A friend reminded me today that at the bottom of any blog post there appears an advertisement. These will change from day to day, visit to visit. I have no say in what ads appear, indeed I never see them. The ads are be based not anything to do with me, but on WordPress’s priorities or even the reader’s browser history. WordPress says it filters ads for offensive or illegal material, but one might reasonably suspect that my definition of what constitutes offensive might be a little more stringent than WordPress’s definition.
My friend has reminded me that clergy especially need to be careful about what they might unwittingly be associated with. Also, there is my monastery to think about.
So, with a little family help, I am paying a small monthly fee to WordPress to remove the ads completely. This gives me peace of mind. An added bonus is that the upgrade includes a domain name for the blog, so here is a chance to utilise something more memorable for the blog’s web address.
So from now my readers, both of you, can also access this blog at hughosb.com. The old address still works, however.
If I am lucky the upgrade might even solve my formatting issues.
An apology to all those who have been trying to read the previous post on Fr Martin’s Christology in the last hour or so. Each time I would edit it to remove typos, WordPress would strip out the paragraph breaks. This meant I had to re-enter them manually for each paragraph. It has done this before in the past, and it drives me nuts.
Come on WordPress: #getyourpootogether.
The interventions, two of them now, of Fr Pio Pinto against
The Four Cardinals i Quattro Cardinali have probably been a little exaggerated in their reporting. However reading excerpts of his answers is enough to realise that Fr Pinto was verging on the hysterical in his support-of-the-pope-by-attacking-the-cardinals. In a second interview he has stepped back from any suggestion that the pope could strip the cardinals of their scarlet. He extols the pope’s mercifulness, twists the two synods on the family into conclusion they did not make, and makes a nasty ad hominem attack against Cardinal Meisner. The tone of Fr Pinto stands in stark contrast to the measured and respectful tone of the cardinals’ letter. Fr Pinto is getting on and some may be wondering if he is hoping for a little sacred purple to cushion his retirement. Chi sa? Continue reading “Ecclesiastical hysterics”
Some time earlier this year I was on the hunt for a medal of St Benedict. Not one of the vin ordinaire cheapies (though they are not unworthy) and certainly not the mass-produced Chinese ones (I kid you not) that do not bear close inspection. A few decades ago there were some natty ones made in France (I think it was) that had one charming if un-traditional image of Our Holy Father St Benedict. They can be found you look hard enough, but second-hand and over-priced.
You might protest that since I wear the habit of a consecrated Benedictine the medal is a little outré, or at least superfluous, for a monk. Well, monks too like sacramentals: their imagery, their feel, their blessing, and (in this case), their text. I would also like to give some to friends. Continue reading “The Holy Grail of Holy Medals”
To all those who visit here but do not follow me in on Facebook, my apologies. If you have been wondering how things went before the inquisitors, I can say that it turned out to be a very rewarding and even consoling experience. Not once did they “show the implements” to me, and in fact we had a lively and searching discussion on topics in and arising from the thesis. Professors Bullivant and Muessig settled me down very quickly, and my supervisor Professor D’Costa successfully and fruitfully distracted me both before and immediately after the viva, as I waited to be recalled for the examiners’ decision.
In short, they passed the thesis without requiring any corrections. Unless the research degrees award committee has decided to be as contrary as modern politics, both civil and ecclesiastical, I should be graduating as a MPhil in February. It is not impossible that something further might be done with the thesis. Time will tell.
To all who prayed on my behalf, my thanks and blessings. It worked, and it was rather cheering to enter the day in question knowing that others were praying for me.
And life rocks on…
Please spare me a prayer tomorrow morning. At 11am, in Bristol, I will front two professorial inquisitors appointed to conduct the viva for my MPhil thesis on the ecumenism of blood and the Coptic martyrs of Libya.
The last couple of days re-reading critically the thesis I have found a regiment of typos and stylistic infelicities which escaped the notice of two pairs of eyes and which would not have troubled the spell-check. While I think the argument fairly sound I wonder if I have actually carried it off adequately. No doubt this is fairly natural pre-inquisition nervousness, and I am assured they are very nice inquisitors. Yet, mmm…
In the global scheme of things this is pretty inconsequential, yet it in such things we find that our personal horizons tend ineluctably to narrow and our world to shrink. It is very hard to resist.
So a prayer would be nice. At the very least I would hate for it to happen that I wasted more of the monastery’s money!
It is certain that I am not alone in saying that while I am not exactly happy that Donald Trump has been elected president of the USA, I am not unhappy that Hillary Clinton has not been elected.
But the election and its aftermath are fast becoming an object of fascination. Certain things seem to have been revealed even more starkly in their true colours; true in the sense of what they actually are, not necessarily what they should be.
So the sight of liberal voters rioting in Portland and elsewhere, arming themselves with bats to attack police and storefronts, hashtagging #notmypresident like there is no tomorrow (they all expect #Trumpageddon imminently), crying on Youtube videos, and forecasting the end of the American political order is fascinating. Actually, it is a more than a little pathetic. Continue reading “True Colours—Election Fallout (Updated)”