Sunday, 30 August 2009

Announcing Cardinal Mahony, a bold new novel by Robert Blair Kaiser

An American bishop gets kidnapped outside his cabin in the High Sierras one snowy morning in November 2008 by three liberation theologians who look like terrorists. They take him off to southern Mexico in his own helicopter and put him on trial for his sins in front of an international television audience.  A jury of his peers, six retired Latin American bishops, find him guilty, and give him a surprising sentence. The bishop falls in love with his kidnappers and leads the American Catholic Church into a radical new way of being, still Catholic but aggressively account­able to the people, which is to say, aggressively American.
This work pushes the envelope. It is both “fiction” and “non-fic­tion,” set in the reality of the current priest-sex-abuse scandal

and projecting ahead in time to tell the story of a colorful crew--and a new Cardinal Mahony--working to give Catholics a voice, a vote, and citizenship in their Church. Utopian? Yes!  Why not dream?
Click on to read the exciting first chapter.

from Robert Blair Kaiser's website

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Bishop Philip Pargeter’s resignation accepted by Pope Benedict XVI

31 July 2009 from the Catholic Communications Network

Bishop Philip Pargeter’s resignation accepted by Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop Philip Pargeter as Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham in accordance with canons 411 and 401§1.

The announcement was made in Rome at 12pm (11am UK time).

Bishop Pargeter was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, and titular Bishop of Valentiniana, by Archbishop Couve de Murville on 21 February 1990.


Canon Law references and links:

Can. 411 The prescripts of cann. 401 and 402, §2 on resignation from office apply to a coadjutor and auxiliary bishop.

Can. 401 §1. A diocesan bishop who has completed the seventy-fifth year of age is requested to present his resignation from office to the Supreme Pontiff, who will make provision after he has examined all the circumstances.

Pope Benedict XVI announces new Catholic Bishop of the Forces

25 July 2009

From the Catholic Communications Network

Pope Benedict XVI announces new Catholic Bishop of the Forces

Pope Benedict XVI has announced that Monsignor Richard Moth, currently Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Southwark, will be the next Catholic Bishop of the Forces.

Richard Moth served for five years as a Territorial Army chaplain attached to 217 General Hospital RAMC (V).

Bishop-elect Richard will be ordained bishop on Tuesday 29 September 2009.

The Administrator of the Bishopric of the Forces, Monsignor John Walsh said: “We are delighted at the news that Monsignor Richard is to become our next bishop. On behalf of clergy, servicemen and women and their families, I bid him welcome. We are looking forward to his leadership and to working with him in the years to come. He has our congratulations, our very best wishes and most of all, our prayers”.

Bishop Tom Burns, Bishop of Menevia who was the previous Bishop of the Forces said: “This is great news for the Bishopric. I wish Bishop-elect Richard every happiness as he takes on my former role. He is very experienced and his service as a Territorial Army chaplain will give him a good idea of what lies ahead. He has my best wishes and prayers”.

Notes to editors

The Bishopric of the Forces is a diocese without geographical boundaries, consisting of Service personnel and their dependants, served by over 40 full-time Catholic Chaplains and a number of TA and Officiating Chaplains. The Chaplains are drawn from dioceses in England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Gibraltar and from religious orders. They are seconded to the Bishopric during their military service.

Chaplains are currently serving in the UK including Northern Ireland, Germany, Cyprus as well as Afghanistan and Iraq. Chaplains are also serving at sea with the Royal Navy.

In addition to his responsibility for service chaplaincy, the Bishop-elect will also become Apostolic Visitor for the Prefecture of the Falkland Islands, which also includes St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Ascension Island, and South Georgia.

Bishop-elect Richard Moth

Bishop-elect Moth was born on 8th July 1958 in Chingola, Zambia, the son of Charles and Barbara Moth. The family moved to England in 1960 and settled in Edenbridge, Kent. He was educated at St. Andrew’s Convent, Edenbridge and Holmewood House Prep School, Langton Green before going to The Judd School, Tonbridge. After leaving school in 1976, he began formation at St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh and was ordained for the Diocese of Southwark on 3rd June 1982.

