In case anyone believes that the chanceries...

And rectories of Holy Mother Church are always places of open-hearted and frank conversation, Père Danziec, who writes a column for Valeurs Actuelles (and I ought to have written, first time anyway, 'Père Danziec'), replies (the question is, why not use your own name): 

"... Contrairement à ce que beaucoup pensent, la parole n’est, hélas, pas si libre que cela dans l’administration ecclésiale. Les oukases ou les placards sont des recours fréquents à l’endroit de ceux qui s’échappent des discours lisses, voire qui usent parfois d’un langage transgressif. Servir la vérité ne veut pas dire se comporter en kamikaze...."

I can't tell if he begins there with a note of sarcasm or not: my own limited experience is that even mildly 'transgressive language' (e.g. sarcasm about so and so's parking skills-- nothing to do with the great issues of the day!) can elicit looks askance. The interview is with M. Janva at this morning's Le Salon Beige. More Athanasian boldness and less 'discours lisses', please. 

I have managed to hit the squirrel in its face with a peanut two times in a row now (I'm not trying to, honest). 

Today is the feast of the great Father and Doctor of the Church St Athanasius. As I prayed Matins earlier, an episode in the fourth lesson raised an eyebrow.

Nam coacto ad Tyrum concílio magna ex parte Arianórum episcopórum, subornarunt muliérculam, quæ accusaret Athansium, quod hospítio acceptus sibi stuprum per vim intulísset. Introductus ígitur est Athanasius, et una cum eo Timótheus presbyter; qui simulans se esse Athanasium, Ego ne, inquit, mulier, apud te sum diversatus? ego te violávi? Cui illa petulanter: Tu mihi vim attulísti; idque jurejurando affirmans, judicum fidem obtestabátur, ut tantum flagitium vindicárent. Qua cógnita fraude, rejecta est mulíeris impudéntia.

The gist is that his Arian enemies procured a woman of, ahem, small virtue to accuse Athanasius of rape, which strategem was exploded by him taking Timothy along to the Tyrian council chamber. She easily identified Timothy as her assailant and (in those less suspicious days) that was that so far as that particular Arians' plot went. Imagine how the scenario would play out in the media today!