The Southern Cross : December 09
In a recentarticleinTheAge newspaper Professor Greg Craven, Vice-Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, commented on the fact that Catholics today are targets of a new movement of atheists. He says that they're not traditional atheists; the new hobby atheist is a different creature. "They want everyone to know that they've not found God, and that no one else should. Their par ticular target seems to be Catholics," writes Craven. He claims that one of the reasons they attack Catholics is because they have the undeniable advantage that they still demonstrably believe in something. Whatever people might say about dogma and beliefs, the foundation of our belief is not in any set of dogmas but in the person of Jesus Christ. All that makes up our church, our practices, our beliefs, our laws is based upon our fundamental dependence on Jesus. All that we are required to do and be as Catholics comes out of our dependence upon Jesus. Through the church he teaches us what we should do, what we should believe and how we should act -- all of which revolves around his summar y commandment that the fundamental axiom of our life is that we must love God and love our neighbour. So while it is good for us to amass our a r guments for the belief in the existence of God and to defend the church and its teachings, we have another war to wage. That war is based on our conversion to the teachings of Jesus and our determinationtodoallthat we cantobe faithful to him, expressing in ever y aspect of our lives our love for God and our love for our neighbour. As it happens, the only way we can pro v e our love for God is by the quality of our love for our neighbour. So although we a re all weak and sinful people, our commitment to conversion and reconciliation and the way we direct all of our engagement with our brothers and sisters in the world is the true test. Our faith makes us all brothers and sisters. Atheism divides the human family into p rotagonists and antagonists. If the message of Christmas means anything, then this is it. We celebrate the birth of our Lord withgreatjoy and hope each year because we recognise that our faith in God gives us a beautiful image of what the world can be if people everywherewouldloveGodandlovetheir neighbour. www.adelaide.catholic.org.au The Southern Cross December 2009 Page 13 Archbishop Philip Wilson Our best defence is Jesus It's the endofan era forthe De la Salle b rothers in South Australia with the remaining three brothers leaving the State. The teaching order came to South Australia to set up St Michael's College which opened with 29 students in 1954. Between 60 and 70 brothers have been involved with the school community over the past 54 years and have seen the school grow to nearly 1500 students on two campuses. A r chbishop Wilson farewelled the b rot hers at a dinner at his house. In addition to the three remaining bro t h e r s , the farewell dinner was attended by Br Peter Gilfedder who was among the first b rot hers to come to Adelaide in 1954. He was invited back from Queensland where he moved to after spending the past 10 years as secre t a r y to the Superior General in Rome. The Brother Director of the Community, Aloysius Hurrell, left the community in October after spending 19 years teaching in the junior school at Beverley. The College community held a final send offonDecember3.Anumberofbrothers who were formerly on the school staff attended the Mass and celebration. B r other Peter said while it was " r e g ret table" that the brothers were leaving, the school was being left in "very good hands" and was still ver y much a p a r t of the De la Salle community. The Catholic Church could improve in its mission to "welcome the stranger" and take real steps toward reducing the fear- factor of migration by recognising the gifts it brings to the Church, says ArchbishopPhilipWilson. Speaking at the Migrant and Refugee Conference in Sydney, Archbishop Wilson said the pastoral response had to be affected by the reasons for the migrants' arrival in Australia. "Have they come because they have been driven out of their homeland with no prospect of re t u r ning, for example, or have they been the victims of extre m e violence and hatred in their homelands b e f o re they came to Australia?" he asked. " T h e re is a two-fold challenge for the Catholic Church in Australia: firstly to look after the needs of the new arrivals. The numerical consistency (of new a r rivals), geographical dispersion and, most of all, their socio-cultural cohesion or lack of it will test the ingenuity of pastoral workers. "Secondly, the increasing ethnic and cultural diversity of at least half of the Australian Catholic population calls for a rethinking of the theoretical and practical assumptions about the identity of the Catholic Church that is in Australia." He acknowledged that within migrant Catholic communities, the bible and tradition must make up their basic framework but that the local churc h e s w e re free to maintain their "distinct subcultures" as long as they fitted in with the overall practice of the Catholic faith. CONFIRMED: Children from Bordertown and Keith celebratedtheir Confirmation and First Communion re c e n t l y. The children were pre p a r ed by Cathy Hinge and Lucy Ryan. Archbishop Wilson is pictured with Charlie Watts, Will Mar tin, George Ry a n , Alice Fry, Lucy McCar t h y, Daniel Kupke, Cameron McCar t h y, Louise Hinge, Alex McCa r thy, Molly Pietsch, Jack McCarthy, Hugo Ryan, Fr Peter Fountain (Parish Priest) Lachy Livingstone, Cr ysten Tink, Cathy Hinge (Group Leader) Marcus Yo u n g , Anthony Moneva, James Fry and Cane Forre s t . End of an era Welcoming migrants The Australian Bishops will carefully and sensitively consider any requests from Anglicans wishing to come into full communion with the Catholic Church, according to new guidelines set down by the Holy See, Archbishop Philip Wilson said recently. Archbishop Wilson, the President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said the Holy See has issued a document outlining a structure for how bishops should handle such requests. Anglicanorum coetibus came two weeks after an announcement by Card i n a l William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and explains the process by which groups of traditional Anglicans wishing to be in full communion with the Catholic C h u r ch would be able to establish personal ordinariates or personal dioceses. Archbishop Wilson said any requests resulting from these changes would be dealt with sensitively. "Each case in which Anglicans, including ordained ministers, express an intention of joining the Catholic Church will re q u i r e careful examination and sensitive implementation," he said. "Anglican groups who choose to join the Catholic Church will be able to retain many of their own traditions and liturgical patrimony." The Holy See said the option for Anglicans to join the Catholic Church did not signal a change in the Catholic tradition requiring clerical celibacy, although Anglican priests who are married would be able to exercise their priesthood within the new structure. Under the new guidelines, ordinariates would remain in close relationship with the local Bishop, and would coordinate pastoral activities in the program of the diocese. "The introduction of personal o r dinariates will allow for gre a t e r o p p o r tunities to promote Christian Unity," said Archbishop Wilson. Document on Anglicans issued ON THE MOVE: from left, Br Matthew Heron, Br Peter Gilfedder, Br Paul Kent and Br Peter McIntosh with Archbishop Wilson.