The religion Hugh Hefner rejected
There were many responses to the death of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner; but not enough, said Terry Mattingly of getreligion.org, focused on his Methodism. Hefner once told the Chicago Sun Times: “Our family was Prohibitionist, Puritan in a very real sense. Never smoked, swore, drank, danced. Or hugged. Oh, no. There was absolutely no hugging or kissing in my family.”
And there was more to Hefner’s rejection of Christianity. He explained: “At a very early age, I began questioning a lot of that religious foolishness about man’s spirit and body being in conflict, with God primarily with the spirit of man and the Devil dwelling in the flesh.”
One detail – recorded in the New York Times obituary – also revealed Hefner’s deep-rooted hostility to Christian morality. After his fiancée cheated on him, before their unhappy marriage, he said he realised what was wrong with traditional attitudes to sex. “Thinking sex is sacred is the first step toward really turning it into something very ugly,” he explained.
Why a Nigerian parish likes traditional liturgy
In the New York Times, Matthew Schmitz observed the first traditional Latin ordination in Nigeria for decades. Eighty-six-year-old Bishop Gregory Ochiagha, who carried out the ordination, “nearly fainted,” Schmitz said. “‘I am so happy, I am so happy,’ he whispered as he was led to a chair.”
Bishop Ochiagha lived through the 1970s, when – at the same time as the vernacular liturgy was introduced – the Nigerian government expelled foreign priests. “The time of the liturgical change was not easy: people thought the Church was collapsing,” the bishop recalled.
But it isn’t just the liturgy which is appreciated by parishioners in the southeastern town of Umuaka. Perpetua Iwuala, 16, told Schmitz: “The priests here tell you everything you need to know. They teach you the Commandments. At other parishes they don’t.”
Why artists started giving angels wings
At aleteia.org, Philip Kosloski asked whether angels actually have wings. Essentially, the answer is no: “The visible form that is often reported in Scripture or popular news stories is a facade, a mask they put on so that we can see them with our eyes.
Otherwise they are naturally invisible creatures.” And in the early centuries, Christian artists depicted them as quite similar to humans. “However, by the 4th century artists started to differentiate these spiritual creatures. The first known depiction of an angel with wings is on the Prince’s Sarcophagus, found at Sarigüzel, near Istanbul, and dated between 379 and 395.
“Ever since, artists generally used wings and linked it to the mission of these creatures as messengers.” That was partly because angels are messengers – and, in the ancient world, birds were especially known as carriers of messages.
✣ Oasis singer Liam Gallagher has claimed that he was thrown out of church because he was too sweaty.
The 45-year-old pop star told Q magazine that he had recently gone to church after a run. “I sat at the back and started sizzling. Smoke was coming off of me,” he said. “Someone at the front went, ‘Excuse me, out you go’, so I got slung out.”
In 2015 the Daily Star reported that Gallagher was regularly seen at St Joseph’s church in Highgate, north London. The singer, who attended Catholic schools in Manchester, was “always on his own with a hat pulled well down”, according to an anonymous local. “He stays for quite a while and seems very peaceful … He seems to be praying.” Gallagher once said he had had “a conversation with God one night in a boozer”.
✣ Commuters fled a London train on Monday morning after a man began reciting Bible verses out loud.
According to the BBC, passengers forced open train doors and ran on to tracks at Wimbledon station after a man began quoting Bible passages such as “death is not the end”. One witness said that, when told he was scaring people, the man “stopped and stood there with his head down”.
British Transport Police said the incident caused severe delays for the rest of the morning.
✣The week in quotations
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner The prayer Pope Francis recommends to defeat apathy General audience talk
The whole episode … brought me closer to God Rescued priest Fr Tom Uzhunnalil Deccan Chronicle
People don’t remember, but God knows their names Francis on migrants who died in the Mediterranean Address in Bologna
In the end, the only response is to do good Cardinal DiNardo Statement after the Las Vegas shooting
✣Statistic of the week
1,400 The number of poor people who had lunch with the Pope in Bologna’s cathedral Source: Rome Reports
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