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Monday, February 28, 2005

Piskie self-parody

Via A Saintly Salmagundi, behold Taking the Episcopalian - nice to see Scottish Episcopalians (or one at least) being amusing, though if I were a Piskie I'm not sure how funny I'd find, e.g., this...

Laugh or you'd cry. The crying is also needed, though, I suppose. Just as for the Kirk, lots of prayer needed for the Anglican Communion's Scottish branch.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Islam-*compatible* banking

A BBC story.

Now, we agreed, somewhere, that it may not be permissible to bank with an Islamic bank. But how about having a no-interest etc. bank account with a "normal" bank?

Gabriel Biel

I love the Catholic Encyclopaedia. Here it is on Gabriel Biel, the "last of the scholastics", and his political work. What, though, does "advanced" mean in this quote? My friends, the rot had gone deep even in 1918.

The subject on which Biel held the most progressive views is political economy. Roscher, who with Schmoller introduced him to modern students of economics, declares that Biel's grasp of economics enabled him not only to understand the work of his predecessors, but to advance beyond them. (Cf. Geschicte der Nationalokonomik in Deutschland, 21 sqq.) According to Biel, the just price of a commodity is determined chiefly by human needs, by its scarcity, and by the difficulty of producing it. His enumeration includes all the factors that govern market price, and is more complete and reasonable than any made by his predecessors. (Cf. Garnier, L'idée du just prix, 77.) The same author maintains that concerning the occupation of the merchant or trader, Biel is more advanced than St. Thomas, since he attaches no stigma to it, but holds it to be good in itself, and the merchant entitled to remuneration because of his labour, risks, and expense. Biel's discussion of these subjects is contained in book IV of his commentary on the "Sentences". He wrote a special work on currency, ein wahrhaft goldenes Buch, in which he stigmatizes the debasing of coinage by princes as dishonest exploitation of the people. In the same work he severely condemns those rulers who curtailed the popular rights of forest, meadow, and water, and who imposed arbitrary burdens of taxation, as well as the rich sportsmen who encroached upon the lands of the peasantry.

His works are: "Sacri canonis Missae expositio resolutissima literalis et mystica" (Brixen, 1576); an abridgment of this work, entitled "Epitome expositionis canonis Missae" (Antwerp, 1565); "Sermones" (Brixen, 1585), on the Sundays and festivals of the Christian year, with a disquisition on the plague and a defence of the authority of the pope; "Collectorium sive epitome in magistri sententiarum libros IV" (Brixen, 1574); "Tractatus de potestate et utilitate monetarum".

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Oh no

I wouldn't have put that if I'd known that the Holy Father is in hospital, and apparently being operated on.

oremus pro papa nostro.

Arinze for Pope!

The Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze has said during an interview that
pro-abortion politicians should not receive Holy Communion. Cardinal Arinze
stated: "The answer is clear. If a person says I am in favour of killing
unborn babies whether they be four thousand or five thousand, I have been in
favour of killing them. I will be in favour of killing them tomorrow and
next week and next year. So, unborn babies, too bad for you. I am in favour
that you should be killed, than the person turn around and say I want to
receive Holy Communion. Do you need any Cardinal from the Vatican to answer

[LifeSiteNews.com, 16 February] via SPUC

oooh, here's more.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Elitism defended, injustice bashed

In precisely the way it should be. Why do good universities get blamed for the social inequities which the school system does so little to counter? Amazingly, Lucy Mangan in the Grauniad makes the case.


need not concern themselves with this simple observation, since they will no doubt be aware of it. But for any fellow non-aficionados - it gladdens the medievalist's heart to read that Sauron was overthrown on 25th March, and that this (Gandalf declares) will henceforth be New Year in Middle Earth. Not only (as I suspect any laodicea readers will know) is this the Feast of the Annunciation, but also, in much of Christendom for much of the middle ages, it was indeed the first day of the new year. Hurrah.

Oh, the magic of Google - someone has worked all this out and more besides. I had forgotten that 25th March is also traditionally thought to have been the day of the Crucifixion. Er, and someone else says that the end of the world is also expected for that day. Oh.

This year the Annunciation and Good Friday fall on the same day. John Donne wrote about this most beautifully in 1608.

