Tuesday, September 30, 2014

On living midcentury and more

  • From Face to Face: Status contests and the shift from involuntary to voluntary identities. Ouch. Defense: it's not like pretending to be black or a woman. Part of my own culture and, like the old joke about dogs, because I can. Why bother? Because it's better. I've said Westerners becoming Orthodox are self-hating, but some are called to Greek Catholicism. Sure, it's like moving to New York and becoming a New Yorker; more important, there's only one church.
  • Damian Thompson: Human beings aren’t built to handle "celebrity."
  • The church: The Ciudad del Este case. Urrutigoity was dangerous; no responsible bishop would have taken him. Because as a priest taught me 25 years ago, when you are in his position, you not only have to BE above board; you have to LOOK above board. Urrutigoity was not only dangerous but scandalous. That said, it seems he cleaned up his act in that diocese, and the war with the old liberals is still on. We lost our protector in Benedict; low-church Francis is not our friend. MIGHT this Paraguayan diocese's acceptance of Urrutigoity be something to do with Latino culture seeing the priesthood as a sort of dumping ground for its maricones? Latins generally are primordially Catholic but with no romantic illusions about the clergy.
  • "Byzantine Catholic" on Facebook: no. Another page hijacked by anti-papal types, self-hating Westerners: soi-disant Orthodox and their wiggers, OicwRs. Regarding "Why don't we all just become Orthodox?" (no, thank you), Bob Gardner, a putative Catholic: This post doesn't address the question the lead-in suggested it would (i.e. why so stubborn about the latter-day claims of "the Bishop of Rome?") At least you acknowledge that the claims are latter day, that's something I suppose, but how do the claims square with St. Vincent's canon since that was referenced in the post? If the Orthodox view of remarriage was acceptable to the undivided church who are you to question it? When did annulments start in the west? What does the historical record say, or shouldn't we worry about that because you say we shouldn't? Shawna Hoekstra, Orthodox: I will be straight with you. I don't want to read your blog. Because posting it in a forum like this strikes me as shameless self-promotion, and the precious little time I have to read long documents is reserved for theologians who have gone onto glory often via martyrdom. Stuart Koehl: Try to get those lithium levels back in balance, John. Stop being our problem; the door's over there. If that's what you really believe about the teachings of the church, you should join Miss Hoekstra rather than be hypocrites causing scandal among us. Put your soul's fate where your mouth is. Answers: development of doctrine and non-contradiction. The Orthodox can't prove to me that the essentials of the faith are different under the Pope (so we don't have Calvinism's problem of a bad premise with perfect logic based on it), and Catholicism doesn't hate the East like Orthodoxy hates the West. "Acceptable to the undivided church" or an abuse based on civil power? So far I don't buy the "proof" it was acceptable; it all comes from Orthodox and OicwRs. Catholic doctrine makes sense.
  • Some British inside jokes explained. Glad we don't hate redheads; maybe because generally we're so Irish.
  • Japan as a U.S. vassal state.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Fifties and the '50s


This is not a '50s basement. This is a diner or luncheonette like the real one I used to walk to before the new owner wrecked it. (But the 45s on the wall? I get it but, then, "What the hell are you doing?") People 50-60 years ago didn't have this in their houses.


Mostly, this is (at the Columbus, NJ Antiques Mall). At least if you had all new in a postwar house (much of my furniture is from the '40s; the past has a past, as lots of people didn't throw away good things just to redecorate). Or rather, this is your den; the basement's for storage and/or a workshop (and shelter from tornadoes*). Space age. Danish modern. (At one point my dad had a factory that made this.) Add a brass starburst wall clock, the Zenith, the hi-fi, and a Don Draper bar, and we're good to go.

The Fifties were part of the '50s; the fake Fifties were Sha Na Na, a bunch of Columbia students making fun of Italian-American resistance to the Sixties (where the concept for the Fonz came from), and American Graffiti, boomers becoming interestingly nostalgic (beware of lefty nostalgia) for right before when they sort of took over, when the grownups were still in charge: "Where were you in '62?" Actually, the boomers didn't cause the Sixties; they were just kids buying records. Their parents did with their crush on "Progress!" Thought of that driving home last night listening to King Arthur's doo-wop show on WVLT. Somebody has arranged and recorded a doo-wop cover of "Imagine." Great music, so it works across genres. Evil message. Like Pat Buchanan, who came of age then, I love the old America but I give the real reactionaries credit: the rot was there, so you got Vatican II and people falling for the Beatles, for example.

*We didn't have a good warning system until a killer Midwest storm in '65; then somebody came up with the idea of using the air-raid sirens to warn you, for example.

Religion


  • St. Pius X had Cardinal Newman's back. Like many intelligent people, misunderstood most of his life, Newman was hounded out of the Church of England for being "too conservative" but often was not entirely trusted by other Catholics: "too liberal."
  • Different but complementary theologies about sin. The Latin distinction between mortal and venial sin, taught to me by a fine Irish-American priest who went to seminary in the '40s, is very comforting, a sign of God's mercy and a safeguard against the neurosis of scrupulosity. That said, I recently read a claim that the Orthodox believe the only mortal sin is the one you're not sorry for. I like the sound of that.
  • Happy feast of St. Michael.

Cruising: the cars of "American Graffiti"


I know I look like Toad.


A gift.
Given the popularity of the film's cars with customizers and hot rodders in the years since its release, their fate immediately after the film is ironic. All were offered for sale in San Francisco newspaper ads; only the '58 Impala (driven by Ron Howard [and Charles Martin Smith]) attracted a buyer, selling for only a few hundred dollars. The yellow Deuce and the white T-bird went unsold, despite being priced as low as US$3,000. The registration plate on Milner's yellow, deuce coupe is THX 138 on a yellow California license plate, slightly altered, reflecting Lucas's earlier science-fiction film.
— From here

Steve (Ronny Howard's character) must have had rather rich parents to be driving and customizing a relatively new high-end car. Part of the movie's background: California car culture was possible because the country was in a boom, so many teenagers had lots of spending money, to buy records, for example. But not all: most hot-rodders were like Milner, self-taught engineers making do with '30s-early '50s cars, cheap and very used. Rat rods, Frankenstein's monster cars from junkyard parts. I'm about nostalgia so I love stock. That Impala, thank God, is still around!

