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APRIL 20 2012 THE CATHOLIC HERALD
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Poll: most Catholics in Ireland want female priests
BY MICHAEL KELLY
THREE OUT OF FOUR Irish people who identify themselves as Catholics find the Church’s teaching on sexuality “irrelevant,” according to new research published by the Association of Catholic Priests.
The survey, conducted by the research association Amarach, also showed that almost 90 per cent of those surveyed believe that divorced or separated Catholics in a stable second relationship ought to be able to receive Holy Communion at Mass. Under Church law, divorced and remarried Catholics who have received an annulment may receive Communion.
The figures were compiled from a sample of 1,000 Catholics and, according to researchers, have a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
According to the results, 35 per cent of those surveyed attend Mass at least once a week, and 51 per cent attend at least once a month. Five per cent of those surveyed who identified themselves as Catholics never attend Mass.
The Association of Catholic Priests which represents about 20 per cent of Ireland’s priests, is campaigning for changes in the Church. Its members maintain that they are mainstream Church and not dissidents; their founder, Redemptorist Fr Tony Flannery, has been asked by the Vatican to stop writing for his order’s monthly magazine.
The survey appeared to reveal a wide disparity between what the Church teaches and what the selfidentified Catholics believe.
Eighty-seven per cent disagreed with Church teaching on an unmarried priesthood and said they believed that priests ought to be allowed to get married, while 77 per cent said the Church should admit women to the priesthood. When asked “to what extent do you agree with the Catholic Church’s teaching that any sexual expression of love between a gay couple is immoral”, 61 per cent said they disagreed while 18 per cent of those surveyed believed homosexual acts to be immoral.
Two out of three surveyed want a greater role in choosing their bishop.
The survey results were released last Thursday. One week earlier, during his Holy Thursday Mass, Pope Benedict XVI advised against dissent from Church teaching, saying it was not a legitimate path to reform. In March, the report of an apostolic visitation to the Irish Catholic Church in the aftermath of clergy sex abuse scandals criticised what it described as a “fairly widespread” tendency among Irish priests, religious and lay people to dissent from the Church’s teaching.
Fr Sean McDonagh, a member of the leadership team of the Association of Catholic Priests, said the survey “confirms that those who are advocating for change in the Church are not a tiny minority, but are, in fact, at the heart of the Church”.
He said Irish Catholics are “crying out for change and do not want the Church to go backward, but to move forward and change”.
A spokesman for the Irish bishops’ conference said that “the recent Apostolic Visitation highlighted the need for a new focus on the dignity and role of all the faithful and for deeper formation in the faith”.
“The results of this survey confirm the importance of all in the Church taking up this task in a spirit of communion and sharing the good news of the Gospel in a rapidly changing social and cultural environment in Ireland today,” he said.
John Murray, a theologian at the Mater Dei Institute of Theology in Dublin, said he welcomed the survey “if it can lead to a discussion about the Church’s teaching”.
“There has been too little discussion of these issues in the past,” he said. “We are paying the price for this now. The Church’s teaching is largely misunderstood by many people in Ireland.”
Dr Murray said he was “not surprised that many people have difficulties with some of the Church’s teaching”.
Dr Murray said he believes there has been a “vacuum for many Irish Catholics. That’s partly why people reject these teachings; they’ve never had them presented in a worked-out way.” He said it had been his experience that “when people see the depth of the Church’s teaching, they understand and appreciate it much more”.
He warned that the Church “cannot sacrifice truth based on an opinion poll. Ultimately the Catholic Church teaches what it teaches based on the fact that it is true, not based on the fact that it is popular.” Mark Dooley: Page 8
Fr Graham Turner, pictured at his ordination at Salford Infimary chapel Photo: Mgr Michael Regan
Priest with leukaemia dies only a week after ordination BY MARTIN DUNLOP AND ED WEST
A PRIEST has died from leukaemia a week after he was ordained in hospital by Cardinal Keith O’Brien.
Fr Graham Turner, 48, passed away peacefully on Monday morning, having been ordained for St Andrews and Edinburgh Archdiocese on Easter Monday at a hospital in Lancashire after his treatment for the cancer failed.
Fr Turner’s ordination was postponed last June after he was diagnosed and doctors began aggressive treatment. When Cardinal O’Brien heard during Holy Week that the prognosis was bleak for the critically ill deacon of St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, he appealed for prayers at the Chrism Mass and plans to ordain him for St Andrews and Edinburgh Archdiocese were revived.
