Friday, December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens

The story goes that some years ago, when ecumenical relations were not very far advanced, the Roman Catholic bishop of Cork was informed that his Church of Ireland counterpart had passed away. 'Good,' he responded. 'So by now he'll know who the real bishop of Cork is.' There was a happy gleam in his eye as he contemplated the toasting that his erstwhile rival was now enjoying.

Christopher Hitchens has died. One would almost be tempted to adapt the above anecdote to the event. However, that would be churlish. Mr Hitchens, like most atheists, I believe would like to be proved wrong, that they would delight to die and discover that their being had not ceased and that they were in the presence of a loving and compassionate God.

Obviously, I wouldn't agree with the stance he took on religion and a great many other subjects. But I accept that they were sincerely held. And so today my prayers are for him and those who held him dear and mourn his passing. May he rest in peace (and may he delight in God's presence). Amen.

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