• Opinion,  World View

    The Othering

    One of the worst sins of our age is that of ‘the othering’. By this, I mean all those occasions when we look upon anyone else as in some way ‘other’ than us. We perceive them to be different to us and this can often lead to us looking not at them, but down upon them, seeing them as somehow inferior to us. Common examples are those we perceive to have a different skin colour, country of origin, place of residence, sexuality, religious belief, political ethos. If they are not – in our surmising – the same as us, then they are ‘the other’. And that separates us from them.…

  • Prayer,  World View

    The Sustenance of Conversation

    A friend of mine lost his wife recently. He said one of the hardest things he has encountered is having to start thinking of ‘me’ rather than ‘we’ – and of having to get used to doing things alone, which he has not done for many years. He misses the conversation. It’s absence signifies his loss quite profoundly. I looked around at Mass during the week and I noticed how many people – often, but not always, elderly – were there alone. I know several of them have lost spouses. I have no real idea of just how terrible that sense of crushing loss must be when lived out day…

  • Church Life,  Faith and Life,  Opinion,  World View

    Easing The Relationship

    I had written at length yesterday about the uneasy relationship I presently have with the institutional side of the Catholic Church – provoked by the relentless abuse crisis and the subsequent failures of the Church and hierarchy to act with any compassion or integrity toward the victims of such abuse, with disregard for the value of all people and with an utter absence of concern for anything other than institutional reputation and fiscal protection of assets. It isn’t an easy place to be. However, I had also noted the more rooted relationship I have with the ‘other side’ of the same Church – with the sacramental and spiritual side. So…

  • Church Life,  Faith and Life,  Opinion,  World View

    An Uneasy Relationship

    I presently have something of an uneasy relationship with the Catholic Church. Or at least, with the institutional side of the Catholic Church. The issue is this – I have lost trust in it’s integrity and it’s compassion for the people of God, who are entrusted to it’s care. Conversely, I have no issue with the ‘Mystical Bride’ part of the Church – the sacramental and spiritual side of the Church. I believe firmly in God and in what the Church teaches, even though my view is that some of what it teaches could be done with a far greater degree of compassion than is presently the case. I pray…

  • Church Life,  World View

    Defending The Castle

    I spent some time earlier today reading the Synodal National Synthesis for the Dioceses of England and Wales. This document is a collation of all the diocesan and local reports which have been written in response to the request of Pope Francis that the entire Church takes time to actively listen to the people of God and to the Church in every corner. It was a broad and fascinating document and there was much in it which was of great interest to me, because of which I will go back and read it all again. I saw many themes which have arisen time and again in other similar reports, both…