Philip began his talk with the question: ‘How is the Church faithful to the message of Jesus?’ and went on to state that Jesus never gave us a new religion. Jesus was a Jew and Pentecost was not the birth of the Church but rather the celebration of a Jewish feast during which the Apostles realised maybe for the first time the implications of the life and message of Jesus: the message that we are not separate from God and that all people’s are in God.
Philip said that if the Church had been faithful to that message, we would have a very different Church. He described the life in the early Church that sought to keep alive the dangerous message of Jesus, and compared it with the Church that became the religion of the empire. When the Church aligns itself with political power, it cannot hear the message of Jesus according to Philip.
Then Philip outlined why the Church was in crisis and pointed to three areas of concern:
- Child Abuse and abuse of vulnerable adults by priests and religious
- Obedience to officialdom
Finally, Philip offered some quotations from Pope Francis, showing how Francis is attempting to ‘rebuild the Church’ as his namesake undertook some eight hundred years earlier.