Monday, January 23, 2006

The Election & A Little History

Today, Canada elects a new government. Tomorrow, the Church remembers the Blessed Martyrs William Ireland and John Grove, two of the priests executed in the late 17th century as a result of the perjured testimony of Titus Oates.

What connexion do these two events have? The very beginnings of the Liberal Party were responsible for Titus Oates' testimony. Oates, a Anglican minister who had been twice removed from positions for buggery, had spent some time with Jesuits in France, and on his return to England found an opportune manner to increase his fortunes. The so-called "Popish Plot" was triggered by Oates' allegations that dozens of people, many Catholic, some not, were conspiring to assassinate Charles II and install in his place James, the Duke of York, the heir presumptive, and a Catholic. The leader of the Whigs, Lord Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury had built up the party around a group called the "Green Ribbon Club", many of whom would later be implicated in the genuine Rye House Plot, which sought to assassinate both Charles II and James. This marked the beginning of the party system in England, with the Whigs later becoming the Liberals and the Tories, defenders of the Crown, becoming Conservatives. It appears that Shaftesbury sought to use the Popish Plot to exclude the James from becoming King, but also if circumstances allowed, to permit Shaftesbury to reinstitute a Republic under his and Lord Buckingham's leadership. During his testimony, Oates daily met with the Green Ribbon Club while Shaftesbury sought to suborn other witnesses to buoy up the accusations of Oates', and supported the perjorors financially. And so the Liberal party was born of Murder and Treason.

So remember William Ireland and John Grove, this election day, and honour their memories.


Blogger The Pleasant Peasant said...

yep, becoming a catechumen is the official step towards christmation (or baptism for those who have never been baptized). once the catechumen is ready to enter the church, then this happens and they are allowed to partake in holy communion and the other Mysteries.

to clarify, my friend kim describes it like becoming engaged and then getting married where the catechumen step is the engagement.

as for those sacraments, the orthodox church doesn't have the same sense of 'sacraments' that the catholic church does. we have the 7 mysteries (baptism, christmation, confession, marriage, holy orders, holy unction, holy communion) and these are included in the 'sacraments', but there is not a set number of sacraments.

does the catholic church have a "pre-catholic, but still catholic" stage too?

January 24, 2006 12:39 PM  
Blogger gabriel said...

interesting- It sounds like the catechumenate is very similar in both East & West. In the West, however, if you've already been baptized you become a candidate (for reception into the church through confirmation); not that there's a great difference between the two functionally- but I guess the names recognize that a candidate is already a Christian through baptism.

If I may be a touch controversial- wouldn't the understanding of the 7 mysteries correspond to the understanding of the 7 sacraments? I realize there are differences of emphasis and perspective, but I hope they aren't doctrinal.

On the positive side, I note we've both misspelled "chrismation"- you putting a "t" in there, I adding an "a".

Again, Felicitations.

ps. A few of us in the Newman Club are heading out to hear the University Singers at the Chan Centre next friday evening. Would you and your fellow "orthodorks" (not my word, onlookers!) care to join in an evening of apostolic unity?

pps. Should we have these conversations on blogs, or would email work better for you? I've made my email visible on my profile.

January 24, 2006 1:50 PM  

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