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Thursday, March 31, 2005

News stories on Terri Schiavo's death

Qui Lazarum resuscitasti a monumento fetidum: tu ei, Domine, dona requiem et locum indulgencie.

Requiem eternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei: tu ei, Domine, dona requiem et locum indulgencie.

Inclina, Domine, aurem tuam ad preces nostras quibus misericordiam tuam supplices deprecamur, ut animam famule tue quam de hoc seculo migrare iussisti in pacis ac lucis regione constituas et sanctorum tuorum iubeas esse consortem. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Quesumus, Domine, pro tua pietate miserere anime famule tue Terese et a contagiis mortalitatis exutam in eterne saluationis partem restitue. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

(Officii Defunctorum.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Cardinal Ratzinger's Way of the Cross

"Your face, Lord, do I seek. Hide not your face from me" (Psalm 27:8-9). Veronica -- Bernice, in the Greek tradition -- embodies the universal yearning of the devout men and women of the Old Testament, the yearning of all believers to see the face of God. On Jesus' Way of the Cross, though, she at first did nothing more than perform an act of womanly kindness: she held out a facecloth to Jesus. She did not let herself be deterred by the brutality of the soldiers or the fear which gripped the disciples. She is the image of that good woman, who, amid turmoil and dismay, shows the courage born of goodness and does not allow her heart to be bewildered. "Blessed are the pure in heart," the Lord had said in his Sermon on the Mount, "for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8). At first, Veronica saw only a buffeted and pain-filled face. Yet her act of love impressed the true image of Jesus on her heart: on his human face, bloodied and bruised, she saw the face of God and his goodness, which accompanies us even in our deepest sorrows. Only with the heart can we see Jesus. Only love purifies us and gives us the ability to see. Only love enables us to recognize the God who is love itself.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Dear fellow bloggers now you also have all power, we are equipotent. But gonnae no, per esempio, mess about changing the template without saving a copy of the html in a text document so that when all the links disappear you can replace them. Ta very much. (I mean, edit the html, if you like, but when you change for another blogger template outfit all the "customised" bits disappear.)

New papist Britblogs added bottom left: one taken from a comment, one from lots of places. The former appears to be also of God's own university.


It's worth the hassle of registering to read this article in the Spectator on "Christianophobia" for two reasons. One, some useful facts and whatnot in a secular publication. Two, it's reassuring to see that Cardinal Hume, may he rest in peace, did not make Christianity all that acceptable to all establishments.
Some extracts.

  • I have spoken to dozens of former Muslims who have converted to Christianity in Britain, and who are shunned by their community, subjected to mob violence, forced out of town, threatened with death and even kidnapped. The Barnabas Trust knows of 3,000 such Christians facing persecution in this country, but the police and government do nothing.

  • If all this were happening to the world’s Sikhs or Muslims simply because of their faith, you can be sure it would lead the 10 O’Clock News and the front page of the Guardian on a regular basis. But the BBC, despite being mainly funded by Christians, is an organisation that promotes ridicule of the Bible, while banning criticism of the Koran.

the Holy Father

Catholic Scotland - notes from

We like: Edinburgh University Catholic Chaplaincy/ non-territorial parish of St Albert the Great, Tenebrae at St Catherine's Convent. No big deal, no uber-ceremony or trying to be creative, just Englished in parts and done nicely. Many people agree, judging by the very healthy turnout on Thursday and Friday (wasn't there on Wed). People sang and everything. Oh yes, we like it very much. Good, as my flatmate said this morning, to have something to remind one in the morning as well as the evening that, despite baking being one's principal activity during the day, Easter is not first and foremost a cakefest.

We also like: new icon of St Andrew in the cathedral. (what happened to the statue?) See post lower down. Though not sure how anyone can say Mass on that altar now.

We dinnae like: Jesuits advertising Stations of the Cross and then having "The New Scripture Stations of the Cross". The significance of the definite article remins to be explained/explored. Of course it is not necessary to meditate on the traditional fourteen stations for the indulgence. Here are some "biblical stations" from Sancti Angeli.But it is required that at least the person leading the stations move from one to the other, so we were quite unecessarily denied the indulgence since this condition was not fulfilled. It is rather cheeky to put "Stations of the Cross" in your parish bulletin, knowing quite well what people will assume that means, and then to do something else. A case for the ASA. And if you are going to do something or your own, at least do it with some style and thought. Folk come to meditate on the Passion, not to have a Bible study on the gospel accounts of it. Didactic comments on which gospel we are about to hear from are not too conducive to meditation. So why put them in? A simple "a reading from the Gospel of St X" would give the same facts and cause less damage. An a' this, in a church that has just spent a good few pennies on restoring their outsize stations paintings.

