Skip to main content

In Rome, on business ...

The Synod is ending here in Rome. Spoke to some African synod fathers today. Atmosphere upbeat, I feel; but that may be because it has stopped raining and the bishops are tired and just want to go to home.

Popped into the Libreria Editrice Vaticana today. I see that the Pontifical Council for the Family brought out a whole list of very large books on the family, in Italian, in time for the synod. You can't get them in English. They include a 3546-page Enchiridion of magisterial teaching on family and life issues from 1439 to the Present Day. http://www.libreriaeditricevaticana.va/…/enchiridion-della-…

Which explains why the Italian bishops have been so incredibly well-informed during the Synod (it came out on the first day and I guess they have been able to skim through it during coffee breaks). It's all good stuff; good of the Pontifical Council for the Family to do all that work. One wonders how many copies have sold though ...


Romans 1:26-32 anyone? Come to mind especially as the Cardinal from Mumbai made a very surprising intervention about the perceived need to adopt a less negative language about homosexuality...Very stern penalties are envisaged by St Paul for those who promote immorality... I wonder if the German bishops have been reading St Paul's Epistle to the Romans. It was (for other reasons) Luther's favourite ...


Glad I am not a theologian.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Does the state destroy true education?

Michael Oakeshott (1901-1990) was one of the leading conservative intellectuals in the English-speaking world during the post-war period. Born into a Fabian socialist milieu, his own conservatism seems to have arisen from the political crucible of the 1930s, in reaction to the dual horrors of Nazism and communism. According to Oakeshott `modern governments are not interested in education, they are concerned to impose `socialization' of one kind or another upon the surviving fragments of a once considerable educational engagement."

He saw the job of the state as simply to stay afloat, rather than heading off in some idealistic and utopian direction; and of education, to engage the young, and not so young, in a conversation with our heritage, and a conversation between certain different modes of thinking and being that would give them a life of freedom and even of adventure:

"men sail a boundless and bottomless sea, there is neither
harbor for shelter nor floor for anchorage,…

The Return of the Young Fogey?

I remember when I was a teenager my sister gave me a delightful Christmas present, The Young Fogey Handbook. It came out at the same time as the even more successful Sloane Handbook, about 25 years ago.  The essence of the Young Fogey was that he was satorially and culturally reactionary, seeking a kind of donnish gentility frozen in the period 1930-1950. He sought to relive Brideshead Revisted, Miss Marple, and Jeeves and Wooster all at once. The Handbook made a lot of Betjeman, AN Wilson, Charles Moore etc. It was an entertaining read, but I remember feeling at the time that I would never quite cut the mustard sartorially. I owned a pair of jeans.
But it seems to me that the Fogey that began all fogies was JRR Tolkien. His disapproval of anything modern, his love of tweed and pipes, and his fondness for medieval religion make him an obvious member of the group. When shown a tape-recorder by one of his undergraduates he consented to use it, but first exorcised it by reciting a Pater N…

Robert Burns for Catholics: Singing Auld Lang Syne with the Angels

Tomorrow night, the 25th January, has been a deeply anchored part of my personal calendar since I became a student of Edinburgh University nearly twenty years ago. That night is the night of heavily distilled Scottishness that commemorates the nation’s most famous and beloved bard, a night known throughout the world simply as Burns Night.

Robert Burns, known by Scots as Rabbie Burns, was born into a farming family at Alloway in Ayrshire in 1759. He died in Dumfries at the early age of 37. During his short life he took the Scottish literary world by storm, and secured a place for himself in history and in legend. Every year, lovers of Scotland throughout the world mark the 25th of January, the day of his birth (in 1759) with an evening of song, poetry, speeches, comradeship, food and what he affectionately called Scotch Drink:

Gie him strong Drink until he wink,
That's sinking in despair;
An' liquor guid to fie his bluid,
That's prest wi' grief an' care;
There let him bo…