Showing posts with label Maximilian Hanlon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maximilian Hanlon. Show all posts

Thursday, May 6, 2021

What Do Academics Talk About in Hell?

Dante tried to teach us long ago that many clerics, including (the majority of?) popes, justly go to hell when they die. Those of you who enjoy reading this blog, no doubt, will agree with such divinely-established exclusivity. Nonetheless, what the bishops talk about at their annual meeting down there must be so intolerably dull that no sane human being would ever want to listen in. No doubt, it would involve mercy and social justice for ordained pedophiles justly accused of non-consensual sodomy with a minor. But what happens when chic, trendy, liberal, and (surprisingly-but-somehow-not-so-surprisingly) ignorant academics in the humanities end up in hell? Would their discussions ever be worth listening to? That question has inspired your favorite EF humorist to come out of retirement to relieve the tedium of our own time. In the midst of so much suffering, why not have a laugh in the spirit of Dante?




As the damned academics assemble, they take in the newest book about Mary Queen of Scots. She is still an acceptable subject of discourse, because even if she was not biologically female (how could we know that for sure?), still she identified as a woman. Nonetheless, she was white, moneyed, and often empowered, so she will not be considered acceptable for discourse at next year’s conference. Naturally, straight white men were excluded three years ago, because the presence of any hetero, white, biological male who identifies as a man necessarily creates a hostile environment for anyone deserving of free healthcare under the Biden Administration.

In light of the book’s cover, a gay man (henceforth, Gay Academic 1, aka GA1) asks: If these ladies could talk, what would they say? Two other gay men join in on the conversation:


GA2: Redheads do it better.


GA1: But to clarify: What is it that redheads do better? And given the fact that we’re talking about two British ladies, shouldn’t you say ginger, not red?


GA2: I’m removing myself from this conversation. Given the gross racial/ethnic trichological insensitivities, I no longer feel safe. Caring for myself is not self-indulgent; it is self-preservation and an act of political warfare.


GA1: If you can’t engage in the discourse required by your position because of your emotional incontinence, you are not qualified for your job and ought to be fired. I don’t believe in your non-right not to do your job just because it requires that you learn to develop the emotional maturity required to live in the emotionally unsafe places of authentic discourse about the issues we are politically and ethically obligated to discuss, including trichology. Your remarks are culturally and linguistically insensitive, and hence colonial, and also probably racist.


GA3: As a ginger-adjacent-identifying queer person, I think my voice being left out of this discourse is part of the larger systemic issue of ginger-erasure. I hold neither of you accountable for having this conversation over me. These are inherited systems of power, after all. But I would like my voice to be heard, nonetheless. In this context, however, I do not feel at liberty to discuss what it is that gingers do better, but I would like to have that conversation separately, perhaps over cocktails.


An obese, gender-fluid Latinex overhears the conversation and adds his/her/h* two cents:


Why must you insist on perpetuating patriarchy? Putting words in the mouth of women who aren’t here to speak for themselves effectively renders them voiceless. Your presence at this conference is offensive, because you are male. OUT!


With that, conference security arrives to force the gay men away. To do what they can to dismantle white fragility and maleness, the conference organizers then decide that at next year’s conference, all biological males who identify as men (including gay men) will be excluded so as to create an inclusive, affirming, welcoming, and safe environment for all.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Pray for Pope Francis

Word has come to the EF that Enzo Bianchi, "prior" of the Bose Monastic Community and confidant of Pope Francis, has communicated to the leadership of the Federation of "Evangelical" "Churches" in Italy that Pope Francis has finally accepted Jesus Christ as his "personal Lord and Savior" and has thus been "born again." We at the EF believe that this conversion bodes well for the authentic reform of the Vatican. Naturally, given how prone the Curia is to maintaining the status quo, the Pope's conversion has of yet borne no visible fruit, but certain power players in the Vatican are now apparently afraid of being fired, should the new "Evangelical" pope seek to clean the Augean stables of his own staff. Cardinal Coccopalmerio ("Cardinal Cocco" for short) and his fellow partiers, for instance, have threatened Pope Francis with blackmail should he actually follow through on his newfound convictions. They, apparently, have proof that the Pope is actively plotting to interfere in the next American election so as to thwart Putin's foreign policy and to secure the election of Beto O'Rourke. Oh, and apparently the Pope likes Beto's "poetry" too.

