Bishop Mark O’Toole of Plymouth has said that bishops and priests must pray every day to be rid of cynicism.

The bishop said it was a “particular fault” of clergy and was a “manifestation of a practical form of atheism”, before suggesting that priests “ask the Holy Spirit to rid us of it daily.”

Bishop O’Toole was speaking at St Patrick’s, Soho, to the Guild of Our Lady and St Joseph, a group associated with the School of the Annunciation at Buckfast Abbey, Devon.

The speech, marking the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, called on Catholics to recognise that “every moment of catechesis” is also a “moment for evangelisation”.

“I believe that we have not taken this to heart in this country,” he said.

He suggested that the Catechism was initially misunderstood as the “imposition of a set of factual rules”, akin to the philosophy of Charles Dickens’s character Mr Gradgrind, who in the novel Hard Times called for the teaching only of facts.

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week

The Catholic Herald is your essential weekly guide to the Catholic world; latest news, incisive opinion, expert analysis and spiritual reflection