ACI discusses marriage and the family with archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Jun 14, 2015 | 32 comments

PRESS RELEASE 12 June 2015

Association of Catholics in Ireland

Changing reality for marriage discussed with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

DM at MICThe changing reality for marriage and the family in Ireland was discussed by representatives from the Association of Catholics (ACI) with Archbishop Diarmuid  Martin at a recent meeting. This followed the ACI submission for the second Synod on the Family in Rome next October. There was a shared acknowledgement of the changing circumstances of family life, to which the result of the marriage equality referendum adds a further dimension.

The meeting was building on an earlier one last October, prior to the first Synod. The Archbishop acknowledged the recent ACI submission and said it had been forwarded to Rome. Points from the submission highlighted during the discussion were:

  • The need for a review of the marriage annulment procedure.
  • The question of marriage breakdown and second relationships. Archbishop Martin noted that there are many grey areas, as not all breakdowns are black/white.
  • Access to the sacraments for those in second relationships.
  • Pastoral care for LGBT people, their parents and families.
  • The need for the teaching on birth control in Humanae Vitae to be revised.

The ACI group stressed that a synod without the significant involvement of married laity will lack authority. The Archbishop said he also hoped for greater representation by the laity.

Both parties discussed the pressing need to engage in concrete and practical dialogue with those disenfranchised from the institutional church, and in particular those young people raised in the church but no longer active in it.

The ACI representatives made the suggestion of an all-Ireland assembly of the church to address concerns such as these and Archbishop Martin offered his encouragement to those involved in finding remedies at grassroots level. He said we needed to find different ways of being Church today.

The ACI looks forward to further dialogue with Archbishop Martin and to working with him to promote and encourage robust discussion on the future shape of the Church in Ireland.

The Association of Catholics in Ireland (ACI) is committed to the pursuit of a reform and renewal agenda in the Irish Catholic Church in the spirit of Vatican II. It is committed to helping to rebuild (through words and deeds) a united Church based on the teachings of Jesus Christ – a Church that is inclusive, compassionate, accepts the equality of all believers by virtue of their baptism, and acknowledges its failures.

For further information contact: Noel McCann 087 9274379 or Anthony Neville 086 8112715


  1. Teresa Mee

    I have been reflecting on the issue raised in the ACI delegates meeting with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on the authority of the Synod of Bishops on Family, as recorded in the Minutes. I know that this has been discussed in local ACI meetings but less, if at all on the ACI Blog. So I’m responding to one issue raised by offering my own observations in hope of getting a wider response.

     This is a Synod in which the members with voice have neither the exigency nor the experience of living in a marriage relationship, of rearing a family in the society of today, nor of the painful struggle to maintain a loving relationship through stormy weather.

     In the wake of the Synod on family we hope we will be able to respect and quote its spirit and support its outcome as ‘teaching of the Church’ however many of us are finding it impossible to accept the apparently common understanding of Church as an enclave of bishops, exclusively male and celibate.

     In terms of family as the basic unit of society, we would question the extent of the bishops’ diverse experiences of coping with the challenges inherent in a marriage relationship, in rearing a family in the society of today, in the painful struggle to maintain the unity of family through stormy weather, and in the event of failure, in the struggle with the immediate and on-going pain of breakdown; breakdown of the marriage and in extreme cases, breakdown of the person.

     In terms of all this, how as far as we know do the bishops of the Synod on marriage defend the policy of giving voice exclusively to males and exclusively to celibates?

  2. Joseph Geoghegan

    HV “Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
    Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.” How much more right could Blessed Paul VI have been? Teach HV!

  3. Jo O'Sullivan

    If I’ve understood the above comment correctly, there are three main reasons why the institutional church bans artificial contraception.
    1.It leads to marital infidelity in men.
    2. It leads men to use women rather than taking care of them.
    3.It leads governments to force people to use artificial contraception.

    NOW I understand why the “church” bans AC! How could it do otherwise if that is the mindset of those guarding the morality of its adherents? But, with the greatest of respect, what a low, low view of human morality and what a skewed view of modern men and women is demonstrated here.
    The idea that people “need incentives to keep the moral law”, that they can only have a moral code if they fear negative consequences, smacks of parent training an immature child. It is the kind of morality that suggests that people never mature beyond behaving responsibly for fear of the negative rather than having an internal well-developed sense of personal morality and responsibility. Do they (church authorities) really see us that way?
    Or is it only MEN that they view in such a negative light? It would appear from No.2 that WOMEN’s morality doesn’t really feature because, after all, they only exist as “helpmates” to men. It must be terribly worrying for men, such a burden to carry, knowing that the physical and emotional equilibrium of women depends on them and that they must revere them and surround them with care and affection. I actually had to laugh when I read that. Is it honestly possible that, in the 21st century there are people who actually BELIEVE that? I have news for you, boys: WOMEN are able to care for their own physical and emotional equilibrium – the word “reverence” is not one that features in our equilibrium-seeking vocabulary and, horror of horrors, WOMEN just might be actively involved in ENJOYING sex and even, occasionally, reduce MEN to being mere instruments for the satisfaction of THEIR own desires. I think that, only celibate men, who have lived their lives keeping (or trying to keep) those they might be sexually attracted to (whether men or women) at a safe distance could come up with such a warped view of the OBJECTS of their desire!

    As for governments forcing people to use AC – all I can say is that, again, it shows a very negative and fearful view of the human condition. As for the worry that people “may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife,” isn’t there a real irony that those promoting HV can’t see anything amiss if “church authorities” was substituted for “public authorities”?
    If I were a man reading the HV reasoning, I would be really offended and insulted. Do the church authorities think so badly of me? As a woman, I can only laugh – I am nothing like the women described and I don’t know of any other woman who fits the description.
    Oh Joseph, I respect that you are genuine in your beliefs and you truly want what is best. But what you have done here is show me a view of the human condition that is far removed from my reality. You have demonstrated that the reasons for banning AC were the result of a one-sided world view – a world view that, in all conscience, I cannot share. In MY world, men and women are faithful to their partners/spouses because they love them – not because they fear punishment for being unfaithful. In my world, women as well as men care for their partners’ well-being and encourage each others’ growth as equals. Methods of contraception which allow freedom to enhance that growth without fear of unwanted pregnancy are a positive, not a negative.
    As I read postings like Joseph’s and those of anybody and everybody else, I am more and more convinced that NO-ONE has a monopoly on reality. All any one of us can do is view the world through our own particular lens. It is not for me to doubt the sincerity of those whose world view is very different from mine. So I have no right or reason to say “I am right and YOU are wrong”. All I can do is inform myself to the best of my ability (and that means reading the views of those who disagree with my views), struggle with the differing views and weigh them against the “What resonates most soundly with me here and what is the most loving path?” internal monitor I have. After that, I can rest easy in that I’m doing the best I can. But I can never say “This is the complete truth” – I must always be open to seeing reality differently.
    And that is what I ask of others too.

    I have no great hopes for the Synod on the Family to chart a new and different path for Institutional Catholicism because I fear that those involved in the decision-making see a very different reality than I do. But perhaps I’m doing them a disservice. I can hope and pray.

  4. Teresa Mee

    Jo, you have left us with a lot to think about in the way of underlying issues, attitudes, human (male and female) dignity and personal moral responsibilities within and well beyond the field of the contraception issue.

