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There are things we "know" so well, that we never bother to know them in detail or appreciate fully their significance. And, knowing neither detail nor full significance, we never come to reflect properly on their implications, either for those in the past or the present, or for ourselves.
Our story here is just such a case: systematic blood sacrifice, a gigantic worship place, and a strangely torn veil. When we understand each of these, and the way they touched the lives of the people they were woven into, we can begin to understand more fully the earliest days of our family of Faith: the Catholic Church.

Blood Sacrifice

Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once said that the Jewish religion of the Old Testament was practised in a literal " haemorrhage of blood". This was an extraordinary statement; but it is precisely the truth.

We all know that when Mary and Joseph went up to the Temple in Jerusalem for the Purification ritual at the required interval after the birt…


 Recently the Spanish Website "INFOVATICANA" published a list of the " Seven Qualities of a Good Bishop". my grasp of Spanish is slim and relies on my knowledge of Latin and Italian. Nevertheless, I believe that I can show here a faithful Summary of that list. We are fated to "live in interesting times" as in the old Chinese curse. Some will look at certain episcopal appointments and long for better days. The list might serve to give us food for thought as well as the basis for prayer when appointments come up.

The seven qualities, which, it is suggested, should be  considered in assessing a candidate for Episcopal Ordination are:

1. Radical following of Christ:   In his life and ministry, does the Priest manifest a pastoral conversion to Jesus Christ and a conscious decision to abandon everything to follow Christ?

2. Apostolic Energy:  Does he preach the Gospel with conviction and clarity? Is he able to present the Christian proposal to those who do not bel…


A Warning from St Thomas More on Luther: “The gentle reader must forgive me if much that occurs offends his feelings. Nothing has been more painful to me than to be compelled to pour such things into decent ears. The only other alternative would, however, have been to leave the unclean book untouched.”
The Real Luther “I have greater confidence in my wife and my pupils than I have in Christ.” Martin Luther (Table Talk 23976)
“For, like his doctrines and his writings, Luther’s life was a mass of contradictions arising from the neurotic temperament” (Funck-Brentano).

From early youth, Luther was a very neurotic character. He had an extremely strict upbringing and tells us himself that
“My mother flogged me until I bled on account of a single nut”.
At school and university it was not much better. He was whipped by his teachers as often as fifteen times a day, all for ridiculous offences. “The undue severity of which he was the victim as a little boy left its mark on his character; he always remai…