Sunday 30 September 2007
Thursday 27 September 2007
Monday 24 September 2007
"My comments on the Human Cloning Bill were derived from the conviction that Parliamentarians who legislate for the destruction of human life (in any circumstances and especially in this case where no cures from human embryos have been effected during many years of research) are acting in a way that departs from the principles of both the natural law known through human reason alone and Christian teaching. The natural law principles and the teaching in question are that human life should be accorded the full protection of the law without regard to race, ethnicity, sex, religion, age, condition of dependency or stage of development. I put forward this moral argument as a contribution to the public debate because it is rational, an argument open to acceptance by all people of no religion and any religion. I was not asserting some supernatural dogma beyond human reason and seeking to impose it on the general community. It would be a sad day for Australia if only members of the Christian majority accepted the unique dignity of the human person. But this is not the case. Defenders of human life -- from conception to natural birth -- come from every section of the Australian population.As a Catholic archbishop I am also charged with ensuring that Catholics know the moral teaching of the Church. The Church's teaching on cloning states that the cloning of a human being is wrong and cannot be justified by any known or imagined effects. The Church also teaches that destructive experimentation on embryonic human beings -- cloned or otherwise -- is an intrinsically evil act, because experimentation involves their dismemberment and therefore mutilation and death."
In taking this position Cardinal Pell has thrown much light on the relationship of the Church and society - if only we had had such a reasonable King and Queen and Parliament in the UK in the 1500's! Nonetheless, Cardinal Pell has done a great work in expressing the vocations of a Catholic Bishop and of a Catholic in today's world. He has challenged, correctly and courageously, Australian society, represented by its Parliament, and he has thrown essential light upon the Cloning issue - light which otherwise would have been missing from the debate. All can see more clearly now. What a great leader he is!
Sunday 23 September 2007
Friday 21 September 2007
Our life together is based on a pattern of prayer, as you would expect. Morning Gosepl meditation and Lauds; daily Mass; daily Adoration; Rosary. We also have a Monday evening community night when we will have a time of sharing the Gospel for the following Sunday, a good meal and an hour of adoration and night prayer. The rest of the time will involve each of us doing our own work, and also getting involved in the activities of the Chaplaincy. A particular part of that will be - for Patrick, Chris and Chris - running an apologetics session called 'Catholic Answers' before the Sunday evening Mass each week, when they will be able to help students to be equipped to answer questions thrown at Catholics by atheists, agnostics, evangelical Christians, liberal Christians, etc.
One thing that is notable in the Church, at least in England these days, is how devotion to St Joseph has all but disappeared. It may be because the figure of St Joseph seems easy to relegate to a tea towel headed member of the cast of the annual children's nativity play, and to ignore the rest of the time. After all, he does not have a direct role in salvation history. All he seems to do is to look after the central characters of the divine drama - Jesus and Mary. And yet St Joseph is vital in that history of salvation. Without Joseph, Jesus may never have come to be born, in that a woman caught committing adultery - which is what would have been presumed to be Mary's disposition - could be stoned to death. Joseph being a just man was going to quietly put Mary away and divorce her, presuming the same thing. But once he knew God's plan, he silently assented (we never hear him speak in the Gospels) to that plan, and, under the Jewish Law, became the father of Jesus in the eyes of the Law. Thus Jesus became the son of David, descended from the royal line. St Joseph is also fundamental as a role model for Christian men. He was strong, quiet, faithful, reliable and pure. Maybe the crisis in fatherhood, and the depreciation of purity, have a lot to do with the demise of devotion to this great saint. Maybe through our community we will be able to help revive among at least a few people devotion to this great saint, the patron of the Universal Church, and to live a true manly spirituality.
Please pray then for Patrick, Chris, Chris and myself as we begin this community life together for the next year.