Monday, September 13, 2010

Miracles r us

So, the Pope arrives in this green and pleasant land on Thursday this week, many secular people are planning their own little protests countered no doubt by many Catholic apologists planning to saturate the media with the good stuff (or at least what they believe is the good stuff). It will be interesting to see how the trip pans out with such diverse points of view battling it out in the public arena, shame we don't have a referee for such outings, if we did at this point he would be saying "now I want a fair fight, no scratching, biting or hitting below the belt...", hopefully we'll see some passionate yet rational argument from the secular side, and no doubt we'll see a mountain of straw from the faith based contingent.

One slightly bizarre component of the Popes visit is that he is expected to beatify (a step toward sainthood) someone called John Henry Cardinal Newman. Newman was someone who lived in the 19th century and became a well known literary and religious figure throughout the 1800's he famously converted from the Anglican religion to Catholicism and busied himself increasing the footprint of his organisation in England and Ireland. Recently, in 2001, a Catholic called Jack Sullivan claims to have been cured of a debilitating back condition after chancing upon a TV program about Newman whilst bed-ridden. To become a saint you need the Catholic x-factor, where x means miracles! Luckily for Newman the Sullivan "miracle" has popped up at just the right time for him to move onto the next stage of the competition, beatification, however for full saint-hood Newman will need at least another miracle to his name. No doubt the Pope's production team is searching the populous right now for the right kind of supernatural act to seal the deal.

Newman was undoubtedly a smart guy, after all, he worked his way up from humble beginnings to become a mover and shaker in a very powerful and large organisation called the Catholic Church, but as an atheist I would rather put Sullivan's recovery down to the skill and dedication of the surgeon who performed his laminectomy than supernatural intervention. Unfortunately for the secular community though a photograph has just been discovered in the Vatican archive of Newman actually speaking to Sullivan on his mobile, so not only is Newman omnipresent across the time dimension, with his patented "prayer grip" he also demonstrates (miraculously) how to correctly avoid those annoying dropped calls because of a faulty antenna on the new iPhone.

What'a guy..

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