Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Rumours in the Vatican and a disgrace in Canada

Rocco has anoth fabulous scoop. That the Holy Father is about to annouce the Archbishop of Sao Paolo, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, OFM, as the new Head of the Congregation for the Clergy, succeeding Cardinal Hoyos, who is now 77. The appointment would be the fifth major appointment and the fifth that B16 has appointed from outside the Curia. It is unknown at this stage whether Hoyos will continue with the Pontifical Council Ecclesia Dei which is really what people are watching at the moment!

Update: Yep! It sure happened. See Catholic News Agency's story and bio.

Something that may be dealt with swiftly is this story from LifeSite: "Pro-Choice", Pro-Gay Priest Given Permission from Bishop but not Vatican to Run for Politics. LifeSite reports that he has "the permission of his bishop to run for public office, despite a prohibition of such activity in the Church's Code of Canon Law". What's more, the priest is openly a former homosexual prostitute. "In February this year, [Fr. Raymond] Gravel joined a group of nineteen priests in issuing a letter condemning Catholic teaching on sexual purity and opposing the bishops' submissions to Parliament against the same-sex "marriage" law."
Fr. Raymond had previously won The Fight Against Homophobia Award in 2004. Crikey! Let's hope and pray for some swift action or a change of conscience.

abortion & stem cells in Australia

The theraputic cloning debate is in full-swing here in Australia as we prepare for a Senate vote as early as fortnight's time. If sucessful the bill would move to the House of Representatives where there has been more support for moral and ethical causes in recent times. We'll see how it all goes I suppose.

People may be interested in this story too from The Australian today: Abortion doctor put on good behaviour bond. The doctor in question is the first to be prosecuted in 25 years in NSW and will also appeal the sentence.

Abbott v Rudd

They are at it again! It's awesome!

Last night Tony Abbott launched the new edition of The Heart of James McAuley by Peter Coleman last night in Canberra. (It's published by my mate at Connor Court). He used the speech to reminise on the days of Catholic Action in Australia - the time of BA Santamaria and McAuley. And then to have a go at Kevin "I'm a Christian too" Rudd. Reports on the speech are in most of the National broadsheets today but you can read some exerts below or the full text here.
James McAuley was all too familiar with the interaction of religion and politics. In the mid-1950s, he was drawn to the work of BA Santamaria whose commitment to Catholic Action had led to a campaign against communism in the trade union movement. In largely defeating the communist union leadership, Santamaria’s Industrial Groups became powerful enough to influence the wider Australian Labor Party and potentially to challenge its leadership.

In a 1950s version of a sitting member under preselection threat all-of-a-sudden discerning the dark hand of the “religious right”, the then-Labor leader, Dr Evatt, denounced the Groupers as conspirators trying to inflict a religious agenda on a political party. Thus began the great Labor split which entrenched the Coalition in power for another 18 years, helped to change the ALP, in Kim Beazley senior’s words, from “the cream of the working class” to “the dregs of the middle class”, and accelerated a process which has meant that the DLP is alive and well and living inside the Howard Government.

As Santamaria’s religious and political soulmate, McAuley was in the thick of argument about the legitimate place of the church in politics and about the role of church-goers in the life of a political party. McAuley’s view was that the official church should not choose between mainstream political parties in a functioning liberal democracy but that individual church members should join the political party of their choice and work within it to build a more humane society.
At least since the last federal election, the shadow foreign minister has been pitching to attract a “Christian vote” which he thinks is unjustifiably going to the Government. Most fully in an article in the October issue of The Monthly, Rudd has argued that the Prime Minister has deliberately manipulated Christians into voting for a profoundly un-Christian government. No doubt he'll make a similar point again tomorrow in launching Father Frank Brennan's new book, Acting on Conscience.
Rudd’s own religious commitment notwithstanding, along with that of the group associated with the shop assistants union, no one could accuse the contemporary Labor Party of being under religious sway, other than, perhaps, a politically correct deference to any religion but Christianity. Rudd’s shrill denunciation of religious people inside the Liberal Party is hard to reconcile with supporting a role for Christians in politics. As every Christian knows, faith does not make people perfect but it calls them to be their best selves amidst all the world’s distractions. If only for this, it is a valuable leaven in every political party, not just Rudd’s.

McAuley identified four elites which had provided morale and integrity to Australian society: a transplanted Anglican ascendancy, non-conformists with a “deep impress of moral earnestness”, a Catholic community with a “definite profile of values and loyalties”, and a “disciplined movement of humanist-rationalists” anxious to show that “moral uprightness was enhanced rather than diminished by separating it from religious entanglements”. The fact that at least some Christians in public life are no longer apologetic about the faith of the west suggests that McAuley’s pessimism about the survival of these elites was not entirely justified.

Monday, October 30, 2006

School Chaplains

One of the biggest news items for today (and yesterday arvo) was the Federal Government’s announcement of funding for school Chaplains. There are a couple of links for you below. It would be up to the school community to decide who the chaplains would be and of what faith, but an idea that was touted is that a number of schools get together and have one of each. (*side comment: I raised this with the old man this afternoon. He cut me short and said, “Fantastic. That means everyone can get to a Tridentine Rite priest, a Novus Ordo priest and a Ukrainian Rite priest for advice!” I think he missed the point...)

I think it’s generally a good idea to get some kind of religion back into schools as long as it’s not highjacked by the Left or the Uniting Church (I’m sure I heard spokeswomen for them against it on the grounds of perceived discrimination against Muslims and others). Crikey, some people are worried about relations with Church and State! Huh? Don't they understand...This kind of ignorance really annoys me.

The Australian Catholic Students Association put out a media release on it early this afternoon and I was interview on JJJ Radio at about 5.30pm. I think it went okay and must have as an angry woman called the station afterwards saying that her sons were ‘pagan’ and she didn’t want them discriminated against!! We’ll see what happens tomorrow with the story.

Chaplains plan safe from extremists
Howard Defends Chaplain Scheme Proposal
Carr Condemns School Chaplains

Update: CathNews' piece. Pell cautiously welcomes school chaplains plan

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A personal update

Gee, last week was tough. I didn’t get a good night sleep due to being just rushed off my feet with assignments. Goodness knows how long I spent on a computer in CATS (the engineering suites at uni). I got just about all of them done just in time and slept well Friday night!!

I was successfully elected once again to the University Council. One election down, one to go!!

Now I just need to prepare for three exams: Dynamics and Control II on Saturday 4th, History exam on Wed 8th and then Embedded Computer Systems on Thursday 16th. I have nice gaps between them all, which is just fantastic.

The countdown begins until the end of exams. In the meantime I also have to decide on a Final Year project for next year. The list came out on Friday but I have absolutely no idea what I want to work on and none stand out at all.

Then it's summer... which means cricket and THE ASHES!!!

Update: I spoke with Fr. Ephraem from Dominicanus yesterday. He is still in hospital and had something done to his foot earlier. He is, however, in good spirits and passing the time reading cathing up on The Spectator, The Bulletin and other such magazines.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Spend Time in Silence, Pope Tells Students

Spend Time in Silence, Pope Tells Students
Opens Academic Year of Pontifical Universities

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 24, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI counseled students of the pontifical universities in Rome to spend time in silence and contemplation, so as not to fall prey to the "inflation" of words.

The Holy Father said this on Monday afternoon to the university students who had gathered for the annual Mass celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica to open the academic year.

Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, presided over the Mass.

Pope John Paul II initiated the annual gathering of university students in the Vatican.

Benedict XVI told the students: "In-depth reflection on Christian truths and the study of theology or other religious disciplines presuppose an education in silence and contemplation, as it is necessary to be able to listen with the heart to God who speaks.

"Only if they proceed from the silence of contemplation can our words have a certain value and usefulness and not fall into the inflation of the world's speeches which seek the consensus of public opinion.

"Therefore, whoever studies in an ecclesiastical institution must be disposed to obedience and truth, and cultivate a certain asceticism of thought and word."

The Pontiff added: "This asceticism is based on loving familiarity with the word of God."

"Pray: 'Lord, teach us to pray and also to think, to write and to speak,' as these faculties are intimately connected among themselves," the Pope said.

Benedict XVI told the students that "apostolate will be fruitful if you nourish your personal relationship with him, tending toward holiness and having as sole objective of your existence the realization of the kingdom of God."

Cardinal Grocholewski told the students to never lose sight of God, "source of our talents," which enrich us if we do not accumulate them for ourselves, but orient them to serving the community.

Some 15,000 priests, seminarians, men and women religious and lay people from all over the world study in the pontifical universities.

Wise words. As a student it is hard at many times throughout the year to find time to just spend in silence and I'm probably on the worst end of that scale. A visit to the local church (the Cathedral is my closest) during a break from uni can be very helpful and refreshing.

Benedictine nuns?

Catholic Church Conservation has a number of pics of Benedictine nuns playing dress-ups.

Here is a taste for you...

Father Fortescue

This is the first in the series of things I wanted to draw your attention to earlier but had no time.

It’s a piece from the Cornell Society for a Good Time and is Some Fun with Fortescue. It’s a long post but simply awesome and very very funny.

Fr. Adrian Fortescue was “the greatest authority on the liturgy of the Roman Rite the English speaking world has ever known” (Michael Davies). Born in 1874 and died in 1923.

He remarks in his famous The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite:
As a general rule, except in the case of processions and funerals (when an indefinite number of clergy, supposed to be the choir, stand around the hearse holding lighted candles), not more servers should attend than those really needed, who have some office to perform. It does not add to the dignity of a rite that a crowd of useless boys stand about the sanctuary doing nothing. Nor is it in accordance with the tradition of the Roman rite to add useless ornamental attendance. The servers needed for the ceremonies are sufficient to form the procession.
The Cornell Society points the reader to this photo of a Novus Ordo with excessive altar boys just kneeling
It also appears that Fr. Fortescue write his famous work (which every MC should own!) for a measly 300 pounds!

I’m a fan of one or two servers at Low Mass but not necessarily a minimalist for Missa Canata’s or Solemn High Mass. But I am practical. I’m not in favour of having boys vested on the sanctuary just to stand there but I do believe in six torches if you can over four, two or none. Every boy on the sanctuary should have a role to play, if not, he should be in the pews.

Besides The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite (I have only just retrieved my 1962 version from Daniel) I have also read Fr. Fortescue’s The Early Papacy. It too is great read and outlines the arguments for papal infallibility up to the Synod of Chalcedon in 451.

Friday, October 27, 2006

This blog has been silent for a few days so while I’m taking a quick break from study I’ll give an update.

Letterboxing went pretty well and thankyou to those friends and family that helped out. I estimate that all bar about 800 houses were done before ballot papers came out. I had hoped to get to all, but have just simply run out of time and the campaign couldn’t have come at a worse week for me. It’s unfortunate but I hope some of them vote for me anyway.

The nanosatellite design project has been handed in. The report was 108 pages and the total pages was about 180 once appendices had been added. Massive!

Now I really just have to concentrate on my Robot Design Project which is due on Friday. It’s the software for it and I’m really terrible at programming. Hopefully we can scrape though.

Then it’s SWOT VAC and exams…

Hopefully some time on the weekend I'll post a couple of awesome items I've seen recently.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Communion vessels and Communion

I'm not usually one to copy a story in full but this one is interesting.

Lay ministers may not cleanse Communion vessels, Pope Benedict says

By Nancy Frazier O'Brien
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- At the direction of Pope Benedict XVI, extraordinary ministers of holy Communion will no longer be permitted to assist in the purification of the sacred vessels at Masses in the United States.

