During Mass in St Peter’s Basilica on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, Pope Francis said: “We might think that it would have been better had the star of Jesus appeared in Rome, on the Palatine Hill, where Augustus ruled over the world; then the whole empire would immediately have become Christian. Or if it had shone on the palace of Herod, he might have done good rather than evil.

“But God’s light does not shine on those who shine with their own light. God ‘proposes’ Himself; He does not ‘impose’ Himself. He illumines; He does not blind. It is always a very tempting to confuse God’s light with the lights of the world. How many times have we pursued the seductive lights of power and celebrity!”    

Reform, not revolution

In the editorial of the January 2, 2019, issue of L’Osservatore Romano’s monthly ‘Women, Church, World’, Lucetta Scaraffia wrote: “A revolution isn’t necessary to give women the place they deserve in the Church…  It’s not indispensable to grant them the priesthood or the diaconate… In fact, it’s enough, with a bit of courage and a prophetic capacity, to regard the future with a positive look, accepting the changes that are often inscribed in the order of things.

“We try to propose changes that can be carried out now, without touching dogmas or the Code of Canon Law. However, it’s necessary to overcome the resistances of those who, without reason or legal support, seek to exclude them (women) from more important roles.”

Open ourselves to renewal, reform

In his homily at New Year’s Day Mass in Munich Cathedral, Cardinal Reinhard Marx said: “I believe the hour has come to deeply commit ourselves to open the way of the Church to renewal and reform. Evolution in society and historical demands have made tasks and urgent need for renewal clear to see. Besides matters about development and improvement and prevention and independent reviews, more is demanded.

“I am certain that the great renewal impulse of Vatican Council II is not being truly led forward and understood in its depth. We must work on that further. Further adaptations of Church teachings are required.

“[Catholics must] leave behind categories like left and right, liberal and conservative, and concentrate on the path of the Gospel in a concrete point in time.

“Turn yourselves to a new thinking. To risk this thinking is important at the end of year and the beginning of a new year – not a flight into the rhetoric of the past.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)


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