Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The American religion vs. Tolkien's long defeat

  • A recent history of American heresy and some American heresies. By Orthodox or Nicene Christian standards America has not just recently become heretical but was conceived and trained in heretical ideas of the 18th Century Enlightenment, individualism, deism and Unitarianism. Douthat sees America as moving away from some form of traditional Protestant Christianity, but Orthodox Catholics might see America as simply continuing on the path on which it started from the beginning as a nation when its adherence to Nicene Christianity was tenuous at best.
  • Tolkien's long defeat. I will not walk with your progressive apes, erect and sapient. Before them gapes the dark abyss to which their progress tends, if, by God's mercy, progress ever ends, and does not ceaselessly revolve the same unfruitful course with changing of a name. "Mythopoeia" by J.R.R Tolkien (for C.S Lewis) - from Bill Tighe. 180º from the space-age progressivism (beautiful as long as the old values are kept - the '50s) the bishops swallowed at Vatican II.
  • Good, but what about modern Orthodoxy and contraception? (I asked Fr. Peter Gillquist this to his face and he evaded.) This is a Protestant country, Calvinism being most of its government-promoted foundation myth (the cavalier Anglicans of Jamestown are ignored; "America began at Plymouth Rock") and the starting point of the elite's religion. Today's American secular liberalism is a knockoff of it, as Marxism is a Western Christian heresy. Islam is Eastern Christianity's bastard, its Mormonism. Remember, Orthodoxy exists because of Tsars and Sultans. Its entire reason for being is to hate the West. Sad. The Council of Florence solved the Schism. Orthodoxy really only dates from after that point. Once the Schism was healed, the petty princes and the Ottoman sultans got to work. Once Byzantium fell, the tsars realized the benefits of a non-papal church they could control. And thus, Orthodoxy is born and nurtured. Other than that, besides what they retain from us (Vincentian canon = seven councils = more or less Catholicism), do they really have a worldview?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Religion in America

The British ordinariate: the door's always open


Of course Msgr. Newton's leaving the light on for you.
They will get more clergy, but will they get more laity? This will be the issue for the Ordinariates going forward.
It's always been an issue. First, just because "Farver" was "Catholic" didn't necessarily mean the congregation of his Church of England parish, which is geographical like a Catholic parish, was. Second, people are attached to pretty buildings, etc., more than to the idea and teachings of the true church. So often the priest converts but the congregation doesn't. In America, at St. Clement's, Philadelphia, it was the opposite. The priest was liberal; the leading laymen sincere would-be Catholics, so they left the priest and building behind and came into the church.

Earlier I said: Everybody who was going to come into the church has. Those who are left are really liberal high church, a kind of Protestant, even if they pretend they're not.

To be fair, there are situations where sincere conservative high-church Anglicans including would-be Catholics are outside the church: congregationalism of the former or circumstances not the latter's fault (such as continued resistance from Catholic liberals), neither anything to do with homosexuality and the latter nothing to do with a love of Episcopalianism. But I think they're exceptions.

Weeds amongst the wheat, Orthodoxy in the West is self-limiting, and more

Man on the moon



Yesterday.

An expensive liberal government propaganda stunt, understandable given the Red threat, but also the golden era's last hurrah, and just plain amazing. USA!

I slept through it. It was, what, late at night our time?
In a sense you could say we're still paying for it. According to Jerry Pournelle, the Space Shuttle program was basically designed to keep everyone who worked on the Apollo program employed. And by focusing on the Space Shuttle we abandoned traditional spacecraft, which is why now that the Shuttle has been retired, we have to send our astronauts up on Russian rockets.
That's not good, even though they're not our enemies anymore. We should be self-sufficient like in 1945 with our industry.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

When is weird too weird? And more

Comic-book indoctrination

Comic books are apparently a SWPL (swipple) pastime now, and they're being rewritten to fit their doctrine. I understand Captain America's being turned black, Thor (the manliest of the Norse gods) into a woman (dyke?), and golden-era all-American Archie in some forecast storyline is martyred for... homosexualism. Get them when they're young, I guess, if kids still read them as opposed to yuppie nerds. By the way, who else remembers the Christian Archie comics? (Preaching evangelical Protestantism with some hippie Jesus freaks mixed in with golden-era main characters.) Got one by accident as a kid. Story is someone who worked at Archie Comics decades ago got religion and asked his boss's permission to use the Archie characters. The company's Jewish owner at the time thought religion generally was a good thing (at least for utilitarian reasons) so he not only let him make the Christian Archies but let him do it for free (while I guess the real Archies didn't preach). That was the America we've lost.

The Greek Catholic option


An honorable option for conservative Catholics in America but probably a sinking ship.

A conversation:
What I liked about the movie Doubt is it got the sides right. Conservative nun trying to protect kids from Father-hip-and-with-it who used clerical privilege and liberal ideology to get want he wanted: sweet young boy.

I don't trust priests and have a very low opinion of the hierarchy. The closer and deeper you get into the institutional Church, the uglier and dirtier it is.
Yeah. People think we worship our priests but that's not our teaching plus familiarity breeds contempt. Italians are mildly anticlerical that way.
Yeah, don't get close to the priests. Always a mistake. Be friendly but not too close. Yeah, I am mildly anticlerical myself. Not in an ideological way; I just think most of them are queer, omega-betas, or (small minority) very evil. Better to keep distance from those folks.
The Orthodox priests never came onto me but they have their own, theological problems.
Well, in my experience (very limited) most Orthodox parish clergy have a wife or have been widowed. Yes, they have theological problems, and they have a lavender mafia problem too, but at the parish level, I don't think the problem is as bad. But I could be wrong. I've only met one celibate Orthodox parish priest, and that was because he was a monk. He was a very happy celibate - he very obviously has that gift. Nothing gay about him at all, a very normal guy. Celibacy for him was not a way of hiding or escaping, but a way of being. But that's just one. All others were married.
Most Orthodox parish priests are. My old pro-Catholic priest was a monk. Their monasticism never took off in America. I'm all for married priests based on their model. Eastern Catholic churches here were treated badly - caused two schisms for no good reason.
Yes, I think a married clergy on the Eastern model would be a good thing on the whole. And I agree completely that the Eastern Rite Catholics here in the States were treated terribly. The Irish couldn't stand them. And the Germans and Italians were apathetic towards them.
As a son of the 1930s schism has explained, their Slovak neighbors back home understood them; American Catholics didn't. Now his church is a lost cause for no good reason. In schism and having drunk the Orthodox Kool-Aid, idolizing their culture: "we have returned to the true faith," blah blah.
Yes, sad. Many suffer in the Church from the Church; others are driven from the Church by sinful and ambitious men. God understands and gives them grace.
I agree. True of the good-hearted people who were driven out; all they wanted was their neighborhood parish where they could pray in peace. Some of those Easterners, and Italians who started neighborhood churches and were turned down by the bishop. In Philly there was one where the bishop accepted the new parish; in Hackensack he said no so they became Episcopal. Yikes.
Ick. Episcopal? Not good. Fakey fake. You go from a legitimate desire for a neighborhood parish to sodomy and witchcraft in the sanctuary. Yow.
As with native Anglo-Catholicism you have the irony though that their congregationalism enabled them to resist Vatican II pretty well but at what cost? The Episcopal flag in that place creeps me out.

