Christian Hope: Christ Suffers With Us

Aug 30, 2022 | 0 comments

True hope subsists in the face of, indeed in the very teeth of the worst of human suffering,” insists researcher Paul Corcoran, in an Irish Times article explaining US President Joe Biden’s attachment to the poetry of Seamus Heaney.

In contrast to the Greek philosophical understanding, ‘Christian hope resides … in the consolation of a god who suffers with us (in the words of St Bernard of Clairvaux).’

Paul Corcoran, a doctorate researcher in Trinity College Dublin’s Loyola Institute, tells us that Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘The Cure at Troy‘ is the source of President Biden’s belief that ‘hope and history’ can ‘rhyme’ – i.e. that our own suffering hope of a ‘turn for the better’ can be fulfilled in our own time – and not just in relation to the prospect of a durable peace in Ireland.

President Biden, Paul tells us, claims to keep a running total of US casualties of the covid epidemic in his breast pocket.

For those with access, Paul Corcoran’s complete article in the Irish Times can be found here.


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ACI’s Campaign for Lumen Gentium 37

The Promise of Synodality

What we have experienced of synodality so far gives ACI real hope that a longstanding structural injustice in the church may at last be acknowledged and overcome.

As all Irish bishops well know, the 'co-responsibility' they urge lay people to share - as numbers and energies of clergy decline - has been sabotaged time and again by canonical rules that deny representational authority and continuity to parish pastoral councils.  ACI's 2019 call for the immediate honouring of Lumen Gentium Article 37 becomes more urgent by the day and is supported by the following documents - also presented to the ICBC in October 2019.

The Common Priesthood of the People of God and the Renewal of the Church
It was Catholic parents and victims of clerical abuse who taught Catholic Bishops to prioritise the safeguarding of children in the church

Jesus as Model for the Common Priesthood of the People of God
It was for challenging religious hypocrisy and injustice that Jesus was accused and crucified. He is therefore a model for the common priesthood of the laity and for the challenging of injustice - in society and within the church.

A Suggested Strategy for the Recovery of the Irish and Western Catholic Church
Recovery of the church depends upon acknowledgment of the indispensable role of the common priesthood of the lay people of God and the explicit abandonment by bishops and clergy of paternalism and clericalism - the expectation of deference from lay people rather than honesty and integrity.

For the full story of ACI's campaign for the honouring of Article 37 of Lumen Gentium, click here.


"Come Holy Spirit, Renew Your wonders in this our day, as by a new Pentecost. Grant to Your Church that, being of one mind and steadfast in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and following the lead of blessed Peter, it may advance the reign of our Divine Saviour, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace. Amen."

Saint Pope John XXIII, 1962 - In preparation for Vatican Council II, 1962-65.

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