The Southern Cross : October 2011
October 2011 Page 9 www.thesoutherncross.org.au The Southern Cross The Southern Cross opinion | Behind the news Jenny Brinkworth In 2012 it will be the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council on October 11, 1962. Attended by more than 2000 Catholic bishops from around the world, the Council is widely regarded as the most significant religious event in the 20th Century. Dr Josephine Laffin, Senior Lecturer in Christian History at Flinders University and Catholic Theological College, has been selected to participate in the Lived History of Vatican II project run by the Cushwa Centre at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Dr Laffin said the project would be the first comparative historical study of how Catholics in different contexts around the world coped with change in Catholic life in the wake of the Council. Adelaide is one of 15 dioceses around the world selected to take part in the project, which will also focus on the following dioceses: Atlanta, USA; Bangalore, India; Boston, USA; Cuernavaca, Mexico; Detroit, USA; Ferrara, Italy; Luanda, Angola; s'-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands; Québec, Canada; Santa Fe, USA; Santiago, Chile; San Francisco, USA; Trichur, Kerala, India; Westminster, United Kingdom. Some of the issues which scholars have been asked to consider relate to liturgy and spirituality, parish structures and governance, religion and family life (including children's experiences of the era), changes in the lives of priests and nuns, and the public life of the Church. Participants in the project will meet at the University of Notre Dame in the first week of March 2012, again in mid-April 2013, and take part in a major international conference in April 2014. The research will be published in an edited volume in 2015. Dr Laffin has already conducted some research on Vatican II and its impact on the Adelaide Archdiocese for her biography of Archbishop Beovich which was published by Wakefield Press in 2008. Matthew Beovich was archbishop of Adelaide from 1939 to 1971 and attended all four sessions of the Council. • Dr Laffin is keen to interview people who remember this era. If you would like to share some memories with her, or have her visit your parish to speak with a group of people, she can be contacted at Catholic Theological College (8416 8472 or josephine.laffin@ flinders.edu.au). In her short but significant life our beautiful daughter, Lilah, taught us many valuable lessons. One such lesson was to live in the moment and to value the time you have with those most precious to you. Lilah isn't here to enjoy her second birthday on October 20, 2011 but you can celebrate for her. We challenge you to do something wonderfully unique, or wonderfully simple! For at least one hour just go out and celebrate what you have in the 'now'. We ask that your celebration take place between October 16 and 24 (these are the weekends either side of Lilah's birth date). Take a photo of yourselves celebrating and send it to us via the Little Heroes Foundation, together with a note describing what you did in your moment to live your life for Lilah. For free online registration, celebration ideas, postal details and fundraising information go to www.littleheroesfoundation.com.au/ livelifeforlilah You can also read more about the way Lilah has impacted on thousands of people by joining her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Lilah- Sophie/172226739486413 With warm regards, the Bishop Family Nic, Andrea, Jemima, Madeline and forever Lilah xxx FEEDBACK Search for Vatican II memories In a former life as a daily newspaper reporter I spent many hours covering the Upper House in State Parliament. I remember well the frantic rush to write stories after Question Time and the long nights listening to lengthy and tedious debate on legislation on the off chance of a significant breakthrough or an interesting outburst by an over-tired pollie. Back then we political journalists had to pretty much fend for ourselves -- media releases were confined to important statements from the Premier, ministers and the Opposition Leader -- and there was no texting or twittering to keep you up to date. I imagine it's quite different for political reporters these days with all the new technology available to them but one thing hasn't changed I'm sure, and that's politicians wanting to get their name in the paper. Afterall, it's difficult to win votes if no-one knows who you are. So I wasn't totally surprised when I received a phone call at 6.30pm one Monday night recently from a journalist from The Australian seeking comment at 10pm on a statement due to be made in the evening by Senator Nick Xenophon -- a master at getting his name in the paper. When they refused to tell me what the statement was going to be about I started to worry but nothing could prepare me for the shock of the subsequent phone call at 10pm. The reporter outlined the allegations made by Senator Xenophon and his threat to name an Adelaide priest alleged to have raped Traditional Anglican Communion Archbishop John Hepworth more than 40 years ago unless he was stood down by midday the following day. His comments and threat were based on a report in The Weekend Australian and discussions with Hepworth earlier that day. Besides being outraged at the lack of time for the Archdiocese to respond to his lengthy statement, I was well aware of the media frenzy that would be created the next day by the prospect of a "stand-off" between the Church and the Senator. Combined with the irresistible combination of religion, politics and sex, it meant guaranteed national coverage for Xenophon. Moreover, his reference to the need to act in the interests of "parents and children in the parish first and foremost" -- inferring child sex abuse was involved - meant he would gain considerable support from people in the street. The media calls started around 6am Tuesday, ran hot all day (to add to the drama, the computer network decided to crash for most of the day) and well into the night as Xenophon went ahead with his threat and named Monsignor Dempsey, without speaking to him or the Archdiocese and in spite of an offer of a full briefing in a lengthy letter from the lawyers. The fall-out was severe and irreparable -- both for the priest and Monsignor David Cappo who later that week announced he would not be able to take up his position as head of the Federal Government's Mental Health Reform Commission. Senator Xenophon certainly got his name in the paper -- not just here in Adelaide but all over the world as the news spread like wildfire over the internet. (One Adelaide traveller read about it Los Angeles!) Only time will tell what the voters think. Live life for Lilah 1/234 Brighton Road, Somer ton Par k SA 5044 email@example.com | schinellas.com.au | Ph: (08) 8294 4484 Roa oad d d dS S Som Som t ert er ton onP P Par Par kS kS kS kS A5 A5 A5 A5 044 044 044 044 The Schinella family will donate $500 to a Catholic Charity of your choice on the sale of your property on mention of this ad.