Hierarchy and collegiality
The English Catholic agenda, 1850-2000
What was the Church's agenda at the time of the restoration? Adrian Hastings, Emeritus Professor of Theology at the University of Leeds and author of History of English Catholicism 1920-1985, looks back on the 150 years and then turns to what he calls a new, many-sided agenda. 'The English Catholic Church may never have been so free as now to establish its agenda creatively and influentially, if only it has the imagination and will to do so.'
What about Christian unity?
After surveying church relations in England over the past 150 years, Ruth Reardon, formerly Secretary of the Association of Interchurch families, concludes that now 'the Churches need to grow together in the way married couples grow together as partners and as parents'.
A changing Church: facing the future
How has the Church responded to the major post-war and post-Vatican II changes? Michael Hornsby-Smith, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Surrey, offers some answers and then looks to the future needs of the Church. These can be met by a 'coherent pastoral strategy, "owned" by clergy and laity to respond to those needs, and a readiness to change existing practices and the allocation of resources in the pursuit of that strategy'.
The thinking Church: a recent history
While many of the institutions of the English Catholic Church are in decline, Catholics themselves are more theologically literate than ever before. How are church leaders responding to this development and to the 'specifically intellectual challenge of theology'? Eamon Duffy, Reader in Church History at the University of Cambridge, traces the shift from a school-based system and particular set of cultural practices and attitudes, to today's post-conciliar situation with its need for episcopal support for theology.
Option for the poor
How has Cardinal Wiseman's option for the poor in the last century been put into effect in more recent years? Ian Linden, who is the Director of the Catholic Institute for International Relations, shows how organisations like his and CAFOD have tried to respond to the Church's teaching on social justice.
Flaminian Gate to Eccleston
'The restoration of the hierarchy was left incomplete in 1850', writes Bruce Harbert, who is parish priest of St Anne's, Streetly, and a regular contributor. The full restoration can take place when the relationship between bishops and the lower clergy, which existed before the Reformation, is put in place. 'In such a system, hierarchy and collegiality strengthen one another.'
Preaching and teaching the Word
Fr Peter Cornwell, former chaplain at Prior Park College, Bath, and now assistant priest at St John's, Bath, offers some reflections on the lectionary readings for the Sundays and solemnities of November.
A day off in the Andes
Fr Gerard Hanlon, Peru
Remembering our past
In this review article Judith Champ, author of The English Pilgrimage to Rome (Gracewing) and lecturer in church history and pastoral theology at Oscott College discusses some of the books which are marking different aspects of the last 150 years of Catholic history in England and Wales.
Handbook for Parish Pastoral Councils, by Ellen Mallon and Cecilia Anning
Brisbane: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane, Approx £5
REVIEWED BY BERNARD HYPHER
Postscript: Political correctness Lucy Beckett
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