- Ties that bind
Scots are soon to vote on independence. This week, in the first of two articles examining the implications of the ballot for the two countries, a writer steeped in the cultural and linguistic links between Scotland and England argues that they are indivisible
- Home News
- World News
- Parish Practice
- Letters Extra
- The living Spirit
- Jordan’s Christians and Muslims march together in demonstration of determination to live side by side
- Catholics hit hard by end of free faith school transport, exclusive research by The Tablet reveals
- Ancient Irish parishes 'will be wiped out' if current vocations decline continues
- Academics respond to Devine’s call for Scottish independence
- The difference between Ebola treatment in the West and the developing world reflects our attitude towards the poor D J Kearnery
- Stop scapegoating Muslims: social disaffection has many causes, and they won’t be solved by blunt Government intervention Francis Davis
- Pope Francis has transformed the Church – it’s time the Church stopped stifling groups who embrace that transformation Chris McDonnell
The bishops of England and Wales are meeting in Leeds in early May and, I hope, will be considering our and their responses to the Questionnaire on Family Life in preparation for the Synod in October.
So far we have heard that Cardinal Baldisseri apparently does not wish them to feedback to us the findings. Perhaps after the bishops have met we will receive some feedback, so we know, before the Synod, what our bishops might be saying.
I am hoping they want to give a collegial response. For many years it seems there was a disconnect between the Vatican and dioceses. Bishops apparently had a tough time being able to dialogue and discuss pastoral issues. In Evangelii Gaudium the Pope has given many indications he wants to listen, and encourages the Church to be collegial.
If we are not going to hear anything after the May meeting it would seem as though the disconnect would be sadly shifting nearer to home, between the bishops and their people. Collegiality starts at home. Like many others I believe we are approaching a crossroads: lay people wish to engage responsibly in collegiality and we have trusted our bishops with our responses. Let this be the first official sign of dialogue being a transparent two-way process.
I write as a survivor of divorce and annulment, before I met my second husband. When we married I went through the Internal Forum so I could receive the Sacraments, as he had been divorced. Several years later he wanted to become a Catholic and he was required to go through an annulment in order to be received into the Church. We have both been through painful hoops. This happened many years ago and I am not sure we would put ourselves through these legal contortions now.
I have offered to speak to the bishops if they want to hear first hand experience from survivors. There are some kind, pastoral priests but the system is hard. The Pope is showing us all the way. Caution and silence were the norm but now we have an opportunity to take courage and engage in real, responsible dialogue together.
Pippa Bonner, Harrogate