Church News

Today, our church’s eldest parishioner came to the service. She’s 93, and everybody was worried about her because COVID is really dangerous to the very elderly. But she survived and is now back in church.

Things are going so well that after Pascha we are back to having our “coffee hour” in the church basement. We are Orthodox, so “coffee hour” means a gigantic feast with several kinds of appetisers and entrees and a wide selection of desserts. The priest is so excited that he’s paying for the first meal for the entire congregation himself.

Our congregation didn’t lose anybody to COVID but that’s not shocking. People who go to church don’t live in retirement homes, so they weren’t greatly at risk.

Fluid Facts

Another thing that annoys me in the book I’m reviewing is that the author allows her ideology to blind her to reality.

For instance, she states that Spain’s Valley of the Fallen is “the only shrine to an authoritarian leader in Europe.” Leaving aside the fact that the Valley isn’t a shrine to Franco and Franco’s body wasn’t there any more at the time of the book’s writing, there absolutely is a shrine to an authoritarian leader in Europe. Lenin’s Tomb (or Lenin’s Mausoleum) is still very much present in the Red Square and still houses Lenin’s corpse. So either Moscow is not in Europe, or the author is getting distracted from facts.

Another bizarre statement is that the Valley of the Fallen is a travel destination “for fascists, with 250,000 people visiting it every year.” The Valley is a tourist destination. It’s true that small fascist groups have visited it but there aren’t millions of them. I’m sure the author of the book has been there, and so have I. We are obviously not fascists, and neither are most of the visitors. Just like the people who go to the Red Square and have been inside the mausoleum aren’t all Communists.

This is supposed to be a scholarly volume, and one expects a bit of care to be taken with the facts.