Duncan MacGregor

Duncan MacGregor.

Duncan MacGregor dons the distinctive and striking red and black check tartan in this mid-XIX Century portrait by Kenneth MacLeay.

A More Potent Instrument Than Any Other

Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul; on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful; and also because he who has received this education of the inner being will most shrewdly perceive omissions or faults in art and nature, and with a true taste, while he praises and rejoices over and receives into his soul the good, and becomes noble and good, he will justly blame and hate the bad, now in the days of his youth, even before he is able to know the reason why; and when reason comes he will recognise and salute the friend with whom his education has made him long familiar.

— Plato, The Republic, Book III

Man in the Long Black Coat

Preacher was talking there’s a sermon he gave;
He said every man’s conscience is vile and depraved.
You cannot depend on it to be your guide,
When it’s you who must keep it satisfied.
It ain’t easy to swallow it sticks in the throat;
She gave her heart to the man in the long black coat.

It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

I have often wondered how the Modernists, in the light of history, can defend their gutted liturgical rites as truly Catholic with a straight face.  When, in the XVI century, the handlers of Edward VI had the altars pulled down and replaced with Cranmer tables, toppled and smashed the images of Our Lord, Our Lady, and the saints, destroyed the rood screens and any sense of definition to the Sanctuary; when the Church of England eviscerated the Ordinal, commanded the use of the vernacular language in the Liturgy, invited communicants to enter the chancel and sit around the table for the Lord’s Supper, a eucharistic rite purged of all references to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; when they allowed communion under both species and reception of the Bread in the hand, and all but eliminated the Sacrament of Penance — all this was called heresy and schism.

But, when the Modernists foisted each of these innovations on the Catholic Church during and after the Second Vatican Council, it was termed aggiornamento!  This leads me to wonder: if the first Anglican Ordinal was so defective as to render Anglican Orders “absolutely null and utterly void,” how are we to be certain that the similar Ordinal of the New Rite truly makes priests?

Oh Right. Well Done.

Fr. Dougal McGuire.

Father Dougal: Hello Len.

Bishop Brennan: Don’t call me Len, you little prick. I’m a bishop!

Father Dougal: Oh right. Well done.

Every Treacherous Artifice in Their Power

Standing stones in Ireland.

And although for so long a time those kings with their own power had stoutly defended against tyrants and kings of divers countries the inheritance that God had given them and had always kept their birthright of freedom unimpaired, yet at last, in the year of the Lord 1155, at the false and wicked representation of King Henry of England, under whom and perhaps by whom St. Thomas of Canterbury, as you know, in that very year suffered death for justice and defence of the church, Pope Adrian, your predecessor, an Englishman not so much by birth as by feeling and character, did in fact, but unfairly, confer upon that same Henry (whom for his said offence he should rather have deprived of his own kingdom) this lordship of ours by a certain form of words, the course of justice entirely disregarded and the moral vision of that great pontiff blinded, alas! by his English proclivities.  And thus, without fault of ours and without reasonable cause, he stripped us of our royal honour and gave us over to be rent by teeth more cruel than any beast’s; and those of us that escaped half-alive and woefully from the deadly teeth of crafty foxes and greedy wolves were thrown by violence into a gulf of doleful slavery.

For, from the time when in consequence of that grant the English iniquitously but with some show of religion entered within the limits of our kingdom, they have striven with all their might and with every treacherous artifice in their power, to wipe our nation out entirely and utterly to extirpate it.  By base and deceitful craftiness they have prevailed against us so far that, with no authority from a superior, they have driven us by force from the spacious places where we dwelt and from the inheritance of our fathers; they have compelled us to seek mountains, woods, bogs, barren tracts and even caverns in the rocks to save our lives, and for a long time back to make our dwellings there like beasts. Yet even in such places as these they harass us continually and endeavour all they can to expel us from them and seek unduly to usurp to themselves every place we occupy, mendaciously asserting in their blind madness that there is to be no free abode for us in Ireland but that all the land is entirely theirs by right.

– Remonstrance of the Irish Chiefs to Pope John XXII, A.D. 1317.

Argyll Mausoleum

The Argyll Mausoleum.

Rebuilt in 1795-1796, the Argyll Mausoleum, standing in the church-yard of Kilmun Parish Church on its north-east side, is the burying-place of the Chiefs of the Clan Campbell.  Twenty generations of chiefs, living over the last five hundred years, are buried here, the most recent being the Tenth Duke of Argyll, Niall Diarmid.  The deteriorating structure contains mediæval burial effigies dating to the 1450s, which are thought to be the last remaining examples of such fine quality in Scotland.

