In a development similar to charges filed against Philadelphia’s Msgr Lynn, a priest from the Maitland-Newcastle diocese has been charged with covering up the abuse of another priest. Some of the fourteen charges against Fr Tom Brennan relate to alleged abuse on his part. But others stem from covering up sex crimes of another priest while both served at a high school. These are thought to be the first such charges in Australia. The story has already spread to Vatican Insider. Do we take heart that stories of criminality race across the world these days, and that cover-up is becoming difficult in some quarters?
Friday, August 31st, 2012
31 August 2012
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31 August 2012
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Salvation is more than not-sin, not-death, and not-evil. It has an affirmative dimension, that the human being experiences God in a profound, life-altering way:
9. As the kernel and center of His Good News, Christ proclaims salvation, this great gift of God which is liberation from everything that oppresses (humankind) but which is above all liberation from sin and the Evil One, in the joy of knowing God and being known by Him, of seeing Him, and of being given over to Him. All of this is begun during the life of Christ and definitively accomplished by His death and resurrection. But it must be patiently carried on during the course of history, in order to be realized fully on the day of the final coming of Christ, whose date is known to no one except the Father.[Cf. Mt. 24:36; Acts 1:7; 1 Thess 5:1-2]
Where I see the significance is simply this: the observer of a Christian considers sin. Is the Christian truly virtuous by the apparent lack of sin, or is this just another instance of masking the true inner person, who may in fact, be a creep, or worse. And we Christians, alas, have far too many examples of people wrapped in the mantle of virtue who are found to be anything but virtuous. A lack of sin and damnation is not visible to mortal eyes, but the grace of knowing God and the human reaction in joy to this: this is part of what colors us as participants in Christ’s salvation, and part of what attracts the non-believer, the seeker, or the returning believer.
Your thoughts on salvation: do you see it as part of the Kingdom of God, or as a separate quality?
31 August 2012
Today, the Church does have more of an appreciation for applying the gifts of various cultures to worship. The rites, not as much as architecture and art:
§ 38 § The church building respects the culture of every time and place. The Roman rite respects cultural differences and fosters the genius and talents of the various races and peoples.(SC 37 and 119; CCC 1158) This cultural diversity can be expressed in architectural styles, in art forms, and in some instances in the celebration of liturgical rites with appropriate adaptations.
§ 39 § Just as each local community is different, styles and forms of churches will vary. The New Testament speaks of the upper room where Christ gathered the apostles for the Last Supper and appeared to them after the resurrection, and where the Holy Spirit descended on the Blessed Virgin and the Twelve at Pentecost. After the Lord’s ascension, believers gathered in homes for the celebration of the “breaking of the bread.”(Cf. Mk 14:15; Acts 2:42 and 17:16-34) Such homes evolved into “house churches” and became the Christian community’s earliest places for worship. The unique forms and architecture of the Roman and Byzantine world provided the Church with an architectural language in the form of the basilica. With its long nave and an apse for the bishop and clergy, the basilica quickly became a standard architectural form for churches of the West. The effect of these architectural forms is still reflected in the structure of our liturgical life today.
The biblical witness is the house church. Basilicas were a development of pagan Rome: a large building erected in a city or town in which to conduct business or politics. The first of them were built in the 2nd century BC, and were later coopted for Christian worship in the fourth century. The basic form was copied for the explicit purpose of Christian worship. I’m not sure the general form is optimal for the celebration of the sacraments, but the tradition is still with us.
All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.