They're conservative - under a less liberal "flying bishop." But he ordains women so what's the point? And no, women priests aren't at St. Anthony's, but still.
Sad. Yeah, Episcopalianism is battery acid. Destroys the mind and the soul. Perverse all the way down.
Theologically St. Anthony's is a dead end like the Polish National Catholic Church. Similar circumstances to sympathize about, but unlike them and the Orthodox, the Nats' founder was a troublemaking LIBERAL. They're people who don't realize their church makes no sense, and priests from Poland who switched to get married. The thing that kept them sane is conservative Polish culture.
Yes, the PNCC is a sad case. I do feel bad for them but they don't have a future. Unfortunately, I think they are a harbinger of what's up for the SSPX.
Right, they, the Slavic Orthodox here, AND the Slavic Greek Catholics here are dying out.
Right. No future for the splinters. Nor should there be. Rites are not ethnic, they are geographic. The West is for the Latin Rite. The people who come should adopt it eventually. That is the natural course. That doesn't mean the Eastern Rites should be suppressed; they shouldn't. But the natural flow is for the Latin Rite to be dominant and for the other rites here to disappear over time.
Yes! The Eastern rites do fine in their homelands. Like the reverse would happen too. Latins moving to Slavic Galicia would become Byzantine in a few generations. Overlapping rites in one country is unnatural and novel, and it came to tears in America.

Me, I wouldn't mind if the dominant Catholicism here were Byzantine; I could and would live in that rite again - perfectly Catholic and traditional, beating the Novus Ordo. But here it ain't gonna happen.
Right. If I moved to the Ukraine the dominant rite would be Byzantine, and as a Catholic I would go to the dominant Catholic rite. But here the natural rite is the Latin one. Even putting settlement patterns aside, the Americas are within the ambit of the Latin Rite. That doesn't mean the Latin Rite is superior; it just means that it is the rite here by nature. So, it is natural that the other rites fade over time.
Which is exactly what's happened and not by design.

Third- and fourth-generation Ukrainian-Americans are Latin, Protestant, or nothing, not Greek Catholic.

Some Catholics are called to move to the East. I think Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky) should be their patron saint. (Catherine de Hueck Doherty makes a good candidate for be that for Catholics going in the other direction. Ex-Orthodox who remain Byzantine, as they automatically do, have St. Josaphat and Leonid Feodorov.) But what we're describing is still happening.
Right. The natural course. What should have happened is that the Irish should have been more accommodating to the Easterners and just let time and nature take its course.
The Orthodox lose people like crazy too, because when you make your culture your religion, your idol, even if your culture is good, the kids leave when they become American.
Plus people who are really spiritual see through that. They understand that the ethnicity is an idol and that that's not what the Gospel says.
Right, so you're left with the dumb and parochial, like the PNCC, and bigoted (anti-Western). THAT'S American Orthodoxy, plus the messed-up, self-hating Western converts.

The church is best as the Church Local, ONLY when it is also part of the Church Universal.

An unchurched or nominal Protestant being ignorant buying that the Orthodox are the church, I can see, plus being turned off by the Novus Ordo. But do a LITTLE homework - hell, watch old movies - and you'll see Catholicism in all its truth and beauty.
Right. Remember, Orthodoxy exists because of Tsars and Sultans. Its entire reason for being is to hate the West. Sad. The Council of Florence solved the Schism. Orthodoxy really only dates from after that point. Once the Schism was healed, the petty princes and the Ottoman sultans got to work. Once Byzantium fell, the tsars realized the benefits of a non-papal church they could control. And thus, Orthodoxy is born and nurtured. The "Real Easterners" are the "Uniates."
I wouldn't go as far as saying the "real Easterners" are the Uniates. And when you're Catholic you don't have to believe the Uniates are perfect.
Right. Just like the Latin Rite isn't perfect.
I'm a moderate: I love both the pure Byzantine Rite and the old latinized version the online snobs turn up their noses at. BOTH exist in the church! As they should.

There is a kind of Eastern snob online, almost never an ethnic, who would rather hobnob with mainliners and academics and blather about mystaliciousness and women deacons than have a bunch of embarrassing conservative Catholics take refuge from Vatican II at an Eastern Catholic parish. Orthodox anti-Westernism's cousin. Reason I am Roman Rite. That and it's my home, and I don't like the way they treat my home.
Agreed. I have no problem with the various rites and their uses. I would like to see a restoration of the older sub-rites within the Latin Rite, for example, and I am a fan of the Dominican use for the Latin Mass.
Sure. Sarum re-enactments are fine too even though they have no future. The real Sarum Use was in Latin (historical fact; traditionalism is not about Latin) and under Rome.

When it comes to Catholic rites, there's the Gamaliel principle: if it is meant by God to prosper here, it will. If not, it will fade away.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

How to manufacture pop music and other art

The golden era was honest about this. Record producers and a stable of office workers in a place such as the Brill Building churned out product, much like I do as a writer. (I've written content for around a couple thousand commercial websites so far, including in Spanish, my father's language.) Peter, Paul, and Mary were formed by a casting call to cash in on the hootenanny fad. As were the Monkees regarding the Beatles. (The show is much better than Beatles movies, though not the music, which has its moments: because it was funny; the Monkees were mostly actors - Peter Tork and Davy Jones - who wanted to be there. The other two were real musicians who felt boxed in. The Beatles, real musicians, didn't want to do light comedy, and a lot of the material stunk anyway.) Before the hippie-ish image of the pop star as romantic virtuoso singer-songwriter overtook that. (Brill songwriters Neil Diamond and Carole King made the transition beautifully.) But it's all still really the same. Human nature is, of course. Often the results are good; other times they're clearly by rote. "How Do You Do It?" is formulaic but the formula, with an enthusiastic performance by Gerry and the Pacemakers, works. Rap, by the way, is not music. Music has a melody. Rap is street poetry, which does require talent and intelligence.





Neil Sedaka literally studied chart hits and applied his musical training to manufacture this song.




The chord progression of Pachelbel's Canon: a staple.

You'd be amazed how much of our art follows a strict, proven formula, even being pre-fab. Because, as I think the classical Greeks and Catholic doctrine say, there are objective, universal standards of truth, and, the ancients said, beauty. The romance of the artist who doesn't follow any rules is at best exaggerated. The ones who creatively break the rules first master them. Learned from Cracked that the adorable classic Disney and Warner Bros. animated characters (great because they weren't mainly for kids) were "drawn from a standard, 'fill in the blanks' template of characters" telling artists what proportions to use to maximize cuteness, for example.


I've been a copy editor: can you spot the mistake?

Admen manipulate these images all the time. My job is to drive business to my company's clients so I think I get it.

Of course sex sells too: Katy Perry's popularity, for example, even though she seems marketed to other girls. The music's disposable. Looks have worked to snag girl fans too, even though girls respond less to looks than boys. (Both for reasons that reproductively make sense: healthy women + powerful men = strong babies.) For example, Fabian, who was still handsome when I saw him years ago, and still couldn't sing a note.



Obviously Fabian's handlers were trying to cash in on Elvis Presley, a very talented singer who would have been much better if somebody had taught him how to sing; on some songs he just belched out the notes as legendary producer Sir George Martin ("the fifth Beatle" yet the personification of English class and calmness) says.

P.S. Unlike earlier pop acts, the Beatles were destructive to the culture; I don't know how that happened. (Walter Cronkite gave them their world break. Wanting to cheer up America after President Kennedy's assassination, he read a story on TV about a British pop craze.) Their early stuff was just good golden-era pop. They were good at what they did, of course. I've stood 20 feet from Sir Paul McCartney performing.

