Friday, October 24, 2014

Quick bites

  • Who you gonna call? There's just something about the Catholic Church.
  • Why I don't read libertarian links much anymore: a quote from Ann Sterzinger at Takimag. "Trite and predictable complaints about the U.S. being trite and predictable." It's just lefty snobbery and leapfrogging loyalties ("anything but American") from people who sort of understand economics.
  • Oppression juicing. #firstworldproblems. As Owen White has said, echoing the Soviet view, gay rights is a bourgeois cause. The silliness of girls at schools such as Wellesley pretending to be men (so why are they allowed to stay at Wellesley?), majoring not in business, engineering, or physics but "gender studies" and complaining about not being "emotionally safe." Yeah, right. Very manly. (Wise prediction from the Takimag combox: when boys pretending to be girls want to go to Wellesley, watch Wellesley resist.) Also, regarding college RAs as lefty social engineers: I didn't have that happen but did in high school: "Madison Plan," a form of liberal indoctrination in the form of little discussion groups. Sort of a soft psychobabble Sixties-'70s version of the Young Pioneers. I smelled a rat even back then and resisted this with all my might, ditching meetings. Maybe I wasn't so clueless as a kid after all.
  • "Why do people leave the Catholic Church and what stops people from becoming Catholic?" As I like to say, the flashpoint of all heresy is God's creation, particularly the material (though it began with the fallen angels), rebelling against him; this has three battles: who Jesus is, the Eucharist, and sex. Implicitly, it's about the church: God meeting man through the church or man saying "I will not serve." For moderns it's all about sex. The imposter churches (from Orthodox contraception and divorce & remarriage to Protestant women clergy and same-sex marriage) and the secular world tell you what you want to hear about illicit sex, including with plausible hard cases (discarded wives deserving a second chance, etc.). The devil's not stupid; he knows how to argue. Sin is always aimed towards an apparent good.
  • Gay men: they're not really like women. Face to Face has noticed that too.
  • "Believe you are saved by faith; act like you are saved by works." I think Cardinal Pole said that. Great man.
  • "What needs to change in the church?" Mother Teresa: "You and me."

The other "Old Catholics": the English ones

Coming from the same culture as the old high churchmen, even quietly (?) dissident like the Non-Jurors, you had the English "Old Catholics" who hung in there through the penal times, not to be confused with the schismatic Old Catholic Church in continental Europe a couple of centuries later, now really Episcopalians. Recusancy was an option for the very rich such as the Tichbornes: pay the fines for non-attendance at the Anglican church, have no say in the government (before Catholic emancipation), and be left alone in your castle or manor to have Mass while the cops looked the other way. Discreet, low-profile, both by necessity and very English. I admit I don't know much about it. I understand it was swamped by immigrant Irish Catholicism in the 1800s, the exuberant, newly liberated church that ex-Anglican converts like Cardinal Manning led in Britain. (There was a huge religious revival in Ireland, led by now-maligned local clergy and nuns, the pious Irishness exported to America with Ireland's excess people, becoming the dutiful, devout but streetwise Irish of American legend and fact, from cardinals to politicians to cops to bar owners. The Irish back home have lapsed again.) These "Old Catholics" resented it and all but disappeared, at least from the national consciousness.

Same happened in America: some of these low-key "Old Catholics" came here (Maryland, for example) in colonial times (looking for relief from the Anglicans, ironically like the extremely anti-Catholic Puritans were), were swamped by Irish, Italian, and Polish Catholicism brought here in the 1800s-early 1900s (that plus Mexicans and Puerto Ricans are what Americans think of as Catholic, from St. Patrick's Day to The Godfather), and resented it. There's German Catholicism here too; has been for a long time, as exuberantly baroque and liturgical in pure form as Polish, but it seems to have blended in over here, plus some Midwestern liberals came from that. There used to be German-language national parishes here in Philadelphia, from the 1800s; long closed or turned Puerto Rican. The Matt family of The Wanderer and The Remnant are from the old German-American Catholicism. (The Wanderer was originally a then-mainstream Catholic paper in German.)

There's a snotty Anglican expression, at once anti-Catholic and asserting branch theorists' and Anglo-Catholics' claims to be THE church of the rrrrrealm, like "the Rrrrrrroman Church," "the Rrrrrromans," etc., a distortion of the Catholic claim to be the true church: "the Italian Mission to the Irish." I understand now in England it's to the Polish. There were Episcopalians who seriously believed that too, even Bishop Charles Grafton: THEY were the lawful bishops in America; the papists were interlopers.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Canada's heroes, and more


RIP Cpl. Nathan Cirillo


  • Don't underestimate the Canadians, as retired Mountie and Parliament Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers showed courage under fire in the best British tradition. The country's more liberal and less religious than the U.S., arguably more Protestant (Catholic immigration came here), so SWPLs love the idea of it, but I like to think stories like these, much of which is history I didn't know (the SS usually fought to the death but surrendered to Canadians), are the true spirit of the place. In related news, another crazy convert to Islam. Oh, and bring back the Red Ensign.
  • Battling Newman's ghost. Someone the Anglicans still have to reckon with.
  • What happens when there are no more churches? Somebody else who grew up conservative Episcopal (yes, that used to be a thing) in the midst of the yucky '70s and is thankful. On the demise of the St. Clement's, Philadelphia we knew; if this had happened as recently as 10 years ago I would have felt similarly. But Benedict the Great fixed English Novus Ordo, giving Catholics roughly the same baseline we had with the 1928 Prayer Book; better in fact if not artistically. So no despair here. The Episcopalians got control of their building back and we got another traditional Mass in Philadelphia. Sort of like the U.S. and Canada both claiming to have won the War of 1812.
  • A new religion? [M]ore than half the bishops present at [the Extraordinary Synod on the Family] ... have already switched religion. Not really news and no, the church wasn't compromised. Traditionalists already knew that the bench of bishops is rife with dissent. Given that we live in an unserious age with unserious people committed to their unserious religion, I have a hard time imagining a forceful schism arising out of anything the bishops do or say. The neo-Catholic apologists will be on hand to whitewash over the obvious while an increasing number of traditionalists find themselves pondering sedevacantism. Meanwhile, the liberals will rejoice for a time as they preside over a dying remnant of what used to be the Holy Catholic Church. The church, of course, will continue, but perhaps not in the way we suspect.
  • Adultery is adultery, except when we decide to ignore it. #thingsjesusneversaid. How I hate dissembling screeds such as this! Again, underneath the traditional liturgy and the ethnic folklore, they have the creed and little else. Which was a friend's correct verdict on Kallistos (Ware) after reading The Orthodox Church.
  • A tour of the ballistic missile submarine Redoutable (photos).

The war in English Catholicism in 1866


Reminds me of Evelyn Waugh's line in Brideshead Revisited about the 1920s English Catholic Church being four factions trying to blackguard each other. From R.A. on Facebook.
For myself, hopeless as you consider it, I am not ashamed still to take my stand upon the Fathers, and do not mean to budge. …The Fathers made me a Catholic, and I am not going to kick down the ladder by which I ascended into the Church. It is a ladder quite as serviceable for that purpose now, as it was twenty years ago. Though I hold, as you know, a process of development in Apostolic truth as time goes on, such development does not supersede the Fathers, but explains and completes them.

— John Henry Newman, Letter to Pusey (1866)

I see much danger of an English Catholicism, of which Newman is the highest type. It is the old Anglican, patristic, literary, Oxford tone transplanted into the Church. It takes the line of deprecating exaggerations, foreign devotions, Ultramontanism, anti-national sympathies. In one word, it is worldly Catholicism, and it will have the worldly on its side, and will deceive many.

— Henry Edward Manning to George Chetwynd Talbot, 25 February 1866
Each side has its good and bad points; both were orthodox.

Newman was a great man, smart so he was misunderstood ("too Catholic for the Anglicans; too liberal for the Catholics"): logic and orthodoxy made him a Catholic; making him a cardinal showed he was a man of the church and St. Pius X later defended him.