Why don't we all just become Orthodox? Why not the OicwRs' way and WRO?

Mirroring our criteria for valid orders in defining the great Catholic family of churches (credal orthodoxy so basic the Nestorians pass, unbroken claim of apostolic succession, and uninterrupted true teaching about the Eucharist), which is the churches with the creeds AND bishops thus the Mass, the Anglican branch theory as filtered down through Anglo-Catholicism (not the original one: "the best branch is both Catholic and Protestant"; the ancient churches are genuine churches but in grave error and superstitious) has the insight that except for a few differences an inch wide but infinitely deep (the Pope), we are more or less the same. Use St. Vincent of Lérins' popularly attributed canon for orthodoxy (always, everywhere, and by all), with the Orthodox' seven (or nine) councils or even the Nestorians' two, and you get, essentially, Catholicism.

Orthodoxy is not a separate religion from us. It's Catholicism 1.0.

So why, say Orthodox apologists including the ecumenical kind on message boards, and their OicwR acolytes, are we so stubborn about the latter-day claims of "the Bishop of Rome"? If we are essentially the same church, parts estranged from each other (as we believe, rightly understood), and thanks to Western Rite Orthodoxy, we can even keep the traditional Latin Mass (as St. Augustine's and St. Mark's in Denver have it), the rosary, etc. (plus the regular Orthodox rite is not at all Novus Ordo), why are we standing in the way of what they perceive as the clear way to unity? If you can have essentially Catholicism thanks to immemorial custom with as few as two councils of defined doctrine, why doesn't Rome, as old Catholic friend Joe Pugh put it, "undefine" recent doctrines and simply state "this is what we think"? And then be received economically into Orthodoxy, our clergy in their orders, including the Pope? What do we have to lose?

First, Orthodox believe as a valid opinion that Latin Catholicism has been a complete fraud since the split. Buy that? Me neither.

Second, their teachings on divorce and remarriage (thou shalt commit adultery when it's pastorally prudent) and on contraception don't make sense. Until 1930 all Christians agreed with us; now the Orthodox and the evangelicals cautiously accept contraception, as the mainline did in the '50s; now the mainline is pro-contraception. Much teaching on sex now thought of as weirdly Catholic is really simply Christian, historically.

Third, it may be hip in a beatnik Orientalist way to attack the Latin Church's "legalism" but as Pope Benedict XVI said at Regensburg, talking about St. Thomas Aquinas, our God is not only mystical, always at least a step beyond our complete comprehension (otherwise we'd be him) but completely rational (Aristotle and the Schoolmen defining reason as conforming yourself to reality: the faith is about seeing things as they really are), unlike that of the Orthodox' fellow Easterners, the Mohammedans. Our post-schism doctrines don't contradict what went before so there's no need to repeal them, if that were possible.

Because of that, we believe in logic and precedent, yes, like lawyers in a courtroom. Overturning defined doctrine would mean the church is fallible, what Protestants, including high-church ones, believe. Once you start, logically, you can't stop; what's to stop you? We'd be like the Episcopalians with their General Convention or the Mormons with their living Prophet. Start by dropping papal infallibility, the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption (the story's Eastern!), and transubstantiation, and you'll domino into accepting women priests, abortion, same-sex marriage, and even dropping the creeds and their doctrines: apostasy.

So while we appreciate these estranged Catholics' (and well-meaning but wrong Catholics') offer, our answer's a kind no, thank you.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

University City area/West Philly

Clark Park flea market and porch sales, and details.




Nature in action: Sorry, no pictures or video. I was walking through the University City neighborhoods, following the porch-sale signs, when I saw a tiny Chinese (?) couple each with what looked like junior-varsity mastiffs. Then the dogs went nuts, barking at something. Turned out this smartass cat, like a juiced Morris, was taunting them by following them. He had to have been a full male; I'll call him Tom. These mastiffs wanted to rip Tom apart but he got on some front steps, walking right up to their barking faces, arched his back, had his back hair standing on end, and hissed at them, showing off his fangs. "OK, motherf*ckers, come and get me." I think he knew they were on leashes.

But those little people could have lost control of those big dogs and Tom would have been history. I mean, sure, he has fangs and claws but it was two on one and the dogs were bigger than him. One dog who knew what he was doing could have grabbed Tom by the neck, bitten hard, and shaken hard. Bye, Tom.

Brave cat. But a dick. Cattitude plus testosterone. Bet he's the father of a multitude, many of whom are as cool as he is.


Our holy mother, the church: St. Francis de Sales, at 47th and Springfield.

Other houses of God.


Crusaders for Christ Church, "founded A.D. 1972." This one always reminds me of Carol Nickolai: "OK, what was it REALLY?" Fourth Presbyterian, I guess back when the neighborhood was respectable middle-class burghers.


St. Peter's Church of Christ (Disciples) was originally the Episcopal Church of the Atonement, literally across 47th Street from the Scottish-American Presbys. Victorian Gothic. The Episcopalians decamped many decades ago; it was long St. Peter's. So sorry to see such a Catholic building go to waste.


This used to be Christ Memorial Church, a Reformed Episcopal church, looking more cathedral-like than the Church of the Saviour, which is now "the Episcopal Cathedral." Limestone? One rainy night about 10 years ago the spire crashed onto 45th Street. Secret: very little of this is the church, which is/was off to the left. Went in one Sunday: it was trip back to pre-Tractarian Anglicanism! Tiny Communion table and the minister in his academic robe in the pulpit. Once upon a time, the priest would change from cassock and surplice at the gospel to his academic robe for the sermon, which is why St. Clement's of all places has a hymn after the gospel at High Mass.


This denomination was/is the Worldwide Church of God, formerly the Radio Church of God (sign used to say that 30 years ago). Only in America. The sect's founder and preacher: the late Herbert W. Armstrong ("that old guy on TV" in the '70s), evangelicals turned non-Christians (he denied the Trinity), now returned to Protestantism.


Ethiopian community festival. These Africans are one of the world's first Christian peoples, belonging to one of the Lesser Eastern Churches, resembling the Copts (I think the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church was once under the Coptic Pope) but a different rite. Same style of iconography, from ancient Egyptian funerary art. The Orthodox haven't quite decided if they're Orthodox. Estranged Catholics.

