Thursday, September 30, 2004

Syria: Israel shares US blame in Iraq
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Apparently the Holy See had nothing to do with the débàcle of Hindu services in the church at Fátima:

Portuguese newspaper reports: Vatican calls for resignation of Bishop of Fátima and Fátima shrine rector Guerra

Correio da Manhã means Morning Post, BTW. (If you can read Spanish you can read Portuguese - just like with Russian and Ukrainian - but the latter's pronunciation seems so Frenchified it's hard to understand.)

Light from the East
A priest of the order of Melchizedek
Photos of the late Coptic Pope Kyrillos VI

All of the following is from Samer:

Attention NewChurch, here's a brief corrective lesson in proper priestly humility for you rotten lot, courtesy of Egypt.

The celebrant's right approach to Mass and the Holy of Holies (noting the posture of God-ward prayer and the absence of ego-enhancing and asinine theatrical performances and general tomfoolery).

It is said that the priest's or bishop's chances of courting Hell are greater than that of most, given his responsibility over many souls as well as his own. Admittance into Holy Orders or the ranks of the episcopacy is an awesome privilege (it is best to disabuse oneself of the false notion that it translates as a ticket to a social club), and this fellow appears to exhibit the proper posture of humility in recognising his own unworthiness.

‘Pray for my weakness’

Hopefully, with such a spirit in mind, a cleric may at the end of his life obtain a look of peace upon his face as was the case for the late Coptic Pope Kyrillos VI.

‘God be your shepherd’

More monasticism and monastic bishops might be the right answer. It certainly works with the Copts.

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
- Hebrews 13:7
LRC picks
US out of Japan
Yes! Ironically Mr Bush has plans to do this in South Korea and Germany - seeming to make conservative noises - but of course his handlers are really freeing up troops to use in the Middle East. Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer.

Bush isn’t really pro-life
Quite right. One correction: there is a place for the death penalty, says the Catholic faith, but we agree with Pope John Paul II that it should be exceedingly rare, so the article's point on this stands

While George Bush was Governor of Texas, there were 152 executions, while in other states some governors stopped all executions. A real pro-life Christian would find it abhorrent to kill even one human being, Bush set a new record for the number of executions done while he was governor.

George Bush has sent our military off to not one, but two wars and has sent combat troops to many countries. Bush’s wars have killed and wounded tens of thousands of innocent civilians. No one knows the exact number, because the Bush administration cares so little for innocent life, they won’t even keep a count.

No one knows how many innocent pregnant women have been killed by our bombs and bullets.

The religious right in America will tell you to vote for George Bush because he has dazzled them with some Bible quotes and Christian sayings. They will even tell you that Bush is anti-abortion, but George will never come right out and say he is. Yes he did sign the "Partial Birth Abortion Bill," but only after a poll said 80 some percent of Americans agreed with it.

George Bush has never sent any anti-abortion legislation to Congress nor has he used his bully pulpit to push for abortion reform. That is because George Bush is not pro-life.

George Bush is pro-power, he is pro-money, he is pro-war, and he likes to be commander in chief of the greatest military in the history of the world, but George Bush can never be called pro-life.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

From Dappled Things
An idea I heard some time ago and/or have had myself for some time
This cheers me in two ways. One, it keeps what looks like a very pretty church from being destroyed. Two, it provides a place for the Old Rite to be celebrated with all the splendor that the Institute is wont to give, and it offers Chicago Catholics yet another option for worship. That the Institute is moving into a place that was otherwise unwanted calls to mind the noble example of London's 19th-century slum ritualists, who were able to celebrate a very high liturgy partly because they were willing to go into parishes that establishment men didn't want and work among people who didn't have the money or prestige of better sections of London. This is an idea that might work for traditionalist groups in some parts of the States.
- Fr James Tucker

It's what should happen in many places - give slum churches no-one wants anymore to the traditionalist orders with loads of vocations - but probably won't.
Eastern churches resource
Slavonic prayer books as GIF pages
In Russian and Slavonic, in colour (rubrics properly in red) - the work of Metropolitan Peter (Mogila) of Kiev centuries ago, now scanned and available to all on a Russian site. Так прекрасная книга!