April Fools!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Something Worth Reading

As the Vatican II generation continues to die off, it is so often a relief to see young people with real ardor for our holy religion replacing them. One of these, apparently, is Matthew Walther. His latest piece at The Week is well worth reading.

It is regrettable, however, that Mr. Walther holds Pope John Paul II in such high regard. That the Holy Father had no gift for governance and thereby failed at his duty as pope is beyond dispute. Mr. Walther is to be commended, nonetheless, for in effect calling Mr. Pence to repentance. We at the EF second that call.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Cardinal Kasper RIP

The EF’s contacts in Germany are reporting that his eminence, Walter Cardinal Kasper (b. 5 March 1933) passed away in his sleep early this morning due to a heart attack at the age of eighty-three.

Certain circumstances of his death, however, seem to be confusing the news media and interfering with objective reporting. Sources close to the Cardinal tell us that after reading Michel de Certeau’s L’invention du quotidien, Kasper was inspired to go to confession during Holy Week for the first time since the early 1990s. Apparently, Pope Francis’s love of Jesuitical pop-psychology masquerading as culture criticism and the offer of an easy plenary indulgence during the Year of Mercy have brought about the conversion of at least one, stiff-necked, hardhearted, notorious, and public sinner.

Details regarding funeral arrangements have yet to be released to the public.

We at the EF are committed to keeping the reading public informed about the life of the Church and the world with the most up-to-date and accurate information possible. Stay tuned as the details of the Cardinal’s death and funeral arrangements continue to be revealed. We encourage all to pray for those who mourn.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

How Many Light Bulbs?

Q. How many Anglo-Catholics does it take to change a light bulb?
A. One to change the light bulb, and two to hold the cope.

Q. How many Latin Massers does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Change?!?!? I don’t read about light bulbs in the Council of Trent!

Q. How many Aristotelians does it take to change a light bulb?
A. As many as the celestial movers, a point the Philosopher unfortunately left unresolved.

Q. How many Calvinists does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Only God knows and as many as God wills.

Q. How many Methodists does it take to change a light bulb?
A. One to change the light bulb, five to set up a committee to discuss a commemorative plaque, and at least two to bring a dish to pass.

Q. How many Prayer-Book Anglicans does it take to change a light bulb?
A. One to change the light bulb and at least two to complain about how much better the last one was.

Q. How many Dominicans does it take to change a light bulb?
A. I answer that the requisite number of Dominicans can be demonstrated in five ways, all of which may be incomprehensible.

Q. How many Eastern Orthodox does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Just like everything else it’s a great mystery, but their beards might have something to do with it.

Q. How many Jehovah Witnesses does it take to change a light bulb?
A. 144,000. All 144,000

(The author invites his readers to add to this list in the comment section.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


A dear friend of the EF has sent in this wonderful piece of satire that can give us some repose in the sea of turbulence in which we must live by God's design. The text may be heard with its music here.

I am the very model of a modern German cardinal
I'm kind to all minorities peripheral and marginal
I know the mobile numbers of my seniors political
I try quite hard at humour and I'm studiously uncritical
I'm very fond of arguments heretic and schismatical
I like to bitch about my fellow Lords ecclesiastical
About Kasperian theorem I am teeming with a lot of news [pause]
With many cheerful facts about conveyancing and empty pews
I'm very well acquainted too with every kind of blasphemy
I know in every detail all the sins contr'ry to chastity
In short, in things political, peripheral and marginal
I am the very model of a modern German cardinal
I know the Church's history, from Schillebeeckx to G D Boff
I like to wear bad vestments and I'm apt to take my cassock off
I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of the traditionalists
I make outrageous statements and proceed to slander journalists
I'm very prone to avarice, and harbouring of catamites
And mawkish modern liturgies with troupes of female acolytes
In profit from the Church tax I've a juicy line in Simony
I'm expert in denial and impervious to irony
Then I can write an article in favour of adultery
And praise unclean affections both unnatural and desultory
In short, in things political, peripheral and marginal
I am the very model of a modern German cardinal
In fact when I know what is meant by mercy, grace and charity
When I can tell at sight heroic virtue from depravity
When such affairs as doctrine and dogmatics I'm more wary at
And when I learn precisely what became of Jude Iscariot
When I have grasped the rudiments of sexual biology
When I can make a fist of a believable apology
When I care more for men than for the dogs they keep at Battersea
You'll say a better German Cardinal had never sat a See
For my Catechetic knowledge, though I'm pompous and effrontery,
Is limited by effort will and interest quite perfunctory
But still in things political, peripheral and marginal
I am the very model of a modern German cardinal.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Pope Francis to be tried by the Sanhedrin

