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Showing posts from November, 2012

Sunday Scripture: First Sunday of Advent (Year C)

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Welcome to this, the nineteenth of my reflections on the theology of the Sunday readings at Mass.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I sincerely hope that this reflection will inspire you. You might find that it answers a few questions you may have, but most of all I hope that it will show you how fantastic Sacred Scripture is and perhaps enable you to share some of my love and passion for the Bible as you begin to comprehend how layered and multi-faceted it is, and what a carefully considered part of the Mass the readings are.

If you want to know how these posts came about, please read my first post in this series here.

I would like to think this regular blog would be a great help to anyone who reads at Mass, to enable them to foster a deeper understanding of the message they are trying to impart to the congregation.

There are several different ways to read this post. I would suggest the first thing to do is to look at the relevant readings. You might then want to look a…

Year of Faith Lectures

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I have been asked to help publicise the following (which I have to say looks excellent!):
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I am delighted to present some information regarding the ‘School of Faith’ series of study seminars. Delivered in collaboration with Holy Ghost Parish, Balham and the Maryvale Higher Institute of Religious Sciences, the course runs for 12 weeks beginning on Wednesday 09 January 2013 until  23 March 2013 and is held every Wednesday evening from 7:30pm – 9:30pm. The Catechism is offered to all who wish to understand better the inexhaustible riches of salvation. It is a treasury of wisdom and spirituality, as well as providing the reliable reference point for understanding and appreciating the Catholic faith.~ School of Faith ~ A Twelve week series of public study seminars in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Beginning in January 2013, to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Cent…

The Historicity of the Synoptic Gospels

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I've been working hard on this week's exploration of Sunday's Scripture and reflecting on what's being said. This week we move away from the Gospel of Mark, with whom we have been travelling for a number of weeks, and take up Luke's narrative. We haven't had Luke since I started writing my reflections so I have written a short survey of the book as is my habit.
Obviously, this sets one's mind racing in various directions. I remain fascinated with Scripture, especially it's extraordinary depth, and part of my prelim' notes how Luke shapes his account. I thought it might be useful to post a concise examination of how this theological shaping (which is evident in each of the Synoptics) effects the historic veracity of the Gospels. 
It can be demonstrated that the Evangelists carefully chose their material and that they have varied their accounts to accentuate themes relevant to challenges each one encountered separately. For Matthew, a Jewish Christia…

Relativism, Modernism & Liberalism Combined in an Unholy Trinity

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Thanks to Luke O'Sullivan for providing the inspiration for the title of this post.

I have been fascinated by the events in the Anglican church over the last few days. I have also come to recognise how ignorant I am regarding Anglicanism (is that the right terminology even?) which seems impossibly complex and bureaucratic, which is saying something coming from a Catholic!

I was taken to task by someone I know on Twitter last week for referring to Anglican 'bishops'. This was considered patronising and I was admonished to accept the validity of Anglican religious orders out of respect for them.

This struck me as somewhat disingenuous. I am a Latin Rite Catholic and the Papal Bull Apostolicae Curae issued in 1896 by Pope Leo XIII declared all Anglican ordinations to be "absolutely null and utterly void".

The issue, as best I understand it, is regards the intention with which orders are given and received in the CofE. I'm sure most Anglican bishops would say th…

Weathering The Storm...

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I am, of course, aware that putting up Ruari's piece on Savita would cause a stir. The broad swipe of feed back I'm receiving is very nervous that the article speculates without facts.

One thing I have learned recently is that the pro-life/ pro-choice debate rages much larger in society than I had known. It is also fraught with politics and alliances. I am not part of any of these alliances or strategies, nor do I intend to become embroiled in the politics of how to fight abortion, though I most firmly stand on the side of the line which is against the forced medical abortion of unborn children. I always have, it's not something I learned, it is something I have always found very straight-forward and easy to understand. In fact, confronted with the reality of abortion, I think most people would find it very difficult to justify- unless you suffer from a complete lack of empathy with the reality of the situation. The only way I can see to accept abortion is to depersonalise…

Who Stands to Gain from Tragedy?

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This is a guest post from freelance writer Ruari McCallion

If you can’t find evidence of a conspiracy then you aren't looking hard enough…

There is a need to stop this side of David Icke (WELL this side of David Icke) but, sometimes, conspiracy theories turn out to hold water.

The death of Savita Halappanavar is a tragedy that became a catastrophe for her family – that much is crystal clear and pretty much everyone can agree on it. But then things get murkier and murkier. There are agendas at work and the hint of something rather nasty at large.

Mrs Halappanavar died of an antibiotic-resistant infection, specifically e.coli ESBL. She did not die from an abortion, from being denied an abortion, from Catholic teaching or from a confused legal system in Ireland.

WHAT IS IT?

ESBL stands for Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase positive gram negative bacteria. It is resistant to most strains of antibiotics. One of my informants told me: “… the antibiotics given were to no avail…two things can…

Sunday Scripture: The Solemnity of Christ The King (Year B)

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Welcome to this, the eighteenth of my reflections on the theology of the Sunday readings at Mass.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I sincerely hope that this reflection will inspire you, answer some questions you may have, help you to see how fantastic Sacred Scripture is and perhaps enable you to share some of my love and passion for the Bible as you begin to comprehend how layered and multi-faceted it is, and what a carefully considered part of the Mass the readings are. If you want to know how these posts came about, please read my first post in this series here. My particular hope is that these blogs will help you develop a love of the Old Testament, and help to foster a better understanding of its value in understanding how Jesus fulfils what is prefigured therein.
I would like to think this regular blog would be a great help to anyone who reads at Mass, to enable them to foster a deeper understanding of the message they are trying to impart to the congregation.
Th…

Stephen Cottrell Gives a Masterclass in Eisegesis

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This is stunning:


Eisegesis (from Greek εἰς "into" as opposed to exegesis from ἐξηγεῖσθαι "to lead out") is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that it introduces one's own presuppositions, agendas, and/or biases into and onto it. The act is often used to "prove" a pre-held point of concern to the reader and to provide him or her with confirmation bias in accordance with his or her pre-held agenda. Eisegesis is best understood when contrasted with exegesis. While exegesis draws out the meaning from a text in accordance with the context and discoverable meaning of its author, eisegesis occurs when a reader imposes his or her interpretation into and onto the text. As a result, exegesis tends to be objective when employed effectively while eisegesis is regarded as highly subjective.

Stephen makes his argument using Gal 3:28, which, as I noted yesterday, seems to be considered Biblical basis for the case for women bishops a…

Women Bishops & The End of Anglo-Catholicism.

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There's an 'open letter' in the Independent today which purportedly puts the Biblical case for women bishops.

Of course as a Catholic, this does not, nor can it ever affect me. Pope John Paul II declared the question closed in his letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, stating:
"Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance…I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgement is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful." - John Paul II in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, cf. Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici (30 December 1988), 31. This teaching on the restriction of ordination to men is nothing to do with misogyny. It is an historical reality that masculinity was integral to the person-hood of both Jesus and the men He called as Apostles. 
The Church has always understood that we are different but equal. Maleness and femaleness are two different way…