Articles

A complete chronological listing of shorter pieces written since 1995.

Any of these articles that are not the copyright of a specified publication may be freely copied and distributed.

Articles are listed in inverse chronological order – i.e. more recent articles first.

  • Apocalypse Soon – or New Pentecost?
    22nd April 2022
    Apocalypse means revelation not disaster. It is the imminent threat of the latter that will lead to sincere prayer and bring the former, an historical turn to the Gospel of just enough

  • Why did Jesus of Nazareth accept Crucifixion?
    30th April 2024
    Summary of an argument for a return to the original Christian understanding of atonement - as rescue - by the God of Abraham and of Jesus - from the power of evil that keeps the world at war.

  • ‘The Lightest Burden’ – Origin and Purpose
    April 2024
    Is it possible to encapsulate catholic Christian faith as a 'light burden' - free of medieval baggage that attributes self-absorption to God the Father? Let's see!

  • On Exodus? From What?
    The Furrow Jan 2024
    Is Status Anxiety - our persistent tendency to doubt our own value - the root of all evil?

  • 2024: Irish Catholic Vocations Office Mired in Clericalism
    ACI Website 17th Jan 2024
    In its zeal to promote the calling to the ordained ministry Ireland's National Vocations Office forgot the central message of synodality - that it is Baptism that calls all Christians to the challenge and risk of mission.

  • Church Is Mission?
    ACP Website Nov 2023
    The synodal calling of all to mission is hampered by an outdated medieval theology of atonement that obscures the liberating message of the Gospel.

  • René Girard: The Creed Overcomes the World
    Japan Mission Journal, Autumn 2023
    How René Girard's take on the Creed and on history can help combat digital imperialism and algorithm enslavement in the era of the Internet.

  • Comeuppance or Confession – A ‘Reckoning’ on Clerical Abuse?
    La Croix International, June 2023
    Faced with apparently unending scandal - and dwindling credibility and authority in the societies it has scandalised - should Catholic church leadership look to scripture, especially the story of King David of Israel, for insight into a scenario for resolution?

  • A Reckoning on Catholic Clerical Abuse? Seriously?
    ACI Website 2022
    If Irish Catholic bishops are serious about the need for a 'reckoning' on the issue of clerical sexual abuse will they call for full disclosure of the causes of the mishandling of the issue in the 20th century, including the global practice of secrecy that delayed child safeguarding until some victims finally rebelled and made the matter public?

  • The Gospel as a Takedown of Celebrity
    ACI Website 2020
    To make any individual person an object of fascination is a delusion and a mistake. Christians need to realise that this is why Jesus will not return until all have realised that he is present to all of us already as the Holy Spirit. To pray directly for the gifts of the Holy Spirit is to pray to the Trinity, and to become the person we have always wanted to be.

  • What do we mean by the Kingdom of God?
    Doctrine and Life Apr 2002
    God was not pleased that the Israelites demanded a king 'like the other nations' - and told the prophet Samuel 'they have rejected me as their king'. Given the known failings of so many nominally Christian kings in the historical era known as Christendom we need to reflect on this when thinking about 'the kingdom of God' - and to remember that Jesus saw worldly power as temptation and told us that 'the kingdom' is 'within' and 'among' his followers.

  • Did God want Jesus Dead?
    Aug 2022
    St Anselm of Canterbury's 11th century explanation of the crucifixion of Jesus - that he died on the cross to repay a debt to God the Father that humans had compiled by sin - is both mistaken and a barrier to the 'mission' that Pope Francis is calling us to. Instead, the intent of the Trinity is to free us from all violence, selfishness and fear - especially fear of the future.

  • The Blasphemy of Christian Imperialism in 2022
    ACI Website March 2022
    How could Vladimir Putin have learned nothing from the scandals of Christendom and global Christian imperialism?

  • Salvation and Social Media
    ACI website, Oct 2021
    From what exactly do we all need 'saving' right now? Transformed in their own time by the total experience of Jesus, the earliest Christians would be unimpressed by our humdrum, next-life-only understanding of 'salvation'. Do we now need 'saving' above all from the oppressive delusion that it is electronic media of all kinds that determine our importance?

  • What is it to be Holy?
    ACI website, Aug 2021
    Vatican II (1962-65) called all Catholics to holiness - in the document Lumen Gentium(1964) - but the story of Lumen Gentium is itself key evidence of an historic debate and conflict between Catholic clergy over what holiness is, how it is best sought and how it is most fully manifested - and these differences have not yet been fully resolved. This story is exhaustively told in The Charismatic Structure of the Church: Priesthood and Religious Life at Vatican II and Beyond (2021) by Michael McGuckian SJ

  • The Creed is for Whistle-Blowers, not Dogmatists
    Acireland Site Oct 23rd 2021
    The Creeds were originally narratives - summaries of the life , death and resurrection of Jesus - to remind believers of Jesus's defeat of the intention behind Crucifixion: to shame the victim and delete him completely from memory. They were therefore also centrally an assurance to believers of their own immortality.

  • How White Men Lost the Meaning of Redemption
    ACI website, Oct 2020
    'Redemption' for the earliest Christians meant liberation from all fear of the future - but almost lost that meaning under Christendom. It is time to recover that meaning for the children of today.

  • The Frustrated Potential of the Alienated Church
    Nov 30, 2019
    Martin Ridge, one of two investigating Garda officers who painstakingly compiled the testimony of victims of the Donegal clerical child abuser Eugene Greene, exemplified the common priesthood of the people of God that Ireland's Catholic clergy failed to understand or explain in his lifetime.

  • St Mary’s, Dunboe on YouTube
    This Website August 2019
    Video was not my 'thing' until the summer of 2019 - so why did I suddenly take this 'turn for the worse'? St Mary's, Dunboe, Co. Derry, one of many small rural Irish churches now under threat of disuse due to the denial of dialogue, over decades, by the clericalism that expects lay people only to pay, pray and obey.

  • ‘Holy Sacrifice?’
    This Website Aug 2019
    Why we must now strive to make holy sacrifice ... in keeping open all Irish chapels currently in use.

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