Ireland: Stephen Fry Blasphemy – Is Prosecution Likely? (No Chance…)

Stephen Fry is being investigated by Irish police over blasphemy claims more than two years after his outspoken comments about God on RTE’s The Meaning of Life went viral.

Mr Fry described a hypothetical creator as “stupid” and an “utter maniac” for designing a world filled with undue suffering.

Asked in 2015 by the programme’s host, Gay Byrne, what he would say to God if he arrived at the pearly gates of heaven, the actor and author replied: “I’d say, bone cancer in children? What’s that about?”

The committed atheist added: “How dare you? How dare you create a world to which there is such misery that is not our fault? It’s not right, it’s utterly, utterly evil.

“Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world that is so full of injustice and pain?

“We have to spend our life on our knees thanking him? What kind of god would do that?

“The god who created this universe, if it was created by god, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish.”

A Gardai spokeswoman told The Independent: “We’re not commenting on an ongoing investigation.”

According to the Irish Independent the comment were originally reported to police in 2015. The complainant is said to have followed up last year, and to have received a phone call from a detective some weeks ago to discuss the case.

The paper quoted a source as saying a prosecution was unlikely.

Under Ireland’s 2009 Defamation Act, anyone “who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence” and liable to a fine of up to €25,000 (£21,200).

A spokesman for Mr Fry told the Daily Telegraph there was “nothing for us to say while this is under investigation”.

Tweeting about the story, the British Humanist Association said: “What is the world coming to?”   Source

Comment

Just imagine the outcry from the liberal elite, LGBT etc “community” if we were to suggest that there is no such thing as “homophobia” (which there isn’t) just people who are “insecure” in their own sins orientation and the same goes for all the other “victims” of alleged hate crimes. 

Stephen Fry and others with his level of ignorance, fail to understand that those of us “outraged” by blasphemy are not “outraged” because WE are offended, whether as individuals or collectively.  The offence is not aimed at any of us – blasphemy is aimed at God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  THAT is why Christians MUST be “outraged” – at any offence caused to the God Who made us, and especially at blatant insults such as those served up by “celebrity” types with oversized egos, looking to make the headlines.  

Reflect, Stevie boy. Reflect…

 

Pope: God Not Able To Do Everything…

Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not ‘a magician with a magic wand’  

Click on image to read that evolution is a fairy tale for adults…

The theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real and God is not “a magician with a magic wand”, Pope Francis has declared.

Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

Francis explained that both scientific theories were not incompatible with the existence of a creator – arguing instead that they “require it”.

“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said. “The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.

 “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”

The Catholic Church has long had a reputation for being anti-science – most famously when Galileo faced the inquisition and was forced to retract his “heretic” theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun.

But Pope Francis’s comments were more in keeping with the progressive work of Pope Pius XII, who opened the door to the idea of evolution and actively welcomed the Big Bang theory. In 1996, John Paul II went further and suggested evolution was “more than a hypothesis” and “effectively proven fact”.

Yet more recently, Benedict XVI and his close advisors have apparently endorsed the idea that intelligent design underpins evolution – the idea that natural selection on its own is insufficient to explain the complexity of the world. In 2005, his close associate Cardinal Schoenborn wrote an article saying “evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense – an unguided, unplanned process – is not”.

Giovanni Bignami, a professor and president of Italy’s National Institute for Astrophysics, told the Italian news agency Adnkronos: “The pope’s statement is significant. We are the direct descendents from the Big Bang that created the universe. Evolution came from creation.”

Giulio Giorello, professor of the philosophy of science at Milan’s University degli Studi, told reporters that he believed Francis was “trying to reduce the emotion of dispute or presumed disputes” with science.

Despite the huge gulf in theological stance between his tenure and that of his predecessor, Francis praised Benedict XVI as he unveiled a bronze bust of him at the academy’s headquarters in the Vatican Gardens.

“No one could ever say of him that study and science made him and his love for God and his neighbour wither,” Francis said, according to a translation by the Catholic News Service.

“On the contrary, knowledge, wisdom and prayer enlarged his heart and his spirit. Let us thank God for the gift that he gave the church and the world with the existence and the pontificate of Pope Benedict.”  Source – Independent    

Comment:

You know, despite everything, I’m still inclined to allow Pope Francis the benefit of any doubt – maybe what he actually said was lost in translation, and he really didn’t mean to say that that “God [the Creator]…was not able to do everything…”  Maybe he meant to highlight the Catholic position on evolution – which you can check out here – and just got tongue-tied… Or maybe he’s changed his mind since he first said that way back in 2014?

Yet, I can’t help wondering if the blogger over at the Independent site was onto something when he opined that Francis is “a closet atheist.”  Surely not?  

