The Golden Compass
How we cite our quotes:
"In the Middle Ages, parents would give their children to the church to be monks or nuns. And the unfortunate brats were known as oblates. Means a sacrifice, an offering, something of that sort. So the same idea was taken up when they were looking into the Dust business.... " (5.76)
This passage references the Church's tradition of sacrificing children, thus drawing a link between the past and the present situation with the General Oblation Board.
"And the Church in recent times, Lyra, it's been a getting more commanding. There's councils for this and councils for that; there's talk of reviving the Office of Inquisition, God forbid. And the Master has to tread warily between all these powers. He has to keep Jordan College on the right side of the Church, or it won't survive." (7.133)
The Master of Jordan College is subject to the demands of the Church, the most powerful force in the book.
"I don't know," Serafina Pekkala told her. "Witches have never worried about Dust. All I can tell you is that where there are priests, there is fear of Dust." (18.82)
As Serafina explains, the Church fears dust, though it doesn't necessarily understand it. Why aren't witches concerned with Dust, do you think?