Archive: January, 2013
It would be interesting to know what Dr. Peter Kearney’s employers really think of his recent outburst about sectarianism in Scotland . Dr Kearney is Director of the Scottish Catholic Media Office, but no one seems to have told him that the messenger must never become the message; which is exactly what he became last week with his ridiculous comparison of the plight of Scottish Catholics to that of American blacks in the worst days of segregation.
Many minds boggled besides mine, and there’s no need for me to add further words to the chorus of disbelief. The position of American blacks before the Civil Rights Movement was most famously expressed in Billie Holiday’s song, ‘Strange Fruit’:
The church is always in crisis. If you don’t believe it, just read any preacher from one of her Golden Ages. All of them, from Augustine to John Kennedy, thought they were living in ‘cloudy and dark days’.
The 21st century is no exception. True or not, the perception is that the church is in deep, deep trouble. On this at least, believers and non-believers are agreed. For the one, it’s time for a ‘ho-ro gheallaidh’; for the other, for lamentation, and with the lamentation comes panic: a panic which is equally pronounced among Anglicans, Catholics, Baptists and Presbyterians. We have put ourselves in a dilemma.
It’s quite simple. We either keep our identity, and become irrelevant; or we become relevant, and lose our identity.