Cardinal John’s Newsletter 25 July 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Kia tau te Rangimarie kia koutou

I was very privileged last week to have three days in Australia where I had been invited to speak on the “Leadership of Pope Francis,” first in the Diocese of Parramatta and then in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. As always, I learnt so much in preparing these talks. I have to read and reflect on what the Pope is saying and then try to apply it to my own life. Having returned home from Australia on Thursday evening, I then went to a lecture on Friday evening by Dr Chris Bellitto hosted by The Catholic Institute(TCI) “Where is Pope Francis Taking the Catholic Church, and Will He Get There?” It was a fascinating and wonderful lecture, and again I learnt so much.

The Pope is clearly trying to reform the Roman Curia – it was called for by many Cardinals at the Conclave that elected him. Dr Bellitto told us that Pope Francis is saying that this reform begins with each one of us, with a conversion of heart, deep reflection every day about whether we as individuals are really living the Gospel.

Pope Francis is admired by many, but he also has many critics and deserves our total support, our total prayerful support. He is also quite demanding. He asks us to be adult in our faith. He refuses to take responsibility for everything in the Church. He continues to argue for a radical decentralisation to local bishops and to Bishops Conferences. He believes in the sense of the faithful and that we listen to the Holy Spirt by listening to one another; that means all of us listening carefully and prayerfully to one another.

I love the part in Evangelii Gaudium where Pope Francis writes “all the baptized, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization, and it would be insufficient to envisage a plan of evangelization to be carried out by professionals while the rest of the faithful would simply be passive recipients.” (EG 120).

Francis is very clear that we are in this TOGETHER, in the Church we can never think of “the professionals” and those who are just recipients. We are all the baptised, we all have our gifts to offer, we are all called to prayerfully discern what we can do together to help bring about the Kingdom of God.

With thanks and every blessing.
Naku noa
+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.