experience! Speaking of jobs — guess what? — I’ve got a degree from the Wharton School. That’s one of the big business schools here in the States. Plus I worked at General Electric for six years. So here’s some good news: say arrivederci to any managerial problems in the curia. Ever heard of Management by Objectives? The marginal propensity to consume? The “Four Ps” of marketing? You will after I’m Supreme Pontiff. That place will run like a top. A top that makes money, too.
8. I’m ordained. I almost forgot: I’m already an ordained priest. That means that, since I meet all the other requirements, the only thing that left is for me to be willing to be ordained a bishop. And guess what: I’m willing. Now let me anticipate a minor objection. I’ll bet that you know that I took a vow as a Jesuit not to “strive for or ambition” any high office in the church, but I’ve got a nice, easy, canonically doable way around that roadblock. Once you elect me pope, I’ll be my own superior! After I put on those white robes, I can just call up the Jesuit superior general and say, “Hey, how about letting me accept that ordination as bishop and my election as pope?” And I figure he’ll have to say yes because he takes orders from me. Problem solved. Besides I’m not striving or ambitioning anyway. I’m campaigning.
9. Educated. The Jesuit training process is really, really, really long. I can’t even remember how many years I was in studies. That means that I studied philosophy (good to know), theology (really good to know) and a whole lot of other stuff like church history, which I think would be pretty helpful as pope. And guess what? I know Ancient Greek, too. That really impresses the scholarly types in the church. E.g., when scholars ask me, “What translation of the New Testament are you using?” I’ll say, “My translation.” They love that kind of thing. Plus, that appeals to the Ancient-Greek-speaking demographic that the church may have given up on.
10. Willing to travel. OK, I admit it. I’m not all crazy about air travel, what with all the delays and having to take your shoes off and sitting next to someone who keeps coughing up a lung, but it just dawned on me that this won’t be a problem at all. The Pontiff has his own airplane: Shepherd One. So once you install free movies in my gold-and-white plane I’m golden. I’ll go wherever you want me to go. To the ends of the earth, if need be. As long as I get an extra bag of peanuts.
11. Humility. I can already predict what your last objection is: My campaigning for pope may make me seem a tad less humble than you might hope for. But isn’t the fact that I’m willing to campaign a sign of my humility? A less humble guy would assume that everyone already knows that he’d be a good candidate and so wouldn’t say anything out of his pride. Kind of counterintuitive, huh? Ergo: Since I’m campaigning, I’m No. 1 when it comes to humility.
12. Cool Name. Everyone knows that the first big decision the pope makes is his choice of name. Plus, I know everyone’s always worried about continuity. With that in mind (I like to think ahead, which is a good trait) I’ve already picked my name. As you know, Pope Paul VI’s successor chose the name “John Paul I,” to show his continuity with Pope John XXIII and Paul VI. Everyone was pretty impressed with that. Next you had John Paul II. More continuity. And of course next we had (or have, depending on when you’re reading this) Benedict XVI. If you elect me, and I hope you will, after I say “Accepto” (see I speak a little Latin too), I would choose my name: John Paul Benedict I. That takes care of everyone from John XXIII to Benedict. Continuity plus. Of course saying “JPB1” might take some getting used to but Catholics are pretty flexible, and I’ll bet before long there will be lots of babies baptized John Paul Benedict.
Anyway, I hope that helps you make a tough decision easier, Your Eminences. Did I leave anything out? Well, I’m a fast typist, I can draw pretty well and I tell some really funny jokes. For example, here’s a good one: “What did the Jesuit say when he was elected pope.”
There’s only one way to find out.
UCAN sourced the story from the Huffington Post,
liberal-left, New Age-promoting news web site and blog, see http://ephesians-511.net/docs/UCAN_WANTS_TO_DO_AWAY_WITH_THE_PRIESTHOOD.doc.
There have been criticisms of UCAN other than that of Fr. Stephen Alathara, but UCAN is notorious for not publishing them, which I can confirm having written to them on several occasions. One such case is their October 13, 2008 story on the New Community Bible which was written after an interview with me. I submitted a comment which was not published by UCAN. I include below the article and the unpublished comment.
Subject: Re: UCAN QUESTIONNAIRE ON THE NCB CONTROVERSY
Dear Mic, NCB story is published today in UCAN. I am sending it as an attachment
Even though I used as many quotes from different people who wrote to me. But the editors have kept the story short and used arguments of only three critics. Thanks for all the help regards Leo [UCA News]
New Community Bible Criticized For Causing Confusion
By Leo Fernando, October 13, 2008 | IB05918.1519 | 644 words
CHENNAI, India (UCAN) — The first Indian version of the Christian Community Bible is facing criticism from people who say it undermines the Catholic faith.
The new version is “unfit for personal prayer, study, sharing, teaching or evangelization,” asserts Michael Prabhu, a Catholic layman who wants the publishers to withdraw it and suspend any further printings.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay released the New Community Bible on June 28, jointly published by St. Paul Publications, Divine Word Publications and Claretian Publications.
According to the publishers, this is the Indian edition of the popular Christian Community Bible originally produced in Spanish in Latin America. An English-language version first appeared in the Philippines.
The Indian edition has the required clearances such as a nihil obstat, certification from a theologian saying its content does not contradict Catholic teaching. It also has an imprimatur, clearance from the hierarchy saying it is free from error in matters of Catholic faith and morals.
Some leading biblical scholars in India have written commentaries for this edition, which took nearly 17 years to complete and which the publishers describe on their website as a gift to the Church in India.
However, critics point to the presentation of parallel texts from Hindu spiritual books and commentaries using Indian mystical figures, saying this runs the risk of equating Christianity with other religions.
“It promotes relativism and syncretism, which are strongly condemned by the Church at regular and frequent intervals,” Prabhu told UCA News. He admits many of the commentaries are excellent but says some have errors.
“They give personal interpretations of events in both the Old and the New Testaments, ignoring the faith value of these events,” he explained. Such commentaries philosophize on alternative explanations for biblical events and ignore traditional interpretations, casting doubt on their authenticity, he asserted.
In an effort to justify inculturation, he continued, some commentaries draw parallels between landmark biblical events and nature religion, deities of other religions or mythological figures.
The layman claimed numerous references are made to Mahatma Gandhi, father of the Indian nation who advocated nonviolence, Gautama Buddha and Indian mystics such as Kabir and Mirabai, but none to saints such as Francis Xavier and John de Britto. Both of these Jesuit missioners preached in India.
