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Showing posts from August, 2022

Climate Disaster

  Climate Disaster                    Gerry OShea The precipitous decline in the planet’s ecological stability, associated in particular with climate change, has turbocharged the search for solutions or some kind of a respite. Wildfires are raging across Europe and North America – and beyond. Extreme weather is revealing how a rapidly-heating world is playing havoc with the lives and livelihoods of people everywhere. Intemperate heat in recent months has smashed records around the globe. Heatwaves have devastated India and south Asia and droughts have imperiled the residents in African countries especially in places close to the equator. In Great Britain where summer highs rarely reach 30 degrees centigrade (86 F) the numbers in July touched 40 (104 F) for the first time in recorded history. Runways at airports in the United Kingdom began melting and firefighters were stretched to contain multiple fires in overheated buildings. There was a sense of dealing with a new and fearful

The Irish Synod Report

 Irish Synod Report                      Gerry OShea About five years ago, I attended a lecture in Manhattan by an Irish Redemptorist priest, Fr. Tony Flannery. The event was sponsored by Call to Action, an organization that is critical of the Catholic Church because of its ineptitude in applying the gospel message to the realities of our time. Fr. Flannery was and still is banned from speaking publicly in any church-owned facility. In his speech he explained why he is considered a persona non grata, an outcast, by the powers in Rome. He named three areas of disagreement, pointing out that he does not question any of the traditional Catholic dogmas. He objects especially to the second-class status accorded to women in all areas of ecclesiastical life. He cautioned that while he favors full ordination rights for females the focus for now should be on achieving deaconate status, a step below the priesthood. He favors ending mandatory celibacy and welcoming married priests, and he was ada

Unexpected Result in Kansas

  Unexpected Result in Kansas              Gerry OShea The state of Kansas has six elected representatives in Washington, four members of the House and, of course, two senators. Both senators and three of the four House members are Republicans, and, true to form, Kansas hasn’t voted for a Democrat in a presidential election since Lyndon Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater in 1964. In 2004 a journalist and historian, Thomas Frank, authored a book titled What is the Matter with Kansas? It featured for eighteen weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. In England and Australia they changed the title to What is the Matter with America? Recalling the history of radicalism in the state at the end of the 19 th and the first half of the 20 th century Mr. Frank enumerated the radical movements in the past that supported the farmers living on the edge of penury and the plucky trade unionists fighting for decent wages and conditions for industrial workers. The book contends that the po

Mary Magdalene

  Mary Magdalene                        Gerry OShea After the crucifixion the fledgling movement of Christians commemorated the life and death of a man who had deeply impacted their lives and who they firmly believed had come back from the dead   for reasons they didn’t understand but which included his love for them. The records we have of those times reveal that his early followers met in small groups to support each other in prayer and community as they tried to come to terms with the monumental events that they had witnessed, and this process continued into the generations that followed. The four gospels were mostly written late in the first century, probably completed in the early years of the following one. There is evidence of women playing leadership roles in the deliberations and ceremonial practices in those early centuries. However, as time went on the leadership structure reflected more and more the male-dominated culture that consigned women to minor ecclesial roles