January and February 2013 Volume 45 Number 1
With this issue of Faith magazine the editor hands over to our fifth editor. It has been an honour to have manned the tiller of this small barque for the last seven years. As it completes its 40th year I give thanks to God for having kept it afloat amid some stormy weather, both ecclesially and in the world of publishing. In particular I thank Him for having inspired a team of generous and talented volunteers, who have significantly compensated for my own shortcomings.
By the grace of God and the Archbishop of Westminster, I have begun doctoral studies in the philosophy of science, and must now focus upon coming through the labour pains of producing a thesis. I am extremely fortunate to have had such a deft and dedicated deputy Fr Kevin Douglas, who now takes over at the helm.
We have proposed that what is needed to keep the Barque of Peter on a more even keel is a new synthesis of modern science and Catholic teaching - one which, as Catholic Tradition requests, remains faithful to Christ's Magisterium from the Gospels and the Council of Jerusalem to Gaudium et Spes and Pope Benedict. Such faithfulness demands that our philosophy and theology have the character of a true development.
Our vision sees the source and summit of the meaning of matter in the flesh of Christ, who as the "first-born of Creation" and the "first-born from the dead" is the source and summit of Man. I give particular thanks for having encountered and been sustained by this vision in my own life, and for similar fruit in the lives of others (see for example our lead letter). Without it, I would probably have joined the post-1960s legions who have been, and continue to be, drawn relentlessly towards world-views incompatible with Christianity - to the heartbreak of this and many another parish priest.
It seems appropriate that our editorial for this issue should be a meditation upon the humanity of Christ. He it is whom we have tried to preach, and it is on him that we have sought to rely. Through Christ, who remains ever faithful to his promises, we have indeed received a hundredfold -and you, our faithful readers, have been part of that gift from God.
In our articles this month, Dr Dudley Plunkett provides a realistic appraisal of the Church's efforts to evangelise. And in our Truth Will Set You Free column, in which we have sought over the years to offer a modern pastoral presentation of Catholic doctrine, we invite individual Catholics to contribute to the work of evangelisation.
Our other two main articles consider the crucial question of womanhood and what it means to live out a distinctively feminine vocation (Woman and the Cardinal Virtue of Fortitude and Embodying the Pure Bride of Christ). And in our Cutting Edge column we continue to consider opportunities presented by the latest science for deepening our awareness of the Plan of God. Both these issues, among others, are discussed in our letters section, which, as ever we hope, adds constructively to the debate surrounding the New Evangelisation.
Extracts from last October's Synod on this subject can be found in our new Continuity and Development column; they are taken from the first 20 propositions presented to the Holy Father. We would especially highlight Proposition 17, which, concerning "human nature", calls for an "intellectual development... [that can] open a way to recognise the existence of a God the Creator and the message of Jesus Christ the Redeemer", and urges theologians to "develop a new apologetics of Christian thought".
We pray that this exhortation may be taken to heart across the Church. For we hold the bold belief, especially from humble experience in the Faith movement, that if it were our whole society would experience a new cultural springtime.