Pauline Father Augustine Kanachikuzhy, who edited the New Community Bible, dismissed the criticisms but agreed that references to sacred books of other religions could perhaps make some Christians uncomfortable. “Indian Scriptures are referred to in a Biblical commentary only to get a more inter-cultural and contextualized understanding of certain Biblical terms and concepts,” he told UCA News in an e-mail from Mumbai, western India, where he is based.
Such commentaries also serve as an invitation for people of other faiths to draw from the treasures of the Bible, he added.
The priest pointed out that the idea of a Bible that comes with commentary is a relatively new idea which some cannot accept, even more so when the commentary refers to other religions. “These ideas have to gradually sink into their minds,” he said. The critics think everything in the Bible has to be literal and factual, he charged, whereas the fact “that the Bible contains stories and dramatizations and exaggerations was established long back.”
Father Jose Aymanathil, who is based in Kolkata, eastern India, disagrees. He maintains the publishers have diverted the purpose of the Bible. According to the Salesian priest, the Bible does not aim “to unite us with other religions through text comparisons.” He told UCA News the publishers are “Hinduizing the Bible” in the name of adapting it to the Indian context.
Another critic, Benedictine Father Jean de Britto, told UCA News the New Community Bible “is very dangerous to Catholics because it can destroy or diminish the faith.” The visiting French theologian maintains the problems arise because the New Community Bible puts different religions on a par with one another. END
MY COMMENT SUBMITTED TO UCAN FOR POSTING, BUT NOT PUBLISHED:
I thank UCAN for publishing a report on the criticism of the New Community Bible [NCB] by the faithful, laity and priests.
We have collected a few hundred letters from lay leaders of ministries and from theologians from all over India and overseas. They list dozens of objections to the commentaries in the NCB. 9.
The publishers of the NCB might have received the nihil obstat and the imprimatur, but I have now reconfirmed that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference has called for a revision.
It is not without precedent that important Catholic works have later been censured or revised.
There have been problems with at least two other Community Bibles.
1. Chinese edition, 1999. “Since its publication, this translation has been in the centre of a controversy regarding the translation process and the content of its commentaries. Because of the criticisms, some regard this translation as being a poor translation unsuitable for lay people without extensive prior theological training.”
2. “The French edition of the Christian Community Bible (1994)… was initially a great success, but its imprimatur was rescinded in 1995 amid accusations of having anti-Semitic overtones in its commentaries.
A revised translation (1998) is still considered controversial by some in the Jewish community, not because of anti-Semitic overtones but because of replacement theology overtones.”
But, the Philippines Bishops’ Conference’s Community Bible on which the Indian version is stated to be based has not even one single error in its commentaries.
To return to the UCAN report:
The sentence quoting me starting with “In an effort to justify inculturation” might make some readers think that I am against inculturation. What my team and I are against is the “hindu-isation” of the Church in the name of inculturation.
Father Augustine Kanachikuzhy makes several statements that are not true. To respond to just three:
1. He said, “The idea of a Bible that comes with commentary is a relatively new idea which some cannot accept”.
I have a large collection of Catholic Bibles, some of which have commentaries and footnotes and are over ten years old.
Protestant Study Bibles have been around for a long time and many Catholics in ministry refer to these now and then.
2. He said, “The critics think everything in the Bible has to be literal and factual”.
I do not know what gave Father that idea. We may not all be theologians but we have been to Catholic Evangelization and Bible Schools. We are up-to-date on Church teaching and have studied the 1993 document, “The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church,” issued by the Pontifical Biblical Commission which was headed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now the Pope. Moreover, around thirty priests including Doctors in Theology and Canon Law have given us letters criticizing various aspects of the NCB commentaries, in commission as well as in omission.
3. He said, “That the Bible contains stories and dramatizations and exaggerations was established long back.”
We do not know what Father Augustine means by “exaggerations”. And this is basically the problem in the mindset of the theologians that has translated into misleading and confusing statements in the commentaries. It is because of these that the NCB has become unfit for Christian spiritual consumption.
The two priests from our team quoted in your report are a Doctor in Canon Law and a Summa cum Laude Theologian from a Roman University. If they and all the Catholics who have joined our team think differently from the publishers of the NCB, and if even there is a concession from the Bishops’ Conference of one minor revision in the commentaries, our position stands vindicated. It remains to be seen whether our leaders will have the humility to publicly admit their collective error and correct the profusion of errors, only a few of which we have pointed out.
After all, it is a matter concerning the faith and the fate of the future Indian Church.
Finally, the scholars who wrote the controversial commentaries and the Bishops who tend to underestimate the dangers of these errors would do well to read the daily reports of the many Catholic news agencies on the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God currently in progress in Rome. They justify the correctness of the stand that we have taken on the NCB.
Thank you and God bless you all,
October 15, 2008
New Community Bible article was published in Mangalorean Catholics yahoo group digest no. 1017 dated October 14, 2008, with the following comment:
Congratulations! This is wonderful news. Do you realise this is the first unbiased catholic news article on the NCB. The backbreaking work of yours must have paid off. You are truly “God’s scavenger” to put it as picturesquely as you, close to His heart. Many thanks for this and God bless, Derrick D’Costa
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2008 11:52 AM Subject: New Community Bible Criticized For Causing Confusion
New Community Bible Criticized for Causing Confusion
by Leo Fernando
New Community Bible article was then carried by the official web site of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
Subject: This should cheer you – New Community Bible Criticized for Causing Confusion
In 2007, UCAN had interviewed me on the subject of Yoga. The interview was never published. On request, I also submitted a synopsis of Yoga which was not published by UCAN. Over the course of the last six years, I have watched as UCAN have published news items that glorify the practise of the Hindu art of yoga.
This evening I was contacted and interviewed at home by UCAN’s Special Correspondent for my views on the Yoga Controversy that is raging after two British Protestant vicars banned yoga on their church premises August 31 onwards.
The Hindu, 02/09/2007, Ban on yoga evokes sharp reaction,
New Delhi/London: Reacting sharply to the ban on yoga classes in two churches in England, yoga exponent Baba Ramdev and a Catholic priest said on Saturday the decision stemmed from “ignorance.” “To relate yoga with religion is nothing but ignorance. There is nothing to suggest in the yoga texts that it is against Christianity,” Baba Ramdev said.
Delhi Catholic Archdiocese spokesperson [Fr.] Emmanuel Dominic said that the action was owing to “lack of sufficient knowledge about what yoga is.”
