Comic Relief


The Arian faction, after depriving the flock of their right excellent shepherd, set up another bishop in his place; but not an inhabitant of the city, were he herding in indigence or blazing in wealth, not a servant, not a handicraftsman, not a hind, not a gardener, nor man nor woman, whether young or old, came, as had been their wont, to gatherings in church. The new bishop lived all alone; not a soul looked at him, or exchanged a word with him. Yet the report is that he behaved with courteous moderation, of which the following instance is a proof. On one occasion he had expressed a wish to bathe, so his servants shut the doors of the bath, and kept out all who wished to come in. When he saw the crowd before the doors he ordered them to be thrown open, and directed that every one should freely use the bath. He exhibited the same conduct in the halls within; for on observing certain men standing by him while he bathed he begged them to share the hot water with him. They stood silent. Thinking their hesitation was due to a respect for him, he quickly arose and made his way out, but these persons had really been of opinion that even the water was affected with the pollution of his heresy, and so sent it all down the sinks, while they ordered a fresh supply to be provided for themselves. On being informed of this the intruder departed from the city, for he judged that it was insensate and absurd on his part to continue to reside in a city which detested him, and treated him as a common foe.

On the departure of Eunomius (for this was his name) from Samosata, Lucius, an unmistakable wolf, and enemy of the sheep, was appointed in his place. But the sheep, all shepherdless as they were, shepherded themselves, and persistently preserved the apostolic doctrine in all its purity. How the new intruder was detested the following relation will set forth. Some lads were playing ball in the market place and enjoying the game, when Lucius was passing by. It chanced that the ball was dropped and passed between the feet of the ass. The boys raised an outcry because they thought that their ball was polluted. On perceiving this Lucius told one of his suite to stop and learn what was going on. The boys lit a fire and tossed the ball through the flames with the idea that by so doing they purified it  (Theodoret, ‘Church History’, IV.13).

Nothing about heresy today, just prose-style.

  1. Remove all instances of the word ‘concrete’. For example, ‘a concrete possibility’ is a possibility. Again, ‘concrete words’ are words.
  2. Change all instances of the word ‘eventual’ into the word ‘possible’.
  3. Change all instances of the word ‘dramatic’ and ‘drama’ into ‘tragic’ and ‘tragedy’.
  4. Change the phrase ‘the logic of X’ into X. For example, ‘the logic of the gospel requires us to forgive’ means ‘the gospel requires us to forgive’.
  5. Lament the days of Leo XIII.

John Smeaton has a good post naming the organisations who receive money from Comic Relief, in the context of a misleading letter from Comic Relief to the Catholic Education Service.  The list includes the International Planned Parenthood Fund, Brook and Womankind.

 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. CCC 2272