Archive for April, 2020


There is the classical example of a half filled or half empty glass. How do you view it? Half full or half empty?

It’s the same with the situation of the world today. Do you see it as something negative or as something positive? I don’t mean sickness itself but rather pointing to our lifestyle these last weeks. It’s incredible because although the internet has been present in our life for quite a time, yet it seems that most people are realising that we can do lots of actions online! There has been a proliferation of online courses, tips, dancing, home made recipes etc…Our life is heavily relying on the internet whether we like it or not! Some people have gone one step further as they have predicted that our life is never going back to ‘normal’. Whether this statement is true or not, yet we are truly grasping the power of the internet, at least for the time being.

Last time we criticised that the Roman Catholic church as it simply uses the internet to transmit the live celebration of the mass. We urged the church to go beyond just celebrating the sacraments and start using the method and language used by the online community.

What about us? We’ve been publishing the blog for a long time now [not less than 22 years now]. We can’t be full time on this blog as it won’t pay our bills plus other necessities! But what about our readers? Today I’m just publishing lots of links to do an online course about theology and/or Pastoral Studies. If you want to participate in the parish, you can’t do it if you’re not qualified! Hence let’s make the best use of the time inside our houses by attending any course which might help us in running the parish!

Please remember that most parishes don’t have enough people to manage their daily needs. There are a lot of posts to be filled. In fact most of the parishes are closing down because there aren’t enough people to take responsibility. We can’t simply criticise and do nothing. That’s not Christian at all! Let’s start….

I’m supplying some links but you can find others too. Happy browsing!

Please keep safe by following a healthy lifestyle and a by having a good dose of vitamin C.

The online aspect of the Church

I never ever remember schools closed for such a long period! Teachers were teaching one day, the next day, schools were closed. Most of them felt at a loss. How can one teach online? It has become the dilemma of many teachers as they struggle to face a new and unfamiliar situation. They struggle to conquer the world of IT [online] to communicate with their students. The main sin was, that schools – including teachers, students and parents – were never prepared for such a particular situation!

What about the church? How do we expect people to come to church? Maybe they have never had a visit from a member of the parish! They struggle to belief in a God. Most probably they hear all sorts of stories ‘against’ the church. Maybe they don’t feel the need for a god. Now to cap it all, there’s the coronavirus which has transformed practically all countries into a lock-down.

Obviously it all points down to our preparation or training. Churches like schools, have barely touched the online world! The only practical point was to celebrate the mass in an empty church and to transmit it to the internet. Well, seeing such a bare and empty church won’t be a good advertisement at all! Are we happy with that? We shouldn’t. In some churches, the Cardinal/Archbishop/bishop practically took over. Indirectly it has brought forward the old idea that the church is the priest/bishop or clergy!

As they say in English: every cloud has a silver lining. For the worldwide visitor to this blog it means that every negative situation has the potential to result in or produce something positive or beneficial. (A silver lining in a cloud is an indication that the sun is behind it.)

The internet world is NOT a church. We can’t simply produce the sacraments and pour them into whoever happens to be online! We can’t simply dump into people all the documents of the church! IF we need to push forward the mass and other sacraments mentality, people need to be trained in what are the sacraments, why do we need them etc…

Besides, the internet world, like TV, uses a complete different format such as that of hot discussions! Discussion does not mean to convert the other into your beliefs or opinion! I do remember one of my university lecturers who used to make us write down not our opinion, but that of our adversary!! One had to write down the opinion which obviously one didn’t subscribe to! Yet this was the first step to get to know the other. It had already moved mountains in the dialogue method. Secondly, we had to find at least one positive point in his/her/their opinion! Thirdly, we had to device a common point from where to start discussing! Lastly, one had to retract something in order to reach a compromise!

Another missing methodology is that of contemporary Christian life. Many people would like to see how ordinary people are living their faith today. The Facebook or Big Brother mentality shows people’s obsession today in seeing something ‘live’. From another point of view, the urge to share shows people’s needs to adhere to a community. The church can work along these lines too if we tender and care in creating the community mentality in our parishes.

Recently I have just watched a film about Saint John XXIII (who occupied the chair of Peter from 1958 to 1963). It moves one to tears in his ability of reading the signs of the times.

He was the first Pope to reach out to what they have termed [at that time], the enemies of the church. With his message of peace, he found a bridge with all people including atheists. It was no surprise that he managed to stop the world from going into a full blown and disastrous world war!

Finally they found a Pope who did not speak in theological jargon but one who appealed to the common good. He was not imprisoned in his beautiful cathedral but looked forward to understand and dialogue with all kinds of people including the people who were in jail [which was unheard of at that time].

It was no surprise that he was fooled by one of his closest friends as they struggled to keep the power as they were comfortable of playing home by celebrating a liturgy which lacked meaning for the common people! Eventually, his once close friend, asked for pardon to the dying Pope as he finally realized the Pope’s winning way of working in the church!

Are we today as practical as Saint John XXIII? Speaking about this blog, some of our readers are really sensitive when somebody writes in a way which offends their inner beliefs! How many times we discuss the church and its way forward instead of protecting ourselves?! Are we prepared to go to training sessions to improve our faith and to improve our intimacy and knowledge of our Lord? What are we doing on a practical level to improve the church on a local level? Are parishes offering online courses, prayers, discussions, talks etc…??

We started the article by our reference to teachers. As teachers need to be trained in how to handle all the wonderful world of IT. We too need to train the future leaders in the church, which is no joke. It will involve many years of preparation. We need to be IN the internet. We need to talk the way the people talk today. We need to be online more and to be like a bridge over these troubled waters [moments].

As married priests, who have been deprived of a ‘normal’ church, we could give some tips in managing the internet [we have been doing so for more than 22 years now]. In this case too, as we are living a family life. As a result of our daily experience, we can point out what are the common points with today’s world.