  5. Kevin Walters

    Jo, from your Post
    “I have no great hopes for the Synod on the Family to chart a new and different path for Institutional Catholicism because I fear that those involved in the decision-making see a very different reality than I do. But perhaps I’m doing them a disservice. I can hope and pray”
    Jo, I would like to suggest a way forward with Humanae Vitae,
    Pope Francis says we need be a Church of mercy and so we do, but more importantly we need to be a humble Church, a Church driven by Humility, as Gods Mercy received in humility guarantees spiritual growth, which wells up into eternal life.
    Recently I decided to read Humanae Vitae as I had never actual read it before, you cannot help but be taken aback by its beauty and acknowledge the truth conveyed within it.
    Taken from the document
    “No statement of the problem and no solution to it are acceptable which does violence to man’s essential dignity; those who propose such solutions base them on an utterly materialistic conception of man himself and his life.
    For man cannot attain that true happiness for which he yearns with all the strength of his spirit, unless he keeps the laws which the Most High God has engraved in his very nature. These laws must be wisely and lovingly observed”.
    The statement above cannot be disputed, to darken the light of Christ (Truth) in any way is to betray him, but we can wear the garment of humility (St Bernard-Humility a virtue by which a man knowing himself as he truly is abases himself) before our Father in heaven and in this knowing and acknowledging our own limitations and sinfulness retain the dignity of a human being striving to fulfil the Commandments and teachings of Gods holy church. Repetitive sin (which we all carry in our fallen nature) can only be nullified by living in a state of humility which is continual contrition.
    Many believe that Pope Paul VI was wrong when he chose the report of the minority conservative commission against the majority commission who proposed to change the traditional ‘infallible’ teaching on contraception. Pope Paul VI was not wrong but courageous to resist tremendous pressures brought to bear on him, in standing firm, but sadly he did not convey The Gift of Love (Divine Mercy) to the laity and in not doing so has damaged the Church immeasurable.
    Many accepted the teaching of Humanae Vitae but sadly left the church, as their own consciences created an intolerable position in their hearts and in some cases divided husband from wife and in other cases wife from husband, creating great discord in many relationships. A minority live by the Churches teaching, while others have ignored it completely and continued to justify their own opinion in contradiction to the teaching of the Church.
    This is what one of the guests at the wedding feast did, (Matt 22:11) He was an affront to God, a garment had been freely provided but he did not want to wear (own) it (humility) he wanted to be accepted on his own terms, in his own image (ego) He was gagged, (his opinion no longer to contradict (offend) God) bound hand and foot and thrown into the darkness
    God in the incarnation gave of himself out of love to save that which had been lost. All of us, clergy, laity, married, divorced, gay, the crippled, the lame, the bad, the good, we (The lost) are all flawed and sinful. But we have ALL been called to partake in the Wedding feast but when the Master comes will he find our hearts ( which are broken, sinful, and lost,) now contrite, blest, and wearing the wedding garment of humility. (Holiness)
    This gift of love (Divine Mercy) can only be accepted in Trust and humility and this includes acceptance of our own human frailty and sinfulness. We are judged on our intentions if good (honest) we walk in good conscience, which forms our relationship with our Father in heaven as revealed by his beloved Son Jesus Christ.
    Our tendency is not to look upon (Embrace) the Truth/Love (teaching) in its entirety, as taught by Jesus. If we were to look at it (Truth/Love) with honesty, it would shake the vast majority of us to our core. Then we (the majority) could only walk in humility with our heads (Hearts) held low as we realize how far we are from what is actually been asked of us. This is the starting point (Humility) on our journey home to our Fathers house in heaven. If we walk in humility with Jesus before our Father in heaven we can neither go astray nor need be afraid.
    Definition of sin, anything you covet in preference to the love of God: we are all born sinners but that never excuses sin. All sin is forgivable except the sin against the Holy Spirit and by definition only one is truly (absolutely) mortal. We are judged on our intentions before God’s inviolate Word (Will).
    “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth”
    We are taught that God is Love but the essence of Love is Truth.
    Our Father gave of himself in his Son to reconcile mankind to Him. The essence of love in His Son is Truth, and He bears witness to it, Jesus teaches us not to resist the evil doer and He is true to his own Word, he can do no other but submits to his own essence which is Truth and bearing witness to the Truth permits the evil in man to murder him, He is lifted up by mankind for mankind’s redemption, we see a reflection of the evil within ourselves (own actions) as He submits to the Will of our Father bearing witness to the Truth (Their own essence).
    The Truth knows (embraces) itself, it can do no other, those who refuse to acknowledge the living Word of God, once they have heard (understood) it within their hearts, are destined to eternal separation from God, as our Father is restrained by His own essence, as His essence (Truth) is not within them.
    “All who acknowledge me I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven”
    When we acknowledge (Look upon) with honesty the Truth (The inviolate Word of God) that is placed before us, within our own heart, it will induce humility, (if it does not, we are not been honest and delude ourselves) at that moment in time, we are given the power to become children of God (as we are part of His essence Truth) and if we continue on this path of bearing witness to the Truth within our own hearts as in the parable of the Mustard Seed, growing in the light of the Holy Spirit (Truth) producing leaves of compassion that give shelter to all from physical and spiritual suffering, eventually we too will do the same.
    The Church’s teachings on contraception are as true and infallible today as they have historically been. But her authority has gradually been eroded, causing division amongst the clergy while the laity has been left shepherd less to live by one’s own uninformed conscience. I have not heard one sermon relating to contraception for over thirty years, I assume by now many believe it is a matter of choice or down to one’s own inclination “Everybody does it so it must be alright” or “It’s an old fashioned belief”….
    The leaders of the Church have a responsibility to hold the bright lamp of Truth high before all of mankind, by teaching with authority, in promoting the ideal of all her teachings. And especially at this moment in time Humane Vitae, which has caused so much damage to the Church, by driving (Breaking the spirit of) the flock away from the Church over the last fifty years. Not to do so would be to harden (Hide) your own heart from the light of Truth/Love by turning a blind eye to the problem, but in so doing you risk hearing these words
    “I don’t know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil”

    How can the Church restore the full value of her teachings which have been rejected by so many over the last five decades through human weakness? Without driving out more of those baptized Christians who have not fully committed to Jesus Christ and who are still in need of nurturing in order to lead them into the full realization of the faith. For some confession is an option before taking communion but often it is not practical to do so, for many it would be downright dishonest, without the true intention to change, it would only compound their sin in taking the Bread of Life, acting out an external gesture of religiosity in conveying an image of worldly respectability.
    Pope Francis
    Added that ecclesial thinking is at a crossroads between the
    “Doctors of the law” who want to cast people out and the “thinking of God,” which is to stress mercy and reinstatement.
    “The way of the Church is not to condemn anyone for eternity [but] to pour out the balm of God’s mercy on all those who ask for it with a sincere heart,” he said during the homily in St Peter’s Basilica.
    I would add Authority demands dutiful respect but so doe’s love/mercy in gentle dress and loyalty is its constant guest.
    The Church cannot sanction sin but in can sanction mercy.
    Let those couples who practice contraception out of human frailty be permitted each time before approaching the Bread of Life, to look upon(Venerate) the true image of Divine Mercy, a broken image, a reflection of themselves before God in the Eucharist, bringing them face to face with their own limitations (sin/ frailty) and in doing so see their need of the Lord and dependence on His mercy and then saying these words from the heart, before the presence of God in the Eucharist, which have been given by God Himself to His Holy Church on earth
    “Jesus, I Trust in Thee”
    And now dwelling in His Mercy, permit them to partake of the Bread of Life and in their humility, grow spiritually.
    They have not received absolution but live continually dependant on God’s mercy; until they desist from using contraception, only then can they receive the full sacrament of reconciliation
    When someone acknowledges their own shortcomings it induces compassion in the recipients/onlookers and this will form the basis for trust/comradeship/equality… before God within the Church. Some may say it would be difficult to induce or approach members of the flock to do this and so it would. There is a way but it will take humility by the leadership of the Church to bring this about, which I hope (God willing) to convey to you at a future date, as at this moment in time it is necessary that what I am saying is accepted first before doing so.
    kevin your brother
    In Christ
    I have assumed that my posts with regards to the Divine Mercy Image have been read on the APC Site.

