Daily Archives: May 24, 2010

Tess Livingstone reports on New Liturgy Translation in The Australian

Cf. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/new-mass-translates-to-more-traditional-catholicism/story-e6frg6nf-1225869831279

HT to Andrew Rabel for this. Andrew writes:

Dear friends,

Tess Livingstone (author of a few books on Cardinal George Pell of Sydney), has written a terrific piece on what to expect with the new translation of the Roman Missal into English, in The Australian, a secular newspaper in my country.

She makes the changes sound exciting. Her article is just the sort of thing that is needed for the catechesis that is to precede the introduction of the new prayers of the Mass.

God bless


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Keep “Spirit of Life” on Channel 31 by becoming a regular sponsor!

David MacLauchlan, the producer of “Spirit of Life” TV program on Channel 31 (on which I have been a guest a couple of times) has asked me to do what I can to drum up financial support to keep his program on air. I am including below the text of his “Sponsorship Call”. If you feel moved by the Spirit to help in any way, please do! (PS. you can view old programs on-line on their website).

“Spirit of Life” is a multi-denominational, wide ranging, in depth, Christian Interview Program www.spiritoflifetv.net / http://spiritoflife.nat.org.au


Spirit of Life is a multi-denominational Christian program consisting of in depth interviews with people from all areas of Christian life, from many denominations across the whole range of the Christian community.

It goes to air on C31 on Mondays at 11:30pm and currently with repeats of each weeks program on the following Thursday at 9am and in the early hours of Sunday morning at 5am. The interviews for the program are filmed, sometimes several weeks ahead of the program going to air, in the C31 Community Studio, at the C31 offices, in the City.

One of the aims of the program is to show the diversity of the Christian Community both to itself and to the wider community. It’s format gives the time for the in depth telling of the stories of the people interviewed. Lately, since last January we have been doing two programs in a row with most guests.

The program was originally started by myself, David McLauchlan and Mirella Rich (nee Killingsworth). Due to the birth of her child in December 2008 Mirella had to stop being involved with the program after being Coproducer and the main interviewer since it started in 2004. Because both myself and Mirella were from a Catholic background the program has featured many Catholic guests, though over the years we have also developed a lot of contacts across the wider Christian community.

Some of the guests the program has featured in the past year have included, Sam Clear, from Youth Mission Team Australia, who walked around the world for Christian Unity, Mark Bateman from Chaplaincy Australia, Sr. Rachel Fleurant from the Missionaries of God’s Love, Stewart Kohinga, a Christian musician, Jason Davies-Kildea, a Captain in the Salvation Army, Rev. Kevin Brown the Director of Studies of Kingsley Bible College and Alexandra Bekiaris a Christian Film Producer.

The programs web site has streaming video of current and past programs available in wmv format.  It is produced through the not for profit Community Television Incorporated Association, Northern Access Television, which is one of the member groups of the Melbourne Community Television Consortium, which owns and operates Melbourne C31. For further information, visit the station’s web sites: www.nat.org.au and www.c31.org.au


As producer of Spirit Of Life I have been able to keep the program going out of my own resources, supporting myself for the past eight years as a self employed freelance video producer. Recently however my financial situation has deteriorated, to the effect that I may not be able to keep the program going without significant ongoing sponsorship.

The sponsorship levels I have devised as shown here are a guide to what I am able to offer potential sponsors as acknowledgement for their support. The rules of C31 make it difficult to offer much more than this to acknowledge sponsors. In any case I would prefer to attract sponsors who are willing to support the program for its intrinsic value rather than any advertising value it may have. One off donations would also be welcome – however neither donations or sponsorship by an individual is tax deductible because I am a not a registered charity. Sponsorship by a business however, would be deductible as an advertising expense. In addition to this, another proposal I have come up with in order to assist me in keeping the program going, is to ask potential sponsors to consider an interest free loan to me in order to enable me to upgrade my equipment.

This would make it easier for me to continue earning sufficient income as a freelance video producer to be able to keep the program going.

