Those of us who have found a religious faith are inclined to believe that we have found an overarching truth, but the variety of good people in the many global faith families seems to speak of the tolerance of the mysterious source of all goodness for a variety of faith statements and ‘theologies’.
Seriously concerned for the pain I know to be associated with an inability to believe in anything – often caused by the hypocrisy and intolerance of those who claim firm faith – I now invite my own closest faith family (Irish Catholics) to address our church’s own responsibility for the faith crisis that prevails not only on our own island but throughout the West.
For us Catholics the source of all goodness is the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but our church also teaches that the spirit of truth resides to some degree in everyone – and wishes to draw all of the human family into amity and kindness. Can we be welcoming as a people if we do not listen as well as speak – if we do not seek a language in which to converse with anyone we meet of that source of all goodness and truth that draws all of us to itself?
Believing as I do that the source of goodness is also the source of freedom, I believe that source can only be approached in freedom and in mutual respect. It must transcend all complex theologies, and convey itself by virtue of its own truth (Vatican Council II – Declaration on Religious Freedom, 1).
Does our Catholic creed do that? What do you think?