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Showing posts from December, 2012

Sticking up for Richard Dawkins

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I know this blog is a bit late, coming on the back of comments made by Professor Richard Dawkins on Twitter on the 22nd December, but I've been a bit busy with Christmas and all. This is what started it all:


I do think it is worth returning to however, because I feel Richard gets a bit of a bad press to be honest. I have a lot to thank him for, it was his thinking in The God Delusion that led me to ask some very important questions for myself. Much of his work has provided the background to my own study, pushing me in new directions and making me think about things with a depth of perception I would otherwise have lacked, not having the scientific understanding he undoubtedly demonstrates.

In his books, Richard really does ask all the right questions. Even this, rather bellicose query, is worth making, isn't it? Does it not provide us with an opportunity to explain why it's not child abuse to bring up a child with a religious belief?

Professor Dawkins has been roundly crit…

My Christmas Reflection for 2012

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This time of year is intense for lots of different reasons. Since Ruth died, it has been a period where Lou and I have experienced a heightened sense of loss. There are hundreds of people in similar situations and even in the weeks leading up to Christmas this year, each story of tragedy on the news, the shooting in Connecticut, the war in Syria, the conflict in Afghanistan, the pensioner attacked and killed on his way to midnight Mass on Christmas eve, even the terrible car crash on the M6 on Christmas day itself all bring with them a terrible heightened sense of anxiety and empathy for the effect and terrible grief such life-changing events will wreak on the families. 
For many of us, Christmas is like this. A reminder of who is not there, a reminder of grief and pain and heart ache. On Christmas eve, Lou laid out the children's presents in sacks each bearing their own monicker. She used Ruth's sack for Mary, even placing it in the right order (W, M, R, J) and we both stood…

Sunday Scripture: The Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

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Welcome to this, the twenty-third 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 Call to Action's Ignorance

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After the heterodox dissent group 'A Call to Action' organised a series of poorly attended meetings across the country, I posted a blog exposing the misdirection and ignorance on their website.
I have been looking at the forum there (which is poorly designed and doesn't get much interest) and feeling increasingly frustrated that this group claim to be about dialogue and being an "effective sign of the Kingdom of God" whilst their website and dialogue seems to be about nurturing and promoting ideas and theories which clearly contradict Church teaching, and doing so within a closed circle of self-affirmation. It almost seems that any idea can gain a platform there, as long as it contradicts the Magisterium, from ordination of women to criticising the new translation of the Missal, from supporting dissident priests, to promoting ideas about human sexuality which contradict the teaching of the Church.

I found this post by the leader of this group in my own diocese, …

Sunday Scripture: Fourth Sunday in Advent (Year C).

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Welcome to this, the twenty-second 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 loo…