Category Archives: Faith

Pope Benedict’s Speech

HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE EMBARGO
until speech delivered
check against delivery
1
EDINBURGH – 16.09.2010 – 11.45
Holyroodhouse (Park)
Meeting with the Authorities
Original text

Your Majesty,
Thank you for your gracious invitation to make an official visit to the United Kingdom and for your warm words of greeting on behalf of the British people. In thanking Your Majesty, allow me to extend my own greetings to all the people of the United Kingdom and to hold out a hand of friendship to each one.
It is a great pleasure for me to start my journey by saluting the members of the Royal Family, thanking in particular His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh for his kind welcome to me at Edinburgh Airport. I express my gratitude to Your Majesty’s present and previous Governments and to all those who worked with them to make this occasion possible, including Lord Patten and former Secretary of State Murphy. I would also like to acknowledge with deep appreciation the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Holy See, which has contributed greatly to strengthening the friendly relations existing between the Holy See and the United Kingdom.

As I begin my visit to the United Kingdom in Scotland’s historic capital city, I greet in a special way First Minister Salmond and the representatives of the Scottish Parliament. Just like the Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies, may the Scottish Parliament grow to be an expression of the fine traditions and distinct culture of the Scots and strive to serve their best interests in a spirit of solidarity and concern for the common good.

The name of Holyroodhouse, Your Majesty’s official residence in Scotland, recalls the “Holy Cross” and points to the deep Christian roots that are still present in every layer of British life. The monarchs of England and Scotland have been Christians from very early times and include outstanding saints like Edward the Confessor and Margaret of Scotland.

As you know, many of them consciously exercised their sovereign duty in the light of the Gospel, and in this way shaped the nation for good at the deepest level. As a result, the Christian message has been an integral part of the language, thought and culture of the peoples of these islands for more than a thousand years. Your forefathers’ respect for truth and justice, for mercy and charity come to you from a faith that remains a mighty force for good in your kingdom, to the great benefit of Christians and non-Christians alike.

We find many examples of this force for good throughout Britain’s long history. Even in comparatively recent times, due to figures like William Wilberforce and David Livingstone, Britain intervened directly to stop the international slave trade. Inspired by faith, women like Florence Nightingale served the poor and the sick and set new standards in healthcare that were subsequently copied everywhere. John Henry Newman, whose beatification I will celebrate shortly, was one of many British Christians of his age whose goodness, eloquence and action were a credit to their countrymen and women. These, and many people like them, were inspired by a deep faith born and nurtured in these islands. Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.

I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny” (Caritas in Veritate, 29).
Sixty-five years ago, Britain played an essential role in forging the post-war international consensus which favoured the establishment of the United Nations and ushered in a hitherto unknown period of peace and prosperity in Europe. In more recent years, the international community has followed closely events in Northern Ireland which have led to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement and the devolution of powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Your Majesty’s Government and the Government of Ireland, together with the political, religious and civil leaders of Northern Ireland, have helped give birth to a peaceful resolution of the conflict there. I encourage everyone involved to continue to walk courageously together on the path marked out for them towards a just and lasting peace.
Looking abroad, the United Kingdom remains a key figure politically and economically on the international stage.

Your Government and people are the shapers of ideas that still have an impact far beyond the British Isles. This places upon them a particular duty to act wisely for the common good. Similarly, because their opinions reach such a wide audience, the British media have a graver responsibility than most and a greater opportunity to promote the peace of nations, the integral development of peoples and the spread of authentic human rights. May all Britons continue to live by the values of honesty, respect and fair-mindedness that have won them the esteem and admiration of many.

Today, the United Kingdom strives to be a modern and multicultural society. In this challenging enterprise, may it always maintain its respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate. Let it not obscure the Christian foundation that underpins its freedoms; and may that patrimony, which has always served the nation well, constantly inform the example your Government and people set before the two billion members of the Commonwealth and the great family of English-speaking nations throughout the world.
May God bless Your Majesty and all the people of your realm. Thank you.

Leave a comment

Filed under Church, Faith, Papal Visit

“You’re not a homosexual. You’re a man.”

I posted an article on Twitter last week called I’M A MAN to which I received a reply from @tomlowe and @fihyde.

Interesting questions. 1) Am I a woman first and a Catholic second? 2) It seems that I have admitted there is such a thing as sexual orientation so this means that heterosexual orientation is not the only biological option. Firstly, I am not my beliefs. I am a woman. I have certain beliefs. My beliefs shape the person that I am. Secondly, yes, of course there is such a thing as sexual orientation, otherwise the world would not be populated, (SEXUAL ORIENTATION: describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction to men, women, both genders, neither gender, or another gender – ref. wiki)
Thirdly, re the reference to biology – the scientific study of the natural processes of living things – it seems that the psychologists, scientists and the professionals cannot say exactly what causes sexual orientation but they do say the following:

research suggests that it is by a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences, with biological factors and a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment.

It is a fact that some people have different sexual orientations to others. Of course that’s true. But what I found interesting from the article ‘I’m a man’ is the distinction the young man makes between having a particular sexual orientation and being a man.

The article is to do with a young, Catholic professional who recently came out as a homosexual to friends and family.
The young man says:

I don’t believe that “gay” is a valid category, the way “male” and “female” are. I used to think being gay meant being a different kind of person altogether—like a third gender. These days I think that it’s something I have, not something I am…..The best way to sum it up is something a very good priest once said to me in confession. He said, “You’re not a homosexual. You’re a man.”

If you take the meaning of ORIENTATION as: the particular preferences, tendencies, beliefs or opinions that a person has, then your understanding of sexuality is very different to the meaning of being of a certain sexual orientation.

1 Comment

Filed under Faith, Twitter

The Road to Jericho

GOSPEL: Luke 10: 25-37
There was a lawyer who, to disconcert Jesus, stood up and said to him, ‘Master, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?’

Jesus answers the question with a question.  Why?  Because the lawyer was testing him.  He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law?  What do you read there?’   

He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself’. ‘You have answered right,’ said Jesus,  ‘do this and life is yours.’

 The lawyer answered so promptly because it was a prayer that the Jews recited three times a day.  It’s called the Shema. He knew it off by heart.  He was a fellow Israelite but was certain that Jesus would give an answer different to this narrow limitation and leave himself wide open to a charge of heresy.

 For this reason the lawyer wasn’t content to leave it there.  He wanted to justify himself and so asked another question. ‘And who is my neighbour?’ 

Jesus was ready for him and tells him instead the story of the ‘Good Samaritan’.

You can’t argue with that!

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith

Conscience

A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself.

“Man has the right to act according to his conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters”.

Conscience means ‘with knowledge’. So we have to do our homework. You don’t just make serious decisions without weighing up the pros cons and consequences.  

The  present day government is certainly ‘without knowledge’.

3 Comments

Filed under Church, Faith, Ireland