1 June 2022

Blessed John Storey ...

 ... had been President of Broadgates Hall in this University [the site is now occupied by Pembroke College], DCL and Regius Professor of Law. 

He received the Crown of Martyrdom on June 1, 1571, under the auspices of Elizabeth Tudor.

And this was despite the fact that he had become a subject of the King's Majesty of Spain. He was kidnapped by trickery from the nether lands and brought back to England for killing.

Yes; he had indeed supported the Northern Rising of November 1569, and had urged the Duke of Alba to invade England. 

But the extreme savagery of his execution has been thought to be the result of the hostility of the account given of him in Foxe's Book of Martyrs, first published in 1563. A new edition of this work of Protestant propaganda, nearly double the original in size, had emerged in 1570. Copies were provided for reading in many parish churches; it contained a woodcut to Storey's disadvantage.

Martyrdom has often been the result of the the Christian principle that we may be called to be counter-cultural ... in Diocletian's Rome ... in the bloodstained reign of "the First Elizabeth" ... in the torture chambers of Hitler and Stalin. And the Christian duty to resist what our masters call  'British values' remains valid for us in this Yewkay, where laws [Abortion ... ... ... ] have been passed under "the Second Elizabeth" which even the regime of Bloody Bess would have considered immoral.

The witness of our canonised and beatified Martyrs of England and Wales is as important and relevant today as ever it was.

By the way ... the Father Robert Hugh Benson who wrote Lord of the World; who was the convert son of an Archbishop of Canterbury ... also wrote a historical novel By What Authority, which covers the  kidnapping of Storey. It has been made available by the Cenacle Press, at Silverstream Priory. Also, Benson's The King's Achievemnt and his The Friendship of Christ

This is a publishing initiative which deserves support.


Richard said...

Should faithful Catholics have supported the Armada? I thought I read somewhere that when the news of its defeat reach the English College in Rome, they went straightway to the chapel to sing a Te Deum in thanksgiving.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Yes, they should have.


PDLeck said...

Two points.

First, related to the post itself. I don't think we should confuse the changed times. Elizabeth I may have had a great deal of say in determining the law of England. Elizabeth II has none. Therefore, we cannot derive from the UK's abortion laws that HM supports abortion.

Secondly, related to the two earlier comments. Does being a Catholic mean we cannot be patriotic? I certainly do not believe it does. England, France and Spain were regularly at war with each other and changing loyalties. There is no reason to think the Spanish may not have attempted to invade England if we had a Catholic monarch. I am sure most Englishmen would have been happy to see them repelled.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

I make no guesses about what Elizabeth II thinks of abortion. I refer only to the objective fact that her royal assent ("La reine le veult") was given to the Abortion Act.

The King of Belgium declined to sign an Abortion Act.

The idea that it is OK to give ones constitutional assent to an immoral and murderous piece of legislation because one "can't really help it" is not an idea that the Church has ever held.

It is not the principle which animated the martyrs of any age.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Dicis recte, Magister.


PDLeck said...

The Queen does not give her assent to bills for them to become statutes. She cannot refuse them nor does she do anything to assent. Every now and then it is simply announced in Parliament that [names of recently passed bills] have received the Queen's assent, which in fact HM has had nothing to do with it and cannot have anything to do with it.

The former King of the Belgians (Baudouin/Boudewijn) actually fudged the issue. He asked the Belgian Federal Government to declare him unfit to reign so that he was not involved but the legislation still went through. I am not sure if that fits in with the Church's moral theology.