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ACTIONS FOR LENT 2021.

I have always being skeptical of people “giving things up for Lent” – like alcohol, sugar, chocolates etc.

Very often the only benefits of this are the expansion of the sacrificer’s wallet and the decrease of the sacrificer’s waistline.

In that context, I gave always liked Robert Herrick’s poem from the back of the Breviary:

To Starve Thy Sin, Not Bin

To Keep a True Lent
by Robert Herrick

Is this a fast, to keep
The larder lean ?
And clean
From fat of veals and sheep ?

Is it to quit the dish
Of flesh, yet still
To fill
The platter high with fish ?

Is it to fast an hour,
Or ragg’d to go,
Or show
A downcast look and sour ?

No ; ‘tis a fast to dole
Thy sheaf of wheat,
And meat,
Unto the hungry soul.

It is to fast from strife,
From old debate
And hate ;
To circumcise thy life.

To show a heart grief-rent ;
To starve thy sin,
Not bin ;
And that’s to keep thy Lent.

As he says if its just replacing expensive steak with expensive fish, what’s the use?

Or like the Pharisees of old – to let everyone know you’re fasting by your miserable look.

He suggests more positive things to do for Lent like sharing your food with the hungry or working on damaged relationships etc.

This is our second Covid Lent.

With government restrictions, etc, we all making lots of “sacrifices” this year.

So why not concentrate on the positive this Lent:

1. Dutifully wearing your masks and washing your hand to protect others as well as yourself.

2. Refraining from meeting in groups for gatherings and parties.

3. Going out of your way to safely deliver needed items to the housebound, the elderly, the sick etc.

4. Pray everyday in private for the sick, the hospitalised, the deceased and the bereaved.

5. Donate a bit extra to charities who are addressing urgent needs at present.

6. Go out of your way to regularly telephone people you know to be lonely and isolated even if such calls are a bit torturous.

COVID brings so much NEGATIVITY with it.

Maybe this Lent is a call to inject as much POSITIVITY into life as we can?

“No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others. So, no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually, if you do no good to others, you do nothing great”.

St John Chrysostom

104 replies on “ACTIONS FOR LENT 2021.”

No. 7 suggestion: Abstain from gossip, mockery of others, nasty behaviour, attitudes and cynicism. Pat, all who follow Christ must endeavour to imitate his total, self-giving, sacrificial love, a love which seeks only what is best for others. I take the Beatitudes for this Lent.

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11:12 pm – Are you quite serious? And where on God’s earth are we to find our titillation and humerous fun?
And anyway the majority of Roman clergy are
nasty and vicious queens who play by their own rules.
Yes, Lent is here, and we are to go into our own little deserts, but we still need something to cheer us up. No?
We are not wanting to turn stones into bread, just a little fun. That’s all sweety

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I wonder if Jesus ever laughed, told a joke. I suppose if he did, it might have gone something like this: Did you hear the one about the Roman centurion and the Pharisee?
We know Jesus cried, but did he ever laugh? Venerable Yorgi, in Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose, says he didn’t, so we shouldn’t either. Did Yorgi have a point?

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10.42: Along with you, queenie gossiper, a few disgruntled, uunfulfilled clerics are like you. I suggest you take your journey into the desert very seriously. Forget the nonsense of bitchfesting. You’ll be a much more fulfilled, happier, decent person…

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Where is that desert, at 11.46? 😕 They’re always talking about it, especially during Lent, but I can never find it.😢

Is it as arid as your humourless nature? 😞

Hold on! 😃

Did I just unwittingly discover its whereabouts? 😕

The souls of sourfaced Christians?😦

Can’t wait to get there!😊

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11:38: If Jesus was even half as prescient as is alleged in the bible fairy tales, he wouldn’t have found much to laugh about before zooming back upstairs to the Big Fella.

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11.12, where are you ‘taking’ them Beatitudes? You mean you’re going to meditate on them, don’t you? To get a nice ‘n’ cosy warm or fuzzy feeling inside that you’re actually a very agreeable person? And who couldn’t warm to you for that, even God himself? But that’s economy Christianity, isn’t it? The illusory, less arduous route to Heaven? None of that self-sacrificing Calvary stuff along the way. It’s so … demanding and passé.
You’re an RC priest?
Of course you are.
Meditating on good things is not the same as DOING good things, but still, it makes YOU feel good about yourself, doesn’t it? And that’s what Lent is all about, isn’t it? Feeling good about oneself and one’s place in the world, and one’s standing with God? ‘Cept it’s all an illusion, and the road to Hell is paved with them
Why don’t you do something useful, really useful, like follow Pat’s lenten ‘to do’ list? You know, something concrete, not abstract, for God and for your fellow moral drop-outs. Something that will take you out of yourself and out of that very little space you intended to meditate in before…Well, before whatever it was you thought you were meditating before.

