MARCH 7, 2013
“Church Resources” – CathNews, a UCAN-connected anti-Catholic media
This report is related to a series on — as its blurb boasts — “Asia’s most trusted independent Catholic news source”, UCAN. [Emphases mine] UCAN, a Trojan horse in the Asian 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. UCAN‘s news content is firmly positioned 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”. Exactly a month later, he was joined in saying that by Colorado Springs’ bishop Michael Sheridan: “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.”
Both UCAN and CathNews promote the very same ideologies as the NCR.
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
UCAN’S SLANTED QUESTIONNAIRE ON THE CATHOLIC’S CHOICE FOR POPE
26 FEBRUARY/MARCH 4 2013,
Now I ask the same question about CathNews/Church Resources.
All that can be said about UCAN can be said about CathNews/Church Resources.
In the above five reports, we have seen that UCAN,
touts itself as “Asia’s most trusted independent Catholic news source” can neither be trusted by Catholics nor recognised as Catholic.
In this report, we will look at the UCAN “sister-concern”, 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.
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 the Huffington Post on pages 7, 8 of UCAN’S SLANTED QUESTIONNAIRE… -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
By Andrew Hamilton, August 6, 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 favours 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 looked down on by American Catholics as “fishwrap”, the same would apply to UCAN and Church Resources CathNews. The information published by these agencies does not foster fidelity to the Church or nourish Catholic faith; it undermines them.
Sent: Sunday, March 03, 2013 2:22 PM Subject: The UCAN questionnaire EXTRACT
Dear Brother Michael
Michael Kelly SJ may have a history of dissent or may not have but as an editor has an obligation to only report news consistent with our faith.
You may have missed the article below which talks of Fr. Michael Kelly’s critique on Vatican Council II. I have also copied further below another article about Fr. Michael Kelly, SJ.
God bless, Derrick, Bahrain
1. The failure of Vatican II: the collapse of religious life
June 6, 2012
I’m highlighting this week some admissions about the failure of Vatican II made in a talk by Fr Michael Kelly SJ last week, which you can find on Eureka Street, and also promoted and linked to by
Why are those sisters so polarizing?
And today I want to turn to the highly topical issue of religious life.
I’ve written extensively on this topic before, so do go and reread this series on the collapse of religious life and why we need it to be revived.
But today I just want to flag a few points on why so many Catholics are aggrieved at the state of religious life today, aggrieved at the sight of those religious women sans habit.
A life of sacrifice
The first is a very simple resentment I think.
The assets religious are living off now were given to them by the laity in times past, and they weren’t given to them in the expectation that they would fund people to live in comfortable suburban flats, wearing comfortable civvies, and to fund a life dedicated to political activism and the promotion of heresy!
Rather, they were given in the expectation that religious would live communally and provide concrete services – in the form of prayer, sacrifices and practical support such as teaching, nursing and missionary work – back to the Catholic community and the world more broadly.
As Fr Kelly notes:
“In 1984, as my friend Frank Brennan has observed (and Frank was ordained the following year), parents were actually pleased to have one of their own put their hands up to serve the Church community. It was something to be proud of – that one of yours was ready to serve in way that entailed hardship and sacrifice to deliver the service but also brought respect and appreciation form a community that named some of its clerical and religious leaders as tribal heroes.
And we still had Religious throughout health care, welfare institutions and the Catholic education system though their presence was beginning to fade…The winds of change were blowing and today Religious make up less than 1% of teachers in Catholic schools…”
A vow of poverty!
As Brian Coyne has rather snarkily observed over at acatholica, today the situation is very different indeed:
“I had a wry smile on my face reading this paragraph from Michael Kelly…When I first saw Michael Kelly in the crowd [at a recent book launch] I thought “what’s he doing here?” — the priest who lives out his vow of poverty via an American Express card jet-setting around the world. There ain’t much “hardship and sacrifice” involved in being a priest today — certainly in the material sense.”
Now I have no idea whether this is an accurate comment on the particular situation, or even the general, but I think it does pretty much encapsulate the view of many Catholics today when faced with religious men and women who don’t seem to the outside world at least, to be modeling in any obvious way a commitment to that vow of poverty!
What made schools and hospitals genuinely catholic?
The second issue raised though by Fr Kelly’s comments is just what those religious brought to their traditional apostolates.
Fr Kelly attributes the decline of religious in schools to the new found availability of Government funding:
“Once Gough Whitlam guaranteed a decent wage for teachers in Catholic schools, the service provided by generations of Religious – as cheap teachers – was no longer needed.”
But were religious really nothing more than a source of cheap labour?
This really devalues and ignores what most of us see as their most important contribution, which lay in inculcating a genuinely catholic ethos into those institutions – something that has noticeably been lost in those institutions today.
Once upon a time, the communal prayer life of those religious communities flowed over into their work and vice versa; and their dedication to the work provided genuinely catholic role models to each generation of children. And that is why Catholics would actually like to see a return of habited orders teaching our children and staffing our hospitals. It is why those new ‘traditional’ orders are attracting so many vocations while the Orders that continue to cling to the Vatican II revolution are rapidly dying out by virtue of lack of new vocations.
