Monday, 4 November 2013

How good it is..... live in a peaceful Country where all faiths are respected and all signs of intolerance stamped out with the full force of the law.

Where Catholics are free from persecution and bigotry and may safely walk the streets happy in the knowledge that David Cameron's government (and Nick Clegg's) is committed to defending them from all acts of sectarian violence and hatred.

In Lewes, Sussex, on 5th November, mobs march through the streets
 carrying burning crosses in a primitive display of anti Catholicism.
They then burn an effigy of the Holy Father.
Pray for the Parish Priest for whom it must be an exceedingly terrifying experience.

Photo: Wikimedia



  1. I have just returned from Lewes where they have started boarding up the local bank and some of the shops in readiness for tomorrow's festivities.

    I attended the annual talk given in the Catholic church there and cleverly titled 'Know Popery.' Interestingly it was given this year by the Anglican Bishop in Walsingham who described himself as having a Catholic heart.

    The reason Lewes still retains its anti-popery stance is because it was once the scene of Protestant Martyrs so even in these ecumenical days they are commemorated each November 5th and Catholics are wise to keep away!

  2. I'm confused...being an American, I'm not literate in this topic. What is going on here?

    1. Nick, a key part of Catholic British history was the attempt to blow up Parliament in the 17th Century. Ever since, Protestant Britain has celebrated the anniversary by lighting bonfires and letting off fireworks. Some even burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes and a few even burn an effigy of the Pope.
      The following link may be useful

  3. I lived in Lewes for a couple of years in the mid 70s. Not realising what it entailed we went to see the procession and I have rarely felt so shocked and uncomfortable. My mother continued living there until her death . She was a Quaker (as I was still at that time). As a rep.; on the local Council of Churches she campaigned vigorously against the anti-popery slogans and all the worst aspects of this event which is mainly kept alive by one of the bonfire societies. Unfortunately she had no success though as the local feeling seems to be "it's traditional, part of our heritage."

  4. Interesting to read about oldconvert's mother campaigning against the slogans carried in Lewes.

    I may be wrong but I do think that many of those attending the festivities do so as a spectacular evening out and not with any anti-Catholic feeling. My own sons have been there in the past and reported some name-throwing between groups but no obvious hatred. Yes they do burn effigies of the Pope but in the past they have also burned Mrs Thatcher and other names unpopular at the time!

    What did impress me was learning that the Catholic church there is able to keep its doors open each day something which those in nearby Brighton can no longer do.

  5. Yes Pelerin I think you are probably right in most cases. But as a slight caveat I heard something at a group tonight. Oddly enough someone else mentioned the Lewes events and our PP mentioned that he knew a former PP there who had his effigy burned alongside the Pope. And I watched a programme on local "folk" events on TV about a year ago which had a short segment on Lewes. A group of people interviewed declared that it was still important to Lewes as "the people here are proud of being independent free-thinkers" which made me wonder if in these secular times a new generation are still as anti Catholic although from a different standpoint. But all this part is mainly the Cliffe Bonfire Society and probably quite different in other parts of town.

  6. I wonder whether it was an 'exceedingly terrifying experience' to be burnt alive in a barrel for professing what one believed?

  7. TCranmer, there is a tendency to judge deeds of 500 years ago through today's eyes. Justice was savage on both sides but that was the mo at the time. I would not wish to defend barbaric acts any further than that..
    It is just that, in 2013, I would have hoped we had moved on and become more civilised.