In an Oct. 23 letter, Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked his fellow bishops to inform all pastors of the change, which was prompted by a letter from Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect
of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

The U.S. bishops had asked the Vatican to extend an indult -- or church permission -- in effect since 2002 allowing extraordinary ministers of holy Communion to help cleanse the Communion cups and plates when there were not enough priests or deacons to do so.

Bishop Skylstad, who heads the Diocese of Spokane, Wash., said Cardinal Arinze asked Pope Benedict about the matter during a June 9 audience, "and received a response in the negative."

Noting that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal "directs that the sacred vessels are to be purified by the priest, the deacon or an instituted acolyte," the cardinal said in his Oct. 12 letter that "it does not seem feasible, therefore, for the congregation to grant the requested indult from this directive in the general law of the Latin Church."

Although receiving Communion under both kinds is a "more complete" sign of the sacrament's meaning, Cardinal Arinze said, "Christ is fully present under each of the species."

"Communion under the species of the bread alone, as a consequence, makes it possible to receive all the fruit of eucharistic grace," he added.

Another "legitimate option" when "the high number of communicants may render it inadvisable for everyone to drink from the chalice" is intinction -- the practice of dipping the consecrated host into the consecrated wine -- "with reception on the tongue always and everywhere," the cardinal's letter said.

Along with the letters from Bishop Skylstad and Cardinal Arinze, bishops received a new resource prepared by the bishops' Committee on the Liturgy titled "Seven Questions on the Distribution of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds."

The committee document also suggested distribution of Communion by consecrated bread alone or by intinction when the number of communicants makes the purification of vessels by priests, deacons or instituted acolytes alone "pastorally problematic."

"Priests should also keep in mind potential risks associated with intinction, especially in the coming flu season," the document added.

The committee said extraordinary ministers of holy Communion may continue to "consume what remains of the precious blood from their chalice of distribution with permission of the diocesan bishop."

The document notes that the "extraordinary ministry" by which laypeople distribute Communion "was created exclusively for those instances where there are not enough ordinary ministers to distribute holy Communion, due to the consummate importance of assuring that the faithful have the opportunity to receive holy Communion at Mass, even when it is distributed under both species."

Ordinary ministers of Communion are priests and deacons, with instituted acolytes being permitted in the Roman Missal to help the priest or deacon "to purify and arrange the sacred vessels."

In the United States, instituted acolytes, who must be male, generally are seminarians preparing for priesthood.

My comment with regard to the first highlighted part is that a friend of mine said to me 'You can just imagine the conversation between Cardinal Arinze and the Holy Father, it would have been a dismissive wave of the hand, and that would be it'.

My second, is a question. I understood that the practice of dipping the consecrated host into the consecrated wine was banned by the Church. Perhaps someone out there can answer this for me?

Face of Christ

As ACSA President, a lot of people around the country have me on their mailing lists - people I haven't met nor heard off.

I tend to scan the content quickly before noting or dumping. However this email caught my eye.

Bizzare! What do you think?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Breaking news

I just had to post this.

Natasha Stott-Despoja has just announced that she will quit politics at the end of her Senate term.

See The Advertiser's story here. I'm sure you'll see more in the coming hours and days.

pics and talks

I'm really struggling with my history essay and keep hitting brick walls! Letterboxing is nearly half done but a few mates are (hopefully!) coming around this arvo to do what's left (I think I might have to get some more flyers printed on Monday morning.) My family have helped out a bit (the little kids love it!) and I know for a fact that I've secured a dozen votes (hey, they're the people that have promised!) but I'm estimating the required quota to be about 600-700 votes.

So don't expect any substantial blogging this week. In the meantime take a look at this page at the website of the Australian Catholic Students Association. The official photos have been uploaded and so have some of the talks in MP3 form. The talks that haven't been put up yet I have in hard copy (email me if you'd like a read).

Saturday, October 21, 2006

new blogs

Ah. Another few blogs to the roll. Purcell's Chicken Voluntary should have been up much earlier as it is one of my regular reads. Joee Blogs blog A Catholic Londoner is another good read and the third is a lad from Brisbane with Et Clamor Meaus Ad Te Veniat. Many of us around Australia have 'Brisbane jokes' referring to their orthodoxy - it is a sad state of affairs. I think he intends to post on both the bad and the good in the Archdiocese.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Priests to dob in child sex abusers

I'm sorry I didn't get around to posting this when it first caught my attention but this may be of some interest to my overseas and interstate readers. It certainly enraged me with people's ignorance.

This story was on the front page of today's
Advertiser (the local paper for Adelaide) had this story.
Priests to dob in child sex abusers

ANGLICAN priests no longer will be able to use confidentiality as a reason for not reporting child sex abuse, under strict new rules to be introduced across Adelaide.
The unprecedented measures, to be endorsed by the Diocese of Adelaide Synod next weekend, will extend to confessions heard by priests, including those with other priests.

They follow the compulsory training of South Australian Anglican priests on their legal requirements to report child abuse to authorities, which have been opposed by some priests who believe confidentiality should be maintained for pastoral reasons.

The new rules surpass those implemented nationally by the Catholic Church, which still maintains confidentiality over confessions.

Adelaide Anglican Archbishop Jeffrey Driver yesterday told The Advertiser he would not tolerate any more "cover-ups" within the Anglican Church of child sex abuse, saying previous inaction by church leaders had caused enormous problems.

Archbishop Driver said priests would be given no option but to observe a new code of conduct under which they would be forced to report child abuse, including information received during confession.

"If I was giving confession to a priest who told me about child sex abuse, I would not give him absolution. I would immediately stop the confession and march him straight to the nearest police station," he said.


Then there was this for a Editorial to follow it up.

Update: another story in today's edition. It seems that the Anglicans are now claiming that these new measures won't break the seal of the confessional.
Archbishop Driver said the church recognised the confessional may have been "abused" in the past by people hiding behind its code of confidentiality.

While priests cannot break the seal of the confessional by acting as informants, guidelines are now in place to help them work with abusers to report their crimes to the relevant authorities.

