ADDRESS GIVEN BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT THE LAUNCH OF FATHER JOHN FLADER’S BOOK, ‘QUESTION TIME’, AT THE THOMAS MORE CENTRE, NORTH MELBOURNE, ON TUESDAY 24 JUNE 2008 AT 7.30PM.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is with delight that I join you to launch Father John Flader’s, ‘Question Time – 150 Questions and Answers on the Catholic Faith’.
While preparing this talk I came to note that Father Flader was ordained a priest in the same year as I. In the years I have known him he has always been a great priest, a wise presenter of the truths of faith, who would never shirk the difficulty of any mission, but whose only desire was that people would know their faith in a clear, concise way and be able to live it.
I am particularly pleased that the questions and answers published in temporary form, whether in the Catholic Weekly or in The Record, have now achieved a permanent status. They have a conciseness, a freshness, and an openness to the riches of theology and are fully up to date with the most recent teachings of the Magisterium.
The book is a worthy successor to the anthologies of Doctor Les Rumble, M.S.C., in another place and time, whose replies also were a strong articulation of the faith.
As I read the book, for me the ease of style, the clarity of presentation, the constant references to The Catechism of the Catholic Church and other authentic sources gave me great confidence that what I was reading is presented in an intelligent and intelligible way. It will be of great value to all who are involved in handing on the faith – priests, teachers, catechists, those involved in instruction of converts and the inquiring Catholic who wishes to know the answers to the questions. His answers are rich in the Scriptures, the Fathers of the Church and his presentation is helpful and informative. Even a quick look at the index sees a thorough treatment on many matters, which have been ignored in the last thirty years. The teaching on salvation, the last things, Our Lady, the Real Presence, moral issues, prayer and devotion and the significance of the liturgical seasons. All of these will challenge us constantly to reflect and by our questioning to come to a deeper knowledge of the faith.
Faith is a relationship with God because of what he has revealed and entrusted to the Church to teach until the end of time. The searching human intellect, always with an obedience of faith, must continue to grapple with the questions that arise and thereby come to a deeper understanding of faith and love. Faith supports our questioning, truth guides it and brings it to the light. This book, “Question Time” will be an invaluable help to all who sincerely wish to continue this journey in union with Jesus Christ and the Church, which he founded to guide and teach us for all time.
I would like to thank Father Flader for his friendship, his consistent priestly witness and for the magnificent work which he did here in Melbourne and in Sydney. Indeed, I might have legitimately had discussions with the Archbishop of Sydney that we lost Father Flader from here far too early in my time as Archbishop.
Thank you Father Flader. May the Lord be with you in the work that you do and sustain you as a great and articulate teacher of the faith. May your influence long benefit the Church in Australia. I recommend ‘Question Time’ to you and I declare it officially launched for dissemination and sale.
+ Denis J. Hart,
Archbishop of Melbourne