January 15 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Bringing light to the darkest of places

This week’s editorial leader

Our Church is a universal Church. Wherever you go in the world, you will find it. In the darkest places, where man’s brutality to man is never ending, when hope is crushed each day anew, where the evil is thickest, you will find the Church: A light in the darkness.

Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh was in Burundi during the terrible civil war there. “The Church was there after most charities had left because it was too dangerous,” he said.

Again and again you hear that story, when the violence is worst (above) and the night is darkest the Church is there. And it is helping: Healing the wounded, feeding the needy and educating the children.

You may find atheists in foxholes, but you won’t find them running field hospitals for civilians next to the battlefield.

There are men and women of Faith doing the Lord’s work for the people who need it most, every hour, every day. Only their Faith sustains them, or perhaps only their Faith and our prayers. Situations like the one in Burundi, where a renewed civil war looks likely are hideously complex, and difficult to resolve but there are people trying, and we must pray for them because their task is endless.

As the Pope noted a few weeks ago: “The Word is the light, and yet men preferred the darkness. The Word came unto his own, but they received him not.” The Holy Mother Church invites all the Christian faithful, and all people, to ‘welcome the Word of salvation, this mystery of light.’ How matter the darkness of the situation, the Church is there, spreading that mystery of Light in many ways. There are partners working with charities like SCIAF, holding people together and we can support them.

As they do in many other countries, SCIAF are helping local people improve their lives. In every country you will find people doing extraordinary work. We are incredibly fortunate in this country. Many of us can spare a small portion of our income to help that vital work happen. In that way, the Church brings hope—even in the darkest places.


The pro-life activists who will carry out a vigil for 40 days at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital are likely to face counter protests. They will take a pledge not to harass or abuse anyone yet are unlikely to be extended the same courtesy. Simply for praying in silence they will face abuse and hostility.

It is to their credit they will respond as Christ would, without anger. This Lent we should pray for them.

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