Martin Mallon             2013 articles                             2012 articles



Oct 31: Opus Dei cardinal says head of CDF wrong
Francis will have to confront Opus Dei at some stage if his desire for a poor church for the poor is to be realised, especially in
South America

According to the early church, the best way to pray is “with the hands outstretched and the eyes lifted up”. This way “is to be preferred before all others”. It makes me wonder why do so many Christians today have difficulty with this method of prayer, especially when we consider that “it bears in prayer the image of characteristics befitting the soul and applies it to the body”?  The Second Vatican Council and the Holy Spirit are still changing our church for the better

Oct 22: Pope Francis: How to Know Jesus
We can come to know Jesus  by following three paths to Him:
the paths of “the mind, heart, and action.”

Oct 15: Saint Teresa of Avila
Teresa's  poem is a wonderful reminder, a wonderful description of how our bodies and lives should be used for the glory and honour of God

Oct 8: Curia power finally broken
One of the first changes that should be made by the group of eight cardinals and the Pope: remove the discipline of Canon #129. This reform does not affect the Curia directly, but indirectly it would transform the whole church and would ensure that the Curia could never reclaim its recent position of authoritarian power and control over the church

Oct 1: All the Faithful
Francis recognises the People of God as the real magisterium of the church, not the “magisterium of the Pope and the bishops in communion with him” as stated in the Encyclical Letter Lumen Fidei.
This emphasis on the importance of “
all the faithful” leaves the way open for the laity to become much more involved in all areas of the church, especially in areas they are currently restricted from, such as synods

Sep 24: Reform is in the air
Francis has a problem. Despite his talk and statements we still have the Roman Curia excommunicating an Australian Priest for not following the orthodox line. This type of action causes scandal in the church, and at a time when priests are not excommunicated for child sexual abuse the People of God are dumbfounded

Sep 17: How deep is God’s love for us?
Everyone must be saved, everyone must be searched for as the lost sheep and drachma were. No one must be left because they are too poor or too "disgusting" and Pope Francis has highlighted this many times since he became Pope

Sep 10: Contraception and conscience - back to basics
Bishop Conry is making clear that Humanae Vitae’s teaching on contraception for married couples was never intended by Paul VI to be an infallible teaching; the pope was giving guidance and it was then up to individuals to use their conscience

Sep 3: Bring back the Devil's Advocate
So why did Opus Dei wish to do away with the Devil’s Advocate? To ensure Escriva would be canonized. Why did John Paul II agree to this? The answer appears to be money

Aug 27: Women deacons, a great woman and Gandhi  - A woman deacon saint!
St Olympia, (or Olympias) was a wealthy woman who gave away most of her inherited fortune to the poor and needy and for the building of churches. She served the Church as a deacon and was close to many Fathers of the Church including St John Chrysostom, who was Archbishop of Constantinople and a Doctor of the Church and who had ordained her

See also this most interesting Wikipedia article which points out, among many other things, that Olympias is one of the 140 Colonnade saints who adorn Saint Peter's Square!


Aug 20: The Royal Priesthood
We are "a royal priesthood", we are, as emphasised by the Second Vatican Council, "the People of God". As long as one baptised Christian survives there will be no shortage of royal priests. However, it will take the institutional Church a long time to agree with this argument – turkeys do not vote for Christmas

c.f. this article re lay people leading Eucharist in Brazil ...because no priests


August 13: Theology of Women
I believe Francis wishes theologians to highlight what is obvious; there is no theological reason why women cannot be ordained. Let us pray that the theologians now do their job as requested by Pope Francis, and they need not fear the CDF as Francis has also made clear

c.f. A Nearly Forgotten History: Women Deacons in the Armenian Church

August 6: Economic Hope
Once again we have to ask ourselves where is the church in this debate. Its silence overall and opposition to the "red priests" suggests it is supporting the rich and elite. However, thankfully, it appears that this is not the approach approved or practiced by Pope Francis and it is clearly his intention that all of our church should operate on behalf of the poor. It will take some time for Francis to turn the church from its current stance, but it is beginning to move

July 30: Why pray for our faithful dead and not just the dead? 
Is the Catholic Church condemned by our liturgy; is it Christian?  

