Author Archives: Eric Hodgens

Eric Hodgens

About Eric Hodgens

Eric Hodgens is a Catholic Priest living in retirement. He writes for P&I, International Lo Croix and The Swag.

ERIC HODGENS. Easter in a Time of Virus.

Easter is one of the biggest holidays of the year throughout much of the world. It was originally a Holy Day. But its significance is changing – accelerated by COVID-19.

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ERIC HODGENS.- Migration and the Christmas Story.

The Christmas story characters are mainly on the move – migrants in fact.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

ERIC HODGENS. Pastoral Planning – A Church Crisis.

Church Pastoral Planning languishes – ignored and unloved. Yet, with the church being in freefall, it is needed today more than ever. It’s time to bring it in from the cold.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

ERIC HODGENS. Where Do We Find the Authentic Catholic Voice?

Cardinal Pell got his voice heard from prison. Furthermore, surrogate Pell voices are heard from bishops he has promoted in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. But, on three current issues polls show that most Catholics disagree with them. So, which voice … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 3 Comments

Eric Hodgens. Pastoral Care of Victim and Offender – The Pell Case Dilemma.

The church is called to offer pastoral care to both offender and victim. A dilemma arises when the offender is an official of the church. Like it, or not, the victim must come first.

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

ERIC HODGENS–The Fascinating Christian Story.

We all have our personal story. And it is just one part of the bigger story of our family, our tribe, our nation – the things that have shaped us. Institutions, too, have a life of their own – and … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS. Catholic Culture Wars and the Pell legacy

A clash of cultures was graphically dramatized in 1968 when Paul VI published Humanae Vitae. It was a major moment in a tumultuous year. Europe was split over the Vietnam War. Student riots paralysed Paris and alarmed a young theology … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS. Missing the Catholic Bus.

The Catholic Church is now in freefall. Vatican II called for adaptation to the modern world. Most of the opportunities for adaptation have been missed. How do we catch the last bus?

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

ERIC HODGENS: A Possible Australian Church Contribution.

The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (RC) is one of the most thorough investigations of its kind worldwide. The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) have made a combined response accepting … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

ERIC HODGENS. Catholic Governance – A Challenge for Improvement.

A monarchical organization, powered by ideology, with promotion by patronage results in bad governance. The Catholic Church has a governance problem.  

Posted in Religion and Faith | 9 Comments

ERIC HODGENS. Pell Conviction a Wake-up Call.

Culture wars are simply factional standoffs given a zippy title. The Church has had them forever. George Pell is a warrior of the right. His conviction is a setback for the right – but only a setback. The war still … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments

Eric Hodgens. Catholic Culture Wars.

Culture Wars are a feature of today’s political life. The Catholic Church has likewise been through the wars. Here are some features of the last fifty years.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 13 Comments

ERIC HODGENS. The True Christmas Spirit Embraces the New.

Christmas celebrates new life – and a new world order. It is news of joy for all the people. Nervous or not, we are called to embrace the new and add it to our treasure. Behold, I am doing a … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 5 Comments

ERIC HODGENS. Three Religious Elephants.

Is religion on the way out?

Posted in Religion and Faith | 7 Comments

ERIC HODGENS. The Fifties – Werribee’s Greatest Years.

Werribee’s fiftieth year as a scene of priestly training will also be its last. Nostalgia prompts deeper reflection. Our thesis is that the fifties were Werribee’s greatest years. This article was published by Catholic View in October 2018. 

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ERIC HODGENS. Revisiting the Theology of Clericalism.

Theology tends to ramp up the status and certainty of its models and theories so that what starts off as a theory morphs into unquestionable truth.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

ERIC HODGENS. Humanae Vitae – A 50 Year Odyssey.

Paul VI had no idea what he was setting loose when he published Humanae Vitae.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 4 Comments

ERIC HODGENS. Spare A Thought for the New Archbishop.

A bishop’ job is part shepherd, part leader, part ruler, part manager. Pope Francis insists that pastoral care is the primary role. The Melbourne Catholic Church is getting a new bishop. At 54 he can look forward to 21 years … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 9 Comments

ERIC HODGENS. Storms and Synods.

The Catholic Church is facing a perfect storm. How well will an Australian National Synod deal with it?

Posted in Religion and Faith, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

ERIC HODGENS. Reading the Christian Story Properly.

Christianity is now 2,000 years old with a pre-history of a further 1,000 years Its stories are amongst its most prized possessions. Christians love their stories. Stories take pride of place in its liturgies. But for some they are a … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 4 Comments

ERIC HODGENS. Pell and the course that took him to the top

Nothing if not always controversial, and some would say divisive, George Pell is now at a decisive fork in the road. One way could lead to gaol after being sent to trial on May 1st to face multiple charges of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

ERIC HODGENS: Common-wealth versus Common-loss.
Easter and Australian Politics.

Australia is a commonwealth, where seeking the common good brings prosperity, unlike the fostering of division which leads to decline if not death. An object lesson in the meaning of Easter.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

ERIC HODGENS. Melbourne’s New Archbishop.

2018 will be a fateful year for the Catholic Church in Australia as Melbourne gets a new archbishop. This appointment, if successful, offers some hope for the Church; if a failure, it will hasten the Church’s decline into insignificance. Here’s … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 12 Comments

ERIC HODGENS. Christmas Prompts Reflection on Power.

The powerless Jesus of the Christmas Gospel stories offers a tutorial on power in the Church today.

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ERIC HODGENS. What Makes Australia’s Catholic Bishops Tick?

The Catholic Church is a clerical institution. Bishops are the top rung of the clergy. Where do they come from? What are they like? What is their future?

Posted in Religion and Faith | 5 Comments

ERIC HODGENS. Back to following The Way.

Power is still the Church’s stumbling block. Mind you, Jesus warned us: The gentiles lord it over their subjects – not so with you. The Church’s power to “lord it over” society has been curtailed by today’s pluralism but is … Continue reading

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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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