Wednesday, 27 June 2012
A great start to our conference
Professor Tracey Rowland started our conference off in fine style this evening with a lecture entitled "Christ, Culture and the New Evangelization in the Vision of Benedict XVI" which she delivered to a packed auditorium. She analysed with forensic accuracy a post-conciliar tendency to accommodate Church teaching to modernity through a misunderstanding of Gaudium et Spes' affirmation of the automony of the temporal order. This has led to a downplaying of the need to be connected to Christ and had resulted in a profound crisis in terms of religious education. Dr Rowland, who is the Head of the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne, Australia, noted that Pope Benedict has emphasised on several occasions that renewal in the Church can only happen through a growth of holiness in individuals. It was a wide-ranging and beautiful lecture in which she quoted with equal ease from Church Fathers and Papal encyclicals and it'll soon be available on YouTube. There is a real buzz about Leeds Trinity this evening. Cardinal George, the Archbishop of Chicago was present, as was Archbishop Roche. We learnt at 11am today that Bishop Roche, as he was this morning, had just been appointed by the Pope to be Secretary to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments in Rome, and has become an archbishop. He remains Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Leeds for the present. It's an extraordinary feeling: we are, in a sense, fatherless. He's been a great bishop and we'll miss him - but more of that on another occasion. I've got to get to bed to prepare for Archbishop Fisichella's lecture in the morning. Incidentally, there are a few no-shows so if you'd like to come to the conference (even though it's technically full) I'd just telephone and plead.