Here is an interesting video with Msgr Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham:
We hear so many negative things about our Church: that the Church interferes with change and progress; that it is against science and breeds ignorance; that it kept the West mired in the Dark Ages; that it is intolerant, oppressive and causes wars. But what we hear is not true. Rather, the Church is just the opposite! The Church is not only the font of God’s grace and spiritual blessings, it is uniquely qualified to help build civilizations.
The historic events happening in the African nation of Sudan exemplify the Church’s unique giftedness. Although it is possible for war to break out again in this country, we can still be proud of the Church’s efforts to help Southern Sudan achieve independence. But such accomplishments are nothing new for the Church. The Church played an even greater role in the building of Western Civilization. Perhaps we can see the true Church for ourselves if we take a brief look at these two remarkable examples…
To do so, click here.
A good article.
Allow me also to say that our prayers go out to the new country that is Southern Sudan. There lies before them a rocky road indeed. Let the building begin.
A priceless 12-century manuscript, which contains Europe’s first travel guide, has been stolen from a safe in Spanish cathedral:
A priceless 12th-century illustrated manuscript containing what has been described as Europe’s first travel guide has been stolen from the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain.
The Codex Calixtinus, which was kept in a safe at the cathedral’s archives, is thought to have been stolen by professional thieves on Sunday afternoon.
Archivists did not notice its disappearance, however, until Tuesday, when the cathedral’s dean was told it was missing.
The local Correo Gallego newspaper reported that distraught cathedral staff spent hours searching for the manuscript before contacting police late that night.
“Although security systems have been improved considerably it is true to say that they are not of the kind one might find in a bank or a well-protected jewellers,” the newspaper reported.
Only five security cameras were used to watch the archive area, according to the newspaper, and none were pointing directly at the safe where the priceless manuscript was stored.
Police reportedly believe that a black market dealer in antique manuscripts may have commissioned the robbery.
The codex was rarely removed from its safe, with researchers wishing to study it generally being handed a copy kept at the same archive.
The 225 parchment pages include a guide to the pilgrimage routes to Santiago, apparently written by a French friar, Aimeric Picaud.
They also tell the story of how St James the Apostle’s body was supposedly transported from Judea on a raft without oars or sails, which swiftly crossed the Mediterranean and travelled north through the Atlantic before grounding in north-western Spain. From there it was supposedly dragged inland by two oxen, and the body was buried in a forest.
It was only eight centuries later, however, that locals began to claim the tomb of St James could be found there. Pilgrims eventually began to travel to the site, and an 11th-century pope declared that on certain years pilgrims could obtain plenary indulgence for their sins and so avoid purgatory.
The manuscript, apparently commissioned by Pope Calixtus II, helped popularise a pilgrimage that still attracts tens of thousands of people every year…
For more on the Codex self, Wikipedia has a page here.
Former First Lady Betty Ford has died. She was 93 years old.
Betty Ford, the popular and outspoken former US first lady who founded the world’s most famous substance abuse clinic after admitting her own addiction to alcohol and pills, has died aged 93.
Mrs Ford had played a key role in helping to re-establish American pride and self-respect after her husband Gerald replaced the disgraced Richard Nixon as president in 1974 after the Watergate scandal.
Less than two months after he took office, she underwent a mastectomy for breast cancer.
She was renowned for her candour about matters personal and political, speaking out in favour of abortion rights and gun control – positions that would be anathema to most in the current Republican party hierarchy.
But it was her openness about her addictions and her establishment of the Betty Ford clinic – a facility that pioneered the world of rehabilitation – that was her greatest legacy.
Tributes poured in after the announcement of her death on Friday night…
Wikipedia has more on her here.