On September 1, 2007, Headlines Today TV Channel conducted a panel discussion titled: POSTURING ON YOGA.
The panelists were:
Enos Das Pradhan, General Secretary, Church of North India
Fr. Babu Joseph Karakombil SVD, Spokesperson, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India
Fr. Dominic Emmanuel, Spokesperson, Delhi Catholic Archdiocese
Suneel Singh, Yoga guru
I was late in tuning in, and while I missed the first few minutes, I also could not take any notes of the rest, except
Enos Das Pradhan: Many of our priests and bishops practise yoga but not as a religion.
Suneel Singh: Yoga will benefit one SPIRITUALLY also.
What I heard from the two priests was, in essence, that the Church finds no problem with yoga.
There must have been a news release also but I did not find one in the newspapers.
Here is a brief printed synopsis on yoga which I gave to UCAN correspondent Leo Fernando, along with the interview:
THE YOGA CONTROVERSY, By Michael Prabhu,
September 14, 2007
This ministry has engaged in researching, writing, and speaking on the errors of New Age practices since 1999.
These practices include ‘holistic’ eastern meditational systems, and alternative therapies or alternative medicine.
The system of yoga is the most popular of the meditations, others being T.M., Vipassana and Zen.
February 3, 2003, the Vatican issued the Document “Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life, a Christian Reflection on the ‘New Age’‘.” Yoga is listed as a New Age discipline in sections #2.1 and #220.127.116.11
The present Pope Benedict XVI signed the October 15, 1989 Document “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation” which warns of the dangers involved in the practise of yoga, T.M. and Zen.
Yoga is not simply a regimen of asanas [physical exercises and postures] and pranayama [breathing exercises].
The asanas prepare the body for ‘breathing’ and for meditation. Pranayama is not the breathing of air as is commonly thought, but the control of the flow of prana, the advaitic [monistic, all is one] universal energy that is in all and is all.
Yoga commences with two stages of external and internal control. The next stages, asanas and pranayama are designed to still one’s mind for three steps of withdrawal of the senses, concentration, and contemplation or meditation to enable one to unify oneself in the final stage with the impersonal ‘supreme consciousness’, the goal of yoga.
Christian mysticism maintains the distinction between the meditator and a personal God. They can never be ‘one’.
Yoga therefore, like all New Age disciplines, is ‘holistic’: its practise involves body, mind and spirit. While the physical component of yoga might be beneficial, it can never be completely isolated from the mental and spiritual aspects – and therefore the dangers associated with them – which the Vatican Documents warn Catholics about.
The origin of yoga is found in the ascetic practices of a religious group called the Vratyas in the Atharva Veda; in its present meaning it was first used in the Katha
Upanishad and was developed in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, later formulated as ashtanga [eight-limbed] yoga by a sage named Patanjali in his treatise called Yoga Sutra.
The goal of yoga is spiritual: self-realisation, enlightenment, or liberation [mukti, moksha]. The religious presuppositions of these pre-Christian philosophies are incompatible with the Biblical revelation of the nature of God, creation, man, sin, salvation, and Christian eschatology.
The Bishops and Theological Commissions of Croatia, Korea, Spain, Ireland, Malaysia, Slovakia, Mexico and the US are among those who have issued unambiguous official condemnations of the discipline of yoga, calling it a non-Christian religious practice which comes in the guise of physical exercises. Catholic ministries like EWTN TV, and renowned priests like the Vatican’s chief exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth have said the same on their programs or in their writings.
A Catholic may beneficially engage in performing breathing exercises while exercising or adopting healthy postures without insisting on the use of the terms yoga, meditation, asanas or pranayama – which might lead to an exploration of, and possible subscribing to, the philosophies underscoring them.
For those who insisting on using yoga as prayer, or as an aid to prayer, the Documents remind us that Catholics do not need techniques for effective prayer in a personal relationship and communication with God.
As a number of Christian researchers and writers on New Age themes have concluded, “There is no such thing as ‘Christian Yoga’.” 11.
We have seen that UCAN touts itself as “Asia’s most trusted independent Catholic news source”, and we have also seen that UCAN can neither be trusted by Catholics nor recognised as Catholic.
Rather than provide more documentation of the dangerous spiritual fare doled out by UCAN, I will instead concentrate the rest of this report on a “sister-concern” of UCAN, the New South Wales, Australia based Church Resources which calls its news letter “CathNews“, which of course is “Catholic News”.
Church Resources merged with UCAN in February 2011. But Church Resources Executive Director Fr Michael Kelly SJ had been appointed as director of the Bangkok-based UCAN as far back as September 2008.
If anything, Church Resources “CathNews” is even more radical and dissenting than UCAN. Funny thing is, all these media are virulently anti-Catholic but cannot retain their reader base without the fraudulent use of the “Catholic” tag. I will reproduce below, in chronological order, a few articles from CathNews, while in some cases I will publish either extracts from them or just their titles [there’s more than enough of rubbish to be copied here and I have had to be choosy] followed by selected readers’ comments criticizing CathNews.
There’s one major difference between CathNews and UCAN. UCAN will not publish criticism but CathNews brazenly does.
Both CathNews as well as UCAN come in
Indian editions and I subscribe to both, but I have not opened and read a single of the CathNews or CathNewsIndia dispatches for almost 18 months.
“Church Resources” or CathNews, a UCAN-related anti-Catholic media
February 8, 2011
We are pleased to announce that CathNews Asia is merging with ucanews.com, Asia’s most trusted Catholic news source on Feb.14. Thank you for being with us over the nearly two years that UCAN has been publishing CathNews Asia.
We have enjoyed bringing to you a daily “executive summary” of the most important news relevant to Catholics in the region.
Since we started in mid-2009, UCAN has added national CathNews services for China, Philippines, India, Indonesia and Korea with further services in the pipeline.
Meanwhile, UCAN has invested heavily to develop its own news reporting and processing capabilities, particularly through the addition of online audio and video services. We have also re-designed our website and newsletter.
With such development, we thought it is now an opportune time to merge CathNews Asia with UCAN’s own daily email newsletter.
The merger means a better product to you. You will continue to receive the exclusive ucanews.com newsletter that summarizes all the events that interest the Church in Asia from our own reporters and a selection from the web of relevant stories covered by other sources.
