04Mar 04 March. Third Sunday of Lent

Exod 20:1-17 + Ps 19 + 1 Cor 1:22-25 + Jn 2:13-25

1st Reading: Exodus (20:1-17)

The Ten Commandments, given to Moses on Mount Sinai

Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work – you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it.

Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour. You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

Responsorial Psalm (from Ps 19)

Response: Lord, you have the words of everlasting life

The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
the decree of the Lord is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple. (R./)

The precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the command of the Lord is clear,
enlightening the eye. (R./)

The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the Lord are true,
all of them just. (R./)

2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians (1:22-25)

Christ crucified is our focus, calling a halt to all factions and disputes

For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Gospel: John (2:13-25)

Jesus purifies the Temple; then proclaims himself the New Temple

The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six Years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to testify about anyone; for he himself knew what was in everyone.



There’s something alarming in our society that we seem unable to denounce. We live in a civilization that has, as its focus of thinking and criterion of acting, the secret conviction that what’s most important and decisive isn’t what one is, but what one has. It’s been said that money is «the symbol and idol of our civilization» (Miguel Delibes). And in fact most people give their being and sacrifice their whole life to it.

John Kenneth Galbraith, a great theorist of modern capitalism, in his work The Affluent Society wrote that  money has three fundamental advantages: first, the sense of power it give the person; second, the ability to own everything that money can buy; third, the prestige and respect given to rich people because of their wealth. How many people, without daring to admit it, feel deep down that what’s  really important in their life is material wellbeing, the earning of money and economic prestige.

Here is without doubt one of the most serious failings of our civilization. The prosperous, developed world is all too materialist. Despite our protestations about freedom, justice or solidarity, we hardly value anything but money. But how often it fails to make people happy. With money you can build a fine mansion, but you can’t create a warm home. You can buy a comfortable bed, but not a peaceful sleep. With money you can form new relationships without making true friends You can buy pleasure, but not happiness. And there’s something even we believers must realise… If, in one sense, money “opens all doors”, it never opens the door of our heart to God.

We Christians aren’t used to the violent image of a Messiah whipping people out of the temple. And yet that was Jesus’ reaction when he encountered people in the House of God, who were interested in nothing other than buying and selling. The temple had turned into a marketplace where the only thing worshipped was money.

We can’t relate as a son or daughter to God our Father if our relationships with others are all based on money. It’s impossible to understand God’s loving kindness if we are too wrapped up in the rat-race. You cannot serve God and Money.
[José Antonio Pagola]


Moving House

Psychologists tell us that, apart from the death of a loved one, perhaps the most traumatic experience a person can have is that of moving house. Those of us who have gone through all that is involved in this particular trauma can attest to the truth contained in these words. One of the benefits derived from the exercise, however, is that we get rid of all the junk we have accumulated since our last move. It could perhaps be argued that people’s dread of moving is directly proportionate to the amount of stuff” they have gathered. The Israelites, having come out of Egypt, had been through the experience, and were inclined to avoid too much clutter. (One of the psalms laughs at the pagans who “carry around their idols made of wood.”) Today we find Jesus clearing all the accumulated junk out of the Temple. But what is happening here is not merely the removal of unwanted items; by this symbolic act, Jesus is calling all the peoples of the earth to worship God “in spirit and in truth.” True worshippers, he will tell us later in the gospel, are those who worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

Worship is not a word which figures largely in our religious vocabulary today. Like “adoration,” it is a particularly God-centred word, ill-suited to be our self-centred age where religiousness is more often expressed in terms of self-actualization. There is a sense in which it is true to say that people today have forgotten how to worship, so that often even our liturgical acts become simply gatherings or experiences. To worship means to acknowledge the transcendence of God, and his claim on us as our creator, and to respond appropriately. Rather than being just a relic of primitive religion, worship is an integral part of the Judeo-Christian religious sense. From deep within our self springs the desire to worship and adore God. Getting in tune with that desire, and expressing it through word and gesture is at the heart of prayer.

In order to worship in spirit and in truth, we must prepare our hearts and minds by being faithful to the covenant relationship (keeping the commandments) and seeking the wisdom of God, which is the wisdom of the cross. We have to let Jesus cleanse us, as he cleansed the Temple, leave our sins behind, and simplify our lives, getting rid of any needless clutter. Then we are able to enter into the new Temple, which is Jesus himself, praying in and through him.

