How important is this project to revitalise the Catholic Church? Very important.
Let’s look back. If you consider the date of composition, the New Testament is already older than the Old. For more than two thousand years the gospels have guided our lives, but in a context which has changed more dramatically than it did between the writing down of the story of Genesis and the birth of Christ. Can you imagine how our world would look to people who lived then?
I’m 72, I’d like to consider the way our world view has changed in my lifetime. We’ve moved way beyond Galileo’s remarkable observation that our earth moved around the sun to an extraordinary leap in understanding of the evolution of our cosmos. Where Stone Age Man was a curiosity when I was a child, research all over the world has enabled us to grow in understanding of human evolution and of migratory movement around the globe (giving we Australians a special interest in the richness and longevity of Australian culture). And researchers in human physiology have transformed our understanding of who we are and how we live. Vatican Two was a major event in Catholic life, it’s time for further renewal. Do we not live in a New Age? Is this not the time when our understanding of Heaven and Earth is New?
And is not Christ here, in a Second Coming, in our age? We may have been expecting a physical appearance, with the appurtenances of Renaissance art, but I contend we have extraordinary developments outside the church in our lifetime which signpost our future direction and ask us to consider where Truth and Goodness lie.
Let’s live in hope, not fear as we consider the following questions:
1 Might it be time for the institutional church to abandon property, shareholdings and jewellery to concentrate on core business?
2 Shouldn’t we look very carefully at the way we enunciate our beliefs and prayers? For instance, why haven’t we substituted the new Anglican translation “and save us from the time of trial” for “and lead us not into temptation” in the Our Father? It would be a big project, but couldn’t we work towards less formulaic and more thoughtful, succinct, meaningful language in our modern creeds and rituals.
3 We humans have fulfilled our mission to increase and multiply and fill the earth. Were the church to approve all available means of birth control our stand against abortion would be clear and logical.
4 We should also acknowledge changes in our role from masters to stewards of the earth, and continue to be involved in environmental action to prevent catastrophic climate change.
5 Were the apostles celibate? Did Jesus say that priests should be celibate, and in these times why on earth can’t women be ordained?
6 Are hermaphrodites, lesbians and homosexuals freaks, condemned to a celibate life, or should we recognise that there is not a simple physiological dichotomy between male and female and that we are all entitled to a loving relationship with the partners we find?
Let’s give thanks for who we are and all we have and look to ways in which we Australian Catholics can share the richness of our lives with others.
Submitted On: 27/02/2019 9:57:23 AM