The Church’s structures and intellectual formula­tions may become obsolete but ‘the life of actual loving and caring, guided by tested knowledge, cannot get out of date’.

Such an observation invites assent. But the illegitimate conclusion may sometimes be drawn that there does not have to be a link between the practice of pastoral ministry and the theological understanding that undergirds it. Unless, however, the theology that informs the practice of ministry is recognizably congruent with the theoretical world which illuminates its pastoral practice, the Church will prove hypocritical —that is, as holding at its heart two incompatible ways of thinking.