Author Archives: Eric Hodgens
We cannot wish people a Merry Christmas without taking some personal action. And the recipe for that action is central to the Gospel message of Jesus. We are called to be a commonwealth of peoples, not a conglomeration of self-interested … Continue reading
Some church groups are pressing for a post-pandemic opening up, others, who have already opened up, are sounding a lament as they find it is not business as usual. There are signs of grieving for the parish – an institution … Continue reading
The more reflective component of the Church is crying out for imaginative leadership on the ministry crisis and institutional re-organisation. But episcopal conferences seem paralysed.
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.
The Christmas story characters are mainly on the move – migrants in fact.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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?
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
A monarchical organization, powered by ideology, with promotion by patronage results in bad governance. The Catholic Church has a governance problem.
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
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.
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
Is religion on the way out?
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.
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.
Paul VI had no idea what he was setting loose when he published Humanae Vitae.
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
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
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.
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
The powerless Jesus of the Christmas Gospel stories offers a tutorial on power in the Church today.
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?
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
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.
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
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.