This talk will continue the discussion of Patrick’s August talk, in which he suggested that promoting the ideas of Vatican II won’t work without institutional change: because any reforming will challenge the legitimacy of one’s membership of the institution, seen chiefly as a hierarchical structure with obedience the primary mark of the catholic christian. He focused on the dissonance between what is said and what the actual practice “says”.

This second talk, like the first, is intended as a platform for reflection and debate. This time Patrick draws on historical evidence of the influence of unhelpful political factors in shifting the way the Christian community has come to see itself and the church to maintain its unity. (See for example Linda Woodhead, Introduction to Christianity, 2005.) He wants to suggest that the crumbling of this kind of unity is a healthy event. A now secular society allows, which wasn’t the case previously, for what is really needed, the valuing and support of each person’s journey into faith and a more mature faith, but that this opportunity is for the most part not being taken up.


Patrick Giddy studied philosophy at the Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch, and theology at Blackfriars College, Oxford. He lectured in philosophy in Lesotho before moving to the University of KwaZulu Natal, where he is currently a Senior Research Associate