David Bradwell, JPIT: June 2017
The other day I was talking to a Catholic Priest friend of mine about secular politics and the role of the Church at election times. He was sharing something about the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola which resonated with me that might help us to avoid being co-opted unwittingly into political agendas.
Ignatius saw that true discernment requires an attitude of detachment, which is not a lack of interest, nor an unwillingness to engage with the subject matter, but is rather a positive state that seeks to recognise God's will in any given situation. To be detached is to actively seek God's will, neither owning one option or the other, but choosing to determine God's desire, and to actively decide what will lead to God's deepening life in each of us.
While we all have political opinions, when the Church gets too involved or too close, it begins to lose the detachment that we need to discern God's will. We run the risk of presenting our will as God's will. Election campaigns make this ever more sensitive. Notwithstanding the fact that as registered charities the churches must abide by statutory guidance on impartiality, lobbying and campaigning, it is far more important that the Church sees itself not as any other kind of organisation weighing in on its priorities for manifestos or commitments from future MPs. The Church is not a lobby organisation for its own members. JPIT is not a think tank dreaming up policies and hoping to get noticed. We are all part of the movement of followers of Jesus Christ, our mission is to proclaim Good News to the poor and to worship God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbour as ourselves.
For the full article, click here.
popular recent storiesAlso in the news
Might you, or someone you know, be interested in attending Parentalk? Parentalk gives parents the opportunity to share experiences, explore parenting principles, watch real life stories and animations, befriend other parents and more. The sessions are for an hour and a half and the course is run over 6 weeks. Children are welcome and will be catered for.As to what we would do, we will watch...
The highly personable and musically talented Oliver and Samuel Hancock delighted a very appreciative audience in the church with 'An Evening of Flanders and Swann' on Saturday 8th February. Flanders and Swann's songs are characterised by wit, gentle satire, complex rhyming schemes, linguistic play and memorable choruses. The evening was well summed up by two concert-goers writing to...
On Saturday 26 January twelve avid Good-Faith book readers met to discuss Marcus Borg's book "Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time." We all agreed, whether we were more or less familiar with Borg's ideas, we all had, indeed, seen Jesus afresh through the reading or rereading of this book! The style of Borg's writing is scholarly, logical and assessible, which made it easy...