Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Friday, 11 February 2022

A Dishonest Atheist? Heaven Forbid.

Paul Vitz author of Faith of the Fatherless, a Psychology of Atheism, tells a very interesting story in his book.

 Some years ago, at a conference in Dallas, Ellis and I spoke one after the other. Ellis spoke as an atheist psychologist and I as a theistic psychologist. Each talk lasted about forty minutes, and since we both sat on the dais, we heard each others papers. Ellis heard a short form of the thesis of this book. After the session was over, he told me as we walked out together that the thesis did not apply to him since he had a good relationship with his father. I replied that a psychological hypothesis is fortunate to be valid in even 50 to 60% of the cases.

Back in New York City, I sent a copy of my talk to a friend who is a book editor, Dr. George Zimmar, who was at the time working for the Praeger Publishing Company. A few weeks later, he phoned to tell me that he had read the paper and, incidentally, thought it was helpful for understanding Albert Ellis. I was quite taken aback and told Zimmar that Ellis had personally denied the relevance of my thesis to his life. “Well,” my friend replied, “We are publishing his biography, and I was reading the page proofs last night; I think he fits your hypothesis.” Later, when the biography appeared, I read about Ellis’ childhood. The author, Daniel Weiner, describes Ellis as suffering from “Parental neglect and serious illness throughout his childhood.” 

This is taken from page 74 of Faith of the Fatherless. The whole book is well worth a read.

Monday, 31 January 2022

Lee Child You Had One Shot And You Blew It!

The remote control for my television broke a good while ago and so, to change channels now, I’m reduced to getting up and pushing the buttons on the box itself to change channel. One evening during the first lockdown, after watching the news I went channel hopping. I stumbled across a film which intrigued me and I started to watch it, I wanted to know what had happened and there seemed to be some mystery going on, but then blasphemy after blasphemy ensued and I turned the film off. I checked the television guide to see what the film was called and found that it was a Jack Reacher film based on a Lee Child book called 'One Shot', I decided that if I came across a cheap copy of the book in a second-hand or charity shop I’d buy it, as the book may not contain blasphemy, and wanted to find out what had happened in the story.

During the same lockdown I found a few bags of books placed outside a then closed by order of Boris Johnson, second-hand bookshop which I like to frequent, I took the bags away with me for safe keeping. At this point I would like to say the bags contained the book that I was hoping to acquire, but alas they did not. After that particular lockdown had ended I took the books into the bookshop and the owner was very happy to receive them, in fact so much so that when I tried to buy a book or two from his shelves he insisted that I receive them with his compliments. I haggled with him as best as I could, but in the end the best that he would do was to allow me to pay half price for one of the three books that I was acquiring! I would not have minded, but I had from time to time been throwing the odd pound coin or two into an empty coffee cup during the lockdown to spend on books once bookshops had reopened, you know to help boost the economy and all that. But no matter as this allowed me to buy some other books from another local independent bookshop!

And so, now armed with a copy of 'One Shot' by Lee Child, I went off to find out what had happened. I wasn’t really interested to find out about the main character spending a night with a Norwegian dancer. Nor was I interested in the details of his old relationship with a woman who had previously been in the army with him either. In fact the comment of Helen, the lawyer in the story, really summed this up best, ‘That’s more information than I needed, Reacher.’ We then add some bad language to this and worse still blasphemy upon blasphemy and so Mr Child you had one shot and you blew it.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. No one should take His Name in vain. I can't stop you doing so Mr Child. However Christians really need to explain to God why they watch films or television shows with any blasphemy in them, read books or magazines with blasphemy in it,  etc. It is easy these days to search online for a detailed parent’s guide to any film you plan to watch, which should point out any blasphemy. The Divine Praises were introduced to make reparation for the sin of blasphemy, say them when you have a moment. Reading Fr Paul O'Sullivan’s short booklet, The Wonders of the Holy Name is also well worth while.
My copy of Lee Child's book? Yes, I tore it in half and it has gone in the recycling bin.


Friday, 28 January 2022

Old Rite Confirmations Versus New Rite Confirmations

From time to time I put up posts asking people to test their memory by telling me where they were 21 years ago today for example. It amazes me the number of people who cannot answer the question. I of course would reply the I was in Anerley with my then fiancée Clare, my Confirmation Sponsor Dougie and Archbishop Michael Bowen.

The previous year I’d stopped attending Masses organised by the SSPX, but as I wished to be Confirmed before getting Married I contacted an English Bishop who had said Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and asked him if he would Confirm me in the Old Rite. I’m sad to say that the Bishop replied that the New Rite was extremely beautiful and that I should just get in step with the modern Church. Tempting though it was to wander off to one of the four SSPX Bishops to receive Confirmation, I in fact went to Anerley and was Confirmed by Archbishop Michael Bowen. I had been Baptised in the Old Rite by Fr Crowdy a few years earlier, an Oratorian Priest described by The Tablet as being in an irregular situation!

I have a preference for the Old Rite and because of this some people I will say that I am rigid and yet I was Confirmed in the New Rite. And in the year before covid struck I made a note of the Masses that I attended and found that approximately 80% were in the New Rite while most of the others where Old Rite. Sometime after my Confirmation a number of Bishops in England and Wales, showing pastoral concern for the faithful allowed Confirmations in the older form and for this I am grateful. It is sad to see that this choice will no longer be available, as in the interests of diversity and charity we will now rigidly use only the New Rite.

Please say the Litany for Bishops