His first appointment was as assistant priest, St. Bede’s, Clapham Park. While at the seminary, he had developed an interest in Canon Law and, in 1985, left St. Bede’s to study Canon Law at St. Paul University, Ottawa. Having completed the course there, he returned to the Diocese in 1987, and was appointed assistant priest at. St. Saviour and Ss. John the Baptist and Evangelist, Lewisham. While there he also worked at Archbishop’s House, Southwark, with the Marriage Tribunal. It was at this time that he served as a Territorial Army Chaplain with 217 General Hospital RAMC (V).

In 1992, Archbishop Michael Bowen appointed him as his Private Secretary. During the years that were to follow he served also as President of the Interdiocesan Tribunal of Second Instance of Southwark and Vocations Director. In 2001 he was appointed Vicar General and Chancellor of the Diocese.

He was appointed Ecclesiastical MC to the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem in 1993 and has been involved as Spiritual Director for the Order’s pilgrimages for some years. He has been a Benedictine Oblate for 30 years.

For relaxation, he enjoys horse riding and walking.


BARRY HUDD Tel: 07770 538693


The Retreat Society

Dear Friends,

UK members of We are Church might well be interested in the work of our The Retreat Society – Like you, we believe that much has to change if the Church is to be anything like what Our Lord intended it to be. But, while having enormous sympathy with the work you are doing and the courageous forays you mount against the Institutional Church, we believe that in one - all important - matter you efforts are misguided.

Our emphasis is, therefore, somewhat different – we want to use our heads to think rather than as battering rams. We really do believe that, as members of the Body of Christ, we are his Church, and it is, in our view, pointless appealing to the Institutional Church to change in our favour. The problem or rather the host of problems confronting sincere, thinking Christians today stem from the Institutional Church’s belief that its institutional structure represents the will of Christ and symbolises its catholicity.

We believe the time has come for this hoary view of Church to be abandoned. Some four hundred years ago, Ignatius of Loyola formed a Company of Jesus - an army, under the pope, ready and willing to fight for the 'Church' wherever sent. The early Jesuits embraced poverty but this poverty was, like their ideals, of its age - it did not entail that radical poverty of being, like Christ, an outsider.

Today, as we know, many thousands of men and women are, so far as the Institutional Church is concerned, outsiders. This should be seen, we believe, as an opportunity - not only to seek solidarity with the one who had 'nowhere to lay his head', but a huge creative opportunity to move forward, away from the concerns of institutionalised Christianity, into the modern arena where we – the followers of Christ – can, in the freedom of God, form intimate communities for spiritual work, inner and outer. Such communities can resonate with the understanding of contemporary men and women and meet them where they are most at need.

The Christian is someone who has moved beyond mere individuality into personhood and community! Institutions cater almost exclusively for individuals. Christ, on the other hand, is the supreme Person who calls us, his followers, to be one with him – something we, as mere individuals (objectified, countable entities), cannot achieve. The Church is a community of persons, or would-be persons. It is the leaven in the world, witnessing for Christ to the world’s potential transformation. In short, we believe, it is time that members of Christ’s Body stop paying tribute to an institution in hock to structures designed by Caesar and, as mature adults, get on with the job of being church. The Fathers teach that catholicity has nothing whatsoever to do with geography or numbers and that were the Church to be reduced to a single person it would still be fully catholic!

It, of course, goes without saying that truly catholic communities are, naturally and without ostentation, open communities in which the faithful, whatever their colour, gender, sexual orientation or social status, can play a full and active part. To continue defining one's life, and more especially one's spiritual life, in terms of opposing those who reject or fail to comprehend such a development is a waste of precious time and energy (grace) and means, furthermore, that we continually fall short of our vocation! We have, courageously and with trust, to follow Our Lord’s mandate and, shaking the dust from our feet (and minds), move on!

With good wishes and blessings,

John Hardy
Spiritual Director
The Retreat Society