- Battle lines drawn
This week produced the clearest evidence yet that the Synod Fathers are sharply divided between those who are supporting Pope Francis in his efforts to present a more pastoral vision of the Church and those determined first and foremost to emphasise its moral teaching
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- The living Spirit
- Nichols says synod is developing pastoral language and opening pathways for divorced and remarried
- Middle East must keep its Christians, says Vatican calling for scrutiny of Islamists' funding
- Burke confirms rumours he is to leave Vatican's top court for Order of Malta
- Italian nun who won The Voice to release Madonna’s Like a Virgin
- Curious muddle of Lectionary translations Philip Endean SJ
- Synod final document is a setback for Francis' reforms – for now Elena Curti in Rome
- Annulments can be far from merciful Bill Wright
The full implications of Westminster Diocese “Growing in faith” scheme are only just dawning on me as its imposition reaches my parish; Machiavelli would have been proud to have devised it.
Reluctant clergy feel obliged in obedience to their bishop to implement this command and then coerce faithful parishioners, who are too loyal to refuse, into pledging money for five years over and above their weekly contribution. I want to attend a parish meeting to raise my objections but am reluctant to make my parish priest's job harder which I am sure is just what CCS, the American fundraising consultants whose fee has not been revealed, rely upon.
The sad thing is that we would have gladly increased our financial support for our clergy without the sop of a cut for the parish, and it could have been achieved by our clergy regularly preaching on responsible stewardship, which would effect a fairer and more sustainable income rather than relying on a minority of susceptible parishioners to meet the goal.
I am sure this cynical initiative will be successful because most of us are compliant with the hierarchy but the end does not justify the means, and what will they do when this windfall runs out?
Kay Mason, Welwyn Garden City, Herts