Catholic identity theft

Identity theft is a major crime around the world. It usually involves stealing personal details: name, age, address, social security details; banking information and the like. In a strangely analogous way, there is concern growing that forces mysterious may even be stealing our Catholic identity! If we had to report such a theft, how would we describe our loss?

Almost 15 years ago, the Australian Government received Bringing Them Home: The ‘Stolen Children’ Report. As far as I know, it is the only report ever which made politicians on both sides of the House, weep – such was the sadness of its contents. The report told of the removal of a whole generation of young people from their Indigenous parents, and of the placing of those young people in the care of white people: families, Churches, and Government institutions. However, another reading of the text indicates that what were also stolen were the identities of the young people: the loss of their traditional stories and beliefs; their cultural norms and values; their true sense of self.

There are comparisons to be made here with the notion of Catholic identity: who is trying to steal what? I believe that by focussing on ‘the who’, we can more easily see ‘the what’. Garry Everett elaborates by naming five ‘whos’: relativism, corporatisation, technology leading to lack of discernment, competition and fear.   Read more

Garry Everett has spent all his professional life, as well as much of retirement, as an educator, and mostly of adults.  Garry’s enduring interests lie in family, Scripture, theology, and Church renewal. At a local level he is involved in social justice, ecumenism and Mercy Partners, a new Public Juridic Person. He is also a member of his parish council and parish St Vincent de Paul Conference.

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News category: Analysis and Comment.

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