Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Well, the picture-hosting site is no longer showing the "temporarily out of service" sign. It's now showing the "Who? Never heard of him" sign.


So, we are back to searching for a hosting site and/or an updated Blogger template.

I have a little hand Missal for the Carmelite rite. I got it in a used book shop next to White Friar Street Church in Dublin. Cost me one (1) whole euro. But alas someone had carefully razored out all the illustrations before giving up the book. The Inn is starting to look a bit like my old missal.

Choral Evensong at St Mary's

It took place last Sunday and was mentioned in The Inn here and cited to you here and even here.

I went. It was wonderful. I was hoping there would be some pictures to cite you to but I don't see anything up yet. Even better would be something with sound. The Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis were by Orlando Gibbons, the psalms in 4 part Anglican chant, and an interesting piece called "Fragrant the Prayer" translated from an Irish text.

Oh yes, and a complete lack of Marty Haugen.

November 23 - St Columbanus

Today is the feast of the great Irish monastic missionary, St Columbanus. He's been mentioned in The Inn before, not only because he was a traditionalist in his day, but because of this wonderful incident in the Rev Sabine Baring-Gould's Lives of the Saints:

He [St Columbanus] received a good classical education, and resolved early to embrace an ascetic life. But the good looks and winning ways of the Irish girls were a snare to him. He tried to forget their bright eyes by toiling (desudavit) at grammar, rhetoric, and geometry, but found that at least syntax and the problems of Euclid were a less attractive study than pretty faces, and that the dry rules of rhetoric failed altogether before the winsome prattle of light- hearted maidens. He consulted an old woman who lived as a recluse. She warned him that if he wished to maintain his purpose of self-conquest he must fly to a region where girls are less beautiful and seductive than Ireland. "Save thyself, young man, and fly!" His resolution was formed; he decided on going away.

You can find the Rev Baring-Gould's complete life of St Columbanus here.

As for me, I'm going to ask the Irish lass in the other room if she wants to go for a walk.

Actually, I assumed it was worse

Interesting paragraph in yesterday's WSJ:

U.S.-based multinational corporations added 1.5 million workers to their payrolls in Asia and the Pacific region during the 2000s, and 477, 500 workers in Latin America, while cutting payrolls at home by 864,000, the Commerce Department reported.

This is copied from the print edition. No link as I can never find articles in previous editions. You probably can - everybody can but me - if you look up "U.S. Firms Eager to Add Foreign Jobs".

Thursday, November 17, 2011

17 November - St Hilda of Whitby

In some of the old diocesan calendars of England, today is the feast of St Hilda, the abbess of the double monastery of Whitby.

From the old Catholic Encyclopædia:

Abbess, born 614; died 680. Practically speaking, all our knowledge of St. Hilda is derived from the pages of Bede. She was the daughter of Hereric, the nephew of King Edwin of Northumbria, and she seems like her great-uncle to have become a Christian through the preaching of St. Paulinus about the year 627, when she was thirteen years old.

Moved by the example of her sister Hereswith, who, after marrying Ethelhere of East Anglia, became a nun at Chelles in Gaul, Hilda also journeyed to East Anglia, intending to follow her sister abroad. But St. Aidan recalled her to her own country, and after leading a monastic life for a while on the north bank of the Wear and afterwards at Hartlepool, where she ruled a double monastery of monks and nuns with great success, Hilda eventually undertook to set in order a monastery at Streaneshalch, a place to which the Danes a century or two later gave the name of Whitby.

Under the rule of St. Hilda the monastery at Whitby became very famous. The Sacred Scriptures were specially studied there, and no less than five of the inmates became bishops, St. John, Bishop of Hexham, and still more St. Wilfrid, Bishop of York, rendering untold service to the Anglo-Saxon Church at this critical period of the struggle with paganism. Here, in 664, was held the important synod at which King Oswy, convinced by the arguments of St. Wilfrid, decided the observance of Easter and other moot points. St. Hilda herself later on seems to have sided with Theodore against Wilfrid. The fame of St. Hilda's wisdom was so great that from far and near monks and even royal personages came to consult her.

Seven years before her death the saint was stricken down with a grievous fever which never left her till she breathed her last, but, in spite of this, she neglected none of her duties to God or to her subjects. She passed away most peacefully after receiving the Holy Viaticum, and the tolling of the monastery bell was heard miraculously at Hackness thirteen miles away, where also a devout nun named Begu saw the soul of St. Hilda borne to heaven by angels.

With St. Hilda is intimately connected the story of Caedmon, the sacred bard. When he was brought before St. Hilda she admitted him to take monastic vows in her monastery, where he most piously died.

The Unillustrated Inn

Well, this turned out to be an exercise in unwarranted optimism.

The picture-hosting website seems to be missing in action. If you go to where they used to be hosted you get this. That's not encouraging. A few of those pictures don't exist anywhere else any more.

I suppose I shall have to redecorate The Inn from another hosting site. Or maybe even update the template. (Although updating is not really in my nature; cf. the post below but one.)

Another Step Forward for the Anglican Catholic Ordinariate in the U.S.

You may have seen this announcement last week from the USCCB annual meeting:

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington announced November 15 that the new ordinariate for former Anglicans in the United States will be established January 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

The full statement with a few more details can be found at the bishop's conference website here.

And you may have seen this elsewhere on the web:

It was planned before the announcement was made but by happy co-incidence the timing is right for a celebration of the upcoming Ordinariate. As some of you know, I have been helping as best I can with the Bl John Henry Newman Anglican Use Society in the Orange Diocese. God willing, I plan to be there on Sunday.

