5th November

Cally's Kitchen (a devout Catholic), has written a good piece on Bonfire Night, in which he mentions praying for the souls of all concerned. I have to say that my own views are that, whilst I am glad it was averted and that it was almost the 9/11 of it's day, the punishment meted out to the conspirators was vile, and it does seem a pity that people in Lewes seem not to be able to tell the difference between Catholicism and acts of terrorism from 400 years ago!
I wrote more in depth about this last year, and you can find it here!


Anonymous said…
NB. It's not just Lewes. It's the way the history of this whole period is taught in schools - History is written by the victors, and certainly the history of the gunpowder plot generally conveniently forgets the extent to which Catholics were opressed in this period - particularly as King James had snidely half-promised toleration and then gone back on it.

That's clearly not an excuse for murder and blowing things up by any means, but the event should be seen in context - and when laws were being passed that made people unable to practice their faith in any way at all, and put their souls at risk (whether you believe that or not is irrelevant, for they certainly did), then you can see why there was such anger.

Plus, it's not like we're talking about a free democratic society in which the Catholic community could have got a nice petition together to ask the King to change his mind and stop murdering their priests and give back the churches his great-uncle had theived after all.

The Gunpowder Plot was wrong - particularly the fact that they made no efforts to stop any innocent people being caught up in the explosion, and also as the ramifications for the Catholic community would have been terrible - but there was no peaceful solution to the problem - other than sit tight, keep risking your lives to hear Mass (and starving in the meantime as all your property was confiscated for not signing up to Protestantism), and pray for better times (and that was hardly a solution, it was another cpl hundred years before they stopped being persecuted).
Rosemary said…
At my mum's church, they would have the fireworks on the night of 1st November (or was it 2nd?) after the All Saints Day Service, and the vicar would describe them as symbolising all the saints going off to Heaven, which is much nicer than burning Guy Fawkes at the stake! :)
Paul Burgin said…
Well I agree with you both. The problem with the 5th November plot however, was that it only intensified anti-Catholic feeling, not dampen it!

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