"Fact is stranger than fiction," it is often said, and this is one of those instances that proves that old adage true. According to Breaking News Israel, the Vatican's recognition of the State of Palestine has initiated such outrage among Zionist extremists that the Sanhedrin (yes, the successors to the people who unjustly condemned Jesus) now intends to convict Pope Francis of anti-semitism, if he does not abrogate his recognition of the Palestinian Nation. Well! Isn't it a strange day in the age of inter-religious dialogue?

It is a pity that the Holy Father will not outrage these people further by praying explicitly and in public that they acknowledge the Lord Jesus to be their Messiah and the Savior of all men. To be ecumenical, I will do so now in the words of an Anglican prayer:

O GOD, who didst choose Israel to be thine inheritance: Look, we beseech thee, upon thine ancient people; open their hearts that they may see and confess the Lord Jesus to be thy Son and their true Messiah, and, believing, they may have life through his Name. Take away all pride and prejudice in us that may hinder their understanding of the Gospel, and hasten the time when all Israel shall be saved; through the merits of the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Current State of Abortion in the US

Apparently, our enemies at The New York Times are aghast that Texas's recent anti-abortion law has actually been upheld in federal court. With this, we should also delight in the progress we are making in Wisconsin where a bill is underway to outlaw abortion in those instances where the fetus will experience pain (i.e., after twenty weeks of gestation). This legislative progress naturally mirrors trends in the broader culture where only 41% of Americans now consider themselves "pro-choice." In short, we are winning and our liberal opponents have begun to gnash their teeth. Continue to pray and fast for the Pro-Life movement worldwide.

In the spirit of "tacky liberal incoherence," we should note that the Texas bill primarily aims to regulate abortion clinics to ensure that they are safe. Given what happened in Philadelphia, this should be a top-priority for all legislators nationwide. And insofar as lefties are fond of insisting that abortion ought to be "safe, legal, and rare," it is odd that they too would not support legislation requiring abortion clinics to be safe. Or perhaps by "safe, legal, and rare," they really mean "often-unsafe, tax-payer-funded, and common."

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What is going on in the Vatican?

As reported in The Week, it looks like Pope Francis has lost control of his staff in the Vatican. Michael Doughtery's article deserves a close read and clearly expresses the same position of concern and incomprehension at contemporary events that we at the EF take, albeit in a tone less polemical than our own.

A few things to note: In the contemporary church the only thing worse than the hubris of an archbishop towards well-meaning laypeople seeking clarification for his unCatholic behavior, is the hubris of a lay employee in the Vatican towards her critics. What these people would have us believe is that to combat poverty, slavery, and prostitution in the world, we must join forces with those at the UN who think that the murder of the unborn is necessary to save the environment. Shame on them! And instead of engaging in meaningful dialogue with their opponents, these elitists who have only condescension and contempt for their opponents, are only too eager to engage in mudslinging by accusing their opponents of being funded by the Tea Party and the oil industry. And who, pray tell, funds their salaries? Hmm? It does make one wonder if either of them ever took a course in formal logic and learned about the ad hominem.

One last thing: Apparently, Cardinal Pell does not own a cappa magna. I would only suggest that those of you with the money who support the churchiness-of-the-church might want to think about buying him one. That way someone in the anglosphere other than Cardinal Burke can proclaim to his opponents what he really feels.

Tacky Liberal Incoherence, No. 7

While ordering at a steakhouse: "Do you guys offer a vegan alternative for beacon? Because I'm not opposed to the merciless slaughter of poor, innocent animals for us just to eat them per se, because I'm not intolerant or narrow-minded. No! It's just that I'm here to help."

