Archive for category: The Tablet

Archive pour catégorie : The Tablet

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Heresy and women priests

On 2 January, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a Notification, signed by the prefect, Cardinal Ratzinger, and by the secretary, Archbishop Bertone, and approved by Pope John Paul II, which declared that Fr Tissa Balasuriya OMI of Sri Lanka “has deviated from the integrity of the truth of the Catholic faith and, therefore, cannot be considered a Catholic theologian; moreover, he has incurred excommunication latae sententiae (can. 1364, par. 1)”. This canon states that an apostate from the faith, a heretic or a schismatic incurs an • automatic excommunication. The charge of “deviation from the truth of the faith” indicates that it is for heresy, rather than for apostasy or schism, that Fr Balasuriya has been excommunicated.
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Posted: January 18, 1997 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6694
Categories: The TabletIn this article: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, doctrine, ordination, women
Transmis : 18 janvier 1997 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6694
Catégorie : The TabletDans cet article : Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, doctrine, ordination, women


Journey across the desert

Thirty years ago, my father, Charles Davis, then a secular priest and considered by many the leading Catholic theologian in Britain, publicly denounced the Roman Catholic Church as corrupt, and left. It was a move which sent shock waves around the Catholic world. At the same time he married my mother, then Florence Henderson, a long-standing member of the international Catholic lay women’s organisation, the Grail. They had become friends through their joint work in the ecumenical movement in Britain. She followed him in his decision to leave the Church and together they went into a form of exile, which my father, in different contexts, has often referred to as the desert. It was in the desert that my brother and I were born and raised.
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Posted: January 25, 1997 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6547
Categories: Opinion, The TabletIn this article: Christian, Christianity, church, church reform, theology
Transmis : 25 janvier 1997 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6547
Catégorie : Opinion, The TabletDans cet article : Christian, Christianity, church, church reform, theology


Liberating Mary

In the furore surrounding the ex-communication of Fr Tissa Balasuriya, very little has been said about the overall project of his book, Mary and Human Liberation. Beyond specific theological questions, Fr Balasuriya’s treatment of Mary touches on issues which go to the heart of the conflict between traditionalists and reformists which is dividing the Catholic Church today.

As in so many of Christianity’s decisive theological moments, the role of Mary is pivotal. The saying, “As Mary goes, so goes the Church,” is as true today as it was of the fifth century when the Council of Ephesus affirmed Christ’s divinity by declaring Mary Theotokos, or Godbearer.
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Posted: March 8, 1997 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6554
Categories: Opinion, The TabletIn this article: Catholic, feminist, liberation, Mary, theology
Transmis : 8 mars 1997 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6554
Catégorie : Opinion, The TabletDans cet article : Catholic, feminist, liberation, Mary, theology


It won’t wash with women

Have any Catholic bishops in Ireland undergone equal-opportunities training? It is a serious question that I have asked before with a depressingly predictable answer. I could have asked the same question about the Pope and the entire Curia and been tolerably sure of the answer.

The fact that the answer is a resounding no is problematic today in a way that it was not even four or five years ago. The Western secular world has felt the impact of decades of serious equal opportunities debate, critique, research and legislation. Its momentum has gathered in Ireland as in many other countries, bringing all of us up a steep learning curve which has changed the face of education, employment, social policy, politics, human relationships and cultural perspectives. Some bastions of conservatism remain slumped at the bottom of the curve. Others climbed it reluctantly, some were pushed and yet others jumped it.
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Posted: March 15, 1997 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6616
Categories: The Tablet
Transmis : 15 mars 1997 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6616
Catégorie : The Tablet


Storm clouds in the East

Rome — and Poland — are buzzing with rumour, counter-rumour and denial: will Pope John Paul and Patriarch Alexis of the Russian Orthodox Church meet in Vienna on 21 June or won’t they? Perhaps by the time this article is published there will have been an announcement that puts paid to the rumours, but even an eventual negative provides a timely stimulus to consider relations between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

One argument against the likelihood of a meeting between the Pope and the Russian Patriarch is obvious: there has been no preparation. The Patriarch will be in Vienna on his way to the European Ecumenical Assembly in Graz and the Pope wants to meet him. The Pope has spoken prophetically about his desire to see the reunion of East and West, to reverse the basic division in Christendom of nearly a millennium, before the year 2000. Yet his health and the ticking of the clock make this an unattainable goal, at least in human terms.
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Posted: June 14, 1997 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6590
Categories: The TabletIn this article: Catholic, ecumenism, John Paul II, Moscow Patriarchate, Orthodox
Transmis : 14 juin 1997 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6590
Catégorie : The TabletDans cet article : Catholic, ecumenism, John Paul II, Moscow Patriarchate, Orthodox