Христос Воскресе!

Done is a battell on the dragon blak;
Our campioun Chryst coufoundit hes his force:
The yettis of hell ar brokin with a crak,
The signe triumphall rasit is of the croce,
The divillis trymmillis with hiddous voce,
The saulis ar borrowit and to the bliss can go,
Chryst with his blud our ransonis dois indoce:

Dungin is the deidly dragon Lucifer,
The crewall serpent with the mortall stang,
The auld keen tegir with his teith on char
Quhilk in a wait hes lyne for us so lang
Thinking to grip us in his clowis strang:
The merciful lord wald nocht that it wer so;
He maid him for to felye of that fang:

He for our saik that sufferit to be slane
And lyk a lamb in sacrifice wes dicht
Is like a lyone rissin up agane
And as a gyane raxit him on hicht;
Sprungin is Aurora radius and bricht,
On loft is gone the glorious Appollo,
The blissful day depairtit fro the nycht:

The grit victour agane is rissin on hicht
That for our querrell to the deth was woundit;
The sone that wox all paill now schynis bricht,
And dirknes clerit, our fayth is now refoundit;
The knell of mercy fra the hevin is soundit,
The Cristin ar deliverit of their wo,
The Jowis and thair errour ar confoundit:

The fo is chasit, the battell is done ceis,
The presone brokin, the jevellouris fleit and flemit;
The weir is gon, confermit is the peis,
The fetteris lowsit and the dungeoun temit,
The ransoun maid, the presoneris redemit;
The feild is win, ourcumin is the fo,
Dispulit of the tresur that he yemit:

St Andrew

A small prize is on offer to any budding composer who can devise a suitable and rousing tune for the following words that might function as a Scottish national anthem...

O BONA CRUX, quae decorem ex membris Domini suscepisti, diu desiderata, sollicite amata, sine intermissione quaesita, et aliquando cupienti animo praeparata: accipe me ab hominibus, et redde me magistro meo: ut per te me recipiat, qui per te me redemit. Amen.

[O GOOD CROSS, made beautiful by the body of the Lord, long have I desired thee, ardently have I loved thee, unceasingly have I sought thee, and now thou art ready for my eager soul. Receive me from among men and restore me to my Master, so that He, who redeemed me through thee, shalt receive me through thee. Amen. ]

Monday, March 28, 2005

oh yes

Not that important in the 'real world', I suppose, but huzzah!


The Sunday Herald's Easter reflection.

An odd comment on Richard Holloway's opinion on the Resurrection:
Another, more radical, way of looking at the resurrection, he says, is to see it not as “a physical event in the body of Jesus but as a psychic event in the minds of the apostles”
So the 'they decided it was a necessary story to prop up their ideology' line is more radical than the 'power of God which raised Christ Jesus from the dead, in the flesh' line? That's more exciting than than the triumphant return of the new Adam?

But it's hardly worth ranting about the predictable horrors. The last paragraph, however, is curious:
What does become apparent, however, is that the deeper one probes, the more elusive and tantalising Jesus becomes. The more we try to make sense of him and his teachings, to cut him down to size, to make him more human, the less distinct he appears. Layer upon layer of history and exegesis and sleuthing, of worship and denial and pseudo- science, have not made us any wiser than our forebears were two millennia ago. We know as much – or as little – as they did then.

As Chesterton eloquently observed, trying to fit Our Lord into our own form is a fruitless process, and the author here (Alan Taylor) has picked up on that. And yes, we know as much as they did then - Deus vero suscitavit eum a mortuis tertia die. And if we do not know that, we know nothing. But that first sentence of the paragraph is only true if one has already de facto dismissed the possibility of the true Resurrection. What is rather sad is that this article is really asking what self-described Christians believe about the Resurrection - it is surely not possible, and I pray that this is not uncharitable, to disbelieve that Christ truly and humanly rose from the dead while actually being a Christian? Yet the apparent rents in Christ's Body make this a more obvious subject for investigation than the question of whether He did rise from the dead, which the article seems to assume cannot be known.

Lumen Christi illuminet Scotiam.

