Tag Archives: Eric-Hodgens

ERIC HODGENS. The Catholic Dilemma.

Clerical privilege took a heavy blow when Catholic bishops were summoned to appear at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to child sexual abuse (RC).  The             church answering to the state.  

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ERIC HODGENS. The need for new Church Leadership.

While the Catholic population is increasing, active participation in parish life is steadily decreasing. This means that the pool of future lay leaders is steadily getting shallower. If this decline is to be reversed, now is the time to select … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS. Epiphany – A Supernova In Full Eruption.

Love is a many splendored thing. So, too is a diamond. The more skilled the diamond cutter, the more brilliant the diamond’s sparkle. Love and diamonds pair perfectly. 

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ERIC HODGENS. Christmas – An Epiphany.

What he stands for is the real object of our celebration – love of family and friends; love of enemies, too. He stands for peace, for fair consideration of everyone we deal with, for a world in which we work … Continue reading

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Eric Hodgens. Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns.

Easter brings Easter eggs and hot cross buns. You see the egg and dart pattern on the frieze of some Victorian-period buildings. But it goes way back to classical times. The eternal question – life or death. Two men looked … Continue reading

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Eric Hodgens. Pell and the Royal Commission: Spotlight on Ideology.

When Cardinal George Pell enters the witness box at the Royal Commission we see a legal counsel interviewing him to find to what extent he is to blame for a failure in his church’s duty of care. The adversarial setup … Continue reading

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Eric Hodgens. Child Sexual Abuse – A Cascade of Victims.

The sexual abuse of children creates many victims – and many levels of victimhood. Cultures, including ours, have rules about sexual activity. Cultural deviations from what is considered normal meet a range of cultural responses from approval to acceptance, to … Continue reading

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Eric Hodgens. Christmas Peace – A Paradox

Christmas is a Christian afterthought. The earliest Christian writings (Paul’s epistles and Mark’s Gospel) don’t mention Jesus’ birth. The first to do so is Matthew’s gospel where the author posits the birth simply as another event in the fuller story … Continue reading

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Eric Hodgens. Hope After The Synod?

In Greek synod means on the way together – (odos means a way; syn means together). The model is peripatetic– walking around. Aristotle used to walk round with his disciples discussing issues and his school got called the Peripatetic School. … Continue reading

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Eric Hodgens. The Catholic Church is really two churches.

The Catholic Church is really two churches these days. The first is the hierarchy. The second is rank and file active Catholics together with their priests. This second group is the real church. Over the last 35 years, now, they … Continue reading

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Eric Hodgens. No Change in Priestly Recruits

The Melbourne Age said on Sunday 3 May that the Catholic Church was attracting more trainee priests. SBS had a similar article. Both are factually wrong. The last big year of seminary entries was 1968. Recruitment dropped steadily for 20 … Continue reading

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Eric Hodgens. Can Pope Francis Turn the Church around?

The question needs to be asked because the Catholic Church is in trouble. Firstly, it has a . credibility problem. Affiliation has been dropping since the 60s. Sunday Mass attendance, the first indicator of affiliation, backs this up. The Church’s … Continue reading

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Eric Hodgens. Celibacy – Icon of Clericalism.

The Catholic Church October synod was surprisingly successful. Unlike previous synods the discussion was open. The focus was pastoral rather than legal. Questions like Communion for divorcees, living together without being married, homosexual relationships, contraception are now on the table. … Continue reading

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Eric Hodgens. Archbishop Fisher’s Vision.

Archbishop Fisher introduced himself to his Sydney flock at his installation on 12th November 2014. He knows the Sydney Church and its history from personal experience. He is, after all, a born Sydney native whose early years inculturated him into … Continue reading

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Eric Hodgens. Will the Synod on the family work?

Pope Francis has changed the focus of the Catholic Church from doctrine and rules to care and compassion. If people are at odds with the rules they should be supported and encouraged rather than condemned. Since many of the rules … Continue reading

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Eric Hodgens. On a Wing and a Prayer – A Personal Memoir.

As priests we were sent out on a mission to spread the Gospel and be pastors of the flock. But it was the secular world that formulated mission statements and pastoral care policies. We had the vocation, but it was … Continue reading

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Eric Hodgens. A new moral compass

The Church is not the best guide to moral values. That is the response of some Catholics to the questionnaire which the Vatican sent out in preparation for the October Synod of Bishops. Many practising Catholics do not agree with … Continue reading

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Eric Hodgens. Sydney’s next bishop – what sort?

What should we look for in a bishop for Sydney in these changing times? A Christian. One committed to Jesus’ message of love, forgiveness and compassion. One who holds that the Church is not just the hierarchy, but the People … Continue reading

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Eric Hodgens. Where do bishops come from?

Sydney needs a new archbishop who has every chance of becoming a cardinal once Cardinal Pell turns 80. How do we get a new bishop? The pope will appoint one. Since 1917 he has claimed the right to do so. … Continue reading

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