Eric Hodgens is a Catholic Priest living in retirement. He writes for P&I, International Lo Croix and The Swag.
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. Continue reading »
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 not only for our own good but for the good of others too. Continue reading »
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 out through the prison bars. One saw mud, the other saw stars. Malcolm Turnbull assures Continue reading »
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 puts him on the defensive. He admits past reticence to intervene, but says others are Continue reading »
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 disapproval, to condemnation as immoral or, finally, criminalisation. Our culture has a minimum age of Continue reading »
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 of God’s salvation of His people. Luke’s gospel has the more discursive story containing Mary Continue reading »
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. The Synod of Bishops was set up after Vatican II and met in 1967, 1971 Continue reading »
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 have heard what the hierarchy was saying and simply have not agreed. They thought that Continue reading »
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 compelling message of Jesus as the icon of life defeating death is not getting through. Continue reading »
Eric Hodgens. Phillip Hughes – A Christmas Story.
The Phillip Hughes story gripped a nation. So much potential felled in an instant. Grief amplified by promise and love lost. Phillip was a Little Aussie Battler like us. But what promise! Looming all the larger because it is gone. Pup becomes a tower of strength. We see him in a new light. Rival teams Continue reading »
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. The objective is to seek solutions to complications rather than repeat the rules that most Continue reading »
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 that city and church. He was always a leading student at Catholic primary and secondary Continue reading »
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 causing complications in today’s society are associated with marriage he has called a special Synod Continue reading »
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 the secular world that developed vocational training. We were good at the concepts – but Continue reading »
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 the official opinions of the Pope on moral rules associated with marriage and sexuality. The Continue reading »
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 of God on a journey. A citizen of the world. One who, while suspicious of Continue reading »
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. History is not on the side of that claim – but that is another story. Continue reading »