Despite the deacon’s physical frailty, he was ordained by the cardinal at 2pm on Monday in the chapel at Salford Royal in the presence of Mgr Michael Regan, St Mary’s Cathedral administrator and Fr Turner’s parish priest, Mgr Rod Strange, rector of the Pontifical Beda College in Rome, Fr Turner’s parents George and Marilyn, brother, Ian, sister, Sue, and clergy friends from Salford diocese and St Andrews and Edinburgh. When the cardinal visited the new priest again last Friday he noticed that the hospital staff had decorated Fr Turner’s room with the congratulation cards he had received and photographs from the ordination ceremony itself, taken by the chaplains, which gave him comfort.
“The hospital chaplains had taken the photographs during the ordinations and they gave him great strength in his final days,” the cardinal said.
But Fr Turner’s condition remained critical, and Cardinal O’Brien said: “I received a phone call from the hospital chaplain at Salford Royal at 10pm on Sunday night and was told Fr Turner’s condition had changed and that he ‘looked different’. They called in his parents at 3.45am and he was given the sacraments. His parents, brother and sister were there when he died peacefully at 7.15am.”
Parishioners of St Andrews and Edinburgh archdiocese are also mourning the deaths of two other priests in the archdiocese last weekend, Fr David Barr and Fr Patrick Kelly.
Fr David Barr, 69, parish priest of St Margaret’s, Dunfermline, died unexpectedly last Friday.
The cardinal said: “In his 23 years as parish priest of St Margaret’s, Fr Barr ensured that the internal reordering of the magnificent church building was maintained and enhanced to the highest perfection and also ensured that major relics of St Margaret previously used during the annual national pilgrimages to Dunfermline were housed in the beautiful little chapel dedicated to St Margaret within the large parish church.”
Retired priest Fr Patrick Kelly 77, died on Sunday, at St Joseph’s House in Edinburgh, the home of the Little Sisters of the Poor community.
Sr Marie Claver, superior at St Joseph’s, said that Fr Kelly had passed away “very peacefully” on Sunday in the presence of Fr Thomas Hennessy, chaplain to the Little Sisters of the Poor in Edinburgh, and members of the St Joseph’s community.
Cardinal O’Brien will attend Fr Turner’s funeral Mass at St John’s, Bolton, on Monday at 12 noon before the late priest’s body is brought to St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh for Mass the following day at 12.45pm.
Mgr Regan, who was Fr Turner’s parish priest and friend, said: “The hospital chaplaincy team, the local clergy, and hospital board were superb, they pulled out all the stops. Graham was completely able to say his part in the Eucharist. He was able to talk.
“It was emotional, for his family particularly. It was good that he achieved the end of his journey.” Editorial comment: Page 13
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SNP candidate quits over abuse of midwives
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
A COUNCIL candidate for the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) has resigned following allegations that he described two Scottish pro-life midwives as “money-grabbing witches”.
Lyall Duff, a candidate in North Lanarkshire, was suspended by the SNP after he was accused of posting the comments on Facebook and has now confirmed his resignation from the SNP.
A party spokesman said: “Lyall Duff has informed the party that he has resigned his membership of the SNP, which therefore ends the party’s disciplinary process.
“While it remains the case that Mr Duff’s name cannot legally be removed from the ballot paper, he is not an SNP candidate and we do not support his candidacy in any way.”
The comments referred to midwives Mary Doogan, 57 and Concepta Wood, 51, who recently lost their legal battle not to assist with abortions.
The Facebook comments which are alleged to have been written by Mr Duff state: “Sack the money-grabbing old witches and make them pay back every penny they earned in disgust doing their career choice.”
Mr Duff is reported to have compared the midwives to animal lovers working in an abattoir and questioned why they chose to join the health service in the first place.
The development is expected to damage the SNP in the council elections because nominations have now closed so Mr Duff’s name will still appear on the ballot paper.
The Court of Session in Edinburgh had ruled earlier this year that midwives Miss Doogan and Mrs Wood had to accept the decision of their hospital management to oversee other midwives who were performing abortions on the labour ward.
The midwives argued that they had never been required to supervise abortion procedures in the past and that the hospital was asking them to be morally, medically and legally responsible for abortions.
Although they said that this conflicted with their profound objection to abortion, the judge ruled that the midwives involved were not protected by the conscience clause of the Abortion Act.
