Tag Archives: Pope Francis

2013- Electric Puppet’s first 5 months in review

2014

Well- it’s New Year’s Eve, and time to reflect on what has gone on over the past year. For my family, this has been a big year, as we left the comfort and splendour of Oxford to return to our home city of Stoke-on-Trent; I graduated from university; I got my first job; we decided where we want to go with our life in the near and more distant future, thanks to an American man and his family on YouTube; I completed my first book of poetry, which had been languishing prior to this summer; I took the plunge and begun this blog, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while; and have got back in contact with several family members that I haven’t seen for the best part of a decade thanks to Facebook. It has been eventful, and had also been emotional and tiring for all of us. Also, with any luck, next year should be just as eventful- beginning work; trying to get my book published; endeavouring to write the novel and short story collection that I’ve been planning for a month or so; and getting married. Yes: my partner and I are getting married next year!

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In terms of this blog, I will be getting up several ‘Thoughts on…’ posts for the books I have read recently- the first two Adrian Mole books, Penelope Lively’s ‘Heat Wave’, Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’, and Tove Jansson’s ‘Finn Family Moomintroll’- in the new year, and hopefully will get the first few up on New Year’s Day. For now, though, I thought that I would highlight a selection of posts from this blog that have proved popular, may have been overlooked, or are of relative interest for me.

I think that’s enough links to my other posts to be getting on with for now. Anyway- check some of these out if you haven’t already, or have a browse of the blog and see what you come across. Also, you can follow Electric Puppet on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/electricpuppetblog

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Lastly, here are a few fellow bloggers that I’ve come across in the past few months that you may find of interest:

Don’t Bend, Ascend

These Bones of Mine

Bones Don’t Lie

A Corner Of Tenth-Century Europe (written by one of my Anglo-Saxon lecturers from Oxford; he has since moved on to work at Birmingham University)

Museum Postcard

Prehistories

Interesting Literature

I hope you have a very happy New Year, and that 2014 will be good for you.

Image: The Telegraph

Image: The Telegraph

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The Cool Pope

Before I start, let me just apologise for my use in the title of this post of a word that fell out of popular parlance at around the turn of this century. I’m a Dad, so I have a license to be cringeworthy at times.

Anyhoo- I just thought that I’d share these pictures, as I personally find them both rather telling and also highly encouraging. The new Pope, Pope Francis, was greeting a group of around 500 young people from the Italian Diocese of Piacenza and Bobbio at the end of August when he posed for a photo that has gone viral on the ‘net, and which I’m sure you have come across.

papal selfie 1

It’s a nice photo- even if he does look a tad awkward and unsure there on the left- but what makes it quite remarkable is the fact that the bloke on the left is the Pope. He whom Catholics regard as God’s ultimate representative on Earth. I can’t imagine Pope Benedict XVI posing like this for a ‘selfie’, but as many have pointed out, Francis is a lot more down-to-earth than his predecessor, having come from a normal diocese rather than directly from within the confines of the Vatican. I mean, Benedict was already installed in the Vatican before he became Pope, making him more accustomed to the finery and the protocol than his successor. I feel that Francis is in fact a more ‘holy’ Pope in as much as he is willing to carry his own bags, pay his bills, live in an apartment that is just big enough for his needs, and wash the feet of female prisoners as well as males. He lives a more Christian life through his shunning of the extravagance that became the trademark of Pope Benedict- the fine red stole and cassock, the red slippers made by nuns, the over-sized living quarters. Also, this image shows a Pope that not only embraces the modern world (as indeed Benedict did when he joined Twitter), but also one who sees the importance of engaging with the next generation of the church in order to be relevant to it, and to be seen as someone who is not out of reach, inaccessible and aloof. if he is God’s ultimate etc., then here we have a God who is within reach; who is able to be engaged with and responsive to the changing face of the world. A modern God, and a modern Pope. Something to be embraced, I think. It’s just a shame that he will not alter the view of the Catholic church on issues such as contraception and women priests and bishops. But I suppose there is time, and indeed it is only a matter of time before a future Pope hopefully not too far down the line will correct these and other matters.

papal selfie 2

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