The Great Converter

by Sue Gaisford for The Tablet. To some, he is the agent of England’s conversion to the True Faith, to others, a danger to the nation’s soul. At first sight Fr Michael Seed seems an unlikely candidate for either role. Sue Gaisford encounters the man behind the reputation. He is “a treacherous individual to the
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Posted: June 28, 1997 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6593
Categories: The Tablet
Transmis : 28 juin 1997 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6593
Catégorie : The Tablet


Women priests: the unfinished story

For many Anglicans, the eleventh day of the eleventh month stirs memories of present as well as past conflicts: last Tuesday was the fifth anniversary of the General Synod’s vote in favour of women priests. By common consent the decision presaged the biggest upheaval in the Church of England since the Reformation, prompting 300 clergymen to resign their orders in protest at what they saw as a fracturing of the apostolic ministry. But in ordaining its women deacons in 1994 the Church gained nearly seven times as many new priests as it lost, and the new recruits are now serving at all levels of the hierarchy up to the rank of archdeacon. There appears to be ready agreement among most church people that the ordained ministry has been refreshed by “more open and collaborative styles of leadership”, and that women priests are accepted with enthusiasm by an evergrowing majority of congregations in consequence. “It’s an incarnational thing”, said one erstwhile sceptic. “When you see someone doing the job effectively, you’re quickly won over.”
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Posted: November 15, 1997 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6595
Categories: The TabletIn this article: Catholic, ordination, women
Transmis : 15 novembre 1997 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6595
Catégorie : The TabletDans cet article : Catholic, ordination, women


The wound that will not heal

When Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople made a month-long tour of 16 cities in the United States in October and November, he was feted with honours at Washington’s Jesuit-run Georgetown University and greeted with splendour in Baltimore’s Catholic cathedral. As so often in inter-Church relations, however, the conciliatory declarations belied bitter realities.

Ironically, the sharp downturn in Catholic-Orthodox relations during the past six months came into the open after one of the Pope’s most impassioned appeals for Christian unity. The occasion John Paul II picked was a Eucharistic Congress held in May at Wroclaw in Poland. “In this our second millennium, when the unity of Christ’s disciples has suffered tragic divisions between East and West, prayer for the rediscovery of full unity is a special obligation”, the Pope said. “Can we bear joint and effective witness to Christ if we are not reconciled with one another? Can we be reconciled with one another without forgiving one another?”
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Posted: December 6, 1997 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6598
Categories: The TabletIn this article: Catholic, dialogue, ecumenism, Orthodox
Transmis : 6 décembre 1997 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6598
Catégorie : The TabletDans cet article : Catholic, dialogue, ecumenism, Orthodox


A wife in the presbytery

A sign in the hallway of the presbytery at St Patrick’s, Middlesbrough, leaves some visitors open-mouthed if they are unaware of the priest’s marital status. Under the heading of Turnham House Rules it reads: If you drop it — pick it up. If you sleep in it — make it. If you open it — close it. If you empty it — fill it up. If it rings — answer it. If it cries — love it. The list is not addressed to a misbehaving curate, nor is it there for mere display. Its author, Fr Derek Turnham, and his wife Margaret have three children, the eldest of whom has recently started at university. It’s his first time away from us and so we’re really feeling the loss at the moment, Fr Turnham says, echoing the common view of parents in a similar situation.

Yet as he leads me towards the living-room, it is also clear that this is a Catholic presbytery like most others: austere, modestly furnished and free of ornaments apart from the odd icon or statue. Outside lies the scabrous wasteland that covers much of post-industrial north Middlesbrough. Fr Turnham anticipates my thoughts as we survey it, explaining that the diocese were frankly very glad to have us occupying this house, because it would almost certainly have been vandalised if it had lain empty any longer.
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Posted: December 6, 1997 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6613
Categories: The Tablet
Transmis : 6 décembre 1997 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6613
Catégorie : The Tablet


No new dogmas please

As a child, a friend of mine used to be told by his nanny: Before you say anything, ask yourself: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? The same three questions may well be asked about the current proposal to define Mary as Co-Redeemer.

Is it true? The answer to that question depends on the way in which we interpret the title Co-Redeemer, along with the related titles Mediator of All Graces and Advocate of the People of God. As a member of the Orthodox Church I have no objection to these three titles in themselves — provided that they are rightly understood.

Indeed, closely similar language occurs in the prayers and hymns used in the Christian East. With the greatest frequency in Orthodox worship we say to the Virgin Mary, Most Holy Mother of God, save us. In our invocations to other members of the Communion of Saints, including St John the Baptist, except on very rare occasions we never say more than … pray for us.
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Posted: January 17, 1998 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6670
Categories: The TabletIn this article: Catholic, doctrine, ecumenism, Mary, Orthodox
Transmis : 17 janvier 1998 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6670
Catégorie : The TabletDans cet article : Catholic, doctrine, ecumenism, Mary, Orthodox


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