...the theme of a talk given by Bishop Mark Davies to The Keys, the Catholic Writers' Guild, last night.
He speaks in a measured, low-key way, thoughtful and well-prepared. His talk was Christ-centred, warmly supportive of the Council, reflective: he emphasised the futility of seeing things in a "left/right" "conservatives/liberals" series of battles and conspiracies - what matters is the larger reality, the teachings that emerged, the message of hope and renewal, and the opportunity now offerred, by the forthcoming 50th anniversary, for new evangelisation drawing from the same prayerful faith as that shown by Bl. John XXIII in summoning the Council all those years ago. The Fathers of the Council were gathered, he stressed, not in a sort of Parliament, but in the service of the Church.
The overall message of his talk was that the 50th anniversary is something to celebrate and honour, and that the Council's teachings will serve the Church well in the years ahead. It was a view with a mature perspective: the Council seen in the light of Blessed John Paul and the Catechism.
I first met Bishop Mark years ago through the FAITH Movement, and his general approach very much chimes in with the message that I received through that Movement about Vatican II throughout the 1970s and 80s. He exudes a prayerful and calm sense of competence, and of confidence in the Church.
At the meeting, I was able to announce the winners of the 2012 Catholic Young Writer Award, which is run jointly by The Keys and the Catholic Union. We have joint winners this year - twin girls at a school in Loughborough. Info here. I will be going to the school the present the Award a shield, plus a modest cash prize, and books) in a few weeks' time.
Also: The Keys was one of the founders of the Towards Advent Festival: Sat Nov 24th. Join us there! Opens 10.30am, talks, music, stalls and displays by a wide range of Catholic groups and organisations...