Fear will not lead us to put bodyguards at our church doors

Catholic Voices Comment

Security guards outside the church in Rouen where Fr Hamel was slain Security guards outside the church in Rouen where Fr Hamel was slain

[Caroline Farrow] The response of the wider world to the abominable murder of Father Jacques Hamel has been in many ways encouraging. As a society, we can still be horrified by the senseless and violent death of a priest. The fact that it happened during an act of worship in a church, symbol of God’s peace, is the cause of particular revulsion as an unacceptable violation of a sacred boundary.

Whatever people think of religion there is still a recognition that most priests are good men, living lives of sacrifice and community service.

It is understandable, too, that in the wake of the attack and public concern, counter-terrorist forces have issued advice to the UK’s 47,000 churches urging them to take extra precautions.

Neil Basu, the Metropolitan Police’s deputy assistant commissioner said all churches have been reminded to review their security procedures…

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A Pastor’s Job

All Along the Watchtower

fatherhamelThis is from Hans Fiene, a Lutheran Pastor in Illinois, writing for The Federalist.

“What is a pastor’s job?” When you don’t know the answer to this question, it’s hard to understand why agents of ISIS would want to murder an 84-year-old priest. Sure, ISIS enjoys terrorizing people at random. But why target such a small group of people when larger crowds were available all over Normandy?

Sure, ISIS wants to conquer the world, but how much earthly glory could they possibly gain by taking the life of a frail octogenarian? When you don’t fully understand what God called Father Jacques Hamel to do, the answers to these questions don’t come easily.

Some people grew up in churches with Pastor Dweeb, who walked into the pulpit each week to tell us, golly-gee, how great it was that we are all so nice to each other and, gee-golly-gosh, how…

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A geographical concept?

All Along the Watchtower


Writing in 2000, the then Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that ‘Europe is a geographical concept only in a way that is entirely secondary. Europe is not a continent that can be comprehended neatly in geographical terms. It is a cultural and historical concept’. At its heart were States where Roman Catholicism had played a notable historical and philosophical role. Their experience of the Nation State had said more about its frailties than its virtues, and the experience of war, occupation and defeat had done enough to convince its founding fathers that there had to be a better, more cooperative, way forward. It was out of that that the EU would emerge. Not having shared any of these experiences, the UK did not join the initial group, and never felt comfortable with the larger one; its culture and history, whilst intimately linked with ‘Europe’ were not sufficient to make up for the…

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Best prayer at the point of death?

Catholicism Pure & Simple

Posted by Fr Z on his blog:

strigils smFrom a reader…


Forgive the morbid nature of my query, but with the nature of the world today (and the mindset of an undertaker) a question has been on my mind. If one were to know death was imminent, what would be the very best prayer to recite with one’s final breath? Thank you for the daily edification you provide!

That is a good question.

I think that whatever prayer was uttered with sincerity and hope would be treated well.

However, for my part, I – a poor sinner – would beg for God’s mercy.

My Jesus, mercy!

Save me, O Lord!

Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

Holy Mary, pray for me.

Saint Joseph, pray for me.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, help me.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.

That said, I think many of us die the…

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rescue rise up

The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.” (Psalm 12:5) 

Read: 1 Chronicles 22:1 – 23:32, Romans 3:9-31, Psalm 12:1-8, Proverbs 19:13-14

Relate: Paul and Theophilus. By dropping those two names right up front, I am guessing most people reading this would be thinking I am about to talk about something from the book of Acts. Theophilus was the man to whom Luke wrote and Paul is a primary figure for most of the book but, no. I am talking about a different Paul and Theo. The story I have to share is far more tragic than anything we would come across in Acts.

The story I have to share begins with a young woman named Okoangbele Quincy. She was a young…

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The Living God

Veil of Veronica

Mary Magdelene the Penitent

Mary Magdalene- Painting by Kathleen Carr, my cousin.

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene

Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.  And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.  And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?  Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,  “Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which…

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