Indeed, Use the Pulpit!

May 21, 2010 at 10:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As an addendum to my last post, in which I noted that the institutional church pays too much attention to sex and not nearly enough to other aspects of the “common good,” I am posting below an article circulated in the latest email from the Catholic Information Service of Africa. It will appear eventually on their webpage at

Clearly the clergy in some parts of the world are being encouraged to preach about something that really matters: the current massive threat to the environment. Would that Catholic bishops here in the US would offer similar encouragement to those preaching in Catholic parishes. 

KENYA: Use pulpit to propagate environment, churches urged

LANGATA, May 21, 2010 ( CISA)interpretation of the Catholic tradition from a distinctly not-US perspective refreshing, even if I don’t always agree with it.CISA  . I find the -Church.advised leaders in Africa should make use of its pulpit to propagate environment as part of the wider concern for the creation, a conference on African spirituality has

Anglican clergyman, Rev. Dr. Sammy Githuku, while addressing the conference on Work in African Spirituality, described the pulpit as an effective means to promote the church’s role in promoting environment.

He cautioned that when the full impact of the Climate Change is finally felt, Africa will be the most affected continent.

It was out of this concern that the Church should engage itself on the issue of environment, the Kenyan Anglican clergyman further told the conference participants, organized at Tagaza College, a constituent of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

Catholic nun and scholar, Anne Nasimiyu, who addressed the conference on: African Symbolism, Prayer and Ritual: A feminine perspective said Kenya, for example, has been losing its land mass, through massive deforestation.

“Out of this, the move to have the country regain its lost environmental glory should be the business of each one of us, Church and the Christians included,” she further told the assembled conference participants.

Professor Jesse Mugambi  of the University of Nairobi, who addressed the conference on: Symbolism in African Spirituality said Kenya and other African countries should be hopeful in regaining the lost environmental glory.

“Countries such as Japan and quite a number of Nordic countries have managed towards this direction and one wonders why then, we in Kenya and the rest of the African continent cannot manage,” he pointed out.

The conference, an annual event assembled over 200 participants, mainly theological scholars as well as theological students, from a wide range of Church and secular universities in the country.

It was organized by the Institute of Spirituality and Religious Formation, Tangaza in close cooperation with the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies, Tangaza, the Department of Spiritual Theology, Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Saint Paul’s University, Limuru, Kenya and the Organization of African Instituted Churches, OAIC.

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Catholic Warp Speed

May 1, 2010 at 8:39 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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At some point in the recent outpouring of commentary on the Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis, John Allen noted that the Vatican document ordering all Catholic bishops to report instances of sex abuse by clergy to the civil authorities had come at what was, for the Catholic Church, “warp speed.”

I gained some insight into the speed with which the institutional church does (or perhaps I should say does not) do things during a visit to Siena a few years back. Keith and I were visiting one of the  basilicas in Siena when we came upon a statue of Blessed Joachim Piccolomini, a Servite tertiary who lived from 1258-1305, and was known for his love of the poor.

There was a sign under the statue informing visitors that members of the Servite Order greatly desired that Blessed Joachim, who had been beatified by Pope Paul V on 21 March 1609, be canonized. Therefore, if anyone praying before this statue had received a special favor or miracle through the intercession of Blessed Joachim, would they please notify the Servite superior. At that point, four hundred years more or less had passed since Blessed Joachim’s beatification and seven hundred years since his death.

Perhaps if the collegial church introduced at Vatican II, a mere half-century ago, ever comes to pass, that will be the miracle needed to get Blessed Piccolomini canonized at last.  

Blessed Joachim Piccolomini, pray for us!

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