Theme: Are the People of God Powerless?
We are fully behind Pope John XXIII’s vision that the “People of God” is the real church founded by Jesus Christ. We realise that this is not the experience of most Christians now.
The current focus of responsibility for the decline in religious belief and practice of Christians, for the hierarchy, appears to be on secularism, inter alia relativism, materialism and the media. This focus seems to divert the hierarchy from its own responsibilities for loss of faith.
It is a remarkable fact that, throughout what must rank as one of the darkest periods in the history of the Catholic Church, the vast majority of its baptised and confirmed members must remain passive and silent. Only the columns of the daily newspapers, radio, television, and the internet, provide a forum by means of which the voices of committed lay women and men can be heard.
Church leadership has acted alone in undertaking the mission of the Church to the world; the consequences are self-evident. Has the clerical Church failed to trust lay people, to recognise their contribution and charisms?
Pobal Dé held its first Conference in 1987 in order to provide a lay contribution to the Synod on the Laity. It seems that the laity is still powerless in the face of the intransigence of Church leadership. This does not excuse us from hammering at the doors of the Institution, be they every so securely locked.