Fr Billy Swan
The scandals of the past few decades have shaken our confidence to the core. Certainly, they need to be faced with humility and repentance but in such a way that holds our nerve, does not dumb down the faith or question the integrity and core teachings of the Gospel. Renewal and reform doesn’t mean the faith becoming culturally accommodating, hand-wringing and unsure of itself. We must not become a Church that had allowed its distinctive colors to be muted and its sharp edges to be dulled.
While avoiding fundamentalism, we need to get clear about the content of faith as taught by the Church and to boldly proclaim that faith in our dialogue with modern culture. Clarity breeds confidence. The clearer we are about the content of faith, the more confident we will be of its truth and value. And it is this confidence that will inspire us to proclaim it boldly. This is the boldness that Pope Francis summons us to in ‘Rejoice and Be Glad’. He prays that we be imbued with the same spirit as the early Christians who preached the Gospel on their terms, despite the consequences. In doing so we are not afraid, for the Lord and his wisdom are with us as he promised. Homilies, lectures, catechetical programmes, articles, podcasts and videos will become more compelling when the believers behind them become more courageous, clear and confident in what they believe. With this spirit we face the multiple challenges with intense faith, drawing from the well of all that is good, true and beautiful in our faith Tradition.