A Sect Most Treacherous

A misaddressed fund-raising mailer from the Salesian Missions reached my mailbox today, and the face of Don Bosco prominently displayed on the envelope reminded me of a darling little book about his life that I was given while still in Junior High. I quickly located it, and as I flipped through its pages, I came across this astonishing statement:
“The Catholic Readings that Don Bosco distributed took many proselytes away from the Protestants, particularly from the Waldensian sect. Because of this they decided to do away with Don Bosco, in cooperation with certain police authorities.”

There follow tales of seven distinct assassination attempts, all presumably at the hands of these despicable Waldensians. (Another biography, available online, recounts at least one of them in English.) Inconceivable! And to think that all these years I foolishly believed that it was the Waldensians who did all the, you know, violent dying.

Clearly John Hobbins, an unrepentant Waldensian sectarian, and indeed a leader among them, has much explaining to do!

5 responses to “A Sect Most Treacherous

  1. Many thanks for your kind words of support. You will note, of course, that the sectarian has yet to acknowledge the truth about his pernicious associations.

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  2. I’ll get you for this Esteban. (Hey, whenever you do come to Chicago, let me know, so we can get together.)

    The biographical memoirs of Don Bosco do their best to portray the Jews and the Waldensians, who, despite the concerted efforts of Catholic Church, were given their civil rights in a united Italy in 1848, as the bad guys and Don Bosco and associates as the good guys in the heady days that followed in Turin, what with Don Bosco and the Waldensians now contending for the souls of the local street rats. The memoirs can be read in their entirety online now – in Italian, of course.

    The memoirs tell how “the emissaries of the devil” would appear among Don Bosco’s youth, “to all appearances, they must have belonged to the Waldensian sect, or better, to the school of Judas.” I love the description the memoirs give of one who insinuated himself among them, “a young man, whose life was woven from top to bottom in iniquity, of noble aspect, courteous and desirable manners, with seducing expression, astute, hypocritical, wicked, whose words had an extraordinarily enchanting aspect, whose presence alone could draw like a magnet a whole crowd of youth who had not been warned.” (I translate from pages 490-91 of Vol. V.)

    But you, my man, have been warned. Be careful, now, with whom you keep company.

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  3. John, you might want to note that people are not easily persuaded to disclose their whereabouts to those who threaten them, particularly if the threat and the information request immediately follow one another. ;-)

    Actually, the memoirs of Don Bosco are available online in English translation as well; the link under “Catholic Readings” in my post leads to the pertinent chapter in the electronic text of the memoirs. (You may access the table of contents here.) The chapter I linked above expresses very clearly the frustration Don Bosco experienced with the Waldensians and all other Protestants in the wake of the Emancipation, and which you also describe in your comment. I find it all very fascinating, but of course, I have very little sympathy for Don Bosco’s view of things: I read Allix’s Ecclesiastical History of the Ancient Churches of Piedmont at 16, and I knew full well where my sympathies lay.

    In any case, I’m duly warned and alarmed, and I will take all the necessary precautions before I travel to Chicago. I fear, however, that all my safeguards may be in vain–after all, it seems as though a leading sectarian has put a hit on me!

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  4. A lunch hit, at the very least!

    Beware, Esteban, that one of, as Don Bosco put it, noble aspect, courteous and desirable manners, with seducing expression, astute, hypocritical, wicked, whose words had an extraordinarily enchanting aspect, whose presence alone could draw like a magnet a whole crowd of youth who had not been warned! Y’all been warned! Don’t return home as a Forester!

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