Mark Turner was born and raised as a Catholic in the North East of England, UK. He attended two Catholic schools between the ages of five and sixteen. A product of a moderate Catholic upbringing and an early passion for science first resulted in religious apathy and by mid-teens outright disbelief.
The latest nomination for the 2013 Craziest-Thing-Said-By-A-Catholic-Priest Award comes all the way from South Africa. Step forward Wilfrid Fox (Cardinal) Napier, Archbishop of Durban. Napier was giving an interview as part of the Stephen Nolan program on BBC Radio 5 live when he referred to pedophilia as “a psychological condition, a disorder.” Read more
Over the weekend, a story broke about plans by Flintshire County Council in North Wales to offer free school bus passes only to children of religious parents. Not only that, but such parents would be required to prove their kids’ religiosity — wheeling out the baptism certificates or a letter from a local priest vouching for their attendance at church would be sufficient. The plans are only at the public consultation phase, but one suspects they won’t get much further than that. Read more
Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced that his eldest son, Antonio, will attend a Catholic state school in London. The school has a history of educating the children of politicians, including those of former Labour cabinet ministers Harriet Harman and Ruth Kelly, and former Prime Minister Tony Blair, all of whom sent their sons there. Read more
The Cardinal Keith O’Brien gay sex scandal rumbles on unabated, but as I ate my breakfast this morning, I was greeted by the news that the Cardinal has now essentially admitted to the allegations made by three priests and a former priest last week. While it’s not unusual for priests to admit to these things, I would say that most tend to deny such allegations, especially at the beginning. I should be careful at this point and say that O’Brien hasn’t actually admitted to anything specific. The key section in his statement this morning is this: Read more
February has been a strange month for the Catholic Church. While those enthralled by the bubble that is the Vatican are still reeling after the Pope’s resignation, today, the most senior Catholic in Britain has been forced to step down amid allegations of “inappropriate behavior” dating back to the 1980s. Cardinal Keith O’Brien (current holder of Stonewall’s ‘Bigot of the Year’ award) has been the Archbishop of St Andrews since 1985 and a Cardinal since 2003. He was due to step down from his post in March due to his age, but the Pope has now requested he leave early. Read more