On some holy innocents. . .

On some holy innocents. . .

There is a lively sequence of saints’ days between Christmas and the New Year: Stephen, John and – the one I find most evocative – Holy Innocents. To get the flavour of it, listen to a recording of The Coventry Carol which was composed in the 16th century. It was first performed in Coventry as […]

The antidote to atheism

By Peter Mullen “You are a philosopher, Dr Johnson. I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; but, I don’t know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.” So said James Boswell one day to the great man. The philosophers living at that time were nearly all empiricists and sceptics, prince among them […]

The Good Samaritan

By Peter Mullen   I heard it again in the first week of the New Year: that ridiculous sermon on the parable of the Good Samaritan. It went – as it always goes in the preaching of lefty parsons – something like this… “The Jews, and especially the Pharisees in Jesus’ time, were a very […]

The gift reserved for age

The gift reserved for age

Peter Mullen   Is there any point in making New Year resolutions? Not much, for most of them are broken by the middle of January despite a million best intentions. There is some point in contemplating a new resolution: it’s the bit where you’re thinking of what the resolution might be – because this is […]

The miracle of divine compassion

In Advent we are invited to think of judgement. As soon as children can speak, they cry out those words all parents hear a thousand times: It’s not fair! The desire for justice, for fairness and right dealing goes deep and it is the basis of the faith of the Old Testament. And what guaranteed […]

The bishops’ blind spot on the nature of socialism

For the last 50 years they have mounted a relentless denunciation of capitalism with savage attacks on the City, on fat cats everywhere and on any politician who shows a fondness for proposing Thatcherite policies. The Church of England, which used to be described as “the Tory party at prayer”, is now more like the […]

It’s all in the image

It’s all in the image

Peter Mullen   What is the first reaction of so many people when they find themselves in the vicinity of a terrorist attack? Why, they take photographs of it of course. Then they post the pics on Facebook for the benefit of all their creepy, prurient friends. So in the aftermath of the recent atrocity […]

Prophesy and apocalypse

Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time, (Revelation 12: 12). I believe we have good reason to think we’re living in the devil’s time now – so I’m sure you […]

The liberals and their Secular Commandments

Peter Mullen   You know the song, The Vicar of Bray: “And this is law, I will aver Until my Dying Day, Sir. That whatsoever King may reign, I will be the Vicar of Bray, Sir!” It’s a satirical song designed to mock the self-serving, latitudinarian Anglican parsons in the 18th century. These were the […]

Are we committing cultural suicide?

Peter Mullen   I was reading a review of Wyndham Lewis’ 1928 novel The Childermass – surely one of the most outstanding books of the last century – when I came across an arresting phrase. The reviewer said that in his novel Lewis was criticising “authoritarian populism.” I cannot think of a more apt description […]

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