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3.01: Hello MC: sadly, you have written a story about someone you know nothing about. Your comment is very infantile, pitiable and full of unnecessary scorn. That’s your problem. I don’t need Pat to point out to me the commendable suggestions he makes: they’re on my “do” list as a follower of Christ, not just for Lent, but as ideals I try to embrace. I recommended the Beatitudes as a charter for embracing particular “attitudes” – which are the very ideals of Jesus himself. A very worthwhile gospel. For you though I would suggest the Return of the Prodigal: here you will IDENTIFY with the older brother – a man burdened with jealousy, anger, resentment. Your archetype. But I would ask you to imagine yourself as the LOST son – find your soul, be honest, acknowledge your sin, decide in favour of “metanoia” – and – what a surprise will await you: the welcoming arms of a merciful God, a God who will hold you close, heal your badness and infirmities and open a door to a beautiful new life. Believe me, MC, the efforts will be rewarded. Try it. I hope your decision will lead you to an abundance of Gospel Beatitudes joy and peace. Then, I just remember – we are dealing with a trucculent person called Mags! Discover your inner beauty.

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6.25
You don’t need Pat to point out to you the ‘commendable suggestions’ he makes on today’s blog? Well, going by your post at 11.12, it rather seems you do, since there’s a notable absence of such commendation in it. In fact, it has the feel of a very sly dig against the
substance and tone of Pat’s blog…when, of course, it isn’t expressing pharasaical self-praise.
But I am glad you pointed out to us that you’re a ‘follower of Christ’, cos it isn’t all that obvious.

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Remember that “going into our own desert” and “changing what’s topical” during Lent is the perfect excuse for the devil to convince us to stop talking about his works.
If we stop talking about evil then it believes it has more of a hold.

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It’s hard to believe that anyone still falls for that ‘devil line’ anymore!
Are you really serious @ 12.24?
Go read up on Freudian understanding of the ego defence mechanisms. It might, just might, give you some food for thought 🤔, ……….if you’re open to understanding things from a different perspective and not too cathbotiscised brainwashed.

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6.39: Michael- if you work in counselling or therapy practices, you’ll encounter some people who are very seriously mentally ill who present with worrying and potentially dangerous traits and personalities, sometimes outside the mainstream definitions. I have encountered such people who posed as a serious danger to themselves and others, requiring medical interventions and placement in specialised wards. The behaviour of some extremes of behaviour can be defined as evil. Yes, there is a force of evil. We need inky ooen our eyes to the world of drug lords and their associates – here we find much ruthless, evil behaviour. The world of Nazism was evil: The world of the white supremacists is evil: the world of dictatorship governments is evil. We don’t need Fraud to understand the reality of evil. It is a reality. Think you may be brainwashed through by your own narratives of life’s experiences…a narrative that is hostile to Catholicism.

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@8:11: The “Fraud” (sic) you refer to is the projection and personalisation of a human trait found in some, cultivated by some, and used by some, particularly some religious believers. It is often a facile abrogation of personal responsibility. And that is fraud, not Freud.

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What about giving up being a member of the Roman Catholic Church with all its abuse, lies, hypocrisy, and double standards, and not put a single pound in its collection basket again?

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Already done @ 12:08 am. I never used to put money in the basket or set up direct debits because they refuse to ordain women among other things.
I used to help with the meals for the homeless (still would only for COVID) and take the odd bag of shopping to the sisters, they do really good work it must be said, they are a beacon of hope in our City – they do more than the local council put it that way.
The sisters in the city centre do 2 sesperate meals every day (they would have more than halved the numbers they can take because of COVID now, or more than likely doorstep only support).
They also give food, hot coffee and tea including jumpers or the odd coat if it’s cold outside, to those who knock at the door.
They are the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa’s Order. I am not a fan of Mother Teresa and the way she did things; under her leadership she left a lot to be justifiably desired.
Good thing is the Order works somewhat differently these days, still a bit strict and timely and that’s fine. Getting people fed, clothed and providing a familiar and homely place where anybody can come off the streets and share in a friendly, warm and kind atmosphere.

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I actually did that several years ago and have had no reason to regret it. Now watch some poisonous church mouse tell me I’ll go to hell!

