This morning I was listening to the Thought for the Day, by Bishop Butler. It made me stop and think - about the climate and about the Church, the Vigil Group.... and then about Jesus. Bishop Butler spoke about tipping points, and how words spoken into an unstable system can flip it into another state, even words spoken without prophetic intention. The example Bishop Butler gave was the events that led to the abdication of King Edward 8th. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ypzsm)
The thought on the climate change which that triggered was whether we might go past tipping points into accelerating change; perhaps we will lose the Gulf stream and have weather like that of places whose latitudes we share - Alaska, Siberia; perhaps the seasons will continue to be unpredictable; and rainfall patterns disrupted. (Update - since 8 May it has been proposed that the West Antarctic ice sheet has passed a tipping point, into accelerating loss of ice into the ocean.)
Then I wondered: is our RC Church at a tipping point? I suggest it is; the way in which authority is used by the Curia is unstable. It behaves as if we are no more educated than were lay people over many past centuries - assuming that we are passive and grateful for the Curia's enlightened wisdom. It behaves as if it is the sole locus of the action of the Spirit - which is why it can assume authority over the liturgy, silence writers whose compassion and struggles for insight are shining examples... but whose published thoughts no longer resonate with the Curia. (I note one such was released from his silencing last week.).
The instability arises from how we can see through the Curia's actions, and how those who hold a critical viewpoint can communicate instantly worldwide. We can access and share new liturgical texts across the internet (and not-so-new ones the Bishops signed off in 1998...), we can satirise and ridicule inappropriate authority; we can be simply disobedient (as one Fr Ratzinger encouraged, quoted on http://www.thevigilgroup.org.uk/church-renewal.html).
The next step on my musing was to wonder how does this connect with the Vigil Group and with the Gospels? The Gospel scenes that resonated this morning had Jesus naming the demons and speaking words that brought the people afflicted into a new state. The Vigil Group seeks to name the problems we perceive in the Church. In the Vigil Group, above all. we pray for renewal.These words of prayer can also flip us into a new state of being Church, that would be marked by a vitality and renewed understanding of our shared baptismal calling.