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The Centre Cannot Hold

THE CENTRE CANNOT HOLD
The Irish abortion referendum result was predictable, but nonetheless I was surprised that Ireland showed such a strong cultural shift away from the Catholic Church’s long-standing and unflinching teaching. So where should a Christian stand in this matter ?Yes, there are complex moral issues involved, such as: ·Just when does a foetus become a human person ?
·Is it right that we only give a new human being legal rights from the moment of birth ?
·Does a woman have an absolute right over the life of the foetus she carries ?
·Is she answerable for conceiving when she knew she did not want a child ?
·Does the father have any rights in the matter?
·And what about duties in respect of parents and the community ?

The matter is complex to say the least, and few seem to be aware of the taproot that has fed, and still feeds the divergence between the Catholic Church’s teaching and the popular vote.
This tap root is humanity’s failures to live up to the implications of the tru…
Recent posts
TWO BODIES”
A SERMON PREACHED AT A MEMORIAL MASS-21.03.18
We’re all aware of the how the astonishing rush of discoveries and applications in the field of technology is affecting every part of our lives: smart phones, the web, robotics and driverless cars etc. But I wonder if you would agree with me that it has impacted even on our subconsciouslives too, and in a way that makes belief in the non-physical, non-observable, more challenging. And because it is a matter of the subconscious,we may be largely unaware of what is happening tous.
So today, as we think and pray about Margaret’s life and death, the question arises, “What does the Apostles’ Creed mean when it asks us to believe in the “resurrection of the body ?”Is this really credible ?After all it does sound like the fanciful reflections of a primitive people seeking to explain the meaning of their lives. Well, there are two things (among various others) significant for me personally, which I’d like to share with you.
·First, the M…
22nd March 2018
Dear Bloggers,
No, I didn’t drop dead ! But you haven’t had anything from me for a few months, because I have been unwell. However, I’m now back on an even keel and about to resume my postings which I do hope you will find interesting. Don’t hesitate to respond if you should wish to make a comment !

“Bede at Worth”
THE BBC AND THE COMMON GOOD
The BBC’s publication of salaries paid to television and radio performers is an admirable step towards greater transparency, and predictably has produced and will continue to produce much discussion. Surely the injustice of the pay differential between the sexes will at last be dealt with. Then there is the obvious question about the scale of remuneration for people who have become celebrities through their work at the BBC. What does it feel like to wake up in the morning aware that your £1 or £2m package is being paid for by the man in the street through his taxes and the licence fee ? On the other hand if these levels are not paid, will the BBC lose these talented folk ?  And would that outcome be desirable or not ?  It is not my wish to pronounce publicly on these questions, though I have my opinions like everyone else. But I am interested here in how a Christian mind approaches them. 
I want to be among the first to salute the BBC for its immense achieve…

CHEAP GRACE AND DISCIPLESHIP

CHEAP GRACE AND DISCIPLESHIP

“. . . No one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. . . . “ (Mtt 11, 27-28). So the only means of having contact with God our Father is through Jesus Christ his Son: and that is why Jesus calls us to follow him, to be his Disciples. In the 1930s the German Lutheran Pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer experienced anguish about the survival of Discipleship in his Church. The Nazi’s strategy to emasculate the Church worried him and he foresaw the direction in which Hitler was taking the German people.  His anxiety was intensified by some of his fellow Pastors such as Pastor  Gruner, who declared: “Hitler is the way of the Spirit and the will of God for the German people”. Bonhoeffer reacted robustly: “We Lutherans have gathered like eagles round the carcass of cheap grace, and there we have drunk of the poison which has killed the life of following Christ”. By “che…
LOVE IS STRONGER THAN EVIL IN MANCHESTER ! How heartening to read in the newspaper today that Ariana Grande has been made an honorary citizen of Manchester.  “Love is stronger than evil,” was the theme of the second Ariana Grande concert in Manchester which I watched on my computer screen. To be honest I felt the music belonged to a generation other than mine, and anyway I could not understand the sung words. But what a thrill to hear every performer, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, standing before the throng, and proclaiming, “LOVE OVERCOMES EVIL, YES ? ”, and then readily receiving the vociferous agreement of that huge gathering of youth. It really was a magnificent ‘liturgy’, if the clerical purists will permit me to use the term in this context ! “Liturgy” means “the work of the people of God”, and whatever the allegiances of that mass of people, surely they were the People of God in that very moment of proclaiming what is in  the hearts of all  “Believers of the Book”,…

ARCHBISHOP OSCAR ROMERO AND FEAR

A HOMILY PREACHED IN WORTH ABBEY CHURCH 25th JUNE 2017Do not be afraid”, says Jesus to his disciples in Mathew’s Gospel Ch 10,26. You know, I really don’t think he meant them to try to eliminate or ignore the fear that would come into their lives. You can’t just wave it away, you can’t do that; and after all, Jeremiah lived with it: some of his enemies threw him into an abandoned well hoping that he would starve to death in the mud. Fortunately others came and rescued him. And Jesus in Gethsemane lived with it as he fulfilled his Father’s will for our salvation. No, the context of this teaching seems to say that we must not allow our fears or apprehensions to dictate to us. Three years ago on 23rd May Archbishop Romero of El Salvador was beatified. His story is human and moving. He had been made a rural bishop, later being promoted to Archbishop in the metropolis at a time when conservative elements in Rome were making episcopal appointments; he was regarded as a ‘safe conservative’. …