Friday, June 5, 2015

Tacky Liberal Incoherence, No. 5

Instead of allowing conservative meanies with guns to shoot at deer, kill them, and eat their flesh, why don’t we inject all the does with contraceptive darts? That way, they can enjoy free love almost as much as I do! I mean, just think of BAMBI’s MOM and all the harm being deprived of her love and affection causes fawns! (And don't you dare refer to another Disney movie that might invalidate my point!) And don’t even mention that many hunters do good by donating the meat they don’t want to feed the hungry. Such humanitarian acts which benefit young children undermine my own position!
CLEARLY, sterilizing deer against their will is worth the cost of $135 million every two years just in the state of Connecticut alone! And CLEARLY there will be no negative environmental effects as all those unnatural chemicals pass into the water supply!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Tacky Liberal Incoherence, No. 4

Granted that the happiness of some women does depend upon daily male sacrifice, we should still agitate for the abolition of Fathers’ Day, because Fathers' Day perpetuates and legitimizes the rape culture.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

On the Importance of Satire

Tancred suggested this morning that I write a post on the importance of satire to explain to readers why I sully his newsfeed with pieces intending to be funny, which “double as critiques of contemporary absurdities,” as a certain friend put it. And lest anyone doubt, he fully supports and enjoys my contributions to his blog and allows me my own policy when it comes to deleting comments I deem unworthy.
As someone once noted, in order to be funny and rhetorically effective, satire needs to have a certain amount of truth in it. The difficulty that now besets us, however, is that so long as there is truth in a piece of satire, a poor, unsuspecting bumpkin somewhere is going to be blind to the joke and miss out on all the fun.
So please, people, get a grip when I mock our opponents by linking articles from leftist (=sinister, usually) sources that are so absurd that they clearly deserve little more than public ridicule and contempt, if their authors refuse to recant their misguided views publicly.
As a side note, however, apparently I am not the only author whose satire and parodies are not always appreciated. C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters was once upon a time also so misunderstood that one reader cancelled his subscription to The Guardian, because he just didn’t get it.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tacky Liberal Incoherence, No. 3

Being gay is not a choice. No! (Because even if it sometimes is, we have to say that sexual orientation is always determined by genetics, because otherwise we might subvert the path to gay rights.) But then again, all women (and that means you!) should choose to become lesbians, because that’s the only way to completely escape the evil of patriarchy.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tacky Liberal Incoherence, No. 2

Of course, people have a right to free speech. But people also have a right to freedom from certain kinds of hate speech. That’s why I think governments should outlaw and punitively punish all anti-choice (wrongly called “pro-life”) speech. Plus, if such unacceptable (and therefore justly censured) speech isn’t censured, our universities won’t be safe places for all of us.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tacky Liberal Incoherence, No. 1

Women don't need men. No. They only need someone to provide them with the emotionally satisfying, heterosexual intimacy and biological children they need to be happy.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Thank you, Pope Francis!

We at the EF would like to thank Pope Francis for his courageous choice to offend the Turks (i.e., the wicked Mohammedan occupants of Asia Minor) by declaring their genocide of the Armenians a century ago, "the first genocide of the twentieth century," which it was. Thereby, the Roman Pontiff has done his duty to call a spade a spade and to acknowledge the blood of the martyrs which continues to water the garden of holy Church.

We should also draw attention to the Vatican's choice to reject (or at least its reticence to accept) an openly gay ambassador from France. Serves the dirty French revolutionaries right.

It is our hope that these pronounced disavowals of the world will serve the Pontiff well as he endures yet another Synod in Rome this autumn, a mess, granted, which is of his own making. Now that he has made that bed, he must lie in it, as the saying goes. Perhaps there's hope yet for a firm and unambiguous affirmation of the immutable doctrine of the Church? Pray and fast for him.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

BREAKING NEWS! Cardinal Nichols Changes His Tone!

As many of our readers know, Cardinal Nichols of Westminster isn’t always the most honest, tasteful, or concise member of the College of Cardinals, and recently many of his priests have offered him a vote of no confidence by publishing a letter in which they demand that the next Synod in Rome remain firm on doctrine. (You can read about the letter and his Eminence’s response thereto here.) Such a response is not surprising insofar as the Holy Father has now opened the floodgates for public debate and thereby granted conservatives and traditionalists license to imitate their liberal brethren by publicly airing their minds. Happily, it happens that Cardinal Nichols has now himself learnt a lesson from the priests of his diocese who were bold enough to sign the letter and has in fact changed his tone. In October last year, Nichols published a pastoral letter in which he speaks of the Synod approvingly and with relish. (It may be read here.) Now it seems his Eminence has learnt something of the preconciliar art of concision, precision, and brevity, and publicly changed his mind by publishing a revision, which may be read below. 

