4 thoughts on “A New Vision for the Catholic Church: Gerry O’Hanlon Book Review on Slugger O’Toole”

  1. I usually give anything from that publishing house a wide birth, but here are my comments on a couple of points.

    ”3. Bishops need to exercise real leadership. Throughout the book, O’Hanlon articulates what is a common view among some Catholics: that the Irish bishops have deferred to Rome and have not adequately grasped or communicated the concerns of the Irish laity to the Vatican. He also recommends questioning the ‘custom’ whereby Rome now appoints bishops exclusively, noting that this was not always the case.”

    — No, the bishops have not deferred to Rome. The bishops generally have ignored Rome and done their own thing. Often, they did nothing. Or nothing useful. We might appoint our bishops but the Church in Ireland is too weak and spiritually immature to do so. We do not have the formation in the faith.

    ”4. The Episcopal Conference (also known as the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference) needs to act more effectively.”

    — I’d be tempted to disband it altogether and give authority back to individual bishops. A much smaller bishops conference body might be feasible.

    ”other controversial issues … around ecclesial teaching on sex and gender’ (p. 104). He thinks that it ‘would help’ if the ‘Irish bishops alerted Rome to the simple fact that certain teaching has not been received in peace by the Irish church’ and it would be ‘a wonderful service to the universal church if Ireland was able to request a Third Vatican Council to broach such issues”

    — Not gonna happen. The Church doctrine on sexuality is cool. It has not been explained to the people, which is why they reject the Church moral teachings. Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body will play a key role, I expect, in the future. If the Irish people have not received the teaching ‘in peace’, me thinks the reason is not to be found in the teaching, but in the persons that were responsible for bringing the good news to the people. (It is always easier to blame one’s tools than oneself.)

    There is no need for a Vatican III. To have a Vatican III now or in the next hundred years or even longer would be like ordering a KFC Bargain Bucket and then ordering and starting in to a new one before you’ve digested the contents of the previous one. Councils take time, perhaps hundreds of years, to be digested and implemented and to become part of the Church’s life.

  2. Agree with Martin. The beauty of Catholicism is that it is deceptively simple, & contains the truth at it’s heart – ” I am the way, the truth & the life “. The sacraments recognise our human frailty & are there to pick us up en-route. Really theologans have too much time on their hands, & are wasting most of it, trying to re-invent the wheel. There is also a large degree of sexism in Gerry O’Hanlons comments. Why should the views of women be given greater priority than those of men ?. The Church is not about empowerment in a secular sense ; on the contrary it’s about service. Many of the greatest movers/achievers in the Church have been strong women – Mary Aikenhead ; Catherine McAuley ; Mary Ward. They were as involved at the heart of the Church as any male Ministers. The roles are different, not inferior/superior. Fr. O’Hanlon does’nt seem to appreciate this distinction.

  3. The funny thing is, if you take a look at the average Catholic parish in Ireland, you will find that it is dominated by women. I don’t actually approve of the abuse of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (long story but they are used against the Church’s law in most places), but regardless, most of them are women. Women sit on parish councils, staff diocesan offices etc… Women dominate catechesis. There are more women teachers. As Dr. Mark Dooley said on an RTE programme, the only thing lay people are not doing is consecrating the host!

    We are already in the situation whereby we have a feminized Church with hand-wringing emasculated male clergy wondering what else they can do to pander to the feminist agenda, which in all its- God- and men-hating fullness is not part of the ‘Catholic thing.’ They are scared men, they are not alter Christus in their ministry.

    If you click on my name ‘Martin’ on this comment, you can watch a short video by Michael Voris on the feminization of the Church. It addresses some of the reasons why men and boys walk away from the Church. This is a big problem and it will get worse before it gets better, sadly, because people don’t listen to modern prophets any more than they listened to ancient prophets.

    As Voris says, the fact is that the Church is almost entirely run and staffed and populated largely by women, men pull back and feel shut out and second class. The bishops? They’re just puppets.

    Voris explains that within the Church, there are authentic masculine and feminist aspects, but right now, the feminine element has pretty much totally taken over. Voris offers insights into the grave consequences for the mission of the Church which are now firmly established.

  4. Sorry, my last paragraph should read:

    ”Voris explains that within the Church, there are authentic masculine and FEMININE aspects, but right now, the feminine element has pretty much totally taken over.”

    That’s an important distinction that needs to be made, since the modern notion on feminism is quite far removed from the authentic, God-given gift of femininity.

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