Bishop Davies says Church will not bow to ‘destructive ideologies’
By MADELEINE TEAHAN on Friday, 7 November 2014
The solution to the crisis of the family requires a change of heart not a change in Catholic doctrine, the Bishop of Shrewsbury has said.
In a pastoral letter to be read out to the faithful this weekend, Bishop Mark Davies said: “Today I want to dispel any misleading impression that the Church will abandon her witness to the truth and change her teaching in the face of the hostile trends in public opinion or the destructive ideologies of our time.
“Pope Francis described this to the bishops as ‘the temptation to come down off the Cross, to please the people, and not stay there, in order to fulfil the will of the Father; to bow down to a worldly spirit instead of purifying it and bending it to the Spirit of God’.”
The bishop added that Christians today needed “supernatural courage”.
He said: “The first Christians required courage to overcome and transform a vast, pagan world whose ideas about marriage and sexual morality were not unlike those which prevail in our own culture. Today we need this same, supernatural courage to live and give witness to all the Church believes and teaches about marriage, the family and human sexuality.”
Bishop Davies said that the “ultimate failure in pastoral care” would be “to mislead people by encouraging them to remain in sin or fail to call them to repentance and renewal”.
He continued: “Pope Francis describes this approach as ‘deceptive mercy’, a false mercy which bandages wounds but fails to heal them…. Pope Francis has set before us the example of Saint John Paul II whom he named ‘the Pope of the family’; and of Pope Paul VI whom, at the end of the Synod, he declared among the Blessed, not least for his sometimes lonely witness to the truth. In the crisis we face today, let us look to the great inheritance of their teaching. May their courage and prayer inspire us to seek a greater faithfulness and a deeper understanding of what Christ and His Church truly teach about marriage, the family and human sexuality.
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