We trust that you continue to enjoy the newsletter and benefit from visiting the re-designed ucanews.com website.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Executive Director, UCAN
Church filmed woman’s ordination
July 10, 2008
I don’t know why CathNews includes from time to time articles from National Catholic Reporter. NCR is so obviously “way out there liberal” that they should not be mentioned at all, if CathNews regards itself as being a voice of orthodoxy, because for the less informed this only tends to supply some legitimacy to their push for a “democratic church”, where the Pope is just another Bishop and homosexual and women priests and bishops are part of their agenda. National Catholic Register, on the other hand, is a legitimate source, I feel.
Posted By: Joe
Television Review – Compass: Catholic Dilemma
July 14, 2008 On the occasion of Pope Benedict XVI’s World Youth Day visit, Geraldine Doogue in a two part Compass special examines thorny issues facing the Catholic Church in Australia: the crisis in the priesthood, and the role of women in the Church.
In the first part of the series, Sex or Celibacy the lack of priests for regular Sunday worship is examined. Priestly candidates are now being brought in from overseas and ex-Anglican priests are being recruited. Geraldine Doogue meets some who’ve left the priesthood and some who’ve stayed. She asks: In order to save the Church’s future should celibacy be a thing of the past?
ABC1, Sunday July 20 at 10.10pm (rpt ABC2, Friday July 25 at 6.00pm) http://www.abc.net.au/compass
Film Review – The Love Guru
July 15, 2008
A bizarre mélange of Eastern mysticism and ice hockey, The Love Guru
is the new vehicle for Canadian comedy star Mike Myers who also produced and co-wrote it. So anyone who didn’t revel in Austin Powers should exercise extreme caution.
Myers is one of those comedy people whose greatest attribute is unswerving confidence that everything they do is hilarious. He is energetic enough as the perennially grinning guru who has written a book for every situation is never short of a catchy proverb, and the movie’s tilts at the commercialism of the guru industry are mostly well-placed. But the script is shabby and full of grubby sexual innuendo. – Jim Murphy, Australian Catholic Office for Fil and Broadcasting
Starring: Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake and Romany Malco, directed by Marco Schnabel
Rated: M (frequent sexual references, some coarse language and drug references)
Opinion – Western ways lead to increase in same-sex behaviour
October 24, 2008
Social and cultural norms, as well as legal regulations, influence human behaviour including sexual behaviour. So not surprisingly, as Western countries have become increasingly pro-homosexual, they have experienced an upward trend in the number of individuals engaging in homosexual behaviour. That trend will continue if we move beyond mere tolerance of homosexual behaviour to formally honouring it by legalising same-sex marriage.
The data finds that human sexuality is malleable and environmental experiences and influences can and do shape its expression. Moreover, these findings are supported by decades of anthropological and sociological evidence that reveal that rates of homosexual behavior fluctuate, sometimes greatly, with changes in the social, cultural, and legal climate. The more an environment affirms or encourages same-sex sexuality, the more homosexuality there will be in that setting. – Trayce Hansen, MercatorNet (click below for full article)
CathNews, why is it that you place a report of the most rigorous scientific studies that have been conducted into the subject, under the category “Opinion”? Posted By: Ronk
January 14, 2009
Editor, where do you drag up such claptrap news from? How about trawling a little deeper this year for the Good News being lived out so well in our Church, here in Australia particularly.
Put a bit of a budget together and actually employ someone to go out and find the stories of how everyday people of every sexual orientation are humbly trying to live in faith in the Church without wanting to or having to be defined by their sexual orientation, as they have more to give than any lusty thoughts which evaporate so quickly and leave the world unchanged in its many pains and wounds.
Such a misreading of the six pages of the Pope’s address to the Curia should have been left to go through to the keeper. The Pope never used the word ‘homosexual’ and as far as the UN vote taken a couple of weeks previously, the Vatican representative made it very explicit that the Catholic Church (yes the Vatican does speak on behalf of us as a Church) abhors homophobia and any criminal sanctions against homosexuals and lesbians, but, because of the wording of the proposed Declaration, would not support it because it did not allow for nations to be respected in upholding a belief that homosexuality was not natural and not able to be supported by their own civil laws as an alternative lifestyle.
The quality of your CathNews service is on the line. Help us Catholics to be truly literate in the issues and help us to develop critical literacy so we can put the real facts out there in our conversations with others.
Posted By: Fr Mick Mac Andrew Bombala-Delegate NSW
March 6, 2009
“Southern Africans rebel against new Mass translation”? Hooey! The sensationalist headline and lead paragraph of this story are sheer beat-up, and distort the facts.
The lead para clearly implies that the bishops felt it was a mistake to go ahead with the use of the translations because they viewed them as an ‘arbitrary imposition’ etc. Read on: in fact the bishops were acknowledging a mistake in ‘jumping the gun’ — using the texts before they were fully approved. Now they were begging permission to keep using them! The negative view of the translations came in fact from a ‘faceless’ newspaper editorial writer, some unidentified letter writers, and Bishop Dowling! I happen to agree with him, but CathNews’ covert editorialising does us no favour by treating the readers as idiots.
Except for the distorted headline and leading para, every word of the CathNews story is taken from a completely ‘straight’ report in the US Catholic News Service. All CathNews added was the little tweak that screwed it up.
CathNews does this too often, and I find I’m bothering to read it less and less. Its tone is often too much like the contempt with which the secular press sensationalizes stories on religion: religious people are stupid and extremist, so are their views and their behaviour. A Catholic news service should of course report the facts fearlessly, but with a deeper, and consequently more sympathetic, understanding of the Church.
Posted By: (Fr) Michael Mason CSsR
Fr Michael Mason says it as many of us are feeling it. But, to be true to CathNews and what it is, we can’t expect it to change as it is not an official arm of the Catholic Church. It actually is a private company I believe, running on commission from the companies it advertises to the Catholic Church.
If we wish CathNews to be more responsible maybe we have to start with writing to the companies and expressing our disappointment that they are doing business with an organisation that does not really respect the Church. It could just filter down the wire to the faceless editor of CathNews. Posted By: Fr Mick Mac Andrew Bombala-Delegate NSW
May 11, 2009
CathNews, even The Times managed to get it right with “Mixed-Sex Community”. Why oh why did you have to change it to the ugly, distorted, “politically correct” and grammatically wrong “Dual gender convent”? (This on top of changing the Herald-Sun’s “correct “crucifix” into the incorrect “cross”) What’s the agenda here? Posted By: Ronk
May 20, 2009
What’s the difference between a maze and a labyrinth?