    • Jo O'Sullivan

      Kevin, thank you most sincerely for taking the time to write such a detailed response to my comment. I appreciate your sharing of your views and your experience very much and I believe that you deserve an equally considered reply. But before I reply properly to you I feel I need to check that I’ve understood you. Forgive me if I seem obtuse, but I’m not 100% sure what you mean.
      Do you believe that I – or maybe it would be best to keep it impersonal, as I don’t for a minute think you were “attacking” me personally – your writing is too full of love for me to feel “got at” in any way – do you believe that people who don’t accept the church’s teachings on all matters do so because of a lack of humility? Do you see it as being ego-driven and following the easy path as a result of sinful human nature? Are you saying that we are basically born sinful with a propensity for evil within us and our whole life should be directed to overcoming that evil so as not to offend our Heavenly Father and cut ourselves off from His love? Am I right in thinking that, from your point of view, God’s Divine Mercy is the only way we can ever achieve redemption, because, without it we are damned?
      Do you feel that a properly informed conscience can only come to the conclusion that the church’s teachings are always right and that true humility will lead a person to accept and live up to those teachings to the best of his/her ability? Do you acknowledge that living up to those teachings is difficult because of our base human nature – because of the evil within us?
      I may be totally off the mark here in my interpretation of your response, Kevin, so I won’t say any more until I feel I understand you.
      Thanks again and God bless.

  6. Kevin Walters

    Thank you Joe for your response
    I did not write a detailed response to your comment as my comment (Article) had already been prewritten but not accepted by the ACP (where I normally make Posts). The section of your comment that is underlined in my Post gave me the opportunity to make my opinion know to you and at least some of the members of the ACI who participate on the ACP Site. My Post which is an accumulation of previous comments on the ACP led me into an Article (My Post to you) Divine Mercy & Humanae Vitae.
    Previously I had written an article “Only God Can Square the Circle”, although not accepted be the ACP, it can be read on
    it offers, if what I am saying is accepted by the Church, a way forward for those who cannot receive the gift of absolution, (the divorced who have taken a civil partner and others) in that they may be permitted to receive Holy Communion under certain conditions, conditions that relate to the Divine Mercy message, perhaps you may consider reading this Article as the Post I made to you is an extension of it and if read would give you further insight to my thinking.
    In retrospect I should have started my Post to you with the words; Jo, I wrote this article previously which I believe offers a way forward with Humanae Vitae, if I had done this, you would not have considered that it was personal and I believe my explanation confirms that it was not personal, I apologize for any misunderstanding.
    You have put many questions to my Joe
    I can only give you a summary of my thinking which hopefully will give further insight to my understanding of our faith. I am not an educated Catholic leaving school at fifteen unable to read and write, to-day I would probably be classed as dyslexic. If I did not have the automatic spell check on the computer it would take me days to make this reply to you. I know nothing of Newman, Thomas Aquinas etc, I had never heard of Vatican 2 until recently (about 4 years ago) I have lived as an outsider for over thirty five years but still attended Sunday mass, my understanding of Christianity comes from the Gospels which contain the inviolate Word of God and I accept His teaching unreservedly
    “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the Word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day”.
    I do not think that I am competent to judge others who don’t accept the church’s teachings on all matters, as human beings we have a tendency to justify our actions, we often take the easy path, if we look at the inviolate Word of God within our heart with honesty the light of The Holy Spirit will lead us into the Truth on the matter been contemplated, this can be difficult as we have to face the reality of our fallen nature, and this can be distressful as our conclusions about the reality of our own nature often humbles us but that is what spiritual growth is all about.
    “Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”

    His inviolate Word is my conscience, His Word is the cornerstone of my faith and Christians can only walk (Live) in humility before It. Years ago the Gospel and the Word of God (Ten Commandments) were always written in Red my understanding was and is that they are inviolate, I fall well short of His teachings, for me I can only walk in humility before our Father in Heaven, my Posts on the ACP come from reflections within my own heart and reflect my personal relationship with our Father in heaven, that are based on His Inviolate Word that dwells within my heart. We are all born with original sin but not sinful, we possess the capacity to sin but also to do good “Make the tree good or make it bad” we all have free will if we want to make the tree good we must
    “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself”
    And yes our whole life should be directed in serving this commandment as in doing so we fulfil all of the others.
    Joe I believe that my beliefs and thoughts are in line with the Word of God within the gospels and my actions should be in line with them also but they are not, I am a badly flawed human being but in my brokenness I can still delight in the way of the lord because one day, God willing I will be beautiful as all those who walk in humility before Him will be also.
    kevin your brother
    In Christ.

  7. Joe O'Leary

    Disheartening to see both the ACP and AIC sites wasting their time on discussion of Humanae Vitae — there will be no future for us if we cannot get on to more constructive topics. We do not have to take our talking points from the most reactionary elements in Rome (and even they realize that HV is a dead duck).

    • Jo O'Sullivan

      With respect, Joe, I don’t consider the exchange of views between Kevin and myself to be concerned with Humanae VItae. I see it as a much more basic conversation than that – as between people whose views of Catholicism are almost diametrically opposed. I sincerely want to understand his viewpoint and I would like him to understand mine. Your judgement of that to be a waste of time is not helpful. Dismissing people’s views because you have a different worldview does not lead to constructive solutions in on-going areas of contention between “opposing” factions.
      But, out of interest, what would you LIKE to see being discussed here?
      Kevin, I’m still working on my response to your response! Thanks again.

      • Lloyd Allan MacPherson

        Jo O’Sullivan, I think Joe has a valid point. We have 7.5 years from the time that Pope Francis became Pope to usher in a “green revolution”. If you don’t think dismal days are upon us, from a completely environmental perspective, you are asleep. This has to be the main focus of the Church right now, and of all of humanity as we know it. This is urgent and pressing and not going away anytime soon. If we don’t listen to what Pope Francis is saying and get on board with this idea and start to focus all outward thought on it, all is lost. If you’d like to learn something today, read up on the “methane” phenomenon that is happening in the oceans around the world. This is no fiction. We all need to act now on this. Call your local government representatives this week and ask what is being done about it.

  8. Kevin Walters

    @ Joe O’Leary
    So we are wasting our time on the most precious gift to a marriage, the Joy of partaking in creating new life and participating in its development, what can be more constructive than that?
    Disheartening to hear one who has taken the mantel of our Saviour and now walking in His footsteps, proclaiming the good news, as a culture of death (Self-love) before mankind.
    The greatest gift we have received is the gift of life, given by God through the action of our parents, refusing to fully partake in His creation by deliberately denying another the opportunity of life, is sinful.
    The beauty of parenthood (Marriage) and its unifying bound the creation of a new life.

