Wednesday, April 26, 2006

National Students Conference

The Australian Catholic Students Association (ACSA), of which I am the National Vice-President, is holding its Annual National Conference in July. This year it will be held at Newman College, Melbourne University.

Work on the conference has been underway for a few months and we have locked in the following speakers:

Fr. Joseph Fessio SJ

Archbishop of Melbourne Dennis Hart will be presiding over Solemn Vespers (of a pontifical nature) on the Saturday night prior to the formal dinner.

At the formal dinner the Inaugural Archbishop Daniel Mannix Memorial Address will (hopefully) be given by the Archbishop of Perth Barry Hickey.

Other speakers on note include the Federal Employment Minister Kevin Andrews MP, Associate Professor Tracey Rowland and Bishop Julian Porteous.

I’m all fired up and looking forward to what will, no doubt, be an awesome weekend.

It will interesting to note the opinions of the clergy in attendance about the presence of Kevin Andrews. Mr. Andrews as Minister for Workplace Relations was responsible for delivering the recent reforms to which the Australian Church took a dim view. I do hope, but cannot guarantee, that they will brush over these differences for the occasion and listen to Mr. Andrews speak on Catholics in Politics and the Public Sphere. He will, I’m sure, be able to speak widely on the recent debates on RU486 and embryonic stem-cells and of course the EUTHANASIA NO campaign with which he cemented his stripes as a Catholic politician.

However the drawcard will not be Kevin Andrews but Fr. Fessio.

Here is his brief bio on the Ignatius Press website.

Father Joseph Fessio, S.J., (shown here with Ratzinger in 1999) Provost of Ave Maria University and Editor-in-Chief of Ignatius Press, is a longtime personal friend of Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

Ignatius Press is the primary U.S. publisher of his works, having issued some 25 books.

Pope Benedict XVI was Fr. Fessio's doctoral director and mentor at the University of Regensburg in then West Germany from 1972-1975. As a member of Ratzinger's "Schulerkreis" or group of former students, Fr. Fessio participated in many of the yearly three-day-long gatherings of that group.

In 1989, Fr. Fessio, along with then Frs. Schoeborn and Marc Ouellet, and another fellow Jesuit, established under Cardinal Ratzinger's patronage, a house of formation in Rome, Casa Balthasar. The house takes inspiration from the life and works of two theologians who were highly regarded by, and close friends of John Paul II and Benedict XVI: Fr. Henri de Lubac, S.J. (made a cardinal by John Paul II in 1983) and Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar (named cardinal by John Paul II in 1988).

The late Frs. de Lubac and Balthasar's books are published by Ignatius Press.

Every year from 1989 to the present, Fr. Fessio has traveled to Rome for the annual meeting of the directors of Casa Balthasar, which is attended by Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), Fr. Ouellet (now cardinal of Quebec), and Fr. Schoenborn (now cardinal of Vienna).

Now if this kind of conference can’t motivate students to publicly take a Catholic stand and further discover Truth, I’ll be damned to find something else that will (in present Australia).

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What is in a name? Indolent Server

Indolent Server: The name given to me by my former Latin teacher, Dominicanus. See here and here for his recollection of events.

‘Tis true, I was a terrible student at the time but have seen the errors of my ways and for my sins am now taking 1st year Latin and Ancient Greek at university. Fr. Ephraem tried to teach me Latin from 1998-2000 when I formally stopped to complete the final years on school however continuing to serve the Dominican Rite Mass at least twice weekly. I just couldn't get my head around nouns and recall being far more interested with the wind-up nun in the living room. (Yes there really is such a toy! It even blew sparks out of the mouth!)

Ah, those were the days. Dominicanus even has a photo of a Solemn High Mass in the Dominican Rite on Ash Wednesday. For the record I’m the Acolyte on the left-hand side. St. Lawrence’s Church, North Adelaide is one of the more beautiful Church’s in Adelaide and is a popular place for weddings. However one visitor once likened to the altar to a birthday cake.

I would like to think my chanting of the Epistle and Lessons has improved in five years but I'll leave that for the congregation at Holy Name Church, St. Peters to judge.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Cardinal has gotta go...

Cardinal Martini SJ has gotta go. He told Italian Magazine l'Espresso that "certainly the use of condoms in particular situations can constitute a lesser evil."

Here are some other quotes from the article with thanks to American Papist :
  • [Martini says] single women could be implanted with frozen embryos if the alternative is letting the embryos die. Church teaching holds that all procreation must take place within marriage; the Vatican also opposes many assisted fertility procedures.
  • Martini said Catholic couples seeking in vitro treatments might be able to get around the church's opposition.
  • [Martini said] in the zygote stage _ which occurs 18-24 hours after fertilization _ "there are still no signs of singularly definable human life."
  • [Martini] acknowledged that in abortion, there were cases when the life of the mother was at risk where abortion might be considered the "lesser evil."

And of course this guy was the Archbishop of Milan and was touted as a Papal candidate and (of course) 'only narrowly lost'.

For a more informed view why not listen to Cardinal Emmanuele Wamala of Kampala, Uganda.

Cardinal Wamala likened the distribution of condoms to giving poor people bicycles without brakes, and encouraging them to ride downhill in the rain. “No matter how good you are at riding,” he said, “there are few chances of escaping an accident.” According to the cardinal, the funds invested in procuring condoms from Western countries, if they were channeled into projects aimed at improving the plight of the rural poor, would make a dramatic difference in the lives of needy families.

UPDATE 25/4: American Papist has a post on Where the condom controversy stands

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Low Sunday

The Tridentine Latin Mass in Adelaide alternates on a Sunday between Missa Cantatas and Low Masses. The reason for this is purely dimplomatic. However following the joys and elaboratness of the Triduum last weekend this Sunday was a Low Mass. However it is still within the Octave and in my opinion a great 1st Class feast.

I wonder, does anyone else in the world have the same logic??

The day I met Benny

I remember this day vividly. Papa Ratzinger happened to be in town on "secret business" (which is why no-one else knew he was here) but had been "stood up" for dinner by the then Archbishop of Adelaide. Coming to the rescue I took him to the local German Club for an ale or two.

Rite path to mass appeal

Christopher Pearson has an interesting article in The Australian this weekend. I'm not sure what St. John Ambulance's opinion on the Traditional Latin Mass is, but this piece sure makes for a great read.

Websites I Frequent

WWW sites I keep an eye on and would liek to intrduce you to include:

The Australian Catholic Students Association This website is still being properly formatted so keep an eye out.

Pope Benedict XVI Fan Club I simply love it!

Dominicanus by a close friend of mine.

Curt Jester much the same sence of humour as me.

This is just by way of introduction -- I don't want to overload you.


I've been keen to launch a blog for sometime now but always spent way to much time reading others.

I won't be posting daily but hope I can post from time to time interesting snippets of my life and comment on news articles.

As you will find out, my core interests in life are the Catholic Church and politics which are not two mutually exclusive subjects.