Putative Catholics, the Orthodox, the left's hierarchy of truths, and more

  • Parting shots, on being kicked off Facebook's "Catholic & Orthodox: Steps Towards a Reunited Church" "OicwRs and Ex-Catholics: Steps Towards an Imaginary Church (Real Catholics Are Idiots)" page.
    • If James Arturo Broberg and Stuart Koehl really speak for the theology of the Byzantine Catholic churches, then those churches should be suppressed immediately. Thank God they don't.
    • Either the Catholic defined doctrines after the schism can be rendered in Byzantine theological terms, the way unlatinized Greek Catholics do, to satisfy the Orthodox or we can all just go home because otherwise union will never happen. Nor should it on false terms.
    • Good Orthodox such as Fr. John Morris who reject my Catholic terms for union, believing we are in grave error, don't grind my gears. It's the mirror of when Pope Benedict repeated that we are the true church. The mainliners whined as if people still listened to them; the Russians nodded in complete understanding and respect. He was talking their language. What grinds my gears are disloyal Catholics who want to throw away all our post-schism definitions of doctrine ("does not apply to the East" means "the church no longer teaches," same game as Novus Ordo liberals), and tell the Orthodox to receive us all, including the Pope, economically into Orthodoxy, the clergy in their orders (all of which the Orthodox can do), as if they could tell both churches what to do. I've said, because at least they sacramentally recognize us, OicwRs are more an offshoot of us than them. I might take that back. They act like a hypothetical false-flag operation of "ecumenical" Orthodox (the nice ones who believe we have real bishops). So they're really Orthodox. If we can't convince OicwRs, they SHOULD leave, they should convert. Because they're not Catholic.
    • Fellows like Stuart are more than annoying; they're dangerous because at first they resemble unlatinized Catholics (which is why I approached Stuart 15 years ago) when they're not really Catholic. If anything, they're sabotaging unlatinized Catholicism by identifying with the Orthodox. But their two-true-churches freemasonry/gnosticism disrespects the Orthodox (fine churchmen like Fr. John) as much as us. Stuart is supremely self-satisfied. As Jesus said, he has his reward in THIS life.
    • On that note, Mary Lanser and suchlike: talk doctrine all you like. You've left the church so you're not my problem anymore. In your life, YOUR will be done. The OCA should throw you out on your ear but that's not my call.
    • I think more snotty dissenter "graecophile transritualist" Catholics use the putdown "Uniatism," for Greek Riters who are good Catholics, than Orthodox do, except the Russians. They hate the Ukrainian Catholics and the feeling is mutual.
  • Notes on the new Ukrainian Catholic catechism, Christ Our Pascha. Since the Ukrainian liturgy was never Novusized I always have expected more from them. Comments based upon a "rough" English translation. My first look gives me the impression that although dogma may be there, it certainly is toned down (a polite expression for the otherwise accurate description as "pablum" like the USCCB's Adult Catholic Catechism and the Compendium of the CCC). Yeah, I'm probably being too harsh, but when compared with the admittedly dated language and triumphalist tone of "My Catholic Faith" [a reformatted version of the old Baltimore Catechism, Volume 3], the few excerpts from the rough English translation from the Ukrainian are lacking in a robust explanation of Catholic dogma and doctrine. At least with "My Catholic Faith," one has no doubt where the Catholic Church stands dogmatically. That's what I was afraid of. Not heretical but all nice and PC and not really Byzantine, so it's of little use both to teach our own people OR to reach out and talk to the Orthodox. FAIL.
  • By the way, the old catechisms get the job done for most people. Most people aren't that spiritual or bright. Baltimore No. 3 (have it; love it) gets the essentials across to the class's dumb kids while being a starting point for the smart and religious.
  • Traditionalist and conservative Catholic taxonomy and pitfalls. From A Real Live One. Jeff Culbreath already taught me some of this years ago: that in the church, traditionalists and conservatives are different, which explains some of the shocks I got in the '80s; why the Wanderer and CUF Catholics didn't rally behind the traditional Mass and the saintly Archbishop Lefebvre, for example. In fact the Novus Ordo neocons were trying to blackguard us (as Brideshead puts it), saying we weren't really Catholic anymore when all we wanted was the same church as before Vatican II. But the conservatives have their pluses: focused on doctrine and other essentials, obedient to legitimate church authority (the church can do things we don't like; it can't change doctrine like Episcopalians and Mormons), and not fixated on one culture (the sin of the Orthodox) or historical period. We, on the other hand, have a bigger vision of the church than the neos' and liberals' revisionism: "conserving tradition since 1970" and going along with St. John Paul the Overrated on altar girls (good thing the church is indefectible; women's ordination is a dead letter among our people). Joseph V. and Fr. Chadwick are also long right that the real pre-concilar church and traditionalism are often regrettably different. ("They are not what we were.") The church (sinners, from JFK and Sam Giancana to your weird aunt) vs. a spiritually proud cult with the church's trappings. There's a case for broadening traditionalism to include more historical options; in theory that's already so. But: in practice not, because... 1962 is a LIVING tradition, in my parish and elsewhere. Those people are still around, literally, to keep it real, to show us how to do it right. One of our supply priests, a Jesuit, was formed in his order mostly before the council; our parishioners include a couple born in the 1920s. There are no medieval Englishmen to show us how to really do Sarum or York. Finally, the kind of people who reject our living tradition in favor of arcane historical stuff are often poseurs and hypocrites: showing off that, unlike pious ignoranti trads, they even KNOW about St. Pius X's breviary reform or the rubrics of the Sarum Mass... as do their same-sex partners and women priests. (High-church liberal leapfrogging loyalties: mere nostalgia for a tradition not entirely gone, such as the '50s, is for morons; studying dead liturgics "when it wasn't cool" is cool.)
  • War on Christianity: banning The Hiding Place. As I say, the left has a hierarchy of truths. Towards the top of the list are hating Christ and Christianity and getting whitey. The Jews, as in the Holocaust, are only useful to them towards those ends. (Rather like liberal and Jewish criticism of Christian Zionists: some of them don't really care about the Jews, only their dispensationalist prophecy that has most Jews die — other evos want to undo the Book of Acts; Jewish wannabes. Many Jews including Israelis hate the evos, part of general left-wing disdain, but are willing to use them to keep the U.S. government support for Israel coming.) Likewise gays and women are thrown under the bus for the Mohammedans (Steve Sailer: lefties' loyalties leapfrog and they fetishize the Other). So devout Protestant Corrie ten Boom's autobio's banned for being "sectarian." A threat to Protestantism's newest bastard, secular humanism, now the state schools' de facto religion.
  • Written on the fly in a trattoria: Eucharistic Prayer II, the pseudo-canon of antipope St. Hippolytus. Lee Poteet: "And they [Catholics] presume to get upset about the Book of Common Prayer!" Good thing the church is indefectible despite bozos like Bugnini (Cranmer minus the talent) and his buddies. EP II is the express-line canon; in Catholic real life, good if you want to get out fast for a Sunday full of recreation or family time. Like the whole Novus Ordo, not my favorite but it gets the job done. The BCP canon is beautiful prose but has theological problems: "by his oblation of himself ONCE OFFERED"... matching the Articles calling "the sacrifices (sic) of Masses... rather repugnant to the Word of God... blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits." I'm grateful that my Episcopal background gave me a better liturgical formation than the Novus Ordo but I've read the BCP and history, and have been to St. Robert Southwell's grave and St. Margaret Clitherow's house. I don't hate the Anglican Church but I don't miss it either.
  • Our take on the Novus Ordo is just like ritualist Anglo-Catholics' take on the BCP: it's not heretical and contains all that is necessary, but that does not mean, nor do we have to believe, that it is ideal. It is far from that.
  • Goodbye, Mother; goodbye, Father. A self-defeating proposal among Connecticut Episcopalians. My answer. By the way, the more liberal the Episcopalians get, the smaller, whiter, and richer they get; the middle-class family that loves Jesus is less welcome.
  • I feel for the Christians, Alawites, and Yazidis in Iraq and Syria but I'm not afraid of the Mohammedans. They're backward and can't conquer us, even with immigration. Rather, I fear our neocons and leftists.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Angelfire's kaput at least for now


