Is it just coincidence that the Australian and Netherlands parliaments reached the end of what was no doubt an agonising debate on human suffering and death and voted on euthanasia in Holy Week, Australia in 1998 and
the Netherlands in 2001?
Or was God trying to remind both parliaments that the same Easter moon that shone on them was shining on Jesus as he agonised on his approaching human suffering and death, and in a
way took his vote on euthanasia in the Garden of Gethsemane?
Christ accepted his suffering as glorifying and redemptive and as coming from God.
Indeed, when Peter tried to defend him, he said: “Put
your sword back in its place! Do you think that I will not drink the cup of suffering which my father has given me?” John 18.11.
He did not say: “Please Peter, use that sword on me and put me out of my
Rouse Hill, NSW
THE ROLE OF WOMEN
Mr P Young of Greta, NSW was highly critical of the role of the Commission for
Australian Catholic Women in his letter about women priests (CW 20/5).
The commission, which was established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in December 2000, has now begun its task of
facilitating the greater participation of women
in the Catholic Church throughout Australia.
The role of the commission is described in the Bishops’ Social Justice Statement, 2000, which also contains
the bishops’ response regarding the many ways in which women’s experiences and gifts can become more fully alive and acknowledged in the Church.
As members of the commission we recognise that, our words and
actions will be open to a range of interpretations and viewpoints.
We respect this diversity of perspectives, especially when such insights are offered in a spirit of mutual respect. The commission will be
promoting action based on bridge building and listening with the heart.
We extend an invitation to the community to suggest activities and processes which will support and encourage rather than undermine
Geraldine Hawkes, Chair
Sr Sonia Wagner SGS,
Deputy Chair, Commission for Australian Catholic Women
Congratulations on the magnificent coverage of the installation of Archbishop Pell (CW 20/5).
But I am mystified why, three weeks after the collapse of Bishop Brennan at the Bishops’ Conference in Kensington,
there has been no reference to his condition nor to what seems to be a very tragic loss to the Wagga Wagga diocese.
M Quentin Brady
Wagga Wagga, NSW
Editor’s note: A
report of Bishop Brennan’s illness appeared on page 2 of the May 27 edition.
FROM THE COAL FACE
The St Vincent de Paul Society’s Two Australias report addressing
inequality and poverty in Australia (CW, 20/5) acknowledges that other charities and people who are not Christians assisted in producing it.
It is a report about much more than the economy and statistics,
though it uses both where appropriate to show, for example, the burden imposed on charities with GST compliance costs.
Two Australias is a report from people who are at the coal face.
The Society and
similar charities see the widening gap between poor and rich as a divergence that, if not addressed, will see our country split into two Australias – the “haves” and the “have nots”, which Australians have
traditionally shown they do not want.
Its report makes recommendations on how these problems can be addressed and the consequences if they are not.
The Society and all those who assisted in producing
this report have done a great service in bringing to the attention of the people what may be the biggest problem facing them.
In your coverage of Archbishop Pell’s installation (CW 20/5), you quote him as saying that a priestless parish is “a contradiction”.
There is no doubt that
without priests and the sacraments, this statement is true.
However, for the sake of clarification for the many parishes without a resident priest already existing in various dioceses throughout Australia,
it needs to be pointed out that such a parish has its mandate from the Code of Canon Law, ie Canon 517 #2 which says that, because of the shortage of priests, the bishop can give to a person or a community of
persons, apart from the priest, the pastoral care of a parish.
The canon allows for the appointment of a priest moderator and sacramental priest to assist in the proper functioning of such a parish.
Fr J M Moroney, STL
NO NAME AT MASS?
Why does the priest no longer announce the name of the person the Mass has been requested for?