ANNE Hodgkinson’s report (‘Parallel Church’ CL 13/10/02) will in time be seen to be one of the most crucial and significant news stories published for some time. It is riveting reading.
Catholic Christianity has always relied on school affiliation to develop religious affiliation. God as pure spirit is something that only the mystics among us can successfully contemplate.
It is not difficult to see why we need the sacraments to embody the Christ life into the key milestones of our lives, ie birth, marriage, death, pastoral care, schooling etc. The uneasiness caused by the liturgical reforms of Vatican II derives in part from the loss of the cultural identity that reverence, tabernacle, Latin rituals etc played in embodying our faith.
It is not surprising that in Christian denominations that do not have a large school based system there is much more attention paid to the quality and variety of liturgical practice. Some of these Churches devote immense energy and resources into programs directed at youth and their Sunday hospitality.
Our Catholic schools lack religious staff and many of the lay staff struggle with their own religious convictions. The Second Vatican Council was both a response and a product of the social upheavals that our churches and schools struggle with today.
As Bishop Benjamin’s story showed even a future bishop needed a ‘conversion’ when confronted by it (Centrepoint CL 13/10/02).
Positive feedback from the Archdiocesan Synod Preparation Day of October 12 indicates that the synod next year promises to be a fruitful occasion for the Church of Brisbane specifically because it is an exercise in ‘growing’ the laity through a culturing of being Church.
The Vatican Council was called in 1959 by Pope John XXIII not in a spiritual vacuum but out of the experience of a post-war world tired of confrontation and oppression. The spirit of freedom and renewal reflected in the council’s documents drew from a combination of post-war political and cultural changes and divine inspiration.
It was the lived experience of bishops from the Eastern bloc with moderating views of the complex political situation vis a vis communism, such as the present Pope, that helped swing crucial votes.
The Archdiocesan Synod is already showing the positive signs of a broad based dialogue evolving to meet the present challenges faced by the local Church.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.