I got started teaching myself HTML, making Web pages (badly at first, of course), using Angelfire in 1999. Because the pages are easy to make and edit, I still use it. But all of my Angelfire pages have been down for almost a day; I don't know if or when they will come back, and I'm not the only one having the problem. Check the Google caches of the pages to read them.

ROCOR's anti-Catholicism is partly occult


Archbishop James (Roy C. Toombs).

Never heard of him until now. Frank Purcell gave me this link and commentary. This fellow was a very American (Protestant) religious seeker/adventurer, part of the murky connection between the Orthodox and vagantes, passing through the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
On ROCOR and the Catholics — when they came to NY [the Russian displaced persons, right after World War II?] they accepted converts from Catholicism [negligible] by confession. The remarkable Archbishop James, who can only be described as a Rosicrucian, convinced them they needed to rebaptize. James, not then Orthodox, had something to do with the intelligence community, and pulled strings to overcome the OCA's [then the Metropolia] objections to their being allowed to move here.
Makes sense since reception by confession was the tsarist Russian way that ROCOR was trying to preserve. They didn't turn fanatical until the (reaction against) the '60s, when they brought anti-Catholic Greek Old Calendarists on board. The old Russians were actually pretty nice, comparatively.

The Metropolia was the Russian Orthodox dioceses in America from tsarist times, mostly Ruthenians descended from former Greek Catholics, which in the '40s considered ROCOR schismatic from them, invading their turf, so they told their parishioners to have nothing to do with it. So much for the putative true church.
By that time [the '60s] +James had formed his own OAC. I think part of the anti-Catholicism came from the occult Freemasonry associated with the Aftimian lines of consecration.
"Aftimian": the vagantes who trace their lines to Aftimios (Ofiesh). I just assumed the rabid anti-Catholicism was Russian nationalism plus the imported Greek fanaticism mixed with their church, in tsarist times, using our scholasticism to come up with a rival true-church theology: they hate us because they're a lot like us and want to be us. But this angle — all-American snake oil — could be true as well.

Of course they teach their kids the legend of the imaginary St. Peter the Aleut and not about this fellow.

If that's how they really feel about the Christians who literally saved their lives from the Soviets, why not reject us completely and move back to Mother Russia, now that it's not Communist anymore? Ingrates.

Completely unrelated, I think he looked like Ron Paul!

The last Mitford girl and more


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Anglicanism, Orthodoxy, and my birth


Not Anglican/Orthodox dialogue, which like with us is dead, but:
  • Losing my Anglicanism: my religious start and conversion. How and why I eventually became Catholic. I remember 1967 model cars (we had Fords), "The Ed Sullivan Show," cigarette commercials, and when the Episcopal Church was externally conservative, having been born into it because my dad had left the church and married an Episcopalian about 10 years earlier. I remember the old Middle America fading away, becoming the '70s, and my dad wearing the kinds of suits and ties I wear. The character Kevin Harris on "Mad Men" and I are the same age. I was baptized Nov. 6, which is St. Leonard's Day so I should have been Leonard ("hey, Lenny"), like "Mr. Spock" (he's Jewish), not John, or, if I'd been Catholic to begin with, I should have been baptized four days after my birth and been Michael. A Michael was a second father to me, giving me the worldview you read on this blog; I don't think that's a coincidence. Be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. I'm surprised I've lasted this long. If I make it to 50 in a couple of years I'll drop the "Young" from "Fogey."
  • What Anglicanism really is: It could be said that the erstwhile Elizabethan Settlement, a church that could be both Catholic and Reformed, has been coming apart. The catalyst is not the Catholic or Evangelical wings that were a party to the original understanding, but rather it is the "broad church" or so-called "liberal" wing that has emerged and which some refer to as the deconstructionists. Well, the Catholic and Evangelical wings really separated after the Tractarians. Some Evangelicals blame the Catholic wing for the ascendancy of Broad Churchmanship, because the Tractarians and their successors played games with the interpretation of the Articles. Yes, I think before that, you had a consensus in Anglicanism: not Catholic vs. Protestant but both Catholic and Protestant. It said: we are the same church as when under Rome but better, "purified" by the "Reformation," the best branch of the three, Rome and the Orthodox being real churches but in grave error; the faith of Cranmer, Hooker, the Carolines, and I think the Tractarians. It used to be admirably conservative, taking Cranmer, et al., as its foundation, based on its understanding of the plain meaning of scripture, and being wary of Rome for alleged novelties; now it does whatever it wants. Accusing the Pope of innovation, then signing off on women priests is hypocritical.
  • Anglo-Catholicism came in two forms, either a rehashing of Gallicanism and Old Catholicism (Western Catholicism minus the Pope) or what its opponents feared it was, would-be Roman Catholics wanting to sell out the "Reformation" for the Pope. Neither were anything really to do with classic Anglicanism, which rejected what A-Cs believed as medieval accretions rightly washed away. So my disillusionment as a teenager was inevitable. I don't hate the Episcopal Church because of it. Est quod est.
  • Questioning the faithless.
  • "Historical analysis finds no clear evidence that Jesus existed." An unbeliever with a British name (he's from Ireland: Anglo-Irish?) writing for Zsa Zsa Huffington. Actually the historical evidence for Jesus is pretty good.
  • An Orthodox gentleman. Eternal memory, Fr. Paul Schneirla. My guess is after Msgr. Stephen Dutko who died a few years ago he was the second longest-serving American Orthodox priest. The Western Rite experiment is a small counterfeit Catholicism but his heart was in the right place; he didn't leave the church.
  • A Greek Catholic Jesuit critiques Orthodox divorce and remarriage practice, which doesn't make sense.
  • Michael Liccione: Most Latin Catholics don't understand why we are divided. Orthodox are divided on why we are divided. Catholics believe the only real difference is the Pope; Orthodox are all over the place, from agreeing with us that it's just about the Pope to insisting they are a completely different faith.

