Tag Archives | Religion

Bishop John McAreavey: “Political representatives must answer for their own position on abortion…”

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As the BBC reports, Sinn Féin’s Paul Maskey, MP for west Belfast, has apologised to the Catholic Bishop of Dromore, John McAreavey, for the misrepresentation of his views on abortion in “a letter written by local party members and distributed in west Belfast”.  Here’s the quoted apology in the BBC report – not yet available on the Sinn Féin more…

The prevailing wisdom of A Love Divided

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Based on a true story, “A Love Divided” chronicles the aftermath of a mixed marriage in Co. Wexford, Ireland, where Protestant-raised Sheila refuses to send her children to a local Catholic school. She flees with her two young girls, leaving her husband Sean confused and frustrated. “A Love Divided” was shown at Culturlann, as part more…

Paisley’s religious legacy

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Watching the two hours of the BBC’s documentary on Dr. Paisley brought to mind my blog from six years ago of Paisley and Prospero where at the end of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Prospero turns to the audience and says “Now my charms are all o’erthrown And what strength I have’s mine own.” At times it more…

A manifesto for enlightened Catholicism

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From the always inspiring Hans Kung, one of two surviving theologians of Vatican 2, the other being Joseph Ratzinger. True ecumenism.  One shouldn’t be misled by the media hype of grandly staged papal mass events or by the wild applause of conservative Catholic youth groups. Behind the facade, the whole house is crumbling. In this dramatic more…

#GiantsCauseway: Fenians lose out to Bible.

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*sigh* According to UTV, the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre now includes exhibits that acknowlegde the young-earth Creationist view of how the world-famous stones are formed. Pete has detailed the backstory to this before and others have picked up the creationist lobbying trail around the Ulster Museum. UTV report that The National Trust said it wanted to “reflect more…

Democracy and the Church of Ireland…

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In the wake of last week’s controversial proceedings at Synod, Archbishop Harper explains how and why things are done in the Anglican Church of Ireland: I think it is important, therefore, to understand the extent to which the Church of Ireland recognises and embraces the status and role of the laity in the life of more…

A few thoughts on St. Patrick’s Day

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Today is then St. Patrick’s Day. There will be a variety of events, by far the most prominent will be cultural and sporting. I had intended writing a blog on what I view as the way in which the sanitisation of the entirely legitimate nationalist culture of St. Patrick’s Day has actually become a cause more…

Artless protest? Or a disappointing protest that hasn’t yet occupied the agenda of the public or the church?

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Despite being critical of Occupy Belfast’s media strategy over the past few months, I’m still disappointed when they respond to Peter Robinson’s jibe about their “artless protest” with a press release. Occupy Belfast would like to take this opportunity to say that we will not be going away and will be relentless in our campaign more…

$cientology loses appeal against fraud ruling

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The Irish Times reports from France, where the inheritors of L Ron Hubbard’s greedy and manipulative anti-science cult of scientology have lost their appeal against a 2009 ruling that “two French branches of the US-based organisation were guilty of “organised fraud” and gave four of its leaders suspended jail sentences of up to two years.”  A more…

Ian Paisley to retire as Free Presbyterian minister

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Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley is to step down from active church ministry. The 85 year old former moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster has announced that he will be preaching one more sermon in the Martyrs’ Memorial at Christmas but is going to devote his time to writing his memoirs. Dr. Paisley has more…

Thoughts on the saga of Hazel Stewart

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The saga of the murders of Trevor Buchannan and Lesley Howell has all the ingredients of a horrible human interest story or a perfect opportunity for voyeurism depending on one’s views. It has had a perfect; practically Shakespearian villain who finally seized with remorse has told all for the benefit of his soul and for more…

Religion in schools. More than just Catholics

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Peter Robinson’s comments on education have opened up a discussion that is solely focusing on the role of the Catholic Maintained Sector. While the discussion is worthwhile, having it without addressing other elements of religious involvement across education is dealing with less than half of the issue. As noted in Tony Macaulay’s report on Churches more…

The abuse crisis is no excuse for anti-Catholic bigotry

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The Scottish composer James MacMillan has composed a congregational Mass for the Blessed John Henry Newman which is to be featured at the venues of  the Pope’s forthcoming visit to Great Britain. No surprise there.  But what’s novel I think,  is that MacMillan, unusually for a composer, is a bold controversialist and an unorthodox defender more…