Religion and politics

  • From Ex-Army: The Clintons squandered the fall of Communism by keeping the U.S. on a dangerous path of confronting Russia. Believe me; I know the Russians aren't perfect. After a post yesterday I got an earful from a friend about how brutal they can be, including over here (unconfirmed stories). But again, whether Putin's a new Constantine or they're at heart savages (coming off more than a decade of worshipping with them, I have nothing against them personally, only ecclesiologically), they're not our problem geopolitically (not Communist anymore and not a trade partner). There's a lot more to the Clinton years than Monica and other obvious screw-ups, and two things that the Clintons did enraged me at the time, and we're still suffering from the effects. For a number of reasons, the Soviet Union fell, and the communists, if they wanted to remain communists, had to scurry to countries that welcomed them, like Cuba and North Korea (which are mostly too icky to live in) or to the academic world here in America, where they flourish like never before. But I digress. Two Clinton accomplishments: one, to bomb the hell out of Serbia to ensure the establishment of an Islamic state in Europe. Bravo. The other was to expand NATO right up to the Russian border (which we had agreed not to do), making Russians wonder if it was communism that America opposed, or the whole idea of Russia itself. The culture wars' Great Satan at the time was caged by a hostile Congress (Newt Gingrich) and willing to make a deal, so, able to do little at home, he was functionally, accidentally, the best conservative president in recent memory (even though I liked Reagan as a person and voted for him), presiding over a boom, but yes. Dumb and dangerous, and you need not be a slavophile to agree. As I've been saying, if Hillary gets in, she'll be a hawk to look like an iron lady. Beware. More.
  • As many of you know, I'm Catholic because it doesn't teach me to hate the Russians' culture: witness St. Michael's in New York (been there several times) and other Russian Catholic churches. Russian churchmen, to give only one Orthodox example, teach Westerners to hate their own culture, which in my and others' opinion is why so many Western converts seem messed up.
  • From Rorate Caeli: The Christians have been driven out of Mosul. Eastern Christians, Catholic and estranged Catholic alike. What Bush, the liberal Rockefeller Republicans, and the neocons (Trotskyites) have wrought. Lord, have mercy.
  • Sen. Cruz: “Mr. President, when did the Democratic Party declare war on the Catholic Church?” I don't trust the mainstream Republicans either - stopped voting for them after 2000 - but this is good, even though it may just be a ploy. The Stupid Party over the Evil Party; religious people seem to have nowhere else to go, so the GOP's trying to keep the practicing Catholic base (the Reagan Democrats) the Dems turned on after the Sixties (not the '60s, exactly; the Sixties, when America went to hell after around '68, the answer to Sen. Cruz's rhetorical question?). This would be even more impressive if there were still a Catholic vote. The church shot itself in the foot with Vatican II, and so Protestant America finally absorbed most of its Catholic minority, so arguably there isn't such a voting bloc anymore. The church doesn't define doctrine about politics but still.
  • Good news, sort of, about millennials? They're social liberals ("indoctrinated" as a friend puts it, so the damage is done and they're not to be trusted) but less lockstep leftist than older generations.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Conversation on Orthodoxy and Anglicanism

From MCJ. The thread's starting post: the Russian Orthodox Church's usual Catholic reaction to the news from the Church of England on women bishops.

The Anglicans and the West generally don’t take the Orthodox seriously; if the Anglicans did, they wouldn’t have done this. Publicly they’ll say something politely British about continuing ecumenical talks; privately they’ll make a Boris and Natasha joke (= Polish joke) and “carry on” as they are.

Academic blather about how the changes were inspired by the East notwithstanding, Catholics did the same inventing the Novus Ordo; damaging but not a dealbreaker.

Interesting point: dominic1955 thinks the Orthodox never really thought about recognizing the Anglicans (same reason really as the official Catholic Church) but entertained them when it was politically opportune, when Britain was top dog in the world.

A reader:
Well, and the Russians had a long-standing policy of trying to ally with the English-speaking world to counterbalance first the French and then the Germans. Much like the Portuguese alliance with England against Spain in the 16th through the 18th century (which was so important to England that even at the height of the Reformation the Portuguese were allowed to publicly celebrate Mass for English Catholics in London).

The Russians had a good working relationship with the United States in the 19th century, going so far as to actively dissuade the English & French from recognizing the Confederacy during the Civil War.

The Russian Navy undertook some limited actions to prevent Confederate blockade running in both the Atlantic and off the Pacific coast of Mexico. A little known bit of history. The efforts by the Russians to cultivate the Anglosphere were part of what moved them to sell Alaska to the US after the Civil War. Fear of France and then after the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War, fear of Germany, was a huge motivator.
Got to give the tiny Anglo-Orthodox subgroup (of Anglo-Catholics? the Byzantinophile counterpart of Anglo-Papalists) credit: they, at least their organization, put their money where their mouth was. (As did the prime movers of both Forward in Faith and St. Clement's, Philadelphia: the British ordinariate and a Tridentine quasi-parish, respectively.) After the C of E started having women priests, they disbanded and converted. Easier when the church you believe in is not Novus. Practically speaking, Anglo-Papalists had to wait for the turnaround, a Catholic revival, to slowly start under John Paul II and pick up steam under Benedict, even though our doctrine clearly tells them what to do. As John Zmirak writes, they needed the ordinariate and Summorum Pontificum to protect them from our Modernists.
Outside of the Ordin(ari)ate, which creamed off the most orthodox and zealous Anglicans (orthodox and zealous classic Anglo-Catholics; of course orthodox and zealous Evangelicals, and the New Anglo-Catholics, aren't interested) and set them up in a safe place where the Catholic bishops couldn't wreck their liturgy, the Catholic Church in England is doing little better than the Anglicans - and only because Catholic immigrants keep coming from healthier countries such as Poland.
They're in because they already believed in the faith and the church - they asked to come in - and because we screwed up with Vatican II and they will help us out of it. Not an ecumenical rescue.

Russia


As someone who loved Red Dawn and voted for Reagan, and is not ashamed of either, and later was Russian Orthodox (I know Russian but am not fluent), I think I appreciate both sides of American conservative opinion on Russia: the well-meaning old or neo-Cold Warriors and those who might welcome Putin as another Constantine. I'm a Putin fan without saying he's perfect or buying all that the Russians believe. They're not Communist anymore and we don't trade with them (some Russians own Amoco; that's it) so they're not my problem. The liberals now hate them because they're sort of traditional and can say no to them.
USA engineers (again) a revolt in Ukraine to subsume it into EU/NATO, encircle Russia and continue to press NWO... yes, Putin is not great, but at least a block hopefully to that. USA is pushing gay agenda... Russia, resisting. Yes, let's mock those that see a problem here...
My thought at the news of the Malaysian airliner yesterday: another "remember the Maine" as an excuse for the American interventionists to go to war.

I've read a story on how the rebels in the eastern Ukraine (how's what they're doing different from the recent revolution in Kiev, other than the mainstream West hating the Russians again?) are idiots who don't know how to run a country, but that could be of the same Western tradition as put-down Polish jokes: the Jews making fun of their old Slavic enemy. I don't think Putin is trying to annex it. Smarter to keep the Ukraine weak by keeping it divided.

Nothing against the new Ukraine per se. Hoping they become another conservative state in the Slavic tradition, not the pawn the liberals want.

