Pope can ‘hold a mirror’ to ask deeper questions

Pope can ‘hold a mirror’ to ask deeper questions
WMOF 2018


Bishop Donal McKeown has expressed his hope that Pope Francis will help Ireland wrestle with difficult questions facing both Church and State.
Speaking to a packed St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry for the diocesan opening ceremony for WMOF, he said it is always better to be unhappy with the right questions than happy with the wrong answers.
He said that the Worme Meeting must be “much bigger than the 36 hours that Pope Francis will spend in Ireland this weekend”. He said that WMOF2018“comes at a critical time in many countries where society and politicians are wrestling with big questions”.
He outlined some of the questions as:
• Why are we losing too many people, young and not so young, for want of a reason for living?
• How do we create a home environment that will help our young people to thrive?
• How do we develop an economy that serves people and not just the system?
• How do we balance the desires and rights of adults with the needs of children?
• How do we provide healthy role models that will inspire society rather than merely boost the egos of the celebrities?
• How do we defend the weakest despite pressure to prioritise the voice of the strong?
Dr McKeown said that in the face of such questions, “I hope that Pope Francis will place a mirror in front of both Church and State.
“It is always better to be unhappy with the right questions than happy with the wrong answers. I hope he will ask awkward questions and speak the truth in love about how the Church needs to repent and equip itself if it is to be a credible witness of God’s mercy and love in 2018.
“I hope he will encourage civil society to look beyond the gloss and the jingles if it is to cherish all the children of the country equally.
“I hope and pray that Church and state learn from the mistakes of the past but not be trapped by only looking backwards. The blame game always seeks the fault in somebody else,” he said.
Dr McKeown said that “the uncomfortable Gospel asks leaders of all sorts in society to take the plank out of their own eyes first so that they can see where the uncomfortable truth lies”.
Bishop McKeown – who is facilitating part of the youth programme at the RDS – said “this week’s events in Dublin are an invitation for us all to reflect. It is not a time for quick, smart answers but for thoughtful listening. It is a moment of divine grace where we can together seek the truth that alone can set us free.
“It is a precious God-given opportunity that we waste at our peril. It is an important stage in an adult conversation about what a new Ireland would look like,” he said.