Everyone Needs a Role Model

I may have found mine:

When someone quoted the Bible to the third Duke of Norfolk, His Grace retorted: "I never read the Scripture nor ever will read it; it was merry in England afore the New Learning came up; yea, I would all things were as hath been in times past." That was in 1540, when New Learning included the notion that a gentleman of rank ought to be literate. The Duke, a true reactionary, was having none of it. It may not be possible to be as reactionary as that nowadays, but that's the gold standard.

Indeed. When one is addicted to reading -- the Bible to be sure, and newspapers, books, magazines, blogs, the backs of cereal boxes -- it is sadly a standard too far. But one does one's best.

(Oh, the quote. That's from the latest number of The American Conservative wherein John Derbyshire reviews "The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin" by one Corey Robin. He didn't like it.)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Lights Out?

Some of us may be off the web for good and not just for a couple of weeks with a bug.

This is from the 13 October 2011 number of The Wanderer:

Major Internet media platforms and service providers have policies that hinder Christian evangelization and censor speech on controversial issues of the day like abortion and marriage, a new report says.

“ Christian ideas and other religious content face a clear and present danger of censorship on web- based communication platforms,” said the National Religious Broadcasters’ report, “ True Liberty in a New Media Age,” dated September 15. If Christian content is “ censored” by new media platforms like the iTunes App Store, Facebook, Google, or Internet service providers, “ the Good News of the Gospel could become one more casualty of institutionalized religious discrimination,” the broadcaster organization’s president, Frank Wright, said in the report’s foreword.

The National Religious Broadcasters was founded in 1944 to oppose government regulations and policy decisions by major broadcast networks which impeded the ability of evangelical min-isters to buy radio airtime.

Some new media companies have banned Christian content, while others have public positions that make censorship “ all but inevitable.”

Except for the micro- blogging service Twitter, all the new media platforms and services examined have policies “ clearly inconsistent with the free speech values of the U. S. Constitution,” the report said.

New media companies are responsive to “ market forces” and the demands by “ pressure groups calling for censorship” of otherwise lawful viewpoints.

As examples of “ anti- Christian censorship,” the report cited the Apple iTunes App Store’s removal of the Manhattan Declaration app that defended traditional marriage. The store also removed an app from Exodus International that said that homosexuality is inappropriate conduct which can be changed through a spiritual transformation.

Internet search engine giant Google refused to accept a pro-life advertisement from a Christian organization in England, and its China- based Internet service has blacklisted some religious terminology. The company’s advertising guidelines explicitly bar the phrase “ abortion is murder” on the grounds it is “gruesome language.” The report also cited Facebook and other outlets for a policy that bars ads for “ politically religious agendas.”

Meanwhile, Facebook has partnered with “ gay rights” advocates to halt “ anti- homosexual” content and it is participating in “ gayawareness” programs. This suggests that Christian content critical of homosexuality, “ gay marriage,” or other practices will be at risk of censorship.

Apple, Facebook, MySpace, Google, Comcast, AT& T, and Verizon all prohibit “ hate speech,” which the National Religious Broadcasters report called a “ dangerously undefined and politically correct term” that is often applied to “ stifle” Christian communicators.

“ The ongoing technological convergence of these various new media platforms suggests that these free speech- inhibiting practices and unconscionable policies will be further entrenched unless corrective action is taken immediately,” the report said.

The report suggested that companies should follow a “ free speech paradigm” guided by the basic First Amendment rules, even where those do not strictly apply to private businesses. It also suggested federal legislation or regulation to forbid “ viewpoint censorship.”

“ When we started our John Milton Project for Religious Free Speech, I sensed a gathering storm building, with ‘ new media’ companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google considering the option of censoring Christian content off their sites,” National Religious Broadcasters’ senior vice president, Craig Parshall, said on September 13. “ Now, a little more than a year later, after finishing our extensive study, I am convinced that religious free speech rights will face a First Amendment hurricane if action is not taken immediately.”

And since Blogspot is now owned by the aforesaid Google, can we assume the same policies will be applied?

The website's format doesn't allow the article to be cited directly but The Wanderer's entry site is here. You could get a back issue from them and I'm sure they'd be delighted to let you subscribe.

Checking In

"So, where have you been?" I hear you ask. (No, really. . . a couple of you actually did ask. I am duly chuffed; it's nice to be missed.)

For a start, Southern California Edison announced that they were going to turn our power off for a day so they could mess about with their local electricity conducting equipment. You know, those mystery boxes that hang off the power poles at the end of the street. So they did that and the PC remained unplugged for a day.

And then as the (please God!) final phase of the house aggiornamento, we had the ancestral manse tented for termites. This entailed spending 4 days in a local hotel where the Memsahib and I got deathly ill after eating in a local restaurant. The details of this you do not wish to know. Suffice to say, I learned that one can lose ten pounds in two days and, although I can certainly afford to do so, I don't recommend the method.

That was week one. The second week's excuse is largely, well, lack of interest. And energy. I think it's that ten pounds in two days thing. It takes the starch out of one. The urge to berate political silliness, cultural devastation, and liturgical numpties didn't survive the trip to the desk where the PC lives. An extra nap even trumped posting a piping video.

So here we are on a Sunday afternoon, feeling pretty good, mostly, and filling in the time until evensong. ("Evensong"? Yes. I'll tell you more about that another time.)

And before you ask, yes, Herself is better now, too. In fact, somewhat embarrassingly, she recovered much faster than I. I mean, after all, I'm the guy. I'm supposed to do the heavy lifting and take care of her. Instead, I was still in bed dead-to-the-world and she was out buying me bananas and juice. Proverbs 31:10 et seq is not inappropriate. No, I do not exaggerate.