Onward Christian Soldiers.
August 17, 2002 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Onward Christian Soldiers. "The Fraternity of St. Sebastian is a military brotherhood, still in formation. We are recruiting young men, called to military life, to comprise the charter membership of a Public Association of the Faithful. In the fullness of time the Association will seek institution as a religious, military congregation. And rather than serving a state or civil government, our Corps will serve the Church."

Though not yet officially "blessed" by an Archbishop of the Catholic Church, plans are under way for a bootcamp and, of course, a training compound, as well as the eventual "turning over of [recruits'] real property" to the Association (in the spirit of poverty and of the Knights of Templar.)

Is St Sebastian a new resurgence of the spirit of the Knights Templar of olde (sic) (as opposed to the new)? A church "security service"? Or a new cult-like militia? WILL I SOMEDAY REGRET GIVING THEM PRESS IN THIS LINK?
posted by argybarple (23 comments total)
If this isn't a sign of humans plummeting back into the dark ages, I don't know what is.
posted by Aikido at 1:52 PM on August 17, 2002

Amen, so to speak. Just what the world needs - more armed religious lunatics.
posted by AlexSteffen at 2:00 PM on August 17, 2002

what about the swiss guard and gun toting Jesuits. Knights Templar were a seperate order, these guys are under the pope. Templars had more power, they were a new addition to warfare. independent, highly mobile shock troops that held the supply line to the fight. They handled your coin for a small tithe. This St. Sebastian order is old sheep in old clothing.
posted by clavdivs at 2:02 PM on August 17, 2002


Remember, it's just a website. one that appreciates shorter front page posts as well.

Interesting links though--I look forward to reading them. Thanks!
posted by whatnot at 2:02 PM on August 17, 2002

Has anyone heard anything about this group anywhere else? It's relatively easy to set up a domain name and make a few web pages...

Is this just a couple of nuts, or is this a pecan pie?
posted by Stuart_R at 2:20 PM on August 17, 2002

>>one that appreciates shorter front page posts as well.

Whaddaya think this is, my first post? (Oh, yeah -- it is. Thanks for the gentle crit.)

>>...it's just a website.

Oddly, I haven't seen this mentioned elsewhere in the media yet... (I could be wrong.)
posted by argybarple at 2:20 PM on August 17, 2002

Interesting. It seems that they wouldn't be much more than blessed bodyguards.

Personally, I find the Sea Organization much more frightening
posted by apostasy at 2:33 PM on August 17, 2002

Wow, thanks for this. The modern Crusader, eh? It makes complete sense that some Christians would respond to fundie Islamist violence with this kind of thing. I just got done reading the first section of Gore Vidal's great new book, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, which succinctly articulates the need to defuse this kind of Saladin/Richard the Lion-hearted bullshit before it destroys us all.

Btw, the Catholic Encyclopedia has something interesting to say about the info in the Fraternity's St. Sebastian bio: "These stories are unhistorical and not worthy of belief."

[Side note: please don't let this derail the great content in this post, since I see argybarple's just acknowledged the criticism's validity, but I do hope new folks start paying closer attention to the style of other front-page posts. There's really no need to shout in ALL CAPS or use paragraphs of bolded, italicized text to draw attention to what you've written. Italics works fine for long quotes. If anyone wants to discuss it further, I'll happily follow you to MetaTalk.]
posted by mediareport at 2:37 PM on August 17, 2002

Please go easy on the multiple spaces between lines, the overuse of bold, and the overuse of capital letters. You don't need to shout, we get the point.

From the website: An Archbishop has been notified of our belief in this mission and he has advised that we proceed prayerfully and patiently until we have 12 members. At that time, we will pursue institution as a Public Association.

They don't even have 12 members. This is supposed to be a threat somehow? At best they will probably end up being a bodyguard for a priest or missionary.

I don't see what the big deal is, except of the West's ignorance regarding the persecution of Christians in places like the Sudan, China, and others. In that regard, these guys have a valid point, and one that is often ignored.
posted by insomnyuk at 2:58 PM on August 17, 2002

Yopu want current scary? Try out these guys. Not only are they here and scary, but they are much beloved by the Pope.

