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1 May 2016
posted by Canon Dakin on 15-05-2016

St John has a vision of the Church in heaven where the sourceof its splendour is the presence of God whilst it is the presence of God which animates the Church on earth - the Father and I will come and make our home with you and the Holy Spirit will teach you everything. In the first reading we had a dramatic example of the confidence of the Apostles in the guidance of the Holy Spirit: “It has been decided by the Holy Spirit and by ourselves”.  If only nowadays we could be just as sure. The Church had to be established on firm foundations. Clearoutlines had to be drawn. The early centuries saw a succession of councils hammering out the creed. How about today? Haven’t we got a Pope who bythe guidance of the Holy Spirit is infallible? This infallibility is strictly limited to the guarantee that the Church will continue to teach what God has revealed - but revelation closed with the death of the last apostle. We are faced with questions they would never have dreamed of.  In 1988 Pope John Paul put this question to a conference of theologians: What impact on theology has the doctrine of evolution?  One recent book is an attempt to respond. It considerably modifies the ideas we have inherited from St Augustine on original sin.  The process of reflection will go on until the Church feels able to come to a conclusion. Meanwhile, as the poet says - The Holy Ghost over the bent world broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings. 

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