Over the past 8 years the standard of my equipment has deteriorated due to both its age and the advances in technology in that time, particularly the introduction of the
new HD formats. This has affected the amount of work I can attract using my current equipment. Because I earn so little from my freelance work I am unable to either qualify for or afford a normal loan. I would probably need around $15,000 to $20,000 to restore my equipment to the equivalent level, relative to the advances in technology since then, that it was at 8 years ago.

My contact details are as follows:
David McLauchlan
Ph: 0412 166 563 or 0430 314 213
Email: dmclauch@bigpond.net.au
Web site: www.davidmcl.id.au

For details on how you can become a Spirit of Life sponsor, see the Spirit of Life website here.

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Only God can create Life

I was rather bemused by an article in The Age a few days ago reporting that

Scientists announced a bold step on Friday in the enduring quest to create artificial life – they’ve produced a living cell powered by manmade DNA.

Scientist’s creating “artificial life”?

As the article went on to explain,

this initial step is more a re-creation of existing life – changing one simple type of bacterium into another – than a built-from-scratch kind.

Seriously, I do not expect the day ever to come when life can be “built-from-scratch” in the laboratory, Frankenstein-like.

For me, the existence of life is the greatest “proof” for the existence of a divine creator (or, let us say rather, rational reason for belief in the same). The existence of matter can be put down to the “big bang” or whatever (which still raises the question of what caused it, ie. of the first cause), but no-one can explain the existence of life. We can use the theory of evolution to speak of the development of living organisms, but how did life itself begin in the first place? Scientists and philosophers are both at a loss to explain even what life actually is, let alone how it first began.

The richest aspect of the scriptural creation stories is that it points to God as the source of all life – that first breath breathed into the clay model man according to the second creation account in Genesis. It is something worth meditating on on this Pentecost Monday (still celebrated as a public holiday in some European – both Catholic and Protestant – countries, though sadly no longer in our calendar), that the Spirit who gives life to the Church is the same Spirit that God breathed into creation “in the beginning”.

As we confess in the Creed: “I believe in the Holy Spirit…the Lord and Giver of Life.” I think I can confidently state (with the confidence of faith!) that the day will never come when we can “build from scatch” a living cell in a laboratory.

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Archbishop Coleridge releases Pentecost Letter on the Scandals

Archbishop Mark Coleridge has released a Pentecost Pastoral Letter on the sexual abuse scandal. I have read it all through, and find it to be a very serious, considered and balanced appraisal of the situation, which also holds out an “Easter hope” for the future. He has clearly wrestled hard with what to say. Of course, the temptation is often to say nothing, to “bunker down”, as it were, but +Mark knows that that is not the solution.

Here are some of his comments reported today on the ABC:

“No one now can deny the scale of the problem and the urgent task,” he said.

“In the case of clerical abuse of the young, we are dealing with crime. And the Church has struggled to find the point of convergence between sin and forgiveness on the one hand, and crime and punishment on the other.

“True, sin must be forgiven, but so too must crime be punished.

“What’s clear is there will be no quick fix to this problem, the roots of which go deep and wide, we’re in for the long haul.

“On that journey, there’s a need for cool heads and compassionate hearts, always with our eye fixed primarily on the victims we haven’t seen and the voices we haven’t heard.”

A most interesting aspect of his letter is his attempt to analyse what it might be in the culture of the Church which has led to this situation. His conclusion is not monolithic, nor does he claim that his thoughts on these issues are necessarily “complete or even correct”. He concludes:

None of these factors alone would have made the problem cultural in the Church, but the combination may have done so. Clearly, some have to be abandoned – rigorist notions of the body and sexuality, gaps in seminary training and the kind of clericalism they can produce, triumphalism, the underestimation of evil. Others – like the living of celibacy in the priestly life – need to be purified rather than abandoned. Some – like the Church’s culture of forgiveness and discretion – clearly need to be retained, though with a greater awareness of what they can encourage and how they can turn dark.

I urge a reading of the whole letter (see here for the full text). Also, see here for the Encounter program focusing on the letter and here for an audio interview with the ABC.


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