A Church for today?; No role for the CDW; Last ditch for Europe; Newman and Gothic; Laity laid off

29 November 2017


A Church for today?
Just before the recent meeting of the Bishops’ Conference of the United States, the Papal Nuncio to Washington gave a lecture at the Catholic University of America. He spoke of the kind of Church Pope Francis believes “God wants in the 21st century”: a church in which “all members are to be engaged in the synodal way of living . . . He wants us to listen to each other.” The Nuncio stressed that the Pope means all that to happen at every level of decision-making, from the parish to the Roman Curia.

The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have, within the last 12 months, given themselves two excellent opportunities to further the creation of this kind of Church. However, they chose to discuss in secret and then announce decisions about broad policy affecting the lives of all Catholics here: the possibility of a married clergy and how to deal with the burden of the present English Missal.

Can there by any doubt about how they would have been advised to vote, had even a rudimentary consultation with clergy and laity preceded their discussions? So much for the kind of church that God wants in 21st-century England and Wales!

Fr Ambrose Walsh

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