Hilarious: Dawkins Defining Nothing…

 

Comment

dawkins-nobody-or-somebody

Seriously, how can any-body take these alleged atheists seriously? It’s a serious question. I managed to stop laughing long enough to ask it. So, when you’ve recovered from the illogical (and downright hilarious) Dawkins’ Definition of “nothing”, let’s hear your answer. O and don’t forget to comment on his acceptance of the “mysterious” in the origin of the universe. How on earth does that fit with his insistence on empirical scientific “evidence” (think the theory of ‘evolution’), not to mention his infamous mockery of the mysteries of Faith? He seems to be one mixed up gentleman, with the emphasis on “mixed up”.  So, be serious, how can any-body take the likes of Richard Dawkins seriously? I don’t take him seriously at all. He is to science, what Trump & Clinton are to American politics, in my humble opinion. But what about you.  Do you take Dawkins seriously?  

General Discussion (9)

group-discussion-213800If there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to  make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you. However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment.  Readers have occasionally gone straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes before posting here, please and thank you!

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions. Whatever.   Enjoy!

To read General Discussion Thread (1) click here (2) click here (3) click here  (4) click here (5) click here (6) click here (7) click here (8) click here   

Apostasy in the Vatican – No Question…

VaticanROME, March 11, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – This weekend the Vatican formally hosted one of Britain’s most virulently pro-abortion and pro-homosexual writers, as well as the head of an American organization promoting female ordination, at an officially sanctioned event inside Vatican City walls. Organizers spoke to Vatican Radio as well as the secular press, praising the new atmosphere within the Church’s leadership that made the conference possible.

As part of the Vatican’s official observance of International Women’s Day, this Sunday saw two events, one brought in from outside and the other organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture. The latter conference has come under public criticism for its “ham-fisted,” “tone-deaf,” “uncatholic,” and feminist-inspired approach to “Women’s Cultures.”

The presence of the outside-organized event held inside the Vatican is being forthrightly hailed by organizers and the secular media as feminist victory over the traditional stance of the Church. Among the organizers and speakers were Deborah Rose-Milavec, one of the US’s most prominent agitators for female ordination, and Tina Beattie, a British feminist academic notorious for her advocacy for abortion, homosexual relations, and “gay marriage,” and who once compared the Catholic Mass to homosexual sex. [Emphasis added by Editor CT]

Beattie is the Director of the Digby Stuart Research Centre for Religion, Society and Human Flourishing at the University of Roehampton in London. Her extreme and anti-Catholic positions on abortion and sexuality prompted Bishop Declan Lang of the English Diocese of Clifton to cancel a scheduled lecture in 2012. She continues to write regularly for the UK’s far-left Catholic magazine The Tablet.

The organizer of the “storytelling event,” Voices of Faith, told the New York Times that holding the seminar on Vatican soil was a “hard-fought victory.” Chantal Götz of the Swiss Fidel Götz Foundation, said, “It becomes all the more symbolic when it’s inside the Vatican. It’s a step ahead.”

Götz suggested that the conference participants could form a “de facto think tank” for the pope. “If the pope needs advice, there are women who can provide it,” she said.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Götz highlighted the presence at the conference of a nun who works with women in the parts of the Middle East under threat from the Islamist supremacist group ISIS. She did not, however, mention the presence of Tina Beattie or Deborah Rose-Milavec, and the interviewer did not bring up the presence among the seminar’s speakers of Gudrun Sailer, who has worked for the German section of Vatican Radio since 2003.

Deborah Rose-Milavec, a member of the Voices of Faith advisory board and head of the US group FutureChurch, which campaigns mainly for “women priests,” echoed the suggestion that the seminar could help develop policy for the Church.

On the website of Voices of Faith, Rose-Milavec said the seminar “could be a key agent in providing Pope Francis and others in leadership with both the vision and tools necessary to carry out his desire for a more incisive female presence in the Church.”

“This would benefit all men and women but particularly women who are poor and powerless and who have been left behind economically, socially and politically,” she added.

Despite the single-issue focus of Rose-Milavec’s group, Goetz denied that the seminar aimed at “changing Church policy or doctrine.” To Vatican Radio she said, “We want just to highlight the different experiences of Catholic women and …put more focus on what they are doing for the poor and marginalized.”

“Pope Francis is saying we [women] should take more initiative in general on things and this is what we are trying to do.” “We are proud,” she said, that the seminar was invited to be held within the Vatican.

Joshua McElwee, a journalist with the far-left US paper National Catholic Reporter, said the meeting “saw a remarkably open and frank discussion among women about the limits on their participation in church structures.”

McElwee noted that it “may have been the first such public conversation ever to take place at the center of the Catholic hierarchy.” Using language comparable to that of the feminist “womenpriests” movement, he said the topics discussed included “the need for the church to practice what it preaches about full equality between men and women, to include women in every level of decision-making, and to use inclusive language in its worship.”

He remarked that while the topic of “women’s ordination” was “only discussed tangentially,” nevertheless the speakers “addressed the jarring lack of women in ministry in the church and in leadership positions in the Catholic hierarchy.” He quotes Vatican Radio’s Gudrun Sailer, who said, “It’s about recognizing, realizing that excluding women from the church [does] not conform to the Gospel. It’s not what the Gospel wants.”

