Audio – Paul Collins’ Zoom Presentation “What can the Irish Church learn from Australia”


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  1. Sean O’Conaill says:

    Thanks for providing this – my own head was into the building US crisis because I have family there, so I missed out on the opportunity to Zoom in.

    Are we being too parochial re ‘Catholic’ – too ‘Roman’? So dead-in-the-water is the RC clerical church here in Derry , NI (planet c. 1950), that for local Christian community I depend more and more on Christian friends in other churches, some mainstream and others not.

    What I am gathering is a sense that ‘system breakdown’ is far from confined to the Tridentine RC fortress that I was born into in 1943, and that sharing my own alienation from what remains of that fortress suggests that the Holy Spirit is building a commonality among those alienated both from institutionalism and from sectarianism in what could be called neutral secular space.

    Richard Rohr is capturing a sense of God-with-all-of-us that I find also on e.g. the Patheos website, now too disparate in its output to get one’s head around all of it. And when my own grandchildren – all post-millennial – turned out with Black Lives Matter posters in June I found myself caught by the miracle of African American discovery of the Cross as restorative of their own dignity. Those children think the same story of salvation through the cross ‘weird’ so its now my job to explain why MLK saw it differently (via WhatsApp).

    How could I have foreseen this situation c.1950? How could any of us? We are all called to be ‘good neighbour’ where we are, and here in Coleraine NI I could have 57 varieties of Christianity as neighbour – but all now in the same Covid fix. And prayer – ending nightly with the Rosary! – gives me a sense of us all being ‘church’, and under the same Lord’s care.

    Catastrophes occur because we don’t pay attention – so Covid and Trump and Black Lives Matter are the Master’s call to wake up. Francis is simply pointing us to take note of the ending of Christendom, and wanting him to do more is missing that point. We simply do not know what Ireland or this planet will look like next year, let alone 2030, because none of us sees more than a few plotlines in the biggest soap of them all. Seatbelts and masks, everyone!, and constant prayer… things could get bumpier yet!

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