Funny mock тропарь from the man who found and posted this:

Rejoice, today,
all those who love our holy father Peter Mohila:
David has discovered the Trebnik online!
The Russians, with scanners and web space,
let us partake of the fruits of the Kievan hierarch
without having to purchase expensive books.
Let us now devote our time to prayer, reading,
and to printing numerous pages,
enough to make a "hill" of heavenly height.
The churches not at their best
And you thought the online brawls were bad
Shameful! (Стыдно!)
From Pontifications
The incoherence of sectarian Catholicity
In their earlier restorationist mode, they [the proto-Anglo-Catholics] had insisted that the entire church should conform to the normative orthodoxy that they claimed was constitutive of the Anglican tradition. By the 1870s, however, it had become evident that any steps toward uniformity would be at the expense of the Anglo-Catholics. Whereupon Anglo-Catholics became the foremost opponents of uniformity and enthusiastically championed ecclesiastical pluralism. All they were asking for, they said, was “tolerance and forbearance” for their way of being Anglican. In 1867, the Rev. Charles Walker was urging upon the Royal Commission on Ritual that peace could be found in the agreement “that the National Establishment embraces in its bosom two separate religions.” Of course that appeal failed to carry the day, as is almost inevitably the case when previously tolerated options threaten the establishment.
As I wrote on the AC page:

...what happened in Anglicanism as Anglo-Catholicism became larger and more noticeable in church life was not the conversion of most Anglicans to Catholicism but rather a toleration of Catholic trappings and of Anglo-Catholic beliefs as opinion, not essential matters of faith. Some Anglo-Catholics themselves fell for this and basically gave up their faith while settling for a place in the English (and American) mainstream. Thus today you’ll find lots of Episcopal churches with women ministers and agnostic or a New Age grab-bag of beliefs but also with a smattering of ‘high-church’ trappings, ironically more traditional-looking than what many Roman Catholics do.
So the Achilles' heel in the movement goes back to the 1870s!

John Shelton Reed, an Episcopalian who teaches at the University of North Carolina, sums up the irony of Anglo-Catholicism: “A movement that originally championed orthodoxy had come to defend freedom; begun in opposition to religious liberalism, the movement now appealed to liberal values for its survival.”
Actually what's left of the National Establishment has at least three religions, Catholic, Protestant and non-Christian liberal; roughly, High, Low and Broad. A house divided against itself...
The Catholic faith
From Ecclesia Anglicana:

I once heard an Orthodox priest from Greece say that the problem with Episcopalians is that we invite heresy to walk with us along the road, rather than throwing it down in the mud and trampling on it!

However, whenever Orthodoxy does engage our post-modern culture, it does so not in shrill tones, but with a quiet confidence which reveals its true depth and breadth.
Wisdom, be attentive!
LRC pick
Jimmy Carter is right about the Iraq war
By Michael Badnarik
Conception Day cards
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
The effect of the war in Iraq on America’s security
Speech given by Sen. Edward Kennedy at George Washington University

DM: I hope that Senator Kerry is reading Senator Kennedy's notes in preparation for Thursday night's debate!

I thank God that President Bush was not our President at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
- Sen. Edward M. Kennedy

DM: At least during the Cuban Missile Crisis, we had a President who (1) was legitimately elected to office and (2) had the moral courage to reject a lunatic plan such as "Operation Northwoods".

Monday, September 27, 2004

Blessed Charles, Emperor of Austria
"My father was without a doubt the only head of state during World War I who truly sought peace, moved by his Christian conscience," observes Otto von Hapsburg, the 91-year-old head of the renowned family. During the war-- and against the advice of his cousin, Germany's Wilhelm II-- he refused to allow the use of poison gas or the bombardment of civilian centers in Venice; he also tried unsuccessfully to conclude a peace accord with the French President Clemenceau.
LRC picks
The Pentagon persecution of Al Lorentz
I understand that when one joins the military one voluntarily gives up some of his freedoms but heroes like Sgts Lorentz and Camilo Mejia are willing to face the consequences for telling the truth

Why Mr Bush’s faith is no comfort to the ruled

The notion that Christian faith preserves us from error does run deep among some believers.
Hoo-yah. Which reminds me of this and this.

Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.
- Matthew vii.21-23

And not everyone who gives lip service to the magisterium is a good or even competent or reputable therapist. No wonder the gay-priest scandal happened if this was what RC priests were sent to.

From LRC’s blog
St William Clinton
Saint Clinton's (sic) image on these keepsake items will remind you of better times (about four years ago) when you had enough money to eat at a nice restaurant, get your car washed or take a day off work.
Sure, this pushes it, but I miss second-term Bill too: thanks to a Republican Congress he ended up being a good Republican president, actually doing what Ronald Reagan said he would but didn't.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
The Catholic faith

RIP Michael Davies
Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat ei.

S al-B: Michael Davies was dying of cancer. [I remember reading that.] Perhaps it was an act of mercy from God that a heart attack cut his suffering short.

