Wednesday, September 24, 2008

FFM Parishes: O'Donaghue on being Catholic, 15

Another of our extracts from 'Fit for Mission? - Parishes' by Bishop O'Donaghue of Lancaster. Click on the 'label' FFM Parishes to see others. See the 'Fit for Mission?' website and download the full document. The previous title in the series, 'Fit for Mission? - Schools' is downloadable here (pdf). This generated a Facebook support group.

In this passage Bishop O'Donaghue talks about his experience bring grilled by a House of Commons committee, which we reported on here.

From section 10.9.2, p79f:
Reflecting on the encounter, I was disappointed at the basic lack of knowledge exhibited by some members of the committee about Catholic education, and the Catholic Church in general. There appeared to be an a priori suspicion and scepticism about the motives and practices of faith schools in general, and Catholic schools and the Church in particular. Any hint of evangelisation or catechesis, even within our Catholic schools, is increasingly viewed as intolerable indoctrination and proselytism.

I came away concerned that a breach seems to be growing between the State and the Church, and the position of faith in general, which will harm the ability of both to help the citizens of our county to ‘fulfil their personal and social vocation.’ As Gaudium et Spes puts it, ‘the more they co-operate reasonably...the more effectively they will perform this service to everybody’s advantage.’ (GS 76).

Of one thing I am certain, this breach will not be mended though compromising the faith and morals of Catholic doctrine. What is needed is evangelisation of state power through ‘its confrontation with the abiding objectivity of the natural moral law, itself an expression of the divine Wisdom, and the measure of all positive law on earth.’ (Aidan Nichols, The Realm, p.147).

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen