On 20 December, we published our quiz based upon events in law and religion during 2015, many of which have featured in our posts. Here, at last, are the answers.
1. Where did an entrepreneur and a topless protester spend Christmas in 2014?
Iana Alexandrovna Azhdanova, a Femen protester, and Marcello Di Finizio, an entrepreneur from Trieste, spent time in the Gendarmerie cells in Vatican City over Christmas 2014, [See In Vaticano celle piene. Di detenuti].
2. What organization was praised for its “great effort, responsibility, commitment and dedication” despite suffering from “a catalogue of … diseases” and “scandals”?
In his 2014 address to the Roman Curia, Pope Francis warned of “disease of ”spiritual Alzheimer’s’: i.e. a forgotten ;history of salvation'”. However, he was more conciliatory in 2015 saying “Nonetheless, diseases and even scandals cannot obscure the efficiency of the services rendered to the Pope and to the entire Church by the Roman Curia, with great effort, responsibility, commitment and dedication, and this is a real source of consolation.”
A compilation of some of his more cutting comments over the year is available here.
3. How and when did Israel vanish from the Middle East?
A Middle East Atlas published by HarperCollins omitted Israel from its maps with Jordan and Syria extending all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. The Tablet reported “Collins Middle East Atlases were sold to English-speaking schools in the Muslim-majority Gulf, and publicity about their existence has embarrassed the publishing giant.” Following the outcry, the atlases were removed from sale and remaining stocks pulped.
4. Which uncommon event in the Palace of Westminster did Hansard record in the case of Hilary Benn but not for the Rt Rev Rachel Treweek?
Applause: These followed the introduction of Rachel Treweek to the House of Lords, [Lords Hansard, 26 Oct 2015, Vol 765(56) Col 965]; and Hilary Benn’s speech on the ISIL in Syria debate, (Commons Hansard, 2 Dec 2015, Vol 603(80) Col 486). However, only the latter was recorded.
5. On what occasions has the Roman Catholic Church used a chimpanzee to deliver its message?
MailChimp is an email-marketing service that serves more than 10 million companies of all shapes and sizes from all over the world, including the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Also, images of a chimpanzee and other endangered species were projected onto the Vatican during the Paris COP-21/CNC-11 talks.
6. Which CofE archbishop is related to Lady Williams of Elvel, Sir Winston Churchill’s private secretary: i] Rowan Williams; ii] Justin Welby; or iii] John Sentamu?
Justin Welby, [Source Daily Telegraph]
7. Which UK judgment included references to: three wise monkeys; UKIP sausage rolls; and Eric Pickles?
“579. With a few exceptions, the witness statements for the returning officer covering events outside the polling stations (mainly police officers) and inside (mainly polling staff) described an atmosphere of hushed, almost cloistral, calm. In the light of the two other groups of statements, an unkind person might remark that the policemen and polling staff had appeared to take as their rôle models the legendary Three Wise Monkeys.
670. The formulation of bribery is not without difficulty, as this judgment shows, and would benefit from greater clarity. Serious consideration should also be given to amalgamating treating – surely an obsolescent if not obsolete concept in the modern world [ref. 72: As witness the affair of the UKIP sausage-rolls] – with the overall offence of bribery.
684. Central government has already had to intervene once, and, on 4 November 2014, the Secretary of State, Mr Eric Pickles, announced the appointment of commissioners to take over a number of functions of the Mayor and Council, particularly in relation to grants. It is obviously not for this court to suggest, still less recommend, any further course of action but it seems likely that the governance of this Borough will have to be examined in the not too distant future.”
8. In what context is “short” the opposite of “great”?
Post-reformation descriptions of Church of England services, e.g. Gibbons Short Service setting for Evensong, and Byrd’s Great Service for Matins.
9. What is canonically significant about the following numbers 7, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 35, 75, 80.
They are ages defined in the 1983 Code of Canon Law specifying eligibility or ineligibilities: They include the canonical ages for confirmation, marriage (for women), marriage (for men), profession of temporary religious vows, profession of permanent religious vows, admission to the diaconate with a view toward entering the priesthood, admission to the presbyterate, admission to the episcopate (or the diaconate on a permanent basis), episcopal retirement age, and age of ineligibility for participation in a Papal conclave.
With thanks to Ed Peters’ Facebook page, on which there are fuller explanations of the various ages, www.facebook.com/canonlawinfo/posts/537638579727666 .
10. How was Angela Merkel airbrushed from history, by whom, and why?
In the photographs of world leaders on the Charlie Hebdo march in Paris, female world leaders airbrushed out of the picture in Israel’s ultra conservative paper The Announcer, [Source: Daily Mirror] .
11. For whom was 8 December a “Radiant Dawn” and what is the connection with “O Nata Lux“?
James MacMillan was knighted on 8 December 2015. His motet “O Radiant Dawn” draws upon the opening bars of “O Nata Lux” by Thomas Tallis. Sir James was also identified as “Catholic of the Year” for 2015 by The Catholic Herald.
