Bishops should look to scripture for guidance

Dear Editor, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s reaction (‘Archbishop slams synod’s critics’ IC 06/11/2014) to the published comments of “some commentators within Church circles” who allege that the Synod on the Family cause confusion is revealing.

“A longing for certainties” he says “may spring from personal uncertainties rather than strong faith”. This may be true but what of the insecurity of those who cannot accept the clarity we already have from Christ and his apostles and seek to appease the age and their own uncatechised members by softening doctrine?

One may couch all this in the language of pastoral care and compassion but the issue is essentially one of teaching and fidelity to teaching. It might be no harm for the archbishop and his peers to re-visit the texts of the Gospel where Jesus speaks of marriage as union between a man and woman and also perhaps the writings of St Paul where homosexuality is presented as “unnatural relations” (Romans1:26-28).

What will he say when the new ‘certitudes’ of secular ideology decide whole passages of Scripture constitute incitement to hate? Will he stand by the proverbial fire when the books are burned? Perhaps he is of the view that these writings reflect the social prejudice of the biblical age and that this new age of enlightenment is the first ever to be free of such prejudice?

The greatest charity the bishops could do is instruct the faithful in their faith and share with them the rich understanding of that faith. After that, pastoral action takes its rightful place.
Yours etc.,

Margaret Hickey,
Co. Cork.