Tuesday, 17 February 2015


In reading Pascendi Dominici Gregis (1907), of Pope St Pius X, I came across the following quote

Far, far from the clergy be the love of novelty!

And I think that this is a wonderful thing to live life by. Of course we have to differentiate novelty and novelty. And here already you can see the theologians little knives out, picking and poking at definitions to make them more palatable.

But I think the novelty of anesthetics is a good thing. Especially when it comes to toothache. But is that really novelty? Novelty does not mean 'new things'. When I replace a pair of shoes with another pair of shoes which are the same (be quiet, oh ye philosophers!) then this is not novelty.

So telling the clergy to flee from new shoes is not the thing at all.

How about a novelty thing, such as you get on websites such as these? they are things that you can do without, things which are there just for the 'novelty' value.

How droll to have a a novelty mug with a cow on it that goes "Mooooooooooooo" when you pick it up. And how soon it stops being a novelty and becomes deeply annoying. (Please note, however, that backwards clocks never, ever become boring.)

So perhaps a novelty is something that is new for the sake of it. And as such soon becomes old, and needs to be relegated to the back of a cupboard, and never seen again (I'm thinking about the cow mug).

I'm not sure Pope Pius X was talking about cow mugs, but had they been around I am sure he would agree with me, and so in the matter of novelty theology and thought, I shall agree with him wholeheartedly.

Fie, away with you, novel things!

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