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Morning Catholic must-reads: 20/09/12

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

By on Thursday, 20 September 2012

Patriarch Bechara Rai, left, at the papal Mass in Beirut on Sunday

Patriarch Bechara Rai, left, at the papal Mass in Beirut on Sunday

Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai has backed calls for an international law against the “defamation of religion” in the wake of the controversy over the film Innocence of Muslims.

Fr Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land, has denounced a spate of “senseless” attacks on Christian buildings in Israel.

Archbishop Nicholas Chia of Singapore has withdrawn a letter calling for the abolition of the country’s Internal Security Act because it could be used “in a manner that I did not intend”.

Experts have cast doubt on the authenticity of a newly discovered papyrus fragment that purports to show that Jesus was married.

Nicholas Cafardi suggests that Cardinal Carlo Martini’s final interview was inspired by his dismay at the Church’s response to the murder of six Jesuits in El Salvador in 1989.

Phil Lawler welcomes “a terrific appointment” at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Kevin Clarke is less enthusiastic.

And Brennan Pursell says that St Hildegard of Bingen, who will be declared a Doctor of the Church on October 7, is being used online to “hawk herbal elixirs, potions, creams, powders, rocks, and ointments“.

Follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen for updates throughout the day

  • Nat_ons

    Experts have cast doubt on the authenticity of a newly discovered papyrus fragment that purports to show that Jesus was married. 

    “The papyrus’ back side, or verso, is so badly damaged that only a few key words – ‘my mother’ and ‘three’- were decipherable, but on the front side, or recto, King gleaned eight fragmentary lines:’not [to] me. My mother gave to me li[fe]…The disciples said to Jesus,deny. Mary is worthy of itJesus said to them, My wifeshe will be able to be my discipleLet wicked people swell upAs for me, I dwell with her in order to an image’”

    Is it my imagination, or is the title ‘Magdalene’ even found in the dubious text .. or merely read into it (by over eager and publication hungry academics – with the ever present demand of the media for something BIG, New or titillating)?
    Mary, I suspect, could even be read as referring to Jesus’ Mother – after all, the papyrus does at least indicate this mother did give him something (like life).

    And, if the text is ancient and authentic, a Copic Sect might as likely have found comfort in believing Jesus dwelt with his Mother.

    Without doubt, I could create a whole new field of Mariological Study of of such a text. For if she is described as his ‘wife’ not only as a mother, that might demonstrate an early form of Monadism: her Father, her Son, and her Husband, the Spirit, all as One wrapped up neatly in Jesus: dwelling in Mary, the Virgin! And is that not a worthy take on being ‘an image’ of God, as an indwelt ‘disciple’?