When the side of Jesus was pierced on Calvary, the veil of the Temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. The place of worship is no longer the Temple in Jerusalem; now, it is through the pierced side of Christ that we have “access to the Father in the one Spirit.” So it is that, after the resurrection, Thomas will place his hand in Jesus’s side and worship, saying, “My Lord and my God,” as today’s gospel tells us: “When Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered¦ and believed. If we are to properly worship God, we must leave behind everything that gets in the way, then enter into that secret chamber which is the side of Christ, and there worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

Built to last

Compared to earlier generations, a special characteristic of this generation is speed. We can communicate with one another at speeds that were unthinkable even half a century ago. An email reaches its destination on the other side of the world in a matter of seconds. Journeys that took days or even weeks in our grandparents’ time now take hours. Builders can build much faster than in times past. We may even suspect that much of what is built quickly may not endure. In the ancient world, buildings, especially those of political or religious significance, were built to last. If you go to Rome today, you can still see the remains of the significant political and religious buildings of the Roman Empire. In Jerusalem, in the time of Jesus, the most significant public building by far was the temple. The Jewish authorities remind Jesus that it had taken forty six years to build the temple. Even then, the temple begun by Herod the Great was still under construction; it would take another fourteen years, sixty years in all, for it to be finally complete. If a building firm gave a timescale of sixty years to complete a building today, they would be unlikely to get the contract.

Always needing reform

Jesus knew the huge religious and political significance of the temple in his day, and yet he challenged it, and he challenged those responsible for it, because he recognized that the temple was not in fact serving God’s purposes. As Jesus says in this morning’s Gospel, ‘Stop turning my Father’s house into a market.’ There is a big difference between a house and a market. A house has the potential at least to be a home. A market could never really be a home; people go to markets to buy and sell. Buying and selling are not activities you associate with home. The temple was to be God’s house, God’s home, a place where all people could feel at home in God’s presence. The activities associated with the market were preventing the temple from being the home that God wanted it to be, a spiritual home for all the nations. Jesus saw that here was an institution in need of reform.

Every institution, whether secular or religious, is always in need of some reform. The church, in so far as it is a human institution, is in need of ongoing reform. The church exists to serve the purposes of God in the world. Inevitably, because the church is composed of human beings, it can also serve as a block to God’s purposes. The church is called to be the sacrament of Christ, to reveal the powerful and life-giving presence of Christ to the world. Invariably, it will often hide Christ or revealed a distorted image of Christ to the world, one that is not fully in keeping with the gospels. In the second reading, Paul sets God’s wisdom over against human wisdom, God’s power over against human strength. The church can sometimes substitute God’s wisdom with human wisdom, God’s power with human strength.

Just as Jesus wanted to purify the temple, the risen Lord is constantly working to purify the church. All of us who make up the church need to be open to his purifying zeal. We need to be listening to what the Spirit, the Spirit of the risen Lord, is saying to us the church. Those in positions of church leadership have a special responsibility to listen to what the Spirit is saying to the church, so as to bring it more into line with what God intends. Indeed, we are all called to listen to the challenge of the Spirit and to be open to the purifying presence of the risen Lord. We all have our part to play in ensuring that the church is what the Lord intends it to be. Lent in particular is a time for listening to the Spirit. If we let the Spirit renew our lives we will conform more fully to the image and likeness of Christ.

The fiery Jesus of the gospel who is passionate about what God wants remains alive and active at the heart of the church today. The relationship between the Lord and the church, between the Lord and each one of us, will always be marked by a certain tension, because the Lord will always be working to purify and renew us. In the light of the gospel we might ask ourselves in what ways we have allowed the values of the market place to override the values of the gospel in our own lives, in the life of our society, in the life of our church.

Machtnamh: Ár n-athchóiriú á threorú ag an Spiorad Naomh

Díreach mar a ghlan sé an teampall uair amháin, tá an Tiarna ag obair i gcónaí chun an eaglais a ghlanadh agus a naomhú. Ní mór dúinn uile mar Chríostaithe a bheith oscailte don athnuachaint. Ní mór dúinn a bheith ag éisteacht leis an méid a deir an Spiorad, Spiorad an Tiarna féin, leis an eaglais. Tá freagracht speisialta ag lucht ceannaireachta na heaglaise a bheith ag éisteacht leis an méid atá an Spiorad ag rá inniu, ionas go mbeidh dul chun cinn níos mó aici sa treo is mian le Dia. Go deimhin, iarrtar ar gach duine éisteacht le dúshlán an Spioraid agus a bheith oscailte do chumhacht ghlanaithe an Tiarna aiséirithe. Is é an Carghas an t-am speisialta chun éisteacht leis an Spiorad. Má ligimid don Spiorad ár saol a athnuachan, déanfaimid cloí níos iomláine ar íomhá agus ar chosúlacht Chríost.