Why no to altar girls, the problem with Cupich, and more

  • Why no to altar girls. The knights of the altar are JROTC for the priesthood.
  • Is Archbishop-designate Cupich a problem? Looks like it. The wrong people, such as NCR and message-board liberals, like him. People who want to neuter the American church, turning it into another Protestant denomination, long an American Protestant goal ("cut your tie to Rome and really be American" — Orthodoxy and Episcopalianism are cute, harmless, high-church alternatives that often do liturgy better than we do). Just what we need, another Bernardin. We really need a younger Pope Benedict who will stay in office for 20 years, finishing what Benedict started. The great turnaround and conservative revival will continue but this slows it.
  • The New York Times has no idea what Christianity is. As America becomes less religious and worse educated, the latter being inexcusable because the Internet is the greatest teaching aid. Also, newspapers are becoming more mediocre as that medium dies. Nearby, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher marking the site where many Christians believe Jesus is buried, usually packed with pilgrims, was echoing and empty. Willful ignorance: the NYT and its readers don't know that Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead, or that Episcopalians and Southern Baptists are different (the default elite American prejudice now is Christian means evangelical or fundamentalist, "those people," which equals Southern Baptist; Catholic being an equally oppressive, mutant, superstitious version of "pure" Protestant Christianity, which is just "Christian"; Mormon is Southern Baptist with plural wives), because they don't care.
  • Brutalizing the beta. It has often been remarked that the real losers of the sexual revolution are the so-called “beta males.” After all, prior to the time when the marital covenant became so thoroughly denigrated and devalued as it is now, “betas” actually wielded a kind of clout...

On hatred of the traditional Mass, the Sweden Democrats, and more



  • Why IS there such hatred of the traditional Latin Mass? It IS a spiritual war, and a civil war in the church. The old liberals in charge are fading but not gently. If this happened to me, I'd soldier on with Pope Benedict's English Novus Ordo. If that were taken away (reverting to Paul VI's paraphrase), I'd go to the SSPX or the Greek Catholics, maybe the Greek Catholics first because they're in good standing with the official church. Antipope? SSPX.
  • Conversion stories. Famous convert Rod Dreher tells his story again. Me: born Episcopal, confirmed Catholic at 17; regrettably left a couple of times, about 20 years ago or more. Here's the rest of my story. Catholic to stay since 2011. You probably know my line on Dreher: his leaving the church (to be fair, after 20 years) was emotionally understandable (the great gay underage scandal and coverup) but irrational (our teachings are not the problem). Here, schism's probably just another name for surrendering the public square, which a friend has convinced me is what Dreher is up to with his blog, trying to convince conservative Catholics to do just that for American Orthodox escapism.
  • "Europe belongs to us." I see the same good points about the Sweden Democrats that Roissy (from whom I learned of them) and Alternative Right do: populist, socially conservative, naturally patriotic, and ethnically loyal. Of course I add the warnings/disclaimers that, just like with economic and other radical individualism, the church says not to make an idol of the white race, and Peronist economics don't work. For us Catholics, Hitler's not an option (Mit Brennender Sorge); Franco is. Interestingly, to the Sweden Democrats' credit, Wikipedia says a lot of their support is from Middle Eastern Christian immigrants. (I don't care what color you are; you are welcome if you behave.) They know how to make good videos/commercials, the first, "Salute to the European Youth," baiting the liberals, and the second, "Young Swedish Girl," catchy and appealing to young women themselves as well as young men of course (it's hip, fun, and sexy to be square). Why can't the Swedes like being Swedes? Or whites be proud of being white? Don't worship race, but sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Mesoamerica, the Orient, and India didn't come up with scholastic theology, the Constitution, or modern science. The war on white men is a travesty of Christian charity and humility. By the way, unlike many, I don't think Swedish women are particularly beautiful; as P.J. O'Rourke observed visiting the country, they're on average as pretty as women usually are. The free-love thing is a myth '60s Americans believed about Sweden (part of the "Progress!" myth of the left about Nordic socialist paradises), from '60s Italian porn set there; Swedes are very reserved, based on the few I've met. I can see the girls' appeal to Americans, though: many of their faces are from an obviously different gene pool.
  • From Steve Sailer: "Ethnic extremist leaves U.S. to fight in Middle Eastern tribal war." "Not OK for ISIS; OK for Israel." "It is not illegal for an American citizen to join a foreign army — unless that army is at war with America. Nor does joining a foreign army require one to relinquish citizenship." This is a good example of a general theme of mine: in 21st Century America, you can roughly divide white men up into conservatives and liberals based on their predilections toward loyalty. Everybody feels loyalties, but conservatives tend to be more motivated than liberals by loyalty or team spirit. And conservatives tend to experience their feelings of loyalty in a fairly natural concentric fashion, with their feelings of loyalty diminishing as they go outward to people less like themselves. White male liberals, in contrast, pride themselves on a certain degree of disloyalty, possessing a set of loyalties that leapfrog in disdain over some set of people not all that far off from themselves. (Of course, all other kinds of liberals besides straight white males are encouraged by the media to subscribe to crude forms of ethnocentrism, such as demanding amnesty for their co-ethnics.)
  • From Ex-Army: Rothbard on nationalism.
  • Dissenting from American liberalism and conservatism. Innate differences on average, social responsibility, and conservative Christians taught me growing up that it's wrong to pick on homosexuals.
  • The Bell Curve at 20.
  • "Gender equality." It means women becoming more like men and grabbing power, while men cry and become weak sacks of shit. It forces women to look down on their roles as mothers and caregivers and embrace lifestyles that offer them only emptiness and depression. In the end, the latest push for gender equality aims to mold all people — regardless of race, gender, or creed — into deracinated, genderless consumers that care about nothing more than satisfying their own base desires. Right, and Manosphere 101: the men who buy gender equality, doing what they're told, get dumped by women bored with them in order to selfishly chase the more exciting alphas (PUAs don't buy gender equality but are just as selfish), until the women's looks hit the wall and they end up alone.
  • From Bob Wallace: As many of you may be aware, the West is slowly but surely declining. Feminism is part of that.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

