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12-CARITAS-2016

Scotland’s young Catholics give us hope for the future

This week’s editorial leader

It is easy to be depressed about the state of the Catholic Church in Scotland. Many churches that once burst at the seems on a ­Sunday now have more empty pews than not. Others have been closed altogether.

Outside, the wider world is at best apathetic, at worst hostile. The wider culture dismisses religion seeks to banish it from the public square.

In places, at times it can seem like the light of Christ is being ­extinguished in Scotland.

But there is still hope. And it comes from the young.

Increasingly there are young Catholics in their teens and 20s who’s Faith is better formed and a more vital part of their life than in the generations that preceded them. Not huge numbers, but they are there.

Looking at the young Catholics at last Thursday’s Aid to the Church in Need youth rally—which brings home the reality of ­Christian persecution around the world—it inspires the thought that these young Catholics who are devout in their practice, are that way because the culture sees Faith as so alien.

The days of going to Mass because it’s what your family always did are over.

It is a harder path now, but ultimately a more profound one. Bishop John Keenan is absolutely right that the answer to these times is not to compromise with the age but to double down on the essential truths of the Faith.

“Don’t be afraid to give young people the undiluted truth of the Gospel,” he said. “If you give them the undiluted truth, they’re ­idealists, and they will respond.”

“They don’t want mediocrity, they don’t want things sugar-coated,” he said. “They want you to tell them as it is, and then to ask them to get involved and they will.”

If we are devoted to that truth, then despite the darkness, the light of the Church will flourish again.

 

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