The Empty ChairSo today is the day before. At eight o’clock GMT, Thursday, Benedict XVI will relinquish the papacy and retire. At that point the Church enters unknown territory in modern times. What will happen in the next few weeks as the Conclave meets and finally selects a successor to Benedict is all a matter of conjecture. Names are tossed around by the media, anxious for a story or just wanting to report plain gossip.  Articles are published that suggest intrigue and plot, usually unsourced, but they whet the appetite and keep people talking.

A letter which appeared in this weeks Tablet from the Core Group:

A Call to Action was started last autumn by seven priests (News from Britain and Ireland, 13 October). We ourselves were experiencing a great deal of frustration and even resentment at the state of our Church, and felt that many laypeople would share those feelings. We invited them to come to Heythrop so that we could all talk openly to one another and think about how we might constructively express our commitment to Vatican II in our current situation. We were overwhelmed by the large number of people who came, and the intensity of disillusion, anxiety for the future of our Church and often a sense of betrayal which they experience. We invited people all over England and Wales to form local groups in which our shared commitment might find expression. Many such groups have formed, in more than 12 dioceses. There are several important topics in theology and in church governance which they urgently wish to address; but in every case there is a desire to have much closer and more trusting relationships between laity, priests and bishops.
We hope to foster these developments, and to organise a national meeting some time in the autumn. We have a website located at where people
can find more information, and sign in if they so wish.
We earnestly want to have a Church characterised by a recognition of the charisms of all our members, by intellectual honesty in our Catholic faith, and by our desire to learn from
and witness effectively to our world. Why not join us?

Kevin Hannigan, Gerard J. Hughes,
Chris Larkman (and 10 others)
A Call to Action

The Association of Catholic Priest in Ireland have created a petition to to have Fr. Tony Flannery returned to his priestly ministry

This will be sent to  The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith

The petition is really important and could use your help. Click here to find out more and sign

A fiery appeal for church reform by an influential Swiss abbot has attracted widespread attention throughout Europe, and has, moreover, been welcomed by the future president of the Swiss bishops’ conference.