July/August 2012


In a world of financial volatility, prudence might be a word employed in economic circles with a certain frequency and as a term of approval. It is interesting to think then, that it has long been a cherished word of theologians and moralists. We might note, however, that the common understanding of Prudence in English is more or less simply to do with caution; in its theological root the word is rather more dynamic.
Login for more...

Ministry and money: Strange bedfellows

This article addresses the complex role of money in ministry, with particular reference to St Paul's obsession with 'the collection'. Ronald D. Witherup PSS is superior general of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice.

Recent news stories in various parts of the world have drawn attention to what some experts consider the next major scandal to hit the Catholic Church - financial fraud. The issue has even touched the Vatican through a leaked letter from the (now) US nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigan? concerning his transfer to that post from deputy governor of Vatican City, allegedly because he was a 'whistleblower'. He undertook to clean up a system of special interests, inside deals and fixed fees which were defrauding the Holy See millions of dollars. The Vatican denied the charges and regretted the leaked letter.
Login for more...

Valuing the Hebrew Scriptures

Rodney Schofield

In the second of a short series on the Old Testament, this article explores how it may be considered a vehicle of divine truth. Rodney Schofield, a priest of Plymouth diocese, serves Ashford parish.

Christian concerns
The only scriptures known to the first generation of Christians were those inherited from Jewish tradition. Their task was to discover their ?true? meaning, which had been ?veiled? until now. There were many obscurities, but they approached the task with the same assumptions as the Jewish scribes:

???? The biblia ? the books or scrolls ? mean far more than is apparent on the surface. Whereas in secular writing truths are usually communicated in plain words, a divine communication has hidden depths. Thus, in 2 Peter there is a comment about Paul?s letters:

There are some things hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. [2 Pet 3.16]

This is, however, not a criticism, but an appreciation of their spiritual value. If there were no difficulties, it might be a sign of superficiality!

Login for more...

Verbum Domini, Mary, and the Year of Faith

Anne Inman

In the light of the approaching Year of Faith, this article uses Verbum Domini to explore the life of Mary to find an authentic role-model for the life of faith. Anne Inman is director of the Education for Parish Service, London.

With the Year of Faith approaching1, this article considers how the 2010 Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini (VD) from Pope Benedict XVI might form the basis of a reflection on Mary as the role-model for the woman of faith.
Paragraphs 27 and 28 of Verbum Domini present Mary as ?Mother of God?s Word? and ?Mother of Faith?. It is as the woman of faith that Mary is a supreme example of what it means to be responsive to God?s Word. As Verbum Domini puts it, ?She lives completely attuned to that word?. (VD 27) Verbum Domini, it would seem, invites us to interpret Mary?s life as a template for faith.

Paragraph 26, which immediately precedes those on Mary, has presented ?sin as a refusal to hear the Word of God?. The paragraphs on Mary then present the opposite of sin in terms of Mary?s ?obedience? to the Word, her ?docility? in the acceptance of the Word and her ?pondering? the Word as it is heard.

Login for more...

Irish saints III St Ciar?n of Clonmacnoise and hospitality

Catherine Swift

In the final article on Irish saints we look at St Ciar?n of Clonmacnoise, son of a carpenter, who lived his life serving the poor and offering hospitality to travellers. Catherine Swift is a lecturer in Irish Studies at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.

Owe no one anything except to love one another for the one who loves another has fulfilled the Law. The commandments ?You shall not commit adultery; you shall not murder; you shall not steal; you shall not cover? and any other commandment are summed up in this word: ?Love your neighbour as yourself?. Love does no wrong to a neighbour, therefore, love is the fulfilling of the Law.
Romans 13.8-1

The theologian Tarcisius van Bavel1 once pointed out that the Gospel passage which most moved St Augustine, and which he cited over 275 times, is the passage from Matthew?s Gospel (25.31-46) which describes how the Son of Man shall come in glory and separate people out from another as a shepherd separates sheep from goats.

Login for more...