Sister of St Joseph Lorraine N. Villemaire has a pithy response: A maze is a puzzle to be solved; a labyrinth is a path to be walked. She has published The Labyrinth Experience, a resource to help educators introduce students to labyrinths. It provides information about the history of labyrinths, themes and designs and instructions on how to walk a labyrinth.
Villemaire said her 132-page soft-cover book explains how a labyrinth can be used to increase interest in all academic subjects. “Connecting labyrinths with academic subjects fosters growth in students’ self esteem, respect, positive thinking and relaxation,” she said: Music, art, language, history, problem solving and other subjects can be tied into labyrinths.
The Labyrinth is New Age -Michael
What every Catholic should know
July 17, 2009
Today, many Roman Catholics do not know what official Roman Catholic teaching is or what it means to be called Catholic. In light of this, many are unaware that numerous contradictions exist between the Bible and the Catholic faith. This web site has been designed to help you understand both Official Catholic teaching and the truth found in the Holy Bible. We have integrated numerous video clips throughout this site to create a interactive learning experience for you. On the left of the screen, the pages have been organized topically so you may better navigate and investigate the various teachings of the Catholic Catechism and the contrast you will find with the Bible.
For ease of communication the textual references for information have been limited to the Official 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Authorized Version of the Holy Bible. These two sources are readily available online as well as in most bookstores. The reader is invited to look up each topic in the context of the Scriptures as well as in the Catechism. We encourage your personal study and the exercising of your religious liberty. These topics are of grave concern and should be studied with all diligence. These are matters in which you are required to rest your eternal soul.
We are glad that you have visited and trust that you will learn and grow in your understanding of the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Scriptures.
Every good Catholic wants to please God in this present life and, when life on earth is over, hopes to live with Him forever. It’s a noble goal based on your personal beliefs about God and how you seek to know Him. But noble intentions and personal beliefs about God don’t guarantee results, or eternal life. It is my desire that you would do what many of us as Catholics have done before; make sure your beliefs have a solid foundation in the Bible.
We must give to this former priest DVDs from the site “Catholics go home”! Posted By: Luiz Camacho
I am intrigued and a bit bemused to see CathNews feature an anti-Catholic site in its ‘featured website’ section. I’d be interested in hearing the motives for featuring a site that’s purpose is ‘to disparage the Catholic Church by calling Roman Catholicism unbiblical.’ Posted By: Mark Rix
Why on earth would CathNews use a fundamentalist anti-Catholic website – and not even a particularly good one – as the featured website? What idiots! Posted By: Mike
August 12, 2009
The Church seems forever to be embracing those she once held in suspicion. Galileo Galilei, the Italian astronomer, is the most famous among them. But there are others, too, like Thomas Aquinas, Joan of Arc and Ignatius Loyola. The most recent candidate for rehabilitation is the Jesuit paleontologist, evolutionary philosopher and spiritual writer Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. […]
Teilhard is no model for Christians either on a theological or humane level. The author of this article attributes his own attitudes to Benedict XVI.
Posted By: Dr Noel Keith Roberts
De Chardin is the world’s no. 1 New Ager according to the Vatican Document on the New Age -Michael
Hocus Pocus replacing religious belief
October 12, 2009 Melinda Houston, Sunday Age
New Age stuff -Michael
Catholic chemist refuses to dispense condoms and contraceptive pills
October 14, 2009
Catholic, a chemist but he won’t sell the pill (Sydney Morning Herald)
Once again, very poor editing from CathNews, to report what one of his detractors has said but not to print the very gracious way that he deals with the issue and the individuals. That is very poor editing from CathNews. It makes you wonder sometimes if we aren’t reading an anti-catholic news site. Posted By: Fr Mick Mac Andrew, Bombala NSW
Pell denies sending disgraced priest to Perth
February 12, 2010
Once again I find on CathNews a lack of respect by designating our Cardinal Archbishop as ‘Pell’ rather than at least ‘Cardinal’ or ‘Archbishop’ Pell. Is it too much to ask an organisation partly funded by the bishops of Australia to show this small degree of respect? I have sent a note to the President of the ACBC. Perhaps he will be able to persuade you. I hope so. Posted By: Fr Ronan Kilgannon
Church Resources Video – Joan Chittister US Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister talks about the need for inter-religious forums like the Parliament of the World’s Religions, her inspiration to take part in dialogue, and the status of women in religion. Read more…
Posted by moderator,
February 22, 2010
Joan Chittister is a dissenting nun who promotes the ordination of women -Michael
CathBlog – What is this story doing on CathNews?
By Christine Hogan, April 21, 2010
Christine Hogan is the Communications Manager of Church Resources
Choosing the stories which appear on your CathNews every day is not my job. That task is in the hands of the editor-in-chief. The defence of his choices, though, falls to me when his taste or vision or grasp of the issues is called into question by some of our readers. The prompts for outraged calls of ‘What is this story doing on CathNews?’ recently have ranged from David Beckham’s new tattoo, to former High Court Justice Michael Kirby on singer Ricky Martin’s decision to out himself, and Lady Gaga’s fretting that her lifestyle and stage persona might alienate her traditional, American-Italian Catholic family.
With regards to the former England football captain, the answer is simple: Whatever David Beckham does draws headlines. He got one in January on CathNews when he added a black and white image of Jesus Christ to his existing collection of body art as a tribute to a grandfather who had recently died. [David Beckham gets another tattoo, an image of Jesus (The Hindu/Press Trust of India)]
It wasn’t the football superstar’s first tattoo of a religious nature – he had already inked in an angel with the text ‘In the face of adversity’, and a crucifix on the back of his neck just above a guardian angel. (Becks and Posh also referred to holy matters when they named their youngest son Cruz.) The juxtaposition of a newsmaker like Beckham and religious iconography was of interest to the E-i-C, so, in the best tradition of editing, he published what interested him, and hoped that it interested others as well. Some CathNews readers were distinctly disinterested in David and his tatts and quick to ask why this story was featured at all.
Few people can draw fire from a section of CathNews readers as quickly as the retired High Court Justice Michael Kirby does. On April 9, he copped a number of serves in emails to the discussion board when he supported the decision of the Mexican pop star Ricky Martin to finally come out and announce he is homosexual. [Kirby slams government inaction on same-sex marriage (ABC/AAP)]
Michael Kirby mentioned Martin in a keynote speech he gave at the second International Queer Studies Conference in Brisbane and played Martin’s song Livin’ La Vida Loca as both his introduction and outro. In that speech, he also referred to same sex marriage – which he wants the Federal government to recognize, even though it is not something he and his partner would consider: ‘My partner and I have discussed the issue and probably would not get married if there were such a law because we have stuck it out for 41 long years and the idea of getting married we haven’t fully embraced.’