Effigies of Sir Duncan Campbell of Loch Awe, and his wife Marjorie, the great great grand-daughter of Robert the Bruce.

St. Munn’s Parish Church is a Category A listed building occupying the summit of a slight knoll about eleven yards from the shoreline of the Holy Loch.  The present building of 1841 is on the site of a mediæval parish church, endowed as a collegiate church in 1442 by Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochawe, and a tower of that period stands to the west of the existing church.

The great iron dome was forged in the Glasgow shipyards and erected during a restoration of the Mausoleum in the 1890s.
Kilmun Parish Church and Cemetery.

The Wonderful Deliverance of These Kingdoms

Entrance of King Charles II.

O Almighty God, who art a strong tower of defence unto thy servants against the face of their enemies; We yield thee praise and thanksgiving for the wonderful deliverance of these Kingdoms from The Great Rebellion, and all the miseries and oppressions consequent thereupon, under which they had so long groaned.  We acknowledge it thy goodness, that we were not utterly delivered over as a prey unto them; beseeching thee still to continue such thy mercies towards us, that all the world may know that thou art our Saviour and mighty Deliverer; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Form of Prayer for the 29th Day of May.

No Way of Escape

Girolamo Savonarola.

I counsel you to return to God, to live after the manner of a good Christian, to repent the past, and recur to piety.  Otherwise, I make known to you that severe chastisement awaits you, and that you shall be scourged in your substance, your flesh, and your kindred.

Likewise I announce to you that your life is near its end; that if you obey not my words, you will go to hell, and this letter will be brought up against you before the judgment-seat of God, and leave you no way of escape.

— Girolamo Savonarola to the prince of Mirandola,
Count Galeotto Pico, 26 March 1496.


In three days’ of speeches at the Republican National Convention, former United States Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice has been the only speaker not to use a teleprompter.  This says something significant about the calibre of the GOP leadership and luminaries.  Though I disagree with many of her policy positions, she’s a very bright woman.

Without Admixture of Alien Blood

Know then, most Holy Father, that since the time when our early ancestors, the three sons of Milesius or Micelius of Spain, by God’s will came into Ireland (then destitute of all inhabitants) with a fleet of thirty ships from Cantabria, a city of Spain standing on the bank of the river Ebro or Hiberus (from which we take the name we bear), 3,500 years and more have passed, and of those descended from these men, 136 kings without admixture of alien blood assumed the monarchical rule over all Ireland down to king Legarius, from whom I, Donald, have derived my descent in a straight line. It was in [those] days that our chief apostle and patron St. Patrick, sent us at the inspiration of the Holy Ghost by your predecessor Celestine in the year 432 taught the truths of the Catholic Faith with the fullest success to our fathers.

And after the Faith had been preached and received, 61 kings of the same blood, without intervention of alien blood, kings admirably in the faith of Christ and filled with works of charity, kings that in temporal things acknowledged no superior, ruled here uninterruptedly in humble obedience to the Church of Rome until the year 1170.

And it was they, not the English nor others of any nation who eminently endowed the Irish Church with lands, ample liberties and many possessions, although at the present time she is, for the most part, sadly despoiled of those lands and liberties by the English.

– Remonstrance of the Irish Chiefs to Pope John XXII, A.D. 1317.

Viperous Calumny of the English

This case, or Remonstrance, of the Irish chiefs, led by Donal O’Neill, king of Cenel Eoghain or Tyrone, against English oppression, was addressed to the Avignon Pope John XXII in the latter part of 1317, apparently through two papal nuncios, Luke and Gaucelin, who were then in England attempting to make peace between Edward II and Robert the Bruce.  The first section follows.

* * *

Lest the sharp-toothed and viperous calumny of the English and their untrue representations should to any degree excite your mind against us and the defenders of our right, which God forbid, and so that there may be no ground for what is not well known and is falsely presented to kindle your displeasure, for our defence we pour into your ears with mighty out-cry by means of this letter an entirely true account of our origin and our form of government, if government it can be called, and also of the cruel wrongs that have been wrought inhumanly on us and our forefathers by some kings of England, their evil ministers and English barons born in Ireland, wrongs that are continued still; and this we do in order that you may be able to approach the subject and see in which party’s loud assertion the truth bears company.  And thus being carefully and sufficiently informed so far as the nature of the case demands, your judgment, like a naked blade, may smite or correct the fault of the party that is in the wrong.

— Remonstrance of the Irish Chiefs to Pope John XXII, A.D. 1317.