Frank Roy, Labour MP for Motherwell and Wishaw, told the Daily Telegraph: “If the SNP had acted earlier, they could have asked the courts to order that the SNP logo and name be removed from the ballot paper, but they have sat on this for almost two weeks now offering him their political protection. Glen Reynolds: Page 12
Two men fined for hateful messages Council tells schools to teach paganism
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
PAGANISM should be taught in schools alongside Christianity, Islam and Judaism as part of the RE syllabus.
Cornwall Council has told its schools that pagan beliefs, which include witchcraft, druidism and the worship of ancient gods, can be taught as well as the world’s three main religions.
The new syllabus, outlined by Cornwall’s RE advisory group, states that from the age of five children should begin learning about Stonehenge, which has become a shrine for some druids, from the age of 11, pupils should explore modern paganism and its importance for Cornwall and many of its residents.
The council has stressed that the teaching of Christianity still comprises two thirds of the RE curriculum.
According to the 2001 national census there are about 40,000 pagans in England and Wales.
The agreed syllabus explicitly states that at Key Stage 3, children should learn about “the development of modern paganism and its importance for many in Cornwall”, “the importance of pre-Christian sites for modern pagans” and “how modern paganism is diverse and how this diversity is expressed in Cornwall”.
BY ED WEST
TWO men have been prosecuted for posting sectarian, anti-Catholic messages on Facebook in the first case of its kind in Northern Ireland.
Matthew McKenna, 20, and Dean Boyd, 21, whose girlfriend and child are Catholics, wrote anti-Catholic messages on the social networking site, including a threat to kill all “taigs”.
The messages were posted last summer during the height of the Orange marching season in Co Antrim and were reported to police by Sinn Fein Northern Ireland Assembly member Daithi McKay, who was named by McKenna in one post and who told officers he feared for his family’s safety.
Magistrates court judge Richard Wilson told the men: “I hope you realise how inappropriate and stupid your comments are. It is comments like this that excite and exacerbate any tensions within this community and we can well do without it.”
Both accused pleaded guilty to posting a message which was grossly offensive or indecent. Boyd was fined £250 and McKenna £400.
The case follows an incident in Swansea where student Liam Stacey was sent to prison for 56 days for posting racist remarks about Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba.
NEWSBULLETIN London and Durham to put on display £9m gospel ST CUTHBERT GOSPEL, sold by the Jesuits for £9 million, is to be displayed with its pages open in the British Library and then next year at the Palace Green Library in Durham.
Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Foyle Foundation and from charitable trusts and individuals.
The British Library bought the book – thought to be the oldest in Europe to survive fully intact – with help from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art
The Gospel was buried with St Cuthbert on the island of Lindisfarne in 698AD and found in his coffin in Durham Cathedral in 1104. It has been on loan to the British Library for several decades.
Archbishop reviews Lent initiative ARCHBISHOP Patrick Kelly of Liverpool spoke to Vatican Radio last week about the New Evangelisation initiative piloted in his diocese over Lent.
The initiative, called Missio Metropolis, consisted of a series of talks, reflections, services and devotions, including early morning Masses at least once a week. Liverpool was one of several European cities chosen to pilot the scheme by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.
Archbishop Kelly said the highlight was a performance of Franz Liszt’s Via Crucis which, he said, “we decided to make part of the praying of the Stations... when it finished there was not the slightest temptation to applaud. There was just an amazing silence.”
He also said he was surprised Liverpool had been picked for the initiative because it was smaller than the other 12 European cities.
Church to host Russian singers RUSSIAN singing troupe Lyra are to perform at the parish of St Thomas More, Manor House, north London next month.
The concert, on May 20, will feature Russian Orthodox music followed by Russian folk music.
Andrey Sysoev, the group’s tenor, is choir master at St Peter’s Cathedral in St Petersburg. For tickets, priced £10 for a family, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parish exhibits vestments ENGLISH MARTYRS parish in Chard, Somerset, is to put antique vestments on display tomorrow.
The historic items of priests’ clothing include a late 18th-century cloth of gold High Mass set, a chasuble of watered silk with 24-carat gold bullion, copes and Victorian lace albs.
They are owned by Fr Michael Galloway, a priest of the ordinariate who assists at the parish.
More schools become academies THIRTEEN more Catholic schools have converted to academy status this month, according to the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales.
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Cafod says tax relief cap will cost it half a million a year BY ED WEST
THE CATHOLIC charity Cafod has criticised the Government’s plan to cap tax relief for philanthropists, saying that it will cost them half a million pounds a year in lost donations.
The official aid agency of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales joined many other charities and leading figures in the arts and business in attacking the proposals, which would reduce the tax relief of gifts over £50,000 towards good causes.
