While I served as abbot, it was my duty and privilege to deliver regular chapter talks. These conferences aimed to relate the community’s current concerns, hopes, and endeavours to the chapters of the Rule of St Benedict we had heard during the week. To read what is going on now in the light of a timeless ideal, asking ‘What does this mean?’, ‘Where is this taking us?’, was a helpful practice, I found. Under this tab I will try to do something similar, letting faith illumine life here and now.

Navarra Lecture

11 February 2024 University of Navarra
Is there not, in the mindset of exceptionalism regarding our time, as if it necessarily called for measures hitherto unthought-of, an implicit narcissism, a determination to prove to ourselves that we are special? The decontextualisation of the present, born of failing or spurned remembrance, can lead to catastrophic misreadings of urgent situations. Continue reading

Declaration against Antisemitism

4 February 2024
What constitutes antisemitism is the projection of political antagonism onto a people in a dynamic touching the rawest depths of irrationality, depths at which otherwise reasonable women and men are capable of the most preposterous attitudes and deeds. Continue reading

To Priests – on Prayer

23 January 2024 Lisbon
To be a priest is not just to be trained for certain functions. To be a priest is to live an out-poured life; the essence of that life is prayer. Continue reading

On Blessings – Again

5 January 2024
Theology, known in earlier times as the regina scientiarum, ‘queen of the sciences’, is a discipline of compassion, yes, but also of intelligent precision, which cannot be reduced to an art of improvisation.  Continue reading

New Evangelisation – Towards 2030

4 November 2023 Birgittaklosteret, Tiller
The National Jubilee in 2030 will be focused on the renewal of our baptismal commitment as we assume responsibility for the deposit of faith entrusted to us. The process will be a function of evangelisation and will find expression through the liturgy, a renewed culture of vocation, catechesis, and charitable work. Continue reading

Talk on Chastity

30 October 2023 Stavanger
It does not make experiential sense to ascribe orientational autonomy to the sexual instinct, as if it were a naturally ordering force bound to align other aspects of one’s being to itself in harmonious design. Human sexuality calls out for a structure of personhood upon which to grow. Continue reading

To the Presbyterate

24 October 2023
From the mid-19th century until recently, the Catholic Church in Norway saw itself chiefly as a chaplaincy for migrants and a few converts. It rather appeared, if I may be irreverent, as a fridge designed for the preservation of exotic fruit. Continue reading

Synodality and Holiness

20 October 2023
We have heard the word 'synodality' used such a lot that we have come to think it has a bearing on everything, though it is usually associated, not with an eschatological ideal but with a process of government linked to the motions of an ecclesiastical body, Vatican II. What has the call to holiness got to do with it? Continue reading

Prayer of the Heart

2 March 2022
Let us not pretend to be pure spirits. We are much better than that - we are children of God. Continue reading

Repairing the Wound

5 November 2021
I think there is an immense work of bearing to be done in the Church today. I think this bearing, consciously and freely assumed, is a precondition for healing. Continue reading

Traditionis custodia

17 September 2021
These days there is a tendency abroad that seeks to reduce ‘tradition’ to a term of partisanship, something one can be either for or against. It makes no sense. Continue reading

On my appointment

1 October 2019
In a world, a time, ever more marked by indifference and cynicism, hopelessness and division, it is our task to stand for something different: to point toward the Light that no darkness can overcome, to nurture good will, to let ourselves be reconciled, to enable a communion founded on trust, in peace, to bear witness that death has lost its sting, that life is meaningful and beautiful, of inviolable dignity. Continue reading

Vision

10 September 2017 General Chapter OCSO
I am moved by the intention to renew our life that it might be a sign to our times. Yet hopes for a new spring have, for many of us, been unfulfilled - we find ourselves in a state that is decidedly autumnal. Continue reading