that he existed before the world. 2. God is the deepest reality of this world and reveals himself in the circumstances and the daily lives of all human beings. 3. The heart and centre of this revelation is. Jesus Christ who penetrated the meaning of divinity in the world. Beyond all others he revealed God. 4. Jesus Christ was a human person--a Jew of the first century whose thought, pattern, and mode of life was distinctly Jewish. He had the human ignorance that belongs to the stages of human life and its contemporary culture. He had doubts, anxieties, frustrations of men. The question of whether he sinned or not would have to be rethought.
Above all, Jesus had hope and faith in God. When he died his body could well have been stolen or mislaid. It doesn't really matter. Father Durning said Father Richards was concerned that the faith should say something important about life as modern man knows it.
Modern man, according to Father Richards, does not admit two worlds, one natural and the other supernatural. Therefore God must not be thought of as having any existence apart from this world.
Secondly, modern man does not admit miracles. This is a coronary of the one-world view, because a miracle would be an intervention from another world.
Therefore, there are no miracles in the scriptures, Including the virgin birth, the raising of Christ's dead body to life, and the changing of bread and wine into Christ's own body and blood. Any statement in scripture attesting such things must be taken literally, in cases like these the language of scripture is amiss.
Father burning said: "When I say 1 am still reeling from the impact of Father Richards lectures, I do not mean that the views expressed by him were novel. It is simply that I had never before seen these views incarnated in a Catholic priest lecturing to a large gathering of Catholic priests. I felt the walls of reality tremble."
Another priest, Father G. H. Duggen, S.M., complained that Father Richards had said that miracles im the true sense were out of the question for there were no divine interventions in the course of human affairs. The prayer of petition was useful only for i t s psychological value to the one praying. Prayer for the dead was useful only insofar as it encouraged us now to know that people will pray for us after death.
"Father Richards emphasised there is no text in which Christ said he was God, and several which suggested the opposite, and no text during his life in which his disciples call him God.
"Father Richards maintains that it is not necessary for faith in the Resurrection to hold that the body of Christ emerged from the tomb, and though he did not say so explicitly, given h:s principle it is clear that he thinks it did not."
Father Duggen added: "The Gospel story he says, is only a vehicle of faith, not the basis of faith. The accounts are stories that make concrete the faith of writers that Christ is living reality : they are an evocation of the 'risen Christ."
Father Richards told me on Wednesday he proposed to publish the papers he had given.
"All I am trying to do is to speak of the Christian tradition in terms of today. The scholars were at this 30 years ago and they should •have jolly well made it apparent then what they were saying. All I am attempting is to make the thoughts of scholars available in ordinary language but the way it has been twisted begins to sound horrifying. Whereas I think lin the context of the lectures I was in general able to present it as a message of hope. By selective quoting two men have turned this 'into a message of despair."
HALF a million copies of a pop version of St. Mark's Gospel complete with cartoon characters are to be given away to the public in the North of England.
It is a historic version because it has the blessing of every main stream Christian denomination in the country and has been signed by Catholic, . Anglican, and Free Church leaders.
It is all part of a "fighting kit" for the army of people, tens of thousands strong, who are training themselves in evangelism, under the umbrella of the ecumenical crusade "Call to the North."
The kit also includes details about the hunt for a pop song with a difference with a reward offered by Cliff Richard.
Prizes totalling £50 will be given to the best songs based on Mark, his stories, or on the CTN theme, which is to take God's word in modern form to modern man and to show him how relevant it is to today's troubles.
The kit also includes testimonies from TV stars, and a blueprint for Christian action.
A spokesman for CTN said, "The Church has been like an army in peace time most of its members in the reserves. But because of the growing chaos in our confused and sick society the reserves are mobilising into small forces to speak the word of God together.
"CTN is the result. Hundreds of units between the Trent and the Tweed are training with these kits to hit back at today's violent and almost godless world.
"Hundreds of demonstrations and events are planned in nearly all communities in the North, beginning Easter next year.
"In an attempt to reach modern man we have, with the help of the British and Foreign Bible Society, produced an easy to read version of Mark, split up in digestible stories and illustrations."
Duke's open house
THE Duke of Norfolk is to introduce the first of London Weekend Television's 13part documentary series "Treasures of Britain" which director Charlie Squires begins filming next month.
The Catholic Duke, who is Earl Marshal of England, will show television viewers inside Arundel Castle, Sussex, which has been in the Duke's family since William the Conqueror created the first Earl of A rundel.
Arundel is the centre-piece of the first programme, called "Castles into Palaces," which traces the evolution of some of Britain's oldest and finest buildings from military fortifications to centres of government to private homes.
Each programme will last one hour and is devoted to a significant theme -cathedrals, palaces, jewels, paintings, great gardens, museums, private collections, universities the living heritage of 2.000 years of British history.