Although Newman was originally an Evangelical Anglican (as I believe Fr. Frederick William Faber of the second faction was), and the Tractarians had their differences with the old high churchmen (the old ones thought the Tractarians were wrong for not putting their movement under their bishops' control), here he sounds like a continuation of the old high churchmen. High churchmanship including Anglo-Catholicism was originally about a Catholic-like high view of the church's origins and authority, not exactly the sacraments (high for Protestants but still Protestant: no to transubstantiation, per the Articles of Religion), nor ceremonial nor devotions. As Episcopal Fr. Mitchican explains, its branch theory was more a triangle with Protestant Anglicanism at the top, with all the pluses of the ancient churches (Catholicism and Orthodoxy) but the best because it was "reformed." The realization that Anglicanism was man-made, not the continuation of the medieval church, of course led Newman, Manning, and others into the church. Anglo-Catholicism started in 1833 as a defense of Protestant Anglicanism's Catholic claims, set off by an effect of Catholic emancipation (the government wanted to close four Anglican dioceses in Catholic Ireland; Keble objected in his sermon "National Apostasy"), so it was against the Catholic Church. Then after Newman's conversion in 1845 (been to his home in Littlemore where Blessed Dominic Barberi brought him into the church), the generation or two after the Tractarians became what their Anglican enemies thought, would-be Catholics (Anglo-Papalism, which really got going by the 1890s?) imitating the things Faber and Manning liked: "aping" the church.

Ritualism had an earlier, mid- to late-1800s Gothic phase; the Gothic Revival in architecture from the early 1800s (the Catholic convert Pugin), part of the Romantic reaction to the Industrial Revolution that Anglo-Catholicism partly was, so you had Directorium Anglicanum (the Book of Common Prayer with Sarum ceremonial per the BCP's Ornaments Rubric).

Old high church was wonderfully conservative; Newman's theory (still only a theory) of the development of doctrine (I believe it) was trying to persuade them. They really thought the Pope was a dangerous innovator, like John Spong, General Synod, or General Convention now. Orthodoxy (underneath the traditional liturgy and ethnic folklore, Anglicanish credal correctness and little else) including its Western Rite experiment appeals to them now, but Orthodoxy has sold out on contraception, unthinkable to the original high churchmen and Tractarians.

There was a class difference. High and dry appealed to intellectuals (converts from Oxford); Italian ultramontane devotions to the masses, which most Catholics in England were, so the church and its upper-class lefty, social-justice Anglican imitators (the ritualist slum priests) used them, the ritualists first trying to bring a "national Catholicism" to the masses alienated from God by the "Enlightenment" and Industrial Revolution (and, we'd say, the "Reformation," which was evil), then frankly wanting to be Catholics but to be received in their orders.

No can do, rightly said Leo XIII in Apostolicae Curae: in the mid-1500s doctrine and practice were broken, showing Protestant intent, so an Anglican claim of apostolic succession since is belief in magic. Also no to the Old Catholic Dutch touch: ordinations in Anglican contexts are Anglican, not Catholic, and anyway, the participating schismatic Catholic bishops weren't using the Roman ordinal. (New ELCA bishops have that line of succession from the Episcopalians; of course we don't recognize them.)

The Episcopalians now? Liberal high church, another mutation of the old high churchmanship, still identifying first with Anglicanism. The anti-Romanism led to an early identification with Modernism, so liberal high church has been around for at least 100 years, alongside Anglo-Papalism. Some conservative Protestant Anglicans blame Newman and the other Tractarians for opening a Pandora's box of disobeying not only their bishops but the Book of Common Prayer including the Articles of Religion, just like the "Enlightenment" and liberal Protestants started doing to the Bible, so liberal high church is only logical based on that. The Episcopalians high-churched from the '30s to the '60s for fashion's sake, then Sixties ecumenism (Vatican II) and Sixties anti-WASPness (exoticism and turning on the old America) accelerated that. It's not Catholic liberalism: it's as credally orthodox, as sacramentally high, and almost as liturgically conservative as we traditionalists are; ecclesiologically they're Protestants: fallible church per Articles XIX and XXI. Unlike Catholic liberalism, the trappings of the church, including Manning's Italianate style, birettas and all, are fun, but ultimately the church comes second to private judgment, "self-evident" modern truths about "gender" and sexuality.

American Anglo-Catholics, not the "fashion" high churchmen, were a different mix: old high church theologically and Prayer Bookish but in Manning's Catholic garb. Whence the Continuum.