Conversation on Lutherans and Anglicans

Until Swedish Lutherans started ordaining women, they had the Apostolic Succession, still had bishops, and were recognized by Rome as having valid orders.
I find that hard to believe. More likely, Rome never ruled on Swedish orders because Lutheran doctrine, that the episcopate is optional, made such a ruling unnecessary. The Church of Sweden has always claimed apostolic succession but it's always been in communion with non-episcopal Lutherans. So it lost apostolic succession.
Apostolic Succession, within Lutheranism, is not a question of have or have not but of 'why'? Church governance is adiaphora. As is liturgy, vestments, titles, etc.
Somebody told me that non-episcopal Lutheran pastors could always serve in Sweden, and somebody else told me non-episcopal ministers have served a few times in the Church of England. So to the church, the Swedish claim was always moot.

Swedish immigrants to America didn't try to keep apostolic succession (bishops) when they formed Lutheran denominations - because they were Lutheran. Lutheran and Episcopal have always been more or less interchangeable even before the TEC/ELCA concordat (interchangeable clergy) and Porvoo - the Hanoverian kings were Lutheran at home and Anglican in England, no problem. Now, although the TEC/ELCA agreement is changing ELCA by introducing Episcopal orders (former ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson has the Dutch touch, which the church doesn't recognize), it seems the Lutheran view of holy orders has won in liberal high church. It was never really settled in Anglicanism like high churchmen including the Protestant Episcopal Church's (TEC) Scottish ties thought. That apostolic succession is only optional was a rallying point of the Reformed Episcopal Church (now high-churched and reinvented as the oldest Continuers) and I understand has long been English Evangelical opinion. The English Church recognized continental non-episcopal ministers when it was politically convenient for the king (so Laud for example wasn't as Catholic as supposed; same for Charles I). Porvoo and TEC grandfathering in non-episcopal ELCA pastors = Anglicans are now Swedish Lutherans.

A friend has explained to me that the non-episcopal continental Protestants, in Geneva, for example, saw the Anglicans as part of them, but happening to have bishops. "Not what we would have chosen, but fine."
I think the ELCA is a bit more diverse than merely "liberal high church." That is where the bulk of the church is headed, but there are plenty of churches and pastors in the ELCA who do not see themselves that way. Just yesterday I had a retired ELCA pastor pop in... and made a remark about the icons we have in the nave of our church, asserting that their presence was a reminder that we aren't Protestant if the term means what it has come to mean in American society (SWPL, as you put it). I admit that churches like ours are no longer in the driver's seat of the denomination, but I think that there are more of us out there than people think.

Heck, I have a three-foot-tall statue of the BVM in my home study... I can't be too Protestant...
Good point, Pastor. Thank you. I know but was trying to be brief. A problem all high-church clergy in the mainline and LCMS run across: fresh out of seminary as Anglo-Catholics (including New Anglo-Catholics, such as some women priests) and LCMS pastors of the Gottesdienst Lutho-Catholic persuasion, going to congregations that are old-school American Protestant: "What? That's Catholic! We don't want to be Catholic." (Pastor Peters' point.) Thinking a lot about "Holy Women, Holy Men," for example, when the congregation doesn't think in terms of canonized saints and celebrating their feasts; "that's for Catholics." Anglo-Catholics outside of certain parishes have always run across that resistance.

There's the irony that my Catholic buddy Karl notices: that the 1928 Book of Common Prayer became a rallying point of the pre-Vatican II ethos among some conservative Episcopalians when it is an obviously Protestant book: "The Articles condemn everything you're doing!" (Its consecration prayer at Communion isn't allowed in the Catholic Church.) At face value, 1979 is more Catholic, but other stuff and connotation make it a liberal thing, much like the Novus Ordo it partly copied. "Wait, you Novus Ordofied Cranmer's fine prose to be closer to us, but at the same time you ordained women?" Maybe they were really about creating a new liberal church, like Catholic liberals, and not about ecumenism all along. Also, for about 15 minutes in the Sixties, Catholics were cool as part of the War on the Old America, especially thanks (ha) to Vatican II, so some mainliners liked and emulated us, including our new liturgical mistakes, then Humanae Vitae and Roe v. Wade (what, the Pope's still Catholic?) made the liberals hate us again.

I have no hard feelings anymore against liberal high church, but at the same time I wish the church would stop wasting its time and our money talking to these people about reunion since they're not the church and obviously don't want to come back.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Non-Catholics acting Catholic

  • Lutherans acting Catholic: Our conservative Lutheran cousins explain themselves. Far closer to us than their place in history suggests. But they're not Catholic wannabes. They begrudgingly acknowledge they're related to us but no contradictory branch theory for these Christians. They think we're in grave error (that faith vs. works is a real issue) and that they are the true church, that being defined as where "the pure word of God is preached and the sacraments duly administered," such as the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the few other Lutherans in communion with them. The old Anglican high churchmen were and are like that too: "Cranmer's and Hooker's godly reformed Catholic doctrine," not "papism, Modernism's cousin." They were accused of being Catholic wannabes as far back as the Puritans, but they weren't and, including the Tractarians, didn't care about ceremonial beyond a minimalist interpretation of the Prayer Book. (Old-school Lutherans looked like us.) Catholic emulation came with the second generation of Anglo-Catholics, and took either an independent ("better than Rome, thank you") or would-be Catholic (Anglo-Papalist - arguably no longer Anglican so not A-C?) approach. Some other cousins of ours, liberal high church today, the New Anglo-Catholics (still hard for me to say), are the successors to the former. Anyway, sorry for that long Anglican detour. Thanks for the explanation, Pastor! Some of them go by Father; the episcopate is optional in Lutheran doctrine because the Middle Ages weren't clear on the distinction between bishops and priests, and Luther was reacting to "gangster" clergy (so do you get Donatism in Lutheranism: grace depends on the minister's worthiness?), but somehow Lutheran pastors believe they are priests, at least in the sense that pastoring is just an orderly functioning of the laity's priesthood. (Protestant ministers reading the church fathers often see themselves as bishops.) To fight medieval clericalism, in Lutheranism a pastor without a "call" can't exist; he's not a pastor. But in practice they recognize indelible character. Retired pastors are still pastors.
  • Pastor Peters is referring to American Lutherans' high-church/low-church war, the longstanding tension between Lutheranism's semi-Catholic original form and fitting in with American Protestantism. By the '50s they took on the forms of the mainline of the time, "an outward facade of Calvinism," the faith of our British host culture (SWPL vs. NASCAR, blue-state vs. red-state, North vs. South = English vs. Scottish); now in the LCMS it's between the high churchmen and those who want to copy unliturgical megachurch evangelicalism. ELCA's Lutheran liberal high church like in Scandinavia.
  • Fr. Z's usual conservative Catholic observations about Anglicans. Yeah but I don't care anymore, to the point that I can wish them well. Their liberal high-church people believe the same creed and, unlike Catholic liberals, have almost the same Mass as me. "Join me in spreading the gospel" as Pope Francis likely would say to them.
  • In anti-religious Sweden, some conservative Christians stick together and in this case are high-church. You can look at such ecumenism as either the Holy Spirit gradually moving these Protestants closer to us or as keeping them from coming into the church. I prefer to think it's the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Movies and TV shows copying each other

Some things are just classics:


Others...


Busted!

From Cracked.

The importance of ignoring the Pope

There are a few options in dealing with the pope and his strange methodology. I would suggest the logical possibility that has not yet been suggested.

You can ignore him.

