The marriage of Joseph and Mary

Super Flumina

under the patronage of St Joseph and St Dominic

By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, remembering Zion;
on the poplars that grew there we hung up our harps. . . Ps 136

St Dominic


Philosophy behind this website

Professor Solomon's Introduction to Philosophy

11th September 2001


Australia's Catholic Bishops

Australian Catholic Bishops should say

Australia's Support for Legislation Worthy of Adolf Hitler


Bill of Rights




Church's Fathers & Doctors

Church's Teaching on Divorce, Contraception and Human Sexuality

Compatible sites


David Attenborough

Defamation of Catholicism

Discipline & the Child

Dismissal of the Whitlam Government

Economic Problems

Evangelium Vitae 73



Freemasonry & the Church

God is not Material

Harry Potter



Letter of St Paul to the Hebrews

Mary MacKillop

Miscellaneous Papers



Moral Issues

Non-directional Counselling

Papers written by others


Politicians & the Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Leo XIII

Pope Pius XII

Popes on St Thomas



Religious Freedom

Questions for Catholic Parents in Parramatta

Research Involving Embryos Bill - Letter to the Prime Minister

Sts John Fisher & Thomas More

Science and Philosophy


Subversion of Catholic Education


Thomas Merton

Vatican II

For young readers:

Myall Lakes Adventure

© 2006 Website by Netvantage



There have, arguably, been two events in the last ten years that have stopped the world; one of them with horror, the other with wonder, and bemusement.  The first was the murderous attack by Muslim fanatics on the World Trade Centre in New York on 11th September 2001: the other was the funeral Mass for the late Pope John Paul II in Rome on 8th April 2005.  Enough has been written of the first event, little of the second which is, arguably, the more significant of the two.  The funeral of the late Pope was perhaps the most watched event in the history of television.

It brought together the single largest gathering of heads of state in history, says the commentary on the Wikipedia website, surpassing in this respect the funeral of Winston Churchill.  Their attendance was a tribute to the man whose charism and personality had, more than any other single influence, brought about the collapse of Soviet Communism, signified dramatically in the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989.  But that was not the reason for the world’s wonder.

The long lead-up to the funeral Mass on that Rome spring morning featured views of the late Pope’s coffin lying on a catafalque in front of the steps leading to the altar of St Peter’s.  The book of the sacred scriptures lay open on top of the coffin, the pages turning back and forth slowly in the light air.  In due course the Cardinals of the Church emerged.  Then, with masterly restraint, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Joseph Ratzinger, began the funeral Mass in Latin.  The world, more than half of it non-Catholic, watched and wondered.

How is it that this thing, this Church, with its crimson robed clergy, has endured?  Why is it that this institution, founded so long ago, has not fallen like all the kings and queens, all the powers and principalities, all the governments and administrations, petty and great, all the empires, all the tyrannies, upon which it has looked throughout the 2,000 years since its founder, Jesus Christ, walked the earth?  How can its people continue to believe in miracles? in saints? in God?  How can the thing continue when modern science has shown its claims to be discredited? when so many of its own members pour scorn on it, a thing so foreign to the rest of the world?  How is it that the thing endures?

These two events, September 11, 2001, and April 8, 2005, serve to mark the poles of our existence for we live our lives between heaven and hell.  So, while the Muslims continue their daily regime of slaughter and mayhem against the innocent, the Catholic Church, the one institution on this earth founded by Almighty God, abides.  There it is in the midst of mankind offering God’s salvation to all—if only they will embrace it.  Within this household the human spirit has roof and hearth: outside it is the Night.


Michael Baker
11th July 2007—St Benedict