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Showing posts from June, 2021

The Bishops and President Biden

  The Bishops and President Biden           Gerry OShea   Salvadore Cordileone, archbishop of San Francisco and a prominent leader in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), declared after the recent bishops’ meeting that they wouldn’t be taken seriously in America if they didn’t deal with what is widely described as the Biden communion issue. “Our credibility is on the line before the whole country” he said. The Catholic bishops met in mid-June to provide leadership on various matters for American Catholics. This time they focused on the Eucharist, the most sacred church ritual. They approved the plans of a liturgical committee headed by Kevin Rhoades, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, to examine how they can improve understanding and reverence for communion, the central part of the Catholic mass. Nothing remarkable about that, except that the prelates want this group to deal with the conundrum of senior Catholic political leaders, including especially

Protestants and the Irish Revolution

  Protestants and the Irish Revolution       Gerry OShea Who would you rate as the four most important nationalist leaders in modern Irish history, which can be dated from the American and French revolutions in the late 18 th century? Who had the greatest impact on the drive for some kind of independence from Britain? Certainly, Theobald Wolfe Tone from a Protestant family would have to be on that list. He led the United Irishmen in the 1798 Rebellion and, more important, set down the Republican philosophy of inclusion of all faiths as equal in the country that he wanted to liberate from England. Then surely, we name the great Daniel O’Connell, the Liberator, who achieved Emancipation for Catholics and whose renowned oratorical gifts were used to uplift the dispossessed and the poor all over Europe and beyond. However, his monster rallies failed to move the British towards repeal of the Act of Union, which in 1801 dismantled the nascent Dublin parliament. Charles Stuart Parnel

Perspectives on Civilization

  Changing Perspectives on Civilization                        Gerry OShea People often ask how Germany, home of so many great artists and writers, could also have produced the Nazis with their record of horrendous cruelty and inhumanity. How could a culture that generated the three B’s, Brahms, Bach and Beethoven also claim Goebbels, Himmler and Adolf Hitler? At the Nuremberg trials, the American prosecutor, Robert Jackson, told the judges that “the real complaining party at your bar is civilization.” The trial heard that the Nazi regime had completely discarded widely-accepted standards of decency and civility. Joseph Goebbels, the Third Reich Minister for Propaganda, proclaimed that the Nazis were defending Europe against the pagan Bolshevik hordes coming from the east. He also condemned “British Barbarism” for bombing historic German cities and towns, describing these actions as “English assassination of European culture.” Hans Frank, the governor-general of Nazi-occupied P

Sexuality and the Catholic Church

  Sexuality and the Catholic Church                          Gerry OShea The encyclical Laudato Si surely stands out as Pope Francis’ signature contribution to humanity. In it he identifies the earth as “our home” which we have carelessly neglected, especially since the Industrial Revolution that was getting underway two hundred years ago. The consequences of our immature behavior, a proliferation of floods, fires, droughts and famines, are clear, and the perilous state of our oceans points to a worsening crisis. There have been five previous mass extinctions of life in the universe. Francis has raised a large red flag warning that we may well be heading for another. This pope is also prophetic in his regular pronouncements on the devastating consequences of the prevailing level of world poverty. No other international leader can match his denunciations of economic systems that tolerate such awful levels of human deprivation. He mocks the neo-liberal contention, with its many