    The baby was a daisy
    The mother a turtle dove
    The daisy looked for sunshine
    The dove cooed with maternal love
    The daisy drank the sunshine
    That flowed from the dove
    Which poured from the one above
    The daisy had a cap of white
    The dove a cape of snow
    Both did reflect that light
    Are heart was meant to know
    O’ my daisy and my dove
    May you ever be drenched
    In that eternal love
    In Christ

  9. Kevin Walters

    Taken from the agenda above and my response to it.
    1, The need for a review of the marriage annulment procedure.
    2, The question of marriage breakdown and second relationships.
    3, Access to the sacraments for those in second relationships.
    The act of making a civil marriage (commitment) to another partner outside of the church cannot be reconciled by the Church and to try to do so is to flaunt Gods law (Will) before His face, as the Christian marriage bond is unbreakable. We the laity and clergy can show compassion and must do so, but only God can show Mercy on someone who by their own free will has knowingly separated themselves from God’s Holy Will.
    Very few divorcees see annulment as a solution as most do not think that their first marriage simply never existed. The possibility of an annulment is therefore only practicable for a small minority, as it does not solve the problem.
    The permutations for the reason for divorce are endless as they cover the full spectrum of man’s fallen nature, to try and manage the situation by offering some annulments and others not is fraught with difficulties, as individual self-justification is often badly flawed, but more importantly it calls into question the Inviolate Word of God and in so doing undermines the authority of Gods Holy Church on earth. Only God truly knows the full reality of each individual and it is only Him and Him alone who can show Mercy on those ensnared (bitten) by the evil one.
    Sadly many Catholics in the West have married before truly committing to Jesus Christ nevertheless the marriage bond cannot be broken.
    Many priests are at a loss as they cannot see – or show those in their care – a way out of such situations which can be accepted in good conscience and also conform to present church teaching.
    Tension reaches a climax when divorcees who have taken another (Civil) partner are invited to celebrate the Eucharist “purely spiritually” and quite rightly they can ask, if I can receive the Eucharist (Sustenance) on the Spiritual plain why not on the earthly plain.
    I recently ask this simple question concerning the divorced receiving communion. If a man in humility (St. Bernard – ‘Humility is a virtue by which a man knowing himself as he truly is abases himself’) approaches Jesus Christ in prayer or his physical presence as manifest in communion does he turn him away? There can be only one answer to this question.
    The Eucharist is not a reward for the perfect, but nourishment for the soul and should not be denied to any baptized Christian who looks for Mercy from a God of mercy. The church has a responsibility to free those who through human frailty have been ensnared (Bitten) by the devil (Serpent) and are now entangled in a process of alienation from the church, the ban on them ever receiving the sacraments, is seen by them as exclusion and a sign that their situation is irreconcilable and for many this leads them into further entanglement with Evil, as they live without hope.
    Sadly I have observed many who have become embittered and this embitterment can turn into hatred for God and His holy Church, to the detriment of their own soul, this hatred can spill over into any offspring they may have been blessed with, as they too conclude the Church is for the perfect, it is all too easy for the enemies of the church to show the hypocrisy of many within the church and in so doing create a circle of distain and mockery of anything Christian. Whereas the reality that should be seen by mankind is, that we are all sinners and all are dependent on God’s mercy and that His mercy is open to all without exception, to them who would willingly receive it, and that no baptized man/woman should be denied access to Jesus Christ in the Eucharist who approaches Him in humility.
    “Anyone who comes to me I will not turn away”
    I have read
    “At this moment in time the church has two sail that are blowing in the opposite direction causing great discord within the Church. On the Right: an extreme conservative wind wanting to blow our boat back to the becalming out-of-date swamp of pre-1962. On the Left: an extreme liberal wind wanting to blow our boat into rapids where faith and morals are thrown overboard”.
    But we can go forward in UNITY OF PURPOSE by hoisting a third sail of Humility, the true (only) sail that the Holy Spirit blows upon, bringing arrogance to its knees and folly does not have to be appeased.
    John Paul 11 and many others feared that “allowing remarried divorcees to receive communion would confuse the faithful regarding the church’s teaching”. The essence of the problem is that it is not possible for the church to forgive this sin because it is continual (to live in a state of mortal sin).
    How can the circle be squared, we look to the Master for guidance
    And Jesus looking upon them he said
    “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible”
    We now look for an example where God has interceded to do the impossible (where mankind was impotent)
    So the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD and you; intercede with the LORD, that He may remove the serpents from us.” And Moses interceded for the people. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.” And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived. God did not remove the serpents (Evil) the threat (Punishment) for their offences remained but instead He asked for their Trust/Love, they could still be bitten and die but while ever they were prepared to look upon the serpent (Symbol of their sin) they gave glory to our heavenly Father before their compatriots, in showing their Trust in God’s Mercy, they lived.
    Throughout history God has made His Will know to mankind through his Saints, Spiritual leaders and Prophets.
    And at crucial times though out history His Will has be revealed in a way that that cannot be misunderstood by His people.
    In the twentieth century a revelation was given by God to Sister Faustina Kowalska (Now Saint) and His holy Church on earth, which promised a new splendour for the Church, which has still to materialize. This revelation offers the Church the means to permit those who have been ensnared (badly bitten) by the Serpent the opportunity to permit them to take the bread of life, and live, while giving great glory to our Father in Heaven.
    As she knelt motionless, immersed in cross currents of joy and fear, Our Lord spoke:
    “Paint a picture according to the vision you see and with the inscription: “Jesus, I Trust in Thee.”
    I desire that this picture be venerated first in your chapel and then throughout the whole world.
    She acted immediately in singular (pure) intent; no one else can paint this picture, as no one else can see what she saw. The picture she painted, sketched, (no matter how badly) must be venerated and no other, to do so knowing it is not the painting commanded by God *(His Word is inviolate)* is to commit blasphemy
    At first she tried to sketch it herself, she was no artist and failed. After many trials/ attempts, (During which time the original vision often repeated itself, continually prompting her to do His Will, I believe the reason for this was that God’s Word (Will) cannot contradict itself, it is inviolate), her superiors showed that that they did not trust in His mercy and were only concerned with a worldly image of goodness, they sold their spiritually for an image of worldly beauty in finding someone else to paint the picture, and in so doing committed blasphemy.
    The whole emphasis of this revelation is about Trust in Gods infinite Mercy
    Sister Faustina was very poorly educated and it is fair to assume that if her superiors had accepted her painting, as they should have done (they would have known that Gods Word is inviolate) she would have also. Earthly hands violated Gods Word to fit their own earthly vision of goodness, they could not accept the reality that they were been asked by God to show human weakness. Any revelations after the first revelation now must be considered suspect, as from that time earthly hands were distorting the Word (Will) of God.
    The Church has acknowledged that the Word (Will) of God had been given to her, its actions confirm this, we have a picture in God’s House, with the words “Jesus I trust In thee” But the picture is not the one commanded by God, it is a worldly image of goodness, it pertains to the senses, made in man’s own image, it has nothing to do with Trust.
    Did God know what he was doing? And if so what was He saying through sister Faustina to His Holy Church on earth
    The original picture by Sister Faustina in its brokenness relates to spiritual beauty (goodness) it pertains to humility. “The pure (humble) in heart shall see God”.
    We the laity have not seen the original attempt by sister Faustina , we can assume that it is a childlike reflection of the vision she saw, distorted and incomplete, revealing (reflecting) all her human failings, we must remember that she set about this painting with singular pure intent, her actions were acted out in Trust, with confidence, the reality of her attempt is a lesson to all of us, as we venerate (Look upon) this broken distorted image, a reflection before God of our inner self. (Failings/Sinfulness)
    And now let these words be imprinted on the heart of the onlooker who has been bitten by the Serpent just before he receives the bread of life
    “Jesus I Trust in Thee”
    And like the Israelites of old in showing their Trust in God’s Mercy, they too shall live.
    The Church (If it accepts what I am saying) has now the means to reconcile those who are ensnared by evil and are now looking for God’s Mercy, in demonstrating this through an act of humility, by looking upon publicly, an image of their own brokenness, they proclaim their need, for the hope of forgiveness, by saying these words from the heart, which have been given by God Himself, to His Holy Church on earth
    “Jesus I Trust in Thee”
    This is a public confession and like the thief on the cross who acknowledged his own brokenness (Serious sinfulness) was forgiven (At that moment in time) unconditionally so now before the presence of God within the Eucharist they too will not be turned away. They have not received absolution but live continually dependant on God’s mercy;
    “Anyone who comes to me I will not turn away”
    The Church must use every avenue available to it to proclaim the good news that Christ came to redeem ALL men from the sin of Adam.
    kevin in
    *(His Word is inviolate)* When Gods Word is accepted by an individual in a revelation it is only binding on them, but once it was accepted by Gods holy church on earth and given to the laity, it became inviolate (Binding) to all, for all time (eternity)
    “Paint a picture according to the vision you see and with the inscription: “Jesus, I Trust in Thee”.
    # Revelations given by the Saints are not binding on us, only (worthy of belief) we do not have to accept them.

