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The Martyr’s Progress

By Fr Anthony Egan SJ On March 24, 1980, a great, holy man was martyred. Oscar Romero, the Catholic archbishop of San Salvador in El Salvador, was shot by agents of a right-wing death squad while celebrating Mass in a hospital chapel. On May 23 he will be formally beatified.

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Reflecting on Lent and 20 years of democracy

As Christians preparing for Easter, the Lenten season offers us a time to reflect on our own faith — our strengths and weaknesses, our commitment to Christ and the kingdom of God, and how we might translate God’s vision into our daily lives from within our imperfect (sometimes downright sinful) society.

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Reflection for Sunday 9th March: 1st Sunday in Lent

‘At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry…” (Mt 4:1-2)

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Remodelling the Church

In the song “A New Argentina” from the Lloyd Webber/Rice musical Evita, the generals sing: “We face the world together with no dissent from within.” For many, sympathisers and critics, this may seem the position of the Catholic Church past, present and future. Vatican II, I believe, views this as a mistaken “model” of Church.

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How to communicate well

Sometimes it seems that we never forgave Gutenberg for inventing his printing press! Though the Church has engaged with various forms of public media from the beginning, we have a long way to go.  Despite having been in the “communication business” since 33 AD, we are simply at sea when it comes to handling mass […]

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The ‘other half’ of the Church

As you may have guessed from the headline this article addresses the subject of women and Vatican II. If Church statistics are reliable, it should in fact more accurately say, “The majority of the Church”, since it seems that in almost all places the vast majority of active Catholic laity are women.

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Religious orders after Vatican II

Religious life, it is said, is in crisis. And, some say, it’s Vatican II that caused all the trouble! Let’s analyse this statement, as dispassionately as possible, given that your author is himself a member of a religious order, the Jesuits, that has seen its membership drop from 35000 in 1965 to about 19500 today.

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How the bishops’ job descriptions changed

Many years ago I read a book titled Bishops – But What Kind? It was a collection of essays by Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant scholars about the different understandings of the role of bishops in Christianity.

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Ordained ministry renewed

Although it has been seen primarily as a “pastoral” council, Vatican II had a dramatic impact on ordained ministry. It restored the permanent diaconate and it called on the Church to rethink the ministerial priesthood.

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Education for freedom

Youth Day on June 16 can all too easily be reduced to just another holiday commemorating yet another figure or group engaged in South Africa’s democratisation. To do this we sell the youth of 1976 short while we praise them, unless we see the critical role of education in the process. For the spark that […]

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