New Zealand’s Catholic priests have been told by Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge to fasten their seatbelts for a journey of change from which there is no going back. Source: NZ Catholic.
In a keynote speech to New Zealand’s National Assembly of Diocesan Priests yesterday, Archbishop Coleridge said that the Church was in an Abrahamic moment, going somewhere with the destination unclear.
“The spiritual vitality of the Church is largely found in our immigrant communities,” Archbishop Coleridge told the almost-200 priests from New Zealand’s six dioceses meeting this week in Rotorua.
“The centre of gravity of the Church is passing to Africa, Asia and Latin America. We have a Pope from Argentina. It’s fasten your seatbelts time, we are going somewhere and there is no way back.”
The biblical Abraham was told by God to go on a journey, which he set out on not knowing where he was going, Archbishop Coleridge said.
“We are heading into a future the shape of which is unclear. But the act of faith is that there is one who does know where it is all leading. We must keep our eyes and our ears on God. We have to be on the journey.”
The Church today had fewer priests than in the past, he said.
“We cannot sustain the current mode of provision of priests, with far fewer priests and fewer people. The shortage of people is the real problem. There are far fewer people who identify with the Church or come to Mass. People like our schools. They ask why are our schools full and our churches empty? Institutionally we are diminished.”
Archbishop Coleridge told the priests that they needed to be like Abraham and turn wandering into journeys. Journeying was hard work, but it went somewhere.