- Trying to square the circle
The opening days of the Synod on the Family have revealed distinct differences of opinion between the participants. How can their commitment to church teaching be matched with compassion for those who struggle with it?
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Having read Fr Gerald O’Collins’ comments on the Congregation for Divine Worship’s latest instruction to the bishops (Letters, The Tablet, 9 August), I would like to shout three cheers and wave the flags for him.
The trouble with all committees, especially all-male ones, is that they tend to follow Parkinson’s Law and fill the time with new “edicts” just for the sake of it. If God were so keen on human-style formal homage, surely he would not have sent his dear son to the life he had on this earth, starting with birth in a stable. Later on Jesus went to pretty laid-back parties and tended to make fun of those whose parties involved a hierarchy of places for their guests.
I’m not sure what is happening at the moment but I am noticing that younger members of our clergy are starting to resemble the po-faced plaster saints of old in their physical stance on the sanctuary rather than suggesting they might be servants and shepherds of their flocks. Their flocks? Oh, I mean the Good Lord’s flocks, black and white sheep and goats all together – for the time being anyway.
I wonder which bits of the New Testament the Congregation for Divine Worship is reading? Has it missed out Corinthians 2:3-6? Matthew 23:5-7? Has it forgotten the word Jesus used for his Father in the prayer he taught his followers to say? I suppose it’s possible that some people still don’t know it is the equivalent of the word little children call their fathers, Dad, Daddy etc… but one would assume that priests do!
Sarah Bell, Milford-on-Sea