Saturday 29 March 2008

Pastoral Letter

We have another good pastoral letter from our bishop, Kieran Conry, this weekend. He speaks of some of the reasons why people should take the trouble to come to Mass, and, after stating some of the more usual reasons (obligation, obedience to our Lord), he lays additional stress on the importance of building up the Church by our celebration together of the Mass, by it (and other means) supporting one another, and passing on the faith to the next generation.
The Church is, of course, the enduring presence of our Lord on earth—his (mystical) body, indeed, and in these days when many see Mass attendance as something to do when there is nothing better, it is good to get encouragement towards evangelizing even those in our own midst whose faith may be shaky or slowly developing.


Anonymous said...

Why did the Bishop push a BBC programme that was so crass: The passion?
The way in which the BVM was portrayed was far from Catholic; did the Bishop not notice?

Pastor in Monte said...

I can't really comment: I didn't see the programme.

Anonymous said...

Last supper scene :- Jesus actively encourages Judas to be off and betray him. I paraphrase " Go on Judas, you have things to do places to go.

Garden of getsememe: Jesus turns to Peter in a moment of anguished indecision and asks him am I doing the right thing here?

I cannot tell you how utterly stupid and offensive this production was. They distorted the Gospel and threw confusion on the divinity of Christ, effectively denying His divinity.

Bishop Conry says they should be applauded for their efforts. Christian charity requires me to assume that our Bishop does not mean they should be applauded for their errors. However, look at this extract from his pastoral letter

"No doubt it will not please everybody, because, like Harry Potter, it will not correspond to the image of Christ that some people hold. It raises questions, then, about where our image of Christ comes from, and who has interpreted it for us already."

Please bear in mind this is a pastoral letter to his people. "some people hold" = the Catholic Church for 2000 thousands years. No it is not like harry potter, because the Magesterium has always claimed the right to be the interpreter of scripture. Hey, they selected the books.

The opening paragraph of his letters are always the key to this man's mindset. Here we are presented with the views that children do not like to see other images of harry potter but like to form their own image for themselves from the book. Of course if we take this example he presents and apply it to scripture we fall into the sola scriptura heresy of protestantism.

In relation to this work the Bishop says:
"I am sure that it will be a great encouragement to many Christians." Now, this is a rather strange assumption and certainly one I would not share. I would find great encouragement from the BBC to put on a faithful depiction of the passion that reflects Christian belief and not some twisted, distorted and false interpretation by a foolish poor soul who though that Judas got a bad rap and that it might be a good idea to change the "story". You know, give it a different spin like. This is not religious programming. It is blasphemy and insult paid for by christian taxpayers and served up to them on the holiest days of their year.

I have no doubt that what the Bishop says is true regarding confidence in faith and the battering it gets from the media (this production being a case in point). However, he seems to imply that this confidence is built on joining together in numbers. Of course this is not the case. The confidence comes from an encounter with the Truth. It comes from proper teaching of the faith in our schools. A duty for which he personally is responsible. I can tell you that catholic children in our schools in his diocese are being taught their faith by non-catholics. I can tell you that a second level student brought home his "RE" lesson that teaches that the eucharist is what we make it by our belief. This is an area this Bishop has control and authority over. I continue to pray for him but as a relatively young Catholic I find the outrageous statements he make a real cringe. He probably thinks he's being really challenging in his opinions but he is beginning to look like the eternal student rebel or granddad at the disco. Always very embarrassing.

All he has to do is preach the teachings of the Catholic Church. It's not complicated. Instead, just like the BBC, he preaches his own interpretation that suits himself. It is no wonder he congratulates them. They both seem to be on the same hymn sheet on this occasion. Having said that, his previous pastoral letter was decent enough. I wish he was more consistently and recognizably Catholic in his preaching. Now that would give the faithful a great deal of confidence.


Anonymous said...

I was interested in the way the Bishop referred to 'lapsed Catholics'; 'It would be interesting to speak to those we call ‘lapsed’ and find out what made them feel that they were not supported.' How would you define 'lapsed'?