Tim Stanley, blogger, journalist, historian and Catholic

And in the Big News today from a Faith Perspective, Saint Thomas Becket, patron saint of testicle restorers.

An exhibition of Becket’s remaining bits is especially important to we Catholics. They are not just of historical importance, they have religious significance too. This is a universal human trait. We all like to keep mummified bits of our dead relatives that we can kiss, fondle and worship.


6 thoughts on “Tim Stanley, blogger, journalist, historian and Catholic

  1. Stanley delivers a TFTD that could only be given by a fervent religious believer. He reels off various unsubstantiated claims on behalf of his particular faith and revels in the joy they bring him and his particular group despite there being no real evidence to believe them. He tries to do this in a witty way but sounds patronising in the way that all religious devotees do so when trying to explain to us or undeluded fools what his IMF is capable of beyond the reaches of physics.
    On last week’s Moral Maze he was bleating for religious privilege in a debate on vaccine use; he thinks you should be able to ignore the rules of your state because you believe something supernatural.


    1. Nail on the head, PaulT.

      I keep mentioning it, but it’s so exasperating that Stanley comes out with this stuff when much of his purely political commentary is quite astute. There seems to be a parallel here with the compartmentalism of David Wilkinson. It’s truly baffling.


  2. Dim wants us to accept that his magical beliefs about physical objects are almost the same as anyone else’s treasuring of great aunt Maude’s photo.
    Heirlooms etc are examples of a human desire for understanding our place in this world but his religion, by elevating the status of certain objects & rituals to a supernatural level, adds an infantilising element which ‘normal’ people neither want nor need.


  3. Tim Stanley was indeed most fervent in defending his belief that relics have a significance far deeper than their physical components or even historical associations. He really seems to believe that they contain some magical essence which once belonged to their owner and now links us to his or her ‘soul’, and which can have real effects on people and things in the world today.

    One wants to ask how, exactly, this works: how does a bone or a bit of jewellery, or even a fake like a splinter of the True Cross, come to possess these non-material powers? How, exactly, do such powers work so as to affect what happens in the material world? And how, exactly, does Tim Stanley know? But somehow one can anticipate the sort of answer we would get, which would boil down to hand-waving about how superior the faith-based, and specifically the Catholic-based, insight is over anything that we poor non-believers could understand.


  4. What Tim fails to mention is that in former ages (and still to some extent today) relics were BIG business. One of the (manifold) causes of Reformation and the growth of Protestantism was the reaction against the fleecing of poor and rich alike at pilgrimage shrines – which included Canterbury and the relics of Thomas Becket. Of course, we have the incidental but culturally inestimable spin off of Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” inspired by the regular trudging of penitents through the Kent countryside; but the practice was no more than a cash-generator for a greedy church hierarchy.

    The pilgrimage (not unlike the Haj to Mecca) was encouraged by promises from the Church of speeding the penitent through purgatory, and the Pilgrimage places became bloated with wealth – some of which was spent on adornments of the reliquaries and shrines, making them even more attractive and sought out.

    The real nonsense of all this total fraudulence is well illustrated by the breathtaking reliquary of the Three Kings in Cologne Cathedral. Leaving aside the beauty and historical importance of the magnificent medieval work the reliquary represents, it contains the remains of the three kings – that is, the actual bones of Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar (yes, that is the claim, even today). That generations of the devout could be conned into venerating these remains, and encouraged to part with good money to support the shrine is almost unbelievable.

    At the Reformation, and the destruction of the monasteries of England, many statues, vestments and relics were brought from pilgrimage shrines such as Walsingham in Norfolk and burned on huge pyres in the streets of London. These burnings were liberating acts of public purging and release from the corrupt Catholic Church.

    It’s a pity that Tim and his (revived) Church prefer to live in the sinister and deceitful age of unreformed Medieval woo-woo.


  5. Don’t knock relics. I have a piece of Christ’s foreskin above my computer. It enlarges whenever a picture of a virgin appears on my screen.
    Pope Riccardo


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s