"What the guidelines . . . intend to do is to ensure that while the seal of the confessional is maintained, it is not abused," Archbishop Driver said.

"I expect clergy to act responsibly in the use of the confessional in line with the guidelines.

"I certainly expect that they would withhold absolution and provide strong counsel that the penitent must report what they have done."

Archbishop Driver said if he heard a confession of child abuse, he would refuse absolution.

"I'll say 'I am not able to provide you with absolution and I'd like us to walk a journey . . . to a police station together, as part of what is appropriate contrition'," he said.

Must be Friday

Three religious men (A Franciscan, a Dominican and a Jesuit) died at the same time. They all went to heaven. The Franciscan was welcomed by St. Peter and had heaven's best cook serve him a special meal. The Franciscan was very happy.

The Dominican arrived and was welcomed by St. Peter and had heaven's chef and a team of culinary experts cook for him. The Domincan was elated.

Then the Jesuit arrived. St. Peter, like he did to the other two, welcomed him. This time, God the Father himself did the cooking and serving. This puzzled the first two and protested about the special treatment to the last comer.

Peter explained, "We have too many Franciscans and Dominicans already. He is our first Jesuit!"

(Hat tip: Jesuit Humour Blog)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

St. John Cantius

St. John was born near Krakow in Poland in the 15h Century. He was called by God to keep the light of faith and the flame of Christian charity burning. He was a university lecturer in Theology before his ordination when he took up pastoral work. His is the story of the brigands who robbed him on a pilgrimage to Rome. They let him go when they were assured that they had taken all he had. But St. John remembered that he was sewn some money into his cloak and called them back to offer it to them. They were touched by his goodness that they gave back all they had taken. St. John died on Christmas Eve in 1473.

Introit: Ecclus. 18. 12-13. The compassion of man is towards his neighbour; but the mercy of God is upon all flesh. He hath mercy, and teacheth and correcteth, as a shepherd doth his flock. Ps. Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the chair of pestilence.

Collect: Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that by the example of Thy holy confessor John we may advance in the science of the Saints and show mercy to others, that through his merits we may obtain forgiveness from Thee.

Communion: Luke. 6. 38. Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, and pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall they give into your bosom.

Jesuits are at it again

Famous Latinist fired from Gregorian University, announces new school

ROME, October 18 (CNA) - Fr. Reginald Foster, one of the most renowned Latinists in the world, was fired last week from the Gregorian University by the Society of Jesus, stating that too many students were taking Fr. Foster’s classes without paying tuition.

Fr. Foster said his superior received the news from the university’s Jesuit administration in an e-mail Saturday evening. The letter reportedly stated that "Fr. Foster would no longer be teaching Latin at the Gregorian.” The administration has cancelled Fr. Foster's Latin program and substituted another class for that time slot.

However, in breaking the news with great regret to his students yesterday, Fr. Foster also announced his intention to found a new Latin institute in the Eternal City.

The Professor/Priest, known as the “Pope’s Latinist,” had taught at the Gregorian University for more than 30 years. His course became renowned, drawing students from around the world.

More than 100 Latin students, both past and present, were gathered in the priest’s classroom when he made the announcement.

A source told CNA that it was true that many of Fr. Foster’s students were not registered with the university; however, it was well known that his program was attracting Latinists from all corners, many of whom did enroll in the mother of Jesuit Universities.

Fr. Foster said his new Latin institute did not yet have a locale but he would keep students informed.

According to the source, Fr. Foster, in good spirits, explained to his students the roundabout way he found out he was being fired: "Well you see, the Jesuits were rather Jesuitical about the whole thing, now weren't they?" After informing them of his plans for an institute, Foster exclaimed, “Latin lives!"

It was not disclosed whether the e-mail firing Fr. Foster was in Latin.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Local Politics

Incredibly frustrated and busy at the moment but the blog is kkeping me in good spirits! I love the debate! The ballot papers in the local council election come out mid-next week and I'm trying to organise a letterbox drop this coming weekend among all my uni assignments due next week (all 10 or so of them!!)

Infact I don't think I've mentioned this election yet on the blog. I nominated 6 weeks ago as a candidate for the KLEMZIG Ward of the Port Adelaide Enfield Council. I knew I wouldn't have the time to put in a normal effort but figured if I waited 4 more years I wouldn't be able to use the youth tag. So I nominated. Three other nominated including the two sitting members for the 2 spots for the Ward. There are a number of reasons for nominating but the thing that finally convinced me was that the two sitting members have attended the least amount of meetings out of all the councillors for the last term. Thus a bit of angst among those that care and are likely to vote for a young, energetic looking face.

I do hope that I am elected and I believe I have a good flyer out there and should complement the short paragraph (and photo) in the local paper this week. I don't have any coreflutes on poles and am hoping for the average local voter looking for a representative rather than an ugly face that you can't miss on the way to work. My key slogan is "youth WITH experience". I'm keen for a new experience having dabled in student politics before moving to university boards and committees. I'd be lost if I graduated from uni and don't have some regular committee meetings to attend!

So please pray for me and wish me luck in the contest.

a woman's worst nightmare

with thanks to only moniker. Man! How did this blog suddenly change its theme? I'll post a liturgical one again soon and bring back some Speck!

St. Luke

St. Luke was born at Antioch and was a practising physician when he was converted by St. Paul. He then attached himself to Paul and accompanied him on his missions. This way he acquired the knowledge and information about the life of the early Christian communities and became Acts of the Apostles. It was form Paul's teaching and other study that he was able to write the Third Gospel also known as 'Paul's Gospel'. It is this Gospel that we learn about Christ's early life and about Our Lady. The animals from the vision of Ezechial shows that the ox represent St. Luke and thus he is often pictured with one.

Introit: Ps. 138. 17. To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honourable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened. Ps. Lord, Thou hast proved ,e and known me: Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up.

