Monthly Archives: February 2019

Jean Sibelius

Jean Sibelius

English Heritage blue plaque commemorating Jean Sibelius, Gloucester Walk, London W8

I like blue plaques on the walls of buildings. I like their unpretentious informational content, and the way they embellish a dog walk with random snippets of cultural history.

For example in 1909 the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius lived for a while in Gloucester Walk, W8, part of that arid wasteland between Holland Park and Kensington Gardens. This was shortly after a successful operation to remove a throat tumour – possibly the result of too much smoking and/or drinking and/or lobster.

While in Britain Sibelius conducted his En sagaFinlandiaValse Triste and Spring Song.

© Chris Lawrence 2019.

Catholic Church and child abuse

I have read through Pope Francis’s ‘21 Reflection Points‘ with which the recent Vatican sex abuse summit began, and also the closing eight points which he says the Church will focus on in their “all-out battle” against the sexual abuse of minors.

What I didn’t see anywhere was any reference to what surely must be one of the most powerful and fundamental enablers of both the abuse and its cover-up. That is the absolutism which runs through much institutionalised religion in general and the Roman Catholic Church in particular. Continue reading