Posts Tagged ‘News’

The Pope's Twitter page

The Pope’s Twitter page

The Pope is to begin tweeting from @pontifex on 12th December, when he will host a question and answer session! How blessed we are to have a leader of the church who is so in tune with modern communication and social media to reach out to so many people and evangelise!

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.

The Huffington Post has reported that, 5 years after beginning her studies of Scientology, cradle Catholoc Katie has ditched the cult and retuned to her roots by registering as a parishoner at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in New York City.

The media has reported the principle reason for the spit is Suri’s increasing part in the Scientology cult, as she gets older. Reading The Daily Telegraph’s Scientology: The Facts, one can see already the impact the cult has already had on this young girl’s life. We have seen pictures of this little girl in make-up, in assorted shoes, and read reports of her $150,000 dollar shoe collection. The Daily Telegraph’s article explains that in Scientology, children are believed to be spiritual beings in young bodies. Therefore, Suri has been treated like a young adult, able to make her own decisions.

Suri is now also enrolled in a Catholic school. I hope that Suri still has time for an innocent childhood. We pray for Katie, returning to The Truth, that she may pass on the Good News to her daugter, and be guided by God throughout their lives. Amen.

This morning on BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the day (part of the Today Thought For The Day Pope 24/12/2010programme), Pope Benedict recalled with “great fondness” his visit in September to Great Britain. It was the first time a Pope has written and delivered material, specifically for a broadcast audience. Perhaps the large and warm welcom the Pontiff received in the UK in September influenced his decision.

Visit the BBC website for the full transcript and video.

Pope Benedict has taken time out to record a message for the people of Britain, a week before his arrival. In his message, he tells us how he is looking forward to visiting, and thanks all people who are helping to prepare for the visit, especially those who are praying for his visit. He tells of the joy it will be for him to beatify a great Englishman, John Henry Newman, how he is looking forward to meeting various groups of people and that he regrets he cannot meet everyone. He ends by telling the people of the United Kingdom we are in his prayers. Wow!

Frank Skinner, 50-something,  is well known as being Brum’s best loved comedian and singer of England’s Euro 96 anthem “3 Lions“, rather than his Catholic faith. However, I recently came accross an article published in the Times back in March 2010.  It begins…

I’m a Roman Catholic and I go to church every Sunday. Towards the end of Mass, there’s a thing called the Sign of Peace. We all shake hands with everyone in shaking distance and say “peace be with you”. Last Sunday the priest told us to drop the handshaking element to show our solidarity with Wayne Bridge.

I’ve always liked the guy, but I like him even more now for his honesty and outspokeness. Mixed with a lil’ Skinner comedy, of course. While he may not be popular amongst Traditionalists for saying that The wheat has been separated from the chaff. We get quality, not quantity, in the churches and the chaff can enjoy a nice lie-in. That’s just as well, because there’ll be little opportunity for slumber when they’ve got a demon’s pitchfork up their arse, you gotta give Skinner Brownie points for telling it how it is. His article surely strikes a chord with many parishioners and ‘regular Catholics’ in the pews on a Sunday. He admits he has prayed loads for his friends, most of them atheists. And not told them. Yey! I pray for my friends too. They’re nearly all atheists. And I don’t tell them either!

Concluding his musings, he comments he is enjoying this current dose of persecution. It’s definitely good for the soul.

Well done, Frank, for sticking up for the Catholic faith and sharing the some positives of it with the nation!

Read the full article here.

For more Frank Skinner reading, check out My Church is not a safe haven for bigots, also published in the Times.

A few days ago, the BBC ran a piece on Medjugorje on their Newsnight programme, reported by Alan Little. It’s a good introduction the fastest growing Catholic pilgrimage site in Earth, although it is yet to be officially recognised by the Vatican (in March 2010, the Holy See announced the formation of an investigative commission). Somewhat sceptical at times, presenting tacky shops and speculating about how the apparitions have boosted the local economy, the report not only highlights the apparitions to the Newsnight-watching public and beyond, it puts the village into its authentic political and religious context – something that can be overlooked by the enthusiastic Catholic pilgrim. This 12 minute video is well worth a watch.

Visit the BBC website to see more details about the report.

I’ll never forget the joy and excitement I felt late last September when it was announced that Pope Benedict would be visiting the shores of our isle…

…nor will I forget the wave of anxiety and fear that crashed shortly afterwards as I began to ponder: how will he be welcomed? How will the Papal visit be portrayed in the media? What grand secrets will the media be brewing, ready to serve up as Benedict lands on British soil?

Well, we cannot begin to answer those questions until 17th September. In the meantime, however, The Daily Telegraph sets a bench mark for media decency, recognising that Benedict XVI’s arrival is an opportunity to celebrate a culture that planted our Christian roots;

for it was a Pope who sent St Augustine to Britain.

Indeed, without St Augustine, there may have been no Catholicism and Christianity in Britain. And there nearly wasn’t as, after being sent by Pope Gregory the Great to convert Britain and its pagan King, St Augustine and his 40 missionaries were so overwhelmed and daunted by their task that they halted, and St Augustine went back to Rome to request papal permission to return. Luckily, Pope Gregory said no!

The Daily Telegraph continues: as the Archbishop of Canterbury recognises, if Benedict XVI is

greeted with hostility and manufactured scandals, then British Christianity as a whole will be weakened. And, in the eyes of hundreds of millions of Catholics around the world, our national reputation will be damaged. The Pope’s visit is more than a great event for Catholics: it is a test of Britain’s professionalism, hospitality, tolerance and maturity.

See the full article here.

Visit the Prayer page for the Prayer for the Papal Visit to Britain.

 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!

 

We don’t hear much about “celebrity catholics”, that is, celebrities who are Catholics in the media, so I decided to keep an eye out and lo and behold…

Lovely Declan Donnelly, of Ant and Dec fame (AKA PJ and Duncan from Byker Grove) is from an Irish Catholic family. His brother, Dermot, is a priest who works with the young people of the Hexam Diocese.

Ant and Dec have opened this state of the art youth village, after helping make the dream a reality. Isn’t that great?!

Click here to read the full article.

Click here to visit the Youth Village website.