Vere resurrexit.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

O filii et filiae,
Rex coelestis, Rex gloriae,
Morte surrexit hodie,

Et Maria Magdalene,
Et Jacobi, et Salome,
Venerunt corpus ungere,

In albis sedens Angelus
Praedixit mulieribus,
In Galilea est Dominus.

A Magdalena moniti,
Ad ostium monumenti
Duo current discipuli.

Sed Johannes Apostolus
Cucurrit Petro citius,
Monumento venit prius.

Discipulis adstantibus,
In medio stetit Christus,
Dicens: Pax vobis omnibus.

Postquam audivit Didymus
Quia surrexerat Jesus,
Remansit fide dubius.

Vide Thoma, vide latus,
vide pedes, vide manus,
Noli esse incredulus.

Quando Thomas vidit Christum,
Pedes, manus, latus suum,
Dixit, Tu es Deus meus.

Beati qui non viderunt,
Et firmiter credidefunt,
Vitam aeternam habebunt.

In hoc festo sanctissimo
Sit laus et jubilatio!
Benedicamus Domino.

De quibus nos humillimas
Devotas aeque debitas
Deo dicamus gratias.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


“For lack of an Imperial power genuinely Christian and Catholic, the Church has not succeeded in establishing social and political justice in Europe. The nations and states of modern times, freed since the Reformation from ecclesiastical surveillance, have attempted to improve upon the work of the Church. The results of the experiment are plain to see. The idea of Christendom as a real though admittedly inadequate unity embracing all the nations of Europe has vanished; the philosophy of the revolutionaries has made praiseworthy attempts to substitute for this unity the unity of the human race --- with what success is well known. A universal militarism transforming whole nations into hostile armies and itself inspired by a national hatred such as the Middle Ages never knew; a deep and irreconcilable social conflict; a class struggle which threatens to whelm everything in fire and blood; and a continuous lessening of moral power in individuals, witnessed to by the constant increase in mental collapse, suicide, and crime---such is the sum total of the progress which secularised Europe has made in the last three or four centuries.”

- Vladimir Soloviev Russia and the Universal Church (1887)

Boswell & Athelas

"Young Johnson had the misfortune to be much afflicted with the scrophula, or king's-evil, which disfigured a countenance naturally well formed, and hurt his visual nerves so much, that he did not see at all with one of his eyes, though its appearance was little different from that of the other.... His mother, yielding to the superstitious notion, which, it is wonderful to think, prevailed so long in this country, as to the virtue of the regal touch; a notion, which our kings encouraged, and to which a man of such enquiry and such judgement as Carte could give credit; carried him to London, where he was actually touched by Queen Anne. Mrs. Johnson indeed, as Mr. Hector informed me, acted by the advice of the celebrated Sir John Floyer, then a physician in Lichfield. Johnson used to talk of this very frankly; and Mrs. Piozzi has preserved his very picturesque description of the scene, as it remained upon his fancy. Being asked if he could remember Queen Anne, -- 'He had (he said) a confused, but somehow a sort of solemn recollection of a lady in diamonds, and a long black hood.' This touch, however, was without any effect. I ventured to say to him, in allusion to the political principles in which he was educated, and of which he ever retained some odour, that 'his mother had not carried him far enough; she should have taken him to ROME.'"

- James Boswell The Life of Samuel Johnson

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


I loathe teaching disaffected teenagers. Let them be disaffected. Just not in my classroom. Or at least, in a classroom closer to me, or in one in which I am better paid.

A non-teenage pupil described to me yesterday the plot of a book by Dan Brown, in which a priest kills the Pope because he discovers that the Pope, who has been like a father to him and a role model blah blah, has in fact got a son. After killing the pope, someone else explains to the priest that yes, the pope had fathered a son, and that as a young priest, but that he had done so without breaking his vow of chastity. He and a young nun had fallen in love, and though they knew their love could not be consummated they knew that such a beautiful thing should not be without fruit. So they conceived a child through in-vitro fertilisation.

I had been laughing for some fifteen minutes by the time we got to this point, and I would have fallen off my chair backwards if I hadn't managed to catch hold of the kitchen sink. I think I will start reading Dan Brown.

