- ‘Do you hear the cry of the poor?’
The fate of millions of people in this war-ravaged corner of East Africa depends on an uncertain peace agreement signed this week. A former British government minister, just back from visiting refugee projects in the area, assesses the country’s prospects
- Home News
- World News
- Parish Practice
- Letters Extra
- The living Spirit
- Former Apostolic Nuncio to Dominican Republic Wesolowski dies inside the Vatican
- New Dow Jones 'socially responsible' index announced to guide Catholic investors
- Fall in number of Catholic MPs in the House of Commons ahead of landmark debate on assisted dying
- Cardinal Koch praises Pope's fresh approach to ecumenism that 'sets him apart' from predecessors
- Time for one-day migrant strike Paul Donovan
- Why are the Kenyan bishops being so difficult about vaccine campaigns? Maureen Duggan MD FRCPCH Sheffield
- Better a prenup than a fearful avoidance of marriage Ayesha Vardag
Portsmouth’s bishop is calling for a "huge shift in attitude" from his diocese after identifying some Catholics as viewing the clergy as "a service provider".
In his latest pastoral letter Bishop Philip Egan tells the story of a couple who were lifelong Massgoers but who stopped attending when the parish changed the time of their Mass from 10am to 10.30am.
"They were furious and had stopped going," writes the bishop in a letter to be read at Masses yesterday marking the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
"'Why?' I asked. 'Because it messes up Sunday lunch,' they said.
"I was shocked. Casting off the habit, they were depriving themselves of the Holy Eucharist and the parish of their support, all because their lunch would be 30 minutes late."
The bishop says the diocese needs "a huge shift in attitude" to view the Mass as a source of inspiration to announce the Gospel and perform good works.
He says he suspected that since the 1960s there had been too much focus on the internal life of the Church including "changing the liturgy, building up the parish, the pastoral care of the community".
This had led, says Bishop Egan, to a neglect of the Church’s outward mission to others, adding: "As a result, we have become overly inward-looking, self-absorbed and numerically in decline."
The bishop has announced a Year of Faith in Action and has launched a programme for volunteers to make the diocese more mission-focused. He adds that over the summer there will be an initiative to help people deepen their faith.