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News Briefing: From Britain and Ireland

Rose Gamble - The Tablet - Sat, Aug 11th 2018

News Briefing: From Britain and Ireland

Jeanrond to leave St Benet’s

Professor Werner Jeanrond, (above) who led the trans­formation of Oxford University’s last all-male institution into a co-educational centre for teaching and research, is to leave St Benet’s Hall after six years as master. He is to take up the chair of dogmatics at the University of Oslo.
Professor Peter Davidson will serve as interim master until a long-term replacement is appointed.

The International Federation of Catholic Universities meeting in Maynooth has elected its first female president. Dr Isabel Capeloa Gil is the rector of the Catholic University of Portugal. The host of this year’s general assembly of the federation, the Rev. Professor Michael Mullaney, president of St Patrick’s College, welcomed the historic election and wished Dr Capeloa Gil success in her term of office. Dr Capeloa Gil said she will “work to make the power of the few the strength of the many”.

A popular hymn writer told an audience of nearly 150 pastoral musicians on 28 July that many congregations appear weak at singing because “we don’t allow congregations to believe they can do it”. John Bell of the Iona Community’s Wild Goose Resource Group said he knew of priests telling their congregation that they can’t sing and this “disenfranchises people from their voices”. Mr Bell was a keynote speaker at last weekend’s biennial conference in Hertfordshire of the National Network of Pastoral Musicians.

Neary joins pilgrims

Up to 5,000 pilgrims undertook the arduous climb of Croagh Patrick in County Mayo, Ireland’s holy mountain that is associated with St Patrick, on Reek Sunday (29 July).

The pilgrims were joined by Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam and Bishop Fintan Monahan of Killaloe, who celebrated Mass at the summit.

In his homily, Archbishop Neary said the Church was “very conscious of the slow, silent decline of faith in Ireland. Many feel they are ‘strangers in a strange land’.”

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has led tributes to Bishop Fiachra Ó Ceallaigh, retired Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, who died on Sunday aged 84 after a long illness. Bishop Ó Ceallaigh OFM served under Cardinal Desmond Connell and Archbishop Martin between 1994 and his retirement in 2009. A native of County Clare, he was the first Franciscan to serve as a bishop in Ireland for more than 170 years and he had also served as provincial of his order before coming to Dublin. Archbishop Martin paid tribute to the bishop’s concern for asylum seekers and refugees, and his promotion of Irish language in the liturgy.

Catholic students at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) have called for the reinstatement of the Catholic chaplain, Fr Mark Morris, who was removed from his post after offering a service of reparation for the “gross offence” of Pride Glasgow and the celebration of LGBT and other identities. The Catholic student body at GCU criticised the university’s interpretation of diversity and called on the governing body to reinstate Fr Morris, describing him as a “truthful” presence, who was committed to the care of the poor and homeless.

A 24-year-old man has been charged with assault on a Glasgow priest during an Orange walk in the city. The parade was passing St Alphonsus’ Church in the Calton district when Canon Tom White, the parish priest, was struck, spat upon and verbally insulted as he was leaving Mass. Police Scotland has charged Bradley Wallace of Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, with a single charge of assault. Police investigations continue.

The Vatican’s director of astronomy and Tablet columnist Br Guy Consolmagno SJ has called on Scottish Catholics to take back science from atheists and secularists. In a talk entitled “Adventures of a Vatican Astronomer” at the Lauriston Jesuit Centre in Edinburgh, Consolmagno reminded his audience of Scotland’s long history in science. “Religion invented science; our universities invented science and gave the justification of doing it by the fact that it’s a way of studying God,” he said. “I think all Catholics should at least in an amateur sense become more aware of the physical universe and more aware of what’s really happening in science.”

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