Daily Archives: 11 February, 2013

Colouring “Competition”

by David D’Amato

Coloring “Competition”

CNN reports on the controversy surrounding discovery of horsemeat in beef products in the United Kingdom, France and Sweden: “UK food businesses have been ordered to test all processed beef products for ‘authenticity’ and report back to the authorities by Friday.” Calls for more stringent regulatory structures are already proliferating in Europe and the United States. Continue reading

Football Attendance and Family Allowance

by A.B

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a comment on the BBC football page in which it was pointed out that a train trip from Manchester to London, to watch the Arsenal vs. Man City game would cost 50 pounds, plus 62 pounds for the ticket and 20 pounds for food, for a total of 132 pounds. On Wednesday, 87,000 spectators watched the England vs. Brazil game at Wembley. Every week the Premier League stadiums are filled to the brim with crowds ranging from about 30,000 to 80,000, depending on the size of the stadium. In addition, when television cameras focus on the crowds, they seem pretty much middle-class to me. Continue reading

Popes who have abdicated

It isn’t easy to say exactly how many. Church history is often rather murky, and it can be hard to distinguish between abdication and deposition – look, for example, at Silverius, who, I think, was arrested by Belisarius and sent off for trial before the Emperor. Here is a list of those who immediately come to mind.

Pontian (230-235) is the first Pope know to have abdicated. He did this after he had been sentenced to forced labour in the mines during one of the Roman persecutions of Christianity.

Marcellinus (296 – 304) committed apostasy when bullied by the authorities into offering worship to the Emperor. He may then have abdicated.

Silverius (536 – 537) was deposed and exiled by the empress Theodora, then taken to Constantinople to stand trial for treason, convicted, and forced by his successor, Pope Vigilius, to abdicate again.

John XVIII (1003 – 1009) may have voluntarily abdicated.

Benedict IX (11th century) served as Pope three times: he was elected, ejected, returned, abdicated, deposed, returned again, ejected again, and eventually excommunicated.

Celestine V (1294) refused to act as a puppet of Charles II of Sicily, and abdicated after only 5 months.

Gregory XII (1406 – 1417) was one of the more entertaining Renaissance Popes. Though not entirely willing, he abdicated in order to heal a long schism in the Church

John XXIII (1410-1415) was probably the most entertaining of the Renaissance Popes, though there is some doubt whether he was legally the Pope. Gibbon says of him when he was brought to trial: “The most scandalous charges were suppressed; the vicar of Christ was only accused of piracy, murder, rape, sodomy, and incest.”

I suppose the current successor of Saint Peter is not in the best company.