Scattering blessings

The archbishop of Westminster is full of advice to fellow Catholics (I beg your pardon, I mean to his “flock”) on how they can make themselves disliked by pestering and nagging people.

The Archbishop of Westminster says Catholics should be more ready to make the sign of the cross and say “God bless you” to people.

The Archbishop called on Catholics to respond to the Pope’s hope that they would become “ever more conscious of their dignity as a priestly people”.

Brilliant suggestions. Make intrusive public displays of superstitious gesturing and invoke something called a “blessing” from a non-existent being. Force your religious beliefs on people so that they will be impressed by your “dignity as a priestly people.” Act and talk goddy nonsense in public so that an admiring world can see how it’s done.

Writing a week after the papal visit, Rev Nichols said: “With the blessings of this visit we can be more confident in our faith and more ready to speak about it and let it be seen each day.

“A small step we can all take is to be quicker to say to others that we will pray for them, especially to those in distress.

“Even the simple step of more regularly using the greeting ‘God bless you’, gently and naturally, would make a difference to the tone we set in our daily lives, as would the more frequent use of the sign of the cross.”

Yes, it would make a difference, but not, as the archbish seems to think, in a good way. It’s passive-aggressive bullying, that kind of thing. It’s typical missionary coerciveness, and it is not attractive; it is rude and intrusive and self-important. It’s funny, in a way, but it’s really more depressing than funny – this eagerness to force unmitigated goddy bullshit on everyone.

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