The internal event, sponsored by the Vatican’s own Pontifical Council for Culture, while having a less radical agenda, was still criticized for kow-towing to feminist paradigms. Critics expressed concern that the agenda for the meeting contained the jargon-heavy language of academic feminism but little that would mark this officially sponsored Vatican event as Catholic. Topics included, “Between equality and difference: the quest for an equilibrium,” “‘Generativity’ as a symbolic code,” “The female body: between culture and biology,” and “Women and religion: flight or new forms of participation in the life of the Church?” None of the materials for either conference contained a single reference to the Virgin Mary or the female saints or doctors of the Church.

After pulling a video promoting the event in early February that was blasted on Twitter by hundreds of viewers from all sides of the Catholic political divide, the Council posted a photo of a headless, legless and armless statue, bound with ropes. When criticized again for this photo, which many compared with the pornographic film 50 Shades of Grey, the Council posted a note saying that although they acknowledged the criticisms, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi had personally decided the photo would stay. The photo, and the note, have since been removed.

The ongoing close partnership between certain factions within the Vatican and the extreme and blatantly anti-Catholic feminist left has been raising controversy for decades. Some have responded to this latest salvo by saying the Catholic Church is flatly acting against its own interests with its ongoing flirtation with heavily secularist, and politically-charged leftist feminist agenda.

International Women’s Day, a holiday started by the Soviet revolutionaries in the early 20th century, has become an annual showcase for atheistic political feminism in many transnational organizations like the UN and the EU.

Deborah Gyapong, a widely read Canadian freelance Catholic journalist and blogger, spoke to LifeSiteNews of the “partisan agenda” of this weekend’s dual conferences, asking what it had to do with the Catholic religion.

Gyapong said that “even to talk about ‘gender equality’ is to import alien, Marxist inspired ideas into the conversation.” “It means that these views are calling the shots of the conversation, or to use another metaphor, establishing the playing field,” she said.

Gyapong added that while the motive “may have been dialog and inviting diverse points of view,” the lack of balance created a message that these key issues are up for grabs in the Church. She asked where the “clear and articulate” voices defending the Church’s teaching were.

“Would the Vatican hold a conference on the Trinity and invite people who say they are Catholics but who deny there are three Persons in one God?” Gyapong asked. “Women who see the hierarchy merely in terms of power relations and clericalism are unlikely to be less clericalist were they put into positions of power.”

“There are some beautiful, faithful, holy women religious, women theologians, women bioethicists who are not whining and complaining about gender equity,” she added. “As a journalist who has regular contact with cardinals and archbishops, I have never felt marginalized or treated with disrespect.”

The Vatican’s weekend in Rome with the feminists contrasted sharply with the message of Cardinal Raymond Burke who was in the UK at a conference sponsored by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. In a speech in Chester, Cardinal Burke said the time is coming for believing Catholics to be ready to emulate the early Christian martyrs in their defense of marriage and the sanctity of human life.

He warned, “Even within the Church, there are those who would obscure the truth of the indissolubility of marriage in the name of mercy, who condone the violation of the conjugal union by means of contraception in the name of pastoral understanding, and who, in the name of tolerance, remain silent about the attack on the very integrity of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”   Source

Comment:

Is there anyone within the Vatican walls, who is not an apostate?  Doesn’t look like it. The silence is deafening, so an awful lot of priests and prelates are complicit in the scandalous downward spiral which this shocking conference represents. Comments invited – but take a very deep breath first…

The Mystery of the Missing Malaysian Airplane – And Other Mysteries…

ImageThe mystery of the missing plane is exercising the media like nothing else has done for quite some time. Constant news updates reveal that every imaginable line of enquiry is apparently being followed. 

One aviation  expert told callers to a  popular radio phone-in show this week that even far-fetched possibilities, dismissed at the beginning, are now being considered  Nobody knows anything, and so all sorts of possible, if unlikely, explanations are being examined by the experts.

The media is working hard, endlessly interviewing the various experts in aviation technology, with commentary wall to wall round the clock, and  newspaper reporters and TV presenters are pointing to maps and other images galore, all carefully explained for maximum audience comprehension. Calls to mind Our Lord’s observation that “…the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.”

For, if Catholics spent half the amount of time, energy and imagination on working to explain the great mysteries of our Faith as the news-researchers and chat show hosts are doing to explain the mystery of the missing Malaysian flight MH370, the world would be converted in no time.

As you may have guessed by now, this is a corny way to introduce a thread of discussion on atheism and agnosticism. A discussion with a difference because the key question is not “how can we prove to unbelievers that God  really exists?” but, rather, do atheists and agnostics really exist?  Take a look at the photo of the rescue workers at prayer at Kuala Lumpur airport.  Is there anyone who hasn’t uttered a prayer for the passengers, crew, and relatives of all those on board missing flight MH370?

In short – if there really are unbelievers and agnostics in the world today, isn’t this a greater mystery than the mystery of the missing plane? Greater, even, than any mystery of our Faith?

Catholic Schools In Ireland No More…

 Catholic Schools In Ireland No More...

Strange things are afoot in Ireland. It has been announced that from 2014, all children in the rapidly expanding multi-denominational school sector will be taught atheism in a course based on books like Richard Dawkins’ The Magic of Reality. This is the first ever atheist curriculum in Ireland, and – like it or loathe it – it is groundbreaking.

Click on picture of shamrock to read the rest of the article.