Monday, April 15, 2024

Not during the reign of Edward Longshanks

A fellow editor writes to ask if I, as a resident of Baltimore, can attest that there has been a Roman Catholic presence in the city since the latter part of the 13th century. 

He refers to an article on a proposal to close several parishes that says the closures would "reflect more than 730 years of the city's Catholic life," and asks, "You know more about Charm City than I do, but was there *really* a Catholic presence in Baltimore circa 1291 A.D.?"

My best guess is that the number 730 refers to the aggregate ages of the affected parishes. The oldest in continuous operation, St. Vincent de Paul, dates from 1841, the same article informs us. 

Had I been engaged to edit the article, hoping to avoid misunderstanding, I would have confirmed my surmise and made it read, "The combined ages of the sites that would be lost reflect more than 730 years of the city's Catholic life." 

But that's just me, a meddlesome editor. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Mr. McIntyre.

    To me, "730 years" is meaningless, as it's neither the age of the archdiocese nor of any of the churches selected for closure. I suggest something like this, assuming it's accurate: "The closures would include some of the oldest parishes in the archdiocese, including downtown's St. Vincent de Paul, which dates to 1841."

    Thank you for your time.

    Todd J. Behme
    Woodridge, Ill.