3/09/2007
Bishop Farrell on Culture and Theology
At the press conference last Tuesday with the new Bishop of Dallas, Bishop Kevin Farrell, a reporter asked him about the possibility of ordaining women and priestly celibacy. Here is his answer:

"I do believe that there is a great tendency in modern society and modern culture to believe and think that “now we have arrived”, now we know the perfect answer to every situation and every crisis that comes along, and therefore everything we have held in the past is wrong and from now on we've got it right. I don’t believe that we should ever allow ourselves to be carried away by the culture of the moment. Our task is to interpret the culture of the day in the light of our faith, not to interpret our faith in the light of culture."
Yes, this is a home run answer and although this was his first press conference, and he did not want to say too much, there are some things that need to be said. It is interesting how he answered the question as though it referred to culture instead of morality or theology. But, maybe he was trying to tell us something.

After the press conference was over, he was surrounded by the reporters asking more questions. Dave Palmer from KATH 910 AM asked Bishop Farrell of his feelings about the pro-life issues. This is what he said:

"Obviously, that is the most fundamental and the most important issue that our society in general faces today…is the dignity of the human person… from the moment of conception to its natural end. We must always make every effort that everyone in their heart and soul believes and understands the importance of this issue."
This time, instead of answering from a cultural point of view, he instead refers us back to theology and morality and indicates that they, in fact, are the answer to a societal and cultural problem.

It would be good to see more of this kind of thinking in the future ie. the need to replace a focus on cultural concerns with one of begin faithful to the teaching tradition handed on from many generations. Many people do not understand what that means, and there is the possibility that culture has become their god and is the primary way in which they express whatever belief they happen to have.

So, the work of evangelization continues.
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