Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Campion, the Seditious Jesuit"

Today is the feast of one of my favorite saints, the great English Jesuit Edmund Campion, who was hanged, drawn, and quartered on this day in 1581 because he audaciously refused to renounce the Catholic faith—an act of defiance that, in Elizabethan England, not infrequently proved hazardous to one's life.

Apropos of this, I can't help but call to mind a quip by Oscar Wilde (whose death — and, far more importantly, deathbed conversion to Catholicism — 109 years ago) was commemorated yesterday.

The Catholic Church, Wilde remarked, is "for saints and sinners alone — for respectable people, the Anglican Church will do."

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