(Saint Casimir of Poland)

Casimir (1458-1484), was prince of Poland in Krakow. He opted for a prayerful life of simplicity and sought to promote unity and peace in Europe. He is patron saint of Poland.

10 Responses

  1. Sean O'Conaill

    The trouble with indicting ‘materialism’ is that in placing the emphasis upon ‘matter’ we miss the fact that what is truly at work in the accumulation of more money than we need is something entirely immaterial – the pursuit of social status.

    For those who excel in accumulating money today all currency is simply a point-scoring system used to measure their success against that of others – e.g. using the Forbes ‘Rich’ list in much the same way as tennis players consult the ‘rankings’ in their sport.

    Yes of course there is the desire to avoid physical ‘want’ also – but that does not explain the vast wealth disparities that now exist. We need to turn our attention to the phenomena of ‘vanity’ (pursuit of admiration) and covetousness or mimetic desire (wanting what others flaunt). Our basic mistake is to suppose that we do not already have the value we endlessly seek to acquire, while others do.

    Precisely what sins are we indicting in speaking of ‘materialism’? Unless we can be clear about that we will all conclude that at least we ourselves are innocent, when the doubting of our own value, and the seeking of the enhancement of it via social acclaim, are almost inescapable. It is this pervasive problem that is truly ‘the root of all evil’.

    Remember that in Jesus’s time the Temple was the place where those who could afford it went to prove their own spiritual superiority. That is, it was a place of religious prestige that penalised the poor. In attacking the money lenders Jesus was upending that system of acquiring honour – to make God’s love accessible to all. He never used the word ‘materialism’. Instead he talked of ‘hardness of heart’ – that attitude of thinking that poor people don’t matter. ‘Materialism’, by comparison, misses the mark.

  2. Pádraig McCarthy

    Exodus: A person alone on a desert island does not need a code of conduct for living with other people. The Decalogue is a code for how we live in community as God’s family. It is not just a moral code.

    Gospel reading: The word “house” (Greek: oikon) occurs twice. “House” is ambiguous. It can mean a building which is a home, but it can also mean family; as in “the house of Windsor.” For Jesus, the Temple is “my father’s house” – not merely a building, but where the family gathers. A family which tries to run on commercial lines of trading is not a family. What child could pay the parents for all that they do? What child demands of parents or siblings that they pay for any contribution, in goods or effort, that the child makes?
    We can pray anywhere in spirit and in truth; it is good to do so. Our church buildings are places where we gather to worship together as a symbolic action of unity and community, but our worship is not confined to our church buildings. What we do in the church building we do at home also.
    His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
    The story in John 2 follows immediately on Cana, where Jesus went with his disciples. But then Jesus went to Jerusalem, and it does not say he went with his disciples. The Lectionary reading from the Jerusalem Bible inserts the word “Then” before “His disciples remembered that …”, but the word is not in the original. It seems more likely that this remembering was not of the disciples then and there, but much later, perhaps at the time John was written. Just as the second time remembering is mentioned it is “After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that …” – only later do we realise the significance.
    “The temple of his body” – Jesus is the sanctuary not confined by time and space. We today are the living stones which form the living temple, the living presence, the community and family of the divine.

  3. Eddie Finnegan

    “Why build Cathedrals?”
    I have a clear memory of Cardinal Cushing’s long drawn out address in hoarse Bostonese after he and Bishop Michael Browne launched ‘Europe’s last great stone-built cathedral’ on the Corrib in 1965. Actually, for a man in poor health at the time, that address reads better than I remember it. https://jubilee.galwaycathedral.ie/history/address-cardinal-cushing-dedication-cathedral
    Perhaps 15 August 1965, rather than 3-days-in-September 1979, marks the real end of the Irish Church’s long 19th century of cullenisation.

    The Welsh poet John Ormond catches something of an earlier answer to Cushing’s “Why build cathedrals?” in his poem

    Cathedral Builders

    They climbed on sketchy ladders towards God
    with winch and pulley hoisted hewn rock into heaven,
    inhabited the sky with hammers,
    defied gravity,
    deified stone,
    took up God’s house to meet him,
    and came down to their suppers
    and small beer,
    every night slept, lay with their smelly wives,
    quarrelled and cuffed the children,
    lied, spat, sang, were happy, or unhappy,
    and every day took to the ladders again,
    impeded the rights of way of another summer’s swallows,
    grew greyer, shakier,
    became less inclined to fix a neighbour’s roof of a fine evening,
    saw naves sprout arches, clerestories soar,
    cursed the loud fancy glaziers for their luck,
    somehow escaped the plague, got rheumatism,
    decided it was time to give it up, to leave the spire to others,
    stood in the crowd, well back from the vestments
    at the consecration,
    envied the fat bishop his warm boots,
    cocked a squint eye aloft and said, “I bloody did that.”

