Synthesis March-April 2012

FAITH Magazine March – April 2012

These would seem to be uncertain times for the direction of time itself, let alone the Church, if the recently recorded speed of the neutrino is to be believed (see our letters page; and for the latest on the Higgs boson sub-particle, aka the "God particle", see our Cutting Edge column). William Oddie discerns a similarly disconcerting uncertainty regarding the direction of the British Ordinariate, while Peter Mitchell sees hope among the thorns tearing at the US Church.

Our editorial calls us to heed repeated papal pleas concerning the rediscovery of confession. In particular, we welcome Lancaster diocese's practical and timely encouragement of the sacrament this Lent. And as we approach Holy Week Fr Tolhurst weaves together Christian wisdom from across two millennia to guide us through the timelessness of the Holy Triduum.

In our reviews section, Fr Tolhurst describes the Russian Orthodox Patriarch's perceptive diagnosis of modern Europe. And in keeping with this magazine's prescription concerning Faith and Reason we review a biography of Blessed Duns Scotus, the Franciscan theologian and mystic who so eloquently expounded Catholic belief in Christ as the cornerstone of Creation.

Cormac Burke's article offers a way forward for the continuing debate over the relationship of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body and the Catholic understanding of "disordered desire". This latter Catholic doctrine, we would note, is understood as applying to all human beings and not just, as some try to spin it, to those with same-sex attraction.

We are pleased to present a report from a young undergraduate on a helpful event discussing "gay marriage". This informative session bucks the British post-1968 ecclesial trend towards cultural respectability. The virtual silence over the redefinition of sex and marriage which this realpolitik has involved is touched upon in Mr Audley-Charles's letter.

One of the many influential negative forces that have filled the similar vacuum in the US is Planned Parenthood. If you find statistics too much, don't let that put you off Keith Riler's convincing description of how this state-funded money-spinner is undermining youthful purity.

Finally, our Road from Regensburg column offers some recommendations from the Holy See for a fruitful celebration of the forthcoming Year of Faith. In particular, our leaders are exhorted to use every means available to deepen our knowledge of the Catechism, as well as the documents of Vatican II, so as to "aid both the encounter with Christ through authentic witness to faith, and the ever-greater understanding of its contents".

Faith Magazine