This is the new Ireland. This is why, in my own thinking I have developed an understanding what God is doing as what I call the "Reformed Catholic Model".
I am profoundly Catholic in my witness and in identity, in my historicity and theology, but committed with my forefathers to the reformation and renewal of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic faith, as Christ speaks to us through the scriptures. That is the position of Luther and Calvin and the forefathers of the Protestant Reformation. It gives you a breadth and openness, you see. It is not narrow or sectarian.
My heart rejoices when I listen to Dermot Martin, Archbishop of Dublin. Listen to his words;
The second and deeper root of my discouragement is that I do not believe that people have a true sense of the crisis of faith that exists in Ireland. We have invested in structures of religious education which, despite enormous goodwill, are not producing the results they are set out to do. Our young people are among the most cathecised in Europe, but among the least evangelised.
That's the Catholic Archbishop.
This brings us immediately to the deeper question about the level of understanding there is of the message of Jesus Christ in our Catholic Church and in Ireland today. What do we really know of the message of Jesus?
The Irish Catholic tradition has greatly neglected the place of the Scriptures. Catholics do not know the Scriptures. They do not know how to use the Scriptures. We do not take the time to encounter Jesus in the Scriptures.
Don't you want to encourage him? Don't you want to fan the flames?
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