Valuing the real contribution of religious
In reality of course, as the Catholic Religious Australia 2009 Report ‘See I am doing a new thing’ acknowledges, it was not Whitlam’s funding of Catholic Schools that led to the lay takeover of Catholic institutions.
It wasn’t, as Fr Kelly suggests, that parents suddenly decided that religious life wasn’t the right life for their kids.
Rather the change was forced by the dramatic mass exit of existing religious from their orders that followed that period of wild experimentation after Vatican II.
That 2009 report comments that:
“…the decline in the number of religious sisters and brothers began rather suddenly. From the early 70s the graphs for both groups have a steep slope, reflecting the fact that large numbers left religious life in the years following Vatican II, causing the decline among religious sisters and brothers to begin a full decade before the decline in numbers of religious clergy began to any extent. By 1982, for example, the number of sisters and brothers had declined by 20 per cent and 18 per cent respectively whereas the number of religious clergy had declined by only two per cent.
An irony of the rapid decrease in the number of religious sisters is that many of them have become available to augment the professional ministry workforce in parishes. This is partly due to the fact that female religious orders were forced by declining numbers to hand over the running and staffing of their schools and hospitals to lay people, thereby allowing many of their own sisters to begin a ‘second career’ in parish ministry as a pastoral associate or as the designated pastoral leaders of parishes without resident priests.”
The failure of Vatican II
The bottom line on all of this is that we need to get the sisters back to their traditional apostolates, and out of this pseudo-ministry role that simply serves to subvert the priesthood.
We need to support the new orders that are growing up to replace those that are rapidly dying out.
And for the sake of souls, we need those ageing sisters to return to the actual faith, rather than promoting new age immorality.
That is why the Vatican’s attempts to reform the US peak body for religious women is so important.
And why CathNews’ refusal to allow criticism of female religious and active promotion of dissent in the face of the Vatican’s rulings on the heretical activities of these sisters is so dangerous.
Do go and vote in the poll (top of the right hand column of the blog page) – should CathNews be reformed or destroyed (suppressed)? And indicate if you are/might be willing to pray for it and its staff! END OF ARTICLE
The australiaincognita blog fully concurs with our verdict on Fr. Michael Kelly and CathNews. For more from this blog on the results of the CathNews poll conducted by them*, see the following page – Michael
2. Does Quantum Physics Render Transubstantiation Meaningless?
By Stephen M. Barr, May 25, 2010
Catholic World News reports that Fr. Michael Kelly, S.J. the CEO of the Asian Catholic News agency, finds the Catholic doctrine of “transubstantiation” meaningless in this “post-Newtonian world of quantum physics”. Since I use quantum mechanics every day in my work, I think I can match my understanding of this post-Newtonian world of quantum physics against Fr. Kelly’s, and I do not find the doctrine “meaningless”.
Here is what CWN reports:
Stating that “Catholics can become fanatical about one form of the Body of Christ in the bread of the Eucharist as the REAL presence of Christ,” Father Michael Kelly, the Jesuit CEO of the Asian Catholic news agency UCA News, criticized the doctrine of transubstantiation in a May 24 column.
In his column– a critique of the new, more accurate liturgical translations that reflect the content and dignity of the original Latin– Father Kelly writes:
“Regrettably, all too frequently, the only Presence focused on is Christ’s presence in the elements of bread and wine. Inadequately described as the change of the ‘substance’ (not the ‘accidents’) of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, the mystery of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist carries the intellectual baggage of a physics no one accepts. Aristotelian physics makes such nice, however implausible and now unintelligible, distinctions. They are meaningless in the post-Newtonian world of quantum physics, which is the scientific context we live in today.”
It was a standard maneuver of dissident theologians in the 1960s to affect incomprehension of binding doctrine rather than honestly and forthrightly saying that they rejected it. No one is fooled by that transparent ploy anymore, and one assumes that Fr. Kelly realizes that. It must be, therefore, that he is genuinely confused.
I will try to unconfuse him.
The Church has made it clear that one does not have to accept all of Aristotelian philosophy to accept the doctrine of transubstantiation. The substance of the doctrine (so to speak) is easily explained without the Aristotelian terminology. To say that ‘the accidents of bread and wine’ remain after consecration means that empirically the consecrated elements are completely indistinguishable from bread and wine. They taste like bread and wine; they look like bread and wine; they would, if made to react chemically or placed in a mass spectrograph, behave in every way just as bread and wine do. To say that ‘the substance’ of the consecrated elements is the Body and Blood of Christ, means that in reality the elements are no longer bread and wine but are the Body and Blood of Christ.
If one looks at the consecrated elements and asks ‘What are these?”, the correct answer (according to the doctrine of transubstantiation) is “These are the Body and Blood of Christ.” If one asks, “What do these appear to be under any empirical test?”, the answer is “bread and wine.” Basically, that is all there is to it. The dogmatic definition used Aristotelian terminology to express this, but it can be expressed without that terminology.
