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Author Archive: Gary Scarrabelotti

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Communion for the Divorced and “Remarried”: a Little Light Shed by W. Shakespeare.

28 February, 2015 0 Comments

… the real tensions arise from an attempt to separate doctrine from practice; teaching from pastoral action; eternal salvation from earthly “integration’.

By Kerry Mellor

The first session of the Synod on the Family, as it has come to be known, has set up some pretty formidable tensions in the Catholic Church. It remains to be seen whether the second session, due in October of this year, will see those tensions resolved, or, God forbid, intensified.

At the superficial level, that of the newspaper commentary, or the Radio/TV sound bite, the game appears to be a struggle between “Progressives” and “Conservatives”, a.k.a. “the Orthodox”. But the real tensions arise from an attempt to separate doctrine from practice; teaching from pastoral action; eternal salvation from earthly “integration’. In a metaphysical sense, there is a body of theological scientists who are attempting to split the atom. And we know from the physical world where that can lead.



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Bill Murray on Religion, Canonisation and the Liturgy

2 February, 2015 0 Comments

Like the new pope, he walks among us.

By Lyle Dunne

I’ve never been sure about Bill Murray. Ghostbusters was fun, Groundhog Day very clever, but Lost in Translation seem a more apt title than its makers intended, even on a re-watching after a visit to Japan. And I haven’t seen St Vincent.

And he’s a bit, well, weird. Even by Hollywood standards, ie even apart from what could best be described as a complicated moral life, and marital history.

Murray at Cannes in 2012. Photograph: Dominique Charriau/WireImage

Yet the truth can emerge from surprising places. In a free-ranging interview of Murray by Catherine Shoard of The Guardianthe question of religion came up:

His parents were Irish Catholics; one of his sisters is a nun. This conspicuous religion adds to his broad church appeal (there’s a citation from the Christian Science Monitor on his golfing memoirs). You don’t need to ask if his faith is important to him. He talks about how 19th-century candidates risk not getting canonised because the church is keen to push ahead with the likes of John Paul II and Mother Teresa. “I think they’re just trying to get current and hot,” he smiles.


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Stained Glass Windows for Churches May Make Comeback With Younger Generations

29 January, 2015 0 Comments

By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post

…67 percent chose the word “classic” to describe their ideal church. Only 33 percent preferred a trendy church as their ideal.


Churches fitted with ornate stained glass windows may not become a thing of the archaic past just yet, noted one church construction company.

Although presently the stained glass industry has been experiencing a decline in business, research among younger Americans indicates that stained glass could experience a comeback.

Derek DeGroot, architect with the Aspen Group, a company that specializes in building churches, explained to The Christian Post on Monday the current trend.

“Although certain denominations still use stained glass traditionally, many mainline protestant denominations that we designed & built for have seen an apparent decline in the use of stained glass in the recent past,” said DeGroot.

“However, there are new discussions that stained glass is seen more favorably by younger generations.”

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Vocations in Australia

29 January, 2015 0 Comments

By Lyle Dunne

To sustain a population of 2000 diocesan priests… you’d need around 150 men entering the seminary annually, meaning a seminary population of about 700: 3 to 4 times the current number.

We’ve looked at vocations in France (Apres Nous le Deluge? July 2014) and in the US (Vocations and Adoration, May 2014). Now it’s time to look closer to home.

It’s hard to get comprehensive data on vocations in Australia, which makes the pessimist in me wonder if bad news is being concealed.

However I’ve been looking at the “FAQ” site of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Research Office.

Ordination of Fr Ashley Caldow, Bendigo,14 Sept 2013. Photo:


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Liturgy: Means or End?

28 January, 2015 0 Comments

By Peter Kwasniewski, New Liturgical Movement, November 2014

Editor’s Comment: I received this some time ago (you’ll note it refers to events toward the end of 2014) and have been vacillating about whether to post it. (Happily the issues are not time-critical.) In the end I decided to, not because I believe the author sustains his thesis with absolute conviction – I have considerable sympathy with the commentators on the article, whom I strongly suggest you read – but because it raises some important points.

If you want my five cents’ worth, I think the problem lies in identifying liturgy as a means to a HUMAN end, such as creating unity among worshippers or bringing people into the Church. Worthy though these aims may be, they are not the point of liturgy.

The broader questions of whether the encounter with Christ Incarnate should best be seen as a means to the Glory of God, or whether the Sacrifice of Calvary, and hence that of the Mass, is primarily a means of securing our salvation, I am content to regard as above my pay grade.

Catholics today might sometimes be struck by the passionate conviction of the younger generation of Catholics who are fighting for the cause of the Sacred Liturgy. It is as if we are fighting for dear life, in a struggle to the bitter end, against our mortal enemies. The reason is simple: we are doing exactly that.

The Sacraments. Source: New Liturgical Movement

It is no exaggeration to say that there is a fundamentally false view out there, very popular nowadays, as captured in this paragraph from Whispers from the Loggia of November 24:

The office’s [i.e., Congregation for Divine Worship’s] new mission is likely to hew closer to Francis’ own liturgical approach—as one op summarized its principles: “Go by the book. Don’t make a fuss about it. And remember that liturgy’s always a means to an end—not an end in itself.”

That’s the error in a nutshell: the liturgy is a means, not an end.

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