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Absurd anti-Catholic claim in China merits Tertullian's satirical response

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The website of the Society of St Pius X has a useful news service which often picks up stories that do not feature elsewhere. Today this story caught my eye: " China: Catholics Accused of Spreading the Coronavirus ". The WeChat and Weibo messaging services have a novel conspiracy theory, that the new wave of Covid-19 is the fault of the Catholic faithful being gathered together by "foreign priests" in the Hebei province. The SSPX article quotes AsiaNews, a widely respected source from The Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, originally in Italian, which has had an English and Chinese edition since 2003. Their article " Hebei, Christians labelled ‘spreaders’. The return of Nero " has more detail. The reference to Nero recalls how he set fire to Rome and then blamed the Christians. Perhaps even more relevant is the exasperated satire of Tertullian in his Apologeticum (c.40). It fits quite well. For those who read Latin, it would be wrong to negle

New book on the Our Father shares a loving familiarity with the sacred text

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Our Father. A Biblical Meditation on the Lord’s Prayer. By Sr Claire Waddelove OSB. Gracewing. 190pp £12.99 St Teresa of Avila says that Our Lord will help us to understand that “though we have had to say the Paternoster many times, He heard us the first time.” She goes on to say that even if we take a whole hour to say it, we need not worry if we realise that we are in the presence of the Father, if we understand what we are asking of Him, and if we are confident that, like any father, he wants to grant us his favour. Sister Claire Waddelove is following in a fine tradition of commentary on the Our Father, including some of the greatest saints. Yet we may be grateful that she has not been overwhelmed by this. We always need to receive a fresh reading of the prayer that Our Lord gave us as the model for all prayer. Sister Claire’s particular contribution is to present a synopsis of scriptural texts for each section of the prayer, encouraging us to use the texts as a springboard fo

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