Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The St Paul's Demo

St Paul's Demo by Southwark Vocations
I have to admit if I were a protester outside St Paul's I'd be feeling pretty confused and probably not a little cheesed off! There I am campaigning for the abolition of money when suddenly it all turns into a debate about ecclesiastical politics.
However, I'm not a protester outside St Paul's so I have the leisure to be bemused in another way and to wonder how that motley congregation might be evangelised. People have been asking "What would Jesus do?" Having already pitched his tent among us, I suspect he would be continue to call men and women to repentance. However, I think we know what St Paul would do. When he went into the Areopagus St Paul didn't say to those present, "I stand with you". He latched onto something they could relate to and used it to proclaim Christ. That's the model of the first evangelisation of Europe and I suspect it will need to be the model of the New Evangelisation as well.
It seems to me that there are probably  quite a few potential starting points for a really useful and constructive dialogue. The right of men and women not to be exploited could be one. Where does that right come from? In fact, are rights conceded by the State or inherent in the individual? If the latter what about the right to life? Carefully handled such a conversation could lead some of those young people from the ubiquitous moral relativism they've been taught since school to an understanding of the notion of moral absolutes.
Would they all be converted? Who knows! St Paul was laughed at by some but others said, "We will hear you again on this". Anyone thinking of the priesthood today needs to think also how they would engage with young people to proclaim Christ to them.

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