LIVERPOOL – Christians must still proclaim the Gospel, even in the face of the current scandals and cover-ups, according to the Archbishop of Liverpool.
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon was preaching in Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral at the concluding Mass of the Adoremus Eucharistic Congress, which took place in the city Aug. 7-9.
“As a Christian community we may say that we can no longer hold our heads high because of the current scandals and cover-ups, so let us keep our heads bowed in penance but stand erect nonetheless,” McMahon said.
“Maybe our words won’t carry the same authority as before, but we still have a gospel to proclaim, and let us continue to do that by our actions as well as words so that others may see Jesus in us.”
The archbishop said that “even though we may be humiliated as members of Christ’s Body at this moment in time,” he told Christians that the Church belongs to Christ.
McMahon recounted a visit to the Holy Land, where he saw firsthand the Greco-Roman cities and pagan temples that had existed in Christ’s time, and said it made clear that Jesus was preaching in an area that wasn’t just made up of Jewish believers, but also gentiles and pagans.
“The parallel is obvious: Our society is deaf to the word of God too. When Jesus preached and healed in these cities it would have been in an alien culture. Well, I think that our society is more ‘hard of hearing’ than deaf. We have to learn to shout louder,” the archbishop said.
He said the Church of today is “lost in the crowd in what is a secular age where Christianity and its ideals linger but are no longer the common basis of our society.”
“Sometimes we feel lost as though we don’t belong in our own homeland or we are simply alone. We find ourselves experiencing an ‘aloneness’ that may come from being unemployed or from a broken marriage, maybe because we are striving to live Christian lives against the pressures of modern life,” McMahon continued.
“We are in the crowd and deafened by the noise around us. The noise of the media, of music and traffic,” he said.
The Congress concluded with a Eucharistic procession in the streets around the cathedral involving several thousand people.
However, perhaps illustrating the archbishop’s point on the secularizing of the culture, the sidewalks were mostly empty, and the several bystanders told Crux they had no idea why the streets had been closed off: The most common guess was it was for a sports team.
The night before, Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster asked God for forgiveness for the actions of the leaders of the Church during the second day of the event.
Nichols, who heads the bishops’ conference for England and Wales, acknowledged the failings of “my fellow bishops” – which he said “are there for all to see.”