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Religious dissent

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 Contents - May 2006AD2000 May 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Benedict XVI: love and truth are inseparable
Papacy: Benedict completes his first twelve months as Pope - Fr Ephraem Chifley
News: The Church Around the World
Satellite service: EWTN Australia
Events: Carnivale Christi 2006 scheduled for Melbourne and Sydney in May - AD2000 Report
Benedict's first twelve months: 'We Are Church' delivers its verdict - Michael Gilchrist
Catholicism-lite's Church of convenience - Paul A. Wagner
University: Students should challenge dissenting teachers - Dr Michael Casey
Vocations: Can religious life be rebuilt in Australia? - Sr Mary Augustine OP
Foreign priests - a tale of two Brisbane parishes - Bob Osmak
Letters: Adoption - our experience - Bella and Leon Voesenek
Letters: Bigotry - Maureen Federico
Letters: Religious dissent - Kevin McManus
Letters: Lay led liturgies in Rockhampton diocese - Jessie Roger
Letters: Actions and attitudes - S. Chaston
Letters: Liturgical abuses - Rosanna Sherman
Letters: Inclusive language - John Daly
Letters: Elites - Peter Gilet
Letters: Conscience - Jerome Gonzalez
Letters: Modernism - Don Gaffney
Letters: Intelligent Design - Michael Griffiths
Letters: Creationism? - Fr G.H. Duggan SM
Letters: Phillip Adams - Frank Bellet
Letters: Warning!
Letters: Rosary beads request - Jim Smith
Books: The Victory Of Reason, by Rodney Stark - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: On The Way To Jesus Christ, by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) - Jacinta Cummins (reviewer)
Books: Young Faces of Holiness: Modern Saints in Photos and Words, by Ann Ball - Jacinta Cummins (reviewer)
Books: Stimulating reading from AD Books
Reflection: Oneness in Christ: the heart of the priesthood - Fr John W. O'Neill PP

While the news of the gross disobedience of the heads of the Canadian religious orders is alarming, we all know individual heroic and obedient religious, orders, or parts of orders that have either kept rheir Rule or returned to it.

So we should not panic.

It seems that almost every 500 years there occurs a great and successful reform movement of religious life.

While a few famous names have to be mentioned, because Church history is complex, many more must be ignored here, although they too greatly influenced the reform eras and periods between.

The end of the first 500 years of the Christian era saw the Benedictine reform that saved European civilisation.

The end of the second 500 years saw the Cluniac-Hildebrand reform followed by the Franciscan-Dominican miracle.

The end of the third period saw the Tridentine reform with St Ignatius, St Francis de Sales, St Teresa of Avila, Reginald Pole and Pope Paul III, to name just several key figures out of many.

At the end of the fourth period there are already signs of renovation at work with many new religious orders emerging such as the Missionaries of Charity.

What seems to have triggered the past three great reforms of religious life were serious social crises.

The first was precipitated by the collapse of the Western Roman Empire with the Gothic invasions; the second was by general social decay and moral anarchy, the third was by the protestant revolt.

Today we have the many faceted liberal-modernist apostasy in faith and morals.

Is it awaiting some social disaster in the future?

Whatever form this may take, it is certain that the Church will eventually renovate the religious orders and they will give glory to God as they always have.

Ashfield, NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 4 (May 2006), p. 14

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