Monday, March 17, 2014

A meeting...

..with Antonia Lynn, former deacon(ess) in the CofE, who is running a special "Day for Ordinariate Pilgrims"...see here for info...

Yesterday (Sunday) a pleasant evening with members of the CathSoc of the University of Hertfordshire. Afterwards, a talkative supper with some of them, from Nigeria and from Uganda. This University attracts students from across the world, notably Africa. Extremely interesting to listen to them, and to talk things through with them.

The story of the Uganda Martyrs has long interested me: it was fascinating to hear about the current popularity of the Shrine at Namugongo, which attracts vast crowds of pilgrims every year, especially on the Martyrs' feast-day in June.

Back in the 1970s I remember a Bidding Prayer at Mass for the Church in Africa asking that God would help it to be "truly African". It was deliberately phrased to include a specific form of thought:the fashionable message in Britain at the time was that Catholics in Africa would be very liberal in their theology and in their approach to everything in the Church including doctrine and morals, and the Prayer was phrased to reinforce this view.  Even at the time I thought that silly: now, some decades on we can all observe that the very reverse is true, and African Christians are challenging the fashionably muddled approach to doctrine and morals prevalent in the West. 

Not everything is glowingly splendid in the Church in Africa: there are lots of problems. But in order to understand these, it is necessary to hear from African Catholics and not to propose ideas that are connected to Western opinions.

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