Beit Jala: Email from the Archbishop of Westminster


By MatthewHarris
December 31, 2011
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rushkin

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:46

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Well said Archbishop Vincent Nichols. Hopefully this year will see justice for Palestine and an end to the brutal occupation.


Advis3r

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 15:08

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Denis Maceoins letter to
The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols DD

Your Grace,

I hope you will forgive my writing at such a busy time of year, but I have a serious concern that will not wait for expression. I am not a Catholic, but my concern is, in the main, not about your religion, but your politics. To introduce myself briefly, I am a writer and a former lecturer in Arabic and Islamic Studies with a serious interest in Iran and the Middle East in general. Late on Christmas Day my attention was drawn to your Midnight Mass homily. When I found a copy online, I found it well expressed and diligent in its portrayal of the mysteries you set out to expound. But since I am not a religious man, I can make no better comment on the homily and its religious content. It would be inexpressively arrogant of me to challenge you on any of that, nor did I feel compelled to do so.

As you may already have surmised, my problem lies with your departure into political matters in a manner that, I believe, exposes you to real and spontaneous criticism. You wrote a short introduction to this theme in words I find no fault with, but for which I had heartfelt agreement:

‘We are to see clearly the reality of the world around us. As we look at the real circumstances of Christ’s birth so too we look with fresh eyes on the anxieties and insecurity which touch many peoples’ lives. We are to be freshly attentive to the needs of those who, like Jesus himself, are displaced and in discomfort. We are to see more clearly all those things which disfigure our world, the presence of the sins of greed and arrogance, of self-centred ambition and manipulation of others, of the brutal lack of respect for human life in all its vulnerability. While recognizing how complex moral dilemmas can become, we are to name these things for what they are. We too live “in a land of deep shadow”.’

Just last week, I watched a three-part television adaptation of the Nativity story. You may have seen it yourself. It was dramatically balanced, presenting both the religious narrative and the harsh realities of life in first century Judaea: Mary’s fear of being stoned, Joseph’s anxiety about his attachment to a sixteen-year-old girl who has fallen mysteriously pregnant, Herod’s fear of the Romans, the shepherds’ distress under Herod’s rule, and much else. Your connection of the Nativity to contemporary suffering is perfectly balanced; but your later application of that principle leaves much to be desired, almost certainly as a result of your ignorance of the realities of life in the West Bank. Such ignorance is widespread, so I do not single you out for sharing in it. But your calling and stature make it vital for you to get something like this right, otherwise your words will pass on shadows of that ignorance to all who hear and read you and will darken the minds of another generation.

Read the rest here:
http://cifwatch.com/2011/12/29/denis-maceeoins-letter-to-archbishop-vinc...


Goldie G. Tobin

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 16:52

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Isn't there a better source than that nuthouse CIFWatch? I've looked in there and it's about as bad as its sister nuthouse JCWatch.

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