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3.55

Ah! Bella-Beelzebub is returned to the blog and to his inimitable vituperation of others.

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I love that poem, with its truth well told.
If giving up stuff or doing extra stuff during Lent doesn’t better familiarise us with God through deepened and increased prayer, it will never take us out of self to the need in others. Instead, it will entrench self-interest through a false sense of righteousness engendered by personal privation or achievement; it’s called ‘Pharasaism’.
Lent, for all its worth, will then have become yet another liturgical, and wasted, opportunity to grow more deeply into the presence of God within, and within each and every other, a nod to the Creator that we must increase, and that he must decrease.

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Anon@ 4.41.
You emphasise the word “REJECT.”
It’s revealing to consider that rejection normally infers that the subject was thought unable to abide by the standards and codes of the institution: in other words to fall into line and behave like those “in the club.”
Oh happy days at being “rejected” by the RCC! With its abysmal standards and immoral codes constantly being revealed worldwide, most ex sems consider themselves extremely fortunate not to have been sucked into that RCC clerical cesspit: particularly those who left it entirely of their own volition, like myself.
Oh happy days.
But being of a charitable nature, I hope you are equally happy in your deluded dreams. Just stay happy in cloud cuckoo clericalism and leave the rest of us alone.

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4.08
Bella-Beelzebub Loves being inimitable vituperation to others.
Just his way of life with no love or understanding of others.
Really very sad.

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An idea Pat 💡
Why don’t you give up blogging for lent? It could renew your heart so that you can carry out that positive ministry you speak of. I would like you to witness to what you speak about. Your blog comes across to me
as “do as I say, not as I do.” Do you practice what your preach? I wonder.

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Perhaps this Lent we could recognise the plank in our own eye before we are quick to point at others like some posters have already done on the blog today. Good to see their Lent has got off to a good start.

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You know, if every poster to this blog took that plank out of his eye, I could build the garden shed I’ve been hankerin’ after, so I could.

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Lol this is so funny. Perhaps that’s why RC priests preach against abortion, because it’s the only thing in the faith they allegedly hold, that they practice.

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Bishop Pat is a good man and he is a brilliant Bishop and pastor. We have time for peoole who are up front and honest. We have even more time for those who genuinely care for the afflicted.
Quite often the writing is on the wall, it can be as clear as the day…..
Sometimes people can choose to not see, there can be a variety of reasons for this.
Sometimes false hope is all some can hold onto and this can be down to the decision they have made in life.
When you have seen the writing with your own eyes then the daylight looks so much more clear and your day becomes the most beautiful day ever. You are filled with a joy so joyous that cannot be put in writing!

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Eamon Martin hopefully has rained in Ryan and Emlyn. No more exotic swinger parties in the dark clubs of Munich.

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Do you think that + Martin of Armagh, or + Treanor of D & C, have any idea what some of their clergy get up to ? Do they know that they have quite a few clergy who are out and about the highways, byways, laybys, cruising grounds of NI looking for action, driving around the countryside looking for any opportunity to have an anonymous sexual encounter ? I think they live in cloud cuckoo land.

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10.14. Does it always ‘rain’ when it ‘pores?’
Sorry to ask, but I’ve just poured out another glass and have had a skinful already,
Okay, I’ll rein meself in.
Ahem.

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The blog should have a few more regular posts like this but it should also take today’s thoughts and apply the lesson some of the less-than-Christian posts that often appear here.

I also can’t help notice that sometimes contributors ask Pat some interesting questions – questions which Pat rarely , if ever, answers? Too much of a challenge?

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Sounds good Pat. Have you noticed no matter what anyone says there is always someone to add a bit of arsenic to the lemon juice. Those who complain still engage with the blog Faces Fix em this Lent hi

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God! What a dreary, puritanical, self-flagellating blog this is going to be. All those serious, self-important posts so far. A taste of what is to come today? Probably!

Ack! I’m away down the sauna.

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@ 1123 – I’m afraid you’ll find all the saunas closed because of lockdown….at least in Ireland, NI, Wales, Scotland and England.

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On the way back could you pop into the corner shop and get me a tin of baked beans and the woman’s weekly, please dear? 🤣 😂

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What is the origin of the word Lent? Has it anything to do with lending yourself to God so that he can pay you back in kind, but a bit different?

