Thursday, January 08, 2009


Yesterday, after the morning Mass and confessions, we took a short trip by car to Peñiscola to visit the Castle of Benedict XIII, the famous Papa Luna of the Avignon schism. The castle is home to a rather tendentious exhibition about the Knights Templar and the Crusades (fortunately, however, no mention of the Da Vinci Code!). It struck me how easily an author can influence the readers´opinion by the insertion of one or two carefully chosen adjectives into an otherwise neutral text. When it comes to history, and particularly the production of textbooks for schools, we certainly need Catholics to get involved if we are to counter the growing anti-Catholic prejudice in society.

Although generally regarded as an anti-Pope, it is clear that in Peñiscola Papa Luna is held with some degree of veneration. In the Castle we found a plaque with the following inscription which suggests the locals haven´t totally given up his claim to the Papal throne:

asks you
to pray God for
Pope Benedict XIII,
Pedro de Luna,
the Great Aragones,
who lived a
and mortified
life for the sake of duty.
will reveal the mysteries of history.
In which may Jesus Christ
and Holy Mary his mother, save us.

The expression "El Juicio Final descubrirá misterios de la historia" has become something of a popular saying here in Spain.

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