It takes time for people to find their voices, especially if they are unused to speaking.

Noreen Ramsey, a delegate form Cratloe parish has sent us the attached piece from Timothy Radcliffe O.P. as a reflection on listening which is particularly relevant to the current phase of the process

It takes time for people to find their voices, especially if they are unused to speaking.

They are likely to rant and posture, make ridiculous claims, and generally show up their ignorance. The solution is not to silence people, Satan's reaction, but to help them find the words for which they are searching.

In a Dominican community, one of the roles of the Prior is to help those who have awkward and uncomfortable things to say to find a better way of saying them, especially when they are disagreeing with him!

We are at the service of the Spirit of love when we assist others to express the fears and reservations and hesitations that they feel, and most especially when they are not our own. When I was Master of the Dominican Order, there was only one rule in the discussions of the General Council. We could disagree with each other as much as we wanted as long as we never dismissed another's views as absurd or nonsensical. A person is rubbished if their views are dismissed.

To reiterate a constant theme of this book, if the Church is to become a community for grownups then we must not be too afraid of things getting out of control. When people are trying to find their own voice and share some new insight, it is very likely that they will not find the best words at first, and may even make assertions that are evidently wrong or contrary to our faith. But rather than reaching for the panic button, we need patiently to discover the true insight that is struggling to get out.

The Holy Spirit is poured upon the Church at Pentecost and so it will not be brought tumbling down just because some people have gone a little astray in their pursuit of the truth. Judaism teaches that we must attend to the minority view, even if we reject it, because one day we may need its wisdom's' A community which is unable to cope with disagreement and imposes uniformity will be ill-prepared for the future. 

Extract from "Take the Plunge: Living Baptism and Confirmation"
By Timothy Radcliffe