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Broken Faith

Why Hope Matters


Edited By Patrick Claffey, Joe Egan and Marie Keenan

This book is a theological reflection on the broken state of faith within the Catholic Church in Ireland following more than two decades of revelations about institutional and child sexual abuse and the Church’s now acknowledged failure to respond to the abuse in an appropriate way. The result has been broken lives, broken faith and a broken church.
While the book has a theological purpose, it employs a see–judge–act methodology in attempting to come to terms with a very complex problem. Following a broad introduction, the first section sets out to listen to the voices of the victims. The second section consists of an interdisciplinary academic analysis, with significant input from psychology and also from history and social studies. The final section of the book engages in theology, seeking to place us in a Kairos moment that might allow us to look beyond our broken faith. This, however, requires an analysis of the theological misunderstandings that led to the aberration of clericalism, the resulting abuse of power and the wider malaise within the Church. St Paul is suggested as a «mentor», as we seek to restore trust and rebuild the Church in a radically new way. The book ultimately seeks a renewal of our broken faith, searching for trajectories towards healing and wholeness, truth and reconciliation.


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Lynn M. Levo Revising Our Understanding of Being Sexual


Lynn M. Levo Revising Our Understanding of Being Sexual In his Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland, Pope Benedict XVI invited Catholics to journey together on the path of healing, renewal and repara- tion. He asked for honest self-examination and a committed programme of renewal, as he called for a new vision to inspire present and future genera- tions to treasure the gift of our common faith. I believe that a new vision of what it means to be human and sexual is urgently needed and that a revised understanding may well be what will inspire current and future generations. In the Gospel of Mark (10:42–45), Jesus began his ministry with a call to a change of heart and mind – implying that if people are to accept him, they would need to put aside old ways of seeing. Thus we are on holy ground here, re-visioning, re-imaging what it means to be human and sexual. As Richard McCormick urges, there are many ways to go about re-imaging: hoping, critiquing past and present, regretting, forgiving, inspiring, dialoguing and dreaming.1 Placing Things in Context: Culture and Tradition It is imperative that we look at being sexual in the context of culture and tradition, since these have a huge impact on how we approach sexuality today. Culture tells us what is important, how to behave and to whom we should listen and attend. It also limits what we can imagine by supporting 1 Richard McCormick, “Moral Theology in the Year...

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