Archive for September, 2013

Anointing DavidIn the BBC’s copious coverage of the 60th anniversary of the last coronation at Westminster, back in June, there was a note of special pleading.  I think that the issue it raises is an important and a contentious one which should be dealt with now, before the next coronation. (more…)

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When, as has happened this week, the media report on particularly appalling murders, some explain that the perpetrators are known to have had “mental issues.”  This appears to be the modern way of saying “mentally sick.”  Yet many of the worst killers appear to be fairly rational in their reasoning and behaviour and don’t always present symptoms of any mental illness that might explain their crimes.

I reckon that any one of us can be sick in body, mind and/or soul, or any combination thereof.  If so, there is room for a category of being spiritually sick.  Some might call it being evil but that implies an impossibility of a cure.  I mean something that can be treated.  Having lived in five African countries and visited four more, I think that African culture has no difficulty with this concept, even while we might deplore some of the ways the condition is ‘cured’.

A woman who in any culture starves and beats her toddler son to death is clearly sick in some way or other; it is only the West’s rationalism and unease with religious belief that prevents us publicly acknowledging the true sickness exhibited in each case by the crying needs of a soul gone wrong, not just “evil.”  It is not only the victim that needs our intervention and help.

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Cardinal Bertone has been watching too many episodes of The Borgias on TV.  The outgoing Secretary of State for the Holy See claims in an interview that his work was made difficult by ‘crows’ and ‘vipers’ in the Curia.  It is possible to be faintly amused by this sort of language, but not altogether so.  Is this language the sort a bishop should be using?

It puts one in mind of the joke about Vatican number plates and their prefix SCV which Romans affect to believe stands for Se Cristo Videsse (‘If Christ could only see this’).  Let us all hope that the new Secretary, Archbishop Parolin, is not so maladroit.

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