Since marriage is a sacrament of the Church, members of the Church have a fundamental concern with how marriage is discussed and regarded in contemporary society, to say nothing of how it is treated in any potential government legislation. And that is why this story was on CathNews.
Now to poor Gaga. The pop sensation (real name Stefani Germanotta) is still in her early 20s, and struggling to come to terms with fame and stardom, how to get all her clothes on in the morning, and the fact the Coke cans should not be used as either hair decorations or rollers. According to the CathNews story, Lady Gaga Fears Family Will Disown Her (The Inquisitr): ‘The big issue is that, despite her wild persona, Stef comes from an ultra-traditional Italian Catholic family.
“Stef (‘s) grandma is heartbroken that she hasn’t settled down and got married yet,” the report stated. The problem for Gaga is that she seems to be keeping her options open about the gender of a potential partner but a decision to choose a same-sex alliance would have huge repercussions for her, according to The Inquisitr: ‘If Stef’s family rejected her for falling for a woman, she’d be utterly heartbroken.’
And that is why the story was on CathNews. This challenge to Lady Gaga is in the public arena; how many more people – young and not so young – struggle with their sexuality in silence and shame and secrecy for fear of rejection? What underlines this drama is Lady Gaga’s connection to her family and their sustaining love for her.
As one CathNews poster wrote: ‘I saw Lady Gaga being interviewed and her responses were so unexpected. She came over as polite, thoughtful before giving answers and spoke lovingly (and seemingly, genuinely) about her parents, especially her dad. I remember thinking there must be something strong and good in her background. I can’t imagine parents who’ve produced a lasso who still manages to shine through the trappings of an unusual celebrity image, rejecting their daughter. They sound like people who’d love their children through thick and thin.’
Children who, no matter what, need and crave their family’s love and acceptance; families who love and support their children who thick and thin… that is what the Lady Gaga story was about, and that’s why it earned its place on CathNews.
Christine Hogan is the Communications Manager of Church Resources, which publishes CathNews
Disclaimer: CathBlog is an extension of CathNews story feedback. It is intended to promote discussion and debate among the subscribers to CathNews and the readers of the website. The opinions expressed in CathBlog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference or of Church Resources.
It’s all a question of balance! CathNews occasionally veers toward anti-Catholic news — especially when it features denunciatory stuff from the New York Times. Posted By: Anthony Kelly
I still stand firm on my original complaint – do we have to read about every homosexual who ‘outs’ himself in the media? I suggest only if they claim to be practising Catholics. I would rather read about conversion stories concerning people who renounce sin to follow Christ, not the world. Posted By: Michael Bernard
I read CathNews to find out items related to my faith that are not in the mainstream media… However what really gets me is the opinions and gossips that are published without having checked whether the story is actually true. I find it very disappointing when CathNews repeats ‘opinions’ from mainstream media as they invariably tend to be just gossip, biased or plain untrue. Posted By: Annemie
Like Michael Bernard, I stand by my questioning of what or why a number of MSM stories were doing on this site.
The name of the site implies that its function is about Catholic news. That of course is only an implication. However if that is what its mission is, then the choice of the aforementioned articles, in my opinion, does little to support Catholics, or those enquiring about the Catholic Church, or to foster legitimate (or informed) debate. I think an observer could be forgiven for concluding that there is a trend of stories that question a range of fundamental Catholic teachings. The repetition of a string of (inaccurate) stories attacking Pope Benedict was particularly distressing for me. Posted By: Peter in Canberra
Video – Meditation guru’s monastery without walls
May 11, 2010
This Eureka Street interview with Laurence Freeman, Director of the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM), concludes the series recorded at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne in December 2009. It is sponsored by the Asia-Pacific Centre for Inter-Religious Dialogue at the Australian Catholic University.
This video was uploaded to YouTube in April 2010.
World Community for Christian Meditation is New Age -Michael
Freemason politician denied Catholic burial
May 25, 2010
The Catholic Church is the source of this ancient & fanatical practice. They don’t practice what they preach. To them this is still the age of the Spanish Inquisition. God’s children come from all corners of the Earth… all equal. As Freemasons we believe in simple tenets…”Brotherly love, relief, & truth.” We believe in God & the immortality of the soul. All men are brothers of one Father in heaven. So mote it be. Posted By: Jaime Hernandez
God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are discussing about their next holidays.
God the Father: I will go to Mount Ararat; it is the primary source of everything.
Jesus: I will go to Bethlehem, I want to come back home for a while.
The Holy Ghost says: I will go to Rome.
Rome?!? Demand the other two. Yes, Rome, I have never been there! Posted By: Giovanni
Bro. Jaime, I agree with you 101 % Posted By: Gus-t
Here we see Freemasons commenting with full freedom -Michael
CathBlog – Beautiful little pagans
By Bill Farrelly, June 16, 2010
It’s long past time to accept that God made women and men equal. It’s time to ask ourselves: if Jesus was standing physically among us right now, would he say women cannot be priests? Would he say priests can never marry? Would he come out of Sunday Mass feeling refreshed and stimulated by a homily that inspired and challenged him? Would he have an open mind to this suggestion: Allow single young men and women to become priests for a fixed period, say five to ten years, after which they could decide to stay on or leave to follow a different vocation.
A Fear-Based Church? Why So Many Catholics Are Afraid to Speak Out
July 14, 2010
See my comments on Fr. James Martin and the Huffington Post on pages 7, 8 -Michael
Feature – From priest to professor, with passion
July 14, 2010
CathBlog – Nuns or sisters?
By Carmel Pilcher, July 27, 2010
CathBlog – The Vatican is not beyond scrutiny
By David Timbs July 29, 2010
Film Review – Leaving
August 3, 2010
This French subtitled film is a romantic thriller with Kristin Scott-Thomas playing the role of a married woman who has a steamy affair with a carpenter … The movie’s censorship rating is well earned by the inclusion of very strong sex scenes. The sexual scenes between Suzanne and Ivan, and Suzanne and her husband are very explicit, and leave nothing much to imagination. – Peter Sheehan, Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.
