The Tightrope of Tolerance and Tyranny

Benedict XVI talks much about the ‘dictatorship of relativism’, and not everybody’s sure quite what he is talking about. When he uses the phrase, ‘dictatorship of relativism’ he’s also talking about the tyranny of tolerance. This is walking a tightrope. Nobody wants to dispute the fact that tolerance is a virtue, and nobody wants to [Read More...]

Teen Martyr for Purity

I believe this image of St Agatha comes from Lechlade Church in England. Lechlade is a beautiful town which claims to be the source of the River Thames. One October I took a two week canoe journey down the Thames from Lechlade. Agatha was a virgin martyr from the middle of the third century. The [Read More...]

Thoughtless Anglicans

I have come across a website with the remarkable title ‘Thinking Anglicans’. The website compiles blog posts and makes comment from a viewpoint that basically toes the liberal humanist Anglican establishment party line. The title of their website, ‘Thinking Anglicans’ is immediately offensive because it sounds elitist and condescending. It implies that the authors and [Read More...]

Little Gidding

We shall not cease from explorationAnd the end of all our exploringWill be to arrive where we startedAnd know the place for the first time.Through the unknown, remembered gateWhen the last of earth left to discoverIs that which was the beginning;At the source of the longest riverThe voice of the hidden waterfallAnd the children in [Read More...]

Nothing New

This is a carving in an ancient Church in Kilpeck, in Hertfordshire, England. Roving Medievalist reminded me of it. I wonder if this is where British film-maker and comic genius, Nick Parke (who by the way is a committed Christian) got his ideas for Gromit and the WereRabbit in his recent animated movie.See what you [Read More...]

The Weather Outside is Frightful

Snow in South Carolina means a day off school. This is chez Longenecker. The house is full of kids playing games and having some down time. I’ve had the chance to update my blog, add some permanent links so y’all can listen to my homilies if you want. Before long I’ll have a link from [Read More...]

The Death of a Saint

Andrew at Unam Sanctam has posted excerpts from a new book by JP2s secretary–now an Archbishop in Poland. He’s interspersed a collection of images. Have a look. [Read more...]

Don Juan Bosco

Don John Bosco was a different kind of Don Juan. He was a juggler, tight rope walker, jongleur de Dieu in the Franciscan tradition. When the northern Italian cities were like something out of a Dickens novel, Don Bosco worked with the Oliver Twists–bringing them homes, hilarity and hope. Like a cavalier for Christ he [Read More...]

Old Baldy on Podcast

At St Mary’s, Greenville they put the homily from the High Mass at 11.00 up on podcast. I celebrated that Mass on Sunday, and you can listen to it here if you’re interested. If you scroll down to the Third Sunday in Advent you can also listen to the homily at my first Mass at [Read More...]

Another Blogger Has an Adventure

Dunadan over at Cally’s Kitchen likes my book, but calls me ‘overweight’. Geesh! and I thought the English were well mannered… You can get the book here [Read more...]

Our Lady Eowyn

Tolkien loathed allegory. It was too obvious; too blatant; too literal; too dead. In allegory one thing means one thing and that’s it. Myth, on the other hand, is alive. It’s a real story with the real ambiguity and complexity of real life. Tolkien’s world is multi-layered and yet full of Christian meaning all the [Read More...]

Inspector Pio

A reader asked me if I had any idea who the patron saint of mystery writers would be. I’m sure I don’t know. I once had a book listing all the patron saints–which made a very entertaining read–but lent it to someone who forgot to return it. My nomination for patron saint of mystery writers [Read More...]

The Boy of Bisley

I have to admit to a quirky enthusiasm for conspiracy theories and eccentric historical legends. Have you ever heard the old tale of the Boy of Bisley? This is the story that the nine year old Princess Elizabeth was sent for safe keeping to the Gloucestershire village of Bisley to avoid the plague, and that [Read More...]

Ely Ely Lama Sabacthani

Roving Medievalist has this habit of posting pictures of places in England that I know and love. Here’s Ely Cathedral. Interesting facts about Ely:1.It’s called ‘Ely’ because it is built on the edge of vast marshes where they used to catch lots of eels. Yes, the English still eat eels. In the East end of [Read More...]

Two Actors Who Changed History

I picked up a copy of His Holiness by Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi at Barnes and Noble in Washington last weekend. What a fantasic book! It is meticulously researched, objectively written and totally absorbing and fascinating. Bernstein and Politi take you into the corridors of power in Moscow, Washington, Poland and the Vatican. They [Read More...]

You’re It

I’m still not quite sure what the point of ‘memes’ are, but it seems I’ve been tagged by the Strong Woman to put down Five Random Facts About Me Alright then… 1. My big brag is that I met Mel Gibson and contributed a scene to The Passion2. I once wrote and performed a one [Read More...]

Another Catholic Sinner

Roman Miscellany has a curious story. Catholic priest waiting to bury the dead discovers that the only famous Catholic in the cemetery was a prostitute who was Jack the Ripper’s last victim. He happily says a prayer for the poor soul….very sweet. It could only happen in the Catholic Church, and only happen in England. [Read more...]

The Apostolic Succession

Timothy and Titus–the twin witnesses to apostolic succession. Is there such a thing as Apostolic Succession? Did the apostles intend to hand on their Christ-given authority to the next generation? Does it matter? The first indication that the apostles intended to hand on their authority occurs within a few days of the resurrection. In Acts [Read More...]

Episcopal Slug Fest

No, not that kind of slug. I mean pugilists. I mean dukin’ it out. I mean fisticuffs. I mean thrust and counter thrust. I mean bitter warfare. An insider at The Falls Church reports to me that Bishop Peter Lee, the Episcopal Bishop of Virginia, has “inhibited” the clergy of the Falls Church and the [Read More...]

Catholic Devotions

Frank at And Also With You tagged me for this meme…I’m only now getting around to it. 1 .Favorite devotion or prayer to Jesus. Jesus Prayer 2. Favorite Marian devotion or prayer. Joyful Mysteries3. Do you wear a scapular or medal? I wear a full Benedictine scapular with my clerical dress4. Do you have holy [Read More...]

Roving Medievalist has interesting things to say about English Cottages and Quarr Abbey He’s top of my blog lists right now. Plenty of pithy comment, wry humour, curmudgeonly grumbles and a delightful and knowledgeable enthusiasm about all thing gargoylishly gothic. Drop in. [Read more...]

Curt Jester Still Like It

The Curt Jester still loves Adventures in Orthodoxy. Well, at least somebody does. It’s very discouraging when your favorite book isn’t really the favorite book of many others. Maybe its a sleeper. Click here to check it out, and drop me a line if you’d like me to email you a sample chapter! [Read more...]