Random Conjectures

"Act locally; bitch globally."

Month: June, 2015

Ave Verum Corpus, by William Byrd

This has been an earworm in my mind, and a prayer in my heart, for the last week. I’m not quite sure why, but it is one of the few things that calm my soul just now.

No, it’s a Murder in the Second Degree

With a tip of the hat to Edward C. Yong

And now, for something completely different

As I have probably by now more than confirmed my bona fides as ‘to the right of Attila the Hun’, permit me to weird youze guyz out yet further by recommending some really good music.

Namely, luteduo. Their page full of YouTube clips of their excellent music, can be found here. Enjoy.

An alternative view

Tradition and some historical accounts contend that Roman Emperor Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

It would appear that the Emperor Nero, in his current manifestation as five members of the Supreme Court, has guaranteed to gays and lesbians the right to get a divorce.

Please forgive me if I do not join the general celebration, but like the character played by Dame Maggie Smith in the superb film, Sister Act, “I appear to have misplaced my tamborine”.

While I am at least happy that that august Court by its decision has closed the barn door, and helped to prevent the sort of circumstances which led to the death of the unfortunate Thomas M. Disch, among many other misfortunes and injustices, I believe that less extreme means could have accomplished the same end, and with less impact upon rights otherwise guaranteed by the First Amendment, than the present decision. Read the rest of this entry »

A Case for the Restoration of the Sarum Rite in the Roman Catholic Church

An acquaintance of mine who is both a Jesuit priest and a capable mathematician told me the following joke:

“A Jesuit priest and a Franciscan friar were once riding in the same car of a train. As it was noon, they both pulled out their breviaries and each began reading their prayers for the Sixth Hour. As the Jesuit was doing so, however, he pulled out a cigarette, lit it, and began to smoke. The Franciscan was so surprised by this that he interrupted his prayers and asked the Jesuit, “But Father, does your Bishop permit you to smoke while praying?”

“Why certainly, reverend friar,” said the Jesuit. “I asked my bishop, and he allowed me to.”

“But reverend father, I asked my bishop if I could smoke while I was praying, and he forbade me to.”

The Jesuit smiled, and said, “Why, there’s your problem. I asked my bishop if I could pray while I was smoking, and he allowed it. You must ask the right question.”

One example of not asking the right question seems to have happened in 1997, Read the rest of this entry »

The Blood is the Life, Part III

Between the difficulty of other tasks, not least being sole caretaker for my invalid wife, I have had to put off for a time writing on this weblog. I will, however, as time permits, return to this task, for I believe it to be an important one.

To sum up the theses in my previous essays, I posit that the Roman Catholic Church, or that part of it called the “Church Militant”, is suffering from an immune deficiency syndrome. In short, it would appear that most bishops are not teaching the Faith, most priests are not sanctifying, and most deacons are not serving effectively. This is not to say that they are not working, and working hard, in the sense that they are expending a great deal of effort. What I am saying, rather, is that since their labors are not based on what the Church has taught and still teaches, whatever work they are accomplishing is entirely or mostly ineffectual. It is time to examine why that is the case. Read the rest of this entry »


It is has been several months since I have written for my weblog. This has been because, as the poet has said, “Life is what happens when you’ve made other plans.”

For me, it began in the fall of last year, when my wife was experiencing a numbness and slight paralysis in her tongue. We went to her doctor, to be informed that what she had was hypoglossal nerve palsy. As this could be a symptom of anything from Parkinson’s Disease to ALS to a particularly nasty set of cancers, we and her doctors spent some time ruling out things. Read the rest of this entry »