Friday, December 28, 2012

Dawkins who?

We were robing in the sacristy. It was just before the Christmas Carol service. The busiest time of the year for clergy - so busy that all the 'active' Catholic clergy hadn't been available to give the service it's usual ecumenical dimension. Luckily there's a couple of retired priests living in the parish and one of those was available.

Father is a lovely man. He spent almost all his ministry in South America. And now, even though well beyond retirement age he still helps out in the parish. As we were getting ready I asked him what he thought of Richard Dawkins' latest extraordinary remarks about the Catholic Church.

'Richard who?' he said without skipping a beat, a little furrow to his brow.
'Dawkins. Richard Dawkins.'
'I don't think I know the name.'
'Oh, I'm sure you must. Author of the 'God Delusion.' Big name in the militant atheist movement. Oxford scientist turned polemicist in the cause of showing the world how dangerous religion is.' There wasn't the slightest spark of dawning recognition in his eyes.

'No, I'm afraid I haven't heard of him.'
'Really? His book was a best seller. He's on TV and radio all the time.'
'His fame must never have made it to Argentina.'
'Oh dear. I don't think he'd like to hear that,' I said with a laugh.

We left the topic and got on with things. But it's good to know that the world-famous Richard Dawkins is only world-famous in those parts of the world that have heard of him! 

Perhaps it is time for the rest of us to follow the example of the Argentinians?  

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