Wednesday, 11 June 2008

The Future

Well I'm on a few days visit back home to see the folks, and also to do some work; it's interesting coming home after only a short time away. Things are changing quite rapidly in Scotland. The SNP party are in power and things have slowly changed. The Scottish Executive is now the Scottish Government, even the currency notes look more European than they do British and if a Tory government are elected you can be sure that one of the results will be an independent Scotland.

Scotland like the rest of the united kingdom is struggling for an identity; as the prospect of independence becomes ever more a reality, you can sense in the air a sort of wind of change. I'm noticing more and more how people are changing too.

In Scotland there is a more open attitude towards Europe than in the rest of the UK, even though the current first minister is standing up to Brussels on fishery and trade issues, he is also looking to the smaller countries in Europe such as Norway for ideas about Scotland. These idea's are not simply economic either, they cover a whole multitude of things such as health, education and even culture.

With all this coming, you can expect moral changes to happen too. People are going to be considering new ideas. There is a culture in Europe of putting plasters over deep wounds socially, and I'm frightened that it's starting to happen in Scotland too. Already there is talk of 'safe drug use' clinics, and there are murmurs of Euthanasia too... All deep challenges for the years that lie ahead and I feel the Church in Scotland at the moment is simply incapable of having a credible voice until it unites and sorts itself out

As Scotland changes the challenge for the Church will be to find a way of entering into dialogue with the country not just as a whole but with each and every individual. John Paul II said that the priest is a unique observer, because he See's the reality of the invisible as well visible. The Church needs be an anchor in the rough sea that lies ahead. It cant afford to be at war with itself, it has to be united in presenting the mystery of Christ to the modern man. It needs it's priests to be true pastors in every sense of the word, men willing to give their whole self for God because that is the price of the Gospel, you pay for it with your whole being. But not only that, men deeply submurged in God and in the faith.

Yes there is hard times a head, and the reality is at now as the Pope said yesterday:

"hopes for great novelties and improvements are concentrated on science and technology... it is not science and technology that can give meaning to our lives and teach us to distinguish good from evil. Indeed as I wrote in my encyclical 'Spe salvi', it is not science that redeems man: man is redeemed by love, and this applies even in terms of the present world".

It is that same redeeming love which the Church in Scotland must be united in proclaiming.

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