May the Divine assistance remain always with us, and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God,
rest in peace, Amen.  ???

c.f. Julian of Norwich: Reflections on Selected Texts by Austin Cooper OMI
(whole book free on line at this link)

July 23: Give Baptism priority over Denominations
Interestingly, all the members of the Taize Community, which is made up of different denominations, are, according to Löser, permitted by the local bishop, since 1973, to receive communion in the Catholic Church. This is ecumenism, a real sign of unity and hopefully a sign of more unity in the future  

There is in Iceland. There the government is the Good Samaritan and the government wrote down all mortgages on houses in negative equity to the value of the house plus 10% thus giving hope to people caught out in the bankers’ easy-loan housing boom.
Iceland the only country in the world that values its citizens and society more than banks? 
Is Iceland
the only Christian country in the world, judged by its actions?

July 9: Robber Barons
Why is there no outcry against such behaviour? Why have we not heard from the Labour Party? Is there no one out there who cares about the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer? How bad does the situation have to get before there is a public protest? 

July 2: Archbishop’s Crusade to Drive Out Payday Lenders
It is uplifting to read of a Christian bishop at last doing something about the economic crisis and its impact on the poor

c.f.  Archbishop backs payday loans alternatives
Justin Welby suggests credit unions use church halls in effort to promote alternative to £2bn payday lending industry

June 25: Marked by a personal life of self-giving?Archbishop Diarmuid Martin should have gone further and called for society and the Government to wake-up to the damage that austerity is causing, and to change the country’s priorities to people rather than economics

June 18: Can the Curia be tamed?
This most interesting article has link to a story I'd missed:
Pope Francis has appointed a management consultant 
to advise on reform of the Roman Curia!

June 11: Orans Position   According to the early church, the best way to pray
is “with the hands outstretched and the eyes lifted up”. 
This way “is to be preferred before all others”

June 4: The Economics of Good and Evil
Neither the politicians nor the hierarchy seem to realise that the bankers are only interested in saving themselves and their banks; they have no interest in governments or people otherwise. If you disagree with this statement read the Articles and Memorandum of Association of the banks

May 28: The Church & austerity
Why is our Church so quick to condemn politicians who support policies that effect sexual matters, such as marriage, yet are practically silent about the imposition of austerity measures, which hit the poor in our society disproportionately?   

May 21: The Holy Spirit and Prayer
What happens when we permit the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, to guide us and to dwell inside us? We are made free! We are able to dump every form of fear and slavery we are experiencing,  and we experience the true freedom of being Children of God. This means that the Holy Spirit helps us to realise who we truly are, the Children of God made in the image of God. As we pray and allow the Holy Spirit into the centre of our lives He gives us the grace, the strength and the will to abandon habits and conditions which had left us enslaved

May 14: Letters from Vatican City 
Reading Letters From Vatican City is quite shocking fifty years later. I have read a few books on Vatican II and the Council dealings, but this one brings out the differences clearly and shows how some cardinals and bishops gave false information during the debates 

Today's article by Martin mentions how the Eastern Church had a far richer understanding of the Holy Spirit than the Western Church.  Some ideas re this topic are in this articleMartin's article also mentions "the Eastern idea of divinisation".  c.f. "Divinisation in early Christianity"  ...the second main section of this article. Also related is the way  Pneumatology divides the Church


May 7: The Holy Spirit
May the Holy Spirit guide us all as we attempt to spread the love of God in our daily contact with other humans, children of God. 