As laymen we have very little power to do anything about his behaviour. And I agree that those of us with a public forum have a greater responsibility, but for most people, they really have no need whatever to pay the slightest attention to the pope. It is one of the many strange modern innovations that all the world’s Catholics hang with bated breath on every word, gesture and eyebrow flicker the pope makes, and sit around our computers trying to figure out what it means and/or how it applies to our spiritual or material lives.

Before the advent of Pope Superheroes and the Internet, or just fast mass communications in general, regular Catholics paid no heed at all to the pope. They didn’t have to. They knew perfectly well that the pope is not the source of the Faith, that they didn’t need to look to him for personal spiritual direction. Most Catholics were better formed in previous times, and knew their catechism, and had more grown-up attitudes towards politics. They certainly would never have looked to the pope for their political or economic opinions.

They went to Mass, they participated in parish-based devotions, they said their rosaries, they joined the Legion of Mary or sodalities or the ladies’ auxiliary. The pope got a mention at Mass and if one were especially enthusiastic, one might listen to his Christmas address on the radio or TV.

We have a big problem in the Church in that people have lost faith in their bishops and parish clergy, the parish life that used to be normal has been all but wiped out. People started looking to Rome for direct guidance when the bishops started condoning contraception in the '60s (and on and on since then, as we know), and when we had such a long pontificate with such a popular pope as JPII, one who appeared to be fighting the same war we all were, it is now natural that we should want to continue receiving that direction. But it is not normal at all for Catholics to run their lives this way.

Something your readers might find helpful is the advice to focus not on anything and everything Pope Francis is saying or doing. We have seen, simply, that his inability to be clear on doctrine or anything else, is a huge source of scandal and division. They might benefit from a reminder that they don’t have to hang on his every word. That the task of “figuring out Francis” is probably a futile one, and is, more importantly, totally unnecessary.

Focus instead on the Faith, on the devotional life. Perhaps even focus on attempting to research and revive some set of appropriate daily or regular devotions, bible reading, daily rosary, Divine Mercy chaplet, Breviary, or whatever, that can nourish their spiritual life as it has done for millions of Catholics for 2000 years. As Bishop Athanasius Schneider said the other day in London, thank God for the Internet. Now nearly all the great classics of the spritual life, the fathers, doctors and saints, as well as poets and just regular smart people, are all available on or through the net.

Frankly, popes come and go, and it is only the weird times we live in that has created this strange illusion that we must all pant after every word that falleth from the pontifical lips. Or twist ourselves into knots trying to make excuses for them. Or whatever our preferred thing is. the fact is, it’s turning a lot of people into papal obsessives.

We really should try to get some reasonable distance. Nothing in the faith requires us to pay any attention to him whatsoever.

The Faith is rich, a great and inexhaustible seam of gold that is now easier to mine than ever.

Whatever Francis may be up to, we really don’t need to guide ourselves by him. We have the saints for that. And the grace of the sacramental life.
So I won't leave the church because of him. I don't have to!

From here.

Incoherent millennials


Millennial politics is simple, really. Young people support big government, unless it costs any more money. They're for smaller government, unless budget cuts scratch a program they've heard of. They'd like Washington to fix everything, just so long as it doesn't run anything.
Reminds me of dumb left-libertarians and Republican pseudo-conservatives planning on trying to win their votes by dumping social conservatives.

More on women's ordination

I'm not mad at the Anglicans!

Here's the whole thread. FW Ken writes:
Women’s ordination doesn’t impress secular feminists … and it drives out religious people.
I think you could say the same thing about the gays, more or less. The feminists are in it for the (perceived) power, prestige, and, face it, pastor of a small parish an easy gig for second career women and religious hobbyists. The gays, above all, want social approval and a place to show off their “normality”. The problem is that neither group is very large, and neither cares enough about the core meaning of church to stick with it. And, as noted, they drive out the actual Christians.
Well put. The few Catholic women who push women’s ordination aren’t doing it out of love for all the teachings of the church (they often don’t really believe in the Mass) but for the reasons you named.

I’ve been told that Episcopal and Continuing priests have about the same church workload as Catholic deacons, and that Continuing priests have about the same education on average as Catholic deacons.

By the way, permanent deacons are in no-man’s-land in Catholic culture. An innovation after Vatican II, I don’t think there are many and Catholics don’t know what to make of or do with them. They are clergy, in holy orders, but priests sort of resent them, and bishops don’t want them to be mistaken for priests. On the face of it, I’m fine with them, as I am with married priests (celibacy’s a rule and our culture, not our doctrine), and as I would be with having real subdeacons and men in minor orders in parish life, like the Orthodox.

I think that Protestant deaconesses (Lutheran and Anglican), in the 1800s, were copied from Catholic active religious orders of "sisters" (the ones teaching and running hospitals, not real nuns, who are women monks). They even wore similar habits (like postulants in traditional Catholic orders or modern nuns). Florence Nightingale got some of her idea for modern nursing from what Catholic sisters were doing.

Not to be confused with Anglican nuns and sisters - yes, there are Episcopal monks and nuns, very few. These originally were 1800s Anglo-Catholic emulations of Catholic ones. Some sound ones are now Catholic, such as the fully habited All Saints' Sisters of the Poor in America - in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, not the ordinariate.

By the way, I first learned of women’s ordination almost 35 years ago (1981 or ’82), not 30 (time flies when you're getting old); the first uncanonical women Episcopal priests were in ’74.

Saepius Officio was the Church of England trying to sound Catholic, answering Leo XIII. Well, at least alternative Catholic, non-papal Catholic, a notion that’s a perennial will o’the wisp attracting priest wannabes, such as the latest vagantes, “Roman Catholic Womenpriests.” I know there are also principled churchmen who are non-papal Catholics and who have real ministries; I respect but disagree with their position that the papal claims are Modernism's cousin, an innovation. The Pope can't invent or change doctrine.

True too about homosexuals. A number of gay men have always loved high church for its artistry (so Anglo-Catholicism was the gay church, besides Anglicanism generally having a strong gay element for some reason – the boys at prep school, etc.) but many are anti-religious or New Age.

Orthodoxy’s not heretical (they’re estranged Catholics) but theologically weak, which is why some people say “first Anglicanism; Orthodoxy’s next” regarding women’s ordination. But one thing (the only thing, besides the Holy Spirit?) keeping women’s ordination from happening there is their ethnic cultures’ conservatism. As in the mainstream Catholic Church there is no strong push among them for that. I can’t imagine Russians having women priests, for example. What will their few remaining third, fourth, etc. generation Americans do? (Lots of them leave as they assimilate.) They aren’t really of those cultures anymore, and the converts’ kids and grandkids never were.

They might fall for it out of spite to show how un-Roman they are; the cool mystalicious church not being “legalistic” like “the Romans” about “gender,” non-threatening to our liberal overlords in society and government. I can see the liberal St. Vladimir’s Seminary types, the “sons” of Schmemann, eventually Episcopalianizing that way. You’d end up with Byzantine Old Catholics, a rump sect. Schmemann, by the way, was sound on that: I think he said it meant the death of Anglican/Orthodox union talks.

And it'd be almost business as usual in Orthodoxy, a communion so loose that its churches often hate each other (Moscow vs. Constantinople, almost excommunicating each other, for example). Liberals like that would be kicked out at least almost by consensus, but the point stands. Here it could happen.

