28 July 2008

Prague

I spent a couple of days in Prague this weekend; it was a leaving gift from my friends at my last place of employment. I've never been to Prague before, I am pretty routine (boring?) with my trips, usually going to Italy. I like that I can easily find my way round and communicate in Italy, as I can speak the language fluently. Once I overcame the issues with finding my way around, I found Prague to be a very pleasant place to be. It is very hard to do everything in just two days, but I saw enough to make me want to go back, to discover Prague at a more leisurely pace. Below are a few photos I took, using my N82 cameraphone:

23 July 2008

All The Cool People go to Hell

A phrase I have heard recently, from a few people I know, is that *if* there is a Hell, they want to go there because it's where "all the cool people" will be, and it's where all the parties will be, and Heaven will be so boring!

Today the conversation came up with a couple of colleagues, from my new employment. I've only been there just over a week, I'm certain they never made their comments to wind me up, as people who know me better have been known to do. As we were walking down the street the conversation came to beliefs, and one of my colleagues said she was atheist, then quickly corrected herself to say she was a "couldn't-care-less-ist". I asked her what if she couldn't care less about turned out to be true, and that's when she made the comment "All the cool people go to Hell" and the person with us made a comment of agreement. Basically, Heaven is boring, and Hell is where all the fun will be.

It's not the first time I've had someone say this to me. Seems that we have a big image problem, if people think that an eternity of torment is going to be one big party, they are in for a shock.

21 July 2008

EWTN Channel Change

EWTN used to be on channel 769 on SKY, but it seems it has moved. I'm sure I was watching on channel 769 yesterday, but I could be wrong.

Anyhow, EWTN is now on channel 589.

20 July 2008

Leopard Attacks a Crocodile

I was flicking through some of the news feeds on Google News and I found this story over at the Daily Mail, detailing how a leopard attacked a crocodile! The pictures are amazing, and have been complied into a brief video clip on YouTube:



The entire sequence of the photos can be seen on the Hal Brindley website, here. The website also has some amazing wildlife photography, well worth a look. Also, at the bottom of the Daily Mail piece they had mentioned a video clip I had not seen before, called the Battle of Kruger. This is an excellent clip, and is definitely worth watching til the end. Enjoy:

10 July 2008

Understanding the Anglican Issue

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I don't know enough about the Anglicans and what they believe to have a really informed opinion on what is happening inside their church right now. Anytime I want information on a subject I don't know enough about (it happens often!) I turn to the net. I honestly do give thanks to God that I have a resource of pretty much limitless information available to me. The responsibility with it is to sort the true information from the rubbish (balance is about 10% reliable, 90% waste of cyberspace, in my experience)

One particular resource that has been particularly helpful to me in the last could of days has been the blog of Fr Dwight Longenecker. He has an understanding of Anglican issues, himself being a former Anglican priest. He has a post here with advice about things to consider for those looking to move to the Catholic Church.

There is another post here which has excerpts from an email sent to Fr Dwight from an Anglo Catholic priest. It really does help to understand where people who would call themselves Anglo Catholics are coming from.

And this is an excellent post about alleged proposals being made to the Vatican by Anglo Catholic bishops. I found the post to be very informative and it touched on some points that have been concerns of mine in my limited understanding of the situation. Particularly, point 4:
.....We cannot assume, even in the most trad Anglo Catholic parish that everyone in the pew is up to speed on the fullness of Catholic doctrine. Nor can we assume, for all their smells and bells, that they really understand the true reason for becoming Catholic. Each convert needs to be instructed in the faith. We can't just accept them en bloc.

There are enough people in the Church already who call themselves Catholic but in reality have little knowledge or understanding of what the Church actually teaches. Each convert to the Church has to be fully aware of the teachings of the Church and must accept them and be prepared to live them.

I can accept it must be difficult for people who have lived a prayerful life in the Anglican church to see what they believed in being ripped away from them. I'm sure for a lot of people there is hurt, confusion, and probably anger too. My prayers are for them in this difficult time; my rosary intentions have one more item added to the list.

There is room for everyone in the Catholic Church, but the Church is not a hiding place. I pray that all those who think of moving into the Catholic Church do so for the right reasons.

09 July 2008

Toddlers who dislike spicy food 'racist'

This has got to be one of the silliest stories I've read in a while. I don't doubt that the reporting newspaper has an angle on the story, they always do. But even allowing for that spin, this is just nuts:
The National Children's Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.

This could include a child of as young as three who says "yuk" in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.

The guidance by the NCB is designed to draw attention to potentially-racist attitudes in youngsters from a young age.

It alerts playgroup leaders that even babies can not be ignored in the drive to root out prejudice as they can "recognise different people in their lives".

The 366-page guide for staff in charge of pre-school children, called Young Children and Racial Justice, warns: "Racist incidents among children in early years settings tend to be around name-calling, casual thoughtless comments and peer group relationships."

It advises nursery teachers to be on the alert for childish abuse such as: "blackie", "Pakis", "those people" or "they smell".

The guide goes on to warn that children might also "react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying 'yuk'".

Staff are told: "No racist incident should be ignored. When there is a clear racist incident, it is necessary to be specific in condemning the action."

Warning that failing to pick children up on their racist attitudes could instil prejudice, the NCB adds that if children "reveal negative attitudes, the lack of censure may indicate to the child that there is nothing unacceptable about such attitudes".

Nurseries are encouraged to report as many incidents as possible to their local council. The guide added: "Some people think that if a large number of racist incidents are reported, this will reflect badly on the institution. In fact, the opposite is the case."

This is just so silly, I'm struggling to find words to adequately describe how it makes me feel. If I heard anyone telling me that a child of mine was racist just because he/she didn't like spicy food I would be very upset!

Aside from the silliness there is a serious issue underneath this report. People being judged in a pre-determined manner just because of how they react to something is pretty dangerous. It groups people under a certain label, whether they fit that label or not. It doesn't leave room for common sense, and that is something that people seem to have a lot less of these days.

Source

08 July 2008

In My Ignorance...

There is a lot I don't understand about the goings-on in the Anglican church right now. The argument about the validity of women bishops, as I understand it, leaves a group of people who I keep reading being called Anglo-Catholics, feeling they are no longer a part of the Anglican church, because their 'beliefs' are undermined with the decision to allow legislation that will eventually allow the ordination of women bishops.

I may have got that wrong, as I said, in my ignorance there is a lot I do not understand about this whole subject.

I have read that some bishops want to move 'en masse' to the Catholic Church, and want to bring with them *their* churches and *their* congregations, too. This leads me to much of my confusion.

If these people (how can I call them, as a group name?) want to join the Catholic Church, why is it now that they are looking to move over? The women bishop thing in the Anglican church hasn't made any changes to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Why come to the Church now? I mean, do 'these people' (I'm still struggling to give the group a name) fully believe and accept everything that the Catholic Church teaches? If they do then why are they not already members of the Church? If they do not, which would explain why they are not members of the Catholic Church, why are they looking to move in?

Surely, any convert to the Faith has to go through the process of RCIA? Any convert who is living in a situation contrary to Church teaching is going to have to get that resolved before they can fully participate at Mass. I'm thinking people who may have divorced and re-married, for example.

There is a lot I need to learn, and a lot I need to understand. In the meantime I will continue to pray for those who have yet to find their way to the Church, and I will continue to pray that those who do find their way to the Church will do it for the right reasons.