Guide us please, dear Office-holders
Many of the faithful are waiting for some pastoral guidance from “those who are set above us, in the Lord.” In what was probably the first of his surviving letters, St Paul urges us to “respect those who labour among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; esteem them very highly in love because of their work” (1 Thess 4:12-13). We look to our bishops for inspirational leadership, for which we can indeed “esteem them in love because of their work”
Is it really possible that they cannot meet through a CONFERENCE phone-call, or better still, by VIDEO CONFERENCE, whether with WhatsApp, ZOOM or gotomeeting.com, and decide on a shared guidance on how to prayerfully celebrate the imminent Holy Week. Their lack of collective, collegial leadership on this subject seems like a dereliction of episcopal solidarity. What has happened to the idea and relevance of national episcopal conferences?
Even at this late stage, a unanimous message from the Irish Episcopal Conference would be a great help to laity and clergy alike. It would also be picked up by the media and could provide a spiritual uplift for many.
Pat Rogers is not asking for the moon – he is not even asking permission to visit the moon – but for one of the basic requirements of those who see themselves as shepherds of the Lord’s flock. At a time when people are frightened, when people ask ‘where is God in all of this’ and sometimes come up with bizarre ‘answers’ – and indeed at a time when religious charlatans are making hay, these men who have in the past being only to speak as divine oracles, should make clear statements of collective prayer and concern, even if they do not feel themselves competent to make theological statements that might help people make sense of this crisis.
See Tom O’Loughlin’s piece Praying at Home, this Holy Week:
Also: Holy Week Celebrations at Home 2020:
I think Mattie has nailed this beautifully in a previous post.
“A much clearer statement would send a definite signal about the seriousness of this emergency. It’s strange in a way that a body like the bishops’ conference that would demand uniformity on so many unimportant issues have not a prepared uniformed stance in this case.”
How true !