"What about Catholic liberals?" They took over locally in the '70s but they're dying out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The sexes


Not genders, sexes.
  • From Roissy: The unhappy woman is a feminist archetype. Men and women are happier when they abide traditional sex roles. Reject biology, feel unhappy. It's that simple. Work within the contours of your sex's biology, and you will feel like a finely tuned instrument discarding cacophony and alighting upon melodious serenity.
  • From Takimag: Rape quilt, rape guilt.
  • From Face to Face: The all-female band died from '90s feminism and cocooning. True girl bands peaked in the outgoing, confident '80s, not the "meek and mopey" '90s. Does this Teens decade have a signature style? Obviously I don't follow it, but someone has observed that its only new vocal fad in America is saying "Really?" sarcastically.
  • Anonymous quotation: What is motivating this push for priestesses but the daft notion of equal rights? I say daft because, rather like the feminists who seem to think most women would rather be CEOs than wives and mothers (how sexist of me!), it is predicated on an untenable notion of what equality is. And what gender is. Now I have no objection to women CEOs, but I am not so foolish as to think most women prefer a career over and above a family. There is no glass ceiling or conspiracy against women: on average they make a little less because on average they work less and drop out more, because they hate the rat race. Dr Summers was fired as President of Harvard for daring even to ask about gender differences, and yet they remain differences — and profound ones. Just think of the way your female colleagues discuss their children and the way your male colleagues discuss theirs. Men may have pictures of their families on their desks, but they rarely discuss them in the same way as women do — unless junior made a home run the night before, he may not be mentioned at all. I am such a troglodyte that I think men tend to be defined by their jobs, while women tend to defined by their families. I have no objection to exceptions to these rules, but I believe they are exceptions. As my second-favorite Lesbian, Camille Paglia, tellingly put it, “Thank goodness for men! They build bridges!” The old Mr, Miss, Mrs distinction is not so much archaic prejudice as it is a reflection of engendered truth. Now I have no objection if women prefer careers; some men may even make good house husbands. But to assume that yin is the same as yang is to diminish both. In the Catholic Church as whole there is next to no push for them, despite liberals trying to start one for 40 years. Because it's impossible.
  • Women-bishops postscript.
  • Golden-era sexy: Nancy Kovack. She's been Zubin Mehta's wife for over 40 years, part of high society, and I understand is a nice lady as well as very smart. Not my print: the autograph is just a neat coincidence. Out-smolders Marilyn in my opinion; those dark eyes help. Three cheers for Eastern Europe.

Is the church endangered in America?

Disturbingly, I see nothing that would prevent Western governments, including the UK, Ireland, Germany, and even the United States in the future, from hijacking the institution of the Catholic Church in their lands as was done by England in the 16th century, but this time in the name of human rights or the non-discrimination principle. There would, conceivably, be a schismatic/heretical Catholic Church By Law Established, a la the Patriotic Catholic Church or worse. And, what would be left of the "real" Catholic Church would be made an illegal organization, driven underground, and/or cease to exist for all practical purposes. As a practical matter, who could stop the British government from doing this? Who could stop Uncle Sam from the same thing, save the Supreme Court or a providential election? No one.
I'd thought of that.
The best defense of the First Amendment is not the Supreme Court. It is the Second Amendment.
The Second Amendment is grossly misunderstood. The Second Amendment's original intent was repealed long ago, with the practical destruction of state militias and the establishment of a large stand military. The Second Amendment that was was a defense of American freedom; the Second Amendment that is is not.

Fr. Longenecker on trads

"Old"? That's news in my parish. As the answering blogger notes, it's a magnet for couples in their 30s with four kids. Our living links to before Vatican II are an exception, but important: we're a living tradition, so the tradition is savable.

Here Fr. Longenecker seems to have bought into the American idea, the Protestant idea, of religion as purely propositional. So Protestants church-shop and don't really care about branding. It's a private, individual choice, not the mystical body of Christ, let alone our holy mother. (Liberals love "community" except when it's traditional and stands in their way. Eastern Orthodoxy doesn't. We do.) Real Catholicism is both propositional (conversion; belief by choice) and tribal (ethnic communities, "cultural Catholicism"), held in tension. We're not pious Protestants; the real church is where Bad Catholics come home. (The mantilla'd biker chick and her child at the SSPX Christmas Midnight Mass. The Catholic Church: here comes everybody.) Actually some trads have the same problem; being under seige, they see the church in a sectarian, perfectionistic way. Will the '50s American church come back? Yes and no. Yes in that 50 years from now the churchgoing Catholic liberals will have died out so the only churchgoing Catholics left will be conservatives. No in that it will be nowhere as big as it was 50 years ago; it will be smaller than now. Pope Benedict's leaner church.

The church can't revise doctrine so the council's not a problem in that respect (Vernacular? Religious liberty? Ecumenism? No problem!), but there was a rupture, no matter what the Novus Ordo neocons (trads' bitterest enemies, not the liberals, who didn't take them seriously) say, and as the liberals die and the American church gets back on its feet, you will hear more trad criticism of the council from within the official church.

Blacks, Jews, gays, and Anglo-Catholics

  • A modest proposal. From Takimag: "Race is just a construct," so I'm becoming black. Sure; I like r&b and the Philadelphia sound, so... what's the matter? I mean, if a transvestite can legally be a woman, and that German-Brazilian boy can get plastic surgery to "be Korean"... We live in a new world where technology enables you to be anyone you can afford to be. Actually, says the Cathedral, you don't even need tech; say you're a woman and you are. (Commonly called pretending.) But they still can't rewrite your DNA (a Y-chromosome-ectomy, for example) or make trans men real fathers or trans women real mothers. A politically correct fellow once said, about that, that my view is disgustingly materialistic. I should hope so; otherwise sex wouldn't be much fun. C.S. Lewis: "God likes matter. He made it." Vive la différence.
  • Classic Catholic article: Why present-day Judaism is not Old Testament Judaism. As the mainstream says, since the Temple was destroyed in 70, all Jews have been Jews manqué, winging it. Without that, its priesthood (the Cohens are descended from the kohanim) and its sacrifices, it's not really Judaism. That and, of course, Jesus. (The Incarnation, the biggest example of God interacting with his creation, the material world, which is the flashpoint of all rebellion against God.) "Before 3 p.m. Good Friday, the head of the church on earth was Caiaphas; afterwards, it was St. Peter." No to two covenants so no to the well-meaning evangelicals who support modern Israel no matter what, and there are judaizing conservative Protestants (such as the messianic movement but also well-meaning gentiles like the evos I mentioned) doing things (imitating modern Judaism) settled in the Book of Acts. None of this is a reason to persecute, of course; I share the evos' reverence for the Old Testament people and of course the church's and modern society's respect for them as human beings, covenant or no more covenant.
  • A kind of openly gay I have no problem with. Fr. John Jay Hughes is like that: if you ask, he'll tell you he's bisexual (it's in his autobiography) but normally it doesn't come up; he doesn't attack the teachings of the church. Classic (pre-Gordon Reid) St. Clement's was too. "Recreating the 1950s." Guilty as charged of course. As the Anti-Gnostic says, without that normal society's reproduction, homosexuals would be a one-generation experiment. On that note, "gay people are rare." Naturally. Reminds me: I understand the ancient West, as in biblical times, didn't think of it as an identity, just a kind of vice. (The commenter's point: it's not his whole identity.) If I recall rightly, likewise bisexual Camille Paglia (met her; funny lady) is common-sense about that too.
  • ἀναστόμωσις (anastómosis), an Anglo-Catholic-themed blog. So much good here I can't link to it all. I had to look up the Greek (I can sound out Greek but don't understand much of it): it means "a surgical connection between two structures." A graft of Anglicanism and Catholicism. But Anglicanorum Coetibus is not a concession to Protestantism, which of course would be impossible. "Anglican liturgical patrimony is that which has nourished the Catholic Faith, within the Anglican tradition during the time of ecclesiastical separation, and has given rise to this new desire for full communion." In my view that covers both the English Missal (Tridentine Mass) and the American hybrid missal with a lot of 1928 Prayer Book in it; all a pre-Vatican II ethos. (The ordinariate Mass - Anglican Use? - and Msgr. Steenson here are of a similar ethos but high-church conservative Novus Ordo/Prayer Book hybrids.) British Anglo-Catholic alumni (the ordinariate) shouldn't be made to be Prayer Booky; for years they have used the Roman Missal to show they believe in the church's teachings. And as Msgr. Barnes has written, Protestant Anglicans used the Prayer Book against them, while in America, the Prayer Book was an "icon" of pre-Sixties, pre-conciliar culture that many A-Cs rallied behind, even though they didn't use it in its pure, Protestant form. The ordinariates aren't really an ecumenical rescue but a way for Catholics to backtrack, learning from them to undo the effects of the council. "A dry run for the Lefebvrists" as one wag put it. Let's hope so. I have no jones for the Prayer Book such that I'd need it every week, partly because I've read English history. So I'm Tridentine, like St. Clement's Jr.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Momentous Anglican news to rejoice at

