Blessings are conditional. However we think of them, and wherever we think they originate, blessings are gifts – special graces – which we can accept and discard. That is in our gift. We have the right of refusal. Blessed with love, we cannot take our lovers and loved ones for granted. We cannot take without giving in return. The gift of love is not a certificate of ownership. Likewise, the blessing and gift of life is conditional. Its continuation and renewal always and everywhere depend on our generous acceptance of the gift and our loving care for the blessing.
Boris Johnson, our new Prime Minister, is a man who shamelessly stood in front of a bus during the Brexit referendum campaign and told voters that leaving the European Union would return £350 million every week to essential public services like the NHS; all the while knowing this was untrue. Since moving into Number 10 he has repeated over and again that his government is engaged in ongoing negotiations with its European partners, when the European parliament and commission have unequivocally stated this is not the case.
What is evident is that no apology or action on the part of the Church will be accepted by this secularist protest movement. It is apparent from much of the discussion on Irish social media over the weekend that what many within this movement demand is nothing short of the complete destruction of the Catholic Church. Many are quite explicit in this demand, and it is not limited to the clerical institution of the Church but extends to la Comunidad Católica in its widest sense; evinced in the wholesale targeting and abuse of “ordinary Catholics” online.
Opinions are split on much of the goings on reported in the so-called dirty dossier of Tory MPs' antics published by Guido Fawkes – funny that I’m writing this on the 5 November. Some of it is awful, of course. There is no question that getting “handsy” or being otherwise “inappropriate” with women – especially when one is in a position of power – is disgusting. But how bad is it, really, that the Prime Minister's deputy has been allegedly pleasuring himself to pornographic images online?
After decades of anti-Christian violence in Egypt the Coptic Orthodox Christians have once again become the victims of a terrorist attack in Cairo. As people prayed this morning at St. Peter and St. Paul church, adjoining St. Mark’s cathedral, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device killing 24 worshippers – mainly women and children.
Theirs is the faith, when it is set out in plain words, of the zealot and the fanatic. By no means do I intend to suggest that they are zealots, fanatics, or indeed bad people. All that I will say is that their ideas – or some of their ideas – are fanatical and dangerous in the extreme, and in this assessment there is no exaggeration.
Follow @UrFhasaidh By a single vote tonight the University of Dublin’s Metaphysical Society decided that Theism was not a rational philosophical position in the world of reason. As a now condemned theist it is difficult not to feel a sense of insult that just over fifty percent of my peers believe that my philosophical worldview is … Continue reading Why Theism isn’t a Reasonable Philosophical Stance
Follow @UrFhasaidh It’s no secret that Christianity in Europe is on the wane. By the 1970s and 80s church attendance across Europe, especially in Scandinavia, had sunk to critical levels. At the millennium it had become clear that the downward trajectory of Christianity, Catholic and Protestant, had taken the religion well below sustainable numbers, making … Continue reading Why is Christianity Dying in Europe?