Nanjing Night Net

Pell says women priests won’t come marching in

EVERY Catholic parish in every remote corner of Australia will be asked to join in the multinational celebrations for the expected canonisation of Mother Mary MacKillop but the celebrations will be kept modest to reflect her life’s work.Once the Vatican names the date for the canonisation, the Sisters of St Joseph, the order Mother Mary co-founded, will urge each parish to mark the occasion in their own unique way with a special liturgy to be celebrated at Sunday Mass followed by barbecues, picnics and after-Mass get-togethers.Mother Mary is on the path to becoming Australia’s first saint after a papal decree recognising her second miracle, the cure of a Maitland mother-of-five from cancer, the final step needed before canonisation.Cardinal George Pell, the sisters of Mother Mary’s order, and Catholics across Australia yesterday rejoiced at the news, which was issued from the Vatican late on Saturday after a meeting between the Pope and the Congregation for the Cause of Saints.The Pope also elevated his predecessor, John Paul II, and the controversial World War II pontiff, Pius XII, by declaring them both venerable, the first step needed towards sainthood.”Finally the news we’ve been waiting for,” said Sister Anne Derwen, the head of the Sisters of St Joseph, Mother Mary’s North Sydney-based order.The Maitland woman who received the miracle ascribed to Mother Mary said she felt ”personally humbled and grateful to Mary MacKillop”.She spoke through an anonymous statement released to the Sisters of St Joseph. In the mid-1990s the mother-of-five had untreatable terminal cancer of the lung and secondary liver cancer. Her doctors gave her weeks to live and sent her home to be with family, where she and her loved ones prayed intensely to Mother Mary.Ten months later the woman was still alive and follow-up scans showed all signs of cancer had disappeared. She remains cancer-free.”Mary MacKillop has always provided me with hope and inspiration, particularly during the most difficult times of my life,” she said, adding that she would one day share the details of her story with the public.Mother Mary’s canonisation is expected to be held in Rome in the European spring, Sister Derwen said. About a hundred sisters from the order would travel to join the celebrations.Large screens are expected to be set up in public squares in all the major capital cities, including Federation Square in Melbourne and the Domain, to telecast the Rome ceremony.Holy Communion is expected to be celebrated nationally at the same appointed hour at churches around the country, including city cathedrals.In Rome a delegation of Australian pilgrims, made up of hundreds of youth and indigenous representatives, are expected to join the Sisters of St Joseph at St Peters Cathedral.As is traditional, the Pope is expected to canonise Mother Mary along with a handful of others during Sunday Mass.The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, said Saturday’s papal decree was ”an explicit recognition of the long-term contribution the Catholic Church has made and continues to make to the Australian people, and especially the wonderful contribution of Catholic women”.”Mary MacKillop shows that the hostile mythology that the Catholic women of old were weak, submissive and ineffective doormats is frightful nonsense,” he said.”They were strong women and enormously capable women.”The cardinal did not think the canonisation of Mother Mary would reignite debate about the ordination of women. ”She wasn’t in favour of women’s ordination,” he said.Tim Fischer, the Australian ambassador to the Holy See, said the decision was ”a great salute to a superb Australian”.The Treasurer, Wayne Swan, said: ”Mary MacKillop was a humble Australian. She represents all that is good in Australians. She devoted her life to the education of young Australians, particularly in remote Australia, and of course she was dedicated to the vulnerable.”The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, said: ”I hope all Australians are pleased at this development. But the last thing I would want to do is to politicise it.”Mr Abbott said he hoped it helped the cause of women. ”I hope it helps the cause of education, and I hope that people understand that you can make a difference, looking at her example,” he told Sky News.The Premier, Kristina Keneally, said there was applause in her church when the news was announced. ”It’s a wonderful, wonderful celebration for the Australian community,” she said.Ms Keneally offered Cardinal Pell the NSW Government’s help in any celebrations for the canonisation.
Nanjing Night Net