Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Digest of Today's Posts (31 October 2007)

  • Definitely NOT in Kansas Anymore

  • Archbishop Chaput Not Satisfied With Proposed New USCCB Document on Voting

  • Poll: Favorite English Monarchs

  • All Hallows' Eve

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (30 October 2007))


    Definitely NOT in Kansas Anymore

    (Reposted after toning it down a bit)

    The City of Norwalk celebrated Halloween one night early. Because the powers that be assumed ... I kid you not ... that the Indians would be playing in the World Series on Halloween night, the children of Norwalk went trick-or-treating last night instead.

    My gracious, but you should've seen some of the inappropriate costumes some kids were wearing. There were quite a few teen-aged girls - who I thought were definitely a little too old for Trick-or-Treating - wearing some mighty ... uhhhh ... revealing ... outfits.

    For example, these Dorothy Gale costumes (I must've missed that version of the Wizard of Oz) are apparently quite popular with the teen set this year. As Dorothy might say, "Oh my!"

    Ummmmm ... Mom and Dad. What are you thinking? No way should you be allowing your 13, 14, and 15-year-old daughters to be going door-to-door for "tricks" and/or "treats" wearing what can - at best - be described as "adult" costumes.

    Labels: , ,

    Archbishop Chaput Not Satisfied With Proposed New USCCB Document on Voting

    (Hat tip: American Papist)

    More on the proposed new USCCB voter guide from the Associated Press (via The Washington Post):
    ... Throughout the 37-page document, opposition to abortion gets special attention.

    "The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life is always wrong and is not just one issue among many," the draft says.

    At the same time, the bishops say Catholics must not dismiss racism, the death penalty, unjust war, torture, hunger, health care problems or unjust immigration policy.

    "A consistent ethic of life," the document says, "neither treats all issues as morally equivalent nor reduces Catholic teaching to one or two issues."

    Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, one of the country's most vocal bishops about Catholics' need to speak in the public square, criticized the previous version of "Faithful Citizenship" for not being strong enough in underlining abortion's pre-eminence.

    Chaput said in an e-mail Tuesday the revised document "is better and clearer than any version in the recent past" but isn't ideal. He said would be offering suggestions, but wouldn't be specific.

    Chaput wrote that "all bricks in a building are important, but the ones in the foundation support everything else. The latter aren't just important; they're indispensable."

    The Rev. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, said the anti-abortion group is "grateful to the bishops for this document, and for pointing out that abortion is not just one issue among many; it attacks the very foundation of all our rights."

    Some independent Catholics groups have taken to distributing their own voter education guides in recent years. Among them are Priests for Life and California-based Catholic Answers, which distributed material on five "nonnegotiable" issues: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and same-sex marriage.

    A group formed in 2006, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, produced an alternative guide that also highlighted church teachings on war, poverty and social justice...

    My Comments:
    In addressing the role of Catholics in public policymaking, the Holy Father has stated unequivocally on a number of occasions (most significantly in his encyclical Sacramentum Caritatis) that there are, indeed, certain issues that are "not negotiable":
    83. Here it is important to consider what the Synod Fathers described as eucharistic consistency, a quality which our lives are objectively called to embody. Worship pleasing to God can never be a purely private matter, without consequences for our relationships with others: it demands a public witness to our faith. Evidently, this is true for all the baptized, yet it is especially incumbent upon those who, by virtue of their social or political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one's children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms (230). These values are not negotiable. Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature (231). There is an objective connection here with the Eucharist (cf. 1 Cor 11:27-29). Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values as part of their responsibility to the flock entrusted to them (232). (emphasis added)
    Now if the Holy Father, in the context of addressing the responsibilities of the Catholic faithful in the public square, has chosen to describe certain public policy issues as being "not negotiable", surely a new USCCB document addressing the responsibilities of the Catholic faithful in the public square should at least make note of the fact, right?

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Catholic Bishops’ Taxing Task: Election-Year Statement

    Bishops' Document to Offer New Guidance on Catholics' Political Role

    Vox Nova on Voter's Guides

    Dueling Catholic Voter Guides

    More on Catholic Voter Guides

    Columnist: "Christian Right Driving Wedge Into US"

    More From Amy Welborn on the "Dueling Catholic Voter Guides"

    "Catholics in the Public Square" by Bishop Olmsted

    Catholics Find Voting Guides a Test of Allegiance

    Toledo Blade: "Catholic Voting Guide Gives Church Perspective"

    Weigel: "An Electoral Battle of the Booklets?"

    What's Missing?

    "Not An Approved Catholic Voter Guide"

    Kentucky Parishes Cautioned on Partisan Political Activity

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    Poll: Favorite English Monarchs

    Go vote for your favorite English monarch at Dyspeptic Mutterings. You can vote for more than one.

    I voted for St. Edmund the Martyr and Alfred the Great. It's too bad the Stuarts were such gawdawful kings because the Jacobite in me would love to have voted for one of them.

    As Victor points out, some wise-ass has voted for Elizabeth I. At least no one (at this point) has voted for Henry VIII.

    Labels: ,

    All Hallows' Eve

    (Originally posted on 31 October 2006)

    "All Hallows' Eve" (Image Source)

    From the Medieval Saints Yahoo Group:

    Vigil of All Hallows Day (Halloween)

    Instituted 1484 (the Vigil is newer than the feast) by Pope Sixtus IV, who established the Feast of All Saints as a holy day of obligation and gave it this vigil (in English-speaking countries called "Hallow Even", or "Hallowe'en"), and an eight-day period or octave to celebrate the feast.

    The liturgical vigil was abolished in the Roman Catholic Church in 1955.

    Vigil Commemorated October 31


    Halloween (Allhallows Even) is the evening of October 31. In its strictly religious aspect this occasion is known as the vigil of Hallowmas or All Saints' Day, November 1, observed by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. In the fourth decade of the 8th century, Pope Gregory III assigned this date for celebrating the feast when he consecrated a chapel in St. Peter's basilica to all the saints. Gregory IV extended the feast to the entire church in 834. In Latin countries the evening of October 31 is observed only as a religious occasion, but in Great Britain, Ireland, and the United States, ancient Halloween folk customs persist alongside the ecclesiastical observance.

    Students of folklore believe that the popular customs of Halloween show traces of the Roman harvest festival of Pomona and of Druidism. These influences are inferred from the use of nuts and apples as traditional Halloween foods and from the figures of witches, black cats, and skeletons commonly associated with the occasion.