Cafod director Chris Bain said: “We’ve worked out that if one in five of our reasonably large donors decides they cannot continue to make donations as a result of this change, that will cost us about half a million pounds a year, and that means money not spent on water and sanitation, not spent on agricultural development, not spent on reducing poverty.
“We have an immensely generous supporter base – and this will be true of many charities – and these people are not driven by tax loopholes or planning tax. We get our donations throughout the year – for emergencies, for Christmas, throughout Lent, not based on tax deadlines. These are donors driven by their faith principles who want to put something back. And the proposed legislation will make it financially harder for those people to make those choices to give. We hope that the Government will reconsider the elements of this legislation which impact on bona fide charities like Cafod. Of course they must find ways to stop any abuse, but they must do so in a way which encourages philanthropy and good charitable giving, not discourages it.”
The changes to tax relief on charitable giving were laid out in this year’s Budget as part of measures to increase tax revenue from the wealthiest, with the Treasury claiming it was shutting loopholes which allowed aggressive tax avoidance and could see money put into “bogus” charities simply to enrich the donor. The aim is to prevent people from claiming tax relief by funnelling money into suspect foreign charities, money which they can claim tax relief against, and which is often funnelled back to them.
But they have been severely criticised for reducing the amount of money wealthy philanthropists can give to charities and good causes, including the arts, medical research, church groups and schools, by capping tax relief at £50,000.
But philanthropists said that the Government’s proposed restrictions risked damaging the Prime Minister’s Big Society philosophy. Two of the country’s wealthiest and most generous families, the Gettys and the Sainsburys, have called on the Government to make a U-turn.
Lib Dem: no need for Catholic free school
BY ED WEST
BRITAIN’S first Catholic free school has defended itself after a senior Liberal Democrat councillor called spending on its new premises an “absurd waste of taxpayers’ money”.
The Department for Education bought an old grammar school site in Camborne for St Michael’s Catholic Secondary for about £700,000, after Education Secretary Michael Gove gave the school the green light last October.
The school, which becomes the county’s first secondary faith school, was kept open by teachers and parents in nearby Truro for 14 years and will open with a new building in September.
Councillor Graham Walker, shadow education spokesman for the Lib Dems, said: “There is no demand in the area, or in Cornwall. The county has 8,000 extra places.
“The county also has an £18 million maintenance backlog, there are schools with leaky roofs and draughty windows and they have been given £700,000.”
But Joyce Sanderson, school governor and chairman of St Michael’s steering committee, said the school satisfied demand among parents for more educational diversity.
She said: “The parents of over 470 children have registered an interest in attending the school at some point. That does suggest a demand for a different type of school. Cornwall has no faith secondary schools at all. I would think it is the only county without an Anglican school and perhaps without a Catholic one.
“Most secondary schools are very large and in Cornwall, like many places, they are about 700-plus in size and the ones with sixth-form colleges have over 1,000 people. So despite the range of opportunities, many parents and children find them overwhelming and don’t fit easily into them. A school the size of 300, as St Michael’s will be, will not be able to do everything, but it is a size that some families prefer, and a very strong ethos is probably easier to do in a school this size.”
Readers offered chance to hear Sistine Chapel Choir in London
WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL is offering reserved seats for the Sistine Chapel Choir’s first-ever concert in Britain to 10 readers of The Catholic Herald. All you need to do to stand a chance of winning the seats is answer the following question correctly: Mozart, at the age of 14, visited Rome and heard the Sistine Chapel Choir singing a psalm setting and copied it down exactly. What was the name of the piece and of its composer? Answers should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to The Catholic Herald, 15 Lamb’s Passage, London EC1Y 8TQ.
The Sistine Chapel Choir is the Pope’s personal choir and sings whenever the Pontiff requests its presence. It consists of 20 men and about 35 boys, aged between eight and 13.
The concert, on Sunday May 6 at 7.30pm, will feature Gregorian chant along with Palestrina and Perosi.
Soldiers urged to pray for vocations
BY STAFF REPORTER
BISHOP Richard Moth of the Forces has asked British soldiers to pray for more priests to come forward to serve as chaplains.
Bishop Moth has ordered a prayer card to be distributed throughout the Bishopric of the Forces with a prayer on it calling for more priests to serve as military chaplains.
In a pastoral letter the bishop said there was a “real shortage” of vocations in the Armed Forces. The aim of the prayer card, he said, was to “instil in the hearts of priests the desire to dedicate their lives to you as chaplains”.