Why would you advertise such rubbish on a catholic website? We know about all the garbage in the film industry. Please do us a service by advertising decent films (if there are any) on this website. Posted By: Anne van Tilburg
Who wants to know about a ‘steamy’ adulterous film? To keep the commandments is difficult as society is at present; why take pleasure in watching other people’s sins? Posted By: Anne Boyce Sydney
CathBlog – Behaving sexually as God intended
August 3, 2010
By putting so much emphasis so constantly on Mary’s virginity the Church has unwittingly demeaned the billions of women who have chosen to become wives and mothers. There is never a similar emphasis placed on male virginity even though the Church exhorts both male and female abstinence before marriage.
Opinion – Women’s ordination offence against order, not faith
August 6, 2010
Women’s ordination and other crimes of passion, by Andrew Hamilton, August 5, 2010
The Vatican came briefly into public view recently when a document seemed to make the ordination of women equivalent to paedophilia among priests. A Vatican spokesman later said that no equivalence was intended. Paedophilia was a crime against morality. To participate in the ordination of women was a crime against faith.
The view that the ordination of women in the Catholic Church is a crime against faith bears some reflection.
The logic of churches naming ‘crimes’ is clear enough. Any organisation will have its expectations of its members, and breaches of those rules can be sanctioned.
A football club will demand that players attend training and arrive sober. To arrive late and drunk will be seen as an offence against what is expected of the player as a footballer. But players will also be expected to respect the symbols of the club. If he publicly burns the club flag and jumper, he will offend against what is expected of him as a clubman. It is an offence against what the club stands for. An offence, we might say, against its faith.
Church law works on the same principle. The language reflects a time when the Church was the lawgiver for Christendom. Although clerical paedophilia and participation in the ordination of woman are totally different, both have been declared to be incompatible with life in the Catholic Church. So they can be sanctioned.
But I found the naming of participating in women’s ordination as a crime against faith disconcerting. I had recently attended the ordination of a woman friend in another church. The ordination service was much the same as the Catholic service, expressing the responsibility of the church for ordaining the candidates and their accountability to God and the Church in their ministry. The celebration was prayerful and joyful, and promised to be the prelude to a fruitful ministry by faithful and committed candidates. It was thoroughly faithful.
It seemed impossible to say that the ordination of this woman in that church was a crime against faith. Nor indeed was it conceivable that the ordination of women in that church was against the faith of that church. To describe as against faith an action that was based in faith in Christ, that served the faith of the church, and came out of the proper order of a believing community, seems quixotic.
It would seem more accurate to describe the ordaining of women in the Catholic Church as primarily an offence against order rather than as an offence against faith.
That is not to minimise its significance. Order has to do with faithfulness to Christ in the patterns of church life. A properly regulated ministry is central in the order of any church. To ordain women without authorisation in the Catholic Church attacks the principle that ministry should be licensed and also breaches one of the principles that are built into the licensing — that ordination be restricted to men. This principle, of course, is grounded in the understanding of faith, but the ordination is directly an offence against order.
It is like the action of someone who trespasses on military facilities in a protest against the war in Afghanistan, or arranges a ceremony in which they are invested in police uniforms in protest against police brutality. The trespass and wearing of uniform are against the ordering of society. They also involve a judgment on the ethical underpinnings of that society, but they are not named crimes for that reason.
In both these examples, however, the breach of order is accompanied by a judgment of the ideology that underpins the way in which order is constructed. The protest actions are passionate. They challenge the ethical foundations of society. That is why the response to the actions so often seems disproportionate. The actual challenge to order by a few unarmed people stepping on to forbidden land is minimal. The symbolic value of the gesture explains the harsh penalties often imposed.
Similarly a few maverick ordinations are more a diversion than a threat to the order of the Church. But they do represent a passionate challenge on ethical grounds to the traditions that undergird Church order. So in that sense they do touch on faith. They are prophetic gesture, and churches know the power of apparently quixotic prophetic gestures. The Scriptures are full of them. So they are taken seriously.
The difficulty with prophetic gestures, of course, is that the more harsh the response to them, the more they make people ask about the legitimacy of the traditions to which they draw attention. Where there is dissent, sometimes it is better for societies and churches not to focus on penalties, but to settle in for the long haul and engage with good humour with one’s mavericks.
Andrew Hamilton is the consulting editor for Eureka Street. He teaches at the United Faculty of Theology in Melbourne.
I don’t see how the ordination of a woman into a church not possessing valid sacraments can have any bearing on a pretend ordination of a woman into the priesthood of the Universal Church.
The former is probably a sincere, though misguided, expression of faith; the latter is a crime against the Faith, and a crime against those seeking salvation through Christ’s Church. Posted By: Lance Eccles, Goulburn, NSW
This issue strikes at the very heart of sacramental theology. The Catholic position is clear. This is a matter of faith.
It bears upon ‘issues of Incarnation and salvation’, not psychological bias. Posted By: RU, Sydney
Many of the comments by CathNews readers are anti-Catholic. I omit them. The purpose of my reproducing this article is to show that like UCAN, CathNews is biased towards the ordination of women. -Michael
What’s in a film for Catholics?
Christine Hogan September 22, 2010
Previously I have written as the moderator of the CathNews discussion boards about comments from outraged readers who consider a particular story has no place on CathNews. Paul Hogan‘s latest visit for his mother’s funeral, for instance, earned some condemnation as a story choice, as did one on Zsa Zsa Gabor calling a priest for anointing as her health failed, and another about Mark Wahlberg, in Australia to promote his latest film, going to Mass daily. They are simply all examples to me of Catholicism in action at the pressure points of life or in daily practice.
Sometimes the outrage extends to the film reviews and comes from readers who wonder why on earth a particular movie has been reviewed. This was one such recently, posted by ‘POB’ of Cairns, about a film reviewed on September 3 by CathNews‘ film reviewer, Father Peter Malone MSC: ‘I read CathNews occasionally and was shocked by this review. Why is CathNews reviewing The Kids Are Alright (pictured) and not connecting it to our Catholic faith? I can go to other film reviews if I wanted a world view of a movie. What is the point of reviewing movies, books, DVDs etc…? If (the review) is not related to how as Catholics/Christians we should view them? The Kids are Alright is definitely not the sort of movie that I would recommend viewing by any Catholic. Where is CathNews‘ Christian responsibility in terms of subject matters?’
It seemed to me that POB raised important questions, so I sent a copy of the comment to Father Richard Leonard sj, Director of the Australian Catholic office for Film & Broadcasting, for his response. This is what he wrote to POB, but it is informative to many who sometimes wonder about why a particular review is on CathNews: ‘I am sorry you are sometimes shocked by our film reviews, but I thank you for raising some important issues and which enables me to reply to your concerns.’
