Monday, 13 September 2010

Religious stuff - as per usual!

Saturday was spent doing a little but long overdue visit to the historic Rosslyn Chapel -or Collegiate Church of St Matthew, Roslin - one of the few medieval building then SEC has in use.  Which is (of course) much more important than all that Da Vinci code stuff! It was quite interesting, but frankly £7.50 is a bit steep to get in.  Don't blame the Church though - it is a private Chapel and the fees are set by the Trust.  I took a wee picnic with me (chicken Caesar salad, nice healthy yoghurt with fruit clusters, lemon and lime spring water - and a triple choc donut!!) and basked in the sunshine in Roslin Glen whilst tackling the Times Jumbo crossword, getting all but 2 clues!

This morning involved the usual trip to Spiky Mike's then a wee trip downtown to enjoy the continuing sunshine.  As I passed St John's Episcopal Drawing Room Princes Street, I took note of the new mural they have painted on their wall to make Pope Benny feel welcome to Embra. On two of the 3 panels they have Copernicus and Galileo with big red crosses ("wrong" crosses like they used to put in my Math's jotter at skool) underneath them and below that the comment "Oops!".  The centre panel is a woman in a dog collar elevating a host and chalice with a big red cross underneath with the crossed silver and gold keys of  the Papal Insignia inset.  I really don't approve.  Legitimate protest is one thing but the internal affairs of the RC church are their own business, not ours and if CWO (Catholic Women's Ordination) want to do it, let them take out a billboard on some neutral space and do so.  Also, it looked rather puerile and the woman wasn't even properly vested!  Bad manners, unecumenical and rather childish. St John's run a Festival of Spirituality and peace devoted to respectful dialogue between opposing viewpoints.  this hardly reflects that ideal. Liberals, like Aunts, aren't Gentlemen, Jeeves!

Thus narked, I headed to the RC Cathedral to pray (I felt some Reparation was called for).  Sadly I arrived in the midst of some modern devotion to something called The Divine Mercy.  I say sadly, as it was liturgical ghastliness incarnate.  The monstrance was off centre (sloppy and distracting), there was a 20ft high painting of the DM next to the altar (making it utterly impossible to focus on the sacrament in the titchy monstrance - if Jesus is out, don't stick another devotion in there at the same time - it's totally contray to the principles of liturgical devotion).  There was an OHP (not a Whitby nun, but a peice of kit beloved of 70's charismatics) projecting hymns and texts in English and Polish (looks awful - use Powerpoint).  The hymns were trite modern, banal and badly sung by a duo who couldn't sing in harmony together ("Wan singer, Wan song" as they say in the West!).  The best bit was when the cats duet went quiet ,they switched off the projector and let us simply adore the Blessed Sacrament in silence. I like the Roman Church, but we Piskys do Catholicism so much better!

In the evening I went to a reasonably interesting talk on praying with icons in a Presby church given by the local Greek Orthodox priest.  A fairly diverse day indeed!


  1. Hey, Dougal - if you're really passionate about something, you don't stop to ponder whether or not you want to protest about it, do you? do you not get out there on the street or wherever and get on with it? Be ye not narked, my son - just consider how it feels to be the "wrong" gender!

  2. Father Andrew Crosbie15 September 2010 at 11:37

    Well done. The mural mess outside St Johns is a disgrace. The fact is simple. Catholic Christians dont have women as priests. Benedict cannot do anything about it. The Orthodox wont even discuss it so it isnt going to happen in the Catholic Orthodox world.

    I love your description of St Johns as Gods Drawingroom. I fear that most of the congregation these days probably live in Bungalows in Corstorphine. The New Town folk have desreted Pisky ways in favour of secularism and other traditions.

    Piskies did do liturgy better but that is now in the past.

    I will be interested to see if you leave my comment. Facist Kelvin always deletes my comments because he only runs a Kelvin fan blog.

  3. IMHO I think Catholic Christians DO have women priests - they're called Anglicans and as usual we are simply a couple of Conferences ahead of the Vatican (married clergy and liturgy in the vernacular being classic examples)! And we still generally do liturgy better than your friendly local Roman sacramental tratorria! Not as well as we used to admittedly.

    PS I'm no fascist but I am a pedant: note the spelling of the "f" word, the lack of an apostrophe in St John's, the misplaced "e" in deserted and a few others! Please God I did my grammar at the hands of an NSM of St John's Perth who had a double 1st in Classics from Trinity Cambridge and who drilled Kennedy's Primer into us!

