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Christian divisions

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 Contents - Oct 2009AD2000 October 2009 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Anglican Communion's moment of truth - Michael Gilchrist
Priestly Identity: Renewing the priesthood in the Year for Priests - Fr Anthony Denton
News: The Church Around the World
Community Life: 'Progressive' leadership and the demise of religious life - Br Paul Macrossan
Youth: RISE: restoring integrity and sexual ethics to Australia's secular culture - Br Barry Coldrey
Episcopacy: Bishop Luc Matthys: on being a bishop - Bishop Luc Matthys of Armidale
Poetry: A Morning Poem - Bruce Dawe
Seminary Life: Spiritual direction at Sydney's Good Shepherd Seminary - Fr Paul Glynn SM
FOUNDATIONS OF FAITH: Cutting edge moral issues for the third millennium - Br Barry Coldrey
Priesthood: Why the Catholic Church cannot ordain women - Kathleen Wood OAM
Letters: Liturgy reform - Paul Martin
Letters: Healthy families - John Carty
Letters: Marriage and divorce - Arnold Jago
Letters: Christian divisions - Jack Blair
Letters: Galileo debate - David Walker
Letters: Prayer for Priests - John Schmid
Letters: Thanks from India - Fr. S. John Joseph
Books: THE QUEST FOR SHAKESPEARE, by Joseph Pearce - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: THE CASE FOR CHRISTIANITY: St Justin Martyr on Religious Liberty, Robert Haddad - Br Michael McMurray CCS
Books: AFTER THE HEART OF GOD, by Bishop Julian Porteous - Br Michael McMurray CCS (reviewer)
Update: The 2009 Fighting Fund
Books: This month's selection from AD Books
Reflection: The Mass: priest and people offer sacrifice - Bishop Edward Slattery

As another lay Catholic Christian, it seems to me counter- productive for Gary Crowthers (June AD2000) and so many others to constantly regurgitate the past in order to blame other Christians for tragedies in church history. Should not all Christians learn from them and move on? The past has gone and should be dead and buried.

There are enough scandals and problems to focus on that affect the Church in contemporary life: sexual confusion, the decline in Christian faith and morals, married clergy, survival of Christian marriage and family, clerical discipline, pro-life issues and co-operation between mainstream Christians. Aren't these problems enough without whimpering over the past?

The exchange, on occasion, of Anglican and Catholic pulpits I see as a practical, if timid, expression of the gospel of Jesus, "all mankind will know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another". The world watches the great scandal of Christianity - its disunity and fragmentation - and turns away.

If we cannot put our house in order, who can blame a secular society for turning its back and marginalising us?

When people see eight churches in a single suburb, anathematising and ostracising each other, what do we expect them to conclude from our stubborn, ecumenical bankruptcy?

If unforgiving pride and power are so entrenched among Christians, why am I not surprised that Western civilisation is degenerating? Pulpit exchanges at least reflect a little Christian charity which disappeared so long ago and may just help us towards realising that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter what our differences.

All Christian communions have failed our Lord. Let us stop playing the blame game and try a little humility and learn to forgive one another. Jesus told us to love our enemies - but from the world's perspective, we don't even love our friends, except as a superficial exercise. It is not the indifference of the world I find troubling, but the indifference of those calling themselves Christians.

Glenhaven, NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 22 No 9 (October 2009), p. 15

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