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19/02/2013: Australia


MSA Newsletter - 19 February 2013.pdf

Dear Brothers, colleagues and friends

Bet responsibly.

There’s nothing like a papal election to generate media hype. Has tomwaterhouse.com posted odds yet? Ladbrokes wasted no time in doing so, listing Turkson from Ghana as a 5/2 favourite within hours of the resignation announcement. I think I’d wait for that price to blow out a bit before being tempted to place a wager.

How much will be won and lost on this election? Bet responsibly.

To which papabile might you be drawn to have a flutter? Will you have your money on a scholar? Or a pastor? Or a canonist? Or perhaps an administrator or a diplomat? Will it be another European? An African maybe? An American? Progressive or restorationist?

So much of the commentary in the media (including, sadly, in sections of the Catholic media) does not go much more deeply that this rather one-dimensional and simplistic conjecture. It’s mostly vanity, isn’t it? We all would certainly hope that the College of Cardinals approaches its solemn task with a whole lot more gravitas than that. I am sure they will.

It is timely – and perhaps even no accident – that the conclave will be taking place during Lent. It is the season of the Church’s year that most powerfully calls us back to the essentials of our faith, to why the Church exists at all. The Gospel reading for today’s Mass is typical of the Scriptures that we are given during these weeks: Matthew reminds us not to “babble as the pagans do”, but to recognise and to love the unfathomable holiness of God at the heart of our lives, to yearn in ourselves and our world for the just and merciful reign of God, to be satiated by our love of God and neighbour, to be humble before this great mystery – the Lord’s Prayer. Heaven knows just how much our Church needs to be renovated, perennially, by the spirit of this prayer.

We all have hopes for our Church and for its universal pastor. It is well that we do, albeit unlikely that you and I will be directly canvassed for our views. We think it’s all well beyond our control. Yes and no. Yes, we will be watching it all from a distance – a considerable distance – but, no, we do have extraordinary influence. We are educators. To us has been entrusted the evangelisation of the generation of the Church who will follow us.


Bet responsibly.
Nisi Dominus
Brother Michael Green fms - NATIONAL DIRECTOR

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