Now into its 20th year, AD2000 has had as its central reason for existence, from the time of its launching in 1988 by the late B.A. Santamaria, the promotion and defence of religious orthodoxy. This continues to be necessary because of pressures from inside and outside the Church to accommodate her teachings to secularism and relativism.
The position has become increasingly difficult as the number of church-goers steadily decreases in line with the low practice rate of school leavers. That in turn can impact on this journal's potential circulation and outreach.
From time to time, loyal, dedicated readers plead with us to provide more 'good news' stories about the Church as they feel discouraged by reports documenting further dissent, liturgical abuses and statistical declines in Australia and elsewhere.
However, promoting and defending orthodoxy necessarily involves both positive and negative elements: pinpointing where orthodoxy is working in practice in parishes, schools, seminaries and religious communities; but also drawing attention to errors that can undermine or dilute the faith. Needless to say AD2000 would much prefer to fill its pages with nothing else but good news to raise the spirits of the remnant of practising Catholics.
But we have to be realistic. The overall situation remains far from rosy, and, as with human health, any spiritual 'cure' must depend on diagnosing the nature and extent of the illness. At the same time, learning from others' successes in effecting improvements, in Australia and in other countries, can save us from having to reinvent the wheel.
Readers seeking more edifying, encouraging reports in AD2000 will be pleased to find a succession of these in the present issue. This is not always possible every month as we rely on what is to hand at any given time. The balance between the positive and the negative will inevitably vary.
Meanwhile, if there is something positive and worth reporting about occurring in your part of the Church, I would be delighted to hear from you.
Michael Gilchrist, Editor (email address provided on request).