Author: Fr John

I can’t believe your last comment

Bloggers clerical and lay can attract pedantic and unwanted attention. It’s not all that different to the sort of attention priests encounter in the parish from aggrieved faithful. Even the saintly Curé of Ars was frequently confronted by parishioners demanding he reform his ways. His typical response included a gracious apology and a plea for prayers for his conversion. But bystanders who knew Vianney well noticed that at such times, he often wrung his hands until his knuckles were white – a sign, they said, that his patience was tested, and he was making every effort not to reply with...

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The debate about the debate

It’s not as compelling as the debate itself of course, but the ensuing discussion about Monday’s Q & A is nonetheless quite interesting. I made a rare visit to the Catholica forum board on Tuesday, to gauge the reaction of Catholics who don’t think like me. I didn’t perservere with the whole thread, but the first few posts credited Pell for not embarrassing the cause. In Catholica land, that’s high praise indeed! In contrast, a similar discussion on Fr Z’s blog was critical of Pell, especially for his claims about Adam and Eve. Fr Z himself posted the video...

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Faith’s new face

I started my holidays on Monday, so The Age very nearly passed me by. Fortunately, someone else bought a copy and showed it to me — in Sydney no less! For those who missed it, several Corpus Christi seminarians graced the front page, above the fold. The picture accompanied an article by Barney Zwartz, relating the transformation of the Church in Australia. The Vietnamese are the new Irish, and all that. The trend is not quite so prolific in Hamilton, where the congregation – and indeed the population – is still predominantly white. But it’s certainly not a trend...

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Pell versus Dawkins

One of my very first posts on this blog related to Cardinal Pell’s effective witness as a controversialist. (I’ve given up trying to retrieve the archive. No great loss to posterity, I’m sure.) It seems apt that the subject should be revisited so early in the blog’s second incarnation. Last night’s Q&A discussion between Pell and Richard Dawkins was entertaining if nothing else. If you missed it, you can catch it on iView, or watch it on YouTube: It was good TV. It didn’t have to be. The recent debate between Dawkins and Rowan Williams proves that! The BBC...

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Easter joy

Chesterton imagines how news of the resurrection first filtered through to Rome, which 2,000 years ago was the centre of the world. The members of some Eastern sect or secret society or other seemed to have made a scene somewhere; nobody could imagine why. One incident occurred once or twice again and began to arouse irritation out of proportion to its insignificance. It was not exactly what these provincials said; though of course it sounded queer enough. They seemed to be saying that God was dead and that they themselves had seen him die. This might be one of the many manias produced by the despair of the age; only they did not seem particularly despairing. They seemed quite unnaturally joyful about it, and gave the reason that the death of God had allowed them to eat him and drink his blood. According to other accounts God was not exactly dead after all; there trailed through the bewildered imagination some sort of fantastic procession of the funeral of God, at which the sun turned black, but which ended with the dead omnipotence breaking out of the tomb and rising again like the sun. Eating and drinking God? Rising from our graves just as Jesus rose from his? These claims are utterly fantastic. It’s no wonder atheists like Richard Dawkins laugh at them. They are laughable. But they’re not irrational....

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June 2018
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Recent Comments

  • Fr John on The boundless limits of God’s mercy: “In further research, I learned that Höss did endure cruelty in one Krakow prison which "almost had me at the…Apr 10, 18:38
  • Peter on The boundless limits of God’s mercy: “This is where as a mere mortal I cannot begin to understand the depth of God’s forgiveness. I…Apr 10, 18:06
  • Peter on 12 Rules For Life: “I have the book, it is terrific.Apr 5, 06:10
  • Fr John on The Easter story: “Thanks Peter! It's a new resolution of mine to blog at least three times a week. Hence the "renovations," to…Apr 2, 22:28
  • Peter on The Easter story: “Dear Father it is a long time between posts. I always look forward to your posts. I pop in every…Apr 2, 12:46
  • Terry Maher on Living the sabbath: “Thank you Father John for celebrating the Mass for Life on January 27.Jan 5, 14:17
  • Maryse on Living the sabbath: “Sundays is the heaviest workday for priests – but what a great schedule for their usual day off, Monday, Father!…Jan 4, 09:09
  • Caroline on Living the sabbath: “I need the opposite – more work and less rest! There are too many sabbath days in my week! My…Jan 2, 12:40
  • Peter on Choosing an Advent motto: “Thank you Father, for your writings, I find them very inspiringDec 18, 18:24
  • Cisca on The loneliness of the priest: “Thank you for sharing such a beautiful insight to priesthood life.Dec 14, 13:29