Tag Archives: Protestant

The Catholic Patient

Charlie Chaplain’s Tales


On his first day, as the Catholic part-time Chaplain to the Hospital (ed: note not “part-time Catholic Chaplain” – what was he the rest of the time: part-time Baptist, part-time Anglican?) was understandably nervous.

He went into the Ward (one of those long “Nightingale Wards” with beds down each side), looking for Catholic patients.

At the end of each bed, there was a small sign.  On the first one, it simply had the letter “P” written on it.  “a Protestant,” he muttered under his breath, “maybe Pentecostalists, could be Pagan….certainly not one of mine, anyhow”

However, as he passed the bed, he glanced over and wished the patient well.

The next bed along… “P” once more….and the next….and the one after that.  “Are there no Catholics here at all?” he wondered.

Then – Joy of Joys (though he sought forgiveness from Above for rejoicing that someone was unwell and in hospital, but this patient had the letters “RC” printed on the card at the foot of his bed!

The priest sat down beside him, and they had a wonderful chat.  The chap was delightful and a good conversationalist.

When it was time to go, the Priest said, “The doctors and nurses here are wonderful, but you mustn’t neglect your spiritual health – here’s a rosary, just a cheap plastic one, but a rosary none the less. As you use it, pray to the Archangel Saint Raphael, and thank him for healing you.”

“But, Father, I’m not a member of your Church; in fact, I’m an Elder at St Blethers by the Gasworks – the Kirk in……..”  The Priest interrupted, “But…. but … it’s got RC printed on the notice at the end of your bed!”

So the patient explained – patiently…… (and you can all join in the punchline of this joke – it’s so old that I’m paying death duties on it).

“It’s for the catering department; for breakfasts: those with a “P” on their card get porridge; me – I prefer Rice Crispies”  Boom! Boom!  (yes, I know that Kelloggs spell their breakfast cereal with a “K”, but it wouldn’t be a joke then, would it?)


Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

I beg you, assist me in all my needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the “medicine of God” I humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of my soul and the ills that afflict my body. I especially ask of you the favor (here mention your special intention), and the great grace of purity to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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a pastor, a Rabbi, and an Imam walk into……. hey, is this the beginning of a joke?

from the Independent

It has been dubbed the “Wonder of Berlin”. And if a Protestant pastor, a rabbi and an imam can realise their shared dream, the world’s first house of prayer for three religions will open its doors in the German capital in four years’ time, with the building costs being paid for by donations.

The unique project is called the “House of One”, and its aim is to provide a place of worship and contemplation for adherents of the world’s three main monotheistic faiths, although the building will also be open to all. It will house a church, a synagogue and a mosque under one roof.

“Berlin is the city of wounds and miracles,” said Rabbi Tovia Ben-Chorin, one of the three behind the project. “It is the city in which the extermination of the Jews was planned. Now, the first house in the world for three religions is to be built here,” he added.

The fundraising drive was launched this week, with a symbolic handing over of the first brick. The House of One’s backers hope to raise the €43.5m (£35m) needed to construct the hexagonal-shaped brick building, on a site next to Berlin’s central Museum Island, entirely through sponsorship. Anyone can donate money online. A single brick costs ¤10.

The idea was born in 2009, when archaeologists excavating a section of ground on Museum Island unearthed the remnants of Berlin’s earliest church, the Petrikirche, and the city’s Latin school, which dates back to 1350.

“We quickly agreed that something visionary and forward looking should be built on what is the founding site of Berlin,” said Gregor Hohberg, the Protestant pastor who initiated the project. He was convinced that multicultural, multi-faith Berlin was the right city in which to open a house of worship for three religions.

“Berlin is the city of the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful coexistence of believers from different faiths – they yearn to understand each other,” he said.

Imam Kadir Sanci, the House of One’s Muslim leader, said he wanted the project to encourage a conscious dialogue between different faiths and cultures, which would help prejudices against Muslims to evaporate. “We want our children to have a future in which diversity is the norm,” he insisted.

The plans for the House of One indicate that while the building will contain a separate synagogue, church and mosque under one roof, there will also be a large central area, in which members of the three faiths and others can meet and contemplate. Last Tuesday, the House of One construction site on Berlin’s Gertraudenstrasse was still a vacant building lot, with little more to show than a recently felled plane tree and dirty, grey sand scarred with the tyre tracks of lorries and excavators.

However, the desolate scene did not deter the pastor, the rabbi and the imam from symbolically burying their shoes in the sand at the centre of the site.

