Are we missing the opportunity of Francis asks Aust prelate

An Australian archbishop hopes the Church will not miss the evanglisation opportunity afforded by the popularity of Pope Francis.

In an interview on the Crux website, Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher said Francis is “ . . . making lots of people quite distant from the Church suddenly listening and now interested”.

The archbishop said many people in modern Australia have not rejected the Gospel, or had a bad experience of the Church.

“Many have just never been presented with it,” Archbishop Fisher said.

“It’s often received very warmly and openly by such people – they’re not coming with issues of anger toward the Church or the left/right polarisation that some people within the Church suffer from, or preconceptions that almost vaccinate them to the Church.

“In some cases they’re very, very open and ask innocent, almost funny questions about Christianity.

“And once you present well with passion and joy and with some real intellectual rigour the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the tradition handed down from the apostles, they’re often very excited by that and very ready to be part of that.”

Archbishop Fisher noted the “moment” afforded by Pope Francis for evangelisation.

“Will a future generation look back on us and say, ‘What an opportunity you missed!’

“I don’t want that said of my generation and me and of the Church at this time.

“We’ve got some wonderful things to offer, as well as things yet to learn ourselves. We’ve got a great opportunity in front of us and I want to embrace it wholeheartedly.”

In the interview, Archbishop Fisher also discussed Church sexual abuse scandals, the impact of World Youth Day in Sydney and the upcoming WYD in Poland.


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