Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Campion, the Seditious Jesuit"

"In condemning us, you condemn all your own ancestors, all our ancient bishops and kings, all that was once the glory of England -- the island of saints, and the most devoted child of the See of Peter."

Thus spake St. Edmund Campion upon being sentenced to death as a traitor.

He was hanged, drawn, and quartered on this day in 1581.

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 — 110 years ago) was commemorated yesterday.

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

St. Edmund Campion, ora pro nobis.

1 comment:

The Dutchman said...

I once heard Gary Wills lecture on his book "Why I Am A Catholic." His answer was "to have my sins forgiven," which is probably the best of all possible reasons. He then went on to describe a "Catholic Church" that was unrecognizable to me as it seemed to have everything to do with fixing the world and nothing to say about personal sin.

After the talk I found myself agreeing with William F. Buckley, who says that Wills is a Catholic "just to annoy me."