"Treasures of Britain" will be in production for at least two years, will begin transmission in peak-time in
the autumn of 1974 and has a budget in excess .of £250,000. The synopses for this major historical review have been written by Paul Johnson, historian, journalist and broadcaster well known to CATHOLIC HERALD readers for his fortnightly column.
Such a sick protest
IFis amazing the lengths some people will go to in making their protest. A new low has been set by an anonymous person or persons on the question of communion in the hand.
In a printed leaflet entitled "operation Dry Host" which arrived on my desk this week, they ask that "in order to overcome the inconvenience to Host Collectors of having to remove wet hosts from the tongue, the League of Dry Host Collectors demand of all Catholic priests that they stop immediately the unhealthy practice of placing consecrated hosts on the tongues of communicants."
I will not give these people the pleasure of quoting further from this disgusting leaflet but I am sure readers will gather from the previous paragraph how sick the rest of it is.
Blasphemy isn't the word for it.
What's in a name?
LIVEWIRE parish priest of Glenfinnan in Scotland, Fr. Joe McShane, is not one to miss a trick.
He invited director of the CATHOLIC HERALD, Sir Harold Hood, to open his annual garden fete at the weekend.
Which was a pretty smart move because he billed the opening as "by Harry Hood" followed by Bt., for Baronet, in minute letters.
The impression surely gained by some that Celtic soccer star Harry Hood was making a personal appearance helped Fr. McShane to gross something in the region of £1,000 I'm told.
Asked by the lady in charge of the bottle stall what she should do with any bottles left over, Fr. McShane said : "Hide them from the Bishop!"
Comic opera at Bristol
BRISTOL Catholic Players, who have become well known in Bristol and the south west for their annual productions of Gilbert and Sullivan operas, are staging a "Gala Evening with Gilbert and Sullivan and Others" next month.
The programme will include excerpts from various Gilbert and Sullivan operas which have been presented by the Society over the past few years, and will also include items from other composers.
The origins of the Bristol Catholic Players can he traced back to the Parish df Christ the King in Filwood, Bristol, where Dr. J. C. Buckley was Parish Priest in 1952. A Gilbert and Sullivan society was formed by him, and flourished until his transfer to the Church of the Sacred Heart in Westburyon-Trym in 1956.
In May 1957 the Bristol Catholic Players came into being. Its nucleus was composed of members of the Filwood society. augmented by many new members. Since 1957, the company has continued to be directed by Mgr. Buckley, assisted by Mr. Frederick Cooke who, as Musical Director, has con ducted all the operas performed by the Society.
Parish priest at 80
MONSIGNOR HUBERT GIBNEY, who has been parish priest at St. Mary Magdalen Church, Mortlake, since April 1944, retired yesterday at the age of 80.
On Sunday his parishioners presented him with a cheque for £938, and parishioners of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church gave him £100. The children of St. Mary Magdalen's primary school also gave a cheque.
Canon Gibney, born in 1892, went to St. John's Seminary, Wonersh, in 1906. He was ordained in 1917.
From 1917 to 1919 his education was broadened considerably as curate at the Borough, S.E.1. From 1919 to 1934 he taught English and Latin at the Junior Seminary, first at Wonersh and then at St Joseph's. Mark Cross, to where it moved in 1924. Among his pupils were two future Archbishops, two Bishops and Cardinal Gray of Edinburgh.
In 1934 he was taken from the academic life and plunged into the administration work of the diocese, acting as Chancellor from 1934 to 1946. In 1945 he became Chapter Canon and in 1946 Vicar General of the diocese, which he retired from recently.
Priest leaves Pentonville
FATHER William Kahle was praised by Cardinal Heenan for his seven years' work as prison chaplain at Pentonville, when the cardinal visited the London prison on Tuesday.
During a service held to bless a new tabernacle in the prison chapel, the cardinal told his congregation of prisoners that Father Kahle knew of tougher places than Pentonville-his own parents and family having suffered under Hitler.
The average stay of Pentonville inmates is 12 months. Father Kahle said that prisoners were allowed to hear Mass twice a week. Up to a third of those in Pentonville were Catholics.
"Most of them here are recidivists-if they were let out they would come back of their own accord" he said.
Father Kahle is leaving to become parish priest of St. Charles Borromeo Church, off Tottenham Court Road, in London's West End, where he hopes to develop a special project for vagabonds and down-and-outs.
Father David Evans, a former London hospital chaplain, succeeds Father Kahle at Pentonville.
REV. Dr. Kenneth Greet, reflecting on the recent Church Leaders' Conference in Birmingham says, "The proper response to Cardinal Heenan's address was a deep sympathy for one who must feel with peculiar force the pressure which is upon us all in an age when old concepts of authority are being swept away.
"As I listened I seemed to hear the lapping sound of the sea, and to be watching the inevitable advances of an irresistible tide."