In a culture of wrenching change, Roman Catholics (liberal, conservative, and radical) need to hang in together with faithful patience. Indeed the same is true of all Christians, along with the friends they gratefully discover in other faiths. We live, it seems, in an electronically-blown global bubble, within which long-shared meanings can collapse and emerge re-packaged with disorienting speed. Some grieve that precious, true heritage is lost. Others welcome expanded consciousness. Many are grateful to make it through to next Wednesday. Janet Somerville argues that we need to wait for each other (I Cor.11:33), learn from each other, and pray for the grace of mutual respect.
Janet Somerville was, until 2002, the General Secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches (the first Roman Catholic, and the first woman, to be appointed to that post). For most of the 1990s, she had been associate editor of the independent bi-weekly newspaper Catholic New Times. Previously, she was co-ordinating producer of the award-winning CBC radio program Ideas. Somerville has received two honourary doctorates (Queens Theological College, Kingston and Regis College, Toronto). She was awarded the papal cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice in 1999. In 2004, she was made a member of the Order of Canada.