    In pre-Christian Ireland and Scotland, the Celtic year ended on October 31, the eve of Samhain, and was celebrated with both religious and harvest rites. For the Druids, Samhain was both the "end of summer" and a festival of the dead. The spirits of the departed were believed to visit their kinsmen in search of warmth and good cheer as winter approached. It was also an occasion when fairies, witches, and goblins terrified the populace. The agents of the supernatural were alleged to steal infants, destroy crops, and kill farm animals. Bonfires were lighted on hilltops on the eve of Samhain. The fires may have been lighted to guide the spirits of the dead to the homes of their kinsmen or to kill and ward off witches.

    During the middle ages when the common folk believed that witchcraft was devoted to the worship of Satan, this cult included periodic meetings, known as witches' Sabbaths, which were allegedly given over to feasting and revelry. One of the most important Sabbaths as held on Halloween. Witches were alleged to fly to these meetings on broomsticks, accompanied by black cats who were their constant companions. Stories of these Sabbaths are the source of much folklore about Halloween.

    Pranks and mischief were common on Halloween. Wandering groups of celebrants blocked doors of houses with carts, carried away gates and plows, tapped on windows, threw vegetables at doors, and covered chimneys with turf so that smoke could not escape. In some places boys and girls dressed in clothing of the opposite sex and, wearing masks, visited neighbors to play tricks. These activities generally resembled the harmful and mischievous behavior attributed to witches, fairies, and goblins. The contemporary "trick or treat" custom resembles an ancient Irish practice associated with Allhallows Eve. Groups of peasants went from house to house demanding food and other gifts in preparation for the evening's festivities. Prosperity was assured for liberal donors and threats were made against stingy ones. These contributions were often demanded in the name of Muck Olla, an early Druid deity, or of St. Columb Cille, who worked in Ireland during the 6th century. In England some of the folk attributes of Halloween were assimilated by Guy Fawkes day celebrated on November 5. Consequently Halloween lost some of its importance there.

    Immigrants from Great Britain and Ireland brought secular Halloween customs to the U.S., but the festival did not become popular in this country until the latter part of the 19th century. This may have been because it had long been popular with the Irish, who migrated here in large numbers after 1840. In America, though some churches observe Halloween with religious services, most people regard it as a secular festival. This reflects the prevailing American attitude toward a great many church festivals and holy days, as we will see in future histories.

    Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian


    All Hallows' Eve

    Halloween or All Hallows' Eve is not a liturgical feast on the Catholic calendar, but the celebration has deep ties to the Liturgical Year. These three consecutive days: Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day, illustrate the Communion of Saints. The Church Militant (those of us on earth, striving to get to heaven) pray for the Church Suffering (those souls in Purgatory) especially on All Souls Day and the month of November. We also rejoice and honor the Church Triumphant (the saints, canonized and uncanonized) in heaven. We also ask the Saints to intercede for us, and for the souls in Purgatory.

    Since Vatican II, some liturgical observances have been altered, one example being "fast before the feast" is no longer required. Originally, the days preceding great solemnities, like Christmas and All Saints Day, had a penitential nature, requiring abstinence from meat and fasting and prayer. Although not required by the Church, it is a good practice to prepare spiritually before great feast days.

    In England, saints or holy people are called "hallowed", hence the name "All Hallow's Day". The evening, or "e'en" before the feast became popularly known as "All Hallows' Eve" or even shorter, "Hallowe'en".

    Since the night before All Saints Day, "All Hallows Eve" (now known as Hallowe'en), was the vigil and required fasting, many recipes and traditions have come down for this evening, such as pancakes, boxty bread and boxty pancakes, barmbrack (Irish fruit bread with hidden charms), colcannon (combination of cabbage and boiled potatoes). This was also known as "Nutcrack Night" in England, where the family gathered around the hearth to enjoy cider and nuts and apples.

    Halloween is the preparation and combination of the two upcoming feasts. Although the demonic and witchcraft have no place for a Catholic celebration, some macabre can be incorporated into Halloween. It is good to dwell on our impending death (yes, everyone dies at one point), the Poor Souls in Purgatory, and the sacrament of the Sick. And tied in with this theme is the saints, canonized and non-canonized. What did they do in their lives that they were able to reach heaven? How can we imitate them? How can we, like these saints, prepare our souls for death at any moment?

    For more information see Catholic Culture's Halloween page.

    Also read from Catholic Culture's library:

  • Ideas for Sanctifying Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day by Jennifer Gregory Miller

  • Halloween and All Saints Day by Father William Saunders

  • Holyween: Reclaim The Celebration Of All Saints by Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

  • Catholics Give the Best Parties by Jeffrey Tucker.

  • From All Info About English Culture:

    The origins of Hallowe'en in England

    On 31st October, the eve of All Saints Day, the people of England celebrate Hallowe'en, or All Hallows' (meaning hallowed or holy) Eve.

    ancient Britain this date was the pre-Christian eve of the New Year and Celtic Harvest Festival, when the souls of the dead were thought to revisit their homes to eat and drink. People left refreshments on the table and unlocked their doors before retiring for the night, then bells were rung, fires lit to guide the returning souls back to earth and animals were brought in for the winter.

    After Hallowe'en became a Christian festival, supernatural associations continued to thrive. It was believed that witches were abroad and that it was possible for certain people to perform magic and summon up spirits. Torches (made from cabbage stalks and bundles of dried heather dipped in grease) were carried and spells were chanted, in the hope that souls condemned to purgatory (from Purgatory Field, Poulton & Purgatory Farm at Weston, Lancashire) would find some relief.

    Hallowe'en was also a time for rituals and divination, when nuts were roasted by young women and apple pips scattered on hot coals - the behaviour of the pips indicating the temperament of their future spouses. Fortunes were told with apples and cabbages; children bobbed for apples in tubs of water; girls combed their hair three times before a mirror in the hope of seeing their future husbands; and lanterns were made from swedes and turnips (gouged out to form a face with a grinning mouth), then kept alight from from dusk until dawn.

    Hallowe'en was once a time for making mischief - many parts of England still recognise this date as Mischief Night - when children would knock on doors demanding a treat (Trick or Treat) and people would disguise themselves as witches, ghosts, kelpies and spunkies, in order to obtain food and money from nervous householders. In certain parts of England youths still play pranks on their neighbours by hiding garden ornaments, whitewashing walls and ringing doorbells in the dead of night.

    There are a great many local traditions associated with 31st October. For instance, Hallowe'en is known as Dookie Apple Night in
    Newcastle upon Tyne, where the local children parade through the streets carrying traditional turnip lanterns. Then in Somerset's Hinton St George, where punkies (Hallowe'en lanterns) are carved from mangel-wurzels on the last Thursday in November (Punky Night), children go through the streets singing. When they knock on doors they receive either money or a candle from the householder. This custom is believed to have originated when the women of the village walked to nearby Chriselborough Fair with punkies to light their way, and from there dragged their drunken husbands home.

