Sunday, December 24, 2006

O'Connor goes National At Christmass!

Tomorrow is Christmass day, and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster is going on BBC Radio 3 at 9.30pm to explain, as the first of a series of relatively famous people, "the influences that have shaped them, the ideas they have about life's big questions and how what they believe affects both their personal and working lives".

Well, the show has got one thing right straight away: "the arena of belief has become increasingly personal and subjective...". That's true, very true. Personally, I look forward to what he has to say.

Happy Christmass, to both of our readers!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

News from Norwich

Norwich is one place in Britain I have never been to, and it looks like I have even less of an incentive to pay a visit:

A ROW has broken out after a primary school decided not to hold a Nativity play this Christmas - preferring instead to replace it with a multicultural performance.

Knowland Grove Community First School has defended its stance saying the show will explore different religions and help youngsters understand other cultures while still learning about Christmas, but some parents with children at the school have been enraged by the decision.

Full story here.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Much ado in St. Blog's UK

There seems to be a burgeoning crop of UK Catholic Blogs about now. A lot of them are priests, who are, I suppose, realising that we can use the internet for the New Evangelisation and all that (remember that? yes, it's still a good idea!!!).

So I think I'll have to start using Blogrolling to keep track of them all, or just give up on this whole project!

Watch this space.

New Year is fast approaching. I suggest you join this Blogger in Balham for the Youth 2000 New Year's retreat. A whole smorgasbord of chaotic Catholic Youth Work!!! Just as little sleep and organisation as a real World Youth Day. But worth it. Nice people. And really cool music.

See the video of last year! (Watch out for the Usual Youth 2000 Suspects appearing in this holy yet cheesy production!).

Get the details here!

As much as I love St. Blog's UK, it's really become a bit boring.

The fact is that we have lost sight of the Faith as our life; instead it becomes theory (e.g. "Why Protestants Are Wrong and We Are Not" and "Which Mass is Best" etc) or a morality ("Sex etc" or a hundred other protesting groups you can easily meet in London).

Thank God for the new movements, especially CL, I am totally unashamed to say that it has enabled Christ to save my faith and maybe even my life!

A poor, timid and bookish convert like me has little or no influence in "The Church", but I am just utterly thankful that Christ has had, frankly, the humility, the affection for me, that made Him lead me down these strange paths to my own heart, to the point where I can recognise that He is God and man, and that He is alive here and now!

Just to live the nothing that I am, knowing that He loves me, that He likes me, that is a real miracle.

Personal news: I got accepted to do a Library Studies Masters next year (September).

This is another miracle: one year ago I was one my way up to London with very little concept of a career plan except that I had to work, and that a friend had helped me find a vacancy. Hmmm, big plan!

I'm not totally content with this plan, still, but beleive me, it's fantastic! I can't wait to see what can be made of it, rather, what He can make of it. It becomes very clear that Christ is the one who "re-creates" me, in the concrete circumstances of life. It was a friend from the Movement who suggested me to look at library work in the first place (though I'd thought about it before) and now: it's happening!

I've been wondering: what would a Catholic political party look like?

I suppose it would support pro-life policies (although to get my vote it wouldn't criminalise desparate women, only the doctors who carry out certain "operations" - how would this actually work in practice, given the huge emotional impact of such a policy reversal? Could there be a kind of amnesty for doctors to change their practice within a certain time?). It would also have to go beyond legislating against "pro-choice" and "euthanasia"; it would have to pro-actively support hospices for the dying and for unsupported mothers and children. Perhaps it would have to introduce rather large taxes, or give priveledges to charitable groups to do this?

It would also have a "strange" stance in other areas: "just war" is not just a nice idea for a serious Catholic: and in recent years (actually, over the last century, but who's paid attention?!) the Church has developed a huge body of political theory and international law ideas. We would have to start seriously educating people about the UN Convention, perhaps, instead of just giving it lip service.

Education would be another area (the Church, as far as I can see, concurrs quite well with the UN Declaration on this point): the hypothetical party would encourage educating children in the tradition of their parents and community of origin.

Given this pluralistic education, it would have to actively promote open dialogue between all traditions present in a country: this could impact heavily on the use of mass media like TV and newspapers (does anyone actually read papers anymore?).

There is also the issue of property. Now, I really don't think that those neo-traditionalist "Catholic" organisations represent the Tradition of the Church on this point. I shan't name any names... however, there are quite big names like Chesterton and Belloc (and a few Popes, I would think) who might advocate redistribution land through democratic and peaceful means. This could potentially form another policy for the Hypothetical Catholic Social Teaching Party.

There are already Christian parties and other political bodies active in the UK; there would have to be a circumspect collaboration with them, and of course respect for, and working together with, the other religious traditions represented in our remarkably free country. This would be quite a challenge for a fledgling party.

Possibly the biggest challenge would be the fact that a lot of Catholics probably don't know about the Church's Social Teaching, and some might even actively oppose it, knowingly or not.

What do readers and other Catholic UK bloggers think? You know where the comments box is.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Live Nativity Play

I beleive there should be real animals (treated with respect of course).

Date: Saturday, 09 December 2006

Where: Lady of Compassion Catholic Church, Upton Park

When: Starts at 09:00 with Mass
Ends at 17:00
Live Nativity: 16:00 – 17:00

How to get there:

Tube:Take the Hammersmith & City or District Line to Upton Park Tube Station.At the station turn right on Green Street.
On the left you will see St Edwards Catholic School.
You’ll then see Westham Football Stadium.
Our Lady of Compassion Catholic Church is on the left where the stadium...
If you hit Barking Road you have gone to far!

By Car:
Our Lady of CompassionThe Presbytery
Green Street
E13 9AX

(does every driver have sat-nav these days??)

Anyhow, thanks to Jimbob for this invitation!

I won't be there because of a CL thing.