Dear Friend of Redemptorist Communications
Welcome to the October Ezine from Redemptorist Communications
YEAR OF FAITH
The “Year of Faith” will begin on 11 October 2012, on the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, and conclude on 24 November 2013, the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King. It is year designed to encourage people to understand more profoundly the foundation of their Christian faith.
The link below provides more information, news and events taking place during the year:
Redemptorist Communications has a range of wonderful resources to help us deepen or rediscover our faith in this important year for the Church. Click here for details of our products.
GLIMPSES OF REALITY
In his October editorial, Fr Gerard Moloney reflects on 50 years of Vatican II.
“This month marks a momentous anniversary for the church. For 50 years ago, on October 11 1962, the opening session of the Second Vatican Council began. Bishops from around the world gathered to consider the great issues affecting the church. Nothing would be quite the same again.
Half a century later it is still hard to credit the impact and scale of the council’s achievements. To have lived through that period of change and hope, as our contributors to this special issue of Reality did, must have been extraordinarily exciting. It was a good time to be alive and to be Catholic.
The council’s successes were numerous. For many Catholics the changes in the liturgy were the most immediate and striking because they saw and experienced them at first hand. There was the truly profound change in the understanding of baptism; that by virtue of the sacrament all the People of God share a common responsibility to preach the Gospel. There was the opening up of the church to the world. Just as at Mass the priest now turned to face the people, so now a confident church turned to face and embrace all of humanity. It led to a new relationship with other Christian churches and with other religions, a recognition that salvation was possible outside the Catholic Church, as well as to a new emphasis on scripture.
The model of church changed also – from a pyramid model with the pope on top and the laity at the bottom, to a circular model, with a more interdependent set of relationships. And so parish councils and conferences of bishops and synods of bishops were put in place. The old church triumphant redesignated itself as a pilgrim church, journeying on the way.
Fifty years on, it is right that we celebrate the many insights and achievements of Vatican II but it is clear that there were significant failings also. The council didn’t address adequately major issues around sexual morality, especially contraception, second unions and homosexuality, which have become a source of increasing division within the church. It failed to address the problem of clericalism and clerical culture, now brought into sharp relief by the sex abuse scandals. The church failed to put into practise the principle of subsidiarity which it
had advocated – in other words, to devolve as much power as appropriate to local churches and not centralise everything in Rome. And so there was a failure of collegiality and a failure to give any real voice or authority, not only to lay people and clergy, but also even to local conferences of bishops.
Significant too has been the push back from the spirit and reforms of the council. Those who opposed or resented the council and its teachings have been busy conducting what has become known as a ‘reform of the reform.’ And so we are witnessing an increasing Latinization of the liturgy. The new missal is a clear move in that direction. As is the accommodation of those who support the Tridentine Mass, and the increasing obsession of certain clerics with silken garments and pompous rituals.
Perhaps even more disturbing has been the trend among some clergymen to turn inward. Just as they now revert, or want to revert, to saying Mass with backs turned to the people, so also they envisage a smaller, purer church that has its back turned firmly on the world, engaging with it only in opposition.
Fifty years after the first session of Vatican II, bishops will meet in Rome again this month for a general assembly to discuss the theme of the “New Evangelization.” It will be a sombre affair. The landscape of the church, particularly in the West, is very different from that of 1962. The shortage of priests, the collapse in church attendance and in religious vocations, the abuse crisis, the disconnection between official teaching on marriage and sexuality and what many Catholics believe, the alienation of many women and young people from the church, are problems that are becoming ever more acute. Some would say the church’s problems are due to the failure to fully implement Vatican II. Others say what is needed now is a new council. Like the late Cardinal Martini of Milan, they believe that only a new council can address how the church is governed, how the priest shortage can be met, and how the church’s teachings and rituals can speak meaningfully to the secular culture of today.”
The October issue has a special feature on Vatican II. But, there are lots more to articles and features to inform, inspire and challenge:
A GOLDEN JUBILEE AND A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY
The jubilee is a time to renew our sense of the value of the gift of faith we have received
By Bishop Donal Murray
YEARS OF EXCITEMENT & HOPE
I could never have imagined the changes that were about to take place
By George Wadding, C.Ss.R.
THE COUNCIL REMEMBERED
To view the council as a history of winners and losers would exhibit poor judgement
By Margaret Mac Curtain, OP
THE SPIRIT OF VATICAN II
The tragedy for the Irish church has been its failure to embrace and maintain the spirit of
By Seán O’Conaill
THE COUNCIL AT 50
The spirit and optimism of Vatican II have been largely neutered
By Michael J. Farrell
The parish cell system of evangelisation has enriched our faith beyond words
By Maeve and Frank Magee
WHY I STAY
The word “catholic” infers a broad spectrum of membership and opinion
By Margaret Lee
THE CHURCH MUST ACCOMMODATE DIFFERENCE
We need to accept the sincerity of those with whom we disagree
By Paddy O’Meara
Br Luc Dochier’s desire to serve without fear or favour broke through all religious barriers
By John Scally
A GREAT AWAKENING
A Protestant historian recalls Vatican II
By Martin E. Marty
Click here to order your copy of Reality or to subscribe for the year.
WHAT’S UP IN ‘FACE UP’?
The October issue of Face Up is packed full of features for all young people.
Don’t Push Me!
How to deal with parent pressure and make your mum and dad’s nagging work for you.
Pranks, but no thanks
Investigating the rising trend in OTT graduation pranks. Plus, spotting when a joke’s gone several steps too far.
Welcome to Fright Night!
Do you dare to read our 20 freaky Halloween facts?
A licence to chill
Why young people need a place to call their own.
Beware where you swear
Would a hefty fine make you mind your language? This report might change your mind.
Cool to be Kind
Teens get way too much bad press, but these stories prove the haters have got it all wrong.
“I partied at the Áras!”
Find out how 17-year-old David Tobin got to hang out with the President.
Having scooped first prize at the Trócaire and Poetry Ireland comp, Luke Morgan tells us the secret to his success.
“We learnt to live on €1.50 a day”
How ten students coped with a taste of poverty when they took up the big SERVE challenge.
SPIRIT & SOUL:
We take a look at another of The Beatitudes to discover how the grief process can bring about a new lease of life.
Are you in the upgrade trap?
Are you ready to check out of the rat race and check in with your spirituality?
MIND & BODY:
The hidden dangers of caffeine – exposed!
Your problems sorted.
Get your copy of Face Up now. A subscription also makes a perfect gift for a teenager in your family. Click here for more details.
SUPPORT FACE UP
Would you be interested in helping a secondary school get Face up magazine this year? You can sponsor a school (maybe one near you) and help it receive a supply of magazines every month. It’s a great way of helping ensure our young people receive a publication with a positive, faith-based message. Contact us for more information on how you can help.
TO END WITH: A REFLECTION!
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”