  4. Mural looks rubbish to me, but is calling the chap "Pope Benny" more respectful do you think?
    And was it called "Math's" in pedantry school?
    Fascist you clearly are not, otherwise you would know there are two "t"s in the middle of trattoria.

    Apology to Father Andrew in order, surely.

  5. Fair-ish points Anon. But this a blog you have to choose to look at, not the side of a church on Princes Street you can't avoid. I think of this as a sort of "consenting adults zone", so a Private Eye style is fair enough (they used to refer to a former Archbishop of Canterbury as "Agatha Runciballs" and him with the MC and all that.

    As to Maths vs Mathematics - we Classicists never felt it worth expending the extra vowels and constanants on something that only scientists would use!

    Apologies? Aye, well I am an imperfect pedant and will correct my errors. I try to set a standard and don't always succeed. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try. If he'd like an apology, I will happily offer it.

  6. If you read more closely, I was agreeing with you on the mural. And it was the stray apostrophe in "Math's" I was objecting to, along with the motes and beams bit of criticising someone else.

    Maybe your typing is to blame, as you now have your "constanants" all to pot as well! At least you can't be wasting time watching Countdown.

  7. How can you criticise the pope when you are a gay priest?

  8. Anon - I saw you agreed on the mural, I just decided to concentrate on the major points. And yes, I got a C on O grade typing. It was also late and I was on my 3rd overnight shift with overtime in a row. Some human errors just happen. As you so correctly observe, I don't watch Countdown, nor can I count especially well (kicked out of Higher Maths. The critical faculty is one I exercise in the full knowledge of being imperfect. As are you. "Dust thou art" etc. And I criticise the Pope as a LGBT ANGLICAN priest. Not being in Communion with the bloke, I am not disloyal, I am expressing a different point of view that dissents from the Papal position on grounds of theological principle. Any way the soon to be Blessed JH Newman disagreed with the Papacy of his day as it went into mad Ultramontane mode, was gay (try David L Edwards' essay in his volume on the leaders of the Victorian Church) and they are making him a saint by stages. Doesn't invalidate his critique does it?

  9. frdougal,

    No need for an apology about the typos etc. This is a much more fun blog than others as you seem prepared to permit comments that disagree with your point of view. Well done. I am dyslexic so any level of input wouldn’t have made much difference.

    Sorry I do not accept that Anglicans who have revised the faith of the Church in a go it alone basis can claim to be part of the Catholic Church. I am pleased to say that as yet most Anglicans have not indulged in modern heresy. No Bishop no Church. Women cannot be ordained therefore ordain a woman and you destroy the link to the Apostles and therefore the church. Simples.

    I have seen the kind of Kevin ( alias Pearshape ) invented nonsense that goes on at Tollcross these days. I was brought up there under Canon Brady and Gordon Reid who did know how to do liturgy. Kevin is not entirely to blame as the rot started with the Celtic Kermit who I gather is now inflicting the people of the Gallowgate with his own special brand of Weegie Celticism.
    I am confused about the gay priest bit invalidating what you say. I really don’t see that being gay diminishes or destroys your priesthood. God made you that way. It is how you use your gifts as a priest that will impact on your priesthood. If being gay becomes the totality of what you are or the majority of what you are and do it will be a problem. It is putting things such as sexuality before our priesthood that create barriers to our using the most wonderful glorious gift that God has given us to bring the body and blood of Our Lord to his people and to enjoin the Sacrifice of God on the Cross.
    Keep an open website Father. It will be much more fun.

  10. Well, I am going to apologise for being snarky about the typos in ignorance of your dyslexia. That was not fair or courteous.

    "Modern heresy"? Doesn't exist really - I once found a particular form of Gnosticism that described Dick Holloway perfectly! Sadly I can't find my Dictionary of Heresies (which I bought in Foyle's in London) at the moment! Obviously I think we have bishops and women can be ordained, so we'll just have to agree to differe on that one!

    Err, well I was crucifer at the present Dean of Aberdeen's institution in the Gallowgate, but his liturgical style can best be described in the words of the aforementioned ex-Primus: "redemptive vulgarity"!

    I agree totally on the gay issue. Although sometimes others use it as a barrier to our exercise of priestly ministry. UJust sayin'!

    I will keep it open but will also keep the moderation on. I was evidently being plagued by links to Chinese porn sites (well, that's what my chums in Sig Int told me) and a like to keep it clean-ish!

  11. Father Andrew Crosbie22 September 2010 at 07:55

    Sorry to hear about the chinese porn. I had an employee who started using one of the office computers to buy 'sex aid' medication on line . It caused chaos. We had hundreds of porn emails. Employee no longer with us.

  12. No surprises re the employee's current status!