President Obama starts another war in violation of the Constitution

A press release from the Libertarian Party. While not a perfect solution, I've voted LP for president since 2004, except in '08 when I stayed home.
President Barack Obama has taken the United States to war, now in Syria and Iraq, in violation of the U.S. Constitution — just as he did in Libya in 2011.

"Whatever differences they may claim, Democratic and Republican politicians are aligned when it comes to foreign meddling," said Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee. "President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush both resort to war in the end."

The president cites the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force to justify dropping bombs 13 years later. But its approval by Congress applied only to nations or groups that "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the 9/11 attacks. The Islamic State (IS) did not exist in 2001 and is an enemy of al Qaeda.

Even if the AUMF could be applied, the Constitution requires that Congress vote specifically on a declaration of war before engaging in military action. For the same reason, the 2002 Iraqi War was also illegal.

Last week, congressmen and women refused to vote on a war declaration. Instead they authorized funding to arm and train "appropriately vetted" Syrian fighters.

"This is wildly reckless and irresponsible," said Sarwark. "The old parties in Congress just spent $20 billion arming and training Iraqi soldiers, only to see U.S. military weapons land in the hands of the Islamic State. This new measure could end up arming future enemies in Syria as well."

Obama has admitted that IS presents no immediate threat to the United States.

"The bigger threat is endless war and a heightened risk of terrorist attacks on U.S. citizens as a result of military intervention," Sarwark said.

The Libertarian Party and its candidates call for getting out and staying out of Iraq and Syria.
Give the man credit: he tried to get us out of Iraq. The neocons attacking him for being soft, maybe using Iraq's Christian martyrs in their attacks, started this (and share in the atrocity of the martyrdoms) by attacking a country that was no threat to us, was nothing to do with 9/11, and was none of our business.

