‘My faith is in Jesus of Nazareth. I don’t have faith in an institution and nobody wants that. That is not authentic faith.”
I could have cheered out loud when I read this from Fr Shay Cullen, an Irish missionary in the Philippines, who is probably best known for his campaigning work against child trafficking and sex tourism. Cullen is quoted in Joe Humphreys’s often uplifting and always informative book, God’s Entrepreneurs: How Irish Missionaries Tried to Change the World (New Island, 2010).
My reaction to a discussion on the BBC’s Newsnight programme a few weeks ago was the opposite: I nearly screamed with frustration at one of the five Church of England bishops who are defecting to Rome in protest at the ordination of women bishops.
When pressed by Jeremy Paxman and a female priest, Bishop John Broadhurst was reduced to citing “church tradition”. No Christian imperatives or logic involved – there could be none – just reference to the customs of the institution. It seems the last thing senior church members ask themselves is: “How would Jesus react to this?”
The problem with an institution, as alluded to by Cullen and exampled by Bishop Broadhurst, is that invariably its own perceived welfare comes to take precedence over everything else. This is particularly tragic when the institution lays claim to embodying the essence of the greatest person who ever walked this earth, Jesus Christ.
Go read the rest of this wonderfully righteous rant
by David Adams at THE IRISH TIMES. It rocks!