These two Catholic factions don't seem to line up with rival Catholic churchmanships now, Vatican II having muddled things. Maybe in another historical irony, traditionalists, the people who favored Manning and Faber, now sound more like Newman, while today's ultramontanists (note: ultramontanism isn't all of Catholicism, just a school of thought in it; as Fr. Hunwicke writes, Vatican I actually put a lid on them, as "define" means "to limit") are the long low-church Novus Ordo neocons (EWTN) including the "Evangelicals," the now-waning charismatics. (Reminds me of Fr. Andrew Phillips, an Englishman in ROCOR, about well-meaning people in his church: if you're trying to eat the same thing for breakfast as your clergy, you're doing it wrong.)

After years of going along with Catholic liberals on liturgy in the name of obedience, telling trads to give up their practice and become charismatics, the neocons have been slowly high-churching since the end of the '80s; the New Liturgical Movement, the Reform of the Reform, something more Manning-like.

Me? Some from both. Mass-and-office and high and dry about the papacy from Newman; old-school Italian church garb through Manning and Faber, but devotions, etc., a little toned down and in their proper theological place à la Newman's school. The Pope's office shares in the church's charism of infallibility; it was never about his person, about whom ordinary Catholics rightly cared little.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Color film clip: the Mass aboard a warship in 1945, and more




  • The Mass, aboard the USS LST-782 off the coast of Iwo Jima a week before the famous battle.
  • Praise be! 85-year-old Bob Davey defies death threats from Satanists to spend 22 years returning 1,000-year-old derelict church to its former glory. St. Mary's, Houghton-on-the-Hill, wrecked in the Blitz.
  • The memory of this brave soldier has lived on for generations to honor. Hubert Rochereau was a second lieutenant for the French army during World War I, who died on April 26, 1918, from wounds he incurred while fighting in Belgium, according to The Guardian. His parents, who left his room untouched since the day the soldier left for war, sold the house in 1936, and included a clause in the deed that the room should be preserved that way for 500 years, according to The Telegraph. It's been almost a century since Rochereau died, and his room has stayed exactly the same as he had left it. A useless, immoral war. What a waste. RIP.
  • Wrecks of U-576 and SS Bluefields, the ship it sank, found off North Carolina. Hmm, a type VIIC, the standard Battle of the Atlantic submarine, right off our coast. I thought it would be a Type IX, like the U-505 I've been aboard, a larger, long-range one more the size of our Pacific-war boats (below; also a workhorse of our Cold War Navy — the so-called fleet submarine, designed with an obsolete idea of operating with the surface fleet, accidentally ideal for a long-range commerce-raiding war across the Pacific against Japan).


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Paul VI being a hypocrite


If Paul VI really loved the Orthodox he wouldn't have signed off on the Novus Ordo. No, "the spirit of Vatican II" was about working with Protestants to create a new church for a new, progressive space age, a church no longer Catholic. (Not the letter of the council.) That had nothing to do with the East; Catholic liberals don't care about the East. Some Orthodox opportunistically used the liberal version of the council ("You longer teach you're the true church? Great!") to promote their own claim ("dump some other doctrine, hand over the Uniates, and we'll receive you into the one, holy, Byzantine, and apostolic church in your orders, economically"). Understandable of them. Ecumenism's dead. Everybody knows the churches won't get back together/the Orthodox and the Protestants aren't coming back to the church. The Orthodox easily can but won't. Picture: Meeting Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem 50 years ago.

