Peter Day, Bathurst priest, reflects on the problems facing the western world. Religion. The mob. Capitalism. Fundamentalism. Bad parenting. Racism. Materialism. Youth unemployment. Poverty. Thugs. Multiculturalism. Rich vs poor … Take your pick; even add to the list, as we collectively grapple to decipher the root causes of the violence and the mental illness that […]
The Church in Western countries is in decline. People have left in droves. People are staying away in droves. We are immersed in a secular, post- Christian culture in which atheism, rather than belief, is the default position.
Tell me grandpa, is the world really that bad;
are we in such a terrible mess?
Hungry children, drugs, abuse, terror; sometimes
it’s all too much, I must confess.
Harry Anslinger’s dream to rid the world of drugs was given legs in 1930 when he was appointed the first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics. He was a brilliant bureaucrat with a grand vision underpinned by prohibition; a man who single-handedly turned a marginalised, underfunded Bureau into an uncompromising and powerful war machine. But he was also a zealot and racist.
There hasn’t been much gentleness or wisdom surrounding the same sex marriage debate. We tend to be led to the voices of fear that inhabit the extremes; all taken-up with alacrity by a mass media and consumer market that revels in confrontation: confrontation that is too often devoid of intellectual rigour, dispassionate reasoning, and wisdom.
The nature of politics these past few years, especially that practiced by the two main parties, reminds one of a bitter marriage struggle – one destined for the courts. So consumed have ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ been by their anger, by their need for revenge, and by their need to win at all costs, they’ve forgotten the ‘children’.
I understand that in the lead-up to next month’s Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family you and a number of your confreres are making a point or re-asserting the church’s longstanding exclusion of divorced and remarried people to communion. Your foreword to the soon to be published, The Gospel of the Family, appears to leave us with little doubt: outsiders are not welcome.
“Prayer and comfortable living are incompatible”, so said Teresa of Avila; one might tweak this a little and add: “a comfortable church cannot preach the Joy of the gospel with authority.”
David was a good Jewish man: faithful to his God; devoted to his family, and deeply connected to his land. Khalid was a good Palestinian man: faithful to his God; devoted to his family, and deeply connected to his land.
Peter Day, priest of the Diocese of Canberra & Goulburn, looks at how Jesus broke with tradition in his relationships with women and so it is time for the Catholic Church to discuss women’s inclusion at all levels.