James Richards

Torture is widespread but there is very little discussion about it even within the Church. Here, the nature of torture, the legislation banning it, the stance of the Catholic Church and the need to act, are examined. James Richards is a deacon in the diocese of Westminster.

Not easily discussed

Torture is not easily discussed within a parish setting but nor have I experienced this subject being raised at, for instance, a deanery meeting, or more particularly in my case, at a meeting of brother deacons. This on reflection we should regard as somewhat surprising, given both the prevalence and sadly the growth of torture throughout the world, as well as, more positively, the heartening fact that this is a subject that both Pope Emeritus Benedict XV1 as well as Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II have addressed. This then is an attempt, at the very least, to give this subject an ‘airing.’ It will be considered in the light of the Church’s teaching and rather than trawl the world for examples of torture, will also examine allegations of the UK’s involvement in this practice, for unless we first face up to what our country has done we can hardly be critical of others.

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May/June 2013

Jonathan Luxmoore

The fiftieth anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis, one of the twentieth century's most influential Christian writers, falls in 2013. This article assesses?Lewis' continuing impact on?Christian popular literature and apologetics. Jonathan Luxmoore is a freelance journalist and writer.?

In a rambling red-brick house on Oxford's western edge, a melancholy desk sits at a bay-window looking out over tangled woodland. Across the battered floor, an ancient ashtray stands broodingly against a worn armchair, while in the middle distance wall maps and pictures depict a fantasy landscape.

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May/June 2013

Patricia Rumsey

In a personal view, this article examines the way in which the voices of women have been ignored in Christian history and not accorded a rightful place in the liturgy, including the new translation of the Roman Missal. Patricia Rumsey is a Poor Clare nun and a visiting scholar in Christian Liturgy at Sarum College, Wiltshire.

One of the objections to the new translation of the Roman Missal is its inconsistent use of inclusive language. Although the new translation of the Gloria gives us hope in its rendering of ‘all people of good will’ this hope is dashed when we come to the infamous ‘For us men and for our salvation’ in the new text of the Creed. This inconsistency continues in the various Prefaces. Women wonder if they are included at all in Christ’s work of salvation when Common Preface II is used: ‘For in your goodness you created man and, when he was justly condemned, in mercy you redeemed him ...’.

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May/June 2013

Pippa Bonner

It can be spiritually helpful to explore the Gospels from an experiential perspective, as in the Ignatian tradition. Pippa Bonner formerly ran a hospice bereavement service and uses some insights from her experience in this article. She writes as part of the Dympna Circle, which consists of three women therapists who write about spiritual and therapeutic matters.

The crucifixion of Christ is shocking. Christians view it through the lens of the Resurrection. But those present on that first Good Friday did not have the comfort, yet, of the resurrection event which happened some hours later. We are not sure how much his followers understood of Christ’s references to his resurrection. ‘You will all lose faith for the scripture says I shall strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered, however after my resurrection I shall go before you to Galilee’. (Mk.14.27-29, Mt. 26.32). I have worked for many years with bereaved people and ‘wondered’ how his followers, standing at the foot of the cross, and in the days to come, might be feeling and thinking. My ‘wondering’ is from a human, grieving perspective, drawing on Gospel references and modern bereavement theory. (‘Wondering’ is a counselling technique to encourage an explorative response to the issue at hand1 and is also used in meditation).

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May/June 2013

Maureen Glackin

In this article the author writes on resources for prayer. Maureen Glackin is Head of the School of Education at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham.

If it is true that a picture paints a thousand words, then below find a range of moving pictures – most with words – that describe a canvas of life experiences that are rooted in prayer. Each one could be used to explore an aspect of prayer but each one also portrays a personal response to living a life that is totally committed to prayer. The films are from a broad Christian perspective, as opposed to a specifically Catholic one, but I feel they would work well within a catechetical context, raising areas for discussion and exploration in a direct and engaging way. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. http://vimeo.com/prayer/videos

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May/June 2013

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