Showing posts from November, 2007

In response to the Catholic Rights blog article What is the Catholic Faith?

I agree wholeheartedly with John Kearney over at Catholic Rights when he talks about the current imbalance of interest on Catholic blogs over the debate about the Latin Mass and Pope Benedict's recent document on the matter. He rightly points out that the document produced by Bishop O'Donoghue on Catholic education deserves a much greater press coverage than it has been given (see Bishop O'Donoghue issues new teaching document for Catholic schools).

Here's the comment I left on John's blog:

The debates on the internet seem to be becoming more and more narrowly focused. Admittedly, the issue of the Extraordinary form carries with it far wider issues of Papal authority, obedience to Rome, etc... but it seems to me that that the kind of language used by many of those contributing comments (eg. on Holy Smoke) leaves a great deal to be desired in terms of the example it gives of Catholic action and personal morality. People should by all means speak out, but calling peopl…

Favourite photos - no. 3: Pope John Paul II

This is a photo from a French magazine that I cut out and put onto a piece of card during my first year of training to be a Brother (Noviciate) back in 1990. It has either been a bookmark in my breviary or stuck on my wall ever since. I think it is a tremendous picture for many reasons:
- the natural, genuine warmth and affection in the gesture of embrace
- the playful smile
- the thoughts that must have been going through the minds of these 2 children, being embraced by the Pope, their faces buried in his chest
- this is how I would imagine Jesus to be with children
- and the journalist/sound engineer in the background looking on... what was going through his mind?

- and I suppose also the thought (fuelled by jealousy no doubt) that I would have loved to be one of those children, and indeed still would! :-)

Jesus freaks? More like Jesus nutters according to Blair

Interesting post this from Creative Minority Report's US blogger Matthew Archibald. I do find just a little frightening the fact that he says his faith helped him make the decision to go to war with Iraq. I wonder what his faith tells him now about the consequences of those actions?

'According to news reports, Tony Blair has sparked controversy by claiming that people who speak about their religious faith can be viewed by society as "nutters".

The former prime minister's comments came as he admitted for the first time that his faith was "hugely important" in influencing his decisions during his decade in power at Number 10, including going to war with Iraq in 2003.

Blair was reluctant to discuss his faith during his time in office. Mr Blair complained that he had been unable to follow the example of US politicians, such as President George W. Bush, in being open about his faith because people in Britain regarded religion with suspicion.


Prayers needed for Mexico's Catholics

Found this news article on

Masses suspended in Mexican cathedral after left-wing attacks

Church officials closed and locked Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral and suspended all services after about 150 left-wing protesters stormed into a Sunday Mass shouting slogans and kicking over pews.

Fr Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Mexico City Archdiocese, said on Monday that the cathedral would not resume Masses until police could guarantee security. It is the first time the cathedral has suspended services since Mexico's Cristero uprisings in the 1920s.

"We have to take this action before there is bloodshed," Fr Valdemar said. "We need police to launch a public campaign showing we are being protected."

Left-wing leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who lost the 2006 presidential race by a razor-thin margin, was leading a protest in the square next to the cathedral. Lopez Obrador claims the election was rigged and calls himself Mexico's "leg…

Rocky I - VI in 5 seconds

I think this is hilarious... A condensing of the Rocky franchise films into a series of grunts and single words lasting only just over 5 secs. Wonderful.

The same treatment now for one of my all-time favourite films, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

How many dogs does it take to change a light bulb?

Any animal lover should take a look at this post over at Carpe Canem which comes from an e-mail that was doing the rounds:


God's guiding hand

Many-a-time I have felt God guiding me into certain places and situations where I have had significant meetings with people, and through which I (and others) have experienced God's abundant graces.

But on Sunday morning, I had one of my clearest examples of such an experience yet.

