I shall just point out the things that are worth further investigation. Articles like Sir S Wall's, attacking the Cameron position of the EU, are not really what I think we're on about. We might wonder why they are in The Tablet: did the Staggers turn it down? But anyway, not what we're here for.
Interview with Sarah Teather: all politics, and how Catholic social teaching informs her voting. One teaser:
'“The pressure points are often the points that provoke because they make you think more deeply. I was going to Mass a bit erratically around the time I was elected and I only had one framework to engage with, with the daily challenges and the ethical challenges of being an MP – and they are multiple, such as how to vote –and that was with my faith. Over the time of being an MP I would say my faith has become more important rather than less important.”
Her commitment to church teaching and the promptings of conscience will be tested again, probably at the end of February, when she will have to decide whether to support legislation that will introduce same-sex marriage.'
I think the problem here is The Tablet's, not Sarah Teather's. Why is she not being challenged about how she will vote?
For its Lenten lecture series for the Year of Faith, Brentford Cathedral has invited Bishop Stephen Cottrell, Anglican Bishop of Chelmsford on Wednesday 27 February 2013, to speak on "Accompanying people on the journey of faith: Catechesis and evangelism for a church in mission": leaving aside the vagaries of Brentford capitalisation, why invite somebody from another c/Church (ecclesial communuion) to preach in the Cathedral? Why choose The Tablet to advertise it?
The only opinion given in the article about the new Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh is given to the Association of Catholic Priests, rather than, say, to Iain Paisley, whose views might be no ,ore relevant but who, I bet, knows that "dialogue" isn't a verb, and wouldn't be intransitive even if it were! (Are heresy and solecism related?)
'A spokesman for the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) in Ireland, Fr P.J. Madden, suggests that political considerations were apparent in his appointment. He points out that the Vatican opted for someone from Northern Ireland rather than a bishop or auxiliary with broader experience in dealing with the pastoral needs of the Church across the island of Ireland. Another ACP spokesman, Fr Sean McDonagh, hoped that Mgr Martin would be “willing to dialogue with every group in the Church and wider society”. In his own statement last Friday, the coadjutor archbishop called for “a mature relationship between Church and society, in both parts of this island” and emphasised that people of faith have a vital role to play in Irish society’s public debates.'
Cardinal Scola's article on Dignitatis Humanae is worth serious study: a Catholic and modern interpretation of a Vatican II document that leaves me cold, but that doesn't feel spirit-of-VIIist. What The Tablet could be? Similarly, Fr Timothy Radcliffe's short piece on VII and collegiality is not one I agree with, but is worth engaging with.
Clifford Longley, on Obama, isn't:
"Obama is the embodiment of the nation in his person. That is powerful magic"
He wouldn't dare say ju-ju.
It is probably my fault that I found Fr Daniel O'Leary's article, nominally about "the journey of the soul", so much drivel: inchoate drivel.
"...we had been taken to the place of the soul, to that land where our deepest spirit lives – a land we are slow to enter. The urgent, daily context of our lives mitigates against such profound awareness. Too much work, anxiety and a relentless stress are filling our days and nights.
It takes great courage to set about regaining the lost rhythm of the soul. We generally postpone the work of self-realisation, of the inner journey, of the ultimate questions. We forget that if we do not live our lives abundantly now, we never will. And as death approaches, we bitterly regret the greatest tragedy of all – our unlived lives."
Fr Jim Fleming reckons that in contemporary Britain, the first step in evangelisation must be to provide a welcome for all comers.He paints a picture of a parish where parish property is used to cater for the destitute, aslyum seekers, the down and out: good! He has perhaps been edited somewhat severely, because he seems to contrast "doing" with "teaching" or "learning" to the former's advantage, but he is certainly pointed in the right direction.
The Notebook is direr than dire. Imagine finding a Comment Is Free commenter and giving him her a pulpit. Here are two of the items:
"AS A Catholic who carries a rosary in his pocket it was appropriate for Joseph Biden, Vice President of the United States, to have Mass said before he took the oath of office last Sunday. Biden invited friends and family to the Vice President’s residence, in the grounds of the United States Naval Observatory, Washington DC, for the liturgy celebrated by Fr Kevin O’Brien SJ, vice president for mission and ministry at Jesuit-run Georgetown University. Following the Mass, Biden took the oath of office, for which he used a large family Bible with a Celtic cross on the cover, that has been in his family since the late nineteenth century. The oath of office was administered by another Catholic, Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The United States Constitution requires the oath of office to take place on 20 January. If this day falls on a Sunday, the oath is taken privately by the President and Vice President and the public ceremony is celebrated the following day."
"HOW CATHOLICS reacted to the sexual revolution in the 1960s and 1970s is famously set out in David Lodge’s satiric novel, How Far Can You Go? Now it is to be the subject of a dissertation at Sussex University, supported by funding from the Arts and Humanities Council. The research is being conducted by David Geiringer, whose grandfather, Professor John Marshall, a neurologist and contributor to The Tablet, was one of the original members of the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control set up by Pope John XXIII. Geiringer wants to speak to 35 practising Catholic women about their experiences of the sexual revolution in the 1960s. He hopes to challenge the argument, put forward by scholars such as Professor Callum Brown, that the sexual revolution shattered the link between femininity and piousness. Geiringer is suggesting that Catholic faith is not “incompatible with a modern idea of sexuality”. Interviews are anonymous with questions submitted in advance. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org"
Robert Mickens isn't on form, only offering one real sneer:
'“Perhaps there are cases of illegal trade in ivory that is used in some parts of the world for Christian religious images used by Catholics,” he wrote in a long letter. “If such cases are identified they must clearly be condemned by the competent authorities – civil or religious – but there is no reason to attribute responsibility that it does not have to the ‘Vatican’,” he said. Indeed, being Catholic is not the same as representing the “Vatican”.'
And finally, why on earth is St George's Anglican Cathedral in Perth (Australia) advertising in The Tablet for a Dean? Is this a sort of post-modern take on Trollope?