“One has to have a great deal of faith in God to imagine that a wonderful building, unique in the world, will stand on this site in just a few years,” Mr Hohberg told a congregation from different faiths at a service a little later.

He added that building work could commence in 2016, providing donations to the fund of €10m had been raised by then.

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Change and Decay 1: USA

extract from “Proud Atheist”

Posted by Waleed Al-Husseini on Friday, March 21, 2014

Sometime last year, the US quietly passed a milestone demographers had long been predicting: for the first time in its history, this country is no longer majority Protestant. Fewer than 50 percent of Americans now identify as Protestant Christians of any denomination.

This change has come on surprisingly recently, and from a historical perspective, with breathtaking speed. As recently as 1993, almost two-thirds of Americans identified as Protestants, a number that had remained stable for the several preceding decades. But sometime in the 1990s, the ground started to shift, and it’s been sliding ever since.

Whether it’s the “mainline” Protestant denominations like Methodists, Episcopalians, Lutherans or Presbyterians, or the independent evangelical, charismatic and fundamentalist sects, the decline is happening across the board. The rise of so-called megachurches, like Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in California or Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill in Seattle, represents not growth, but consolidation.
What’s happening to these vanishing Protestants? For the most part, they’re not converting to any other religion, but rather are walking away from religion entirely. They’re becoming “nones,” as the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life puts it. It seems likely that this is the same secularizing trend being observed in Europe, as people of advanced, peaceful democracies find religion increasingly irrelevant to their daily lives.
The spokespeople of the religious right have noticed this trend as well, but it’s clear they have very little idea what to do about it. In a column from 2005, Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, declared that “theological liberalism” is at fault for Christianity’s decline, and that the only thing they need to do to reverse it is to make “a bold commitment to biblical authority.”

Far from it, the evidence is clear that churches clinging to antiquated dogma are part of the problem, as young people turn away from their strident decrees about gays and women.

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Across the Great Divide



Maurice (“Mo”) Johnston, former Celtic FC player, hit the headlines in July 1989,  when he opted not to return to Celtic and instead joined Graeme Souness‘s Rangers. From the early 20th century onwards, Catholics had not been knowingly signed by the club, nor employed in other prominent roles as an ‘unwritten rule’ Johnston was “their first major Roman Catholic signing”. He was the highest-profile Catholic to sign for the club since the World War I era, though other Catholics had signed for Rangers before.

The move angered both Celtic and Rangers supporters. Some Rangers fans burned scarves and threatened to hand in season tickets over the signing while Celtic fans referred to Johnston as Judas. Rangers’ kit men protested by making Johnston arrange his own kit ]

However, he won over a lot of Rangers fans in November 1989 when he scored an injury time winner for Rangers against former club and bitter rivals Celtic.

When he arrived at Ibrox,  Souness sat Mo down and said that in his first competitive game for his new club, he would put him on during the first half and they’d see how things went.

Graeme said to him, “We can always pull you off at half time.

Opened eyed, Mo replied, “Thanks, Gaffer – that’s brilliant; at Watford we only got a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit!”

Mo had his doubts and a few weeks later went to Confession.

“Forgive me, Father, for I have signed,” he blurted out.

“As a penance,” replied the Priest, “You must go to that desolate and God-forsaken place: Larkhall…….

“…. there you will attend the Loyal Lodge of the Sons of William and sing ‘The Sash'”

“But, I dinnae ken it!” protested Mo.

“That’s all right, my son, Donald Findlay will be there and he knows it of pat”


“Yes, my son, Pakki Bonnar” (Celtic goalkeeper).


(Bill) Struth! I’d be better joining an atheist church – are there any near here?!!”

Catholics who played for Rangers:

Willie “Doc” Kivlichan 1906 – 1907
Colin Mainds 1906 – 1907
Tom Murray 1907 – 1908
Pat Lafferty 1886
Johnny Jackson 1917
James Tutty 1899 – 1900
Tom Dunbar 1891 – 1892
Joe Donnachie 1914 – 1918
Hugh O’Neill 1976
Constantine McGhie
Don Kichenbrand 1955 – 1956 (whom it was not known he was a Catholic when he signed)
Laurie Blyth played 1951-52 again signed by ‘accident’ and was released once his religion was known.
John Spencer played 1987-1992, 13 appearances, John Clare
Johnny Kennedy
Charles McCafferty (Never made a first team appearance)
Daniel Divers
Chris Houston
John Manners
Bob Cleary
George (or Gorg) Banciewicz
Eddie Devenney
Terry Sloan
Brian Grubb
Edward Devlin
Andy Casey
Tom Cassidy
Bob “Dancer” Dunn
Peter Mone
“Starry” McLachlan

Closer scrutiny however would reveal the true nature of some of these names was not of a footballing background, but was of a scholastic nature.

