Kudos and little else to the fine chap or chapette who knows who said this quote:

Much water has flown under the Tiber’s bridges, carrying away splendor and mystery from Rome since the pontificate of Pius XII… [T]he banalities and translations which have ousted the sonorous Latin and Greek are of a supermarket quality which is quite unacceptable. Hand shaking and embarrassed smiles or smirks have replaced the older courtesies; kneeling is out, queuing is in, and the general tone is like BBC radio broadcast for tiny tots….

Please don’t cheat. The CMR Detective Agency will find out and then the CMR Goon Squad will be alerted. And then…bad things, man. Bad things.


The answer is, of course, the great Sir Alec Guiness who starred in such movies “Bridge on the River Kwai” and “Star Wars.”

In his autobiography, “Blessings in Disguise,” the actor wrote: “I was walking up Kingsway in the middle of an afternoon when an impulse compelled me to start running. With joy in my heart, and in a state of almost sexual excitement, I ran until I reached the little Catholic church there … which I had never entered before; I knelt; caught my breath, and for 10 minutes was lost to the world.”

Guinness was at a loss to explain his actions. He finally decided it was a “rather nonsensical gesture of love,” an outburst of thanksgiving for the faith of the ages. But the actor dashed into that church not long after March 24, 1956, when he converted to Roman Catholicism and ended his pilgrimage from atheism to Christianity.

The actor liked to quote the witty British writer G.K. Chesterton, who said: “The Church is the one thing that saves a man from the degrading servitude of being a child of his time.”