Catholic Defcon, the new Anglo-Catholicism, and more


  • Archbishop Piero Marini, new prefect of Congregation for Divine Worship? "One of Bugnini’s men." (Good thing the church is indefectible but I'm pretty sure Archbishop Bugnini was a heretic.) But he's old. Reminds me of the irony that the liberals who low-churched with the excuse of "relating to the kids" are old; the few kids who go to Mass want my Mass or something like it. Fr. Chadwick: What would be the best thing? Clearly a system reboot, and a new beginning. Maybe. Everything in our polity except that which is also doctrine (the papacy and the episcopate) is negotiable. From all accounts, Pope Francis has about the liturgical sensitivity of Paddy O’Flaherty’s goat and has little or no sympathy with the traditionalists in the RC Church. He does little to shut them down, but supplies them with no fuel either. Yeah. Nothing new needs to be invented — you just do what has always been done. That's what it's really about, not apologetics for papal supremacy, though that has its use. He's just part of the package. Our teaching: the Pope is a steward of a monarch, not a monarch. The Roman rite as it was in the early 1960’s was for a time only continued by dissident and disobedient groups. Its use in the current RC Church seems to be on a par with “culture” in modern technological society — put in a museum or on CD’s to be looked at or listened to from the outside. I have often observed this difference between old mainstream religion and the traditionalists. Yup. Under Benedict the Great and even before him, in the last years of John Paul II, that started to change. Pope Francis seems to have been about making people uncomfortable. Again, it is like Hollande after Sarkozy, veiled plutocracy after the same thing without a mask. Perhaps there is the idea of making Catholics “pure” Christians weaned off addictions like nice churches and liturgies. If that is so, then why bother with church? Perhaps we would be better Christians by practising Zen or sailing the sea in a fresh breeze and an overcast day. Why bother with popes, priests and churches? That is the way most people see it. Right. It's Protestantism's endgame. I admire the traditionalists for trying to keep something going, but they have to adjust their ecclesiology to justify their disobedience. But if you really understand the teachings of the church, do you? Anglicanism, for example, which in its true form is "the 'Reformation' was godly, leaving England still Catholic but making it now the purest branch of the church," isn't the answer. I've been to the grave of St. Robert Southwell and St. Margaret Clitherow's house, and seen the ruin of an abbey outside York; life-changing. Can't buy Cranmer, Hooker, Laud, Pusey, Mote, or Schori. More from Fr. C.
  • Cardinals warn Pope against remarried Communion ban reform. Book by powerful group of cardinals issues warning to Pope Francis on remarriage policy ahead of Vatican synod. I'll say that "remarried Communion ban reform" is impossible. Cardinal Burke, sent packing from the Curia: “It simply makes no sense to talk about mercy which doesn’t respect truth.”
  • Dare we panic? So what is Catholic Defcon 1? Going to the SSPX if a sedevacantist scenario comes true, which I think can happen? (A Pope oversteps his bounds by trying to change our teaching. Cf. St. Robert Bellarmine.) Or would Defcon 1 be when there's real persecution, as in "Reformation" England and the Soviet Ukraine? So, recusancy and going underground. This could include not having any bishops or priests available: the crypto-Catholics of old Japan. Defcon 2: the local church becomes heretical: go to the SSPX. Defcon 3: the local church is inhospitable and in some places heretical: American parishes in the '70s and '80s; where we seem headed again, but not nearly as bad because of Benedict the Great's overhaul of English Novus Ordo (I can go to Mass anywhere in America). Under Benedict we were at Defcon 4, an orthodox renewal in a liberal landscape. The '50s and earlier were Defcon 5 (but see below about the grownups in charge then: "Let's streamline the church or even work with Protestants to create a new church!").
  • Rome/SSPX talks. As several commentators have pointed out before, the SSPX, by and large, accepts far more of the Second Vatican Council than many liberals who, sadly, remain in good standing with the Church. There will always be folks who don’t want the Society regularized for their own ideological reasons, but so what? Liberal Catholics don’t like the SSPX for obvious reasons. Neo-Catholics don’t care for the Society either, though mainly because the Society, along with other traditionalists, have been raining on the neo-Catholic triumphalist parade for decades.
  • St. Clement's Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, no longer identifies with the Catholic Church. The rector emeritus does gay weddings and sides against the church in his blog, the new rector's a married ex-Catholic, and a woman priest (leader of America's new Anglo-Catholics, the "affirming, inclusive" Society of Catholic Priests; unlike Catholic liberals, they love our stuff) is preaching there. I've thought for some time she'll be their first woman celebrant, which will probably happen soon. The place that used to pray "for reunion with the Holy See, and that the scandal of the attempted ordination of women be removed from the Anglican Communion." (Because we can't change the matter of the sacraments.) We can learn from Anglo-Catholic semi-congregationalism: it seemed appealing as a hedge against Modernism when the church was at Defcon 3 30 years ago, and it produces close parish communities. Not my fight, no hard feelings towards Mother Takacs and the rest of the new A-Cs (though it's hard for me to call them that), and after all, St. Clement's IS Episcopal, but considering what it long aspired to be by using the traditional Roman Rite, its homosexuality notwithstanding, this is like watching a family member or friend leave the church.
  • Bishop Schori's retiring. No dog in this fight, if there still is one. I think her kind of Modernism's passé just like in the Catholic Church. The next Presiding Bishop will probably be liberal high-church (new Anglo-Catholic), like Rowan Williams. Credally orthodox and knows how to swing a thurible at an ad apsidem altar, but maybe another woman and definitely on board with that and gay marriage. Why was the House of Bishops of an American denomination meeting in Taipei?
  • The death of adulthood in American culture. The New York Times on "Mad Men"; that should prepare you for the liberal miasma in this article, but it makes points others have. A friend born in '53 has described the golden era as when "the grownups were still in charge." Regrettably these people were in love with "Progress!" so they had Vatican II. The irony of "Mad Men" is it became popular despite its creator's we-know-better-now intent: Weren’t those guys awful, back then? But weren’t they also kind of cool? We are invited to have our outrage and eat our nostalgia too, to applaud the show’s right-thinking critique of what we love it for glamorizing. Beware of lefty nostalgia: “Masters of Sex” (a prehistory of the end of patriarchy). There is no "end of patriarchy," because patriarchy is part of nature. Which is why the church has patriarchs, for example.
  • From Roissy: Science discredits feminism.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

America's unnatural aristocracy

Chronicles' Clyde Wilson:
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams agreed that republican government should be in the hands of a “natural aristocracy” of talent and virtue. Jefferson said that no one is born with the right to ride with boot and spurs over the backs of the citizens. Adams feared that the people might be misled by the glamour of high birth into choosing the wrong rulers.

If Americans took this provision of the Constitution seriously, Barack Obama would never have been allowed to run for president. All of his adult life Obama has been treated as a privileged aristocrat because of who he is. He came to every position he has filled without any record of legislative, administrative, or military service or accomplishment. He has been raised to power entirely because of his birth. There are tens of thousands like him spread throughout all the ruling institutions of the United States. He has a smooth manner and a gift for low-key demagoguery, but no other qualifications for the most powerful office in the world.
Also, in the new hierarchy of truths in the left's doctrine, anti-Christian and anti-white outrank women and gays, so the Mohammedans get a free pass. By the way, I think harping on Obama is tiresome; he's only a symptom, and I don't think he's a Mohammedan. Rather, an agnostic WASP with a partly international background (in college he hung out with the actual foreign kids, not with blacks), not really black, for example. He was born in Honolulu.

Why do so many clergy still hate Catholic tradition?



Michael Voris.

Somewhere between the "new Pentecost" jazz 50 years ago and well-meant, fanciful but ignorant notions of an imposter Pope or antipope lies the truth. Some churchmen are subversive; in America in the '70s they almost won. Also, this comes from the worst of the '50s: belief in "Progress!" Streamlining the church for the space age: going Protestant and even Modernist. This is slowly dying out but in many places it's still in charge and won't go gently. It also reminds me of the Anti-Gnostic's point: such bishops will keep trying to hitch the church's wagon to social democracy even as that's dying. They'll go through the motions of the culture wars, since the Holy See has to enforce our doctrine, but they won't really do anything, like excommunicate pro-abortion politicians. They'll keep preaching politically correct platitudes and get their picture taken with the president, angling for more funding for social programs. Because, damn it, Catholics have arrived in America; no going back to integrist steerage Catholicism for these guys. But again, Catholic liberals are dying out; the remaining Massgoers are real Catholics.

Did "The Godfather" wreck the Mafia?


