Catholics across the UK are set to carry a card, identifying them as belonging to the church.
In an unusual step, one million credit card sized pieces of plastic are to be issued to the 24 Catholic dioceses, with a space for the owner to sign, to declare their affiliation.
And the card will also carry a request that should the holder be involved in an accident, emergency services personnel should ‘call a Catholic priest.’
The ‘faith card’, which will also carry reminders of key doctrinal points, is intended to encourage its owner to have the confidence to share their faith.
The Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Kieran Conry said: “We all carry a variety of cards in our purses and wallets which reflect something of our identity and the things that are important to us.
“The faith card for Catholics aims to offer a daily reminder of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. We can’t summarise the whole of our faith in bullet points, but we hope that the card simply inspires people to do, read and learn more.”
Each card holder will have to sign his or her name in acknowledgement that as a Catholic they should: ‘Share with others the joy of knowing Jesus Christ; Pray; Celebrate the sacraments regularly; love my neighbour as myself; use the gifts I’ve been given wisely; forgive as I’ve been forgiven.’
The free cards will be handed out during February and March this year, and church officals hope that many parishioners will take up the challenge of carrying a faith card in their wallet.
Bishop Conry added: “Carrying a faith card takes courage, it signals to others, every time you use your wallet or purse, that you believe in God, that your life has a purpose, that you are trying to love and serve your neighbour. We hope that Catholics will use it to witness to their faith. If someone asks a question about Catholicism, a starting point could be to show the card and to take it from there.”
February 2nd, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross