The Tablet Interview - Once a Catholic... screenwriter and renowned TV producer Jimmy McGovern talks to Peter Stanford. He might have lost his faith, but as the Liverpudlian scriptwriter tells Peter Stanford, his stories reflect a deep and sympathetic fascination with Catholicism.
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How is belief different from faith? In normal, everyday parlance to say that we believe something to be true means that we are able to square that truth with our imagination, that is, we are able to somehow circumscribe it imaginatively so that it makes sense to us.
“In a highly secularized country, theology has a capacity to listen to contemporary requests and to enter into dialogue with society,” he says, noting the academic exchanges between theologians and specialists in other discipline.
It is reasonable to interpret the natural world as a revelation of the divine – its very rationality in particular – but God’s Creation was not a scientific moment, and Br Consolmagno warns against treating it as such. Arguing from the Big Bang to theism, or indeed to intelligent design, is unsound.
Unlocking the potential of pupils for whom English is not their first language is often a daunting challenge for teachers. But with care and good preparation, miracles can be achieved. Schools are under huge pressure from a dramatic rise in the number of children from European migrants’ families, official figures show, and many teachers feel unprepared to teach children with English as an Additional Language (EAL).
In his Easter reflection he blamed the scandals within Catholicism as well as “judgmentalism” for causing people to reject faith. “We can be so judgemental and hurtful towards those whom we decide have failed and those who drift outside our self-made ideas of respectability,” he said.
They will not see the Paschal season through and have been deprived of the resurrection and joy of Easter Sunday.What is there left for hope in the wake of such an event, a tragedy that could so easily inspire vengeful thoughts in those confronted with such evil that God has allowed to be committed against his own? What fragment of joy is there to be found in this infernal scene of dereliction?
As I sipped on my tea at a mentoring session last week, a long term colleague and friend posed a question: "How Can I Be A Great Leader?!" I gave the question some more thought - with seven words he had really got my mind racing! I finally responded: "Leadership isn't about being great. It's about enabling others to be great."
Babies first laugh when they are between two and six months old. This is triggered by surprise in an environment in which they feel safe: think peek-a-boo. Even congenitally deaf and blind children laugh, suggesting that the ability to laugh is something we are born with rather than learn from the behaviour of those around us.
Electra Wallington asks whether social media helps or hinders mental health. "This obsession over the way we present ourselves, and the ever-blurring distinction between what’s real and what’s fake, also brings with it intense over-analysis"
The first temptation: Jesus refuses to be self-sufficient. What constitutes a man is to accept being dependent — without submission — on others, on their wishes.The second temptation: Jesus refuses to take power over others. What makes a man is the fact of making others free.The third temptation: Jesus refuses to take the others hostage. What constitutes a man is respect for others. Matthew shows that, like Jesus, despite the desire for omnipotence
Catholics are again Scotland’s oppressed minority. As we proudly welcome the world’s oppressed, a campaign of harassment is being waged at home. Curiously, as Scotland lays palms before the feet of all new minorities and gathers the world’s oppressed to its breast, a campaign of harassment and intimidation is being waged to silence and alienate the country’s biggest minority.
As Kenneth Clarke evoked the idea of Alice in Wonderland during the historic debate on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) at the end of last month, he did so with the intention of mocking the surreal fantasy world imagined by those who believe that the country’s future course will be an easy one.
One of the dangers inherent in trying to live out a life of Christian fidelity is that we are prone to become embittered moralizers, older brothers of the prodigal son, angry and jealous at God’s over-generous mercy, bitter because persons who wander and stray can so easily access the heavenly banquet table.
No matter how much we’d like to hide in our homes for the next four years, we know that we cannot do that. We must fight for equality and justice. But the question is: how? What action can we take in the aftermath of such a heartbreaking defeat?
Dorothy Day was ambivalent herself. “I don’t want to be a saint,” she famously said, “I don’t want to be dismissed that easily.” She would also say: “I wish they might wait until I am dead.” Day never wanted the focus to be on her, as Pat and Kathleen Jordan, who helped to care for in her last years, confirm. She always wanted it to be on the Gospel.