The fear of what the Legion of Christ could do was interestingly written about in the SF books, Endymion and The Fall of Endymion, both which I thought were good reads.

These guys are rank amatuers.
posted by Dagobert at 3:37 PM on August 17, 2002

>>They don't even have 12 members. This is supposed to be a threat somehow?

Since I'm the (naturally biased) originator of this link (and I'm on my way out the door), I'm going to cut off my comments after this.

I think there might be more here than meets the eye (or I wouldn't have originated the link...) Archbishop O'Brien took the time to respond very seriously and in almost frighteningly, perfectly political language:"Cardinal O'Connor used to say that his first prayer on waking each day was that he would not get in the way of anyone seeking to do good. It is with this in mind that I respond to your suggestions that a new military order of 'Christian Soldiers' be founded."

Isn't that a beautiful bit of political prose? Sheesh... And the phone number on the Archbishop's stationary is real. Also, the site has a damned bit of planning and preparation behind it (if you look at all of it, such as the organization of and requirements for ranks, the photos, etc.) I'm inclined to think these guys already have funding and backing and are preparing to move forward (their site went live this month)...

But I could be wrong. It's Saturday night -- have fun.
posted by argybarple at 3:57 PM on August 17, 2002

Forget the Knights Templar, where are the 21st century Jedi when you need them?
posted by tgrundke at 5:26 PM on August 17, 2002

Revolt in 2100, anyone?
posted by dejah420 at 5:27 PM on August 17, 2002

Dagobert, I read (well, skimmed) through the Legions of Christ site and didn't catch on to why you think they're so scary. Care to elaborate?
posted by billsaysthis at 6:14 PM on August 17, 2002

Just the idea of armed religious fanatics is frightening to many people, and Christian fanatics are responsible for plenty of atrocities. And the connection to the Knights Templar is omnious, considering the wealth and power they were able to obtian.

As a side note, anybody ever read Foucault's Pendulum by Eco, everytime I read about the Templars I think of that book.
posted by Grod at 7:05 PM on August 17, 2002

Yes, Foucault's Pendulum is great. I keep wondering how much of it is historical and how much of it is fictional. (yeah, I know, I could research it, but it's more fun to wonder.) I do wanna go to that museum in Paris (Arts et Metiers, was it?) though.
posted by Vidiot at 7:55 PM on August 17, 2002

Vidiot: I don't know how much is true, but from the research I've done at various times, and from the amount of research Eco tends to put into his books, I'd guess that nearly all of the info we get during the research stage of the book, where the characters are digging up the story, is true and the only speculation is how he pieces it all together.
posted by Grod at 8:36 PM on August 17, 2002

Does this have anything to do with the Catholic church and sex with young men?
posted by jmccorm at 9:10 PM on August 17, 2002

Hmm. The Legonaries of Christ seems more to me like a way of slipping some charismatic-based themes back into Catholicism.

As for these guys, all my questions about the group's future remain unanswered -- because they don't have them, themselves, I guess. There's nothing to indicate yet that what they plan will result in anything objectionable. They speak of persecutions, but offer no plan to counter them.

Given that they seek official church imprimatur, they're going to have a hard time turning into some kind of vigilante militia without seriously embarrassing, or even imperiling, the church's status in any given country.
posted by dhartung at 11:33 PM on August 17, 2002

These guys would have been way cooler if they were catholic ninja-assassins, willing to commit seppuku for the pope.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:07 AM on August 18, 2002

That would have been totally sweet.
posted by Kikkoman at 12:22 AM on August 18, 2002

Judean People's Front Commander: We are the Judean People's Front, crack suicide squad. Suicide squad...attack!

Judean People's Front committing suicide: Augh! Arrgh...

Judean People's Front Commander: That showed them, huh?

Brian: You silly sods!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:57 AM on August 18, 2002

Gay porn in the making.
posted by adamgreenfield at 11:47 PM on August 18, 2002

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