The full, revised text of Cardinal Vincent Nichols’ Pastoral Letter is as follows:

To all our brethren and spiritual subjects in Christ, both laics and clerks:

During this season of Lent wherein our holy Mother the Church ever exhorts her children unto increased vigilance, prayer, and penance, our grief and sadness compel us to make known unto you, dear brethren, the machinations of the recent Extraordinary Synod of Bishops held in Rome on the theme of the tribulations afflicted upon the family in these foul days of ours. Although fain would we have abstained from such a conventicle of many who have fallen from the sweetness of truth, duty bade us stay and offer unto God the sacrifices of a heart contrite and pierced by the infidelity of so many of our fellow churchmen.

As you have heard or read, many of the Synod fathers were intent upon changing the teaching of the Church (which God forbid!) on marriage and family life. Such, alas, is the case. Superficially, the enemies of truth discussed questions of ‘pastoral care’ that the Church with maternal solicitude ever owes to repentant sinners. Such was all for the good. The primal error afflicting nearly all, however, was the intentionally willed ambiguity whereby almost none distinguished between the repentant and the unrepentant. Whereas the Church must always offer care for the sick of soul, that she might cure the spiritually infirm all the more, from time to time she must rebuke the proud and prod the unrepentant to turn and believe. The universal call to repentance was, we must report, sadly lacking from the Synod Fathers, especially those from Germany. Such widespread lack of faith, is especially disheartening as we consider the ever increasing number of listless souls for whom Christ died, yet who know him not; or who know him, yet love him not.

You may also have heard that the Holy Father was disappointed at the Synod’s outcome. At present, we are not altogether sure what the Supreme Pontiff’s attitude towards the Synod proceedings were or whether he was satisfied with its work. We were, however, taken aback at his refusal or at least unwillingness to reveal his own mind as to what precisely he would have done.

At Synod’s end, Pope Francis spoke at length about his joy, satisfaction, and frustration with its work. He told the assembled Fathers to take to heart how Divine Providence had touched the Synod through its proceedings, and to see how we may have been tempted to reject the promptings of the Holy Ghost. The Synod, he insisted, must needs be a spiritual journey, not a debating chamber. Yet debating is so often all we did. Our “journey” was nothing but a facile glance and glib perusal at some of the trials afflicting the family in the contemporary world. With the desultoriness of chimpanzees, certain speakers moved from topics like concubinage, polygamy, and whoring, to fornication, adultery, and even the sin against nature, with seemingly little cognizance that for sins such as these, innumerable sinners fail to attain salvation. The vagueness of the proceedings and the sins it refused to name was, at times, intolerable.

In the course of the proceedings, the Synod Fathers contributed to the veritable deluge of mindless dribble that passes these days for so-called ‘magisterial’ texts, which seek to appease all by saying little. By the end, it seems, the German revisionists and their allies had hit their mark and drafted the 'Synod Report' on which the Synod Fathers voted, paragraph by paragraph. Quite simply, the votes indicate the gap between the many who have rejected the faith once delivered and those who have remained firm. Unfortunately, this Report now constitutes the matrix from which will emerge the next Synod to be held this October on the predictably ambiguous theme of 'The Vocation and Mission of the Family Today'.

At the end of the Synod, in his closing address, Pope Francis said this: 'Dear brothers and sisters, now we still have one year to mature, with true spiritual discernment, the proposed ideas and find concrete solutions to so many difficulties and innumerable challenges that families must confront; to give answers to the many discouragements that surround and suffocate families......May the Lord accompany us and guide us in this journey for the glory of His Name.'

That, apparently, is what our loyalty to the Supreme Pontiff requires of us in this present moment. It is our earnest hope, in the meanwhile, to exhort you, faithful souls, during this Lenten season to join your hearts and minds to our Crucified Lord, stretched and nailed, rejected, dying, and alone, who is offered in every Mass and ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, that he avert from us the full measure of the Father’s wrath stirred up by the willful impenitence of wretched and degenerate men who prefer the path of perdition to peace.

With our Apostolic Benediction, we remain

Yours devotedly,
X Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster

Friday, November 14, 2014

Three Medieval Philosophers Show Up at Class...What do we talk about?

