blessing the shark

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 10, 2006

Catholic Earthcare Australia is an ecological agency established by the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference. Its mission is to help promote understanding among people that creation is sacred and endangered, and must be protected and preserved for present and future generations yet unborn.

Australian bishops invoke God's benison upon the plankton, 2004

Now don't jump to conclusions based on the parochial perspective of your local situation. Look at the facts: Sunday Mass attendance in Australia averages 91% of baptised Catholics. The churches are crammed. Most parishes have lines outside their confessionals four or five hours per week, and it's a rare Aussie who goes two months without confessing. Doctrinal errors are virtually unheard of -- among clergy and laity alike -- and Church teachings on issues of sex, social justice, and human life are embraced with profound and heartfelt joy by the faithful. The seminaries are so crowded that most have to wait-list accepted candidates a year or two for lack of space, and the same goes for convents of nuns.

In short, a Catholic diocese in Australia largely runs itself, effortlessly moving from strength to strength. And given that state of affairs, the poor bishops have to do something with the spare time on their hands.

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  • Posted by: - Nov. 16, 2006 2:27 AM ET USA

    JARay. I agree with most of what you said, but Praise the Lord things could be changing although Religious Instruction is still not given during school hours, Sacramental instruction is now given after school with at least one parent's attendance. Some of the Catholic highschools in the Melbourne Archdiocese teach Catholic Theology instead of R.I. and in our parish a number of high school students attend daily Mass before school. Australian Granny

  • Posted by: Aussie - Nov. 12, 2006 6:31 PM ET USA

    The Venerable Bishops are from left to not as far left, Bishop Heenan of Rockhampton, Bishop Putney of Townsville and Archbishop Bathersby of Brisbane. These are 3 of our more orthodox bishops in the province of Queensland. They blessed the sharks because the sharks had consumed the remains of the messengers that had recently been shot. Apparently all is well in Queensland after all.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Nov. 11, 2006 3:23 PM ET USA

    The following is from their Bishops confence re: environmental issues: The AUDIT can be used to assist parishes, schools, church agencies: * Identify and affirm their existing environmental practices/ministry/spirituality; * Develop environmental futures by prioritising what needs to be done to live more sustainably with respect to our heritage... * Network with other churches and environmental agencies to promote ecological conversion ---ecological conversion?? environmental futures?? affirm?

  • Posted by: - Nov. 10, 2006 6:48 PM ET USA

    A blessing of predatorial creatures? Well, why not? They've had so much practice giving their blessings to other types of predators. At least this particular predator, being a fish, doesn't commit mortal sin.

  • Posted by: Venerable Aussie - Nov. 10, 2006 5:51 PM ET USA

    "Its mission is to help promote understanding among people that creation is sacred and endangered, and must be protected and preserved for present and future generations yet unborn." Is that the end of the sentence? I think it originally read: "and future generations yet unborn babies are not really part of our agenda" but that was seen to be too pointed. By the way, those stats are from the now discredited Church Life survey by Sr Coral Rief and Frs Ray Sting and Jacques Etaque.

  • Posted by: JARay - Nov. 10, 2006 5:31 PM ET USA

    The claims made that Aussie Catholics are so faithful is sheer nonsense. I know. I live here. We have full Catholic schools but when the kids leave school they seldom darken the door of a church. I know. I taught in such Catholic schools. And our politicians have just passed legislation allowing theraputic cloning.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 10, 2006 5:05 PM ET USA

    There is absolutle nothing wrong with initiates on evironmental stewardship, provided they are not prioritized over or equal with human life issues.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 10, 2006 1:49 PM ET USA

    Caption should read: Australian Bishops applaud new display of Indult Mass seekers in captivity. Bishop #1 (with arm extended): "I tried to motion one to get up off his knees for communion and he almost took my arm off at the shoulder!. We need to hire several Extraordinary Ministers of the Tuna to feed them in the pool area."

  • Posted by: - Nov. 10, 2006 1:45 PM ET USA

    I deplore my missed opportunity to use the Shark Jumping meme before others jumped all over it.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 10, 2006 1:39 PM ET USA

    jchrysostom: FYI, Malta has a mass attendance close to or greather than 90%. I suggest you check out this article in October's issue of NOR: I found it shocking that such a place existed on earth. And this despite the Tom Foley abuse scandal...

  • Posted by: - Nov. 10, 2006 12:27 PM ET USA

    Is that Roger receiving the blessing?

  • Posted by: rpp - Nov. 10, 2006 11:33 AM ET USA

    Which century are you referring to?

  • Posted by: ladybird - Nov. 10, 2006 10:54 AM ET USA

    Uncle Di, shame on you! Those stats can't be true! I've known a few Auzzies and - nope - can't be true. By the way, are they blessing the shark before or after they jumped the shark (or is it supposed to be the shark that jumps them?)

  • Posted by: - Nov. 10, 2006 9:47 AM ET USA

    Uncle Di, were those statistics and observations about the fitness of the Catholic Church true ANYWHERE today, my family and I would pack up and move tomorrow, even if we had to learn Croatian or some obscure ancient dialect one might require a Harvard Ph.D. to understand fully. The fact is, most "Catholics" are plankton, of a sort.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 10, 2006 8:39 AM ET USA

    Well the could extend the feast of St. Francis of Assisi to a week-long celebration of hamster blessings, pets in church, and limiting SUV driving to critical trips to the wine and cheese store. These fellows already sound a tad Robinsonian Episcopalian.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 10, 2006 8:19 AM ET USA

    Sounds as if our bishops should go to school in Austrailia! If Catholics were so united today, the unholy left would be a political gnat, rather than in control of our government. Ulimited abortion would be outlawed throughout the land. Stem cell research would be but a Dr. Mengele-type pipe dream and the devil would be cast back into his hell. Instead, it it seems that it was the CATHOLIC voter, aligned with souless left which has brought us to this spiritually precarious precipice.