In the words of Jim Bakker, I was wrong.


"It's true!"

The Fellowship of Blessed John Henry Newman, "Good Shepherd Jr.," IS coming into the church with David Moyer. As a group, not just individually as I'd thought.

And with that the two Philly-area Anglo-Catholic parishes that were formative for me, Good Shepherd, Rosemont, and St. Clement's (people at Rosemont told me about St. Clement's), are arriving at their destinations: Catholic groups from each. They were refuges for me during the bad times after Vatican II; now, after Benedict the Great kick-started the conservative Catholic revival (already slowly under way), we're all in this together.

Another rector of Rosemont I knew is the monsignor ordinary for the American ordinariate.

I've been told:
FYI: The number of people who stayed behind at Good Shepherd, reconnecting themselves to the life of the Diocese of PA, was not "significant" as reported. At the first house church Mass of the Newman Fellowship in September, 2011, there were 95 people crowded together, while at Good Shepherd there were 35.
Visited Good Shepherd Jr. late in 2012 and asked Moyer to pray for me as I was trying to change jobs. Now I have a new career. A couple of families from Rosemont are at my parish, "with my blessing," Moyer says.

As for the story from England today, Damian Thompson imagines:
The Pope won’t lose any sleep over this, since he doesn’t believe that Catholics and Protestants should waste time debating irreconcilable doctrinal differences. His message to the CofE’s new women bishops will be: join me in spreading the Gospel.
I think our liberal high-church cousins (same creed, similar traditional liturgy) are up for that.

Black for Bastille Day, and more


  • From Gerald Warner:
  • The Church of England's General Synod on women bishops today. The only way it affects us: Looks like that love-in Welby and his circle are trumpeting with such excitement with the Vatican has limits and they are not going to attend the event where the CofE separates itself further from the majority of the world’s Christians and the conservative Christians are crucified. Even with low-church Pope Francis, whom I'm told, like most Catholics, is not interested in women's ordination. Even if the reports of his personal liberalism are true, I respect him as a man because apparently he's his own man, not lockstep left OR right. ("Neither the sickle nor the swastika" as Elena Maria Vidal's husband puts it.) The authentic Catholic position does that. If the culture's wrong, the church says no. A mob isn't always right but no, we can't change the matter of the sacraments. I forget where I first read it, but the point, repeated by John Paul II, is because the validity of the Eucharist is at stake, we have no business even trying.
  • Babies as returnable merchandise. As a conservative wrote on Facebook, our civilization struggled to get rid of slavery and now the left wants to bring it back.
  • From Steve Sailer:
    • The elite seem to think that in the future, everything will look like an Apple store. Like futurists are prophetic, ha ha. At least it looks a lot like another intended prediction, googie style, known back East as doo-wop. (Casa de Cadillac is '40s art-deco.) "So modern it's dated." Of course I love it. Actually I live in a 1910 building with mostly '40s furniture and of course some doo-wop things, both real and toys; the past has a past. Not fake Fifties chrome and a poster of the Fonz (except its great first year, "Happy Days" was so bad, with its '70s and '80s fashion: Garry Marshall thought his audience was stupid). If I lived in a postwar house, things would be mostly mid-century modern (not ironic/camp/kitsch: I ransom these things from that). Regarding "doo-wop," I thought the Wildwood museum would be about the music but I wasn't disappointed.
    • What baby-boomer slang is now unhip? Only "groovy," which had a very short shelf life about 46-47 years ago. (As did "honky," the supposed black answer to the n-word, which nice whites have never used. That came from "hunky," Eastern European working-class immigrants, ethnic versions of arguable folk hero Archie Bunker.) A sign that they've taken over, which is probably bad. (Like a lot of hippie slang, "groovy" came from '40s black jazzmen.)
    • Univisión is owned and run by rich white men who don't speak Spanish. My comment.
    • One of his historical interests is "diversity before diversity," when golden-era America (strong white majority: culturally WASP with a big Catholic and a small but very successful Jewish minorities) supposedly was so mean all the time to non-whites. Actually, he points out, Hispanics (a number of whom are white: of Spanish descent) were overrepresented in the media, from César Romero to Xavier Cugat to Desi Arnaz. Long before political correctness, LA suburbs have had Spanish names everywhere because of California's history. Part of that was the feds' Good Neighbor Policy and trying to generate interest in and tourism to Latin America since Europe was cut off during World War II. In my view the sad main fact of America's story culturally in the 20th century is it succeeded in neutralizing, assimilating, its big Catholic minority, thanks in part to churchmen buying into space-age progressivism and thus losing their nerve. (That was the culprit, not the hippie thing. They were too old for that, and kids were just consumers of pop music.) Yes, googie/doo-wop is the style of that progressivism but part of the charm is the old ways were still really in charge ("the grownups were still in charge" as a friend who grew up then put it). A modern Catholic church can be great if it was built for the Tridentine Mass; of course space-age churches were.
  • Bill Haley first performed "Rock Around the Clock" in Wildwood in '54; a lot of people think that's the first rock song (maybe it was the first rock hit) but there are older contenders - rock was a slight shift from late '40s r&b. Bill Haley wasn't all that different from it; the kids still jitterbugged.
  • An Aussie's take on Dreher: A false-flag operation? Not convincing. Still, as an Australian I don't comment on US politics. Dreher is interesting, though, especially from a cultural and religious perspective. He seems to live a very idyllic writer's life infused with piety (very attractive in a way). His Orthodoxy is ecumenical, though (I think) he has fallen for the Byzantine escapism that Orthodoxy can easily throw at a Westerner. I hope Orthodoxy works for him, but his posts suggest that he's still focused on the sins of the RC Church and is not really looking seriously at the problems within Eastern Orthodoxy. "The Byzantine escapism that Orthodoxy can easily throw at a Westerner." Well put. "His Orthodoxy is ecumenical ... but ... he's still focused on the sins of the RC Church." Speaking from my experience trying to be Orthodox, that he can't turn his back on us suggests he'll come home.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Recreational contraception

As the Anti-Gnostic writes:
Birth control ... degrades the interactions of young, bourgeois individuals into a brutalized sexual marketplace, and all the legislation and whining of sexually undesirable feminists won't change it. Some honesty on this point is needed: what we are talking about with the contraception-mandate is a subsidy for younger, sexually attractive people who are gainfully employed at mid- and large-size companies.
The $64,000 question: as opposed to traditional marriage, how does this help society?

