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Posts Tagged ‘Ann Widdecombe

Morning Catholic must-reads

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Pope Benedict XVI described the pallium as a sign of the bond that protects the Church from evil when he presented the woollen band to 38 new archbishops yesterday (video).

The Vatican has loaned the world’s oldest Hebrew book to the Jewish Museum in London.

A website has inspired the faithful to pray 28,000 rosaries for over 250 bishops in six months.

A Vatican website is aspiring to become “the Yellow Pages of the Catholic media“.

The Trumpet accuses Pope Benedict of launching “a new crusade”.

Peter Bingle says Peter Bingle’s appointment as British ambassador to the Holy See would be inspired.

Joseph Bottum takes Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan to task over partial-birth abortion.

Michael Sean Winters is leaving America magazine for the National Catholic Reporter.

And a woman in Coventry has invited the Pope to examine her drainpipe during his visit to Britain in September.

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Morning Catholic must-reads

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The weekend’s big story was the Vatican’s response to the unprecedented police raid on the Belgian Church. Pope Benedict XVI described the police’s methods as “deplorable” and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said they were “unbelievable”. A lawyer for the Mechelen-Brussels archdiocese said the Church was considering legal action. But Belgian anti-paedophilia campaigner Fr Rik Devillè insisted the raids were “a good thing”. Rod Dreher says the Pope was wrong to speak out. And Fr Tim Finigan considers the state of the Belgian Church.

Archbishop Angelo Amato beatified the Maronite monk Estephan Nehmeh in Lebanon yesterday.

Pope Benedict urged the faithful to “contemplate the divine-human heart of the Lord Jesus” at his Angelus address yesterday (full text).

Cardinal Walter Kasper has confirmed his imminent retirement as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Ann Widdecombe will be the next British ambassador to the Holy See, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

The Pope has turned down an offer to appear on BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day programme, the Telegraph suggests.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s permanent observer to the UN in Geneva, has addressed the Human Rights Council on maternal mortality (full text).

Rocco Palmo says the Vatican’s year is ending on a diplomatic high note.

Valle Adurni wonders what will happen to church buildings if Anglicans accept the Pope’s offer.

John Coleman SJ hails an “almost perfect” film.

And James Preece predicts that the Pope will beatify Cardinal Newman in a red telephone box.

Hitch says Catholics lack conviction

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Fresh from vanquishing Archbishop John Onaiyekan and Ann Widdecombe, Christopher Hitchens reflects on his experiences of debating Catholics and Protestants around the world.

He says:

Usually, when I ask some Calvinist whether he is really a Calvinist (in the sense, say, of believing that I will end up in hell), there is a slight reluctance to say yes, and a slight wince from his congregation. I have come to the conclusion that this has something to do with the justly famed tradition of Southern hospitality: You can’t very easily invite somebody to your church and then to supper and inform him that he’s marked for perdition.

More to the point, though, you soon discover that many of those attending are not so sure about all the doctrines, either, just as you very swiftly find out that a vast number of Catholics don’t truly believe more than about half of what their church instructs them to think.

Photo: Christopher Hitchens speaks at The Amazing Meeting 5, known as TAM5, b in Las Vegas, Nevada, in January 2007 (FrogMiller)

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Written by Luke Coppen

October 27, 2009 at 10:01 am

Hitchens wins lopsided decision

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Last night’s main event – the Hitchens-Fry versus Onaiyekan-Widdecombe debate – ended in heavy defeat for the Catholic contingent.

According to Andrew M Brown, audience opinion shifted dramatically thanks to Hitchens’s verbal ninjitsu and Archbishop Onaiyekan’s hesitancy.

He reports:

The voting gives a good idea of how it went. Before the debate, for the motion: 678. Against: 1102. Don’t know: 346. This is how it changed after the debate. For: 268. Against: 1876. Don’t know: 34. In other words, after hearing the speakers, the number of people in the audience who opposed the motion increased by 774. My friend Simon, who’s a season ticket holder, said it was the most decisive swing against a motion that he could remember.

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Written by Luke Coppen

October 20, 2009 at 7:29 am