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Ah, howl yer wisht! I was just goin’ for a steam clean. What else?
Yiv an awful dirty suspicious mind, so y’ have. And it being Lent ‘n’ all. 😒

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Pat, I think the best thing anyone could do for Lent is carry out their own calling. Yours is plainly drawing attention to the rampant danger and falsity of the RC church and anyone who hears this and heeds it stands to be freed from having their person taken advantage of, their psyche traumatized, money begged off then and their children abused.
Well done, good and faithful servant.

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Anyone know who that clergyman was that gave that long winded 30-40 minute homily at Mark Langhams funeral at Westminster Cathedral today? He gives pompous a different meaning.

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No, some close friend priest/monk. Arnold kept looking at his watch. The Pole was holding Elsie’s hand.

No mention of Mark’s excellent blog “Solomon, I have surpassed you”. But that he dressed up as a Pantomime Dame at Cambridge, when a chaplain.

Do you remember Miranda, who was his co-host at The Holy Roadshow at the Cathedral?

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There was more to Mark than meets the eye. Was Fr Ferry Phipps not part of that hideous holy roadshow at the time? I had the misfortune of seeing it in Leicester at the time. I clocked the lanky Pole almost holding Elsies hand.

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I don’t want to be unkind about Mark Langham, but he did live in a sort of gilded cage. You know, that rather nice, comfortable, effete, upper class Catholic level – Cambridge, VEC, Bayswater, Westminster Cathedral, Vatican, Cambridge again. I mean most of us spend our lives out in Watford, Staines, the East End and challenging places like that. He had a relatively short life, but it was a rather privileged life. There are definitely ‘us’ and ‘them’ in Westminster, and was very much ‘us’.

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Fr Terry Phipps was one of the Three Tenors in the Holy Roadshow, with Pat Browne and Andrew Wadsworth. Hugh Mackenzie was Mr Bean. A cockney priest from Canning Town sung some East End numbers.

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I thought +Salford was preaching. Was there a change of plan? I was at work and missed the Requiem.

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@6.12pm Lol. That takes me back. Fr Fairy Phipps the tenor, Fr Hugh MacKenzie was always regarded as Mr Bean. Langham as the Pantomime dame or widow twankey aka Chris Biggins.

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Is that quotation above from ‘St’ John Chryostom? The rabid (and I do mean ‘rabid’) anti-Semite?
You do surprise me, Pat, going to that Jew hater for Christian inspiration.

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4.20
And guess where Martin Luther picked up his anti-Semitism?
From the Roman Catholic Church.

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Arnold was the celebrant. The VG Martin Hayes read out a short biography at the start. He mentioned that news of Mark’s passing had come through during an Archbishop’s Council zoom meeting. They paused and prayed. The monk character preached. It should be viewable online.

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@6.58pm, Fr Phipps, as a young Cathredal chaplain, had female fans in the congregation, charmed by his good looks and wonderful voice.

As Precentor, he was cantor at the Saturday 6pm Vigil Masses and sang in the Folk Choir, including a Spanish or Italian solo.

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I say a decade of the Rosary every day for Lent. I find it easier than giving something up. Not that I have much I could give up.

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4:37pm
You’re so bitter and twisted everything is the fault Of Our Holy Mother The Church in your demented bigoted mind. But who cares what you think..When you and your cohorts are toast and long forgotten, The Holy Church will still be here Triumphant!.

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Canon Terry should have been a bishop, but he was sent from Spanish Place to Hertford. Sadly overlooked, now in his 70s and looking forward to a well-deserved retirement in a few years.A

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I learning more about my faith and my God. Did Jesus have a partner or relationship? Did he have hobbies? Any record of him committing sins? Sorry to ask what are probably daft questions.

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No partner, but Jesus did have relationships, platonic ones mind. The Gospel hints, or speaks of, a few. Lazurus, for instance, was loved by Jesus. John the disciple, too.
Jesus was certainly tempted to commit sin, since he was fully human; but he did not succumb to any of it. The New Testament says that Jesus was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin nevertheless.

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Not daft questions at all Sheila Marie. It’s good to see someone asking them and seeking to know more.
As someone who views the bible as a load of mythology based on scant few reliable sources, I’d just advise you to always question the authenticity of any evidence being put forward and consider it in its historical context. And that means cutting through the bullshjt and asking the really hard questions.
Good luck.

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“The New Testament SAYS”
@ 6:32 You bible quoting crew continue with such mantra like statements so readily, almost as if that disputed load of codswallop texts possessed the power of speech.
You’ve never really got over your childhood indoctrination have you?

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If those texts are just disputed, then it is not objectively established that they are ‘codswallop’.

If they are actually untrue, then could you produce the evidence for it and make me a believer, as it were?

