• Events,  World View

    Wars, Past and Present

    As a child of Portsmouth, the Royal Navy will always have a very special place in my heart; this is the home of the Royal Navy, which has been based there since 1194 and which forms an integral part of the city and it’s spirit. The Common at Southsea is dominated by the Naval War Memorial, pictured above, a place which I wandered through a million times during my childhood years. At this time each year, I gladly attach my little Royal Navy poppy to the lapel of my coat and I wear it proudly. And on this particular day – Armistice Day – I, along with the rest of…

  • Church Life,  World View

    Through Some Crack

    A news conference took place yesterday in Lourdes, where the Catholic bishops of France were meeting in a plenary session. The president of the bishops’ conference, Archbishop de Moulins-Beaufort, announced that Cardinal Ricard of France – the former Archbishop of Bordeaux and previously president of the bishops’ conference on two occasions – had written a letter in which he admitted to having abused a fourteen year old girl some forty years ago, whilst he was a parish priest. Archbishop de Moulins-Beaufort also added that presently, eleven French bishops or former bishops are being (or have been) investigated by the authorities for abuse – primarily for it’s execution, but in two…

  • Faith and Life,  World View

    You Will Find Rest

    I am an avid news-watcher. My television essentially has only one channel which I watch with any sort of regularity – the news channel. I like to keep abreast of what is happening in the world, both locally and more globally. But over the last two or three years, something has changed in the news. It is as though the world has become broken. This sense of brokenness does not affect just one aspect of the life of the world which is reflected in the news – it seems to touch upon everything in life. Politics has become a cess-pool of those who seem to be, for the most part, driven…

  • World View

    A Worldwide Tea Party

    There are days when I look around the world and I’m quite certain that the whole world is in the midst of a global Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. The arrival of the pandemic seems to have been something of a point of reference, one of those moments in the history of humanity when everything seemed to change. We hibernated for two years and in that time, we both unlearned many of the ways we had of doing things, whilst learning new ways of doing those things which remained. And not everything remained – of that which did, there were so many changes. Things we once thought important, suddenly lost much…

  • Church Life,  Politics,  World View

    Breaking The Seal

    Throughout the history of the Church, the sacramental seal of Confession has been sacrosanct – it is the belief and practice of the Catholic Church that whatever is revealed to a priest in Confession is both sacred and secret and can, under no circumstances whatsoever, be revealed to anyone else, and this is explicitly laid out in Canon 983 of the Code of Canon Law. Confession is considered to be one of the seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church, instituted by Christ Himself as described toward the end of the Gospel of Saint John, when Christ gives the power of forgiveness to His disciples – “Receive the Holy Spirit; whose…