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Sunday, October 23, 2016
Irish primate laments lack of zeal for evangelisation
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¬†Archbishop SeŠn Brady of Armagh, the Primate of All-Ireland, says he believes a misinterpretation of Catholic teaching has resulted in a loss of zeal for evangelisation. In an interview with Dominic Baster for Briefing - the official journal of the Catholic Bishops' Conferences of England & Wales and Scotland - Dr Brady said: "I know in my country there is not the same sense of mission, or culture of mission, maybe out of respect for religious freedom and a sense that one religion is as good as another. People think, 'Who are we to go bringing our views and imposing them on people of other faiths or no faith,' and in that sense there has been a reduction in the missionary effort. "Of course you respect the sincerely held views of others, and the act of faith is essentially a free act which cannot be compelled and cannot be forced out of anybody, but at the same time there is the command of the Lord to go to the ends of the earth and teach what he taught us." Dr Brady added: "Everyone feels the need to have some commitment, to be serious about something, but the result is, in the words of one commentator, many are serious, mostly about unserious things. This is because the autonomous person has to set his or her own agenda. Others - whether priests, parents or churches - are not allowed to do so. And the result is that many have lost contact, sadly, with the old set of values. Many are now cut off from the supernatural and seek it in spurious ways through things like new age spirituality or new religious cults. In a phrase in a book which recently came out, God is missing but not missed." Identifying a new evangelisation as crucial, Archbishop Brady said: "That's the big challenge, not just for Ireland but for everyone. The Good News, we know, is Christ, so it's not a question, as the Holy Father has said, of a new programme, it's a question of presenting to the world the Good News brought by Christ, lived by him, it's about bringing people to Jesus Christ himselfI think it's also about what the [Vatican II] document on the Church in the Modern World said about reading the signs of the times, interpreting them, and offering the answers about the big eternal, perennial questions: why am I here? Where am I going? What must I do to get there? These questions still echo in people's hearts and, with humility and confidence, we must present Jesus as their answer." Dr Brady spoke about many other issues in the course of the interview, including the vocations crisis, the importance of inspiring liturgy, Irish Catholicism, his experiences as leader of the Church in Ireland, the Northern Irish peace process and European integration. Source: CCS
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