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As a result of exhorbitant demands by banks and landlords there is a serious problem of homelessness in Dublin and to a lesser extent throughout the rest of Ireland.

But there is another form of homelessness that is also worrying and that should be of particular concern to all in the Church -“spiritual homelessness.”

There are people who have been pushed to the margins in our parishes because of their differences and their questions. Their questions are regarded as difficult. But these questions do not indicate that they have abandoned their faith. Indeed, perhaps their persistence in questioning shows that they have clung to the faith despite all our moralising and our propensity to be judgemental. These people are on a journey through a spiritual wilderness.

They may question God, they may challenge God; they may question the Church, they may challenge the Church; but they are on a journey, and so often the response in the Church seems to be to abandon these spiritually homeless people.

A large percentage of under-40s have no religious affiliation. Many of them have dropped out of going to church and say either Christianity just makes no sense, or they have had a bad experience in the Church. They turn away as they see how the Church appears to treat women and gays and people of different faiths. They have become spiritually homeless in spite, perhaps, of still having a strong desire to connect to the traditions of the church. They are not always convinced by efforts by some to make the Church appear culturally trendy and fashionable. There are some, too, who are struggling with their Christian faith. They have chosen to remain within the Church but feel “lost”. They want to live out their faith but desire to stay connected with the world in their day-to-day lives.

Such people feel spiritually homeless.


I think your term Spiritual Homelessness makes the problem really clear.

So many feel they are no longer welcome at the table, or feel there are many at the table with whom they would prefer not to eat!

The URC has become involved with Open table and I know our local CofE church wants to do this here. Do you know if there are Catholic churches involved, I am afraid I don't know.