New culture trying to ‘undo truths’ of Christianity, bishop says
Phonsie Cullinan says about 90% of ‘our people’ not regularly attending church
A Catholic bishop has warned against a new culture in Ireland ‘which is trying to undo the truths of the entire Judeo-Christian system from the ground up’. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.
A Catholic bishop has warned that a new culture in Ireland “is trying to undo the truths of the entire Judeo-Christian system from the ground up”.
Bishop of Waterford and Lismore Phonsie Cullinan said this culture was trying to redefine “the meaning of personhood, of marriage, of the family, and classifying people on the basis of their sexual preference, raising individual rights over those of the unborn, and denigrating the sacredness of human life to its natural end” .
“We must wake up to what is happening and, with the grace of God, change the culture from within. If you and I want a culture which is healthy, where family life is helped and supported, where people have hope and can live in freedom to love God and their neighbour as themselves, then we must play our part,” he said in a pastoral letter.
He noted how “about 90 per cent of our people are not coming to Church regularly so we must go out ‘and seek the lost’. If we take a close look at the culture around us we see the great need for God’s grace and our cooperation with that grace.”
He asks the people of Waterford and Lismore “are you satisfied by what is happening in your parish? Are you happy that young people have so few to minister to them? Are you happy with the way society is going? As a Church where are we going? What, as it were, is the sign on the bus? What is the vision?”
He said that what was needed was “a vision of a Church which, starting from a relationship with Jesus looks outward rather than inward”.
Referring to the diocesan pastoral plan which he laid out a way forward until 2024, he asked “will you play your part? You too have a vocation - married life, the single life, the priesthood or religious life.”
Over coming weeks and months the bishop said he would be visiting parish pastoral councils in the diocese “to encourage as many as possible to implement our (diocesan) plan”.
He appealed for prayers “for vocations to marriage, to the priesthood and religious life. Pray for Declan and Stuart who have begun their seminary training this month and for John and Mark who are continuing their studies in Rome”.
Meanwhile, his colleague, the Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran has said that it “seems to go completely against the common good for any committed Catholics” to vote for election candidates who voted in favour of abortion legislation.
In a pre-election message, Bishop Doran said the passage of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act by the outgoing Oireachtas had “radically undermined the right to life in our society”.
“If we are to reverse the 2018 legislation, which may take many years, and if we are to prevent the legalisation of euthanasia, our first step must be to ensure that we elect public representatives who are committed to the right to life, from conception to natural death,” he said.
“For that reason, irrespective of traditional party loyalties, it seems to go completely against the common good for any committed Catholic to vote for a public representative who, in the outgoing Oireachtas, voted for abortion. It is also worth asking what exactly some elected representative intended when they abstained on such an important question as the right to life.”