Reasons to ignore millennials, and more


  • Five good reasons for advertisers to ignore millennials. In short, they're fickle kids who don't have a lot of money to spend. A couple of things struck me, the latter not related to my, on average, not liking millennials: these are still children (unlike '50s people their age, who were young ADULTS, they don't grow up until their 30s) and this country is declining (has been since the great cultural change I remember, since 1973: no rise in real wages), so their poverty (no spending money for advertisers, so advertisers can save money by ignoring them) is not entirely their fault. When they do grow up, a lot of the "generational differences" will disappear, like how boomers now consume luxuries like the WWII generation did when old, and how nobody talks about "Generation X" or "slackers" anymore, because that generation is no longer young/has finally grown up. Although you can partly blame our prosperity then and the paucity of real values, even then, for the unnatural prolongation of childhood starting in the '50s: the decade advertisers invented the teenager. Adolescence is real: literally children's minds in adult bodies (intense emotions, risk-taking); you don't get good judgment until you're in your 30s, which is why the president has to be at least 35. But in a better society, it really does "take a village." Extended family, real neighbors, and local employers who cared meant adults could actually BE adults, taking on responsibility (job, kids) with the community's help, as soon as their bodies said they were (prime time to have kids). High school and college were really school, not a social thing: lots of kids didn't finish high school but made good money in the trades, and college wasn't rich-kids party camp but for the 14% who were smart so they really belonged there. (Paul Fussell: only 14% REALLY go to college, the others being ripped off going to things calling themselves college.)
  • The geography of striver boomtowns, that is, future ghost towns.
  • A new favorite movie: The Big Town. Matt Dillon and Diane Lane, in the neon-glow, underworldy side of '57 Chicago.
  • Once in jeopardy, Wildwood's 1950s doo-wop buildings are now imitated.
  • Houston, we have a gender-blind public-restroom "problem." The idiocy behind the subpoenaing of church sermons. In other words, if a biological male claims he’s a woman and is forbidden to use the ladies’ bathroom at Starbucks to piss away his Pumpkin Spice Latte, it is a human-rights issue rather than a case of an annoying drama queen with nothing better to do.
  • The suicide of a great nation. Which I've been watching in slow motion since about 1973. Ebola and ISIS are symptoms of decline.
  • Cardinal Kasper giving away that he looks down on Africans. That threw me, because in America the lefty hierarchy of truths has anti-white at the top with anti-Christian a close second, so even the gays and and the girls get thrown under the bus (or blown up in Boston). Revealing. When rich white folks want to have some sexy fun, "bullshit walks." Also, the church in his Germany is tied to the state; if people officially quit being Catholic, it can't collect taxes from them anymore, so maybe he has a secular business model, trying to keep consumers from walking. The snotty liberal Anglicans really feel the same about the Third World.
  • Only an Anglican could get away with writing something which many Catholics must be thinking: Is Pope Francis a Catholic? Not much of one. Pope Francis nil; believing bishops 3. Here's hoping for another Pope Emeritus, soon.
  • Pat Buchanan: Pope Francis is hugely popular. But his worldly popularity has not come without cost to the church he leads and the truths he is sworn to uphold. Right. He didn't make the cover of Rolling Stone for doing his job, supporting the church's teachings.
  • Dissolution. The "Reformation" was evil. Below: the Pilgrimage of Grace as imagined by an artist.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Trivializing depression, on what your glasses frames say about you, and more


  • Trivializing depression as a scheme to disempower the masses.
  • Wide-open eyeglasses: why aren't more kids wearing them ironically? They're inviting in a personal, feminine way. To perfect Superman's wimp disguise, the movie producers had Christopher Reeve wear girly frames. Then again of course I think narrow and old frames are cute on girls too. A thought, just now, probably not new: might the modern piercings and studs (nose rings, etc.) be deliberately off-putting as a display of power?
  • Subpoenaing church sermons. In case you weren't sure that "freedom to marry" really means "the state forcing you to say the same sex can marry." I wonder how long before even the pretense of the republic is out the window.
  • Joel Osteen. "Houston wants to review the content of my sermons; LOL, what content?" Like Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller ('50s mainline optimism), he's pretty good as far as he goes (sure, stop self-defeating thinking) but it's not good enough. What about redemptive suffering, the way of the cross, not to be confused with masochism — M. Scott Peck's point? What about the martyrs? Lacking in Osteen's theology as far as I know. So, yeah, he's more of a self-help guy/motivational speaker/pop psychologist than a real minister. The snobs are having a field day making fun of him: he has no theological training (a career media guy; that and his good looks and Southern charm make him very good at it) and how dare he show the rubes how to empower themselves? A stopped clock is right twice a day; I'm sure the man helps a lot of people, hence his success.