You can buy Cranmer's Godly Order, his excellent history of the English 'Reformation', through the links at the bottom of this page. This Welsh lay soldier of the church also saw through the 'Vatican II made the Roman Rite more like the Christian East' nonsense the liturgists and RC 'neocons' sometimes claim:

Sufficient emphasis has not been given to the fact that much of what Rome now demands for a satisfactory (sic) celebration of the Eucharist is in fact a harsh and even offensive condemnation of the practice of Eastern Christians.
A tacked-on epiklesis and a token deacon in the sanctuary don't change that.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Asperger syndrome
A better AS message board
Not a lot of practical advice but lots of news and other interesting links like this one:

Think you know what an autistic person looks like? Think again
Adults with autistic-spectrum disorders including AS: Lots of normal-looking people, some fairly successful and happy
On the box
Cast Away

Worth seeing - Tom Hanks is a fine actor

Saturday, September 25, 2004

From blog correspondent Lee Penn
Republicans admit sending campaign flyers saying liberals will ban the Bible
LP: More for the "God's Own Party" file ...

LP: My comments:

1. Yes, politics is a dirty business, and people on both sides of the aisle tell lies about each other.
2. This still does not make it right to lie and to engage in fear-mongering. Two wrongs do not make a right. "One may not do evil so that good may result from it." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 1756).
3. If the Republicans wish to position themselves as the godly party, they might start by acting in a godly fashion ... after all, one of the Ten Commandments is, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.' (Ex. 20:16)
From LRC’s blog
A shrine to freedom
Canadians plan to erect a monument to honor all the young men who refused to kill people in Vietnam for LBJ and Nixon, and resisted involuntary servitude by escaping to a free country (something the Bush gang is attempting to prevent when it forms the next slave army). As usual, FOX and other state-connected organizations are hyperventilating. FOX--that's Fascists Oozing Xenophobia.
LRC quotation
Bush has no real compassion. That's why he forbids ceremonies for returning dead. According to Ollie North, President Reagan was at the airport every time a dead American serviceman's body came home. The British also formally greet their returning dead with honor and respect. Only in the United States does the government even forbid news organizations from greeting the dead.
- Charley Reese

This goes well with the E.L. Doctorow article from Thursday's entries.
From Credibility
The ‘Catholic’ Skeptical Bible

From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Electricity restored above pre-war levels - and more mounds of malarkey
'The Girl Blog from Iraq' registers its distaste for Allawi's and Bush's unconvincing tap-dance performance of optimism.

Blair: I will serve another full term as Prime Minister
Oh bugger.

With all the salty tears of frustration that must follow such a statement, I'd say the Thames just got more brackish.

From The Onion:
Organisers fear terrorist attacks on upcoming al-Qaeda convention

The gay-priest scandal
More fallout:

Austrian Catholics stage exodus over priest sex scandals
More than 10,000 people have left the Vienna archdiocese in the last few months, with thousands more leaving parishes across the country.
(Brendan Ross has pointed out that this is easy to track/confirm because Austria, like Germany, has a church tax people opt out of by quitting their church.)

And how they got there: from the latest Latin Mass (thanks for the gift subscription, Joe Oliveri):
Throughout the course of the post-conciliar years, priests - how many is anyone's guess - who opposed the revolution within the Church have been sent for 'psychological evaluations'... One of the victims of this ecclesiastical gulag system recently addressed a conference of The Latin Mass... A summary is easy: an attempt was made to strip him of every traditional notion of priesthood that contributed to the formation of his vocation - including making available pornographic material to assist in his 'hang-ups' regarding sexuality.
Don't get me wrong: there is a legit use of psych exams to screen ordinands and would-be postulants of religious orders but this is so obviously an abuse. Michael Rose is probably right - it was abused to let those of the gay lifestyle in and keep the theologically Catholic out.
From Rolling Stone via blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Alabama getaway
What Dubya was doing when he was supposed to be serving in the National Guard
DM: Is aoibhinn beatha an scolaire... (Delightful is the scholar's life...)

(What fascinates me about the Gaelic above from Dave is that this example is half-Latin. Like other languages in northern Europe it got an infusion of Latin words from the Church early on.)
Follow-up to ‘My house, my house, my house is falling down’
Wednesday the contractor came and made the needed repairs so I don't have to move, thank God!