Oh yes. The test-tube baby is, of course, the priest, who burns himself alive on the steps of St Peter’s in remorse for his patricide. After almost being elected pope, and having saved the Vatican from an anti-matter explosion.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Lament for Women's Hour

The BBC gives full hearing to all sides of the debate... Everyone thinks the Beeb is institutionally biased against them, so this shouldn't be claimed in this case; but didn't anyone at Women's Hour think it a trifle unconstructive to avoid all discussion of the actual issue?

light relief

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Terri Schiavo

Terri Schiavo will be, or has already been, blessed with the L.A. Newman club's relic of Cardinal Newman today. Please join in saying this prayer for her cure through his intercession:

"Eternal Father, you led John Henry Newman to follow the kindly light of Truth, and he obediently responded to your heavenly calls at any cost. As writer, preacher, counsellor and educator, as aspotr, Oratorian, and servant of the poor he labored to build up your kingdom. Grant that through your Vicar on earth we may hear the words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the company of the canonized saints." May you manifest your Servants power of intercession by even extraordinary answers to the prayers of the faithful throughout the world. We pray particularly for the preservation and return to health of Terri Schiavo in his name and in the name of Jesus Christ your Son."

Not disheartening...

A leader in the Guardian today actually commends Tony Blair for equivocating and trying desperately not to offend? And indeed describes this as 'standing firm'? Must be about abortion, then.

But having said that: testing the waters of student politics in my University reveals that the opinion of student representatives is... not decidedly pro-abortion. The Guardian has so lowered my expectations that I find this ridiculously surprising and pleasing...
Deo gratias. Onwards and upwards!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Zoe Williams

in the Guardian is, despite coming from the wrong angle, actually right on
this one, I think:

Nobody wants to have the conversation that goes "Is abortion right or wrong?", since there would be no way of pacifying whichever branch you alienated with your answer.

... Michael Howard, what's your alternative to abortion "on demand"? Abortion at random? Tony Blair, if you "personally dislike the idea", what does that mean? That you think it's morally wrong? Charles Kennedy, "I don't know" is not an answer, and it's certainly not one you would dare to give to any other question.

We have to have the argument that nobody wants to have, before we forget how it's done.

There are occasional problems with being A Polite and Commercial People, including the incredible discomfort brought on by anything approaching a public debate about morality.

Recent picture of ickle sister's hand. Caused great stir in proud ancestral chests.

Henry VIII - 80,000 Dead

According to BBC Radio 4's 'Start The Week' Henry VIII presided over 80,000 public executions in the course of his reign. Do any admiring Tudor historians who read this blog know the chronological breakdown of this figure?

Monday, March 14, 2005


If I tell you that the following is a quote from the American Jesuits' website, does the end make you laugh?

An article on the Life of Ignatius Loyola from the Catholic Encyclopedia. This is the 1914 edition. It is a lengthy entry with many links though the language is somewhat archaic and requires updating.

Euthanasia, Terri Schiavo, etc

Lots of food for thought, useful links to names and dates, all that kind of thing, in this post.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Some beauties from the NUS Women's Campaign Conference

as linked to in the previous post.

"Look!" I thought to myself in surprise, and about to chide myself for unthinking assumptions about what the Conference would be saying, as I read the following:
Conference believes:
Parents have the right to opt their children out of sex education in the UK

But reading on I realised that this was merely an outline of a situation to which the honourable assembly was responding.
Conference resolves:
Lobby the government to ensure that abstinence-only education does not make its way onto the curriculum, and for compulsory sexual health and relationships education in all schools.

And oh joy, more statistics. I wonder if these are more solidly based than the famous ones in which more women died from unsafe abortion in Portugal than there were women of child-bearing age. (Can't find a link to this sadly, and all my books are unavailable: for Nathanson's admission about fabricated numbers see here and scroll to "back-alley abortions")

Conference further believes:
That worldwide more that 75,000 women a year- 200 a day – die due to an unsafe abortion.

And some incisive crtiticism:
Press speculation about further restricting the upper time limit for abortion in Britain has not abated since the summer when emotive, but scientifically insignificant, images of foetuses were published in the Evening Standard.

Goodness me, and some thought that it was interesting to see such clear images of the unborn. No, it was a pathetic use of scientifically-insignificant material by dastardly pro-lifers who believe that woman are dangerous and must be controlled through serial childbearing.

Apart from the seriousness of some of the things they are discussing, the style and phrasing of the motions make for amusing reading. Briefly.