He said he had also written to all enclosed religious communities in England and Wales, asking for their prayers.
The bishop said military chaplaincy was “vital” for troops. He said: “Every member of the Armed Services, together with their families, will have benefited from the ministry of their chaplain ... families, waiting at home for the return of their loved ones, know the support of our chaplains during this testing time. The celebration of Mass and the Sacraments is assured and the listening ear of the chaplain and his presence among his people exemplifies priestly life in a most powerful way,” the bishop said.
State vilifies Christians in Britain, says Lord Carey BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE FORMER Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has told the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that state bodies vilify Christians in
Britain. In a submission to the ECHR, in connection with a landmark case on religious freedom, Lord Carey wrote: “In a country where Christians can be sacked for manifesting their faith, are vilified by state bodies, are in fear of reprisal or even arrest for expressing their views on sexual ethics, something is very wrong.
“It affects the moral and ethical compass of the United
Kingdom. Christians are excluded from many sectors of employment simply because of their beliefs; beliefs which are not contrary to the public good.”
The submission precedes a hearing in Strasbourg scheduled for September, which will examine the cases of employees who were not permitted to wear crosses at work.
A spokesman for the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said the bishops were not planning to make a similar submission. He said the bishops only intervened in the courts when “fundamental moral issues” were at stake.
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Oxford helps Vatican put vast archive online BY CINDY WOODEN
CURIOUS members of the public will soon be able to view more than a million pages of material from the Vatican Library online thanks to help from Oxford University and grants of £1.9 million.
process, which began in 2010 and has produced an online catalogue describing its 8,900 incunabula.
The Bodleian-Vatican Library digitised collections will be in three subject areas: Greek manuscripts, incunabula and Hebrew manuscripts.
The project will put on the web Greek and Hebrew manuscripts as well as incunabula – that is, early printed books. The incunabula include Johann Gutenberg’s Latin Bible, printed between 1454 and 1455 and the first book printed using movable type.
The documents will be digitised over the next five years.
Mgr Cesare Pasini, prefect of the Vatican Library, said: “Digitising means better conservation of cultural goods, less arduous consultation, guaranteeing a high-quality reproduction before the original can deteriorate and making them immediately accessible online to many more people.”
The project, funded with a grant from the Polonsky Foundation, is expected to digitally reproduce a total of 1.5 million pages of manuscripts and ancient books from the Vatican Library and the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford.
Mgr Pasini told L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, that about twothirds of the pages would be from the Vatican Library’s holdings. The project will be a huge leap forward in the Vatican Library’s digitalising
According to the Bodleian, the subject areas were chosen because both libraries have strong collections in those areas and because of the collection’s importance to scholars. The project will bring together online “materials that have been dispersed between the two collections over the centuries”, the Bodleian press release said.
Mgr Pasini said the project would allow the Vatican Library to expand the service it has rendered for almost six centuries by making cultural treasures available to a much wider group of readers and researchers.
The Vatican Library’s Greek manuscripts include works by Homer, Sophocles, Plato and Hippocrates, manuscripts of the New Testament and of the early Church Fathers.
The Hebrew manuscripts include the Sifra, a legal commentary on Scripture thought to be the oldest existing Hebrew codex; it was written at the end of the ninth or in the first half of the 10th century. Other Hebrew texts in the Vatican collection are biblical commentaries and works on philosophy, medicine and astronomy.
Hacker of BPAS site is jailed for 32 months
BY STAFF REPORTER
A 27-YEAR-OLD from the West Midlands who hacked the website of an abortion provider has been jailed for 32 months.
James Jeffery, from Wednesbury, stole the details of 10,000 women who had abortions from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) site.
Jeffery, a member of the hacking collective Anonymous, said he intended to publish the names, email addresses and telephone numbers of the women.
He also replaced the text of the BPAS website with criticism of abortion. “An unborn child does not have an opinion, a choice or any rights,” Jeffery wrote. “Who gave you the right to murder an unborn child and profit from that murder?
“The product abortion is skilfully marketed and sold to the woman at a crisis time in their life. She buys the product, finds it defective and wants to return it for a refund but it is too late.”
He signed off the statement using the alias of the infamous Colombian drugs baron Pablo Escobar, the court was told.
Jeffery, who had previous convictions for theft, cannabis cultivation and assault, had pleaded guilty to two offences under the Computer Misuse Act at Westminster magistrates court.
His lawyer had said his statements against abortion were “cut and pasted” from Google.
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