Father Brendan’s Thursday Thoughts | OPINION

PADDY is trying to smuggle Irish whiskey out of the Emerald Isle. As he passes through security he’s asked what’s in the bottle “In this holy bottle is holy water; and from Lourdes no less!”. The security guard opens the bottle and sniffs inside and shouts “Why this is Irish whiskey!” Paddy falls to his knees and cries “Well Bless my soul! Another miracle!!”

In my travels I’ve discovered something odd. Many Protestants have more issue with Catholics praying to Mary the mother of Jesus than they do with all the other Catholic beliefs they don’t believe combined.

I’ve even been at “ecumenical” gatherings accepting of all people’s beliefs, and Protestant ministers will want to argue about praying to Mary. 

What do I say? Well I tell them I’m drunk right now and can’t discuss religion and if they don’t believe me I tell them that apart from God she’s the only one the Bible gives the almost unbelievable title “full of grace”, Mary is the only person who stayed with Jesus his entire life and through the bad times, the Bible calls Mary the mother of those who follow the commandments (Rev 12:17), and having grown up with four sisters I know that spirituality ceases to make any sense if you cut out women’s involvement. After all this they believe me ... that I’m drunk that is.

Obviously if Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner dies it’s expected a priest writing in the media is going to diss his legacy. What I didn’t expect was for the Prime Minister of Australia to almost boast of his key involvement in bringing pornography to Australia. 

But if the body is good, what’s wrong with pornography, right? If one says a work of art is objectively beautiful and to be admired for its sound worth, what happens when the artwork is spoiled or exploited for money's sake? Should artwork not be protected from being spoiled or exploited?

Rejecting the traditional view of femininity, feminism ironically created a gateway for men to indulge their fantasy of women as mere objects. This happened because feminism embraced a sexual revolution that reduced the dignity and worth of women, to which Hugh Hefner made his money as a kneejerk reaction to find the perfect woman.

In a 2011 interview Hefner stated "Part of the reason that I am who I am is my Puritan roots run deep. There was no drinking in my home. No discussion of sex.” Sadly the Hefners, like all loveless extremists, brought about the opposite of what they intended.

Pornography has spoiled marriages, relationships, innocence, children, the weak, and possibly why the internet gets so slow after midnight.

As for the argument that it prevents worse, well, I’m not so sure; whenever they delve into the lives of pedophiles and rapists they always discover a prior addiction to porn, because “for things unknown there is no desire” (Tony Hancock).  

As my Protestant friends are already going to give me grief for writing about Mary here, I might I also believe the Virgin Mary appeared at Fatima in 1917 to three “peasant” children of which this Friday, October 13 will be 100th anniversary of the last time. Why? Well because the prophecies of 1917 came true and I don’t think three children of very limited intelligence could have made this stuff up.

Maybe I wasn’t paying attention before, but I’ve noticed over the last few years in movies and in real life, the hero, the person who saves the day, even in Star Wars and Doctor Who, is a woman.

Maybe heaven is trying to get us ready for things to come.

FATHER BRENDAN LEE, Twitter: @frbrendanelee