Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue's recently published teaching document, Fit for Mission? Church, has received the commendation of Cardinal Renato Martino, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
This follows support already received from the Congregation for the Clergy that recommended the bishop's document as 'an effective, practical instrument for advancing the much heralded New Evangelisation'.
Cardinal Martino praises Fit for Mission? Church for being 'very well put together, incorporating all of the main elements of Catholic social thought.' He goes on to recommend it as a resource for the wider Church, writing: 'I am confident that it will be a useful and helpful resource to the local Church of Lancaster and beyond. Congratulations and many blessings upon your ministry as shepherd and teacher.'
Bishop Patrick comments: 'I am particularly pleased that Fit for Mission? Church has won the approval of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, because it has the responsibility in the Church to deepen the social doctrine of the Church, and make it more widely known and applied by both parishes and individuals. A passionate and effective concern for social justice must be an essential aspect of any renewal of the Church.'
News of the Cardinal's letter coincides with the Diocese of Lancaster's announcement that the Catholic Truth Society is to publish an expanded edition of Fit for Mission? Church on 17 October.
As well as drawing on Pope Benedict XVI's homilies and addresses at World Youth Day 2008 and his apostolic journey to France in September, the CTS expanded edition include three new sections:
Venerable John Henry Newman Prophet of the Second Vatican Council: This new section examines Cardinal Newman's prophetic insight into the challenges posed to the Church by a militant, secularist political establishment.
The Battleground of Conscience: This section considers the wide-spread misinterpretation of the Second Vatican Council's understanding of conscience. Bishop Patrick argues that the Council did not promote the self-assertive autonomy of conscience, but the formation of conscience in the light of doctrine.
Anti-Catholicism The Last Acceptable Prejudice: In this section Bishop Patrick expresses his concern about the growing anti-Catholicism and Christianophobia he sees in modern British society. He reflects on his experience of being summoned to defend Church teaching by the Commons Select Committee on Children, Schools and Families.
Bishop Patrick said: 'I am very grateful to the Catholic Truth Society for giving me the opportunity to further develop my thinking about the renewal of the Church, and bringing Fit for Mission? Church to a wider-audience.' The Catholic Truth Society's expanded edition of Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue's Fit for Mission? Church is now available to order from http://www.cts-online.org.uk/. Tel: 020 7640 0042
© Independent Catholic News 2008