12Jan An email from Des Wilson (Down and Connor)

Dear Friends in the ACP,
Thank you for the information about what is happening.
I hope the papal visitors will be aware that in the nineteen thirties and forties people were urged to join in Catholic Action.This was defined as participation of the laity in the work of the hierarchy.It is unlikely that any such definition would be acceptable nowadays but there is a possibility or probablity that that may be what we are expected to assent to. It did not work during the decades since the nineteen thirties and is even less likely to work well now. What would be useful to know then is : Is participation of lay people in the church going to involve helping carry out decisions made by the hierarchy, or  lay people actually having a real part in making such decisions. There  may be the usual arguments about church doctrine not being negotiable, but there are many parts of church life and policy which are.
People may be dismissed with  the bald statement – the church is not a democracy. Some few of us have argued through the years that the church ought to be – no other group on earth claims  its members are gifted with the Holy Spirit – wisdom understanding etc etc- not even our political parties claim this .So it is entirely inappropriate to tell people they are so gifted and then tell them they have nothing  useful to say even regarding doctrine.
Also , we sholud not be asked to use in public worship  translations into local languages which have not been approved as useful beforehand by local communities. Archaic language and words which are not in normal use could well be an obstacle to worship.
There is great need for clergy and others in the church to take a lead again in the intellectual life of our communities, there was never in my lifetime  a better time for it. The old  division between science and religion is old-hat, scientists have  their mysteries now just as we have and of the two choices , intelligent creation or an answer of  let’s-wait-and-see- if-we-can-invent-a-new- mathematics-and-a-new-geo-physics-to-explain-the-universe , ours is  the more logical and  rational. We are the real rationalists. So we need people and leaders who will stop hanging their heads as if we are always on the defensive.
No need to answer this letter, sometimes I just feel the need to say things again which some said a long time ago – the main lesson for the visitors should be, that we tell them where we need to go, not have them tell us where they will let us go.I would prefer to have the Cardinals explain  why they believe in God rather than have them chiding clergy  for sins which most of them did not even think of committing.
Best wishes. I sent word to as many priests in D and C as I could for the last meeting , but ( as some of our old “divines” might have said with complete certainty) the devil intervened and sent a snowstorm and all was in vain.
Des Wilson

3 Responses

  1. Chris Diamond

    Thanks Des for your timely comments. We need to hear them again and again. We live in hope that the decisions of Vatican ll will be put into catholic practice. Bishop DeRoo did it in the Diocese of Victoria, BC for over 40 years and called a diocesan synod which over five years deliberated and made 400 decisions. Thankfully now as Bishop Emeritus, he is still with us and took part last year in a review of the Council.
    I paraphrase Pope John XXlll in Pacem in Terris when I say that people have no obligation to keep rules and regulations that they have had no part in making. All attempts to have input into the New Liturgy have been ignored in the English speaking countries. I don’t suppose that the ACP will fare any better but I encourage you to keep trying.
    Chris Diamond

  2. Paul Burns

    Has there been any progress regarding ACP in D&C? It would be good to hear their views.

  3. Joe O'Leary

    ‘Also , we should not be asked to use in public worship translations into local languages which have not been approved as useful beforehand by local communities. Archaic language and words which are not in normal use could well be an obstacle to worship.”

    The eucharist is dying on its feet because we will not rethink, reimagine and rewrite. The translation debacle is still being treated by Cardinal Pell as a case of Joe and Mary Catholic not being ready for “more sophisticated” levels of thought and language. This from the man who perpetrated such howlers as “John the Baptist sang of his coming”, such solecisms as “we acclaim: Holy, holy, holy”, and such brutal emasculations as “to be in your presence” instead of “to stand in your presence”.

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