    Hallowe'en, like many other ancient festivals, has always provided an excellent excuse for eating and drinking. At one time,
    Mash o' Nine Sorts, with a ring concealed within, would be served to unmarried guests - whoever found it would next be married. Then of course, Toffee Apples are still extremely popular and Hallowe'en Cakes are sometimes still baked in the North of England on what is known there as Cake Day.

    Many local events take place in England during Hallowe'en. If you're keen to go along to some of the more traditional happenings, please take a look at our calendar of
    Traditional Autumn Events.

    See also
    Recta Ratio, which generally has a number of outstanding posts regarding the traditions surrounding All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day.

    St. Anthony Messenger also has some informative Halloween write-ups online.

    Fr. Augustine Thompson, OP: "Surprise: Halloween's Not a Pagan Festival After All"

    Taylor Marshall at Canterbury Tales: "Top Ten Things to do for a Catholic Halloween"

    Labels: ,

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (30 October 2007)

  • Henry Hyde to Get Presidential Medal of Freedom for Opposing Abortion

  • Oops, She's Done It Again

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (29 October 2007))


    Henry Hyde to Get Presidential Medal of Freedom for Opposing Abortion

    (Hat tip:

    Washington, DC ( -- Former member of Congress Henry Hyde will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom next Monday for his work opposing abortion. For decades, after his landmark Hyde Amendment stopped federal funding of virtually all abortions, Hyde became the pro-life movement's elder statesman on Capitol Hill.

    Hyde was first elected to the House in 1974 and served as chairman of the House International Relations Committee and the House Judiciary Committee from 1995 to 2001.

    In those positions, Hyde advanced pro-life legislation and worked to stop using taxpayer dollars to subsidize abortions in other countries.

    Hyde's lasting legacy will be the federal Hyde amendment, which has prevented federal tax dollars from being used to fund almost all abortions since 1976. The Supreme Court heard a case in 1980 challenging the law and upheld it as constitutional.

    In a statement about Hyde, the White House said he has "served America with distinction."

    "During his career in the House of Representatives, he was a powerful defender of life and a leading advocate for a strong national defense and for freedom around the world," the Bush administration added.

    Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer has called Hyde one of the "most passionate and articulate advocates in Congress" for the pro-life movement.

    "For more than three decades, Henry Hyde has stood strong and unshakable against the growing 'culture of death' in America," Bauer said of Hyde.

    "He has been an eloquent voice for the voiceless and a great inspiration to all of us who care deeply about the timeless values of faith and family. He never hesitated to speak the truth and always with compassion and conviction," Bauer added.

    In comments about his retirement from public office, Hyde, who turned 83 in April, said, "I just want to be remembered as a good man who did some good."

    "Father Time and Mother Nature both stalk every one of us, and they finally caught up with me,'' Hyde added.

    The Presidential Medal of Freedom, first established in 1963, is the nation's highest civil award.

    The president gives the award to "any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

    President Bush will honor Hyde and other recipients at a White House ceremony on Monday.
    (emphasis added)

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Oops, She's Done It Again

    (Hat tip: Dave Hartline at Catholic Report)

    She may not be "fat", but she's definitely a skank who is going out of her way to offend Catholics:
    IS BRITNEY SPEARS intent on causing controversy?

    Promotional pictures for her new album Blackout have just been released featuring one image of her straddling a priest in a confession booth.

    The shots are bound to cause outrage from a public already bemused by her odd behaviour over the past year.
    In addition to being a third-rate skank, Britney's also SOOOOOOOOO derivative. Another female artist, who calls herself (but who in no other way resembles) Madonna, exhausted the whole corruption of Catholic imagery thing a generation ago.

    But Britney seems bound and determined to keep doing stupid things with her life and her career. I like what Dave Hartline had to say in this regard: "Her song Oops I Did It Again could be the soundtrack of her life."

    Yo, Brit! A couple of words of advice:
  • Stop listening to that person who calls herself Madonna, and start listening for the voice of the real thing.
  • Go see a real priest - you need to get some help. Bad.
  • Labels: , , , ,

    Monday, October 29, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (29 October 2007)

  • Catholic Bishops’ Taxing Task: Election-Year Statement

  • 40 Days for Life, Toledo - The Last Week

  • Rating the Top College Quarterbacks

  • (Digest of Weekend's Posts (28 October 2007))


    Catholic Bishops’ Taxing Task: Election-Year Statement

    Peter Steinfels writes in The New York Times:
    On the eve of every presidential election year since 1976, the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops have issued a set of reflections on Catholics’ political responsibilities. The task has probably never been so challenging as it will be in two weeks, when approximately 300 bishops from around the country meet in Baltimore.

    The reason dates from the 2004 election, when “Faithful Citizenship,” the bishops’ official booklet-length reflections, met competition from punchier conservative voter guides insisting that the church’s position on five “nonnegotiable” issues — abortion, euthanasia, embryonic-stem-cell research, human cloning and same-sex marriage — should determine how Catholics vote.

    “Faithful Citizenship” was also upstaged by a minority of determinedly anti-abortion bishops who ignited a debate over whether Catholic politicians favoring legal access to abortion — the Democratic presidential nominee, Senator John Kerry, prominent among them — should be barred from receiving Communion. This was of course catnip to the news media, with some reporters mounting what became irreverently called the “wafer watch.”

    Actually, the bishops’ election-year statements had always highlighted abortion as a crucial issue for Catholic voters, but they had never isolated it from a broad range of other moral concerns like war, poverty, racial discrimination, failing schools, criminal justice and health care.

    After 2004, however, it seemed inevitable that “Faithful Citizenship” would be recast.

    Some bishops worried that its broad range of concerns provided a loophole for ignoring the so-called “nonnegotiables.” Some bishops, often the same ones, complained that the bishops’ Committees on Domestic Policy and on International Policy played too great a role in shaping the statements, with an insufficient role for the more conservative Committees on Pro-Life Activities and on Doctrine.

    Finally, it was decided that the entire body of bishops should debate and vote on the statement in open session, rather than have it discussed and decided in closed meetings by the 50-plus members of the Administrative Board.

    So no fewer than seven committees of bishops have now developed the proposed statement for 2008 and sent their 13,000-word draft to the whole hierarchy for reactions and amendments.

    Given the conservative pressures, the draft’s continuity with previous statements is noteworthy. Indeed, many phrases and themes appear in the draft almost unaltered from preceding statements. “A consistent ethic of life should be the moral framework for principled Catholic engagement in political life,” the document states, affirming the prevailing but sometimes contested view that opposition to abortion should be linked to other issues.

