So, this planet is now graced with two infallible men. But what if they disagree? Answer me that.
BBC: Benedict XVI: 10 things about the Pope’s retirement
6. Life in retirement Announcing his resignation, the Pope said he would spend his time praying for the Church. His elder brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, has also said Benedict would be happy to advise his successor, if required. Writing and studying also seems likely to be on the agenda – Benedict had a library of 20,000 books installed in the papal apartments when he was elected in 2005. He also enjoys playing the piano and watching old black-and-white comedies – and he loves cats. At least one, Contessina, is known to live at Mater Ecclesiae.
The Pope ‘loves cats’.
I rest my case.
So, I’ve finally seen off the Pope. Time to focus all of my attention on Murdoch.
There can be only one winner.
BBC: Catholic pupils ‘invited to sign anti-gay marriage petition’
Education Secretary Michael Gove is to examine claims the Catholic Education Service (CES) broke impartiality rules on the topic of gay marriage…
“Schools have a responsibility under law to ensure children are insulated from political activity and campaigning in the classroom,” said a Department for Education spokesperson. “While faith schools, rightly, have the freedom to teach about sexual relations and marriage in the context of their own religion, that should not extend to political campaigning.”
Rightly? Would it be equally right for so-called faith schools to have the freedom to teach the biological sciences, say, ‘in the context of their own religion’?
One from a couple of weeks back:
BBC: Queen highlights Church of England’s duty to all faiths
The Queen has spoken of her belief that the Church of England has “a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths” in the UK.
In a speech at London’s Lambeth Palace, she argued the Church’s role was not to “defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions”.
She added the concept of an established Church was “occasionally misunderstood” and “commonly under-appreciated”.
The concept of an established church misunderstood? By whom? Surely Her Majesty wasn’t having a quiet pop at secularists! It seems to me that secularists understand perfectly well the concept of an established church—which is why they oppose it.
Do you think the founder of the Church of England, one of Her Majesty’s more colourful predecessors, would have agreed that the church had a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths? That’s certainly not my recollection from history lessons. And, if history teaches us anything, it is that
you should never try to invade Russia in the winter state-endorsed faiths are an extremely bad idea indeed.
On the subject of the Queen’s colourful predecessors, it occurs to me that, for all their drawbacks, it is getting on for 200 years since we had a window-lickingly, stark-staringly bonkers head of state. Still, there’s always next time, eh? (And you were wondering why the Scotch Nationalists are dragging their heels so much about this referendum thing.)
Because women aren’t allowed to.
Telegraph: Britain being overtaken by ‘militant secularists’, says Baroness Warsi
British society is under threat from the rising tide of “militant secularisation” reminiscent of “totalitarian regimes”, a Cabinet minister will warn on Tuesday.
These so-called militant secularists merely wish to remove all religious influence from official public life. This is a principle which seems to work reasonably well in other countries, such as the United States of America and France—neither of which, as far as I can see, are reminiscent of totalitarian regimes. Secularism is all about equality.
Secularists do not want to ban religion. What people get up to in their own private lives is up to them. Secularists merely think that it is wrong for the state to treat somebody specially on account of their religion—or absence of religion. For example, in Britain we allow children to be segregated into different state-funded schools on account of the professed faith of their parents. Secularists think this is wrong. Were children so segregated on account of the colour of their skin, it would rightly be called apartheid.
A totalitarian regime, on the other hand, to quote Wikipedia, recogni[s]es no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible (my emphasis added). Totalitarian regimes—like many religions—try to control what you get up to in private.
A totalitarian secularist regime is a contradiction in terms.