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Fiji example (letter)
The crisis within the Catholic Church in Australia is an issue that must not be swept under the carpet by those laity or management people who have presided over this betrayal and sad neglect over the previous several decades.
I commend AD2000 for providing the bridging leadership that may compensate for the apathy or incompetence of some bishops, who have demonstrated neither the will nor the wit to confront the largely contrived disaster.
Fr Frank Brennan referred to the solution as the "Map and Compass." However, without an instructor or guide the aids are useless.
I have just returned from a stay in Fiji. Here, the emphasis from the Prime Minister down is upon practical Christianity. The reverence and prayerful demeanour during Mass, Benediction and a Children's Liturgy re-energised this outsider.
The churches have not been modernised or vandalised as has so frequently occurred here in Queensland. Statues and paintings assist prayerful reflection, the nuns dress in recognisable habits while the priest is immediately identifiable as a priest, and not mistaken for a lay person.
Fiji's Catholics may not have wealth, a compass or a map, but they have something God-given: priests and religious who are proud of their calling, churches that have not abandoned history, tradition and an atmosphere that distinguishes a house of God from a theatre.
Keep up the good work.
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 18 No 1 (February 2005), p. 14
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