... Sad and rejoiced she's seen at once, and seen
At almost fifty, and at scarce fifteen ;
At once a son is promised her, and gone ;
Gabriell gives Christ to her, He her to John ...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A classic

Courtesy of the Curt Jester. Here it is.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Not as good as Poland

I thought for a moment that the North East had become the conscience of Scotland...

From Catholic Ragemonkey.

old news

but still good news. Polish parliament drops abortion bill.

Tragic death

A sad loss to blogging. I am distraught.

Negatively medieval

Although the misuse of the word 'medieval' as an insult is a matter of ongoing concern, it must be admitted that bad things were thought and done in the Middle Ages. We were still very much fallen, after all. One of those bad things is rearing its ugly head again - the deeply nasty business of accusing Jews of ritual murder and Satanism. This is becoming ever more popular in Russia, it seems. There was something about this on the Today programme this morning, but I can't find any reports more recent than this (which is quite recent enough). This is a terrible, foolish evil - not a particularly constructive comment, but a true one. There's not much one can do about it from here, I suppose; but oremus.

Ss Cyril and Methodius, pray for the children of your evangelism!

Incidentally, if anyone still feels the need to construct a history where the Middle Ages are a big black hole, might I suggest plumbing as a topic? I feel that there would be no harm at all in leaping from Antiquity to Modernity in the field of bathroom design. (But don't mention this option in Brussels. Asserting that the EU's true basis is upon the principles of effective plumbing would be taking this too far... The BBC meanwhile offers a relatively balanced view of the current Kulturkampf [by which no very specific analogy is meant, so please don't point out how unlike Wilhelmine Germany the current climate is!])

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Tolkien against euthanasia

'He will not wake again,' said Denethor. 'Battle is vain. Why should we wish to live longer? Why should we not go to death side by side?'

'Authority is not given to you, Steward of Gondor, to order the hour of your death,' answered Gandalf. 'And only the heathen kings, under the domination of the Dark Power, did thus, slaying themselves in pride and despair, murdering their kin to ease their own deaths.'

- The Return of the King

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Odi et amor Radio 4

The Moral Maze yesterday was hilarious in a profoundly depressing sort of a way.Listen to it with a soothing hot drink. It was about cloning: a panel vaguely against cloning fails miserably either to appreciate or to defend its remarkable inconsistency in accepting contraception and abortion while being worried about cloning. Their attempts to show up John Harris as a heartless beast while he pointed out the manifest holes in their views were - interesting... (Bruce Anderson was somewhat less ludicrous than the others, though.)

This was, however, followed by an excellent fifteen-minute devastation by Simon Heffer of the notion that 'progress' is per se a Good Thing. (Unfortunately, it can't be heard again on the Beeb website.) Most timeous, given Labour's magnificently meaningless new slogan: Britain, forward not back! How many hours of focus-grouping did it take to come up with something so completely devoid of signification (or indeed significance)? They might as well have run with "We'll do Good Things, and we're really modern - you like modern things, don't you?" That seems to be the general notion intended, even if it's just a trifle less catchy.

Witch burnings, by, A Witch

Here is an article someone sent me a while ago, published in some pagany-type magazine. Useful summary, methinks, and marvellous for pub arguments in that it is by a witch.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Eudaimonism in the Guardian?

From Natasha Walters. Interessant... It shows up the problem of 'happiness' as an English word, though, which has become almost as insubstantial as 'nice'... At any rate, it doesn't imply the objective good of the human creature, the absence of which concept is, I suspect, what makes Walters's piece a tad out of kilter.

(Not sure if that latter link will work outwith this University network; conditional apologies.)

Monday, February 07, 2005

Another St Andrews and Edinburgh indult update

Further to previous reporting, indult Mass in St Andrew's, Ravelston, Edinburgh, will now be at 11.30am on Sundays, not 11.15am.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Holiness or eloquence?

The teachings of the Father de Conden were so beautiful that the Cardinal de
Berulle wrote on his knees what he heard him say, and that St Vincent de Paul,
when leaving him, would exclaim: "No man has ever spoken like him!" After an hour's interview with him, St Jane Francis de Chantal cried "If our Blessed
Father, Francis de Sales, can teach men, Father de Conden can teach angels!"

(Abbe Bougard)

Now, of whom of the above have you heard? (The placing of conjunctions at the end of sentences is an abomination up with which we shall not put.)

