We need to re-energise modern Church through the laity: Catholic Bishop

We need to re-energise modern Church through the laity: Catholic Bishop

A Catholic Bishop has warned that many parishes and dioceses in Ireland are still functioning in an unhelpful clericalist mode.

In a homily to mark the ordination of a priest in his diocese, the Bishop of Derry, Donal McKeown, said such a focus was not helping those who saw the need to re-energise the modern Irish church.

"Clericalism occurs when the clergy think they have to do everything and then find themselves exhausted because they can’t do it.

"A clergy-dominated church or parish will fail to develop the apostolate of the laity. And that apostolate is not a threat to the ordained minister. The priest is ordained to do three things – to preach the Gospel, to celebrate the sacraments and to lead.

"In Ireland we used to have a great missionary tradition that inspired thousands of our best young men and women to dedicate their lives to mission and go to the ends of the earth. That energy is no longer there to the same extent.

"The task for the modern Irish Church is to be re-energised by the mission of every baptised person to evangelise and bless our hurting country with the one who is the Way, the Truth and the Life."

In a wide ranging homily Bishop Mckeown also warned that an Ireland which embraces a post-truth reality in which everything is only interpretation is not one closer to freedom but one in danger of domination by the strong.

"It is ironic that after decades when we were told that there was a clash between irrational faith and reason, we are now faced with the reality that our culture is talking about post-truth and it is believers who are insisting the possibility of truth!

"We have such a focus on the individual creating their own reality and truth that anyone who speaks of truth and reason is caricatured as being dogmatic, illiberal or bigoted.

"A modern French philosopher wrote some 30 years ago that “We live in a world where there is more and more information and less and less meaning.”

Reporting - digital desk 

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