UPDATE Friday Fish

 Diving With Barracuda Image source

A quick dive around some hot topics and church related issues in the news...

 A controversial extreme right-wing splinter group of Catholic traditionalists prepare to be taken back into the fold.

Stories from various viewpoints. 

These developments are cause for concern  !! 


The Lefebvrite schism may be nearing an end... (ncronline.org)

This article from Atlantic magazine which begins :
 "If you're looking for a more nuanced and detailed take on the Vatican's decision to lift the excommunication of four Society of Saint Pius X bishops than, say, the New York Times provides, I recommend Amy Welborn's roundup and analysis.

**********NEW An article in Religion Dispatches by Anthea Butler here

and a disturbing and trenchant analysis of the group in question from here.

 A British reporter, Sonia Gable, observed here in January 2012, “further connections being built among the elite of British fascism, where far-right Catholics associated with the Society of St Pius X are increasingly active,” and the danger that the British far right “might draw strength from the assiduous networking of London’s Catholic fundamentalists.”

and general report on rise in right wing in Europe here 

Meanwhile in The USA

 A report on a survey of Hispanic Catholic views on Homosexuality

The congregation at Seattle’s Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church gave the Rev. Tim Clark a standing ovation Sunday when he announced that the parish would not gather signatures for a referendum to repeal same-sex marriage.
  More here

and this young man, Matthew Vines speaks on the theological debate regarding the Bible and the role of gay Christians in the church. Delivered at College Hill United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas on March 8, 2012. Transcript: http://matthewvines.tumblr.com


This one is from the USA but has  potentially wider reverberations:-


A report here in America Magazine from Fr. James Martin S.J, on the 

the response to the Vatican's investigation of women's religious congregations in the United States and of the Leadership Conference for Women Religious, the main organizing body of women's religious congregations in the USA. The USCCB has announced the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith beginning of a reform of the LCWR which includes link to the CDF's "Assessment."  The main areas of concern were (a) the LCWR's assemblies and conferences, (b) "policies of "corporate dissent" and (c) "radical feminism." 

Sister Joan Chittister and Sister Simone Campbell response here

Meanwhile In Ireland

Another survey of Irish Catholics here

UPDATE Sacred Space 102fm article here When Peter and Paul disagree


Meanwhile in the UK 

A report here on Radio 4 programme

 about the “Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it!” advertising which Anglican Mainstream and Core Issues Trust had planned for London buses. Lynda Rose from Mainstream and Mike Davidson from Core Issues had been invited to present the conservative evangelical argument. At the end of the discussion Revd Colin
 The Revd Colin Coward, Director of Changing Attitude, explains why
 felt more upset than he has ever felt at the end of an interview.

The Anglican Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan said the Church would not be able to ignore the new legislation on civil marriage proposed by the Government, despite the fact that the legislation would not allow gay couples to marry in church. He called on the Church to discuss how it would respond.He said, “If the legislation to allow civil marriage is passed, I cannot see how we as a church, will be able to ignore the legality of the status of such partnerships and we ought not to want to do so.“The question then as now is, will the church protect and support pastorally, faithful, stable, lifelong relationships of whatever kind in order to encourage human values such as love and fidelity and recognise the need in Christian people for some public religious support for these…" 

Read more in this post on the UK situation from here


I'll have to resort to some poetry.

Lines Written In Early Spring

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Image source above

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,

The periwinkle trailed its wreaths

Image source for blue periwinkle


And ’tis my faith that every flower

Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:–
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

Image source

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

William Wordsworth


by Richard Wilbur 

Give thanks for all things
On the plucked lute, and likewise
The harp of ten strings.

Have the lifted horn
Greatly blare, and pronounce it
Good to have been born.

Lend the breath of life
To the stops of the sweet flute
Or capering fife,

And tell the deep drum
To make, at the right juncture,

Image source

Then, in grave relief,
Praise too our sorrows on the
Cello of shared grief.

 Verdran Smajlović playing in Sarajevo.Wikimedia Commons.
More info here

For One who Holds Power

May the gift of leadership awaken in you as a

Keep you mindful of the providence that calls you to

As high over the mountains the eagle spreads its

May your perspective be larger than the view from
the foothills.

When the way is flat and dull in times of gray

May your imagination continue to evoke horizons.

When thirst burns in times of drought,
May you be blessed to find the wells.

May you have the wisdom to read time clearly
And know when the seed of change will flourish.

In your heart may there be a sanctuary
For the stillness where clarity is born.

May your work be infused with passion and creativity
And have the wisdom to balance compassion and

May your soul find the graciousness
To rise above the fester of small mediocrities.

May your power never become a shell
Wherein your heart would silently atrophy.

May you welcome your own vulnerability
As the ground where healing and truth join.

May integrity of soul be your first ideal.
The source that will guide and bless your work.

John O 'Donohue

          Christ on Cold Stone source
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