We’re at our best when we follow Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes – Cardinal Timothy Dolan

By Devett O’Brien

“It’s time to stop the hand wringing” this was the main message from Cardinal Timothy Dolan when he sat down this morning with a group of around 10 english speaking journalists including myself to discuss his views on the Synod so far.

Cardinal Dolan is the Archbishop of New York and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He told us that the thing he is most surprised and “tantalized” by is the number of Bishops who acknowledge the power of secularism but are saying “it’s time we stopped wringing our hands over this.”

Taking a more positive tone that many in the Synod he declared: “We’re at our best when we follow Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes and adopt a posture of engagement in dialogue with secularism.”

When pressed on how to have this dialogue when some inside the Church are opposed to it he responded that “The best way to invite people to eternal salvation is to sit next to them where they’re at.”

It was simply a case of following the example God has given us: “There might be some people who would say that God the Father was misguided in sending his only begotten son to sinful humanity. Some might question the wisdom and prudence of the Incarnation, I don’t know.”

A rising star in the Catholic Hierachy, Cardinal Dolan’s words give strong backing to the approach IYCS takes to New Evangelization.

This approach is that knowing people, developing relationships with them and showing what you believe through the power of your actions are key to interesting them in what Jesus has to say in our lives.

It underlines the power of the See-Judge-Act methodology in starting from the real experiences that people have because this is where God chose to become Incarnate.