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Saints needed

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 Contents - Apr 2007AD2000 April 2007 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Benedict XVI's document on the Eucharist - Michael Gilchrist
Book Launch: B.A. Santamaria and Australian Catholicism: Cardinal Pell's tribute - Cardinal George Pell
News: The Church Around the World
'Equal opportunity' legislation threatens Christian teachings - Babette Francis
Catholicism and secularism in Britain: a test of strength on same-sex adoption - Joanna Bogle
History: How much do Catholics know about ecumenical councils? - Frank Mobbs
Vocations: New survey of successful US dioceses: lessons for Australia - Michael Gilchrist
Rockhampton Lenten program: 'whatever that might mean' - AD2000 Report
St Faustina: The Divine Mercy apostolate: a spirituality to transform the world - Eva Kimnes
Belief: Christian-Muslim dialogue: major stumbling blocks - Fr Richard Umbers
Letters: Liturgy: what next? - Franklin J. Wood
Letters: Church leadership - P.W. English
Letters: Money talks - Richard Stokes
Letters: Saints needed - Arthur N. Ballingall
National Church Life Survey clarification - Bob Dixon
Letters: Catholic schools
Letters: Catholic atmosphere - Stuart Paterson
Letters: Free and fair markets and the Church's social doctrine - Chris Hilder
Letters: Capital punishment - John Gallagher
Letters: Scourge of the West - Kevin McManus
Letters: African prisoners seek correspondents - Len Clark
Letters: Contraception - Tim Coyle
Books: The Way of Love: Reflections on Deus Caritas Est, Livio Melina and Carl Anderson - Tim Cannon (reviewer)
Books: Catholic Thought Since the Enlightenment, by Aidan Nichols OP - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Aspects of Authentic Church Teaching, by Fr Sebastian Camilleri OFM - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: Books available from AD2000 and Freedom Publishing
Reflection: Benedict XVI on the transforming power of the Resurrection - Pope Benedict XVI

Some years ago, a much-travelled lecturer from the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem, Father Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, was lecturing groups of diocesan priests throughout Australia. One of his many subjects was an interest in the quality of priests, elected by their peers, as bishops.

The question Father Jerome put up was, 'Given the choice, whom do you elect as bishop - a fine administrator, or a saint?'. His overwhelming experience, both here and throughout the world, invariably came down in favour of the able administrator.

'Saints are just fine!', so it was said, but in the multi-million dollar farrago of corporate diocesan affairs, a good administrator seemed the preferred and safer choice. However, for most of the apostolic era of the Church's history, the reverse was the general rule.

Fr John O'Neill's reflection (March AD2000, p. 20), attributes the Church's troubles to a lack of optimism, and he then goes on to describe people in the Church whom I, suspiciously, would regard as saints, rather than optimists.

I am not here suggesting that bishops cannot be saints as well. What I do mean is recurrent problems during the Church's history often occurred when we had no saints to lead us.

Our times are no less urgent. Again we seem to have no saints to lead us.

Safety Beach, Vic

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 20 No 3 (April 2007), p. 14

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