Collect: We beseech The, O Lord, grant us to be aided by the prayers of Saint Luke Thine Evangelist; who for the glory of Thy name ever bore in his body the mortification of the cross.

Gradual: Ps. 18. 5, 2. Their sound went forth into all the earth: and their words to the end of the world. v. The heavens show forth the glory of God; and the firmament declareth the works of His hands.

Sancte Luca. Ora pro nobis.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Women's fertility

Whoa! Some of the comments on this post here have gone overboard. I've had to delete one of them which was entirely inappropriate. Who would have thought a post about tunicles and vestments could have changed so much.

On the topic the erupted this story appeared on
The Australian's website today.
Fertility rate at 10-year high

PERHAPS spurred on by the baby bonus, Australian women are giving birth at a 10-year record rate, new figures have shown.

Latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics have shown the national fertility rate stands at its highest level since 1995.

A total of 259,800 new babies were registered in 2005, an increase of 5500 over 2004.

The actual fertility rate stands at 1.81 babies per woman, up from 1.77 in 2004 and close to the 1995 rate of 1.82.

Continuing a long-running trend, women in the 30-34 age group proved the nation's most fertile, with 117.5 babies per 1000 in 2005 - the highest rate for that age bracket since 1964.

The median age for mums now stands at 30.7. For dads it is 32.9.

Underlining the changing birth demographic, the median age for mums stood at 27.3 in 1985.

Highlighting yet another change, only 68 per cent of births in 2005 were to parents in a registered marriage, compared to 85 per cent in 1985.
Anyway, this the Indolent Server! Why on earth has the debate shifted from liturgy to fertility...?

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Margaret Mary Alacoque was born in 1647 at Verosvres in France. She consecrated herself to Christ at an early age with a vow of perpetual virginity. She entered the convent at age 23 where she received three great revelations and developed a wonderful devotion to the Sacred Heart.

Introit: Cant. 2.3. I sat under his shadow whom I desired: and his fruit was sweet to my palate. Ps. How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! my soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord.

Offertory: Zach. 9. 17. For what is the good thing of him, and what is his beautiful thing, but the corn of the elect and the wine springing forth virgins?

Postcommunion: By the intercession of the blessed virgin Margaret Mary, grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus, that we who have received the mysteries of Thy Body and Blood may put off the pride and vanity of the world and be found worthy to put on the meekness and humility of Thy Heart.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Cardinal Pell: latest on WYD

This is the latest on WYD2008 from His Eminence, George Cardinal Pell, himself.
The World Youth Day celebrations in July 2008 will be bigger than the Sydney Olympics as about half a million people will attend the final Mass on Sunday, July 20th at Randwick.

Pope Benedict XVI, 500 bishops and thousands of priests will celebrate this Mass, the climax of a varied programme of events after the Opening Mass on the Tuesday night.

Every category of young person is invited to these Catholic celebrations to see and hear what the Catholic tradition has to offer.

While we hope to welcome Pope Benedict’s arrival through the heads of Sydney Harbour on Thursday night, there will be teaching sessions for the pilgrims on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.

Another highlight is the Way of the Cross through the streets of Sydney on the Friday afternoon, when young Australians will re-enact Jesus’ progress from his condemnation by the Roman governor Pontius Pilate to his crucifixion on Mt. Calvary.

Between 80,000 to 120,000 overseas visitors will fly into Australia. This is too many for Sydney airport and requires extra flights.

While pilgrims will have to pay to register, the major cost will be for travel. The registration fee for the young people includes a levy to help those from poorer countries and the contribution of the Australian pilgrims will be directed towards visitors from the Pacific region and Papua New Guinea.

Negotiations have started with the various airlines to obtain significant reductions in the price of the air tickets to reflect the huge increase in numbers.

Many pilgrims in Europe and the United States have already started saving, with the Catholic Bank in Germany offering increased rates of interest for pilgrims. As always many parishes will help sponsor parishioners who will organize local fund-raising ventures of their own.

Ten days ago a delegation of three came from the Vatican to monitor preparations. They were well pleased by progress so far and pleasantly surprised by the level of support outside the Catholic community and especially from the Federal and N.S.W. Governments. Such co-operation does not occur everywhere.

Young people today grow up with computers, but it was different in my youth. I have been staggered by the number of visits to the World Youth Day website, which has received 9.3 million hits since it was launched on Palm Sunday, April 9th. They are still coming in at the rate of more than 50,000 a day.

Another surprise is that Germany, which hosted the W.Y.D. last year in Cologne, tops the list with 2.2 million hits, followed by Australia 1.67 million, U.S.A. on 1.51 million and Italy with 670,000.

Interest in Australia is building steadily from 170,000 hits in June to 342,000 in September, while 10,500 young people are registered to receive regular updates on ePILGRIMAGE.

We have started well, but the major challenges are yet to come.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I've been posting on political matters of late and I know you all prefer my religious rants and minor amusing things but I couldn't resist some good old Federal Labor bashing... I found this old image on my computer today while trying to re-organise some ACSA files.

Which heaven are you for?

Protestant Heaven vs. Catholic Heaven

Hat tip Curt Jester

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I've added a few new blogs to the list when I removed Cassiscum from the roll due to it being pulled down by the publisher.

links, uni et al

Mr. Christopher Pearson has an opinion piece in The Australian today on the "Spring of the Latin Rite". It's well worth the read if you haven't already.

I won't unneccessarily post anymore links to commentary on this topic but just to say you can find just about all you need at The New Liturgical Movement, Amy Welborn and Rorate Caeli.

I'm sorry I don't have time to order my opinions about the subject into a few paragraphs but I'm completely snowed under. Week 11 begins on Monday and I have 10 assignments due in Week 12 including a major engineering design project, another major project regardign the hardware and software of a robot (haven't done much on at all!) and a history essay comparing the traits of genocide and ethnic cleansing (I'm still at the research stage).

