Wednesday 20 October 2010

A new presence in the Church

During the two and a half years that I have been in Sydney, Bishop Porteous, one of the auxiliary bishops, has published three books; quite an undertaking. His latest book published recently, called "New wine and fresh skins", is a presentation of the new communities and ecclesial movements which have appeared in the Church largely since the late 1960s. The presence in the Church of the new movements is something which most of us do not really understand, precisely because they break the mould of convention and do not readily submit themselves to categorisation. Nonetheless, there is something providential about their appearence in the Church, and successive Popes from Paul VI have reached out to embrace and guide their growth.
Bishop Porteous' book is like a snap-shot of the Church today, making explicit the experience of the Christian life which many baptised people presently rejoice in.
I hope that this book, the only one of its kind that I am aware of, will be read widely, because it is such a thorough presentation of the contemporary phenomenon of the new movements, many of which are becoming very robust expressions of Catholic faith and life, life-giving to many.

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