12. What links plastic bags, organ donation and burial & cremation?
These are all legislative areas in which the devolved administrations have taken a more progressive approach than the Westminster parliament.
13. Name the three top 50 British hit songs that were sung entirely in Latin.
According to Wikipedia, Steeleye Span’s single Gaudete is one of only three top 50 British hits to be sung fully in Latin (the others were both recordings of “Pie Jesu” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem; firstly by Sarah Brightman and Paul Miles-Kingston in 1986, secondly as a minor hit by the 12-year-old Charlotte Church in 1998).
In 1975 Mike Oldfield had a top 10 hit with “In Dulci Jubilo” but this was performed as an instrumental. “Oh What a Circus” from the 1976 musical Evita, and a hit single performed by David Essex, includes a choral chant in Latin, based on the Catholic anthem “Salve Regina“.
14. One of the most significant acronyms of the year was CBDRRC, but what does it mean, and how were the churches involved?
“Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities”, [used in conjunction with “In the Light of Different National Circumstances”] in the Preamble and in Articles 2(2), 4(3), and 4(19) of the Paris Agreement following the COP21/CMP 11 meeting on climate change.
15. Which high street retailer banned the words “Jesus Christ” in gift messages ordered on-line, and (predictably) who became alarmed?
Marks & Spencer was forced to remove ‘Jesus Christ’ from list of words banned in gift messages after compaints from customers. Lord Carey of Clifton is reported as saying: “If Christ becomes an offensive word in a Christian land then all of us should be alarmed.” [Source Daily Express]
16. Which two documents have been on display in New York, Luxembourg, Lisbon, Brussels and the Far East, and how are they linked to Gratian’s Decretum?
The Magna Carta and the King’s Writ, both of which have been on loan from Hereford Cathedral, whose chained library contains a copy of Gratian’s Decretum.
17. Which of the following e-petitions has attracted the greatest number of signatures: (i) “Accept more asylum seekers and increase support for refugee migrants in the UK”; (ii) “Stop all immigration and close the UK borders until ISIS is defeated”; and (iii) “Block Donald J Trump from UK entry”?
The latter has consistently polled more support and is to be debated by the Commons on 18 January 2016. At 10.00 am on 8 January 2016, the numbers of signatures were: (iii) 571,689; (ii) 455,766: and (iii) 448,915.
18. In 2015, which university launched its centre for the study of religious relics: (i) Bologna; (ii) Oxford: or (iii) Leicester?
Oxford. [Source, University of Oxford]
19. What is Sayer’s law and is it relevant to the General Synod?
The answer to this is subjective. Sayer’s law states: “In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake.”
20. What have the following in common: Pope Stephen VI; the Crown Prosecution Service; and the Russian government?
Legal proceedings against someone who has died. Pope Stephen VI instituted proceedings against Pope Formosus, (“the cadaver synod”); the Russian government, against the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky; and on 21 December, the Crown Prosecution Service issued a statement regarding the late Greville Janner: “[w]hen a defendant dies during criminal proceedings, it is usual that the case no longer goes ahead following formal confirmation of the defendant’s death at a hearing before the court. However, we are considering the procedural implications of this specific case. “
21. Link a colander, a teapot and religion.
Russell’s teapot, sometimes called the celestial teapot or cosmic teapot, is an analogy first coined by the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) to illustrate that the philosophic burden of proof lies upon a person making scientifically unfalsifiable claims rather than shifting the burden of proof to others, specifically in the case of religion. The concept of Russell’s teapot has been extrapolated into more explicitly religion-parodying forms such as the Invisible Pink Unicorn and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
22. How are the Cow and Calf rocks in Yorkshire associated with the Christmas story?
The words “While shepherds watched their flocks by night” were originally set to the tune “Cranbrook”, later used for the words of “On Ilkley Moor”. The “Cow and Calf rocks” are located on Ilkley Moor.
24. Which is the odd one out: Hassanal Bolkiah; Jeremy Corbyn; or Oliver Cromwell? All were claimed to have “cancelled Christmas”: Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei introduced a ban on Christmas in 2014; in the 1640s, the parliamentary party of which Oliver Cromwell was a member clamped down on the celebration of Christmas and other saints; some of the media accused Jeremy Corbyn of cancelling Christmas, although these claims were debunked in the Huffington Post.
24. Of what was it said “By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster“?
These words, used George Monbiot, were cited by Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion) (Green) as the best summing up of the Paris Agreement (Q14) “in all the acres of media coverage”, [HC Hansard 14 Dec 2015 Vol 603(87) Col 1300].
25. Join, most serenely, the following saints: Saints Protasio and Gervasio; Saints Saints Ermagora and Fortunato; and Saints Canziano, Canzio, and Canzionello.
The dialect in Venice – “La Serenissima” – has elided the names of these saints: San Trovaso (Ss Gervasius and Protasius); San Marcuola (Santi Ermagora e Fortunato); and San Canzian (Saints Canziano, Canzio, and Canzionello).