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Friday, August 19, 2005

The Fractured Face of Carmel

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after the Second Vatican Council

World Youth Day

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The crisis of European Catholicism cannot be overestimated. There was just 131 ordinations last year in the whole of Germany. There were none in the Diocese of Linz in Austria. This has also been associated with a decline in Catholic practice by the Faithful, so the ratio of priests to people has remained manageable across Europe, and in some places has remained the same. In this sense, there is no priest shortage. The big deficiency is not in quantity but in quality- yes, this is a priest.

A wholesale reform and standardisation of the seminary syllabus would be a good way forward. More St Thomas Aquinas would add some rigour. But there is only one Thomistic university course in the whole of Europe, as far as I am aware. The "new theology" now over fifty years old has lead nowhere.

Feast of St John Eudes

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Author of the Liturgical Worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Holy Heart of Mary

The Furnace of Divine Love

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Former Capuchin Church in Traunstein, Germany

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Now an art gallery.

Begijnhof Diest in Belgium

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has become a cultural centre, all very sad. They now offer T'ai Chi courses. At the beginning of the twentieth century, there were about 6000 Beguines. At the time of Vatican II, 600 approximately. I have met the last surviving member of a Beguine community, a Franciscan who joined the community of Kortrijk. She moved to a nursing home. The last full Beguine died in January this year. As far as I am aware, there are no others.

Congressional Executive Comittee on China 2004

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Hundreds of Churches demolished in China.

St. Leonard of Port Maurice was a great Franciscan missionary

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but the Church dedicated to him in Brooklyn was demolished in 2001.