Friday, December 16, 2011


Over the past two weekend, RTE, the Irish state broadcaster, ran a piece on their “Would you Believe” program on the decline of Catholic practice here in Ireland. Very well put together with some very good differing contributions. What struck me though, quite strongly, was a question posed to a young couple about to present their child for christening. It was a simple question but one they both found very difficult to answer…”as a Catholic – what do you believe?” – the answer – “God?... I don’t know” and then “to believe in God, and to worship him – in your own way”. Not judging them – but even on a very basic level – why would you indoctrinate a baby into ANY faith, if your understand of it was this? There are things that I disagree with in the Roman Catholic tradition (I’ve been called an a-la-carte Catholic before!) but I believe that change can be made, from within, without throwing out the baby with the font water as it were. We can be very immature about our faith and our spiritual life. I admire those who have a strong sense of belief, and those who have none, such as Richard Dawkins. We are required to think. Having a faith trust upon you from childhood does not mean you never have to think about it again. Far from it – it is (dare I say) unholy to do so.

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