LRC picks
National Guardsmen are deserting

How science fiction can help us shape the future by nurturing imaginations

Friday, September 24, 2004

Our Lady of Ransom
Whose Roman Rite feast-day today is. The recent news of Western workers being kidnapped and executed by forces angered at the US aggression in Iraq reminded me of the inspiration of this feast: the founding in the 1200s of the Order of Mercy (O. de M. or Mercedarians) by St Peter Nolasco to ransom Christian hostages taken by the Moors by offering themselves up as substitutes. Used to know a then-novice in the order who when I asked about that told me the Mercedarians hadn't done that since at least the 1700s. Too bad. They're a sound order, still in their habits, and it seems the world could use people like them going back to their order's original purpose. (The likewise small Trinitarian order was founded in the same period and did the same thing.) I understand that Russian Orthodox Bishop Theophan of the diocese of Stavropol and the Greater Caucasus, which includes Beslan, offered to do it (or at least be a mediator) in the recent hostage siege but was turned down. Still a great witness though.

These holy men then founded
an order to set free
those Christian captives held still
in cruel slavery.
The Order of Our Lady
of Ransom would then trade
a member of their order
to free a Christian slave.

The members of this order -
the Mercedarians -
Would then try to convert all
the heathen Saracens.
These Christian men were pious
and of a goodly faith.
Our dear Lord they could never
so easily betray.

Many Christians they rescued
and sent home on their way
While they themselves did suffer
and with their lives did pay.
Their reward is in heaven
with our dear Lord above.
And there they sing with angels
to God whom they much love.
- Hymn to the tune of Ewing; words by friend Michael Ernst

I carried those children in my arms... I closed the eyes of the parents whom the terrorists killed in front of their children.
- Bishop Theophan, quoted in The Tablet

Again, I don't think the situation today is that of the Kosovo Plain, Constantinople, Granada, Lepanto or Vienna, although George W. Bush's handlers would love it if I thought it was. Again, stop propping up the Zionists in Palestine and stop stationing imperial troops in Arabia and there's no more motive for the terrorism. (As for the Caucasus, the Chechens have historical reasons to be angry - a search through this blog will give you three links that explain.) If it were a situation like the four mentioned, again, we aren't pacifists.

P.S. The Sisters of Mercy who use the Mercedarian shield for their order are no relation - they were founded in 19th-century Ireland.
From El camino real
Score one for common sense
'We're trying to form the boys to be gentlemen, and knocking a girl around on a football field is the furthest thing from that,' said Father Gerard Beck, bursar for the Society [of St Pius X]'s United States district office in Kansas City. 'Football toughens the boys and teaches them to fight for a cause within a certain structure. It's not a game for girls, and not a game for boys to play against girls. We don't want to train them to treat girls that way.'
Somewhere between the extreme of some online against all girls' sport (¿Qué?) and having girls on mixed US football teams there's a golden mean.
Eastern churches news
Russian Orthodox priest reaches out to youth at rock clubs
That's my kind of outreach: liturgically 'straight' but engaging the larger culture all at the same time

From Forum 18
On the persecution of Red China’s Eastern Orthodox minority
In China thanks to the long northern border with Russia

Serbian Orthodox Church harassed in Macedonia
LRC pick
‘I’m Being Followed by an Air Marshal’
To the tune of 'Moonshadow': I don't agree with Yusuf Islam but like and respect him

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Asperger syndrome
A whole site 'FUBU' - for us, by us - launched in July by two teenagers with AS. Wonderful! Most sites about AS are by and for parents and teachers of children with it and don't go very far in helping adults who have it.
Florida court rules against Terri Schiavo
And for husband who wants feeding tube removed
E.L Doctorow on George W. Bush
I fault this president for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our twenty-one year olds who wanted to be what they could be.

On the eve of D-day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the WMDs he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man. He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the thousand dead young men and women who wanted be what they could be. They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and father or wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance of aborted life.... they come to his desk as a political liability which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of their coffins from Iraq.

How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not regret that rather than controlling terrorism his war in Iraq has licensed it. So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought this war of his choice. He wanted to go to war and he did. He had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options but when it is the only option; you go not because you want to, but because you have to.

Yet this president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer the overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing -- to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their friends. A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate. And so he does not drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and wives and children. He is the President who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead, he does not feel for the thirty-five million of us who live in poverty, he does not feel for the forty percent who cannot afford health insurance, he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of he chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills -- it is amazing for how many people in this country this President does not feel.

But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest one percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the safety regulations for coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a-half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class. And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to our democracy is choking the life out of it.

Story on Doctorow’s Hofstra University speech
From blog correspondent John Boyden
Microwave gun to be used by US troops on Iraq rioters
Microwave weapons that cause pain without lasting injury are to be issued to American troops in Iraq for the first time as concern mounts over the growing number of civilians killed in fighting.

