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Challenges of the Church discussed at priest convocation


  • More than 200 priests attend the annual convocation held May 3 in Randolph. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
  • Cardinal O’Malley speaks with priests during a break in the convocation. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)
  • Keynote speaker Archbishop Charles Brown, the newly appointed apostolic nuncio to Albania. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)

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RANDOLPH -- The Catholic Church faces a number of challenges in today's society, but by looking to Pope Francis, we may find a way forward priests of the Archdiocese of Boston were told at their annual convocation, held May 3 at The Lantana in Randolph.

The remarks came in the keynote address to the priests by Archbishop Charles Brown, the former apostolic nuncio to Ireland who will soon begin his new assignment as nuncio to Albania.

Today, he told the priests, we live in "a world of radically individualized personal autonomy, in which everyone is free and feels free to decide things for themselves."

It is a world that is made up of "radical, radical relativism," and it is a world that currently is seeing the truth being challenged by large pockets of people.

The Church is seen by some as "ethically wrong," if not morally wrong, in some of its teachings by large segments of society, making it "very difficult for us" to evangelize.

On top of that, the archbishop continued, the Church is also struggling under the "weight of the past," particularly the weight of the sexual abuse scandals that broke in the early 2000s.

The demands of today's priests are huge, he said, yet looking to Pope Francis' teachings may help combat those burdens.

Quoting the pope, he said "the truth, simply annunciated, will convince on its own. It needs to be incarnated in our lives as evangelists."

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