    The bishops clearly want to distinguish this document from partisan voter guides. They not only repeat what they have said in past years — “we bishops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote” — but also go into theological intricacies of making moral judgments about “intrinsically evil” actions like abortion, euthanasia, torture and deliberate attacks on noncombatants in warfare.

    No doubt this careful balancing reflects the varying priorities among the bishops. Whether such nuance will prove pastorally effective or successfully compete with more pointed voter guides produced by Republican-leaning or Democratic-leaning Catholic groups is an open question. The bishops explicitly discourage such independent efforts in their text. In addition, they have drafted a brief summary, “The Challenge of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” for use as an insert in parish bulletins.

    But most of the pressure will probably come from bishops pressing amendments to make abortion and related issues into “nonnegotiables” that should override all other considerations for Catholic voters.

    (emphasis added)

    My Comments:
    As I've said previously, this document doesn't appear to offer anything groundbreaking, and looks to be broadly worded enough to provide "political cover" for Catholics of all stripes - whether liberal, moderate, or conservative, Republican, Democrat, or independent - to justify continuing to do whatever it is they've already been doing whenever it comes to "voting their values".

    It would be interesting to see if those bishops who remain dissatisfied with this approach will follow Bishop Olmsted's lead and draft voter guides of their own for use in their respective dioceses.

    UPDATE (30 October)
    For debate on this topic over at Vox Nova, see Tony A's post "USCCB Debates Consistent Ethic of Life"

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Bishops' Document to Offer New Guidance on Catholics' Political Role

    Vox Nova on Voter's Guides

    Dueling Catholic Voter Guides

    More on Catholic Voter Guides

    Columnist: "Christian Right Driving Wedge Into US"

    More From Amy Welborn on the "Dueling Catholic Voter Guides"

    "Catholics in the Public Square" by Bishop Olmsted

    Catholics Find Voting Guides a Test of Allegiance

    Toledo Blade: "Catholic Voting Guide Gives Church Perspective"

    Weigel: "An Electoral Battle of the Booklets?"

    What's Missing?

    "Not An Approved Catholic Voter Guide"

    Kentucky Parishes Cautioned on Partisan Political Activity

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    40 Days for Life, Toledo - The Last Week

    I just received this email from the Toledo area 40 Days for Life campaign:
    We are in the last week of 40 Days for Life--so remember: it's not over yet! Continue to invite people to take part in this historic event! Tell them about your own experience when you were praying outside the abortion center--most people have reported an incredible power of prayer while they were there. If you haven't taken part yet, there's still time! I still have a great need for hours to be filled--check the website!--and I especially invite you to take part in the last hour of these 40 Days on Sunday 11/4 from 2-3pm. Fr. Monte Hoyles will lead us in prayer, and then we will go immediately to the Rosary Cathedral gym for a Celebration Rally. (Again, check the website!) Finally, invite also to the Celebration Rally those who joined us in prayer support.

    The prayers are working! We know of at least one baby that was saved during these 40 Days, the hours for the abortions seem to be lessening (ie, the abortionist is done sooner than in the past), the staff is extremely upset with us (that's a good sign!)...but we must always remember that we often won't SEE the fruits of our prayers! That's what faith is all about, right? A good friend reminded me of this very thing this week so if you, too, ever get discouraged keep that in mind! We can also remember to repeat these words from a wise priest, 'Jesus, YOU are the Savior!' ...'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me' (Phil.4:13)--not alone, but through Him! Let's continue to unite ourselves and our prayers with Jesus and stand at the foot of the Cross with Our Lady, suffering yet joyful because our hope is in the Lord who is already victorious!

    In Jesus and Mary

    Labels: , , , ,

    Rating the Top College Quarterbacks

    Question: Which of the following highly-touted quarterbacks - all of whom at one time or another have been mentioned as possible Heisman Trophy candidates - have higher passer ratings than the virtually-unkown-23-year-old-5th-year-Jr. quarterback of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Todd Boeckman?

    Tim Tebow, Florida
    Brian Brohm, Louisville
    Dennis Dixon, Oregon
    Colt Brennan, Hawaii
    Pat White, West Virginia
    Chad Henne, Michigan
    Andre' Woodson, Kentucky
    Colt McCoy, Texas
    John David Booty, USC
    Matt Ryan, Boston College
    Nate Longshore, California

    Answer: Of that group of Heisman candidates, only Tim Tebow of Florida, with the highest passer rating in the country, ranks higher than Ohio State's Todd Boeckman, who currently has the 3rd highest passer rating among Division 1 college quarterbacks.

    The guy who now seems to be everybody's golden boy for the moment, and is often mentioned as a favorite to win the Heisman, is Boston College's Matt Ryan. Ryan, whose Eagles are ranked #2 in the country behind Boeckman's #1 Buckeyes, has the 53rd highest passer rating - 50 places behind non-Heisman trophy hopeful Boeckman.

    Which isn't to take anything away from Ryan, whose last-minute heroics against Virginia Tech this past week are the stuff of which legends are made.

    Rather, it is to point out what a tremendous job Boeckman has done in coming out of the shadow of last year's Heisman winner, former Buckeye quarterback Troy Smith. In fact, Boeckman is, arguably, having a better season than Smith did last year, and is doing so with, arguably, fewer "big-time" weapons than Smith had in his arsenal. (Although this might be explained by the fact that Ohio State's schedule this year has been considerably weaker than the schedule Smith's Ohio State team played last year.)

    Labels: ,

    Sunday, October 28, 2007

    Digest of Weekend's Posts (28 October 2007)

    Sunday, 28 October
  • Caveman Clubs Catholic School Teacher for Promoting Anti-Catholic Works of Phillip Pullman

  • Anti-Abortion Museum of the Future

  • Reminder: Don't Forget to Sign the Catholics Against Rudy Petition

  • What is the "Mission" of a Catholic Law School?

  • (Digest of Friday's Posts (26 October 2007))


    Caveman Clubs Catholic School Teacher for Promoting Anti-Catholic Works of Phillip Pullman

    I've read lots in the Catholic blogosphere concerning the upcoming Nicole Kidman flick, The Golden Compass, which is an adaptation of the first book in Phillip Pullman's virulently anti-Catholic trilogy for "children", His Dark Materials.

    But Cavey's piece is by far the most engaging. Take a look.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Anti-Abortion Museum of the Future

    (Hat tip: Jeffrey Smith)

    From The Telegraph (U.K.):
    ... I found myself wondering how abortion will be viewed by museum curators, teachers, historians and moralists 200 years from now.

    As the slavery exhibition shows, something that one generation accepts readily enough is often seen as abhorrent by its descendants – so abhorrent, in fact, that people find it almost impossible to understand how it could have been countenanced in a supposedly civilised society.