The History essay is demanding but should be interesting nonetheless. I'm going to look at it through two key case studies -- the Holocaust and the 1990s in Yugoslavia. I'll be able to use my knowlegde of the Armenian case from a previous essay to fill in any gaps too.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Clearing up a few things

The debate about the Infant of Prague is still raging here if you care to continue...

Otherwise, I hesitantly point you to a post from Dominicanus. It refers to me. But is somewhat misleading.

Sure, the occasion is now imfamous. we had a Sydney visitor who outranked me so he sang the Epistle instead (Fr. Ephraem tended to sing daily mass regardless of the feast!!). This allowed me more time with the thurible. It was, as Father says, a very hot Adelaide day and a fan had been placed on the sanctuary to be some small comfort for the sacred ministers (it was midday Mass). Anyway, in my exhuberant youth (I was 14 or 15) I thought the best part about a Missa Cantata was the smoke. By the Intriot I had noticed that the fan was occasionally blowing past the thurible which was emitting more incence than usual. Therefore I decided to maximise this by placing the Thurible directly infront of the fan itself. It worked a treat. To my credit I suppose when Father motioned to me to remove the offending instrument I did so without fuss.

I hope this clears up some of the story which has become somewhat of an Irish tale in intersate circles.

The Collection

A must know for everyone reading, Cypressus III aka Mr. Daniel Hill has just posted here his collection of liturgical items. They are:

2 black tunicles (1 with matching maniple and stole)
1 gold tunicle.
1 gold humeral veil.
1 gold gothic chasuble with stole.
1 red gothic chasuble with stole and matching burse.
1 gold roman chasuble.
1 violet lectern hanging.
1 weird florally stole.
3 burses (red, white, violet)
1 lace alb.
1 soutane.
2 surplices.
1 puginesque monstrance (needs restoring).

Look, I can't believe he gets away with it! If I had even one item of sorts I'm sure I'd be locked away in a monastary!

Friday funnies

A rabbi, a priest and a minister walk into a bar.

The bartender looks up and says, "What is this, a joke?"

Years ago in Ireland, there was a priest who was very anti-British. Every Sunday he would blast them from the pulpit. He became so notorious that the Pope himself summoned the priest to Rome for an audience.

"Father," said the Pope, "I want that there should be peace between the British and the Irish. You're not helping matters at all. I want you to kiss my ring and swear by the Blessed Virgin that you'll never so much as mention the British in public again."

"But Your Holiness, I - I - " the priest stammered.

"No buts," said the Pope. "Swear it here and now or there'll be trouble!"

"Aye, Holy Father," sighed the father. "All right. I swear it."

The very next Sunday just happened to be Easter, and the priest was back at his pulpit in Ireland, giving his annual Easter sermon.

He got to the part of the Easter story where Jesus said, "And one of you shall betray Me."

The priest continues: "Saint Andrew jumps up and says, 'Is it I Lord?' and the Lord says, 'Nay, Andy darlin', it's not you. Sit down now and dunna worry. Eat your supper.'

Then Saint John the Divine gets up with tears in his eyes and cries, 'Is it I Lord?' And the Lord says, 'Nay, Johnny me boy, it's not you. Sit down now and dunna fret yourself. Eat your supper.'

"Then that dirty dog Judas Iscariot slowww-ly rises to his feet. And he looks the Lord right in the eye and says, 'Blimey, Mate. Ya think it's me?"

A tale of a fateful trip

Yesterday the Treasurer jumped to attention when Kim Beazley was described as the "skipper" of the union movement in question time. Costello's mind leapt straight to the 1960s sitcom Gilligan's Island, which featured a motley cast shipwrecked on a desert island. He proceeded to name the Skipper's stranded colleagues: Kevin Rudd was the Professor and Nicola Roxon was Mary Ann.

"And whom will we christen Gilligan?" the Treasurer cried. "I think the member for Lilley [Wayne Swan]. He has got to be Gilligan."

Sadly, the Treasurer was called to order before he could go on, leaving three cast-members unaccounted for. The Herald contacted Costello and asked him to fill in the blanks. He decided Simon Crean would play the millionaire Thurston J. Howell III, and Jenny Macklin was a natural as his wife, Eunice "Lovey" Wentworth Howell. And Ginger Grant, the breathy, red-headed movie star? Julia Gillard, of course.

SMH had this in the blogs section yesterday. I tried to put it up then but Blogger was down.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

University Council

Dear all,

Yes, I'm feeling much better. I was out of action for about 36 hours but am back at uni now. (Still have the cough and runny nose!)

BUT more importantly, if anyone reading this is from the University of Adelaide or knows someone who attends there, they NEED TO VOTE FOR ME in the University Council elections.

There are three of us running for two spots and the others are lefties from my days at the union. I wasn't going to re-nominate because of all the other things I do, but when I heard the other names nominating (or possibly nominating) I knew I had to throw my hat in the ring again. Pretty much all were or are big players in the uni 'factions' so it'll be some fun especially if I'm sucessful again!



Something a bit more official

Many of your would have seen much of this already on Dominicanus and the like, but I'm amazed CathNews bothered with it. We live in interesting times...

Vatican source says pope to expand use of Tridentine Mass
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI is preparing to expand permission to use the Tridentine Mass, the pre-Vatican II rite favored by traditionalist groups, said an informed Vatican source.
The pope is expected to issue a document "motu proprio," or on his own initiative, which will address the concerns of "various traditionalists," said the source, who asked not to be named.

The source said the new permission, or indult, was a papal decision, but was being done in cooperation with agencies of the Roman Curia. He would not elaborate on the extent of the indult, when it would be established or how it would work. Full Story.
Update: I didn't get time today, but sources tell me this story made it to the printed version of The Australian. Seems its been a secular media hit worldwide too!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

ALP politics

A bit of ALP politics for the Aussies. The Australian reports here and here one the contest for Labor Party Federal President. It seems that Senator John Faulkner has claimed the win over SA Premier Mike Rann and former federal leader Simon Crean. As an outsider I would have thought at the outset that Rann would have been a shoe-in considering that he is backed by the Right and no-one else form the Right was in the play. The Right holds sway over the party at the moment so Faulkner's imminent win is a blow to them. It's also a blow to a relaxation over Uraniam mining in Australia with the Left strongly against a change in policy.