  10. Jo O'Sullivan

    I don’t dispute that we humans all have our shadow side, our flaws and failings that lead us “to the dark side”. If, Kevin, you wish to use the words “base human nature”, inherent sinfulness” “evil” “sin” “our fallen nature” “entanglement with Evil” “ensnared (bitten) by the evil one” etc, so be it. I don’t like those words and I fear they can be very harmful to persons at the immature stages of development. I suggest that feeling that one has to concentrate on avoiding evil at all times, living life permanently fretting about how unworthy and weak and sinful one is may cause real psychological and even spiritual damage.
    But, God knows, I’m only too well aware of my own shadow side!
    I don’t dispute that the shadow side of human nature leads humankind into all kinds of evil, selfish, destructive behaviour. No examples are needed here.
    However, MY take on reality is that the core message Jesus came to teach us is that we should live life to the full because, after all, we are made in the image and likeness of God. That does NOT mean partying every night, it does NOT mean taking the easy path. It means that we are constantly aware that we have precious God-given gifts and we use those gifts for the service of our fellow human beings. It means that we recognise that we are all connected – we are all community – and every action we take is in attempt to help others to live their lives to the full too. It means that we are joyfully aware of the beauty of the world and all its inhabitants and we do our damndest to make a positive contribution to that world in whatever ways we can.
    I’m reminded of a very famous optical illusion which consists of a picture in black and white. If you focus on the white parts of the picture, you see two faces in profile, looking at each other. If you look at the black you see a chalice. Which is the reality?
    It strikes me that Kevin and I are looking at the same picture, but focussing on the different colours.
    I also feel differently than you do about the “inviolate Word of God”. Kevin, you claim “my understanding of Christianity comes from the Gospels which contain the inviolate Word of God and I accept His teaching unreservedly”
    And you base your whole life on that Christianity. When you say, you accept, unreservedly, the inviolate Word of God as it is portrayed in the Gospels. do you mean you interpret those words for and by yourself? Or do you mean that the accept the meaning of the Word as the magisterium of the church interprets it for you? If, as I suspect, you accept the interpretation of the teaching authority of the church, have you ever wondered how THEY interpret the Word? If not, that is your right and, if it makes you feel you are following the correct path, good for you. It’s not up to me to make you think differently.
    But can you accept that others DO ask such questions? And that it is not an indication that they have strayed from the correct path? Do you ever wonder what would have happened if Galileo had recanted his belief that the sun was at the centre of the universe and that the earth revolved around it? If he had accepted the teaching o f the magisterium of his day? How would the world be today if nobody had challenged the teaching of the magisterium that it was ok to own slaves?
    I’m not trying to trap you or to make you change your mind in any way, Kevin. But I would really like to open the door of your heart a chink to accept that there are many, many people who sincerely believe themselves to be Catholic but who cannot accept your version of reality. That doesn’t mean they (we) are right and you are wrong. It is simply that, for the likes of me, the real humility is in the acceptance that NONE of us can ever see the whole picture. And I want my church to be humble enough to accept that it has to stay open to new understanding and stop saying “This is what God wants. These are the rules that you must obey and the door is closed on any discussion”.
    Perhaps, Kevin, we have both said what we need to say on the subject and we can respectfully agree to disagree at this point.
    Thank you and God Bless.

    • Martin Murray

      Thank you Jo. You ask some wonderfully wise questions in the course of this conversation. You have given us much to think about.

      I was struck by these words from Richard’s Rohr’s daily reflection for 8th July that relates to our failure to see the inherent goodness in humanity:-

      “….. a gift of Native and Celtic spirituality is their unashamed welcome of some kind of “original blessing” instead of starting with a problem like “original sin.” Pelagius (354-418), one of the early Christian Celtic writers, opposed the doctrine of original sin coined by his contemporary Augustine. Pelagius saw that beginning with the negative–original sin–would damage rather than aid spiritual development. Beginning with the positive instead of a problem is the healthiest and most hopeful way to find wholeness.”


      “Genesis began with six clear statements of original blessing or inherent goodness (Genesis 1:10-31), and the words “original sin” are not in the New Testament. Yet the Church became so preoccupied with the fly in the ointment, the flaw in the beauty that we forgot and even missed out on any original blessing. We saw Jesus primarily as a problem-solver rather than as a revealer of the very heart and image of God (Colossians 1:15f). We must now rebuild on a foundation of original goodness, and not on a foundation of original curse or sin. We dug a pit so deep that most people and most theologies could not get back out of it.”

