Are Britain-Holy See relations in jeopardy?
The relationship between Britain and the Holy See has flourished in recent decades, said Catherine Pepinster at the Guardian website. “And yet that newfound understanding may be in jeopardy.”
Pepinster, a former editor of The Tablet and author of the new book The Keys and the Kingdom: the British and the Papacy from John Paul II to Francis, said that “Talking to Vatican diplomats, it is apparent that they think Britain… has regrettably turned inward: not so sure of itself on the world stage, its priorities increasingly domestic. And Rome is deeply alarmed by any assault on the EU – given the European project, thanks to its founders Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman, was shaped by the Catholic theologies of solidarity and subsidiarity.”
Terrifying warnings from a London exorcist
In an article for Catholic World Report KV Turley visited veteran London exorcist Fr Jeremy Davies. The priest, who possessed an “air of peace” and “imperturbable calm”, was “the type of Englishman for whom the word ‘phlegmatic’ seems to have been made”, Turley said.
Their conversation, he said, forced him to consider not the “Hollywood fantasy of spinning heads” but the “real evil lurking in people’s lives” – when people “make a decision, or accept an argument, that moves them away from Christ”.
For Fr Davies, Turley said, the work of an exorcist was not an “isolated practice reserved for exceptional cases”, but “part of an ongoing struggle in which every soul is engaged”. Liberating someone through exorism is “just the beginning of a soul’s re-entry into this spiritual combat, in which any future lethargy will continue to be fatal”, Turley wrote.
And all of us have to fight. Fr Davies told him: “With our propensity to sin, we need to be more aware that no one is truly free from demonic influence.”
The brawny superhero based on Jesus Christ
Millions of people are excited by the arrival of the latest film in the Thor superhero franchise – Thor: Ragnarok – but how many of them realise that the character of Thor is based on Christ, asked Scott Smith on his eponymous blog.
“There are some striking parallels between the Norse myth of Thor at Ragnarok and the biblical prophesies of the Messiah,” he wrote. “Is it possible, since Christ preceded the Norse myths, that Norse myths were actually informed by the Gospel?”
Outlining some of the most striking parallels, he noted that “1) Thor is the son of the father-god, Odin. Similarly, Jesus is the Son of God, the Father. 2) The final battle between good and evil in Norse myth is at
Ragnarök and between Thor and the serpent, Jörmungandr. The final battle between good and evil in Christianity is at the Cross between Jesus and the serpent, Satan.”
✣ Pope Francis has admitted that he sometimes falls asleep while praying.
In an interview aired on the Church-owned television channel TV2000, he said St Thérèse of Lisieux used to do so too – and that she said God “likes it when somebody falls asleep [while praying]”.
The Pope said that falling asleep “like a child in His arms” was “one of the many ways in which the name of God becomes sanctified”. He was speaking on the Our Father programme.
✣ Catholic academics enjoyed a beer brewed in honour of Benedict XVI last month.
The Bavarian-style wheat beer, called Beer-nedict XVI: Pint-ifex Maximus, was launched at a conference for Catholic social scientists in Steubenville, Ohio. It was made by Hightower Brewing Company and unveiled at an event organised by the Benedict XVI Centre at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.
Marc Barnes, a PhD student at the centre, said: “What better way for British and American allies to meet than over beer – certainly, a party over tea would have brought up old feelings between the nations.”
✣ A bishop is to appear in a high school musical. Bishop Kevin Vann, of California, will play a homeless person in a production of Godspell.
✣The week in quotations
It pains me to see people [go] after honours Pope Francis Angelus address
The reading lamp was on. It seemed like he was asleep Sister Margherita Marin, who discovered John Paul I’s body The book Pope Luciani: Chronicle of a Death
I’m going to ask the other religions to help us call Britain back to its Christian roots Bishop Philip Egan ahead of an interfaith meeting Twitter
There are no adequate words Archbishop Garcia-Siller of San Antonio Statement after Sunday’s mass shooting
✣Statistic of the week
1m The estimated number of Rohingya in Burma at the start of the year. Hundreds of thousands have now fled Source: BBC