At a wedding yesterday.

In the UK….halfway through the service I realised it must be CofE or something, not my usual.

Priest was neither Irish nor drunk. Bit of a giveaway that…

14 comments on “At a wedding yesterday.

  1. If you were a practising Catholic you would realise that most priests in England are not Irish or habitually intoxicated.

  2. Oh come, come, Tim. You were at Downside. Every single priest in your time there with the exception of Dom Brendan was non-Irish. I’ve never seen a Downside monk pissed, either.

    Tim adds: There’s always been a very large difference between the English Benedictines and the average parish priest. Even though some of the monks do indeed act as such for local parishes.

    And there was indeed, in my formative years, a fairly large portion of the parish priesthood that was Irish. Not that I could possibly blame anyone for that, my own nominal Catholicism comes from Irish immigration. And part of my joking about this comes from my Mother, a convert at marriage, from a CofE background. One of her standard jokes is her shock at moving to Italy when in middle age and finding that there were Catholic priests who were not Irish.

    Oh, and the exceedingly excellent parish priest (excellent as the parish priest, in his parochial work if not his set piece offerings of the Mass) I grew up with was a drunk of the first order. An exceedingly fine man who did right by his flock but did have his little problem: amusingly, in a parish church first built (hmm, perhaps financed) by Downside. A quite gorgeous church as well, built by a Gilbert Scott, even if not the. That might be enough to identify him and the parish….

    Oh, and as to never seeing monks pissed: I once guided the then Abbot through the Tube after an old boys dinner (the only one I’ve ever attended, although not for this reason). Assuming that we are using pissed to mean “Dear God don’t let him anywhere near the car keys, he’ll have a right head in the morning, but he’s OK to get home before he lifts that robe to piss in a corner” then yes, the Abbot was indeed pissed.

    This particular holder of that office being another I would describe as a Great Man, one who on this occasion had simply had a half bottle (for he was normally an abstemious man) too much. A half bottle of wine that is.

    Oh, and one more thing: I still regard myself as being a Catholic. Not as in the religion but as a way of thinking, as a method of logic. And it really is a touch presumptuous to assume, as you do, that all of that came from 5 years at Downside, isn’t it? That there is no other influence upon me in such matters?

  3. Sense(s) of humor running a bit low, it seems.
    Is it the weather? Or the economy? (dearieme seems OK–must be someplace else.)

  4. Isn’t Downside’s main claim to fame that it’s produced amost as many prison inmates as Harrow?

    Btw, I stay at Worth from time to time and wish I could have been educated at somewhere like that. The English Benedictines are indeed very fine chaps.

    Tim adds:

    There was a time when many people went to both Worth and Downside: for Worth was the prep school for Downside.

    Then they added the upper years at Worth and the practice died out.

    I have a feeling, although I can’t prove it, that I was actually the last person who used Worth as a prep school and then went on to Downside. There might have been one or two more in the past 30 years and it’s not the sort of thing that anyone keeps records of but….

  5. My parish, in the North East of England, has only had Irish priests in living memory. Mostly, they weren’t drunk, having no money left when they came out of the betting shop.

  6. Not sure I implied or said what you think I implied or said, Tim. Merely that Downside rather disproves the (admittedly jocular) idea that all Catholic priests are Irish or drunk or both.

    I have known plenty of catholic priests who were Irish or drunk or both

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