    • Kevin Walters

      Yes Jo, we do have flaws and failings ( but you go further) that lead (Your words) “to the dark side” and continue to say, if you wish to use the following words “base human nature” inherent sinfulness” You then say, “I don’t like these words.”
      I don’t like them either Jo, why have you attributed them to me?
      Where do they come from?
      Been educated you would fully understand the implication of these words, YOUR words “base human nature” ” inherent sinfulness”
      By attribute these words to me, you would be stating that I believe that man is intrinsically evil, that is a heretical belief. Man is not evil but born with original sin, he has a choice as I have stated above with the use of these words “Make the tree good or make it bad” man has free will, we are made in the image and likeness of God.
      You say that your TAKE on reality is that the core message Jesus came to teach us is that we should live life to the full
      “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”
      Jesus came to give us life abundantly a life that serves Him, “wells up into eternal l life”.
      “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day”.
      To reject this teaching is to reject the Inviolate Word (Will) of God.
      To accept a manipulation of His inviolate Word would create a chink in the armour of our faith and this would permit the Evil One to infiltrate the heart, then all manner of evil could enter. What we believe must conform to His teaching.
      Until recently my knowledge of the magisterium was taken from my penny catechism learnt by rote at school it has served me well.
      We walk on safe ground when we revert to the simplicity of HIS Inviolate Word.

      kevin your brother
      In Christ

      • Lloyd Allan MacPherson

        Actually Kevin, men are pretty evil. Why do you think the most spiritual beings this world has ever seen, made it pretty much mandatory that “women” were the spiritual centres of their societies and were able to partake in all the most important decisions to be made. Why? A higher intelligence, that’s why. What have men brought our planet while they have hoisted themselves in immediate control of all architecture on both a physical and spiritual level. Count the things we’ve inflicted upon this sphere. Done yet? Not a chance. So I hope you are starting to see that man is not intrinsically evil, but a man given absolute power where women are not even but a counsel is a dark force. The ACP platform understands this and knows the importance of leveling the playing field of this worldly gentlemen’s club we’ve concocted. Yet I still have a hard time understanding why people get hung up on the union of two people and the legalities (canon or otherwise) surrounding it with all there is to reform in the world today. I’m going to side with Joe O’Leary on this one. And Kevin, you think you are walking on safe ground? Care to send any of it my way because I think this planet we are all walking on is a ticking time bomb…Pope Francis might echo my sentiment.

      • Martin Murray

        Kevin, it is obviously important to you that the Scriptures be accepted as ‘inviolate’. Its interesting that the Scriptures define themselves as ‘useful’. They are also, as you know always subject to interpretation (hermeneutics). Ultimately if we are going to apply them, we have to work with an interpretation – someone else’s or our own. Either way that interpretation will always be incomplete. Of course we are wise to measure our thoughts and actions against the collective wisdom of the church acquired over centuries of reflection and experience. (and how I wish we would offer its teachings in this humblier way, rather than as a laying down of law or as some measure of orthoxody for membership and acceptability). But as pointed out, the church doesn’t always get it right and has to be open to developing and adapting its thinking in the light of new scientific discovery, evolving human consciousness and the experience of the life of its members, to which it should always be listening (learning as a two way process). In other words, tradition isn’t something the church sits on, but rather builds on, and this generation of church leaders and thinkers are only one link in that chain. Maybe more people would respect what they have to say (on our behalf) if they acknowledged that of all that is to be know, they know as much as the rest of us, which is practically nothing. Faith needs to be built on trust in a good God and a benign universe rather than on any claimed certitude and knowledge. And that is something that is within the gift and reach of us all. Its interesting to me to observe wisdom and transformation often being acquired from questions without answers. The questioning of church teaching is healthy and shouldn’t be reduced to being seen as rejecting God’s will. The gift of life comes in a box without instructions. It cannot be lived meaningfully or freely without questioning. And any God that rejects us because we get the answers wrong, is for me, not the God of Jesus Christ.

  11. Kevin Walters

    Thank you for your Post Martin, I believe we had a short exchanged of ideas a few years ago on the ACP Site and I assume since then, that you will have read many of my Posts as I have yours. I am still of the belief that our Shepherds should act as a lynch pin, as in a chain holding the flock together, to do this we need to be of ONE MIND. I also believe at this moment in time that only our Shepherds have the authority as given by Jesus Christ to bring about changes in the management of the church and the majority of my Posts reflect this, in my desire For UNITY OF PERPOSE which can only be achieved in humility.
    I am relatively new to the chaos that I have found on the internet, in how the Science of Interpretation (Hermeneutics), is been used, it’s cold divergence from the living Word of God with intellectualised nuances, for many it appears to be a game of one-upmanship by the better educated, His compassionate vibrating heart is nowhere to be seen, it appears to be just a mind game for many but sadly they do not know it. It is comparable to those who tried to build the Tower of Babel they cannot understand each other they are not of one mind, the Mind of Christ the living Word of God within the heart. The fullness of Gods inviolate Word is not enough for them, individually they would have more; wanting to be the arbitrators of His revealed inviolate Will, they would exhaust the treasures in Christ and then still desire more, they are comparable to a man filling a bucket with a hole in it, they retain nothing within the heart.
    You say that our interpretations will always be incomplete I would rather say sufficient for the day, we are subject to the scrutiny of God’s Word. God is His own interpreter and over time will lead us into the Truth, we walk in darkness with His guiding light, His Living Word has to be lived (Absorbed) to fully understand it . To embrace Jesus is to devour His Word and we do this when we acknowledge His inviolate teaching within the heart and as we contemplate His Word (Will) The Holy Spirit Beats (sifts) us with blow upon blow until in our heart, our true self we truly know and in this knowing (Seeing) our true self in our own brokenness in relation to His inviolate Word (Will) and when acknowledged openly will and does form a bond of trust (Unity of Purpose) based on humility, between His lovers.
    I agree with you that Faith needs to be built on trust but trust in His inviolate Word (Will) as defined by Jesus Christ and the certitude of His teaching. I believe the questioning of church teaching is healthy when the basis of that questioning relates to the conformity of her teaching in relation to Gods Inviolate Word.

    Only the acceptance of the authority of Jesus Christ speaking to us through the Gospels delivers any ground for fruitful discussion.
    This is my hope for the Church
    Unity of Purpose
    Hope spring’s eternal or so the saying goes’
    Doe’s the church present a weed?
    When it should present a rose
    A light set on a hill
    All men shall know and see
    God’s Holy Will
    No word need be spoken all mankind shall see
    God’s lovers as they bend their knee
    Justice and Love reflected from above
    The missionary shall call
    We would have this for one and all
    A crystal (Rome) on a hill
    Manifesting our Fathers Holy Will
    With tongue and flame give us unity again
    kevin your brother
    In Christ

    • Martin Murray

      Thanks Kevin. Yes, I am familiar with your postings although I can’t bring to mind our original exchange of views. Nevertheless I appreciate this latest conversation.

      Believe it or not I have no problem with the teaching role of our shepherds (bishops) and I have no problem with the concept of objective truth. I am however suspicious of anyone who claims to process it, including our teaching magisterium. Objective truth will always be on the horizon, beyond our reach, yet forever stirring our sense of curiosity and calling us forward in pursuit. I was at an event recently where a priest lamented the fact that people do not see to be ‘teachable’ these days. In so far as using teaching to dictate to people, or lay down the law, or to provide answers to questions that aren’t being asked, or cannot honestly be answered with certitude, he may indeed be right. Humility is needed. It may be that the best container for the Gospel in this post-modern era is honest, open conversation rather than dictation. People will be open to what works for others when life presents them with questions (particularly painful ones) they cannot answer for themselves.

