June 30, 2006
PMPCIII Surveyby CANews
1."To think and Feel WITH THE CHURCH” What do you understand by the theme?
Frankly I do not really understand the real meaning of this theme.
This is one of the many fashionable phrases coined to complicate the teachings of Jesus which to my mind is simple enough for the man on the street to comprehend.
The church is like the body of Christ and we are all members of that body as such should feel with that body. In this context the members should feel with and for one another. The clergy and laity should have mutual feeling and respect for one another.
2. What does “THE CHURCH” in the context of the theme mean to you?
The church is a man-made institution that comprises of people who practice and propagate the teachings of Christ. In this process the clergy has also instituted certain laws according to customs and traditions handed down from the disciples of Jesus.
The Church is made up of the clergy, religious and laity who are equal partners. Over the years due to certain practices the church has become synonymous with the clergy. As a result many talented members of the laity who are critical of the running the church have become “outsiders”.
3. My expectations of PMPC III
I hope there would be a sincere deliberation on the various problems the church in Malaysia faces today with a genuine concerted effort for its improvement. The clergy and laity participating must realize the gravity pf the problems we are facing in the country today.
There is an unhealthy trend where there is over emphasis on spiritual development at the expense of social values that were the earmark of our Catholic faith. As a result social values have become totally irrelevant in the lives of the younger generation. If this continues I’m afraid the church will become just another religion where politics and rituals are the rule.
PMPC III should address this issue very seriously. Spirituality must touch the human heart and result in social service to fellow man. Unless we can reconcile these 2 essential aspects of our faith, the church stands to become irrelevant in our lives of our future generations.
We must learn from the situation in the West where the church is losing its grip on the lives of people. Church in our country may face a more serious fate with a non-tolerant government that is fast moving towards making Malaysia a Islamic state.
4.Will the PMPCIII fulfill your expectations
Judging by what is happening now, there is not going to be any positive outcome from PMPC III.People in authority are not going to listen to suggestions to change for the better as we have succumbed to a culture of “I’m the best” and “take it or leave”.
Instead we have to develop a culture where each member is considered valuable and a single loss will be considered a miserable failure of all especially the clergy. In order to achieve this, every member of the church, under the leadership of the priest, must reach out to everyone around us and establish a deep personal relationship with them in the true spirit of charity, love and forgiveness.