Belated red alert

For any students of institutions affiliated to the N.U.S. who happen to be reading this: kick up a fuss about this and this (p.12 onwards) in your relevant representative circles.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Kessog mk II

The current (C19) parish church at Luss; Kessog was buried in its forerunner:

From lochlomond.net

Belatedly, St Kessog

For yesterday -

St Kessog was a scion of an Irish royal family of Munster in the early middle ages, who went to Scotland and was active as some variety of bishop around Loch Lomond.

The Aberdeen Breviary (1510), in the lessons for Matins of his feast, concentrates on one rather lovely miracle. When out walking with two other kings' sons, Kessog passed a lake; his companions, alas, fell in and drowned. Upon hearing this, the kings were understandably miffed, but they unfortunately chose to express this by planning to attack Kessog's daddy's kingdom. Kessog, to avert this, spent the night prostrate in prayer, until cock-crow, when a heavenly messenger came to him and said: 'Kessog, arise quickly from your prayer, for the Lord has heard your supplications. For the kings' sons for whom you were praying have come back to life and are unharmed.' Kessog passed on this tiding to the kings, who received it with no little rejoicing.

Deus qui beatum Kessogum confessorem tuum atque pontificem ad plenitudinem gracie tue pervenire fecisti: da nobis quesumus nostrorum veniam peccatorum et eo interveniente ab omni huius seculi perturbacione et angustiis liberari. Per dominum...

O God, Who hast caused blessed Kessog Thy confessor and priest to come to the fullness of Thy grace, grant unto us, we beseech Thee, forgiveness of our sins, and that, with Kessog interceding, we may be freed from all disquiet and straits of this world. Through Christ Our Lord...

(Clunky literal translation, sorry.)

Thursday, March 10, 2005

A lovely wee article on Anscombe

It is here.

From the Conservative Philosopher, a blog of which apparently Roger Scruton is a member.

Happy Feast Day!

Today is the feast of St John Ogilvie (martyred 1615) and was/is the feast of St Kessog (martyred in the middle of the sixth century). Would anyone care to supply any breviary texts for the latter?

St John Ogilvie

(This picture comes from here , but it's a picture I've seen on holy cards, so wherein the copyright resides I don't know. Acknowledgements to whomever they are due.)

Happy natalis in caelum of St John Ogilvie SJ, our only Reformation martyr, who was hanged in Glasgow on grounds of treason, 10th March 1615. Full details in English and more academically auf Deutsch. A most beautiful part of the history is how, when being moved from a prison in Glasgow, a woman (who thought Ogilvie had betrayed her son) invoked curses upon Ogilvie's 'ugly face'; in response to which Ogilvie said, 'The blessing of Christ on your bonnie countenance.'

Here can be found details of the remarkable miracle effected by his intercession, which led to his canonisation in 1976.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

why has this

disappeared from google? Will this link put it back on?

Edited: Ervin Alacsi, the above is your link! Should you follow my instructions as emailed, that is.

Divided attention, according to the Author

But I would have you to be without solicitude. He that is without a wife is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord: how he may please God. But he that is with a wife is solicitous for the things of the world: how he may please his wife. And he is divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of the Lord: that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she that is married thinketh on the things of the world: how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your profit, not to cast a snare upon you, but for that which is decent and which may give you power to attend upon the Lord, without impediment.

co-authored by St Paul

Domini canes

It seems that the Order of Preachers have a strong precedent (besides St Dominic's mama's vision) for calling themselves the Dogs of the Lord. From Bede's commentary on Tobit - to appreciate which you need to note that Bede takes Tobias and Raphael as a composite figure of Christ in His human and divine natures respectively:

6:1 Tobias then set off and his dog followed him. When the Lord came to save the Gentiles, holy preachers followed in his footsteps because they carried out what he had commanded: Go and teach all the nations. Finally the Lord himself filled the home of Cornelius with the Holy Spirit and so Peter baptized them with water. On the other hand, the teachers are called dogs because they defend their founder's spiritual home, property and sheep from thieves and beasts, i.e. from unclean spirits and heretical men.

tr. by S. Connolly (Dublin, 1997)

Happy St Duthac's Day!

A bishop of uncertain date, Duthac was buried at Tain in Ross, did various miracles, and was very popular in late medieval Scotland. James IV was always going on pilgrimages up north to see him.

Here is a nice picture of his church, and here is the parish - St John Ogilvie's, whose feast is just round the corner - which now includes it.

And someone has apparently featured his church in a dubious-sounding novel. Well well.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Not an over-firm grasp of the subject

. . . but saying things I like to hear about who would be likely to lose and end up with a lot of white clothes.