    But then, of course, Galway Cathedral took only seven years, not medieval generations or even centuries. The question is: Could any of those great medieval cathedrals ever have been completed with out dollops of healthy local ‘mimetic desire’?

  4. Joe O'Leary

    Cardinal Ratzinger would scoff at cultured despisers of the Middle Ages by saying, “look at the Cathedrals” — yes a people raised them, and immortalized themselves.

    There are also the great cathedrals of the mind — the universities and scholasticism — looming as majestically over every other academy since as the cathedrals loom over every other church since.

  5. Sean O'Conaill

    Ah yes, Eddie – that idyllic medieval period of cathedral building, during which mimetic desire did indeed prevail unchecked and all of Europe resounded peacefully to the sound of cold steel on stone. You will get a good account of this in R.A. Scott’s ‘The Gothic Enterprise’. Re the building of the great pilgrimage church at Vézelay, site of the tomb of Mary Magdalen, Scott recounts that:

    “Vézelay was the scene of at least four significant crises during the twelfth century, each engendered by a climate of unrest fed by the complicated and uneasy relationships among the abbot and his monks; the abbey and the local count; the abbot, the local count, and the townspeople, most especially members of the mercantile class; and the abbey and the bishop of Autun. The first crisis culminated in the murder of the abbot of Vézelay, and the third with outbursts of extreme violence that eventually required both the king and the pope to intervene. The fourth was marked by a long period of scheming and violent maneuvering by the local count and his henchmen that came to a head when the monks of the abbey were exiled from their own church.

    “The same themes of civic unrest, rioting, violence, and bloodshed appear in almost every major historical study of the building of Europe’s great Gothic churches. For example, two studies by the art historian Stephen Murray, one about Troyes and the other about Beauvais, show how conflict-ridden major cathedral-building campaigns could be. In describing Beauvais, he writes, ‘The construction of Beauvais cathedral as a historical process involved the agency of four overlapping institutions: the monarchy, the bishops, the chapter, and the commune. The relative power of each of these four institutions was in the process of changes, and these adjustments were liable to produce interludes of violent conflict.’ He recounts the urban riots of 1232-33, caused by the insistence of the bishop, Miles of Nanteuil, on collecting the full range of tolls and taxes due him from the bourgeois.”

    As to the idyllic lives of medieval artisans, Scott goes on a little later:

    “In a similar vein, art historian Jane Williams’s study of the windows of the trades at Chartres Cathedral reveals the deep antagonisms that existed between the various social groups in Chartres. (These windows depict various kinds of tradesmen making, transporting, and selling their wares.) She recounts in detail the enduring, complex patterns of strife that pitted the bishop against the cathedral chapter, the bishop and canons against local counts and countesses, and all of these against local tradesmen and peasants. Disputes periodically erupted in the form of riots, one in 1210 and the other in 1215, both in the midst of the major building campaign.”

    That grand edifice in Galway: its hideous ugliness was accomplished during the heyday of Letterfrack – and please don’t tell me that the horrors of the latter could not have been erased by an entirely different set of priorities on the part of the Bishop of Galway and the entire Irish conference of bishops.

    Finally, mimetic desire and ‘health’: Pope Adrian IV seems to have believed that in proposing to invade Ireland in the 1160s (when Canterbury cathedral was still abuilding) Henry II of England would indeed improve the spiritual health of the neighbouring island. What a healthy decision that was indeed, and what ill health would otherwise have befallen Ireland if the same pope had said to Henry: ‘Beware the tenth commandment, that solemn warning against coveting ANYTHING your neighbour owns! Excommunication will certainly follow.’

  6. Sean O'Conaill

    #4 Most Europeans DO look at the cathedrals, and say ‘so what’? They know that the Middle Ages were also the cradle of the military nobility whose sense of entitlement – founded on a mimetic desire that was completely unchecked by the church – resisted the democratization of Europe from 1789 onward. They know also that church-supported imperial powers launched in 1914 the war that was to determine the fate of millions in the last century. What Pope or other leader of the mainstream churches ever denounced that competitive imperialism as covetousness (mimetic desire)? Not even John Paul II, who felt obliged to apologise for the church’s support of European global imperialism in 2000.

    Before Constantine, Tertullian had denounced ’emulation’ i.e. the imitative rivalry we now know as originating in imitative desire or covetousness. After Constantine the obvious origin of so much medieval violence in the ’emulation’ of the ruling orders became completely invisible to the clerical church. Covetousness became the lost sin of the clerical church, which then fastened on sexuality – in the wake of Augustine – as its main moral lever.

