In­side the Catholic Church

Kapi-Mana News - - FEATURE -

back­ground in­for­ma­tion and the decision is made in Rome.

There was a bit of fuss in 2005 when you went to the Bish­ops’ Synod on the Eucharist in Rome and sug­gested peo­ple who had di­vorced and re­mar­ried might be able to re­ceive the eucharist. How was that re­ceived?

I just put it out there as a sub­ject that might be dis­cussed. Some agreed, oth­ers did not. I still stand by what I said. Many peo­ple’s mar­riages break up when it’s not their fault so why should they be de­prived of hav­ing the abil­ity to re­ceive com­mu­nion?

Do you think the Catholic church makes things dif­fi­cult for it­self with its rigid at­ti­tude to such is­sues as birth con­trol and pre­mar­i­tal sex?

The Church is catch­ing up in some ar­eas, such as use of the in­ter­net. The Church is al­ways look­ing for ways to re­late to the mod­ern world. In some ar­eas there are op­por­tu­ni­ties to be a lit­tle less black and white. How­ever, there are prin­ci­ples and moral is­sues that make per­fect sense and the church up­holds them. They may cost a bit [in terms of pop­u­lar­ity] but the rea­sons be­hind them make peo­ple stop and think.

Do you ever re­flect that it would have been nice to have had a fam­ily?

I’ve of­ten seen that I would not have been able to do the things I have done if I had the com­mit­ment to a wife and fam­ily. Of course, some­times I won­der what it would have been like but I’ve been very happy how it has turned out.

Have you met Pope Bene­dict XVI?

Yes, sev­eral times. I first met him sev­eral years be­fore he be­came the Pope.

Did he strike you as a po­ten­tial pope?

He was a re­ally good man. He wel­comed us very gen­er­ously and had the abil­ity to sit and lis­ten. I didn’t think of him as a po­ten­tial pope be­cause of his age but he has been out­stand­ing. His guid­ance in the form of writ­ings has been ex­cel­lent. He is nat­u­rally quite in­tro­verted but the way he has made a point of meet­ing peo­ple has been im­pres­sive.

Com­ing from Hawke’s Bay, what do you think of Welling­ton?

I feel I qual­ify as a Welling­to­nian now. I was in an Up­per Hutt parish for three years and had five in the youth min­istry in Hill St, and now I’m here. I’m even a Hur­ri­canes sup­porter,

I en­joy the city. There are lots of op­por­tu­ni­ties to walk around the hills and the waterfront and for sport and cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties.

I go along with those who say you can’t beat Welling­ton on a good day.

Photo: FAIR­FAX

Arch­bishop John Dew: ‘‘The church is catch­ing up in some ar­eas, such as use of the in­ter­net.’’

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