I've come down with a rotten head cold so posts may be sporadic for the next few days. Maybe everthing has finally caight up with me - at the wrong time of year - or it could be due to letting my hair down a bit on Friday night. More likely it's a combination of both. I've had nearly 12 hours in bed each of the last two nights and I'm still no better off. If I'm not better by this arvo I might arrange to see a doctor and get some drugs.


The debate that has ensued in the comments boxes in recent days has reminded me that it’s time for a timely reminder for you all. The views expressed on INDOLENT SERVER are not those of the Australian Catholic Students Association, the University of Adelaide, the Liberal Party of Australia or of Latin Mass goers in Australia or South Australia. (Have I forgotten any other body?) And come to think of it, they have no bearing on the views of my parents or family or how they raised me!!

But, by any means, don't stop the debate!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Virgin actor?

I was alerted to this story in the SMH by a mate of mine and then saw the same story on Rocco's blog. The best report so far is here and from New Zealand. In summary, the 16-year old actress who plays the Virgin Mary in a film soon to be released is pregnant. How ironic. It's nearly as good as the Indian producer who wanted to cast Paris Hilton as Mother Theresa. It is such a shame that the girl hasn't appeared to have got anything out of playing the part. But then again, at least it appears that she will keep the baby rather than an abortion. Must thank God for that.

Speck returns to the Indolent Server

"We remembered your anniversary for you, Father!"

Saturday, October 07, 2006


The Elderly Relative will love this. This statue is the the Chapel at CYS House where we stayed in Sydney.

The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Introit: Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival-day in honour of the blessed Virgin Mary, for whose solemn festival the angels rejoice and give praise to the Son of God. Ps. My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King.

Gradual: Ps. 44. 5, 11, 12. Because of truth, and meekness, and justice: and thy right hand shall conduct thee wonderfully. V Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thine ear, for the King hath greatly desired thy beauty.

Alleluia: Alleluia, alleluia. The solemn festival of the glorious Virgin Mary of the seed of Abraham, sprung from the tribe of Juda, of David’s royal race. Alleluia.

Communion: Ecclus. 39. 19. Send forth flowers as the lily, and yield a smell, and bring forth leaves in grace, and praise with canticles, and bless the Lord in His works.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Love Letters

I have a number of friends doing sorts of student teaching this year toward a B.Ed or Dip Ed. One of them, who shall remain nameless received the above letter from a pupil. Any identifying elements have been removed but it was so funny I had to post it. It was reported and dealt with appropriately at the time.

Sydney visit - Part III

The ACSA Executive met briefly on Sunday morning to discuss and recap on the organisation of the 2006 National Conference before heading to St. Mary’s Cathedral for High Mass. I can’t remember what Mass the choir sung but it was magnificent and Pell gave a ripper of a sermon while also giving ACSA a plug. In Mass there was an installation of one of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. Sebastian (sorry, we haven’t forgotten the Adelaide Review days) was there and I was able to have a quick chat to him before somehow becoming the official photographer for the order. However, don’t trust Sebastian with a camera. I asked him to get a shot of me and the Cardinal but when I downloaded it wasn’t there! He is the 5th from the right.

We headed back to Clovelly after lunch was a final hard session of National Conference 2007 planning. We do aim for the 3rd year in a row to introduce optional workshops – maybe some part of my legacy! We broke up the meeting just after 5pm and had benediction before all departing for respective homes and states.

I still had a night left and headed with the treasurer to the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Homebush. There was a bit of a NRL Grand Final do there hosted by some friends of ours. We got there just after half time but managed some good conversation about the Liberal Party and ACSA (not together – don’t fear). I got a relatively early night and stayed again at St. James Priory.

Monday was my last day in Sydney and thankfully I managed to catch up with another friend before visiting Fr. E in St. Alfreds Hospital. He was in great spirits and had asked me to bring The Australian and a large coffee. He had already read two entire editions of Quadrant as well as New Scientist and The Spectator since being admitted.

I then headed to the airport and then home again. On the flight back I had a conversation with Che Cockatoo Collins. Che is a former AFL footballer who just happens to be interested in politics and is running the Local Council elections for the same council as I am running in! What coincidence! So we talked politics much of the flight back.

That ends the Sydney story/ramble. Needless to say I slept well on Monday night but was up at 6am for work. Overall a productive and terrible useful trip. There is lots to do and little time but I have a passionate and talented executive to guide ACSA through the year.

Regular posts will resume tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sydney visit - Part II

On Friday morning the interstaters in the ACSA Exec all meet at Central Station and made our way out to Catholic Youth Services (CYS) House in Clovelly, near the beach. The house must be an old convent and it has a beautiful small chapel – it still has an east facing altar and reredos. A funny contrast was that the NET team was also staying that the house too – NET are post-school age but their mission is evangelisation in the schools. Their liturgical preference for worship is also slightly different from ACSA and guitars had to be removed from the chapel.

Well, our meeting then got under way and was rather productive. We were joined in the late afternoon by the former President Daniel Hill who is either on drugs or suffering from post-Presidential disorder. He only just now realised that he never remembered to post a package out to me 3 months ago!! Even though I have continually reminded him. He also returned my Fortescue which he had loaned for the last 18months despite buying one of his own!!