    How could people not see that Africans should not be bought and sold for the convenience of our trade or our domestic life? We reserve particular scorn for those who sought to justify slavery on moral grounds. We look at the moral blindness of the past, and tut-tut, rather complacently.

    It is not hard to imagine how a future Museum of London exhibition about abortion could go. It could buy up a 20th-century hospital building as its space, and take visitors round, showing them how, in one ward, staff were trying to save the lives of premature babies while, in the next, they were killing them.

    It could compare the procedure by which the corpse of a baby who had died after or during premature birth was presented by the hospital to the mother to assist with grieving, with the way a similar corpse, if aborted, was thrown away.

    It could display the various instruments that were used to remove and kill the foetus, rather as the manacles and collars of slaves can be seen today.

    It could make a telling show of the propaganda that was used to promote abortion – the language of choice, control of a woman over her own body – and compare it with less happy information about the infertility caused by abortion, or depression or about the link between breast cancer and having an abortion before the birth of the first child.

    It could show how women, vulnerable and often alone, came under pressure from the medical authorities to have an abortion without being offered help with the alternative.

    The museum could make a pretty devastating contrast between the huge growth of rights for the disabled, which began in the late-20th century, and the fact that the disability (or even mild deformity) of a child was always grounds for abortion.

    Just as, today, we are invited to glare at the Georgian portraits of fat, bewigged English sugar planters or pro-slavery politicians, there could be a rogues' gallery of pro-abortionists.

    But the reason I throw this argument into the future is that, with the passage of time, abortion, especially late abortion, is slowly coming to be seen as a "solution" dating from an era that is passing. It will therefore be discredited.

    [Read the whole thing]
    My Comments:
    One of the best editorials on the subject of abortion that I've read in a long time.

    Labels: , , ,

    Reminder: Don't Forget to Sign the Catholics Against Rudy Petition

    Here. And please spread the word.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    What is the "Mission" of a Catholic Law School?

    Notre Dame law professor Rick Garnett, posting over at Vox Nova, asks the question "What is the "mission" of a Catholic Law School?":
    ... As a rule, we would say, among other things, that there are dozens of faculty and each would likely express and live out the “thing” in different ways. Fair enough. But, what else? Some affirmations of the importance of community, collegiality, social-justice, etc., were also appropriate, and regularly provided. We talked some about how a Catholic law school’s mission finds natural expression in indisciplinary work (that is, “interdisciplinarity” is not, on the Catholic understanding of a university’s work, a fad or an add-on; it’s a natural, necessary feature of the search for truth.) And, I emphasized, as I usually do in these conversations, my view that a Catholic law school should call its students and faculty to “integration.”

    But . . . what else is needed? What else should be said? I’ve been teaching at a Catholic law school for nine years, blogging about “Catholic legal theory” for nearly five, and have talked to dozens and dozens of potential hires. I know — I just know – there’s more to the “mission” of an authentically, meaningfully Catholic law school than what I usually manage to articulate, and I feel like I’m not doing right by those who say, “that sounds interesting, even attractive . . . what does it mean?”
    I like the one answer he's received so far:
    Here is the rub. ‘Integration’, ‘interdisciplinarity’, and the ’search for truth’ are all good things, but there is nothing specifically ‘Catholic’ about them. Unless our mission statements also include the words ‘Christ’ and ‘Church’, the label ‘Catholic’ will seem inappropriate.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Friday, October 26, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (26 October 2007)

  • Brownback and Giuliani Discuss Abortion

  • President Bush Poised to Appoint Mary Ann Glendon as U.S. Ambassador to Vatican

  • Alfred the Great, 26 October

  • Brownback to Meet Rudy

  • (Digest of Today's Posts (25 October 2007))


    Brownback and Giuliani Discuss Abortion

    (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

    From the Associated Press:
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Sam Brownback pronounced himself "much more comfortable" with Rudy Giuliani's position on abortion after the one-time rivals for the Republican presidential nomination discussed the issue Thursday.

    Giuliani flew to Washington for a meeting he requested with Brownback in the Kansas senator's Capitol Hill office. Brownback dropped out of the race last week, citing poor fundraising, and his former rivals have been seeking his endorsement.

    The two men spoke briefly to reporters afterward.

    "I'm much more comfortable," Brownback said. "Justices are key. He's stated publicly many times about his support for strict constructionists like, I believe he said Roberts. John Roberts is a personal friend."

    He was referring to Chief Justice John Roberts, whom President Bush nominated to the Supreme Court in 2005. Brownback said he was reassured that Giuliani would appoint Supreme Court justices who, like Roberts, take a conservative and more limited view of abortion.

    Even so, it's unlikely that an ardent abortion foe like Brownback would endorse a candidate like Giuliani
    [ED.: I would hope not.], a longtime supporter of abortion rights, especially considering Brownback may run for governor of conservative Kansas in 2010.

    Then there's this from National Journal:
    Refuting rumors that an endorsement was imminent, Sen. Sam Brownback declined to pick a horse in the GOP presidential primary this afternoon after an hour-long meeting with Rudy Giuliani in his senate offices. Just a week ago, Brownback told reporters after his speech at the Values Voters Summit that the Republican Party was a pro-life party, which would not nominate a pro-choice candidate and Giuliani was pro-choice.

    Today, however, Brownback refused to call Giuliani pro-choice, instead allowing the mayor to explain his own stance on abortion.
    My Comments:
    I am glad to see that an endorsement of Rudy is not imminent. I hope that Sen. Brownback will decline to make such an endorsement even should Rudy get the GOP nomination.

    And, gee, I hope I'm not engaging in calumny, but yeah, I find the statements highlighted above somewhat problematic from a pro-life Catholic standpoint. Not to mention from the standpoint of a Brownback supporter.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Brownback to Meet Rudy

    Brownback: I Could Support Rudy

    Labels: , , ,

    President Bush Poised to Appoint Mary Ann Glendon as U.S. Ambassador to Vatican

    (Hat tip:

    From Catholic News Agency:
    Washington DC, Oct 25, 2007 / 10:44 am (CNA).- It looks as though the well-known lawyer and pro-life feminist Mary Ann Glendon may become the newest U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

    According to reports by ANSA in Italian, sources inside the Bush administration are saying that it is very likely that “President George W. Bush would appoint Mary Ann Glendon as the new US Ambassador to the Holy See."

    Glendon is someone who is well prepared to serve in this post since she has worked with the Vatican frequently in the past. Her resume includes being appointed by Pope John Paul II to the newly created Pontifical Academy of Social Science in 1994, leading the 22-member delegation of the Holy See to the Fourth U.N. Women’s Conference in Beijing in 1995 and serving on the Holy See’s Central Committee for the Great Jubilee 2000.

    The most recent Vatican appointment for Glendon came in 2004 when she was made the head of the Pontifical Academy for the Sciences.

    Interestingly, in a speech that she gave at the U.N. this past May, Glendon spoke about the theme of faith and politics, a topic that Pope Benedict has been quite outspoken about of late.


    Labels: , ,

    Alfred the Great, 26 October

    (Originally posted 26 October 2006)

    From the Medieval Saints Yahoo Group:
    Alfred the Great, King of the West-Saxons
    Also known as Ælfred

    Died: October 899
    Commemorated: October 26

    In art, he is shown as a King in full armor with a crowned helmet


    Alfred was a remarkable man. A brave and hardened warrior, he had grown up fighting the Danes at the side of his father and brothers who had been kings before him. A great leader and clever organiser, he was also - thanks to his mother - able to read in an age when few people could. He was educated, cultured and a gifted musician. He was also a devout Christian who had seen churches and monasteries destroyed and monks and priests slaughtered throughout the land by the invading Vikings. Was this to be the end of the Christian faith in these islands?

    In January 878 Guthrum's Danish army had broken a treaty, and defeated Alfred in a surprise attack at Chippenham while the Saxons celebrated the end of the twelve days of Christmas. Every Saxon Kingdom had now fallen to the invading Vikings, and Alfred's two forts were all that remained of Saxon England.

    In March, King Alfred oversaw the remains of his broken army digging earthwork defences around the tiny inland islands of Athelney and nearby Lyng, areas of higher ground surrounded by the miles of flooded marshland that were the Somerset Levels.

    The story of Alfred burning the cakes dates from this time. While he was sheltering in the home of a herdsman, the herdsman's wife asked him to watch some cakes that were being baked. Alfred was so distracted by his desperate worries that he forgot the cakes and they were badly burned. Not knowing who he was, the woman returned and angrily shouted at him. Alfred meekly accepted the telling off.


    Alfred the Great, King of the West Saxons, 26 October 899

    When the Gospel was first preached in Britain, the island was inhabited by Celtic peoples. In the 400's, pagan Germanic tribes, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, invaded Britain and drove the Christian Celts out of what is now England into Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The new arrivals (called collectively the Anglo-Saxons) were then converted by Celtic missionaries moving in from the one side and Roman missionaries moving in from the other. (They then sent missionaries of their own, such as Boniface, to their pagan relatives on the Continent.)

    In the 800's the cycle partly repeated itself, as the Christian Anglo-Saxons were invaded by the Danes, pagan raiders, who rapidly conquered the northeast portion of England. They seemed about to conquer the entire country and eliminate all resistance when they were turned back by Alfred, King of the West Saxons.

    Alfred was born in 849 at Wantage, Berkshire, youngest of five sons of King Aethelwulf. He wished to become a monk, but after the deaths (all in battle, I think) of his father and his four older brothers, he was made king in 871. He proved to be skilled at military tactics, and devised a defensive formation which the Danish charge was unable to break. After a decisive victory at Edington in 878, he reached an agreement with the Danish leader Guthrum, by which the Danes would retain a portion of northeastern England and be given other concessions in return for their agreement to accept baptism and Christian instruction. From a later point of view, it seems obvious that such a promise could not involve a genuine change of heart, and was therefore meaningless (and indeed, one Dane complained that the white robe that he was given after his baptism was not nearly so fine as the two that he had received after the two previous times that he had been defeated and baptized). However, Alfred's judgement proved sound. Guthrum, from his point of view, agreed to become a vassal of Christ. His nobles and chief warriors, being his vassals, were thereby obligated to give their feudal allegiance to Christ as well. They accepted baptism and the presence among them of Christian priests and missionaries to instruct them. The door was opened for conversions on a more personal level in that and succeeding generations.

    In his later years, having secured a large degree of military security for his people, Alfred devoted his energies to repairing the damage that war had done to the
    cultural life of his people. He translated Boethius's Consolations of Philosophy into Old English, and brought in scholars from Wales and the Continent with whose help various writings of Bede, Augustine of Canterbury, and Gregory the Great were likewise translated. He was much impressed by the provisions in the Law of Moses for the protection of the rights of ordinary citizens, and gave order that similar provisions should be made part of English law. He promoted the education of the parish clergy. In one of his treatises, he wrote:

    "He seems to me a very foolish man, and very wretched, who will not increase his understanding while he is in the world, and ever wish and long to reach that endless life where all shall be made clear."

    He died on 26 October 899, and was buried in the Old Minster at Winchester. Alone among English monarchs, he is known as "the Great."

    Further Reading:
  • The Life of King Alfred by Asser, Bishop of Sherborne

  • Laws of Alfred at Georgetown University

  • The Medieval Life of King Alfred the Great: A Translation and Commentary on the Text Attributed to Asser by Alfred P. Smyth

  • King Alfred the Great by Alfred P. Smyth

  • Alfred the Great: War, Culture and Kingship in Anglo-Saxon England by Richard Abels

  • The Ballad of the White Horse by G.K. Chesterton

  • Links
  • Patron Saints Index - Alfred the Great

  • Catholic Encyclopedia - Alfred the Great

  • The Lectionary (Anglican) - Alfred the Great, King of the West Saxons (26 Oct 899)

  • The Complete Alfred the Great

  • English Monarchs (The House of Wessex) - Alfred the Great

  • Early British Kingdoms - Alfred, King of Wessex & the English (AD 849-899)

  • Images of Alfred the Great

  • Dale Ahlquist (American Chesterton Society) on The Ballad of the White Horse
  • Brownback to Meet Rudy

    (Hat tip: Custos Fidei)

    From The Hill:
    Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) is considering endorsing Rudy Giuliani for the GOP presidential nomination and will meet with him Thursday in Washington to hear his views on abortion.

    Brownback, who ended his White House run last week and is a champion of social conservative issues, said he would consider Giuliani because he had heard that the former New York City mayor had changed his position on partial-birth abortion and has pledged to appoint to the courts strict constructionists who would not overturn anti-abortion laws.

    If Brownback pledged his support, it would be a big boost for Giuliani. It might help shore up the biggest perceived weakness of his candidacy — namely, the lack of support among social conservatives because of his stance on abortion.

    “I’m going to meet with him and I’m going to talk to him and hear what he is specifically saying now because he’s changed on a number of the abortion issues,” Brownback said in an interview. “He’s changed on partial-birth [abortion] and he … has said he would appoint strict constructionists.”

    When asked about Giuliani’s position on allowing women the right to late-term abortions, also known as partial-birth abortions, Brownback said: “He is opposed to it. That’s what I’ve been told indirectly. I want to hear it from him.”

