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 Contents - Apr 2006AD2000 April 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: New cardinals: Benedict XVI signals his intentions - Michael Gilchrist
Conscience: Dissenters' appeal to Rome 'a real hoot' says Cardinal Pell - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Books: Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
EarthSong: Green Christianity or a new paganism? - Michael Gilchrist
Salesian Missions: Cardinal Pell visits East Timor - Michael Lynch SDB
Creation: Intelligent Design and the war against God - Stephen Hitchings
The Domestic Church: The Christian Family Movement: re-evangelising through families - Leslie Sammut
Has just punishment had its day? - Fr Matthew Kirby
1973 Decree: A Fourth Rite of Reconciliation for Queensland? - AD2000
Music and Culture: Benedict XVI, Mozart and the quest for beauty - Mark Freer
Letters: Religious education - Saskia Ebejer
Letters: Action needed - Kevin McBride
Letters: New Age - Yana Di Pietro and Magenta Ray
Letters: Translations - George Simpson
Letters: National suicide - Greg O'Regan
Letters: Anti-life politicians - Robert Bom
Letters: RU486 - Brian Harris
Letters: Courageous example - Arnold Jago
Letters: Inclusive language - Ottavio Kos
Letters: Overseas priests - Peter Gilet
Letters: Leadership needed - Tom King
Letters: Church of England - Jim Turley
Letters: Religious life - Barbara Chigwidden
Books: Swear To God: The Promise and Powers of the Sacraments, by Scott Hahn - Jacinta Cummins (reviewer)
Books: Mother Angelica, by Raymond Arroyo - Stephen Hitchings (reviewer)
Books: Fr Martin D'Arcy: Philosopher of Christian Love, by H.J.A. Sire - Michael E. Daniel
Events: Holy Week 2006: Classical Roman Rite in Melbourne
Books: Stimulating reading from AD Books
Reflection: The redeeming Cross: at the centre of Christian faith - Cardinal George Pell

Your February issue is of compelling interest for those Catholics alarmed and despairing of our Catholic schools. I refer to the article on Br Luke Saker and the text of Bishop Jarrett's homily. Each spells out the facts of our sad situation, although lacking in concrete suggestions for the revolutionary changes surely required.

However, they are brave men indeed to be speaking out so publicly on these issues - and many would agree with them. But where is the robust discussion and action from our Church leaders?

Perhaps some of them are unsure of the extent of their responsibilities or in which direction they should be leading. They may not wish to be unpopular or singled out for ridicule by the media. One can only speculate on this great silence.

Catholics, by and large, now hold a wide range of views on abortion, euthanasia, IVF, homosexuality, divorce, stem-cell research, etc - all drifting or shaped in some way by their Catholic faith. Occasionally they receive a lead from an outspoken member of the hierarchy who enunciates clearly the Church's position on a particular question.

One often hears the cry, "Don't blame the schools. It's the parents' duty to teach and supervise their children". And no doubt most schools are doing their very best in the absence of clear directions as to what they must teach our children, particularly the Ten Commandments, which after all form the cornerstone of our civilisation.

Why do so many of our spiritual leaders remain silent and inactive in the face of this spiritual void?

Meanwhile they have to deal daily with the direct consequences of this: the decline or disappearance of priestly and religious vocations, the ever-dwindling Sunday Mass attendances, and the increasing apathy among those Catholics who want to energise their religious worship but find no inspiration or spirited encouragement from their Church leaders.

Nevertheless, we confidently believe that God knows best and His will will finally prevail.

Aberfoyle Park, SA

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 3 (April 2006), p. 14

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