The Synod on the Family

Furrow-Dec2013Gerry O'Hanlon SJ

The Secretary General of the October 2014 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on ‘Pastoral challenges to the Family in the context of Evangelization’, Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, wrote a letter dated October 18th 2013 to the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences world-wide asking them to share the accompanying ‘preparatory document’ and questionnaire ‘immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received…’1  The English and Welsh bishops have responded by inviting every diocese, parish, Catholic organization, and individual Catholic to give their input, providing an online survey form for that purpose, and asking that responses be given by December 20th, 2013.2 It seems that local feedback (from bishops and Conferences) is required by the end of January 2014, in order to facilitate the work of the organizing group for the Synod which is meeting in February 2014.

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The Pope's Interview: A Reflection

Studies-autumn 2013Gerry O'Hanlon SJ

The stunning recent interview of Francis, Bishop of Rome and Pope, has been heralded as a new moment in Catholic church history. It is worth dwelling on some aspects of the theological vision which underpins his approach and its implications.

Clearly, in a way reminiscent of John XXIII’s preference for the ‘medicine of mercy rather than that of severity’, Francis is deliberately adopting a different tone and style. We sometimes, suspiciously, distinguish between style and substance, as if the former were unimportant. But, as the Northern Ireland situation continues to illustrate, perception, symbolism and tone are already significant shapers of reality. Theologically the style of Francis is pastoral, after the manner of the Second Vatican Council, with its fearless openness to the world and to dialogue with other churches and faiths.

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Reaping the Harvest: Fifty Years after Vatican II

vat_ii_01 250Professor Ladislas Orsy SJ, Canon Lawyer and theologian, a champion of human rights and the heritage of Vatican Two will launch new publication, 'Reaping the Harvest: Fifty Years after Vatican II', by Drs Suzanne Mulligan (ed.), James Corkery S.J. & Gerrry O'Hanlon S.J. on Wednesday, 13 June 2012 in the Arrupe Room, Milltown Park, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, starting at 6:00 p.m.

Significance of this publication:

When Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council on 11 October 1962, few people could have foreseen the impact that it would have on the life of the Church. Many believed that the Council would simply ratify positions where there was immediate consensus, and that its business would be concluded in a matter of months. Yet, the Council lasted until December 1965, and through the many documents it promulgated it breathed new life into the Church. The Council also represented an attempt by the Church to face the modern world in a more positive and open spirit.

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A New Vision for the Catholic Church: A View from Ireland (2011)

A New Vision for the Catholic ChurchThe church, the mystical body of Christ, has become a monstrosity. The head is very large, but the body is shrunken’ (Pope Pius XI). Jesuit theologian Gerry O’Hanlon reflects on the current crisis in the Catholic Church in Ireland (post Ferns, Ryan and Murphy Reports) and worldwide. He discusses how the vision of Church as People of God in the Second Vatican Council failed to be implemented, due to lack of appropriate collegial structures. He argues that we need to deepen this vision for today, and to embody it in new structures which will allow the full participation of lay people, and in particular of women. He proposes the need for a National Assembly of the Catholic Church in Ireland, and ultimately for another worldwide Ecumenical Council. His analysis will be of interest to all who are concerned about the current crisis in the Catholic Church.
Click here to order this book from the publisher.

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Theology in the Irish Public Square (2010)

Theology in the Irish Public Square

In this collection of articles, Gerry O’Hanlon SJ explores the connections between faith and real life, at a time of crisis and darkness. Drawing on the rich resources of Christian humanism, he examines a wide range of contemporary issues – economic recession, crime and punishment, health and sickness, European Union, equality, dialogue with Muslims – in a way that will interest both believers and non-believers alike.

Theology in the Irish Public Square is published by The Columba Press. Gerry O’Hanlon SJ is a staff member of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at the Milltown Institute.

To order this book from the publisher click here.

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So You Can't Forgive...? Moving Towards Freedom

So you can't Forgive? Moving Towards Freedom What happens when you cannot forgive - indeed, when you feel that to do so would serve to minimise, excuse or even justify the wrong that has been done?

In So You Can't Forgive...? Brian Lennon SJ asks what real forgiving is. He examines the many myths and misunderstandings regarding forgiving and tries to be both compassionate and challenging in looking at ways in which people can move towards freedom.

He tries to be both compassionate and challenging in looking at ways in which people can move towards freedom. He discusses the danger that the reaction to suffering may foster a sense of 'victimhood' rather than enable people to become survivors. And he asks: how can we respond to the challenges of the Scriptures in a way that is a help and not a burden?

 

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