  • Probably old news, but did the Godfather movies help kill off the Mafia? Someone at work told me this; makes sense. In Philadelphia, for example, before 1980, Cosa Nostra was if anything low-profile, under "the docile don," Angelo Bruno, sort of a frenemy of the police: relatively nonviolent, involved in things such as gambling. Don't get the cops' attention; stay out of the papers; go to church. Outliers in society including Italian-American society: as with the church's civic position on prostitution, do your dirty sinful business over there, out of sight. Flashy mobsters such as Al Capone: the exception? Then The Godfather hit the screens in '72 and all that changed. Mob bosses and wannabes started seeing themselves as philosophers, community leaders, celebrities; omertà (don't snitch) went out the window; another mobster murdered Bruno in '80, and the local mob self-destructed all over the Inquirer's and Daily News's pages (pre-Internet).
  • Jeff Culbreath sounds general quarters about the upcoming Synod on the Family. ***IF*** the Pope tried to change church teaching (he can't; that's not in his job description), we'd have a real problem; Catholics would go to Defcon 1. I don't see it happening, but... And Orthodoxy's obviously not the answer, because you can't prove to me that Western Catholicism was a fraud all along, and their theology of divorce and remarriage doesn't make sense ("thou shalt sometimes commit adultery if it's pastorally prudent; economy"); we worship a rational God, not the irrational one of their fellow Easterners, the Mohammedans.
  • Bob Wallace says the manosphere doesn't add up. Doing the math about PUAs. If you have ego problems, it wouldn't. It's a map, not the terrain.
  • Gavin McInnes on America's martyrs.
  • Hey, diversity worshippers.
  • From the Anti-Gnostic: How to increase the incidence of rape on college campuses: order fraternities to keep women in houses with lots of drunk young men. Eventually though, these fraternities will become safe places for women. That is, they will become sororities, filled with women and their gay friends. As Bob Wallace puts it, what women enter, men leave. As I saw at jolly old St. Liberal's for Mass last Sunday, when you let little girls be altar servers (substitutes for minor clergy; JROTC for priests; knights of the altar), the boys quit.
  • The hipster on whom Washington bet to beat Putin.
  • Like hypocrisy is vice's tribute to virtue, I saw this quoted recently: Political correctness is indifference's tribute to charity.

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Spiritual but not religious" and the American religion, and more

Wildwood 2014


Wildwood: twice a year this New Jersey shore town is my Brigadoon: the same town but around 1963, because a big classic-car show (with an auction in the Convention Center, in the fall) adds to the motels that time forgot.

Good thing we made it in time on Friday, when the boardwalk show wasn't crowded. The boardwalk car displays are almost a second attraction. Tops: just sitting on balcony of the Oceanic Hotel, watching the ghost-car traffic go by, and the big street parties (with shared booze) Friday and Saturday nights as the cars go from the boardwalk to the streets and the motel lots, real-life scenes from American Graffiti, including cars peeling out at intersections, and the occasional cop bust.

Most of my favorite cars were out and about: a few '40s cars, smart mid- and late-'50s Fords, Buicks, and Pontiacs, and the first four Impalas ('58-'61). About the only ones not there were the Christine ones from Chrysler, '57-'60.


'48 Ford and '49 Mercury. The great shift in American car design for most makes was the '49 model year: the first true postwar cars, featuring unibody designs. People love the '49 Merc because of James Dean.


Little cars, this one by Messerschmitt: because Europe's '50s were different.


"You may saaaaaay I'm a dreamer..."

Not shown: a great shore tradition, boardwalk fudge.


Fake! On the boardwalk. Went here a year and a half ago. $15 per person for a burger lunch because you tacked 45s and posters on the walls and named your dishes things like the Little Richard? Forget it, Fonzie.



That's more like it. Not retro; OLD. Lose the cutesies; just have some good food, maybe the new Wibbage on the radio, and as close to 1963 prices as you can afford to offer. Patrons, don't forget to give to the Greek Orthodox parish's jar at the register.


The Pink Cadillac used to be a real local diner (moved) so this whole setup works... except the radio plays '90s music and they offer things like wraps and paninis. Get real. That said, their Cajun-spice burger and fries weren't bad.

You don't expect showoff prices at a restaurant that calls itself the Ravioli House but it's just about worth it. Nothing is trucked in or made with Chef Mike: pastas and sauces made on the premises at a place founded by a couple from Italy, and a fine atmosphere too.

The Jersey shore legend of Uncle Bill's: now I get it. As much as the Olympic Flame is our boardwalk Saturday breakfast, Uncle Bill's is jampacked for a reason. They've got breakfast down to a science.


What's with the fake palm trees? They're actually not old! They're from an '80s fad.

The shore goes to the dogs:


Bentley liked Donna.


Haley the beagle was pretty indifferent to the cars and didn't much like the noise. Her day job is as a therapy dog for autistic children.


Sweet Pom.


Trixie the petite Sheltie. Originally a separate breed, bred with collies for their looks.


Mass at St. Ann's: my window on the American church outside of tradland. '70s Novus Ordo but Benedict the Great successfully put a lid on it. You'd think this was the church hall or a gym. No, it's the old parish church, now merged with another on the island and renamed Notre Dame de la Mer. Except for the cute granddaughter altar girls (in albs: I half-expected the crucifer to wear a Swedish Lucia candle crown), an older but sizeable congregation, including the holy gentleman following along in his copy of Magnificat as I do in my hand missal at home, and raising his arms at the Our Father, the charismatic way.

Before Benedict, the only way you could understand the new Mass in English in a Catholic sense was if you knew the old. Now at least you can get the gist.

One of my favorite categories: "Protestant churches that make better Catholic churches than our own churches." These are on Atlantic Avenue near St. Ann's. The winner should be St. Ann's church building; the old church can be the hall/CYO basketball stadium. The architecture and colors even match.


Best on the island: First Baptist, probably of Tripp's persuasion.


Second: Holy Trinity Lutheran. Bet they still use the altar rail.


"All so bloody green." North Wildwood's Irish Festival was the same weekend. "Top o' the mornin' to ye." "Dear Irish-Americans: You're not Irish. But please keep coming over and spending money. That's grand. The Irish." This is American St. Patrick's Day II, which sort of makes sense since the original is in the middle of Lent. As you can see, American St. Patrick's Day has merged with Mardi Gras. But we went and found a good-hearted celebration, which at night added to the classic-car weekend. Me? 0% Irish and 100% Catholic. It's really a celebration of the immigrants succeeding here, including building the American church before the council.


Tribute to the police: the Philly ones are heroes, handling real problems, and I thank my town's force for literally guarding the entry points at 1 in the morning, with squad cars stationed at them.


Cozy Morley.


"Jurassic Park is frightening in the dark..."