Although today may seem a time of darkness and difficulty for people without vision, prophets of doom are mistaken if they believe the Church in Ireland is condemned to a dark future, said Cloyne’s Bishop William Crean at a Mass last week to mark the centenary of St Colman’s Cathedral in Cloyne.
Maintaining that today’s Catholics “owe it to a new generation to offer a vision of life that goes deeper and is more wholesome than ‘Because I am worth it’”, Bishop Crean told clergy and parishoners from across the Diocese of Cloyne that a promised new covenant between Church and State should be welcomed.
“Too often the Church’s involvement is represented as an exercise in control and indoctrination,” he said, saying that this approach has failed miserably and that this is not in any case the Church’s aim. Rather, he said: “It is one of service to humanity through its understanding of the human persons unique dignity before God. It is in that spirit that those of us in leadership wish to go forward. Not to control but to serve.
“We respect diversity while remaining firm in our convictions of the richness of Christian faith. We hope our bona fides will be reciprocated.”
The Mass, for which music and hymns were specially composed by Bernard Sexton and which was marked by a tugboat display in Cobh Harbour, was attended by over 1,000 people.
Centenary celebrations continued later in the week with blessing of the cathedral’s newly-restored Telford Pipe Organ, and its inaugural recital, a centenary exhibition, and a series of lectures.