Last term my medieval philosophy professor gave us the option of answering a very creative question on the exam. Please find my answer below. I received an A for my efforts.

6.2. If, per impossibile, St. Bonaventure and any two other Latin thirteenth century philosophers of your acquaintance were able to return for a philosophical conversation with our class, what topic, according to your imaginative construction, would we and they discuss and how would the conversation develop? Feel free to select any of the authors whose writings we have studied in the course, e.g., Alexander of Hales, Richard Rufus, or Robert Grossteste, but also consider including one of the following: St. Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon, Siger of Brabant, or William of Auvergne. You may use either an essay or dialogue format in answering this question.

So Bonaventure and Albert unexpectedly arrive with Thomas chowing down on a double beacon cheeseburger from Five Guys. Of course, only three students and our professor can speak to our distinguished guests, because only the four of us can speak Latin. Nevertheless, after Bonaventure, Thomas, and Albert are brought up to speed on modernity and Thomas has finished his introduction to the delights of contemporary cuisine, their words can be accurately rendered in English like this:

Bonaventure just begins to shake his head. “I knew this would happen! Under the influence of the Muslims, the integral Aristotelians, earlier called the Straussians, took over, but what is worse their descendants do not see any positive value in religion at all! Although Averroes thought that the philosopher strictly speaking did not need any form of revealed religion, he at least admitted that religion was absolutely essential for most people. Now people act like they don’t need it at all! And all because the hyper-Aristotelians won!”

Albert and Thomas then contemplate the matter and after some thoughtful reflection discuss how the loss of illuminationism and the rediscovery of Aristotle have enabled an unbelievable amount of natural philosophy or “science.” Albert especially is crazy interested in cellular biology and is eager to look into microscopes. Once he and Thomas are finished learning Arabic and Greek well enough to read through the whole philosophic corpus, in due time they would like to turn their attention to biology and physics.

When physics comes up, the conversation then turns to astronomy. Because he rejected Ptolemy’s astronomy which was proven to be significantly more correct than Aristotle’s, Aquinas develops some heartburn from that burger. All three are utterly shocked to find out that what they knew as the cosmos is really just one tiny solar system among many. And the sun is just another star! At the mention of the Big Bang, Aquinas and Bonaventure argue about whether God could have created a beginningless universe. “I KNEW IT HAD TO HAVE A BEGINNING!” Bonaventure screams, but then Albert and Aquinas point out that the Big Bang may in fact have not been the beginning absolutely speaking, merely a critical juncture that is not fully understood. But when the loss of Aristotle’s celestial spheres sinks in with all their perfection and order, the three philosophers get just a slight sense of how incredibly small and unimportant modern man feels. Indeed, a universe of this magnitude may just make the Incarnation significantly more difficult to believe.

To abstain from controversy for a while, things turn to other contemporary developments. Because all three are ordained priests, they are surprised that our liturgies are so short and that priests actually want to face the people at Mass. They also dislike contemporary church “music.” Given the monastic and clerical origins of the university, all three are also stunned that married laymen without aristocratic parentage are allowed to study philosophy and theology. After the class explains that this is now ok, Albert says, “But surely the marital act even in wedlock must impede the right use of the intellect in the highest sciences?” After Albert expresses incomprehension at the thought that marital relations might be compatible with the most exalted forms of human knowing and at the thought that men might actually be able to learn something profitably from women, Bonaventure and Thomas express satisfaction that humans bathe more often than we used to and consequently do not stink like barn animals. This, they say, is a real improvement in civilization. 

Returning to philosophy, Aquinas expresses regret that he so badly misunderstood Aristotle as to attribute to him a doctrine of the immortality of the soul. “If only I had been able to read Aristotle in Greek! But then again, I’m more culpable than that. Robert Grosseteste himself warned us about making Aristotle a Catholic!” Albert for his part wants to read some Meister Eckhart. Bonaventure and Albert are also glad to be relieved of the duties of serving as church administrators for awhile. They had not fully realized all that Aquinas had been able to accomplish for philosophy and theology by refusing to become a bishop.

After listening to their remarks about nearly everything, the class is stunned. The Thomists of the strict observance are astounded when Thomas expresses dismay and chastises them for only wanting to study him and Aristotle. Plus, he disagrees with some of the syntheses they have put together of his own works. For penance, he demands that they memorize the whole Vulgate psalter and read the Platonic corpus in Greek.