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Lenten program (letter)

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 Contents - Jul 2003AD2000 July 2003 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: The pivotal roles of Saints Peter and Paul - Michael Gilchrist
Archbishop Hart defends woman in euthanasia case - Peter Westmore
News: The Church Around the World - AD2000
Books: AD2000 to distribute Ignatius Press titles in Australia from July - Peter Westmore
Homily: Bicentenary Mass celebrated in Sydney - Archbishop George Pell
Events: Seeking the face of Christ through the arts: Carnivale Christi goes national - Nicholas Rynne
Orthodox Anglicans close ranks to preserve faith - Nigel Zimmermann
Catholic Literature: Hilaire Belloc's 50th anniversary: is he 'yesterday's man'? - Br Christian Moe FSC
Brisbane Synod ends: Archbishop Bathersby to announce pastoral programs - AD2000 REPORT
The concentration camp prisoner who became a Queensland priest - Warren Losberg
How to start a parish apologetics group - Mavis Power
School sacramental programs: evangelise Catholic families first - Fr John Speekman
TMC: Adelaide Thomas More Centre Autumn School a success - Emma Benz
Letters: Apostolate (letter) - Fr Adrian Head
Letters: Obstacles to confession (letter) - M.G.A. De Wolf
Letters: Catholic heritage (letter) - Sue Russell
Letters: Church design (letter) - Michael Baradinsky
Letters: Lenten program (letter) - Robert Osmak
Letters: Success in WA (letter) - Deidre Lyra
Letters: New Mass (letter) - Peter D. Howard
Letters: Misunderstood (letter) - Elsie Cunningham
Letters: New religion (letter) - Br Jim Ward CFC
Letters: Catholic visionary? (letter) - Richard Congram
Letters: Pell biography feedback (letter) - Mary Lou Corboy
Letters: Catholic books (letter) - F. Carleton
Letters: Research help - Dolores Lightbody
Letters: Conversions (letter) - Margaret Holgate
Books: Marriage And Modernization, by Don Browning - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Books: The Prenatal Person: Ethics from Conception to Birth - Dr Ted Watt (reviewer)
Books: Europe: The Exceptional Case: Parameters Of Faith In The Modern World - Anthony Cappello (reviewer)
Books: Great books at the best prices! - Anthony Cappello
Reflection: The meaning of vocation for baptised Christians - Archbishop Philip Wilson

The Archdiocese of Brisbane booklet Lenten Program 2003 subtitled, "Attending to the Sacred," had little to do with Lent, nor was it particularly "sacred". It was intended to be read and discussed in six sessions during Lent. The booklet was accompanied by six video showings.

From its cover (a picture of a waterfall) through the over 30 glossy colour photos one could be forgiven for thinking that the environment is sacred and ought to be the object of our worship. There were no photos of saints or churches, no representation even of Christian symbols, such as a cross.

Is Easter not an appropriate season to mention the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross and his resurrection?

Scripture passages were interpreted strangely as if to suit the green cause. Referring to Abraham's obedient readiness to sacrifice his son, Isaac, the authors concluded (p. 22): "God does not ask the sacrifice of any living being - animal or human. All life will be considered sacred". Yet, as we know, God enjoins Abraham to sacrifice a trapped ram (rather than his son).

To God, obviously, a human life is more important than animal life. If "all life" is to "be considered sacred," are we all to become vegetarians?

But our authors' agenda goes beyond ecology.

Australian sailors come in for a swipe in the Tampa ship controversy, the incident which divided our electorate in the last Federal election. Such confusing, complex issues in a religious program can serve no useful purpose.

To the above must be added the feminist 'god', Sophia-Christ. On page 27, we are to ask for her/his blessing: "Sophia-Christ, walk with us." In our parish group, several people asked, "Who is this Sophia-Christ?"

Ours is a large parish with two churches, yet we managed only four Lenten Program groups (averaging 7-8 in each). In my group, all but one was present at the first night's meeting. On the last night, only three were present.

I asked a few parishioners why they didn't sign up. A typical response: "It's just rubbish". In previous years some of the objects of study were individuals from Australia's secular life - no study of saints, not even Christians, let alone Catholics.

It would be good if the Archbishop of Brisbane could ensure that next year's Lenten Program is actually about Lent.

Burpengary, Qld

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 16 No 6 (July 2003), p. 14

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