Catholic Life

Archbishop says faith is not private

Archbishop Longley preaches at the Men’s Mass (Photo: Peter Jennings)

The royal wedding offers an opportunity for people to learn the values which underpin Christian marriage, Archbishop Bernard Longley said at the annual Easter Monday Men’s Mass, at St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham, writes Peter Jennings.

Archbishop Longley was the principal celebrant at the Mass, which is promoted and organised by the Catholic Men’s Society and has taken place each year since 1919.

In his homily the archbishop said: “The family is central to the life of the Church and it is the building block of our society. The family’s well being and its ability to provide a stable foundation for life are also central to the well being of the society in which we live. It has an influence on the quality of the contribution that we can make to commercial and civic life.

“Family life also has its impact on our education, and resources need to be dedicated in schools to understanding and dealing with the issues that arise from family life.

“As families we can see some of the tensions that people of faith experience today between living their faith as a personal and private reality of their lives – where the home and church are natural settings for practising our faith, and the call to live our faith in the public forum, allowing faith vales to influence the professional decisions taken.”

He added: “There are those who would prefer to see faith as an entirely private activity, limited in its scope and not allowed to play any part in politics, business or the provision of services. But that ignores something that is central to belief in God and in the way of life to which he calls us.”