For Ervin Alacsi

"[W]hen one looks into the forty-odd volumes of Dennis the Carthusian, one gets the impression that with him writing was something like the basket-weaving of the early solitaries - a mechanical action that kept him busy and that had no particular reference to an admiring public. Dennis could write a book on any subject, much as a pious housewife might knit a sweater or a pair of socks."
(in a photocopy lent to me last autumn of part of some unidentified book)(I know it's usual to call him Denis, but I much prefer Dennis.)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

In case anyone doesn't know.

(I was behind with Holyrood news as usual. I'm afraid it seems to me that following Holyrood politics - and I say this in a spirit of res-publican patriotism - is so dull as to be impossible - like that priest in the Father Ted Christmas special - "I'm sorry Father, I didn't follow you there; your voice was just too boring...")

A Lib Dem MSP is proposing a bill to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland. It is in the consultation process (pdf file there), and submissions are invited before 15th April this year. Masters of rhetoric, write your letters now - or, indeed, more pertinently, those possessed of the facts and a sensible manner of arranging them. (So simple yet so difficult...)

(While pootling around the Holyrood website, I also find a proposed bill to prohibit big shops opening on Christmas and New Year's Day. Opinions requested by Monday 7th, should you have any.)

The progress of evidence submitted concerning Lord Joffe's proposed bill can be followed here.

A regular plan for the destruction of the Christian religion

Here is some wisdom from Mr Edmund Burke. It is by far the best summary of the 'Enlightenment' I've ever read. What is more, the tactics he describes are exactly those followed to this day by M. de Voltaire's revolting but depressingly numerous tribe of spiritual descendents. (http://www.bartleby.com/24/3/8.html)

"Along with the monied interest, a new description of men had grown up, with whom that interest soon formed a close and marked union; I mean the political men of letters. Men of letters, fond of distinguishing themselves, are rarely averse to innovation. Since the decline of the life and greatness of Louis the Fourteenth, they were not so much cultivated either by him, or by the regent, or the successors to the crown; nor were they engaged to the court by favours and emoluments so systematically as during the splendid period of that ostentatious and not impolitic reign. What they lost in the old court protection, they endeavoured to make up by joining in a sort of incorporation of their own; to which the two academies of France, and afterwards, the vast undertaking of the Encyclopædia, carried on by a society of these gentlemen, did not a little contribute.
"The literary cabal had some years ago formed something like a regular plan for the destruction of the Christian religion. This object they pursued with a degree of zeal which hitherto had been discovered only in the propagators of some system of piety. They were possessed with a spirit of proselytism in the most fanatical degree; and from thence, by an easy progress, with the spirit of persecution according to their means. 1 What was not to be done towards their great end by any direct or immediate act, might be wrought by a longer process through the medium of opinion. To command that opinion, the first step is to establish a dominion over those who direct it. They contrived to possess themselves, with great method and perseverance, of all the avenues to literary fame. Many of them indeed stood high in the ranks of literature and science. The world had done them justice; and in favour of general talents forgave the evil tendency of their peculiar principles. This was true liberality; which they returned by endeavouring to confine the reputation of sense, learning, and taste to themselves or their followers. I will venture to say that this narrow, exclusive spirit has not been less prejudicial to literature and to taste, than to morals and true philosophy. These atheistical fathers have a bigotry of their own; and they have learnt to talk against monks with the spirit of a monk. But in some things they are men of the world. The resources of intrigue are called in to supply the defects of argument and wit. To this system of literary monopoly was joined an unremitting industry to blacken and discredit in every way, and by every means, all those who did not hold to their faction. To those who have observed the spirit of their conduct, it has long been clear that nothing was wanted but the power of carrying the intolerance of the tongue and of the pen into a persecution which would strike at property, liberty, and life."

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Legalisation of prostitution

As found on Res Publica et cetera. You refuse to work as a prostitute and they cut your unemployment benefit. Nope, not the Netherlands, but close: Teutschland.

Oh, oh, another one!

Look, look, does this (scroll down to Jan 29th: how the hell do I link to individual posts?) not remind you of the comments of some of the anti-Buttiglioneeites. (trying to make that spelling phonetic).

I was going to quote but you can all go and read it all over again.