I agree with Edmund Loh that our priests need to “Use Pulpit to Address Controversial Issues” (CN July 17) simply because Jesus had commissioned His followers, especially our shepherds, to “teach”, “preach” and “proclaim” just before He ascended into heaven.
The mode of teaching and preaching has been made easier in this era through the means of print, radio and television, and many of our shepherds have relied on these to “proclaim” the Good News to the world.
However our mission as Christians is not merely to send to the “lambs” the media articles for them to read just as we do not simply pass the Bible to the laity to read and interpret God’s message all by themselves without the guidance of the Church.
Too often, priests at the pulpit remind us of the not-so-controversial issues like abortion and extra-marital affairs and these are merely addressed on the surface, if at all.
(For example, during the Feast of the Holy Innocents, a priest I know didn’t even use the word “abortion” and simply preached that we must protect innocent lives and to speak up.)
Other important but controversial issues which impact our Christian lives remain strangely silent from our clergy.
In addition to the more common controversial issues listed by Mr Loh, other related issues like civil unions, same-sex marriages, vasectomy, tubal ligation, cohabitation, living wills, organ transplants, capital punishment are never heard from the pulpit.
It is a fallacy for our bishop and priests to believe that if these issues are aired, albeit infrequently, in our national newspapers like The Straits Times and in the Catholic News, the laity are “informed” and the clergy’s job is “done”. This is a mistaken notion and an insufficient manner to spread the Good News.
It is particularly important in this age of moral relativism that our priests be armed to proclaim the falsities of these seemingly “compassionate” issues impacting our society and the laity’s daily lives.
After a week-long retreat, I pray that our priests in Singapore will be renewed with passion to simply and courageously preach the authentic Good News – without avoiding its hard and controversial issues – to the faithful in Singapore.
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