It is now over 50 years since the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) closed its doors, having promulgated its weighty documents. In recent times, various commentators, including Dr. Richard R. Gaillardetz, Dr. Max Vodola, Christopher Lamb and Fr. Frank Maloney SDB, have written and spoken about the time that has passed since the conclusion of Vatican II and the impact that its deliberations has had on our Catholic living and lives. But they have also remarked that history tells us that the insights and decisions of any Church Council can take up to 100 years to completely filter through all the layers of our Church life. With that in mind, we all have another 50 years to work on this challenge!
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Were you able to attend National Conference, “Vine and Branches - Yearning to Belong”? It was a wonderful gathering of pastoral ministers from across Australia with an especially strong contribution from the pastoral associations from the Melbourne Archdiocese.
In a delightfully generous gesture, the keynote speakers have given permission for their presentations to be recorded and made available.
On Saturday I had the pleasure of joining with women of the Wagga Wagga Diocese for a Spirituality Day. The opening address was challenging. Sr Megan Brock overviewed some of the limited and limiting understandings of women expressed by influential male theologians, doctors, scientists through history. For example, Martin Luther, “If a woman becomes weary and at last dead from (child) bearing, that matters not; let her only die from bearing, she is there to do it.”
When involved in a parish some years ago, one irate parent contacted me to complain about having to jump through hoops with his son to receive First Holy Communion. His frustrations ended with this chilling statement: “I can’t wait till this is all over and we never have to go to Mass again!” While I was able to reason with him that the Church was not forcing his family to do anything, and that these steps were offered to those wanting to continue their initiation into the Church, his anger has stayed with me.