Some alternative beliefs to transubstantiation are the following:
(a) The consecrated elements not only appear to be but are bread and wine, and only symbolize the Body and Blood of Christ.
(b) The consecrated elements are not in themselves the Body and Blood of Christ, but spiritually and in effect are for the believer who consumes them, in the sense that when the believer consumes them he is united in a spiritual manner with the Body of Christ. (The corollary being that if the elements are not consumed or are consumed by a non-believer, they are not the Body and Blood of Christ. Thus the “presence” of Christ depends on both what is done with the consecrated elements and on the internal disposition of the recipient.)
(c) The consecrated elements are still bread and wine, but in some way the Body and Blood of Christ is also present with them or in them in a manner that is objective in that it does not depend on the disposition of the recipient (“consubstantiation”).
In short, one can explain the doctrine of transubstantiation and distinguish it from other beliefs about the Eucharist without any use of the Aristotelian apparatus. I don’t know what quantum mechanics has to do with any of this. If anything, quantum mechanics makes a straightforward connection between what appears empirically and what is “really there” more obscure than it was in Newtonian physics, and to that extent would make it easier rather than harder to affirm the doctrine.
*More on the CathNews poll conducted by the australiaincognita blog:
If one does a small check to see how factual and true your reports are, we can independently affirm the authenticity of the reports. The poll must have been withdrawn as it was closed, and the results are on the blog in the links appended…
SUNDAY, August 5, 2012
253 people have voted in the poll for CathNews to be reformed or abolished.
A staggering 54 have indicated that they have had comments rejected, with more than half of those believing it was because they stated the actual Catholic teaching on a particular subject…
I’m tempted to leave it up forever, not least because it seems to mean that I no longer get misrepresented or jeered at by blog watcher each Monday, but I probably won’t, so if you haven’t voted yet and want to please do so now!
Friday, August 17, 2012
CathNews, oh CathNews…
I’ve closed the poll on CathNews, but I reader suggested I maintain a central place for complaints about it, and I think that is a good idea given that more than a few readers continue to send me copies of their comments complaining about its acatholicness!
Accordingly, in future I’ll put up an open post, and push forward the date on it each week so that you can readily find it to post your comments.
I’ve suggested in the past that there are a number of different issues with CathNews:
Story selection, which often seems to promote the efforts of dissenters (how many National Catholic Register stories do we ever see, compared to the number of National Catholic Reporter and The Tablet?) and ignore the efforts of those genuinely trying to promote the faith;
Sub-editing – headlines, pictures and text cuts which provide an undesirable slant on stories from a Catholic perspective;
Lack of appropriate contextual material to counter criticism of the Church;
CathNews blog content, which often seems at odds with Church teaching; and above all
The comments policy, which often seems to involve rejecting perfectly orthodox and appropriate comments.
In total, some 280 people voted, with 143 thinking it could be reformed, while 124 thought it was beyond redemption and should be destroyed. Around a third of those who voted were prepared to pray for the cause!
CathNews comments policy
Many readers, I think, are most aggrieved about the rejection of comments over there.
It would be one thing if liberally slanted stories or erroneous comments could be readily rebutted; quite another when such comments seem regularly to be rejected!
Some 63 people indicated in the poll that they had had comments rejected, and here is their self-assessment on the reasons for that [the rejection of readers’ comments by CathNews] (multiple answers were allowed):
I stated the Church’s (actual) teachings – 36 (57%)
I contradicted CathNews’ favoured commentators, viz. the Jesuits, Timbs, etc – 26 (41%)
I criticised women religious – 18 (28%)
I disagreed with the actions of an Australian bishop – 13 (20%)
I criticised CathNews – 24 (38%)
Ms. Hogan refuses to publish anything I say – 16 (25%)
The smoke of the devil… – 9 (14%)
Who knows! – 19 (30%)
Fairly typical of the complaints I receive is the following, provided by a reader for inclusion here:
“CathNews will not include some of my comments which are in accordance with Scripture and Catholic Church teaching. When they do, they sometimes delete part of the text which dilutes the substance of the point being made. I do not malign anyone and provide the details requested.
I hope readers of CathNews are aware that CathNews do not include some comments that are based on Scripture and Church teaching, and therefore the published comments are not really reflective of readers’ views.
Recently CathNews did not include my objection to them publishing the film review of the salacious crass movie Magic Mike which I lodged twice.
The problem with CathNews is that it may be running on a performance basis, and focused on success in the information media. It seems to be controlled by worldly values and modern societal opinions, and not in the Holy Spirit.
For a Catholic website under the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, it should be supporting the Church and have a goal of bringing readers into a strong personal relationship with Jesus Christ, rather than promoting earth-bound worldly opinions.”
Let’s pray the bishops take note and act. END OF BLOG
Since CathNews and UCAN have merged and the policies are controlled by a single person, Fr. Michael Kelly, the CathNews poll analysis reflects the condition of UCAN. All these years when I had been keeping tabs on CathNews, I would never have imagined that there were other Catholics out there who felt the way I do -M