Thanks for the reply. My understanding from the response is that CathNews is diluting its message in order to accommodate its diverse audience. I am disappointed that CathNews is not showing stronger moral and spiritual stance and saddened that in doing so will lose some readers. I don’t think that any Christian should isolate themselves from the world and live in a vacuum; however, I also strongly believe that we should have our faith shield to protect us from becoming of the world. As mentioned in the response, our greatest missionaries, saints and martyrs were fully involved in the world but none of them became of the world. Posted By: POB, Cairns
News should not always be stern and serious
Christine Hogan October 29, 2010
Christine Hogan: More and more you use this blog so to throw insults at CathNews contributors.
Neither David’s nor Tony’s opinions were ‘snobbish’; in fact, I found David’s piece to be actually the light breath of fresh air needed by this blog without falling in to utter vacuity – which the Murdoch piece was.
If you are at ease with the Murdoch clan being paraded on this website as Catholic doyens then that is a matter for your own conscience, but many others are not so happy, and their viewpoints, which are valid, should not be so rudely dismissed by your bourgeois priorities. Posted By: mj, Camperdown, Sydney
MJ: More harshness and nitpicking… still disappointing. Posted By: Christine Hogan, Sydney
Not nit-picking at all, Christine, simply challenging your ability to publicly pillory CathNews contributors, and also to agree with those who question having the Murdochs held up as exemplars of sacramental participation.
Heard any of Rupert’s speeches lately? Sat dazed in front of Fox News and its politics? Perhaps Murdoch lifestyle is the new paragon for Catholic living?
If you and others see this as ‘texture’, I’m more than happy to provide a list of other and equivalent global celebrity ‘Catholics’ for CathNews to parade as exemplary. Posted By: mj, Camperdown, Sydney
A talk by the late Indian Jesuit and spiritual guru Anthony De Mello, about prayer. It is illuminating and challenges conventional thinking on the matter.
This four-part video was uploaded to YouTube by osmystatocny in June 2008.
Parts 2-4 will feature in the coming editions of CathNews Asia this week.
Fr. Tony De Mello’s books have been banned by Rome -Michael
Film review – Sleeping Beauty
June 23, 2011
This erotic tale tells the story of a struggling university student who is put to sleep for sessions with wealthy, elderly men. This is basically a movie about sexual fetishism. It is meant to excite, and it plays with gender in a distorted way. It is challenging and disturbing, adventurous and destructive.
Not to be confused with the animated film classic, “Sleeping Beauty”, this erotic tale tells the story of a struggling university student, Lucy (Emily Browning), who is put to sleep for sessions with wealthy, elderly men. They can do anything they like with her, but are told they can’t penetrate her body.
The sex life of the young escort, code-named Sara in her profession, is as devoid of warmth as the men, who subject her to their desires. This film shocked viewers at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival where it was screened in the festival’s special competition section.
For a lot of the movie, Emily Browning is naked, and she is surrounded by nudity, male and female. Browning is austere and distant as Sara, and the film uses coldness to expose us to the desires of others, who are attracted to her. Among those, is the restrained Clara (Rachael Blake), the woman who puts her into drugged sleep for three spent men (Peter Forrest, Chris Haywood, and Hugh Keays-Byrne), who are her clients.
The sum total of the impressions is that the film supplies a considerable dose of perversity. At one level, it has a fairy-tale quality that views prostitution in a fantasy way, which is an intriguing variant on the old 1959 Disney classic.
Sara’s submissiveness, however, is as manipulative as it is perverse. Every sexual attraction has its moments of uneven balance. It is impossible to know who the victim in this film is, and who is the perpetrator, and for what reasons Sara chose to comply.
This is basically a movie about sexual fetishism. It is meant to excite, and it plays with gender in a distorted way. It is challenging and disturbing, adventurous and destructive. Constructed to show frustration and desire, the film has no messages about moral virtue.
The film has technical prowess, and Leigh’s direction is absorbingly chilly, and commandingly intense. However, the movie lingers in one’s mind as dehumanizing in a disturbing way. It is a film to forgive, if not to forget – Peter Sheehan, Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting.
Starring Emily Browning, Rachael Blake, Peter Forrest, Chris Haywood, and Hugh Keays-Byrne, and directed by Julia Leigh. Rated MA15+; Restricted. (Strong sexual themes, nudity and coarse language). 97 min.
I usually enjoy your film reviews, but not this one!
The only reason I read to the end of the article was to be informed and express my opinion to you.
I am shocked that this film review even got space on CathNews!
Women are demeaned enough in society without a synopsis of this sort film depravity being brought to CathNews, literary or not! Maybe it’s a good piece of acting and that’s why it made the grade as a film to review? Dehumanising, in the words of the author, and with no messages of moral virtue!
If this is a film ‘to forgive if not forget’ as the author states at the end of the article, then I don’t understand why it was given space in the beginning!
Pity you gave it any exposure at all CathNews!! Posted By: Mary
As Catholics, are we not to guard our eyes?
I would personally (from just looking at the rating) consider it sinful to watch this movie and wouldn’t give it an opportunity ‘to forgive’ and am, like Mary, wondering why Peter doesn’t raise the bar a little and skip over movies like these.
It would be an opportunity to instead showcase worthy, virtuous movies to Catholics – most of us need guidance while we try to navigate modern culture while remaining faithful Catholics. Posted By: Kathy D
Mary: I agree with your sentiment, except that the review does serve as a gentle warning.
I probably would not have gone to see the film anyway, but after reading Peter Sheehan’s review I positively won’t.
I need anything that “lingers in one’s mind as dehumanising in a disturbing way” like I need a hole in the head.
I’ll stay home and watch The Big Bang Theory instead.
There I’ll hear great lines like Sheldon’s paraphrase of Edward R Murrow: “Good night and, if there’s an apocalypse, good luck”. Posted By: Denis Goodwin
The trash published in CathNews is endless. As I said earlier, I stopped reading CathNews 18 months ago.
In an earlier report, I had asked,
When is an Indian bishop or the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India or the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences going to unequivocally condemn this anti-Catholic Asian news agency — UCAN — that calls itself “Catholic”?
Well, they had better include Church Resources CathNews in that condemnation. If the National Catholic Reporter is “fishwrap”, so are UCAN and Church Resources CathNews. The information published by these media does not foster fidelity to the Church and nourish Catholic faith; it undermines them.
Categories: Ordination of Women Priests Movement in India