By Will Heaven, Assistant Comment Editor and the Deputy Editor of Telegraph Blogs. He writes about politics and religion and is @WillHeaven on Twitter.
A curt and unfriendly letter appeared in yesterday’s Guardian, denouncing the Pope’s state visit to Britain. First it pilloried Benedict XVI as a “head of state”, in charge of an “organisation” responsible for things like the size of families in poor countries and segregation in schools. Then it finished, quite perversely, with a hands-on-hip tone: “In any case, we reject the masquerading of the Holy See as a state and the pope as a head of state as merely a convenient fiction to amplify the international influence of the Vatican.”
The first signatory caught my eye: it was not The Spleen himself, Richard Dawkins, but [atheist actor] Stephen Fry. And for some reason - I think because of his newly discovered love letters – I had Oscar Wilde on my mind. So I wondered: does Stephen Fry, who practically worships Oscar Wilde, know that his idol had converted to Catholicism by the time he died? I’m fairly sure Stephen Fry won’t have read further than the headline of this blog post. But if he is reading this, he’ll be tearing his hair out in great clumps about now. ...Read it all
--->Gender, Queer Theory and the Reluctant Growing Up---Into Redemption. After having been reflecting again on some of Evelyn Waugh's stories and memes regarding redemption in Christ and his overcoming personal transitory decadence, akin to the kind which is now at fever pitch our time, a decadence which after the Second World War tended more and more explicitly to postmodern nihilism, I did a search for some truly self-reflective experiences similar to his, but in our moment in time. I stumbled onto the following self-described "Drag Queen" in a chat forum. And as I read his most interesting reflection I thought, perhaps this person's poignant lucidity despite all his distaste for "religion" shows a certain latent, salvific Hope, similar to what must have been implicit in Waugh's dangerous journey through "Arcadia" for years; i.e., of growing up and possibly out of protracted childhood, out of narcissism, into the light of natural law and human obligations.
Of course it would...Read it all
--->EWTN Live coverage of events 2010 UK Papal Visit Here
...the blessed Scots
The Sun Shines in Glasgow
The journey of Benedict XVI begins in Scotland. First Minister Alex Salmond earlier in preparation for the visit said, "As we look forward to the arrival of His Holiness, it is fitting to celebrate what the Catholic Church has contributed to Scotland over the centuries. Indeed without the Church, there would have been no Scotland as a country in its own right."
--->Thompson: The Papal Mass in Glasgow: a spiritual triumph, if not a liturgical one . "There was an almighty tussle between the Vatican and the Scottish “liturgists” over this Mass, and it showed. Never mind. These liturgical misjudgments don’t alter the fact that people came to greet the Pope in their tens of thousands. As MacMillan said in an interview afterwards, 'the Lord shone down on us today'".
--->Thompson: Pope meets the Queen – who, unlike the Archbishop of Canterbury, is a real Protestant
--->Homeland Security Spying Scandal. Although they accept Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's apology, local natural gas drilling activists want an investigation into why the state Office of Homeland Security was spying on them.
--->Albuquerque pro-abort tries to run down pro-lifer