A friend reminded me today that at the bottom of any blog post there appears an advertisement. These will change from day to day, visit to visit. I have no say in what ads appear, indeed I never see them. The ads are be based not anything to do with me, but on WordPress’s priorities or even the reader’s browser history. WordPress says it filters ads for offensive or illegal material, but one might reasonably suspect that my definition of what constitutes offensive might be a little more stringent than WordPress’s definition.

My friend has reminded me that clergy especially need to be careful about what they might unwittingly be associated with. Also, there is my monastery to think about.

So, with a little family help, I am paying a small monthly fee to WordPress to remove the ads completely. This gives me peace of mind. An added bonus is that the upgrade includes a domain name for the blog, so here is a chance to utilise something more memorable for the blog’s web address.

So from now my readers, both of you, can also access this blog at hughosb.com. The old address still works, however.

If I am lucky the upgrade might even solve my formatting issues.

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WordPress problems

An apology to all those who have been trying to read the previous post on Fr Martin’s Christology in the last hour or so. Each time I would edit it to remove typos, WordPress would strip out the paragraph breaks. This meant I had to re-enter them manually for each paragraph. It has done this before in the past, and it drives me nuts.

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Come on WordPress: #getyourpootogether.

There is nothing new under the sun: James Martin SJ and Christology 101

As part of our Lenten penance, we are listening to James Martin SJ’s Jesus: A Pilgrimage in the refectory at lunch. It has been not too bad, the bits I have heard; until today. So many blasts from the past: Jesus “discovering” his “call”, “embracing his vocation” as at the wedding feast at Cana. It was the same old tired Christology-from-below (to put it at its best) that triumphed in the 70s and 80s. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun.

But then it turned a great deal worse, in one brief phrase: Martin referred to Jesus as “a fully human person”. It is a sad indictment of the last 50 years or more of deficient catechetics that many will not see the problem. Jesus is a man, isn’t he?

Continue reading “There is nothing new under the sun: James Martin SJ and Christology 101”

Married Priests: The Deeper Issue

Married Priests: The Deeper Issue

A recent interview given by Pope Francis to the German publication Die Zeit has caused alarm once more, stirring the ashes of settled controversies and demonstrating how ineffective the press interview actually is as a medium of papal communication. A quick example suffices. Here is the brief but highlighted take that The Week‘s mobile app took on the interview:

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Continue reading “Married Priests: The Deeper Issue”

Missal Wars Revived

As you may know, Pope Francis has apparently ordered a review of the 2001 Vatican document that currently undergirds any new liturgical translations, viz. Liturgiam authenticam. No one in the Vatican is answering any questions about the alleged committee performing the review, including its alleged director, Archbishop Arthur Roche. For those who hoped that under Pope Francis a new age of transparency would appear will be sorely disappointed by now.

If this committee of review really exists, then Gerard O’Connell at America Magazine, lists two reasons for it which touch on truth. One reason is that it serves to promote the agenda of Pope Francis to effect a more radical decentralisation of the Church by radically empowering that novel, post-conciliar creature the bishops’ conference. Decentralisation has a nice sound to it. Centralising tendencies must always be resisted, yes? Let’s ignore for now its less helpful bedfellow, fragmentation. That’s for another post. Continue reading “Missal Wars Revived”

A Jeremiad against Pedantry

Though well and truly ageing, I am still capable of naïveté. As a feed for the monastery website I have set up and linked an Instagram account. By means of it it was hoped that tasteful shots taken from those amazing modern pocket computers, the smartphone, might afford visitors and enquirers a little insight into our life at Douai. The world-wise among you are probably already shaking your heads.

In quick succession last summer were Breakfastgate and Lunchgate, when your correspondent posted photos of a monastic breakfast and a monastic lunch taken in the refectory garden (in holiday time our meals are informal). A few people found them decadent, shocked that monks might eat homemade bread with homemade jam and washed down by a mug of coffee, or have glass of wine with the Sunday luncheon roast. But these were minor niggles really. Continue reading “A Jeremiad against Pedantry”

The Death of Diplomacy

In the northern hemisphere people may not be much aware, if at all, of the storm brewing in our cappuccino cups in Australia. Since I am in Australia at the moment it is difficult to escape it. What follows is written on the far south coast of New South Wales, in a small town.

President Trump rang the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull last Sunday. The scheduled hour-long call was, apparently, abruptly terminated by Trump, who, having harangued Mr Turnbull, then hung up on him at the 25-minute mark. Mr Trump, employing his gift for the most superlative of superlatives (no one has superlatives like him, he has the best superlatives), called it the worst call he has made so far to a world leader. Continue reading “The Death of Diplomacy”