Sunday 1 May 2011

I know someone who might appreciate this

It is two weeks before Easter Sunday and the sacristan has covered the statues in St Mary’s Cathedral with purple material bound tightly by diagonal black bands. Only these coloured outlines remain of our two new statues of the risen Christ and Mary Magdalene at the moment she recognises He is not the gardener. The English sculptor Nigel Boonham carved them from the Carrara marble used by Michelangelo, although the quality of our stone is better because of today’s more advanced extraction technology. My large claim is that these statues are worthy of Bernini, certainly of Canova.

After Mass and a breakfast meeting on ‘Coming Home’, our proposed media programme for retired Catholics and new Catholics, I meet with a delegation from St Lucy’s, Wahroonga, a school for children with severe intellectual disabilities. The principal explained their financial plight, an annual shortfall now running at about $500,000. One of the mothers asks whether our fund for disadvantaged children’s education could be used for St Lucy’s, although it is located outside the boundaries of the Archdiocese.

The young intellectually disabled should be counted among our first responsibilities, rather than granted something from what is left over and they too have a right to religion. We have no right to ask governments to shoulder all our financial burdens, but over some decades I have been part of delegations asking successive Commonwealth governments for significant increases in funding for disabled children. The economic return on such expenditure is almost non-existent, but we have a solemn duty of care. Neither can you put a monetary value on innocence and love. The Sydney Archdiocese will do more, but it won’t be enough.

(From The Spectator).

1 comment:

1735099 said...

George Pell is an anachronism. He'd rather spend his time on conniving to have the bishop of Toowoomba sacked (a man who has been strongly supportive of people with disabilities) than seek to improve the lot of marginalised groups.
The Catholic Church in Australia is going to the dogs - first Peter Kennedy - now Bill Morris.
Until the clergy are permitted to follow Christian teachings and get involved in action on social justice, it will continue to wither on the vine.
The places where the church is developing (South America and Africa) are the places where it has the courage to advocate for the poor and disadvantaged.