It would appear that many of the names that appear on this list are former teachers of St Aloysius College!

This from a comment posted on the Scotsman Site: –

“William at 72, your list of Catholic Rangers players is certainly impressively long. Obviously the very idea of a sectarian signing policy was a vile slur.
However, I notice that a large number of these Rangers players’ names bear a striking similarity to those of the teaching staff working at St Aloysius College in the late 1970s and early 1980s. To wit:
Charles McCafferty or “Weed” as we knew him – Latin master at St Al’s. Liked the Aeneid and Caesar’s Gallic War. I didn’t. Rumour had it that he had been on Celtic’s books at one point.
Daniel (Dan) Divers – also Latin master at St Al’s, as were Chris Houston (Sweaty, RIP) and Bob (Bob) Cleary. So that’s the entire Latin department from my time at St Al’s. What a great back four they’d have made. Badminton was more Sweaty’s speed, I think.
John – or rather, Father – Manners was before my time, but I believe he was a Jesuit man and that his nickname was Toad.
George Banciewizc was a somewhat psychotic maths teacher, fond of hurling the wooden blackboard duster at the inattentive. Truly terrifying man and too scary for a nickname.
Terry Sloan was a fellow pupil who I sat beside in 4th year chemistry. Played bass in a very bad sub-Stranglers band called Underground Hero.
Brian Grubb was the useless and slightly thuggish physics teacher who was fired for moonlighting as a minicab driver. No need for a nickname with a surname likes that.
Edward Devlin was the useful but slightly scary physics teacher. Nickname was “Ernie” after the v dull motorbike daredevil cartoon of the same name.
Andy Casey was a rather dapper geography teacher who apparently had some connection with Clyde FC. Had a worrying attachment to colour pencils.
Tom (Butch) Cassidy was a Canadian redhead who succeeded Andy Casey as head of geography after Andy became burser in 1980. Trained to be a priest at Maynooth, but apparently couldn’t hack it. Not a great teacher, but a good guy.
The fact that most of these teachers are actually grouped together by the subjects they taught tells me, William, that you have been hoaxed – and quite imaginatively. Who would have thought that these thoroughly Fenian pedagogues from the most Catholic school in Scotland led a double life as Rangers’ non-sectarian alibi? God, you think you know people.
Unfortunately, all of this casts doubt on the veracity of most of the rest of your names, and thoroughly undermines your point, does it not?”

Donald Findlay QC – In May 1999 he was accused of sectarianism, after being filmed singing The Sash at a private party organised by a Rangers Supporters Club, following the Scottish Cup Final in which Rangers beat Celtic 1-0. For his role in this event, Findlay resigned from the board

Bill Struth – one of the best managers in Rangers history

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August 30, 2013 · 06:27

Three Little Boys

Three kids – one Catholic, one Protestant, and the other Muslim- were talking together about Christmas which was only a few days away.

The Catholic boy said,”I love Christmas – but we have to go to Mass on Christmas Eve and it goes on for hours.  By the time my folks have chatted with their friends and had a game of Bingo in the Church Hall (using Roman numerals, of course), we don’t get home until two in the morning and I have to go to bed.  But I get up early, and there are loads of presents – lots of toys; it’s wonderful!”

The Proddy lad said, “I love it too, although my Mum and Dad drag me off to the Watchnight Service at the kirk and the Minister just tells the same old story every year; then the bigger boys and girls (Youth Group) serve terrible coffee and pie things that are full of dead flies (mince pies), then we go home and gather round the Christmas Tree and there are presents – loads of them – toys, games…brilliant!  It’s great!”


They turn to the Muslim lad.  “What about you?” they ask, “What do you do at Christmas?”

“Well,” says the wee boy, “My Dad has a toy factory in Bangladesh and he imports sea-containers worth of Christmas toys and games and, oh, all sorts of stuff to be sold at Christmastime…..

…… so, we stay in on Christmas Eve and have a party with dancing and singing”

“What???” ask the two others, “Like Christmas Carols and that?”

“No, no!” answers the wee Muslim laddie, “Our favourite is ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus”

Boom!  Boom!  Bet you’ve heard that one before!

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August 20, 2013 · 10:16

Mixed Marriage

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July 23, 2013 · 11:24

WE are the majority

WE are the majority

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July 23, 2013 · 07:22