Hot News...What's Going on in the Catholic World...

Some bits of news - hot off the press.

1. Heythrop College is to close.

There is a full statement by the Principal, Michael Holman SJ here. The reasons for closure are stated as:
"the College has had to provide for the costs of increased regulatory requirements without the economies of scale available to other colleges and universities. Expectations of all that makes up the “student experience” in addition to the quality of teaching and learning (for example, facilities, the technology infrastructure, internships and activities) have also increased and meeting these expectations has become more costly too. Meanwhile, government reforms have meant that the market for students has become more competitive and, specialising in just two subject areas as we do, the opportunities to diversify have been limited."
The crux of it appears to be the fact that they have not attracted enough students. You may be aware that the College has attracted some scandal in recent years. Deacon Nick Donnelly's Protect the Pope website ran a number of stories prompted by scandalised students back in 2013.

Is this providential - or is it providential?

2. School of the Annunciation - Franciscan University MA (Catechetics & Evangelisation)

There will be a full page advert for this exciting new course in this Sunday's Catholic Herald.

I think it should be headline news in all the Catholic Papers & Magazines!

This new collaboration allows English-speakers in the UK and Europe to enrol for this on-line MA in Catechetics and Evangelisation programme of Franciscan University, via the School of the Annunciation. The great advantages now open to UK and EU students are:
  • lower level fees (one third reduction of US level fees)
  • payment in manageable instalments
  • taught and tutored by scholars from Franciscan University Faculty and UK and European tutors from the faculty of the School of the Annunciation 
  • on-line teaching and assessment
  • a short residential summer school each year at the School of the Annunciation at Buckfast Abbey, Devon, to provide in-depth seminars and tutorial support
  • theological, catechetical, kerygmatic and practical course content
  • All pre-requisites available to be studied in one year
  • flexible time-frame over 2, 3, or 4 years for completion of the programme
  • faithful adherence to the magisterial teaching of the Church both in doctrine and the pedagogy of God
On-line Programme Curriculum

To complete the programme, students take the required courses, the exit presentation and three electives.

Required Courses (27 US credits, 90 UK credits)1

THE 601 Biblical Foundations (3 credits)
THE 602 Theological Foundations (3 credits)
THE 603 Historical Foundations (3 credits)
THE 604 Teachings of Vatican II (3 credits)
THE 605 Foundations of Moral Theology (3 credits)
CAT 601 Biblical Catechetics (3 credits)
CAT 602 Deposit of Faith (3 credits)
CAT 603 Pedagogy of God I (3 credits)
CAT 604 Pedagogy of God II (3 credits)

CAT 780 Exit Presentation (1 US credit, 3 UK credits)

Delivered on-site at the School of the Annunciation, Buckfast, Devon UK.

Electives (9 US credits, 30 UK credits)

CAT 700 New Evangelization (3 credits)
CAT 710 RCIA and the Catechumenate (3 credits)
CAT 720 Liturgical Catechesis (3 credits)
CAT 740 Catechetical Vision of the Second Vatican Council (3 credits)
CAT 755 Contemporary Practices in Youth Ministry (3 credits)
CAT 794 Catechetical Practice Today (3 credits)

Is it for me?

Catechists, teachers, parents and priests in the UK can now benefit from the theological, scriptural and catechetical excellence built up over many years at Franciscan University. This programme is designed for busy people who want to improve their knowledge of Christ and His Church and learn new ways to catechize our world that is in great need of Christ's truth in love.

People who would benefit from this programme include:
  • Priests and deacons
  • Catechists and teachers
  • Diocesan Directors of catechetics, evangelisation, adult formation and schools
  • Youth Ministers
  • RCIA Catechists
  • Parents who want to pass on the beauty and fullness of the Catholic faith
For more details visit the School of the Annunciation website or contact or phone: 01364 645660

For all further information concerning the Pre-requisites at the School of the Annunciation
please contact or phone: 01364 645660

Is this providential - or is it providential?

3. Pope Francis is to visit Uganda in November
Pope Francis confirmed he will visit the Central African Republic and Uganda during his November trip, but said adding Kenya to the journey was “possible but not sure” because of organizational problems. - See more here.
The reason for the visit is to commemorate the 50th anniversay of the canonisation of the Uganda Martyrs. For some useful background see Wikipedia

It seems pertinent that this is just after the Synod on the Family.

Is this providential - or is it providential?

From Wikipedia:
"A witness of the event, the French missionary priest Lourdel, considered that the principal cause was Mwanga's feeling of being despised by the literate Christians who had a superior knowledge of religion. Lourdel gave as a secondary cause of Mwanga's action "the impossibility of satisfying his shameful passions".
Later scholars give first place instead to the second of these factors. Ward notes that "the immediate cause of the killings was the refusal of the pages to engage in homosexual practices". The king, who by tradition had the power of life and death over his subjects, was angered by this refusal to obey his wishes.
Marie de Kiewet-Hemphill concludes that the immediate pretext, if not the whole cause, was the refusal of the pages to yield to what she calls Mwanga's "unnatural desires." Roland Oliver rejects resentment against Christianity as a sufficient reason, since it does not explain why Mwanga took action against these young men and not against prominent chiefs and women among the converts.
Sylvia Antonia Nannyonga-Tamusuza draws attention to the same point. In J.P. Thoonen's book on the question, he agrees with Kiewet-Hemphill's analysis, while recognizing the existence of other political factors. Particularly as some of those that renounced their faith were spared death."
Richard Ntiru writes for Uganda's New Vision, that the papal visit is important because:
Uganda is the land of the Uganda Martyrs – the Universal Church’s African martyrs; the land of the first African priests (Victor Mukasa Womeraka and Basil Lumu, ordained in 1913); the land of the first African bishop south of the Sahara (Joseph Kiwanuka, consecrated in 1939); and the first African country south of the Sahara to host a visit by a Pope (Paul VI in 1969)...the visit to Uganda by Pope Francis will be a sorely needed boost to a church struggling with a variety of challenges and problems. It will also be a welcome confirmation of the brethren – the bishops – who have the responsibility of finding solutions for such problems, often without much support or sympathy from the Vatican bureaucracy, as well as a vital affirmation of the mission of the Church in Uganda and in Africa.
4. Laudato Sii

It is hard to see the wood for the trees BUT......

4.1 Rejects overpopulation as a cause of global warming.

4.2 Rejects contraception and abortion

Edmund Adamus, Director of the Westminster Office for Marriage and Family life notes:
I saw two comments which summed up the entire document thus: "less is more" and "Get married, have a family, grow a garden."
Is this providential - or is it Jesuitical?

"A spoonful of (green?) sugar helps the (moral) medicine go down?"


  1. The "wood" is that Laudato Si doesn't once mention eternal salvation or how our actions here on earth effect it (in fact when it does mention the after life it gives the impression that salvation can be taken as granted). The whole focus of the encyclicle is on this world.


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