      I also share your desire for a unity of purpose. I would go as far as to say that unity is the noblest pursuit of all, and that ultimately the aim of healthy religion is unity and not perfection. But we are talking here about a unity that is profound and inclusive and is more than any religious conformity or the denominational unity we rarely look beyond and for which we are too easily prepared to settle. (Ephesians 1:10)

      • Kevin Walters

        “But we are talking about a unity here that is much profound and inclusive and should not be reduced to mere denominational unity. (Ephesians 1:10)”
        Yes Martin, I agree it should not be mere denominational. I believe the root of (Ephesians 1:10) comes from (Mark 1:15″)
        “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; “repent and believe in the gospel.”
        God’s Word emphasizes repent and belief in His Word also Revelation 3:19. “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent”.
        We must part (Repent) from sin and self-reliance (relative knowledge) we must live by faith (Believe) in His Inviolate Word and this can only be done by walking zealously in humility before His Word (TRUTH) given to us within the Gospels. We are all in need of continual correction in our thoughts and behaviour, as the white raiment he purchased for us, can only be received (worn, lived,) in humility.
        When we willingly bow down before His light, His Will subjugates our will with His Inviolate Word (Truth).
        The Truth (His Will) feeds love.
        Loving Father, let Truth abound
        Clearing mist, fog and cloud
        Quickening the heart setting it free
        Lifting consciousness to higher degree
        Compassion is the fruit of thee.
        The darkness recedes as we follow His light and through His grace our hearts will eventual be refine into pure gold (Compassion)
        You are right leaders of the Church can no longer teach by dictating or laying down the law, they (Mankind) must be led by those who walk (Live) in humility before God, as they proclaim the simplicity of His inviolate Word, then these Words will be fulfilled
        “They will be taught by God”
        Then our Shepherds will be able to respond with certitude to any questions asked. The Church has become entangled in its own convoluted teaching, radical reform is needed.
        When we willingly bow down before His light His Will subjugates our will with His Inviolate Word (Truth), the darkness recedes as we follow His light, and through His grace our hearts are to be refine into pure gold (Compassion).
        This will induce respect from many who observe our humility before God, a Holy People serving Truth (The Word of God) by acknowledging their own limitations
        before Our Saviours divine (Inviolate Word).
        Our faith needs to be simplified so that even the most simple can understand it and participate in true equality, simplicity of heart, as they could in our Saviours time and then the laity who serve the Inviolate Word of God IN UNIT OF PERPOSE male and female can take their rightful place as humble leaders within the Church.
        kevin your brother
        In Christ
        Martin with regards to your posts on the ACP I had assumed that you went under the heading MM am I correct in this assertion.

        • Martin Murray

          Yes Kevin, that’s me.

            • MartinM

              Thanks for jogging my memory Kevin. Yes, that was an interesting conversation. Not a lot has changed since then.

          • Kevin Walters

            Martin from your perspective that may be the case but over time you may see things quite differently, for me a radical change is starting to take place within the Church, which is in line with what I have been stating over the last four years. Pope Francis says we need be a Church of mercy and so we do, but more importantly we need to be a humble Church, a Church driven by Humility
            To know that you need God’s mercy is to acknowledge your dependence on Him and Him alone and when ACCEPTED in the heart it forms a bond (Friendship) with God. It becomes the greatest gift we can possess as it incorporates Faith, Hope and Charity “unites us to God” and in this friendship based on our humility we cannot help but feel compassion for our neighbour, because in him we see our own fallen self.

            “Paint a picture according to the vision you see and with the inscription: “Jesus, I Trust in Thee”.
            The operative Word here is TRUST, I believe that this message given by God to His church will bear fruit.
            kevin your brother
            In Christ

  12. Kevin Walters

    @ Lloyd Allan MacPherson
    I assume that you have read my Post below (ACP) and others in relation to pollution etc. You have never commented on any of them I must assume that what I have said merits no value in your eyes. See Post 9 on the first ACP link below

    As we have both made regular comments over the last few years on the ACP Site, you must be fully aware of my opinion with regards to the role of women in the Church.
    Quote From one of my Post (no one commented) which reflects my concern for women.
    We need practical honest ordained working male/female Christians committed to Christ who are courageous enough, to go out into the real world, leading from the front, in the paddy field, on the tea plantation in the factory, office, hospital, etc , with integrity, been seen by all, as an EXAMPLE were ordinary men and women work and live, acting as a lynchpin in a chain, holding the flock together and carrying our unity of purpose, the breaking and been the living bread of life amongst us.
    Then like our Muslim brothers, we too, can also show the same commitment and support to each other and pronounce our faith by Example to all of mankind. Male and female in equality of purpose showing true reverence for each other and once again we will hear these words
    “Look how those Christians love one and other”
    Then the Church will have a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything rather than for her self-preservation (her enclosed self-serving all male institutionalized priesthood). End of post.

    The there is no safe ground on this planet Lloyd as all Matter is transitory I was referring to the spiritual plane the path leading to eternal life as offered by Jesus Christ our Savior.
    Lloyd I admire the tenacity and passion you have shown on the ACP Site with regards to global warming (Pollution). But I believe that only a spiritual led response can take us forward. Man has tried once before to control his environment without success, they (Mankind) through the gauntlet down to God
    “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
    Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.
    And from that day to this they are not of one tongue (MIND) without God being at their Centre UNITY OF PERPOSE CANNOT BE ACHIEVED see my Posts links above ACP.
    You say
    “Yet I still have a hard time understanding why people get hung up on the union of two people and the legalities (canon or otherwise) surrounding it with all there is to reform in the world today”
    Lloyd it may be a union but it is not marriage
    My concern is with the pollution of the heart and I defend marriage as defined by Jesus Christ, the place where true lovers sit, by creating an unbreakable bond of love (Protection) for the little flowers (Children)
    You cannot separate the pollution of the earth and the pollution in men’s hearts without incorporating the fundamental cause of the problem, mankind’s rebellion against the sacred, the Inviolate Word of God.

    Pope Francis might echo your sentiment but I believe his time would be better spent regaining the credibility (Moral authority) of the Church and vigorously reforming it, so that mankind can see the truths of the Gospels actual working.
    kevin your brother
    In Christ

  13. Lloyd Allan MacPherson

    Kevin, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. The Global Catholic Climate Movement is really cutting into my spare time these days. I did go back and read your contributions to the two articles you mentioned. I normally check out of the conversation when I hear the words “hierarchy’s response to the Catholic abuse scandal”. This statement affects me personally and once I read it, I usually stop because I have moved on and understand full well the repercussions of my forgiveness. I won’t ever forget but at the same time, I have a tendency to check out of conversations when this becomes a pervading theme and I believe in the two articles you’ve pointed out, this statement is made by you. The Roman Catholic Church is a group of people – not a single hierarchy. Pope Francis for what it’s worth means very little to most Catholics because he is on one of the highest pedestals of them all. Untouchable maybe? Well in little time, he kicked that pedestal out from under him and now he has firmly placed himself in the trenches or “tide” as he would call it. If you think for one moment being on safe ground as a Catholic is a mental/spiritual ascension, you’re sadly mistaken. Now, being that next level Catholic means you have to get in the tide with the rest of us and start swimming in the opposite direction of society as a whole, allowing our differences to unify us under one common good act – save the planet. Pope Francis is calling a truce for the time being on matters that apparently you feel are first and foremost in a Catholic’s spiritual ascension. What do you think is the reason for this? Is it the 11th hour? Have we failed humanity? Without our precious Earth, what do we have? I don’t disagree with what you are saying, it’s just that time is running out on a few things. This can’t wait. Once it is done, humanity will have a better sense of direction and less guilt and distraction and be able to walk more with Him.

