John Allen , possibly the most respected religion reporter today, has posted a fascinating article analysing Pope Benedict's aims. Here's a sample:

To put the story in a sound-bite, I would call it the emergence of “Affirmative Orthodoxy” as an interpretive key to Benedict’s papacy.

By “affirmative orthodoxy,” I mean a tenacious defense of the core elements of classic Catholic doctrine, but presented in a relentlessly positive key. Benedict appears convinced that the gap between the faith and contemporary secular culture, which Paul VI called “the drama of our time,” has its roots in Europe dating from the Reformation, the Wars of Religion, and the Enlightenment, with a resulting tendency to see Christianity as a largely negative system of prohibitions and controls. In effect, Benedict's project is to reintroduce Christianity from the ground up, in terms of what it’s for rather than what it’s against.

Click here to read the whole thing.

Do you know anyone who is housebound and isn’t able to come to mass? Would they like to hear mass over the phone? 

The parish has a conference phone link scheme operating that allows our housebound parishioners to hear the 6.30pm Saturday mass in their homes over the telephone. This enables them to both feel part of our parish and fulfil their Sunday mass obligation.The scheme is open to anyone who is housebound either permanently or even temporarily. It is easy to set up, parishioners just need a phone and there is no charge, the parish covers the cost. If you know of anyone who would benefit from this scheme, please contact the parish office with their details.

 Why don’t you volunteer? We need volunteers urgently! 

The phone link scheme needs someone to set it up and greet parishioners joining the phone link. It is very simple and operates at the 6.30pm Saturday mass. Currently we only have 2 volunteers! This is not enough to ensure the scheme can continue.

This is a great service to our housebound parishioners; please help us to make sure it can continue!

If you would like to volunteer, please leave your details with the parish office.

Thinking of taking the children to see 'The Golden Compass ' over the holidays? Might be worth knowing what you'll be seeing first (I've read the books and I won't be going to the cinema). Here's Amy Welborn on the subject:

1. Pullman’s triliogy, in his own words is about “killing God.” And yes, God (the Authority, who is really a weak, decrepit, drooling powerless old man) dies.

2. In Pullman’s vision, authority - specifically religious authority, although he is saying all over the place that there’s no reason to think that he’s only talking about religion - is inimical to human freedom. Stands opposed to it.

3. In Pullman’s vision, human beings only find their true selves freed from the enslavement of religious authority. A reverse Garden of Eden scenario - very gnostic - is at the core of this.

Read it all .

The trailer for Prince Caspian is now online.

There was a wonderful turnout for Eucharistic Adoration last Sunday, with many people present throughout the afternoon and about 30 in church for Benediction. Thank you to everyone for coming and we look forward to seeing you, and others, next Sunday. Remember, you don't have to put your name down on the list, simply come for as long a time as you wish.

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