Religious institutions were traditionally expected to uphold and nurture a set of beliefs or a blueprint for living, with Roman Catholicism a prime example. However, its abject failure to meaningfully respond to the myriad of appalling child sexual abuse scandals that have emerged in recent years has dealt it, deservedly, a grievous blow and tarnished its reputation beyond redemption in the eyes of so many heretofore reasonably loyal followers.
Can we separate the message from the messenger? Does the message of justice, integrity, equality and compassion have any resonance in the 21st century?
This book explores these and other themes and takes the form of a series of 31 homilies or sermons by Louis Hughes OP and a response to each by Paul Balfe, a practising surgeon who wields the scalpel cutting to the heart of issues, challenging us as to what we believe and jolting us out of complacency.
A View from the Pew reflects an earnest endeavour on the part of Louis to connect in a very real way with the punter in the pew and an equally earnest response from one of these punters, Paul.
About the Authors
Louis Hughes OP obtained a Physics degree from University College in 1963 before joining the Dominican Order, with whom he studied in Tallaght and Rome (Licentiate in Theology from the Angelicum, 1971). He was based at St Charles’ Seminary, Nagpur in India, 1972-1978, lecturing in theology and philosophy. He also began the practice and study of yoga, integrating Indian techniques for body training, breathing and centring with Christian meditation. Since returning to Ireland he has taught body-mind spirituality. He has also researched and lectured extensively in New Religious Movements, particularly those of Indian origin.
Paul Balfe, born in 1960, grew up in Dublin. He studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin and is currently a surgeon at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny.