Monday, 17 March 2008

A Very Particular Type Of Truth

Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton tells The Observer that "the Gospels are a very particular type of truth, in that they are neither biography nor straight history", and goes on to add that they are not eye-witness accounts but were written long after the events described. He thus makes a contribution further from Catholic orthodoxy than those on the same page by a Protestant clergywoman and an imam. Yes, an imam.

And either denying that the Gospels are eye-witness accounts, or suggesting (as the Bishop does not) that other such accounts exist but were kept out of the Canon, puts one in the same category as Dan Brown. If any university is employing anyone who says either or both of these things, then that is nothing but a poor reflection on the university in question.

One of the few real blights on the Pontificate of John Paul II was his repeated appointment of such prelates in a very few countries, including this one. Well, a double opportunity now presents itself. Following the untimely death of the splendid Bishop Kevin Dunn, we need a new Father in God here in Hexham and Newcastle, the diocese with the largest Catholic population in England.

And the University of Durham has just created the Bede Chair in Catholic Theology. Catholic Theology, rather than Theology that just happens to be written by a Catholic, admits neither of any dissent from the Magisterium nor of any deficinecy in canonical entitlement to teach. So we all look forward to what must by definition be this impeccably orthodox, unimpeachably canonical appointment. Don't we?

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