Gratitude to Francis
Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si is not expensive in book form. I have read it carefully.
The pope is in a unique position to address people worldwide on the challenges facing the human family and our “common home”. As he says, it concerns us all. Each of us can do something; together we can do more. Leaders of government and business are challenged in a forthright way.
In particular, I am grateful to the pope for bringing together damage to the environment and human suffering, showing the contribution of our greed and selfishness.
He adds the moral, spiritual and theological dimension to the scientific and economic.
He calls for discussion at all levels between people with a range of views.
He offers a God-centred vision of creation and of God’s ongoing love and care.
Yes, an encyclical carries weight. But it is not the authority of one man, or of one section of the Christian church. Pope Francis can’t save the world. He does invite us to follow the only one who can.
No more men’s groups please
I write as a spiritual seeker recently reconnecting with church after a long absence. I agree with Heather Blake’s letter (“Women and men should be in equal partnership”, August 2015, page 19). I too am opposed to the idea of single-sex groups. The church should be about breaking and challenging gender barriers and sexist stereotypes, not creating and reinforcing them.
It makes for a far healthier, progressive and inclusive environment when the sexes mix and relate freely as equals and unique individuals not categorised and divided by attributes such as gender.
As a man who does not fit the typical male stereotype, I feel very uncomfortable and offended when people make gender-based assumptions about me. I am tired of people constantly trying to draft me into men’s groups.
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