St Brendan, who sailed to America from Ireland in a leather boat. As you do.
It was too much, I suspect, for even previously level-headed media outlets like the Age or ABC to ignore.
Local girl Mary MacKillop gets the big tick, having performed the requisite number of miracles and becomes Saint Mary MacKillop in a
Why we’ve suddenly taken such an interest in this mediaeval conjuring trick, as opposed to shunting it into the “wacky news” section is mostly beyond me.
As a keen amateur scholar of Christian theology, I’m pretty sure there’s no justification for saints in the New Testament* and as an equally keen (and equally amateur) student of Christian history I’m also pretty sure the creation of saints was generally used as a branding exercise to strengthen the influence of the Papacy – and in the process giving the big tick to a fairly ghastly collection of bigots, thugs, bigamists, nut-jobs and theocrats**.
But I don't include Mary MacKillop in the above collection as she was, by most accounts, a pretty good egg.
We’re also told constantly that we have to “respect” people’s religious beliefs.
Well, as I think I have observed elsewhere, bollocks to that.
The only thing the religious*** should expect in a secular democracy is the right to practice their religion in peace.
Everything else is icing on the mitre.
* There’s no justification for bishops, popes or the Vatican Bank either, but that’s pretty much by-the-by.
** And the occasional harmless nutter, but there’re pretty much in the minority.
*** By which I include Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and that ragged madman down my local who keeps shouting about spoons.