April 30: Francis and the Holy Spirit
A reflection on Pope Francis' homily at April 28 Confirmation Mass: the Holy Spirit is working in our lives and in our world 

April 23: Pope Attacks Clericalism
Many of the churches in
Ireland are sick, and the thought of going “out in the street” terrifies many of the Irish clergy

April 16:  Francis' Revolution 
This pontificate keeps getting better and better. The feeling of peace that has enveloped the Church since the election of Pope Francis witnesses to the Holy Spirit carrying out a new work

April 9:  The Wisdom of the Cross
A reflection on the encounter between Pope Francis and a young boy, Dominic, who is suffering from cerebral palsy

April 2: Challenges   
Perhaps it would have been better  if Benedict had not resigned,  at least I could have gone on as usual with a clear conscience  

March 26: A Prophet and a New Pentecost 
Before the conclave it was easy to lose hope, it was difficult to believe that even the Holy Spirit could pull a rabbit out of the hat, but He did.  

March 19: Pope Francis  
This Pope has lifted the spirits of many, given new hope and with his priority for the poor has directed the church to where its attention should be focused, where Christ’s attention was focused. Firstly on God, then on the poor and not just the poor in spirit, but the large swathes of the world suffering way below the poverty line.  

March 12: Time to change the method of papal selection
Helping to select Popes is part of the “kingly” function of the laity, so why are we not permitted to fulfill this function?  

Martin's article has link  to this most interesting item:
Catholic Patriarchy: What the Papal Transition Means and What Feminists Can Do About It by Mary E. Hunt

March 5: Reform and Evangelisation
If another example was needed to explain why the Roman Curia needs reforming, here it is: Cardinal Mahony has stated that the nuncio phoned him requesting that he attends the conclave and that this request was initiated by those at the top in the Vatican  

Feb 26: Opus Dei - Cancer Within?
Will this papal election be free and open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, or does Opus Dei have a disproportionate influence on the outcome?  

(jw: "Opus Dei  2005 conclave" in Google produces many articles, some of them "over the top" ,
 others worth reading.  e.g. Opus Dei & 2005 conclave)

Feb 19: A Meaningful Life
Scientists like Charles Darwin have explained how life evolved, but they have not been able to explain how to create life or to explain the origin of the initial spark of life. Scientists know all the elements needed for life to begin, yet they still do not know how to create a living being. It is not surprising that Darwin believed in God.   

Feb 12: Dissent and Authority
Ryan suggests that the bishops need to show some humility and admit that they do not know everything that God wills. Basically, the hierarchy must accept the sensus fidei, that the People of God cannot err in matters of belief
c.f.  Walk out during homily!

Feb 4: Archbishop strips cardinal of public duties
The censoring, in any form, of a cardinal by an archbishop is monumental.
Why has it happened & is it approved by the

Jan 29: Book review of Shirt of Flame: A Year with St Therese of Lisieux
by Heather King
Therese's burning desire to be a priest was thwarted by  the patriarchal, clericalism-ridden institutional church link with more reviews  Heather King's website

Jan 22: The Disconnect between the People of God and the Hierarchy  
In the case of Humanae Vitae, the People of God ignore and ridicule institutional church teaching, whereas with the new translation of the Mass they either grin and bear it or leave the church.  This disconnect between the laity and the hierarchy cannot continue indefinitely, on the level of church teaching (e.g. HV) and practical decisions (e.g. Mass translations). Is there a good shepherd out there?

Jan 15: Why are bishops not accountable?
  It is difficult for many members of the Catholic church to stomach the fact that Cardinal Bernard Law, Bishop Robert Finn and Archbishop Peter Sartain are held in high esteem by the hierarchy of the church while the likes of Bill Morris , Roy Bourgeois, Tony Flannery, Brian D’Arcy, etc are sacked, defrocked or censored.  

Jan 8: The "Glory" of Virginity   
The phrase “the glory of virginity” is alarming and is apparently a symptom of a problem at the core of the hierarchy , clericalism and patriarchy

Jan 1: The Gift of Love   
Let us all accept Jesus’ “gift of love” and make the world a much better place for everyone in 2013