Anglicans and that good old economia

  • Both the "continuing" churches and the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Episcopal Church seem to be afflicted with a surprising, indeed astonishing, amount of remarriage after divorce. Some of that number were ex-Catholics they had attracted because of their laxity in this, but a lot of it were, so to speak, home-grown divorcees. I would not be surprised if the percentage were higher than in the general population. When the Ordinariate was first announced, a number of Anglo-Catholic ministers attacked it with lofty-sounding theological rebuttals, and the ones I happened to know about were all living with their second if not third wives — a fact not one thought to mention. "I have a theological objection." "What's her name?" To be fair, like with contraception this is very recent of Anglicans. Henry VIII didn't believe in modern, no-fault divorce; historically the Church of England and Episcopal Church taught and practiced the same thing about divorce and remarriage as Catholics (annulments were hard to get), which is why in 1936 the Archbishop of Canterbury refused to marry the King to Mrs. Simpson.
  • I think one should add the Orthodox theological commitment to being expressions of their societies — not the way they'd put it but certainly the mindset or paradigm. I once read a talk Fr. Thomas Hopko gave to an Episcopal parish thinking about becoming Catholic or Orthodox and a big point, a big sales pitch, was his claim that with their idea of economia the Orthodox were more pastoral than the juridical Catholics and had no problem with all the people in the congregation on their second marriages. And no problem with contraception either. It was that crass a sales pitch, and it worked.
  • Was this the so-called Western Orthodox Church? Its liturgy is derived from the BCP as I understand it. Some years ago I heard from a reliable source that a parish on Long Island went that way from the Episcopal Church because it was a lot less complicated than the RC approach. Fr. Hopko is OCA, which doesn't have or support Western Rite Orthodoxy. (The Greeks hate it too.) WRO has two juridical forms, Antiochian and ROCOR, and a few ritual versions, from resembling the Tridentine Mass, the original approved Russian version from the 1800s, to resembling the Anglican Missal (the so-called Liturgy of St. Tikhon), the two kinds in the Antiochian church, to sort of free-form Anglicanish or vagante archaic reconstructions that are heavily byzantinized, the anti-Catholic versions ROCOR has used. WRO are under pressure to byzantinize; many do switch. Some become so heavily byzantinized, particularly in ROCOR, they might as well. "The one, holy, Byzantine, and apostolic church"; they worship their cultures. Rumor has it Msgr. Joseph of the Antiochians in America isn't keen on WRO either. The Catholic Church has both latinized and unlatinized forms of the Byzantine Rite.
  • In re: the juridical Catholic mind, I still recall hearing two Catholics attending a wedding on Saturday and wondering if it fulfilled their Sunday obligation. The idea seemed incomprehensible to me and seemed to miss the point that one was a social event and the other the worship of God. Still does. It is my understanding that the time for a mass on Saturday fulfill the Sunday obligation varies somewhat from diocese to diocese. Only Catholics can think this way and I still find it mystifying. It reminds me of the stories a Jewish friend would tell me about his Orthodox parents. You have a point but if it was a late-afternoon wedding, resembling the vigil Mass that does cover your obligation (I've done it; a Tridentine parish near here has it), the confusion's understandable, especially considering a lot of people don't care about the difference in content between a nuptial Mass and a Sunday Mass, or aren't very bright. (The value of the Baltimore Catechism: a quick and dirty intro to our theology that even the dumb kids understand. It's only a starting point for the smart or religious kids.)