Piers Paul Read in the Spectator. Incredibly irritating log-in requirement nonsense. Some quotes funny for British Tims:

The preoccupations of liberal Catholics in Britain are essentially
provincial; they may be vocal among Catholic activists and have the sympathy of
some bishops but, since there are only about a million church-going Catholics in
Britain out of a worldwide Catholic community of around a billion, they are
unlikely to carry much weight in Rome.

To choose a new pope from among the European cardinals would be like
promoting the regional manager of an unsuccessful branch of a global
conglomerate to be its CEO.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The difficulties of marriage

Heloise refuses to marry Abelard:

Consider, she said, the true conditions for a dignified way of life. What harmony can there be between pupils and nursemaids, desks and cradles, books or tablets and distaffs, pen or stylus and spindles? Who can concentrate on thoughts of Scripture or philosophy and be able to endure babies crying, nurses soothing them with lullabies, and all the noisy coming and going of men and women about the house? Will he put up with the constant muddle and squalor which small children bring into the home? The wealthy can do so, you will say, for their mansions and large houses can provide privacy and, being rich, they do not have to count the cost nor be tormented by daily cares. But philosophers lead a very different life from rich men, and those who concerned with wealth or are involved in mundane matters will not have time for the claims of Scripture or philosophy.
Abelard, Historia calamitatum

Friday, March 04, 2005


'A 35mm film tube (Letters, March 3) makes a very handy pyx, which somehow seems an appropriate - if slightly chavish - development,' says this letter in the Guardian today - part of one of those random ongoing letters-pages discussions, in this case about the many uses of the little thingumies. Am entirely bewildered by this contribution. Although I am intrigued that the Guardian does at least assume its readers know what a pyx is.

Actually, are there rules about containers in which to reserve the Blessed Sacrament? Will anything, used with suitable reverence, do?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Ontological change for women

I'mmmmmmm off to see the Wizard, . . ,. in fact nothing to do with that song at all. I am going to the dreaming spires for what, due to the incompetence of ancestors, will be the grand total of 18 hours, rather than 36, at considerable expense, but still. Ha ha! Beer, Bod, and MA!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Oh man what is going on?

Here another British papist blogger hs been subjected to horrific liturgical abuse.

You have to laugh or you'd cry. But, much though it goes against the grain, I think perhaps crying is the more appropriate response.

Has anyone else ever thought about (today's? yesterday's? gospel) where Our Lord talks about neither an iota nor a tittle being taken from the law, and that anyone who teaches another to break the tiniest part of the law is in Big Trouble, in relation to rubrics?

Oh dearie me

Apparently folk in Carlisle are worried by a sculpture which 'is inscribed with a curse first invoked by the Archbishop of Glasgow in 1525 against cross border families, known as the "reivers", who lived by stealing cattle, rape and pillage.' Now I am speculating here, but this '1069-word medieval invocation' sounds to me very much like a certain proclamation of excommunication in the vernacular which is preserved in the sober pages of a sixteenth-century formulary (published by the even soberer Stair Society). In which case, while it may not be a very agreeable thing to have on a stone, it can't do much unless the local bishop actually excommunicates someone using it as the script. Not a likely prospect. But is the nature of this 'curse' so much as alluded to in the media? That'd be a 'no', then. It wouldn't hurt if the concept of excommunication were explained to the public at large. It is no bad thing if people have a concept of supernatural harm being possible, but it does no good at all to be fearful of quite the wrong things.

Of course, if upon further examination it turns out that Archbishop Dunbar was into throwing around curses as we understand the word, I will recant upon the above. But Dunbar doesn't have any reputation for dabbling in the occult, as far as I know.

Oh, Google again... Presumably this is it. Not sure if it's the same one I'm thinking of (odd source), but it's clearly an excommunication, anyway. Note especially the last sentence: the curses apply 'quhill [until] thai forbeir thair oppin synnys foirsaidis and ryse frae this terribill cursing, and mak satisfaction and pennance.'

Best thing on the Pope in the papers so far

Fraser Nelson in the Scotsman gets it.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Happy Catholics

Let's all move to Wichita. Here's Kreuz.net enthusing about the diocese, (a dubious but just about decipherable English auto-translation available if you click the button at the bottom) and here's another good story blogged on A Saintly Salmagundi, though Fr. Sibley has arranged matters so that I cannot link straight to the blog entry itself.