So many people feel ‘unloved, unloveable’: Derry Bishop
The Bishop of Derry has spoken of the many people who feel “unloved and unlovable” in today’s “very competitive and confrontational world”.
Speaking at Sunday Mass recently, Dr Donal McKeown remarked on the standards that “somebody else sets that we have to live up to”.
He added: “Politicians may make great promises about new policies and structures that will make everything better for everybody. But Jesus says that the only policy change that will have any real effect is to love one another as God has loved the world.
“We pick and pay our politicians to put in place structures that will support communities and their flourishing. But the quality of life in our communities is not decided by Stormont, Westminster or Brussels but by the quality of relationships in our towns and villages.
“Political leadership may have some role to play – and we know some examples of great and self-sacrificing leaders. But it is local leadership in communities and parishes that makes the difference on the ground.
“Political ideologies that promise a better future through ‘me and my rights’ can actually damage the community... A real human-centred approach helps my growth to take place in the community.
“Our current rampant individualism – that most parties blindly support – promises that my growth must take place - whatever the cost to the community.”
Turning to the renewal of the church, Bishop McKeown said parishes were not merely “distributors of sacred services” where consumers like, or complain about the quality of service.
He said: “Clergy and laity are called to work together, challenging one another to make Jesus and his love known in concrete terms.
“Renewal will not happen in politics simply by fiddling with structures. Renewal in church will not come simply by fiddling with laws and teachings.”