The church: one step forward, one step back


Funny thing is the heretics are saying the same thing. I'll explain myself so don't worry.
  • Surprise; the church is Catholic. "For Francis, a resounding defeat: Traditionalists have won a huge victory." | "Even in 2015, it's hard for Francis to go much beyond this without risking schism." Of course the secular media are presenting this like their politics: "Catholic bishops veto gay-friendly statements leaving Pope Francis the loser." (Because we're big meanies who want to beat up the divorced and homosexuals. Sed contra, conservative Christians taught me as a kid it's wrong to pick on gays.) They believe or want to that the church is like Congress or a Protestant denomination, where doctrine is changeable by vote. (Even the Constitution is amendable and repealable: witness Prohibition.) I understand the synod won't be done until next year. And so we thank God for Cardinal Burke and the African cardinals who launched the "Blue Thursday" counter-revolution at the Synod. We thank God for preserving the doctrines and dogmas of his Church. And we pray that one of these great Synod Fathers who fought the heretics will soon serve as our next pope. Burke as the first American Pope. I like it. But we need a Pope young enough to stick around for 20 years to finish what Benedict the Great started (why he quit is mysterious).
  • "God is not afraid of new things!" Paul VI beatified?! Shaking my head. Not a heretic and he took the heat for upholding doctrine on contraception (so of course I accept the church's decision) but what a disaster as Pope. This business of beatifying and canonizing Popes as a posthumous honors system with a political agenda (canonizing that stupid council) just confirms non-Catholics' misconceptions about the papacy. Way to score an own goal, church. Being "a disaster as pope" (as if one of the faithful had the right to judge in such matters, and to make that judgement public) and living the virtues in an heroic manner are not mutually exclusive. Many people might think that Pope Celestine V was "a disaster as pope" and yet 17 years after his death he was canonized. I thought of St. Peter Celestine. Realized he wasn't cut out to be Pope so he quit; very different. When I joined the church I didn't check my brain in at the door. Vatican II flopped and it's crashing down around the neo-conservatives' ears. Since that disaster of a council took the ordinary practice of the Catholic religion away from so many people (and done in the name of obedience per Noel quoted above, as Archbishop Lefebvre observed), conservative Catholics have been rallying around the Pope's person in an unprecedented way. I remember the cultural sea change in America from 1968 to 1972; been chasing the old America since ("went back in time" four years ago, because I realized I can). A reason I don't have a lick of devotion to Paul VI and never will. Sorry I don't agree. Humanae Vitae was the most prophetic document in the past 400 years IMO. He stood against what was then a majority heretic body in both Europe and USA. I don't get a raise or a promotion for doing the bare minimum for my job. Why I have no devotion to John Paul II: bad (liberal) cardinal appointments, low-church charismatic your only option (unless you went Greek Catholic, a fine thing), and selling out on altar girls. Paul VI brought you the Novus Ordo and Eucharistic ministers, who were supposed to be for "extraordinary" situations but that's been horribly abused. The liberals have soft-sold women's ordination with it, but support for that has never taken off because it's impossible. The Holy Spirit at work. Paul VI at the UN: the golden era's blind faith in "Progress!" The '50s begat Vatican II: streamline the church for a better world; pitch it as evangelism. (Heretical version pushed by the media: let's work with Protestants and nonbelievers to create a new church, no longer really Catholic.) Well, my archdiocese is broke, closing parishes. "How's that 'renewal' working out for youse?" In 50 years the American church will be sound again (the only young who still go to Mass are conservative), but smaller than now.
  • "Why I got out of New York." “New York in the ’70s was known for three things: cheap rent, free healthcare and free education,” said John, 52, a lawyer. “That was the city I loved, the one where I drove a cab for five years to pay for law school. It’s gone. So Times Square got cleaned up. For what? Now it’s a demented cross between Tokyo and Disneyland.” 15 years ago I liked Manhattan very much. New York's the capital of the world with something for everyone. But I couldn't live there.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Why are we cannibalizing the Book of Common Prayer?


My parish: trads, conservatives, Anglo-Catholic alumni, and black locals.

