Mr Mike McCormack had asked for letters to the CatholicNews (CN, Dec 18), so I shall take up the offer.
I am of the view that Mr McCormack has misinterpreted the nuncio’s call for the local Church to be more vocal as an invitation to debate on Church matters.
On the contrary, in his frank assessment of our circumstances, the nuncio commented that we seemed to have lost our ground by not being more proactive and effective in promoting Gospel values in an increasingly secularised Singapore, where religions and their values are commonly relegated to a cramped, hardly visible corner at the table of public discourse, if at all.
I welcome the nuncio’s challenge for us, as a Church, to be more involved, visible and united in living and seeding Gospel values in our social, economic and political establishments, and to do so in creative ways so as to be God’s leaven in our society.
This is a mission for the whole People of God: clerics, consecrated Religious and laity. But the Church has given a unique mandate to the laity, whose special vocation it is to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will.
By doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus (Col 3:17), lay people in their homes, workplaces and wider society illuminate and order secular matters that these may be to the glory of God and contribute to the sanctification of man (cf Lumen Gentium 31,2).
In the years following Vatican II, the laity’s participation in our baptismal vocation as priest, prophet and king has tended to be fulfilled ad intra in Church life and ministries.
These are important, but in the more secularised environment today, we must also live our baptismal vocation in society, recognising that our responsibility to spread and grow the Gospel cannot be delegated to another or restricted to the converts.
Forum letters should be welcome, in so far as they promote truth and creative ways for us to be God’s leaven in Singapore. But if we end up debating internal matters, my Christmas wish would be to have less of them.