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11.10. I do not consider myself a bible expert and have insufficient interest myself to “produce” evidence that they are, as you say “untrue”. I have no longer any interest in studying or debating biblical matters . Only those besotted by belief in its answers (hah) go to such lengths as to try to produce “evidence” to support and promote their ill founded beliefs. And in that respect they fail miserably.
For my part, having in the past read many expert critiques pointing out the bible’s disputed origins, inconsistencies, and the incomprehensible interpretations of the bible, I have considered these together with studies of worldwide origins of religious mythology and its holy books. I am now well convinced of the totally fraudulent nature of religious belief and its “sacred texts.”
At this point I must emphasise that the burden of proof, (that the bible and what it asserts, is “true”; that it IS the “word of God”), lies with those who claim it to be so, NOT with those who find it insufficient and lacking in credibility. This is the crux of the matter.
Problem is that many are indoctrinated in childhood into unquestioning belief, that since so many others, especially persons in authority, seem to accept and believe in the bible, it is just assimilated and believed without questioning it in any way.
In parting, if you really wish to consider the bible’s relevance might I suggest Chs 7 & 8 of Christopher Hitchens book, God is Not Great. You’ll find plenty of food for thought there.

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@5.25pm Archbishop Roche is highly regarded by Francis more than people realise. He is a Yorkshireman, blunt, tells it straight to your face. Francis got impatient with Cardinal Sarah over the translation and Sarah recently got elbowed as a result. Step forward Archbishop Arthur to clear it all up and was very efficent at doing so. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

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@6.50 You are trading stereotypes. Coming from Yorkshire does not make Roche a blunt, ;tell it like it is’ caricature. Far from it. You obviously know little about Archbishop Roche. In reality he is a charming, kind and thoughtful person with an extensive knowledge of liturgical subjects spanning theology, symbolism, anthropology, languages, and more. No wonder he is held in high esteem in the Vatican. Once Sarah is side-lined completely you will find Archbishop Roche taking his place and receiving a red hat.

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@7.57pm Are you Fr Moger? You would be better speaking to and spending time with the lay folk of Leeds diocese than talking shite on here about Roche. Especially the parishes he closed down and spent thousands instead on hinsley hall diocesan retreat centre and catered for the bishops conference facilitated there many times. Incidentally where is the tall Ballymena lad who joined Leeds diocese and was Arthur’s MC in Leeds for a time?

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Pat, would it be possible to have a special of blog discusion on those who spread malicious gossip and cause unnecessary troubles for innocent people?
There is only so much you can do about the situations you face, but there is a lot you can do about how you respond to them. Many people initially respond to malicious gossip and lies with feelings of horror, anger and anxiety…. Or even feelings of helplessness when confronted with negative gossip about themselves when it turns around to bite them on the backside. This is especially true when the rumors don’t contain all the facts and you feel trapped in an unfair situation…. As a result, you can lose motivation and succumb to the negative effects of stress or just become angry. Taking a moment to step back from these situations is a good idea; simply writing your emotions down on stickynotes and placeing them on a wall can be very helpful and looking at each one ca help you work through things. Use the calming strategies that work best for you-
breathing, mindfulness, unplugging from bussy work, exercise, or taking walks. Give yourself time to cool off…. Chances are you will come up with a far more constructive solution to your problem once the emotions have died down. Make changes. Positive changes which will benefit others as well as yourself; try learn to not be selfish. This can be extremely difficult for some; but easy and natural for others….
And remember, just ignore rumours and don’t let other people’s negativity get you down.
You may ask yourself why do people do these things? Have you ever been involved in rumor making? Telling lies which hurt others?
You are special and you are loved. Don’t give way to such foolish and childish antics.
Take a big deep breath. Always smile and put on a brave face and ignore those who don’t understand you.

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Bishop Pat, why was Fr Mark Langham sent to and fro between appointments frequently? Sent out of Westminster to Rome and later to the diocese of East Anglia but kept out of Westminster until his death.

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That is really none of your business.
He was latterly principal chaplain at Cambridge University within the East Anglia Diocese.
His old Alma Mater. Have you got a problem with that?

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Christian Unity at the Vatican. What a laugh. Langham and Kevin McDonald, both have chequred histories when in Rome. Keep digging Pat.

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Pat, could you not get on to Monty for the goss in Westminster at present, Roche, Langham etc. If anybody knows any news Monty will. Send him a bottle of Jawbox or similar and you will get the low down.

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Mark Langham was buried today. Your response is to ask for gossip. That is simply wrong.

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