    Brownback has not indicated that he is likely to support Giuliani, but he has not ruled it out. He said he is also considering endorsing other top-tier Republican candidates. Several have asked for his support in telephone conversations, and Brownback has already met with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to discuss a possible endorsement.

    Giuliani would gain the most from Brownback’s endorsement because he has consistently encountered opposition from social conservatives owing to his views on abortion. He has drawn strong criticism for reiterating in a televised interview earlier this year his position that the federal government should provide funding for an abortion if a woman could not afford one. Giuliani’s standing atop national polls has scared Christian conservative leaders so much that several prominent leaders threatened last month to support a third-party candidate to block his path to the White House.

    Brownback’s support, however, could assuage the concerns of many social conservatives and provide him a path to the Republican nomination.

    Kim Lehman, president of Iowa Right to Life Committee and a member of the Iowans for Brownback Leadership Committee, said she met with a representative from Huckabee’s campaign Wednesday and has also been contacted by Thompson’s campaign.

    “Brownback got quite a bit of Catholic support,” she said. “I’m seeing a lot of people at my end trying to decide which way to go.”

    She said that social conservatives are beginning to peel away from Romney as they learn of statements he made in favor of abortion rights when he ran for Massachusetts governor in 2002.

    She said she would be stunned if Brownback backed Giuliani.

    “I find it simply hard to believe because Giuliani has expressed his position to even pay for abortion,” she said.

    Lehman’s son, Zachariah Gordon, who served as pro-life coalition director for Brownback in Iowa, said Huckabee’s campaign has expressed interest in hiring him.

    He said it would be “hypocritical” for Brownback to endorse Giuliani or Romney because of their views on abortion.

    My Comments:
    If Sen. Brownback endorses Rudy, then he's not the man I thought he was. It will prove that he puts party above principle - and that's not the sort of person that I signed on to support when I first announced I was backing Sen. Brownback. A Brownback endorsement of Rudy would be a profound disappointment, to say the least.

    And such an endorsement would have absolutely no effect on my stance that I will NEVER vote for Giuliani under ANY circumstances.

    Labels: , ,

    Thursday, October 25, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (25 October 2007)

  • Biden "Stumbles" Over Education Question

  • Two Minutes with Ramesh Ponnuru

  • More News of the Absurd: Colbert Reaches Double Digits As Third-Party Candidate

  • ZENIT Interview of Catholic Report's Dave Hartline

  • Forty Martyrs of England and Wales - 25 October (Formerly Commemorated 4 May)

  • Saint Crispin's Day Speech, 25 October

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (24 October 2007))


    Biden "Stumbles" Over Education Question

    Trent Lott says some nice things about an old man at his 100th birthday party, and gets branded as a "racist", having to resign his Senate Majority Leadership over the whole thing. (Washington Post, Dec. 7, 2002)

    George Allen uses a word that's not even a word, and get's tarred as a "racist", eventually losing his bid for reelection to the U.S. Senate. (Washington Post, August 15, 2006)

    Joe Biden, with a history of sticking his foot in his mouth when it comes to race, says something blatantly racist, and it's dismissed as a "stumble":
    WASHINGTON (CNN) — In what the Washington Post is describing as a "stumble," Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said in an interview with the paper Wednesday that Washington's high minority population is one of the reasons for the city's education problems.

    Explaining why schools in Iowa are performing better than those in Washington, D.C., Biden told the Post, "There's less than one percent of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than four of five percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with."

    "When you have children coming from dysfunctional homes, when you have children coming from homes where there's no books, where the mother from the time they're born doesn't talk to them — as opposed to the mother in Iowa who's sitting out there and talks to them, the kid starts out with a 300 word larger vocabulary at age three. Half this education gap exists before the kid steps foot in the classroom," the Delaware Democrat added.

    The paper reports Biden's campaign quickly sought to clarify the remarks, saying in a statement that the senator was not making a "race-based distinction" but rather a "socio-economic" one.

    This isn't the first time Biden's words have caused controversy. Last February, on the same day he officially announced his presidential bid, a newspaper quoted the senator describing Sen. Barack Obama as "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

    And, in a June 2006 appearance in New Hampshire, Biden commented on the growth of the Indian-American population in Delaware by saying, "You cannot go into a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. Oh, I'm not joking."

    (emphasis added)
    A "stumble"? (Washington Post, October 25, 2007)

    My Lord, if a Republican or a conservative had said something like that, we all know what the overwhelming reaction from The Washington Post and the rest of the MSM would be.

    But I won't hold my breath that The Washington Post will take a similar view toward Senator Biden's remarks as it did toward the comments of Senators Lott and Allen.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Christian Science Monitor Profile of Sen. Joseph Biden's "Frank and Abiding Faith"

    Joe Biden Says Democrats Have Been Too Fearful to Discuss Religion

    Blunt Talk from Catholic Joe Biden

    Democratic Candidates for President Give Unanimous Pro-Abortion Views

    During First Debate, Democrats Back Abortion, Criticize Efforts to Save Terri Schiavo

    Media Sycophant Says: "Joe Biden Does Something Heroic"

    Could You Imagine a Prominent Republican Senator Saying This About Gen. Colin Powell?

    The Ego of the Senate

    Lie of the Day

    Biden: Chance of Filibuster on Alito Stronger

    Biden: "I'm Going To Shove My Rosary Beads Down Their Throat"

    Biden To Roberts: "You're The Best"

    Letter to the Editor

    Labels: , , ,

    Two Minutes with Ramesh Ponnuru

    (Hat tip: Mark Shea)

    Since I've dissed National Review Online a couple of times within the past week, I thought I'd balance things out by linking to this 2-minute video interview by Inside Catholic of my favorite National Review contributor, Ramesh Ponnuru:

    ... there's a new Inside Video up ... -- and it's a slight change of pace from the last one. In it, National Review's own Ramesh Ponnuru talks about conservatism, the pro-life movement, and the worst president in American history (hint: it's not who you think)...

    Labels: ,

    More News of the Absurd: Colbert Reaches Double Digits As Third-Party Candidate

    From Rasmussen Reports:
    Comedian Stephen Colbert is not a threat to win the presidency, but the odds are that that his satire will win plenty of laughs and maybe even some votes.

    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that Colbert is preferred by 13% of voters as an independent candidate challenging Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Rudy Giuliani. The survey was conducted shortly after Colbert’s surprise announcement that he is lusting for the Oval Office.

    The result is similar when Fred Thompson is the Republican in the three-way race. With Thompson as the GOP candidate, Colbert earns 12% of the vote.

    Last week Colbert used his Comedy Central show "The Colbert Report" to announce that he is running for President as both a Republican and a Democrat, but only in the state of South Carolina. He first informed fellow jokester Jon Stewart on Stewart's program that so far he had only "decided to officially consider whether or not I will announce"—a habitual formulation of both politicians and comedians pretending to be politicians. Fifteen minutes later, however, Colbert was telling viewers of his own show: "After nearly 15 minutes of soul-searching, I have heard the call."

