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June 01, 2007


Mr. Peperium

"One man, however, returned from Tyburn to Grays Inn profoundly changed; Henry Walpole, Cambridge wit, minor poet, satirist, flaneur, a young man of birth, populat, intelligent, slightly romantic. He came of a Cathlic family and occasionally expresed Catholic sentiments, but until that day had kept at a discreet distance from Gilbert and his circle, and was on good terms with authority. He was a typical member of that easy-going majority, on whom the Elizabethan settlement depended, who would have preferred to live under a Catholic regime but accepted the change without very serious regret. He had an interest in theology and had attended Campion's conferences with the Anglican clergy. He secued a front place at Tyburn; so close that when Campion's entrails were torn out by the butcher and thrown into the cauldron of boiling water, a spot of blood splashed upon his coat. In that moment he was caught into a new life; he crossed the sea, became a priest, and, thirteen years later, after very terrible sufferings, died the same death as Campion's on the gallows at York."

from Edmund Campion, A Life, by Evelyn Waugh

Mrs. Peperium

Ah, great. I return from preschool graduation to see we are discussing the entrails of prominent Catholics. Great. Where's Maximum Leader? He knows how to cook entrails...

Fascinating post Father M.


Thank you, Fr. M, for that wonderful reflection, and for introducing us to this brave and holy priest.


"We highly esteem and love exceedingly the young and vigorous American nation, in which we plainly discern latent forces for the advancement alike of civilization and of Christianity."


Fr. M,
Do you cook any Cuban cuisine?

Mrs. Peperium

Leo, if I may be so bold, you are making the point I've been trying to pound into the heads of a few charming monarchists I've been known to keep company with. You see, they are very fond of all things England and believe that the Eurotrash Windsors are rightful heirs to the English throne. Or, at the very least, treated as if the Windsors (and the Georges and the other assorted ill-gotten windbag monarchy that preceeded the Windsors since the English Reformation), are in the possession of Divine Right and, therfore, should be treated accordingly.


The English monarchy threw itself into illegitimacy when it broke from Rome. It cut itself loose, relies on its own understanding of all things State and Church, picks its advisors from whichever party wins which ever election, and all the rest of sort of good stuff that leads empires straight to damnation. Harsh words I know but if you look at the history of England from the last 450 years, illegitimacy is about the kindest word one can use.

Now I will say something even more outrageous : Oliver Cromwell was a guy in serious search of the Truth. He went about it all the wrong way, but Truth is he was looking for. (St. Paul had a bit of the Oliver Cromwell in him too for a while - he just had a more obedient heart than old Ollie)

Many of Cromwell's co-religionists came to this country to start fresh with God. To worship freely. England would not allow that, as the cooking of Campion's entrails so nicely demonstrates. You being the Pope of course, sitting on the Chair of Peter, would naturally take the longer view of history. The longer view (the one you saw) would be that this new country, America, with its separation of Church and State- in other words returning to the old medieval idea-- would allow for the flourishing of Catholicism worldwide. Which in spite of all the lousy Catholics around America, and the willful misreading of Vatican II, America has most definitely contributed the flourishing of Catholicism worldwide in her short history.

The English would still be boiling the entrails of prominent Catholics today had not a rag tag bunch of he-men with guns beaten back the illegimate English Crown... Kicking against the goads is very painful as Our Lord told St. Peter. England has been kicking against the goads for a long time and it hasn't been pretty. That America helped civilized the barbaric English is another very nice feather in our cap.

Fr. M.

Mr. P.,
I love "Edmund Campion" by Evelyn Waugh. Many were converted s well when they were splattered with the blood of Margaret Clitherow. As Turtullian stated, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Faith."

Christine, Thank you. Oh, and I don't cook anything. But if I did it would be Cuban food. When you and your brood are in DC I will take you to a nice, basic Cuban restaurant down the block that does a wonderful job.

Leo XII,
My favorite quote of yours is from the conclave that elected you, " You are electing a dead man" and then you went on to live eight more years. Oh, and thanks for putting the Prussians in their place at the Diet of Ratisbon. As Mrs. P would say, they can't help it, their blood is off...

Mrs. P.,
You are right. Indeed, Cromwell was actually easier on Catholics than the English Crown and bestowed some of the new world land grants to them.
Father M.

Mr. Peperium

Probably because he was trying to get rid of us.

"With this charter I bestow upon you a Godforsaken wilderness brimming with savage natives and wild beasts, where the summers make you wish it was winter and the winters make you wish you were dead. Go forth and clear acres of trees by hand, only to see your first crop washed out to see by torrential rains and your few head of livestock killed off by a drought. Oh, and don't forget those touchy natives. We hear they're pretty handy with a war club."

Mr. Peperium

Note the Cromwellian spelling of "sea". We do try to be historically accurate here at Patum Peperium.

Mr. Peperium

Father M,

Your post just made me think of that passage from Waugh. Another example of a "tangential" meeting producing great results.

Mrs. Peperium

Father M., I grew up playing on a village green a stone's throw from our home. In the 1600's a Cromwell church(Puritans as Catholics weren't allowed in Connecticut by law) stood there. My family that lived in the town at the time worshipped there. The British came ashore one night and burned the town down including that church. For some reason, it was never rebuilt. A few years ago, the town decided to install an inground sprinkler system on park right across from the green and guess what they found?

The parish cemetary with loads of bodies... The town officals didn't know what to do as the Cromwellian-issued simple wooden coffins and wooden crosses that would have identified the graves' occupants were long gone....So they ended up deciding the park did not need an inground sprinkler system. They stopped digging and covered everyone back up...I used to play on top of those bodies. Take my dogs for walks (and more I'm afraid) all over them. Even sled right across them in the winter...

Old Dominion Tory

Taking Mrs. Peperium's stance on the legitimacy of the British Crown, it would seem that James II represented the "last stand" of Catholic monarchy in Britain.
I did not know that Cromwell was considered relatively easy on English Catholics. I wish some of the Parliamentarian side in Maryland had picked up some of Oliver's attitude rather turning themselves to sacking St. Mary's and other crimes.

Old Dominion Tory

Speaking of the Crown and Evelyn Waugh, one of his best quips came when he was asked if he voted in elections. He replied he did not because "I do not presume to advise my sovereign on his choice of ministers."

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