    And that is why Christianity is seen today by so many as both irrelevant and stuck in the past – the cathedrals notwithstanding. The extreme error of regarding the middle ages as merely stagnant is matched by the other extreme of regarding the middle ages as a Golden Age of the church, because of that church-state pact – a past to which we must retreat. That nostalgia for the age of cathedrals is thoroughly misguided.

    No cathedral ever matched the beauty of a single child – and we know in what regard most children were held in the Middle Ages by the most enthusiastic noble bishop builders of cathedrals, for whom cathedrals were the equivalent of the billionaires’ yachts today: status symbols.

    Who believes now that when Francis of Assisi was asked by God to ‘rebuild my church’ in the early 1200s he was being asked to be concerned first and foremost with stone edifices? Francis was worth more to the church than all of the cathedral builders put together – because he realised and lived to bear witness to God’s love for the poor.

    God’s verdict on ‘Temples’ is clearly expressed in 2 Samuel 7 – where God laughs at David’s Temple proposal and declares his favourite dwelling place – the hearts of his own people. There is a similar passage in Acts, telling us to look at the heavens for an idea of God’s house. The frantic ’emulation’ of cathedral building in the high middle ages is similarly to be questioned – for it failed to bind the people of Europe permanently to God himself – the heart of scripture.

    I have been in quite a few cathedrals. Give me my own small parish church any day. The Father’s dislike of ostentation, and his desire to dwell within all of us, is too well emphasised by scripture to require elaboration. The cathedrals are merely the medieval church’s Pyramids – and where are the Pharaohs now?

  7. Sean O'Conaill

    Re: God ‘dwells not in Temples’ – and God’s preferred ‘home’

    (N.B. – this list of references is probably not exhaustive. Please add any others you know of.)

    2 Samuel 7: God queries David’s proposal to build him a Temple, and declares that his ‘house’ is his people – i.e. David and his descendants.

    Jeremiah 7 – The prophet makes clear that the Temple of Solomon will be God’s dwelling place only while justice reigns among the worshippers.

    John 14:23 – Jesus tells us that he and the Father will ‘make their home’ in anyone who obeys his teaching.

    Acts 7: 47-49 – Stephen tells his accusers that God dwells not in Temples made with hands, for ‘The Heaven is my throne’.

    Acts 17:24 Paul tells the Athenians that God does not dwell in Temples made by hands, and that God can be found by everyone because he is not far from each of us, ‘for in him we live and move and have our being’.


    If our ‘temples built by hand’ are emptying, is that because the clerical church did not take seriously enough its assurance to every confirmed child that he / she is a ‘Temple of the Holy Spirit’ – and therefore also called to be an agent of justice in society?

  8. Eddie Finnegan

    Sean@5, for the life of me I can’t see why you’re surprised that the Hertfordshire man, Nicholas Breakspeare, would think that a bit of English TLC would be ‘Laudabiliter’ rather than ‘Lamentabile’ for John Bull’s Other Island.

    No, I haven’t read R.A. Scott’s ‘The Gothic Enterprise’, but the five readily available reviews of the book convince me that you’ve been even more selective than is your wont in the paragraphs you’ve quoted. I feel Robert Scott would have included Ormond’s ‘Cathedral Builders’ alongside one of his black & white illustrations had he known it.

    Finally, you put us right about so many other aspects of our ignorance that I’m amazed you didn’t skewer that most infrastructural of shepherds and Kennedyphile, Richard Cushing, who in the year leading to his launching of the Galway mixed-style monstrosity managed to move the paedophile priest, O’Sullivan, not once or twice but three times. I don’t think either of his successors, Medeiros or Law, came near that record.

    Yes, Sean, I too have discovered Google.

  9. Lloyd Allan MacPherson

    Oh, when you lose touch with the coming generation, especially in terms of social justice teaching (and application), you would think that you are doomed right? Not even. We are designed with a switch you can flip and then suddenly we become an agent of change – seekers of truth and peacemakers. Everyone volunteering 4 hours a week can move mountains in little time. You are all seeking the same thing – an assurance that what you are doing right now is making a difference. What are the results? What else needs to be accomplished?

  10. Sean O'Conaill

    #8 ‘Surprised’ is incorrect. I chose that particular incident to illustrate the casualness with which ecclesiastics in the middle ages disregarded the obvious self-interest of secular princes when it came to what were in fact spectacular breaches of the 10th commandment.

    This was in response to your apparent contention that mimetic desire could be ‘healthy’. But as usual you were just ‘getting me going’!

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