  • Sour grapes: Why is the Catholic Church cannibalizing the Book of Common Prayer? Points: it IS a Protestant book as Msgr. Newton notes, imposed by force (been to two English Catholic martyrs' shrines and a ruined abbey: I'll never look at the BCP the same), and British Anglo-Catholics long wanted nothing to do with it; it was used against them. That said, it's because American Anglo-Catholics were attached to the Prayer Book, at least in tridentinized missal form; it's their resistance to Modernism and the Sixties just like the Tridentine Mass. And because much of the time our liturgical English isn't very good; Cranmer and his imitators did it better. (Catholics don't care about liturgical English because deep down we remember that liturgy isn't really in English.) Why not be ecumenical in a good way? I don't per se miss the BCP, but as this was a classic-car show and flea-market Sunday, I went to the early Novus Ordo where I'm an ordinariate of one: And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary: and was made man. (That's right: the Continuum, the Rite I Episcopalians, and I are literally saying the same creed. It's an American Anglo-Catholic thing and a tribute to a lot of good people, present and departed.) My favorite office book is Winfred Douglas' Monastic Diurnal, Roman Rite but not only with Coverdale's psalm translations and Cranmer's canticle ones but both the Roman Rite collects and, where different, Cranmer's as an option. The Protestant intent's only passive (if a prayer was about the merits or intercession of a saint, he replaced it); his content here isn't heretical and is beautiful, like a mini-sermon. The Roman Rite ones are short and terse (the West in crisis and decline, when the Roman Empire fell); Cranmer cut loose in English. That said, the British ordinariate should remain Novus Ordo with married priests; hopefully, high-churched and with the option of the Tridentine Mass in Latin and English Missal forms.
  • Taki misses old-school WASPness, the thing that "Mad Men" (Jewish Matthew Weiner) set out to criticize (lefty nostalgia: celebrating the fall of WASP America) and inadvertently celebrated. ("Look how strong those bad WASPs were... hey, they were pretty cool. No, wait...") My feelings are as mixed as my ethnicity (my dad grew up speaking Spanish). With the real reactionaries including the European SSPX I see the problems, the Protestantism and the "Enlightenment" sequential false ideas creating today's problems, and that the WASPs didn't want us here ("this is our country — you're just visiting"); the Rockefeller Republicans really still don't! (Old-school Episcopal: "The Rrrrromans aren't the canonical church here; WE are, just like in England.") But with the patriotic second- and third-generation American Catholic traditionalists and Joe Sobran ("the Protestants were just so darn nice"), I appreciate their liberality that founded this country, writing the Constitution, and, for all its problems, creating a fantastic home for the church (from Cardinal Spellman to the old-school nuns to Notre Dame's Fighting Irish to Bad Catholics like Spencer Tracy and Joe DiMaggio), a place where Catholics thrived, 50 years ago. Ironically, a place based on free-church dissent that's more hospitable to us than the mother country, which I also know first-hand: hostile to us in a creepily self-aware non serviam way despite the residual saints' names on things, the anointed Christian Queen, and the state church with its coped and mitred bishops. (The Popes hoped they'd come back into the family too but that won't happen.) The place is haunted by its having left the church. Taki's one Greek Orthodox I'd like having a few drinks with.
  • The USS Constitution hosts a little party before its three-year overhaul. A monument to an unnecessary war but a beautiful ship. Still, you wonder how little of the original ship is left; ditto the HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship. Been aboard the Constellation in Baltimore, long thought to be an original Navy frigate like the Constitution but proven to be a newer ship from the mid-1800s; that was a bit of creative accounting (denied a new ship in the budget, the Navy scrapped the original Constellation and built another one, writing it down as a rebuild; good old government fraud). Wonder how the rebuilding of the Cutty Sark (yes, the whiskey is named after a real ship) is going after that fire. ("Cutty sark" by the way is Scots for a low-cut blouse, sailors having healthy desires and all.) Philly has a steel-hulled German windjammer (more impressive than the clipper ships when under full sail) from around 1900 (commercial sailing ships didn't disappear until the '30s), the Moshulu, now a restaurant, as well as our official tall ship, the Gazela originally from Portugal.
  • Culture-wars chum from National Review: "Transgender": reality can be a bitch. Or rather, you made your unreality, now live in it. A girl at Wellesley pretending to be a boy (in this case she doesn't look like one) has enjoyed the school playing along: until now? Want to be a boy? Fine; then you won't be elected "diversity officer."

DCCC Car Show 2014

Glimpses of the Historical Car Club of Pennsylvania show and flea market at Delaware Country Community College.


Flemington Speedway Historical Society Car Show 2014

Hunterdon County Fairgrounds at South County Park near Ringoes, NJ. Music by Suckerpunch Suzie.



Black '49 Mercury Eight coupe with fender skirts. A car that James Dean made famous.


'59 Impala.


'59 Biscayne. Externally the only difference from the Impala and Bel Air was the side chrome. This was the entry-level, no-frills Chevy; manual transmission and I think no power steering. Marketed to farmers and others who just wanted basic transport. But the same sexy design as the high-end Chevys, curvy batwing rear end, teardrop taillights and all.


The first car I remember is a '67 Ford Galaxie.