Thursday 8 December 2016

Catholic Spring?

Published 24/01/2012 | 05:00

Dr Thomas O'Flynn's thoughtful reflection on the future of the Catholic Church in Ireland (Irish Independent, January 18) is a very honest attempt to redeem the past and nurture the development of a renewed church.

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The clerical abuse scandal led to a considerable loss of confidence in the probity of the institutional church. Sadly, as Dr O'Flynn notes, all the priests and religious have been tarred with the one brush. At the heart of this is an absurd tendency to expect the church to be perfect.

The church is not some kind of abstraction from the messy business of human living. It is corrupt and corruptible as we all are in some measure. It is fallible. The church is not a finished product. We have to work at it. Unfortunately, the acknowledgement in our religious services that we are all sinners tends not to rise above the level of ritual incantation. It is sometimes hard to accept that all of us are a work in progress.

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