    • Kevin Walters

      Martin I am most gratefully for your reply, you are very fortunate to have moved on and I am pleased for you. Sadly everybody has not, I will not reiterate what I have said in the two links that you have read above they speak for themselves. My thinking is in line with this article in the National Catholic Reporter.
      The safe ground I am referring to is not a mental/spiritual ascension rather than an ascension, it is a lowering of the heart in honesty and acknowledging our own limitations before our Father in heaven, walking in humility behind our Saviour Jesus Christ and embracing the Holy Spirit in truthfulness and in so doing confront the evil that enslaves mankind our own sinfulness. You seem to be well informed on what Pope Francis thinks, you say he is calling a truce, who with?
      You say
      “Once it is done (saved the planet) humanity will have a better sense of direction and less guilt and distraction and be able to walk more with Him”.
      God cannot be put to one side (Taken out of the equation) to do so is to embrace evil, we either walk with Him or we don’t, to put God to one side would be to build on sand, it will not bear fruit, it will never be completed, like the Tower of Babel.
      The challenges are tremendous Lloyd and I would not want to dampen your enthusiasm to bring about change, but when men build nuclear Power Stations virtually on top of a geological fault with it’s a deadly pollution, that has a life span of one hundred thousand years and don’t know how to store that pollution safely for the next hundred. We have to question mankind’s integrity and sadly that of our church leaders.
      kevin your brother
      In Christ

      • Lloyd Allan MacPherson

        Again Kevin, I don’t exactly disagree. I think on one hand, there is a root cause for all of this and I believe you are very close to identifying it as a darkness in the heart. Rene Girard tells us that we follow this path because of an intrinsic human condition called mimetic desire. It is both our greatest asset and curse. If the proper “leadership” is not in power, then our behavioural component that tells us to act in unison as a “security” reflex leads us in the wrong direction. So the greatest challenge to mankind within the physical realm is mimetic desire’s compounding aggression against the environment (falling second to let’s say mankind’s refusal to walk in humility). This compounding aggression on the environment is due to our leadership’s decision to make “oil” a necessary, life-giving component to all creation. To eject the “powers-that-be” in a timely fashion would require the absolute change of a guard so to speak where it concerns this group’s availability to hold the future of mankind and the health of our planet as a ransom. This must immediately be addressed and it seems that the Pope is calling a truce on other subjects like those you point out for the time being. This is still an important position within the church but to be honest, we could have everyone walking around being the best people they can be burning the best oil money can buy and we are really not moving forward, are we? So what topic does the Church or the papacy tackle right now? Yours or an immediate physical threat? First step in turning this tide is what the Pope has decided to do. This battle takes place in the physical realm and its reasoning is legal, not spiritual. Oil, its by-products and its financial derivatives need to be evicted from our planet for once and for all and with that an establishment of a new “powers-that-be” which will enforce an environment of collaborative, local community development and not a global enslavement on a killer commodity.

        • Lloyd Allan MacPherson

          And Kevin, what really got me involved with ACP/ACI/PI/AUSCP was the idea of reform, especially concerning the idea of holding men/women in unnatural laws and St. Thomas’s ideas of what happens when laws like these are enforced. When a person is held in an unnatural law, the doorway to ethical relativism is opened. People act out in ways not normal to human behaviour and states/societies become authoritarian. St. Thomas told us quite long ago what would eventually happen or has happened frequently throughout history. The Vatican is the embodiment of this authoritarian state and the abuse crisis in the Church seems less of a crisis and more of a compounding historical culture if we see it for what it truly is. So when you say that you wouldn’t like to dampen my enthusiasm to bring about change, within me is a fire that can’t be extinguished, so no worries here. Change is not putting God to one side. Change is a strategy that puts man’s weaknesses to the test and brings his conscience to the forefront. I believe we have 9 coastal nuclear facilities in North America. Fault lines or no fault lines, these sites need to be decommissioned immediately and an alternate source of power found. I welcome you to listen to this song called “Turn The Tide” which was posted to Youtube one month prior to the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Its lyrical content describes many parallels to the topics you cover in your statements on this and the ACP site. I am proud to have written this song and brokered the video with an independent young vocalist and film-maker. What was created has had a resounding effect on the world as we know it today and it is wonderful to see how some political/spiritual leadership is tying our involvement with dirty technology, propping up billionaire businessmen, and watching a never before seen disparity unfold among classes with the key to the first step in humanity’s salvation. We are begging to be saved. Can you feel it?

        • Kevin Walters

          Thankyou Lloyd for your reply, oil is not the problem the problem is how mankind uses it, no one person or small group decided how its development would eventually become an integral part of modern society. Its usefulness created its own progression and mankind has used it for good but also to his detriment.
          Where is this proper “leadership” to come from? who has the integrity to lead, in replacing “the-powers-that-be,” I don’t believe that any new “power-that-be” will be able to “enforce” an environment of collaboration, this “enforcement” as history teaches us would become tyrannical.
          But I do believe that a spiritual renewal within the Church would give mankind HOPE, in that it could be possible to bring about change, by seeing a group of spiritual leaders working with integrity in true Unity of Purpose, before our Father in heaven, others may then mimic them. If so, we would then have the start of a new Spiritual awakening, in seeing people amongst us walking with integrity. Then we may start to move forward in an environment of true collaboration, based on love of God and love of our neighbour, as we sense (Feel) the presence of God amongst us.
          Lloyd I do not think I can add any more to this debate without regurgitating all that I have already said, it is beginning to remind me of that old German “folk” song “There’s a Hole in My Bucket” we will have to agree to disagree.
          I will leave the last word to you Lloyd, if you so wish.
          kevin your brother
          In Christ.

  14. Lloyd Allan MacPherson

    I’m not actually sure where we are disagreeing Kevin. It seems like we are talking about completely different topics: “How” we use oil being the problem and not “oil” itself. I guess the spiritual renewal in the church you are looking for will have to come in a better package than what Pope Francis is gifting us with right now. People constantly look for a scapegoat or a reason why things are not going to happen. Don’t bring a new idea to the table because as soon as it’s out of your mouth, people will hate you for it. Tell them something they know, and they will adore you. That “spirit” is well within all of us and it is an affliction. Luckily, it’s not likely to be found in people between the ages of, let’s say 13-17. The intellect of youth today without the attitudes of them less likely to try something new is the only thing that can save us. They are the future and really haven’t started programming themselves with preconceived notions of success and failure or the status quo. They are also less likely to be afraid to take a step into a completely different direction. Fear is what prevents us from progress. Who has the integrity to lead? Possibly this group of children could – I’m sure they have the combined mental acuity to solve most of the world’s problems that adults can’t really get their heads around like poverty, and war and the environment and the economy. Let me guess, it’s all too complex for them. That is where we are wrong. It’s not complex at all it’s just that at the stage when you finally become a true member of the “flock”, you’d do everything you can to prevent the flock from disassembling. Spiritual renewal to give man “hope”…you should be a little more precise than that. I think that’s what Pope Francis has done. He has started to translate a spiritual renewal with real-life present day activities. Imagine that; showing us how to live. How dare any religion be critical of modern society, especially the environment?

  15. Kevin Walters

    In my Posts above have made an attempt to give solutions to four of the five points discussed by the ACI and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, but so far I have not dealt with
    “Pastoral care for LGBT people, their parents and families”
    V2catholic Web Site has kindly published my Article, A Bond of Mercy, which deals with the said subject, any comments would be welcome.
    kevin your brother
    In Christ.


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