An easy way to write to a Bishop:
Pope Francis's Call to Theologians
A new Book by Thomas O'Loughlin,
ACTA’s national theological consultant Buy here >>>
In November 2015, Pope Francis called on theologians to explore whether normal Catholic practice should be changed to allow Christians, belonging to other churches, to share fully at the table when they take part in a Eucharist celebrated by Catholics. Thomas O’Loughlin provides his contribution to that challenge in this volume. He argues that the various ways of thinking about what we are doing in the liturgy should lead us to see intercommunion as enhancing our participation in the mystery of the Church and the mystery we celebrate.
Thomas O’Loughlin is professor of historical theology at the University of Nottingham, UK. He uses the tools of the historian to look afresh at how we ask and answer theological problems. O’Loughlin was elected president of the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain in 2016. He is the author of The Rites and Wrongs of Liturgy: Why Good Liturgy Matters and Washing Feet: Imitating the Example of Jesus in Liturgy Today, both from Liturgical Press.
The central theme running through all five chapters is the way the image of God shown in and through the person of Jesus Christ has become distorted in the main-stream Churches, resulting in many of the practices and doctrines of worship, priesthood and authority not being ‘honest to God’.
It explores the biblical understanding of worship, particularly with reference to Jesus’ teaching about worship in ‘spirit and truth’, and compares this with the language, terminology and doctrines used in the Churches today which contain neo-pagan expressions of appeasement and obeisance.
The subject of ‘altar sacrifice’ is explored in the context of the rise of a cultic priesthood, the members of which became mediators of God’s ‘grace’. How did such a situation arise in contrast to the teaching of Jesus about himself being the only mediator for our access to God, and about his Father wanting mercy and not sacrifice?
What kind of ‘authority’ did Jesus give and teach to his disciples and apostles? Was it the kind which we now experience in the main-stream Churches, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church, as one in which office-holders rule and govern or was it one in which leaders are to guide, teach, care for and feed the People of God?
Is the Christian Church, particularly in its Roman Catholic form, ‘fit for purpose’? Are there radical changes needed for that purpose to be realised? Are its forms and structures for ministering to the People of God suitable for that purpose? Is it really being ‘honest to God’?
A Catholic Christian for nearly 60 years, as husband, father, grandfather, theologian, Brian Pointer poses radical questions and some answers about the Church.
The book's sounding board is my belief in a creator God who can be detected in everyday life, inspiring and enthusing us each day.
Please send cheque for £17 (inc. postage) to Fr Va Farrell, St Winifriede's House, Low Moor Rd Bispham, Blackpool, FY2 0PA or by BACS: 11658163 Sort 16-13-29
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In this book, Gerald O'Collins, SJ, takes a systematic look at the 2010 English translation of the Roman Missal and the ways it fails to achieve what the Second Vatican
Council mandated: the full participation of priest and people. Critiquing the unsatisfactory principles prescribed by the Vatican instruction Liturgiam Authe
nticam (2001), this book, which includes a chapter by John Wilkins:
- tells the story of the maneuverings that sidelined the 1998 translation approved by eleven conferences of English-speaking bishops,
es the 2010 translation, and
- illustrates the clear superiority of the 1998 translation, the "Missal that never was"
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'A remarkable contribution to solving women's inequality as one of the biggest problems within the Catholic Church today'.
Luca Badini Confalonieri, PhD in Theology (Dunelm),
Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research
Great Catholic Parishes
The Book Werner used in his talk at the National Conference
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Letter on public acts of worship in Catholic Churches in England and Wales in light of COVID19
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. It is very clear that, following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This will begin from Friday evening, 20th March 2020, until further notice. Our churches will remain open. They are not closing. They will be a focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength. In visiting our churches at this time, we will observe with great care the practices of hygiene and the guidance on social distancing. However, the celebration of Mass, Sunday by Sunday and day by day, will take place without a public congregation. Knowing that the Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass; following its prayers at home; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days. These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day. We want everyone to understand that in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed. This is, without doubt, the teaching of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181). This pandemic is the 'serious reason' why this obligation does not apply at this time. You will find more details about the pathway of prayer and sacramental life we are now to take in the accompanying document and on the Bishops’ Conference website (www.cbcew.org.uk). Your own bishop and parish priest will provide further support, encouragement and information about our way of prayer together in the coming weeks. The second vital aspect of these challenging times is our care for each other. There are so many ways in which we are to do this: being attentive to the needs of our neighbour, especially the elderly and vulnerable; contributing to our local food banks; volunteering for charitable initiatives and organisations; simply keeping in touch by all the means open to us. During these disturbing and threatening times, the rhythm of the prayer of the Church will continue. Please play your part in it. The effort of daily kindness and mutual support for all will continue and increase. Please play your part in this too. For your commitment to this, we thank you. "The Lord is my shepherd, There is nothing I shall want." May God bless us all.
Vincent Cardinal Nichols President, Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP Vice-President