At the third Evangelium Conference in Maynooth, Ireland, Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan , Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, explained in depth what Pope Benedict meant by “the creative minority” and gave encouraging words on the New Evangelisation in Ireland.
Young adults flocked to this weekend encounter on the theme of explaining the Catholic faith in the modern world.
Katie Ascough of Vatican Radio spoke with Bishop Cullinan about the position of the Catholic Church in today’s world and how the New Evangelisation has been slowly but surely blossoming in Ireland.
“The Catholic Church must understand herself as a creative minority that has a heritage of values that are not things of the past, but living and relevant reality…This creative minority have really…the task of helping society to see where the truth is and to rebuild culture,” Bishop Cullinan pointed out.
When asked to elaborate on his explanation of the “false alternative” which would be for the Church to “ghettoize herself”, Bishop Cullinan explained how there are some critical, negative Catholics who “tend to…cut oneself off and circle the wagons and cast out of one’s mind all of those who are not of likemind”, thus creating a “ghetto mentality”.
Bishop Cullinan illustrated with a Gospel story Christ’s own non-ghetto mentality which was, rather, to “bring back those who have gone astray”. Considering the word “Catholic” literally means “universal”, Bishop Cullinan’s inclusivity certainly echoes not only Biblical parables, but even the essence of what it means to be Catholic.
When asked what his advice is to young Catholics living in the world today as the “creative minority”, Bishop Cullinan enthusiastically endorsed the organisations and youth groups involved in the Church in Ireland. He described how they provide an “oasis where we can come and be fed on a regular basis and then go back to our ordinary lives. But you know,” he added, “with our smile and with our simplicity of life and with our joy, people will see the value of following Jesus.”
Concerning the New Evangelisation and evidence of its effects in Ireland, the bishop’s enthusiasm was no less exuberant: “Oh yes, I think we have certainly seen evidence of it…We can see green shoots all over the place,” he said listing off examples.
“The New Evangelisation is happening; maybe not on an explosive scale, but it is happening,” the bishop said.
In closing, Bishop Cullinan paraphrased Pope Francis: “Just join in the good fight and get out there. Yeah, we’re going to get bruised and battered, but it’s going to be worth it.”
Click here to listen to the interview.
Source: Vatican Radio