    Colbert does particularly well with the younger voters most likely to be watching his show and therefore most aware of his myriad presidential-like qualities. In the match-up with Giuliani and Clinton, Colbert draws 28% of likely voters aged 18-29. He draws 31% of that cohort when his foes are Thompson and Clinton. In both match-ups, Colbert has more support with young voters than the GOP candidate.

    (emphasis in original)

    My Comments:
    Of course, as absurd as it is, given the choice of that particular 3-way matchup, I'd have to wind up voting for Colbert.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Colbert Announces Presidential Pursuit

    Rahm Emanuel Tells Freshmen Democrats in Congress to Avoid Stephen Colbert

    Socialists Name Ice Cream Flavor After Comedy Central Personality

    Sorry, I Still Don't Get It

    You're On Notice (Part 2)

    You're On Notice

    Labels: , , ,

    ZENIT Interview of Catholic Report's Dave Hartline

    You can read ZENIT's interview of Catholic author and blogger (and my fellow Ohioan) Dave Hartline of Catholic Report here. Here's an excerpt that pertains to Catholic voters:
    Q: One chapter of your book focuses on the Catholic vote. What are your thoughts about the Catholic vote and the upcoming U.S. presidential election?

    Hartline: This question is a microcosm of the whole turning-tide phenomena. Many faithful Catholics were angered by politicians who spoke about the importance of their Catholic faith, only to denounce or ignore the teachings of the faith.

    However, as more Catholic prelates have taken a courageous stance in defending the Church, it has inspired not only more clergy to the same, but lay people as well. There is still a long way to go in this effort, but at least the battle has been joined.

    Labels: , , ,

    Forty Martyrs of England and Wales - 25 October (Formerly Commemorated 4 May)

    From the Medieval Saints Yahoo Group:
    Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

    Each of the individual saints has a feast day in addition to the collective feast on October 25. The forty are only a small portion of those persons martyred during the period for continuing to profess the Catholic faith after the Act of Supremacy was enacted by King Henry VIII of England.

    Canonized on 25 October 1970 by Pope Paul VI to represent the Catholics martyred in England and Wales between 1535 and 1679.

    Commemorated October 25, The dates vary in the diocesan calendars of England and Wales.

    Forty Martyrs (RC) of England and Wales, 25 October 1570

    In the years following the quarrel between Henry VIII of England and the Pope of Rome, questions of religious faith became entangled with questions of political loyalty. Henry when young had married his brother's widow, Catharine of Aragon (Spain), who bore him a daughter, Mary. Marriage with one's brother's widow was not permitted in those days, and Henry's marriage had taken place by special permission of the Pope. Later, Henry claimed that the Pope had no right to make an exception, and that the marriage was null and void. He set Catharine aside, and married Anne Boleyn, who bore him a daughter, Elizabeth. Henry later accused Anne of adultery, had her beheaded, and married Jane Seymour, who bore him a son, Edward, and died shortly after giving birth. Roman Catholics held that Mary was born in wedlock, but that Elizabeth was not and had no right to inherit the throne. Protestants held the reverse opinion. (There were exceptions on both sides.) Not surprisingly, Mary grew up Roman Catholic, and her half-sister Elizabeth grew up Protestant.

    After Henry's death, Edward ruled from 1547 to 1553 (aged 10 to 16), and was (or his advisors were) Protestant. After his death, Mary (born 1516) ruled from 1553 to 1558, and was vigorously Roman Catholic, trying to undo all the changes of the previous reigns, but by methods that lost her support she might otherwise have had. After her death, Elizabeth (born 1533) ruled from 1558 to 1601, and was a moderate Protestant, attempting so far as possible to avoid conflict with either side. For some years, she succeeded fairly well, and then the Pope decreed (in 1570, I think) that: (1) Roman Catholics in England, who had hitherto been attending the English-language services in their parish churches, must instead receive the sacraments from priests smuggled in from the mainland to say Mass in Latin; and (2) Elizabeth was no lawful monarch, and Roman Catholics had a duty to depose her and replace her with her Roman Catholic cousin, Mary of Scotland. The English government reacted by declaring that the saying of Mass in Latin was treason. The stage was set for more than a hundred years of religious martyrdoms with political undercurrents.

    In 1970, the Vatican selected as representatives of a larger group (totalling perhaps three hundred) forty Roman Catholic men and women, both clergy and laity, who suffered death for conscience' sake during the years from 1535 to 1679. Their names are given below, with years of death. Those marked with an asterisk (*) are Welsh, the others English.

    Religious Orders (monks, friars, etc.):
    John Houghton, Augustine Webster, Robert Lawrence, 1535;

    Richard Reynolds; 1535.

    Augustinian friar:
    John Stone; 1539.

    Edmund Campion, 1581;
    Robert Southwell, Henry Walpole, 1595;
    Nicholas Owen, Jesuit laybrother, 1606;
    Thomas Garnet, 1608;
    Edmund Arrowsmith, 1628;
    Henry Morse, 1645;
    Philip Evans*, David Lewis*, 1679.

    John Roberts*, 1610;
    Ambrose Barlow, 1641;
    Alban Roe, 1642.
    Friar Obervant, John Jones*, 1598;
    Franciscan, John Wall, 1679.

    Secular Clergy (parish priests not in monastic orders):
    Cuthbert Mayne, 1577;
    Ralph Sherwin, Alexander Briant, 1581;
    John Pain, Luke Kirby, 1582;
    Edmund Gennings, Eustace White, Polydore Plasden, 1591;
    John Boste, 1594;
    John Almond, 1612;
    John Southworth, 1654;
    John Lloyd*, John Plessington, John Kemble, 1679.

    Richard Gwyn*, poet and schoolmaster 1584;
    Swithun Wells*, schoolmaster, 1591;
    Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, died in prison (poisoned?) 1595;
    John Rigby, household retainer of the Huddleston family, 1600.

    Margaret Clitherow, wife, mother, and schoolmistress, 1586;
    Margaret Ward, for managing a priest's escape from prison, 1588;
    Anne Line, widow, "harborer of priests", 1601.


    More on the Forty Martyrs at:

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Saint Crispin's Day Speech, 25 October

    From Henry V by William Shakespeare:

    This day is called the feast of Crispian:
    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
    And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
    And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
    Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
    But he'll remember with advantages
    What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
    Familiar in his mouth as household words
    Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
    Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
    Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remember'd;
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition:
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

    Recta Ratio has more here and here.

    Labels: , ,

    hit counter for blogger