Media, Pa. car show


Exaudi, Domine, vocem meam


  • Mass: Exaudi, Domine, vocem meam.
  • A perennial topic: Why ad orientem. "Why do you have the priest's back turned to you?"
  • As a Catholic I feel for Luther while of course rejecting his heresy. In that era of gangster churchmen, he meant well, as reflected by our confessional Lutheran cousins' belief in the supremacy of God's love; they're very close to us, more than most other people realize.
  • From Takimag: When the noblesse obliged.
  • Photo: Duquesne when mainstream Catholic colleges in America were Catholic. From Vultus Christi.

Dreher


From Facebook:
Not a Dreher fan. Most of the time I think he's a false-flag operation by the Dems.
He has faults, like everybody, but he's intelligent and I don't hate him like so many online seem to. I read him occasionally.
I don't hate him, although I don't understand him at all on a deep level. He displays the worst traits of American culture when it comes to religion, as much as he likes to paint himself as Orthodox now. I read him every now and again, when others link to him, but I just don't find him all that profound. Plus, he's a false-flag operation.
I hear you but won't go as far. In religion he has a better track record of staying put than I do. Of course I feel bad that he left the church but I believe it was after 20 years and anybody can understand why: a huge shock to him, the gay priest underage sex scandal and coverup.
Sure, but when he runs into the exact same problem in Orthodoxy, he clings to the icons. He's a liberal on most issues, he thinks Christians should surrender on the key moral issues of the day, and he works actively to demoralize believers in the public square. That looks like a false-flag operation to me.
I don't read him enough to say whether he makes excuses for the Orthodox about that problem. Oh, good point! I never thought of him that way before. Rather fits my point about the temptation to privatize one's traditional Catholicism in America by hiding out with the small, cute, and non-threatening Orthodox churches, which it seems he's done. In SWPL America, as long as you don't threaten the status quo, you can be as high-church as you want. So his "Benedict option" might just be surrender in the public square, abandoning it. Traditionalists say all American religious liberty is that; I won't go that far but I'm learning.
You just figured him out.

Talking about Anglo-Papalism


A conversation that started with "The Place of Meeting," an old Anglo-Catholic painting of a Tridentine Requiem High Mass with rows of the souls of British military dead, in uniform, looking on, heads bowed in prayer. First saw a print of this 30 years ago at Good Shepherd, Rosemont; another copy, from my old pro-Catholic Orthodox priest, is on the wall next to my bed.
Wow, for an invalid and null Mass, carried out by play-acting ministers, it is beautiful.
Are you being facetious? Although I wrote here recently about the irony I've come to of respecting all Anglicans, including the liberals and the Evangelicals, by saying Anglicanism's not the church (that is, I'm not trying to make them what I wanted them to be), including of course accepting Apostolicae Curae, I'd never go that far in describing Anglo-Catholic worship. Anglo-Catholics helped form me (I was Episcopal to begin with): they taught me pre-Vatican II practices when the official church had thrown them away. Old-school Anglo-Catholics weren't ex-Catholics. They were acting in good faith. In my allowable opinion, surely God blessed them for that, and it's not inconceivable that he touched down on their altars because of that. God made valid orders; he's not limited by them.
I was being a touch hyperbolic. The subjective faith of people involved is for God to judge. Objectively, the religion is a fraud and a fabrication, grounded on the sinful lusts of kings and the worldly ambition of their ministers.
True about Anglicanism. Interestingly, Anglo-Papalism, the kind of Anglo-Catholicism that did the Tridentine Mass as shown in this picture and was part of my formation, agreed! Their only difference with the church was they wanted to bring the whole Anglican Communion into the church, in their orders, thanks to the Dutch touch. Because of the Dutch touch, they accepted Apostolicae Curae.
But there could be a Dutch touch, and proper intent to boot? Yeah, sure - and the Almighty is throwing it right out the heavenly window - these prayers for the men lost in the Great War - all for lack of apostolic pedigree. We all agree on most stuff - but when it boils down to this? Somehow, I just doubt that.
As I wrote in the blog post I mention, the church has said no to the Dutch touch: Anglican ordinations with Old Catholic bishops are still Anglican ordinations.
And "a vain thing, fondly invented"!!! (or was it vice versa?) LOL.
Right. Anglo-Catholic priests intended to do what the church does, but their church, as the Thirty-nine Articles clearly teach, doesn't.
Something I have never understood - even Smokey Clem's had that prayerbook catechism in the pews - that condemned everything they were doing. None the less, I do not believe that the Lord turns a deaf ear to the illustrated petitions above.
I noticed that too. It took rationalizations on the level of Newman's Tract XC to try to reconcile that. Interestingly, Protestant Anglicans saw that method as Modernism's cousin.
Anglo-Papalism doesn't make any sense at all. If the Catholic Church is true, and somebody knows it is true, then they have a moral obligation to join it. Not futz around with lace vestments pretending to say Mass after some Dutchman puts his hands on his head and pretends to ordain him using an invalid ordinal.
Anglo-Papalism like the rest of Anglo-Catholicism was built on a false, romantic view they had of Anglicanism, but I would never be as unkind in my description. There's something to be said for semi-congregationalism resisting the spirit of Vatican II, which is what the best of them did. Sure, the Dutch touch was just a rationalization but they really thought corporate reunion was possible; I'd say women's ordination killed that dream. (When I found out about it, about five years after it started, it was like being punched in the stomach.) Plus again, in the '70s the mother church, THE church, had become inhospitable because of its own Modernist problem.
John, the Anglo-Papalists had to have to have known that corporate reunion was impossible even before women's ordination. An Anglican Church that contains low church evangelicals was never going to reunite with Rome. What they were doing was play acting. I don't doubt that many of them were torn about it, but they were play acting nonetheless.
It was wishful thinking of the Anglo-Papalists, but they were sincere; over the past 10 years I've never described them as play-acting. Rather, I thank them, which is why I say the 1928 Book of Common Prayer/Anglican missals' creed at English Masses to this day.

Anglo-Papalism was always rare in the Episcopal Church; it was found in the English version of A-Cism. What became the British ordinariate: all these Anglicans were already using the Roman Missal (Novus Ordo) because they already accepted the teachings of the church, so Benedict the Great said let them in.
I tend to have a bit of a down on Anglo-Papalism not so much because of what they believe, but because they opened the door to modernism - a point which Victorian Liberal Churchman, the Very Rev. Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, understood all too well. Their logic chopping, and more to the point, the fact that after the initial protests of 1841 it was not aggressively condemned, made the Church of England a safe place for Liberal theology. The Latitudinarians had had to watch their backs because the old Protestant High Churchmen would put the dogs on them, but with the A-Ps sweeping the streets for them, the Modernists had to do something egregiously stupid before there was a stink about the heresy being promoted.
When you look at it that way, liberal high church historically makes sense.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cinnaminson, NJ car show


Honestly, when I first saw this tent I thought it was from a parish. A title not in the Litany of Loreto.