Wednesday, 3 February 2010
The Pope and the Truth
As usual, the Holy Father has not said anything new, but the general response of the Press is that he has! I note that in his speech to the departing Bishops of England and Wales he spoke about "the truth". I think this is actually a concept that is not really understood in the West (as against the Orthodox East). Alistair Campbell said of the Blair government, "We don't do God!". he might just as well have said, "We are not really committed to the truth!". Lying is endemic in our society. People lie as a matter of course. Having said that, I can still be surprised by the quality of a lie. Last year I took my car into a Ford dealer to be repaired. I had to leave it there for a whole day, and because it was in another town, I spent three or four hours just wandering around a supermarket and nearby shops. When I went to see how the car was getting along, the man at the desk rang through to the service department and then told me, "They're still on with it". "Strange" I replied, "The car is in the exact same position I left it this morning, just outside your showroom. It hasn't been moved". He was VERY embarrassed and fumbled around for some kind of face-saving formula. It came in a brusque and business-like manner, informing me that since the work had not been done I would need to book it in again. I did not.
I often think about what "truth" means to people today, and that usually sets me off thinking about one of my heroes - The Venerable John Henry Newman. I look forward to explaining to people one of the important reasons for his beatification - his devotion to Truth. Thank God for Pope Benedict who, like Newman and so many others, is a man of truth, devoted to The Truth. I hope all our bishops really understand what he is telling them to do, and I hope we will see the renewal of a devotion to Truth - Catholic Truth - in all our schools, seminaries, parishes and diocesan centres.