Posts Tagged ‘Interview’

Lance Armstrong

At the end of BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today programme, Jonathon Aitkin, the former conservative MP convicted of perjury in 1999 and Fr. Stephen Wang , Catholic priest and Dean of studies at Allen Hall seminary, discussed the capacity of confession in the light of Lance Armstrong’s “confession” to be broadcast soon on Oprah.

Jonathon Aitkin, an Anglican, compared confession as a transit stop on the way to repentance, observing confession is not a quick fix to putting something right. At its deepest level, confession has something to do with the heart, the spirit. It’s a spiritual journey.

Fr. Stephen Wang highlighted the elements of confession, saying it’s not just about going to confession, but you must have a genuine sorrow in your heart, it’s about promising to put things right, and, in Catholic terms, it about doing penance – bringing justice, healing and reconciliation, recognising you have done harm to others and that needs to be put right, and there will be some personal cost to that. Therefore it’s not simply suffering for one’s sake but its saying sorry and rebuilding relationships.

Aitkin reflects that it can be a painful journey that brings sense of relief, peace, and a feeling that some amends have been made.

The presenter asked Fr. Wang if atheists can confess?

Fr. Stephen Wang

Fr. Wang replied that there are different levels of confession that need to be recognised. Firstly, there is the therapeutic level, getting something off our chest. Secondly, there is the communal level- saying sorry and putting things right. Thirdly, there is the spiritual level, which brings spiritual healing. Catholics can find in this in God’s grace and Jesus Christ.

Reflecting on Armstrong’s confession, Aitkin says that if it is a genuine confession, he need not worry about the bucketfuls of cynicism that surround the interview because he will be doing it for an audience of one, not millions.

Fr. Wang hopes his “confession” will be genuine. He will be looking to see how his life had changed, and

if he makes personal apologies to the people he’s harmed.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux observed a sincere sign of repentance is avoiding the occasion of sin.

The interview is available here until 21/01/2013, and starts at 2:54:49.

Read what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation here.

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Angus T Jones, a lead actor in what has been called by the New York Times as “the biggest hit comedy of the last decade”, has hit out at the show, Two and a Half Men. The raunchy comedy conflicts with his Christian beliefs.

Jones, 19, has starred in the show since he was 10 years old and now earns over £200,000 per episode, making him the highest paid teen actor. However, he says the show is incompatible with his Christian beliefs, labelling the show as “filth”, and has asked viewers to stop watching it. He urges viewers to research the effects of TV on the brain and promises viewers they will have a decision to make.

It can be easy to put the television on after a long day, or have it on as ‘background noise’, without considering what exactly we are feeding our minds with. I recently heard the question asked- have you spent as much time with God today as you have in front of the TV? This is a good question to ask ourselves daily. Instead of watching a 30 minute episode of Two and a Half Men and feeding your minds with rubbish, you could spend 30 minutes reading the Gospel and be inspired by the word of God.

Jones can be seen making these comments in the video below, starting at 07:44.

 Updated 25/12/2010

Perhaps you remember his as Marky Mark, or saw him featured with Kate Moss advertising Calvin Klein in the 1990s? Or perhaps you saw the movie Boogie Nights, Perfect Storm or The Italian Job? Today, he is the producer on US hit TV series, Entourage. A Hollywood star with a shady past, he has in recent times been open about his Catholic faith.

In August last year, he married his sweetheart in a private Catholic wedding ceremony in Beverly Hills, California. Their youngest child is named after St. Brendan (the Bold or the Navigator).

“Being a Catholic is the most important part of my life” he said in an interview with the Catholic Herald. Speaking recently in the New York Post, he described himself as above all a devout Roman Catholic, a devout husband and a devout father; “The first thing I do every day when I leave my house,” he says, “I go to church, man, get down on my knees.” Even when his children complain it takes too long, Mark says: “It’s only 10 minutes and this is something I really need to do. Because I do. If I can start my day out by saying my prayers and getting myself focused, then I know I’m doing the right thing. That 10 minutes helps me in every way throughout the day”.

The National Enquirer reported; “The 38-year-old reformed bad boy relies on his closest confidante and longtime religious mentor, the Rev. James Flavin, to help him pick and choose his parts. ‘Mark is a practicing Catholic, and he never makes a final decision on a starring role until Father Flavin gives his OK,’ an insider revealed to The Enquirer.

 ‘Mark says he owes his career to Father Flavin. ‘Father Flavin pushes Mark to honor his religious roots,’ said the source. ‘Even though Mark was offered one of the leads in Brokeback Mountain, he passed because of the gay subject matter, which clashes with Catholic doctrine.’
 
However, critics in the media and on the blogosphere have attacked him for having double standards after playing a cocaine and meth-addicted hustler in Boogie Nights…
 
Give the man a break! Everyone has made mistakes in their pasts, some more public than others for sure! Is a man not allowed to discover his faith? As, surley the Mark Wahlberg who played the unsavory character Dirk in Boogie Nights, is not the same Mark Wahlberg who took his girlfriend (now wife) to chuch on their first date! He told Cosmopolitan UK; “We met through a mutual friend in New York. I asked if she wanted to hang out the next day and she did, so I said, ‘Well, come to church with me.’ She was raised a Christian, not a Catholic like me. She did come – and now she’s converted.”
 
Looking back, Mark reflects: “But, of course, once you get into trouble, you start praying! ‘Oh, my God, just get me out of here, and I swear I’ll never do it again!’ Well, I did get out of jail, and I did make sure I never went back there. The recidivism rate for people going back for jail sentences is through the roof, but not me. I did not want to be another statistic. I wanted to live my life instead… I want to serve God and to be a good human being and to make up for the mistakes I made and the pain I put people through. That’s what I’m praying for, and I recommend it to anybody.”
 
Its great to hear celebrities speaking out about Catholicism. Here’s hoping  (and praying) we hear more…

 Last week, Archbishop Vincent Nichols was interviewed on the BBC’s notoriously ruthless “Hard Talk”.

He covered a range of current topics in the news including the Papal Visit, the scandals in the church, Pope Benedict’s recent remarks on the use of condoms in Africa and celibacy in the Church.

On new convert Tony Blair’s calls for modernisation in the Catholic Church, his Grace responded; when it comes to guidance on the Church, I think I’ll stick with Pope Benedict rather than Tony Blair!

Given the hard-nosed approach to interviewing that the BBC programme is famous for, I feel Archbishop Vincent gave a sound and well balanced interview. What do you think?

See the interview on BBC iPlayer  for yourself!