Archive for the Ecumenical Matters Category

Embracing hunger for Lent

Posted in Ecumenical Matters, Food & Drink on February 20, 2012 by Johnnie


I don’t normally observe the annual Shrove/pancake/ fat  Tuesday routine.  To me, it’s always been, as Curiosity Killed The Cat would say, just another ordinary day.  Nor have I ever thought about giving anything up for Lent – not for any anti-religious purpose,  just because I couldn’t be bothered thinking about sacrifices.  Well, that’s about to change.  This year, I’m going all ‘austerity’ and embracing hunger.

I don’t mean that to sound flippant, pious or patronising; there is neither a political nor a charitable motivation, it’s not about solidarity or empathy.  It’s not about trying to make anyone feel guilty either.  It is, perhaps, my acceptance that gluttony is too easy for those of us fortunate enough to be able to buy food.  Even that sounds vaguely Bono-like.  All I mean is that I’d like to take ownership of my own hunger and actually enjoy it as a controllable urge. Continue reading

It’s still all pious in the sky

Posted in Ecumenical Matters on September 20, 2010 by Johnnie

Judge not…

The Pope’s visit to Scotland brought my general confusion about my religious beliefs to the surface again.  What do I believe?  It’s always been a succession of tolerance and intolerance for religion, and nothing I can do or think seems to flatten it out.

I’m like Spooky Mulder, I Want To Believe.  But so often, it’s too difficult.  People make it too difficult.  What is it religion about these days?  What was it ever about?

I’ve never been in the least bit pious, but I still detest atheism with all my heart.  I’ll always question everyone and everything and never believe in absolutes.  But that’s not what organised religion wants.  I have trouble with their terminology, even simple words like ‘faith’ – how can you have faith in something that doesn’t ever become apparent?  And yet, isn’t it the height of arrogance to believe that every one of life’s ‘mysteries’ has an explanation?  Is ‘faith’ only for those who can’t get their stupid heads around The Big Bang or the theory of evolution?  Or is it a matter of clinging to the belief that one day, all will be revealed? Continue reading

That Knock apparition in full…

Posted in Ecumenical Matters on October 14, 2009 by Johnnie

Amazing footage of 5000 people all staring at the sky, many of whom claim they saw the sun “dancing”.  If you look closely you can just about make out… Continue reading

Political Hot Potato

Posted in Ecumenical Matters, Food & Drink, Grave News on June 17, 2009 by Johnnie

Hungry Again

In the spirit of fellowship and togetherness, the Taoiseach yesterday met the heads of the Church of Ireland from north and south.  And, in the spirit of Christian generosity, the Archbishops brought Mr Cowen some lunch, in the shape of a gigantic baked potato.  Then, in the spirit of perma-starvation, our Brian scoffed it before commencing dialogue with the men of the (table) cloth.

Continue reading

Why Stop At AIDS?

Posted in Ecumenical Matters on March 19, 2009 by Johnnie

EVIL_EVIL_EVIL!!!Why does the Pope not highlight the other evils condoms are responsible for?

Pope Benedict XVI has denounced the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV, telling reporters that AIDS “cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems.”   Incredibly there has been an international outcry over this statement, with the director of the World Health Organisation’s HIV/Aids department, Kevin De Cock, saying that there’s no scientific evidence to show that condom use encourages people to take sexual risks.  Naturally, IHGN thinks Pope Benedict hasn’t gone far enough in his condom condemnation.  There are many other risks associated with their use and misuse – why didn’t he point these ones out? Continue reading

Give Up Yer Aul Shopping

Posted in Ecumenical Matters on February 27, 2009 by Johnnie


And so it came to pass that a senior member of the Catholic Church in Co. Galway got mildly peeved about Sunday trading.  Fr Stephen Farragher, who works (except, presumably, on a Sunday) as administrator to the Tuam archdiocese, has suggested shops shouldn’t be open for very long on the Sabbath, and also advocates a return to the old monochrome times, when Sunday was a day of rest.  So, no doubt, he doesn’t want priests to be paid for being on duty on this day, he won’t need any electricity or gas to be piped into churches, won’t watch telly or listen to radio in the evening, and won’t want newspapers for sale on Sunday afternoons or, indeed, available for publication on Monday morning.  Sometimes I wish I lived in Cloud Cuckoo Land too, it seems so much more serene there.  Mind you, with the recession here and biting, there’s the prediction that there will be a flock of people turning (or returning) to God – basically, and ironically, because they want something.  In that regard, surely the very fundamentals of Christianity have failed miserably.  Meanwhile, in the real world, where the rest of us live, it probably is best to spend your money on keeping businesses like your local convenience shop, Woodies and IKEA afloat on Sundays (the one day of the week when most working people can actually get to the shops), rather than throw your hard-earned pennies into the coffers of an utterly outdated, hypocritical and out-of-touch institution.