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    • To my Republican Friends July 6, 2020
      You voted for Trump even though you didn't like him. Doubted his character. Questioned his fitness for the job. Yet, your aversion to Hillary was even greater The post To my Republican Friends first appeared on Spirit of a Liberal.
      Obie Holmen
    • Wormwood and Gall a Midwest Book Award Finalist May 4, 2020
      The Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA) recently named Wormwood and Gall as one of three finalists for a Midwest Book Award in the Religion/Philosophy category. The awards program, which is organized by MIPA, recognizes quality in independent publishing in the Midwest. The post Wormwood and Gall a Midwest Book Award Finalist first appeared on S […]
      Obie Holmen
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    • Rob Sheffield Pays Tribute to the “Peaceful and Stormy at the Same Time” Songs of Christine McVie December 6, 2022
      Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone magazine has written a heartfelt and insightful appreciation of the life and music of Christine McVie, who died last Wednesday, November 30.Following, with added images and links, are excerpts from Sheffield’s tribute that particularly caught my attention.Christine McVie always came on like the grown-up in the room, which admit […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • “Your Perception Is a Choice” December 5, 2022
      My friend Iggy is dedicated to facilitating mind and body transformation – within his own life and the lives of others who are similarly interested in holistic personal growth and change. To this end, Iggy’s professional/vocational life involves providing a range of services, including mindset mentoring, naprapathic massage, and personal training in boxing, […]
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    • So the Former US President and Current GOP Candidate for the Presidency Calls for a Coup and the End of US Democracy — And? December 5, 2022
      President Donald J. Trump 2 March 2019, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, MD; official White House photo by Tia Dufour, at Wikimedia CommonsHeather Cox Richardson, "Letters from an American: December 3, 2002":The leader of the Republican Party has just called fo […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
    • I'm Now on Mastodon — Please Feel Free to Connect December 2, 2022
      I've now succeeded in setting up an account on Mastodon.My handle there is @wdlindsy@toad.socialPlease feel free to connect to me there if you wish. I'm hoping to reconnect via Mastodon to as many of the friends and conversation partners I had on Twitter, with whom I've lost touch after I left Twitter when Musk acquired it. I'm a total no […]
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      My current blog is called the way ahead.
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       A saint for the millenials: the young Italian teen, Carlo Acutis, who died in 2006 of galloping Leukemia, will be beatified today in Assisi by Pope Francis (last step before being officially declared a saint). Carlo came from a luke warm Catholic family, but at the age of 7, when he received his first 'Holy Communion', he displayed an astonishing […]
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    • Ronan Park and Jack Vidgen: The Travails of Gay Pop Stars October 28, 2019
      (Jack Vidgen)Quite by accident, through a comment from a performance arts colleague of mine, I stumbled across the recent bios of two boy teen singing sensations, both of whom made a big splash worldwide 8 years ago. The first, Jack Vidgen, won Australia's Got Talent Contest in 2011 at the age of 14, primarily for his powerful renditions of Whitney Hust […]
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    • We the People December 6, 2022
      We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.Trump has called for ... Why? So […]
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Where have all the Shepherds gone?

Sheep

"Where's Father John?"

Where have all the Shepherds gone? (with apologies to Pete Seeger)

As so often happens when I’m preparing a post, current events break into the flow of my thoughts and somehow find their way into the post. Last week was no exception. I was preparing my homily for the fourth Sunday of Easter, knowing that the gospel text is always taken from the tenth chapter of John’s gospel – the Good Shepherd text. I had also been doing some background reading on the Morris affair, referring to the forced resignation of Bishop William Morris from the diocese of Toowoomba, Queensland (plenty of information here). As always, I can’t help analysing the impact such events have on the life of the Church. That the resignation took place on 2nd May, yep, just one day after the beatification ceremony of Pope John Paul II was not lost on those who follow closely such matters. Pope Benedict must have had a surge of warm feelings – as a result of the beatification of his predecessor – that led him to order this resignation. Nuff said about him; let’s talk about shepherds.

The shepherd image is a very potent one, not only in the Bible, but also in the life of the Church. It finds its way into words such as “pastor” or “pastoral” (Latin pastor = shepherd). Although the word occurs several times in Scripture, two texts in particular stand out. They are Ezekiel 34 and John 10 (I will be citing some relevant sections from these two texts further down). In the Catholic tradition (as well as in the Orthodox Churches) there is a direct link between the symbol of the shepherd, and the Church’s ordained ministers: bishops, priests and, to a lesser extent, deacons. Rightly or wrongly, the terms ‘shepherd’ and ‘ordained minister’ have become so intertwined that it would seem impossible to use the shepherd-symbol if not in the context of ordained ministry. If not synonymous, they have become coterminous. As if to stress this point, there’s that symbol within a symbol – the bishop’s crosier – which, for all the gold, intricate patterns and semi-precious stones, represents a shepherd’s crook. Continue reading

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Benedict’s Thoughts on Priesthood: Confused, Contradictory.

As I reflect on Pope Benedict’s observations on the priesthood as recounted to Peter Seewald in “Light of the World”, what strikes me most is the range of models that he refers to as determining the essential requirements of the job – and how these shift, depending on the context. But if we take precisely the same models he does, and move them to different contexts, they flatly contradict the established rules for admission, and even undermine the standard approach to dealing with “homosexuals” in the Church, but not in the priesthood.

Continue reading