Normally on a Sunday (exceptions being extreme weather or having other commitments), I would join the rest of my community for Morning Prayer (Divine Office) at 7.30am, leaving them to meditate for 30 min. whilst I get ready to set off on my racing bike to meet other members of my club (Birkenhead North End Cycling Club) at the Eureka cyclists café at the Two Mills crossroads (south end of the Wirral). I would then do my own meditation on the bike, often using a podcast from the Jesuit-run "pray-as-you-go" web site, followed by podcasts from Radio 4's "In Our Time" (Melvyn Bragg - see 2 posts previous) and Radio 5 Live's film review slot with Mark Kermode. Between them, these wo…

Pope Benedict's Motu Proprio... a heated debate

pope.jpg (JPEG Image, 488x371 pixels)

For the past few weeks I have been spending much time reading up on current affairs in the Catholic Church through the network of Catholic news sites and in particular personal Catholic blogs (see Blog Links column on the right). I suppose I have only belatedly felt a sense of duty in this regard. It is easy to bury yourself in your particular apostolate - in my case as a Chaplain/teaching Brother working with young people - and not lift your head from time to time to see the bigger picture of the Catholic Church as a whole. But for whatever reason, a few weeks ago (during half-term) I felt the time was right for me to so just that.

It has been a humbling educational experience to read the blog posts of highly informed lay people, priests and religious. I will now point to a few posts (and their related Comments) that I feel give a good introduction to the question of Pope Benedict's recent Motu Proprio document, Summorum Pontificum, which frees…

BBC - Radio 4 In Our Time - Home Page

BBC - Radio 4 In Our Time - Home Page

For the past couple of years I have been a regular listener to the podcasts of Melvyn Bragg's excellent In Our Time series on BBC Radio 4. For those who don't know it, the show looks at a different topic each week and a panel of well-prepared invited experts are encouraged by Bragg to explain ideas, theories, events, etc... related to the topic for the day. Recent topics have included Socrates, Anti-matter, the Divine Right of Kings, Taste and Guilt. Bragg does an excellent job of guiding his experts into producing a detailed, yet accessible picture of their chosen topic.Blogged with Flock

"Twin survives several abortion attempts, refuses to die..."

Thanks to American Papist: not your average Catholic for picking this up from the Daily Mail here in the UK. Two such beautiful children. I have to confess i shed a tear at the sight of them. A heart-warming, but at the same time disturbing story. The twin who they tried to kill will have to cope as he grows up with the knowledge that his mother authorised his murder, albeit for reasons that may have seemed convincing when put forward by the doctors. But somehow I think he will be alright thanks to the deep love that already seems to exist between him and his twin brother who, it would seem, was not prepared to let them kill his soul mate.

Here's part of the original article with American Papist's take on it:
"They say twins share a strong bond - but the one between Gabriel and Ieuan Jones was unbreakable. When doctors found that Gabriel was weaker than his brother, with an enlarged heart, and believed he was going to die in the womb, his mother Rebecca Jones had to make a …

Delirious? live @ Liverpool Anglican Cathedral tonight

Great gig with the D: boys (as usual). Some promising new material from
their forthcoming album, lots from "The Mission Bell" and a mixture of
classics. One of the high points came towards the end when Martin Smith
told us that the band were going into the studio Monday to record some
of the final tracks for the album and were looking for some backing
vocalists for one track in particular... that's where we came in!
Martin proceeded to teach us the chorus and got us to sing it back to
him a few times.

We seemed to get through it pretty well, but just at the end of the
take someone at the front of the audience shouted out and ruined the
take. Martin showed his sense of humour with a laugh and a comment:
"Someone near that guy just turn and give him a nice Christian punch in
the face!" He then encouraged us to give it another go but louder. The
results were actually much more impressive than the first time round.
Smithy then provided the pay-off: "Someone near that guy gi…

Bobby McFerrin's Ave Maria

Yes, he of "Don't Worry, Be Happy". This is rather wonderful. He vocalises the original Bach Prelude, whilst the audience sing the Gounod melody. Enjoy.