Our Exec has 4 new faces this year so we spent much of the evening bonding! We stayed up talking till 3am even though alcohol was banned from the house. Daniel and snuck in a bit and had a couple of glasses to wet the whistle. Conversation centred on liturgy and girls (even though there were two present). Overall it was very very funny. Daniel showed us his newly purchased tunicle which also came with a stole and a couple of maniples. He buys them off ebay and has quite a collection. (The girlfriend doesn’t know). Here is a picture of our Functions Manager trying them for size without an alb or cincture
Saturday began with Mass and a short session on ACSA’s finances before travelling into the city to dine with the Cardinal. Archbishop Pell is one of our patrons and always accepts our invitation for lunch. The conversation is little to do with business and is usually just social. (You should have heard him last year on Paul Collins!) He and Fr. Jordan call each other Greg and George as they are old friends. Cardinal Pell tried some time ago to steal Fr. Jordan from Brisbane. Fr. Jordan declined as he is one of the only bastions of orthodoxy in the state! It being Grand Final day and Cardinal Pell being an ex-footballer himself, our treasurer, Camillus O’Kane, was determined to talk sport. He also had the nerve to abruptly ask His Eminence whether he could watch the game with him at in his rooms! They did, but I made them return to Clovelly at half-time. No doubt Camillus’ fellow collegians will never hear the end of it!

Saturday night we ate fish & chips on the beach and us lads had a long kick & catch of the footy. Again we stayed up late but this time to NET team had secured the common room so we had to resort to my room. We had to hide our Secretary as no girls were allowed in buys rooms! How old do they think we are? Well we decided that enough was enough and that we deserved a few glasses or red that night and despite it being from the Margaret River as opposed to the Coonawarra it was quite nice. Conversation was again girls among other things… seems most of us struggle to find time to be bothered with the effort. Maybe once uni finishes was the general consensus. We did also try and spend a whole hour without talking about Catholicism or something related. We were going fine, but eventually ran out! Catholicism is an entire way of life… as I was explaining to the new kids on the block… get used to it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sydney visit - Part I

I will write bits and pieces gradually about my Sydney trip (ie. only while procrastinating).

I woke Tuesday morning at 4am to catch a 6am flight (had to be at the airport an hour early). I arrived at Sydney domestic terminal to whisked away to the international terminal to meet a guy from the US who was about to leave to go back home. He started a huge graduate network of Catholic Young Adults in the US. Apparently they have got 300 orthodox young Catholics together for a weekend… wait for it… where all they did was drink beer, eat food and listen to a single talk by George Weigel! Now that’s some weekend! Anyway keep an eye out for a similar initiative of ACSA’s which has been in the pipeline for two years but will hopefully get under way soon. We will, however, have more of a focus of further development.

Tuesday night I spent with Dominicanus who put some effort in considering the state of his foot. We had a delicious Guinness Pie at the Rooty Hill Tavern along with a bottle of red wine and a few beers – Cooper’s Pale on tap!

Wednesday I was up early to head back into Sydney for meetings with Dr. Michael Casey the personal secretary to George Cardinal Pell and third-in-charge of WYD 2008. I can’t go into detail but Casey was a pleasure to meet and great fun too. There is a bit in common but don’t expect me to do a PhD anytime soon. The WYD meeting was also successful. Wednesday evening I met with ACSA’s NSW rep and a couple of others to discuss NSW affairs followed by dinner where I met up with a few more old friends including Acolytus who comments here from time-to-time.

It was late by the time I got back to Oakhurst with Fr. E.

Wednesday morning both Fr. E and I were up early. I was off to Campion College to meet with our Functions Manager and also to have a chat with Fr. John Fleming, President of the College. ACSAs Chaplain, Fr. Gregory Jordan SJ was also to join us. Fr. Ephraem couldn’t make it as that was at the same time as his appointment at the hospital about his foot – he was 98% sure he’d be back and he’d cook that night.

Anyway, of course we know now that Fr. was kept in for a few days so I wasn’t able to eat with him. (Damn! Fr. is such a great cook!) The time at Campion was both fun and productive. Fr. Fleming gave me a few good ideas about ACSA and we also discussed South Australian politics and affairs over a light lunch in the sun. I also met a few of the students and the staff. Some read my blog but tend not to post… Frs. Fleming and Jordan concelebrated Mass at midday in the chapel. It’s quite nice, and so much nicer done ad Orientem and with the common in Latin! And the Pax was also done nicely!! No nodding or shaking hands at all! (That’s one thing that bugs me about the new rite, just before Holy Communion your thoughts and prayers are disrupted by people demanding to shake hands – but this is for another time).

With Fr. Ephraem out of action I decided to stay the night at St. James’ Dominican Priory in Glebe. After dropping off my bags I met up with ACSA’s treasurer and experienced Warrane College – only briefly – for the first time. We had a quick chat about our finances before I headed back to Circular Quay for dinner with the Elderly Relative who happened to be in town for a meeting. Had a jolly meal on the Rocks and was a chance to really relax for the first time in two days.

Sorry no photos from these days but there is more to come!

Time travel preferences

Fr. Tim Finigan commaned me to answer the following question. I've followed the lead of DelexitPrior by not considering Biblical events.

If an angel could take me back in time, what five things or occasions would I like to experience?

  • Be involved in the Battle of Lepanto… Don Juan… Pope St. Pius V.
  • Victoria 1954 – hanging around BA (Bob) Santamaria when the ALP Split was materminded
  • Riding with Charlemagne
  • With Don Bradman on the 1948 Ashes tour – the Invincibles
  • (*all of the history courses I’ve studied have been negative periods of the late 19th and 20th Century – I'm struggling to find another quickly!)
  • Serve Mass in St. Peters Basilica prior to the Council of 1962
  • Mass in Rome prior to the Council of Trent
  • The Burning of Carthage ending the Punic Wars.
  • Witness one of St. Catherine of Siena’s ecstasies.
  • There with Pope John Paul I – to see how/why he really died…

Monday, October 02, 2006

Back from the wilds of Sydney

Yes, I'm back from Sydney. The week was terribly busy but very successful. I will write more on all things soon enough -- social and business. Least to say I didn't get enough sleep...