Mancini comes close

Anthony Mancini the archbishop of Halifax, of all the Canadian bishops, came close to striking the right pose regarding the latest round of Roman missteps on the abuse file. As a shepherd should, Mancini exhibited intelligence, compassion and forthrightness. Gone were the sad-making prredictable  and knee-jerk defenses of the Vatican imposed other Canadian bishops. In came the obvious: the Church needs a refounding. We need more humble bishops like this.

In the ongoing story of the sexually related scandals which are affecting the whole church, I keep trying to figure out what the Spirit of God is saying to us. In part, the Spirit’s voice is making itself heard through the many persons who have written to me about their faith, their fears and their frustrations. I thank all of you for expressing your concerns, your criticisms and your hopes for our church. One consistent message has been the call for our Church everywhere, but at least here in Nova Scotia, to be more open, accountable and transparent.

In these expressed views, I hear the call to repentance, reform and renewal for our church, the mission of restoring the church’s credibility, the imperative of becoming more trustworthy and the task of being significant again in the lives of God’s people.

What the Spirit of the Lord appears to be telling me is certainly penitential, purifying and demanding, leaving me sometimes perplexed and often with more questions than answers.

Nevertheless, out of my reflection and prayer, I found myself responding to the needs and the circumstances of our time, with a vision, a concept and an expression which seems to fit and that is: “Re-founding our church.”

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