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Pentecost: Church needs a spiritual kick-start

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 Contents - Jun 2006AD2000 June 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Pentecost: Church needs a spiritual kick-start - Michael Gilchrist
China defies Holy See to 'ordain' two bishops - Peter Westmore (reviewer)
News: The Church Around the World
Books: Look for AD2000 Books online at!
Vocations: Sydney seminary's growth continues - Michael Gilchrist
The Da Vinci Code: did the Church vilify Mary Magdalene? - Frank Mobbs
Education: Why do CEOs use Groome's RE method? - AD2000 Report
Is dialogue possible between Christians and Muslims? - Cardinal George Pell
Respect: New text book series vilifies the Catholic Church - Kevin Donnelly
The John Paul II Institute after five years - AD2000 Report
Liturgy: Catholics at prayer: why we stand and kneel - Fr Sebastian Camilleri OFM
Letters: The new barbarism - Fr. B. McGrath
Letters: Victory?
Letters: Disturbing exhibit - Veronica Sidhu
Letters: Thank you from India - Fr. A. Joseph
Letters: Meditation - Rosemary Chandler
Letters: Priestly celibacy - Tim Coyle
Letters: Pope Benedict and liberation theology - John Schmid
Events: VIRTUS Retreat 7-9 July 2006
Books: Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: Letters to a Young Catholic, by George Weigel - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: The Defamation of Pius XII, by Ralph McInerny - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Dear Son, Dear Daughter: God's Plan for Catholic Marriage and the Family - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: Stimulating reading from AD Books
Reflection: Pentecost, launching of the Church - Cardinal Francis Arinze

Cardinal Francis Arinze's reflection (page 20) is a reminder of the Church's impressive launch following the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. From the beginning Christianity's universality was underlined as the Apostles' message of salvation through Jesus Christ overcame the language barrier.

"Remarkable things began to happen", says Cardinal Arinze. "Filled with the Holy Spirit, they began to speak foreign languages. They proclaimed the Lord Jesus as the one and only Saviour. They were no longer afraid. They gave bold witness to Jesus. Three thousand people were converted on that one day (cf. Acts 2: 41). In short, the infant Church was launched. It was manifested to the world".

Over the centuries, the Christian message has spread to all corners of the world, including Australia. In this country, its growth was remarkable, despite the often harsh environment and climate.

However, over the past 30 years, the Christian churches, including Catholicism, have felt the impact of secularism, and many of their members have succumbed to moral relativism, materialism and indifferentism. As the secularist elites in government, academia, the media and the arts continue to marginalise or trivialise Christianity, Christians must stand up.

While the Catholic Church remains the single largest and most cohesive Christian denomination in Australia, it urgently needs a spiritual kick-start along the lines of the first Pentecost.

With another Mass count underway to coincide with the five-yearly national Census, it will be of significance whether the level of practice has continued its downward path since the late 1960s, or whether there has been any levelling out or upturn. The last available figure, for 2001, showed that about 13 per cent of Catholics fulfilled their weekly Mass attendance obligation.

This was symptomatic of a wider fallaway in belief and practice among Catholics that can be traced, in part at least, to deficiencies in the Catholic schools' teaching of the faith.

This situation cries out for strong, courageous Church leadership.

Michael Gilchrist: Editor (email -

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 5 (June 2006), p. 2

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