What the Archbishop of Westminster really said…

The top news story on several UK sites on Christmas morning ran as follows: the Archbishop of Westminster, knowing that his midnight Christmas mass homily would be widely reported,  had used the opportunity given to him to attack the government’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage. Christian comment on (those bits that I see of) FB and Twitter was highly critical, suggesting that – even if he happened to be right about equal marriage, which most people who took the trouble to comment seemed to think he wasn’t – to make this the central message of Christmas was totally inappropriate. All this was rather predictable; also rather predictable was the fact that the media reports were at least highly misleading, if not actually inaccurate, and...

Read More

‘Christmas Bells’

I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play, And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along The unbroken song Of peace on earth, good-will to men! Till ringing, singing on its way, The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, A chant sublime Of peace on earth, good-will to men! Then from each black, accursed mouth The cannon thundered in the South, And with the sound The carols drowned Of peace on earth, good-will to men! It was as if an earthquake rent The hearth-stones of a continent, And made forlorn The households born Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And in despair I bowed my head; “There is no peace on...

Read More

Blogging around

Just a quick set of links to some things I have been writing for other people recently. My public comments on Christmas have, this year, both happened to have a music flavour. I was rather rude about Once in Royal David’s City in discussing the question ‘Was Jesus ever naughty as a child?‘ for the Evangelical Alliance magazine Idea; by contrast, I celebrated the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl whilst writing on the Theos team blog. Off the Christmas theme, I made some comments about the role of theologians and other religious studies scholars in public debate for the blog of the Religion and the Idea of a Research University project that Cambridge is running...

Read More

Legal and ecclesiological issues concerning same-sex marriages

Earlier this year, the Scottish government seemingly kicked its proposals for extending marriage to gay and lesbian couples into the long grass, asserting that, whilst remaining committed to the principle, it could not act further without legislative changes down south. Today, the Westminster government unveiled its proposals to accomplish the same end in England and Wales. The Scottish government’s decision looks wiser than ever. I am no lawyer, but it seems clear to me that in legislating there are two questions to be addressed: what is the desired end? and, can it be at least approximately achieved by legislation? It seems to me that the Westminster government has stumbled badly on both counts. On the first, what was the government trying to achieve? If...

Read More
get facebook like button