For St Patrick’s Day, I received a letter from a friend of mine, Dr. Thomas Conlon, who is one of the most erudite Catholics that I knew. In the letter, ‘Dr. C’ (as he is known) explained his current work of scholarship; ‘a translation from Latin to English of a 17th century German scientist called Otto von Guericke, who was the first investigator of the vacuum...Google books have put a lot of facsimiles of old books on here, which has made a certain sort of scholarship much easier than it used to be. In following up references and allusions a think that has become clear to me is the dynamism and energy of the 17th century Jesuits. When people talk of the ‘fruits of Vatican II’, their standard of comparison ought to be ‘the fruits of Trent’.'