In another development, the Sheriffs will be fitted with Gunslinger, a rapid-fire gun currently under development that will detect enemy snipers and automatically fire back at them.
JB: Automatically firing machine gun? Great. It eliminates that cumbersome aspect of human judgement.
Anonymous submission
Whose war?
By Pat Buchanan
From March 2003
From LRC’s blog:

...speaking of Sean Hannity and neocons who think they can teach the Pope, I once heard Hannity, a self-described Catholic, say that he was confident with half-an-hour's time with the Pope, he could convince him of the righteousness of the Iraq War. I would love to be a fly on the wall at that conversation!
- Anthony Gregory

Face it veterans, the state has lied to you and used you. To die for Bush and the U.S. empire is not a noble deed, it is a tragic waste of life.
- Laurence Vance
From Donny Ferguson via Fr James Tucker and Joshua Snyder
Big government killed the American Indian
People have quickly forgotten that it wasn't "the white man," Christianity, "Western culture" or another PC boogeyman who killed off the American Indian, it was government's unchecked monopoly on violence, its ability to transfer land and wealth on behalf of others and, finally, its power to declare you its ward and attempt to provide for your everyday needs. As Clare Booth Luce warned us, if you believe government can be a great and good father to the people, just take a look at what it's done to and for the American Indian.
Also of note, among several good entries, is one yesterday: the long-known fact that the state-school teachers know their own schools suck and send their kids to private ones.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Autumnal equinox
Send me light
Send me dreaming
Send me the changing of the seasons
- Julia Macklin
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
The massacre of Mesopotamian archæology
Looting in Iraq is out of control
From Mike Russell
Pro-abortion speaker (and RC priest) at RC college
MR: I am a Villanova University graduate (1983).

I am deeply saddened (although not surprised) to know that the apostate, pro-abortion Jesuit, Fr. Robert Drinan has been invited to speak at my Augustinian alma mater on this, the feast day of the university's patron, St. Thomas of Villanova [today].

Villanova, by the way, is the university that chose actor Carol Spinney a/k/a Big Bird from "Sesame Street" (sic) as its undergraduate commencement speaker last year. No, I'm not making this up. (It would seem that the devil enjoys making fools of his servants as he drags them down into the abyss.)

I would encourage all express their "appreciation" to the misguided Fr. Edmund Dobbin. [End.]

I don't think Fr D or the other staff at Villanova will listen.

Villanova isn't a university in the real sense - more to do with job training, sport, fraternities and being a newly monied Irish-American (Kennedy wannabe) than anything that really matters.

No surprise really - except for heroic promulgations from Rome that go against mainstream society (defending the apostolic ministry against the attempted ordination of women, against abortion and contraception, and against things like the war on Iraq for example) I expect nothing from mainstream RCs including on matters regarding the Catholic faith.

To the college's credit, though, they also have invited Archbishop Desmond Tutu to speak. Granted, he isn't what he was 40 years ago and has sold out to PCness, etc., but one mustn't forget that he got started thanks to the Catholic faith - the Anglo-Catholics in South Africa such as Fr Trevor Huddleston (whose personal example got Tutu started) who for Christian reasons opposed apartheid (an idea hatched by the 'elect' Dutch Reformed Afrikaners) from its beginning in the late 1940s.
From Katolik Shinja
Gay lifestyle is a health hazard
Stating the obvious. I'd add only one caveat/disclaimer regarding the article: simply agreeing with the Catholic faith on controversial issues doesn't necessarily make one a good or even competent therapist or guarantee such a therapist can't at least passively do harm.
From David Holford
An Algerian national was released from prison two days ago. He had never been charged with anything.
It is an understatement to say that "D" is not a happy camper. If he wasn't already a terrorist, I would think the Government has given him plenty of motivation to become one.
From blog visitor John Lloyd (cacofonix)
Candidates’ speeches ignore impending US debt disaster
JL: FWIW, my view of the American Empire and its future has veered sharply southwards in the past few years, but that's a whole other freakin' collection of topics.

Anyhow: The SF Gate article I'm referencing here may be a bit outside your usual scope, but I thought you might find it interesting. I originally found this link on a blog maintained by one Claire Wolfe.

Concerning the linked item, Ms. Wolfe opines:

"THE MOST IMPORTANT THING about this very important article is that it doesn't come from a libertarian think tank or conservative economic institute. The warning is now getting out into the mainstream. Will the rest of us prepare for the looming disaster that both Kerry and Bush refuse to acknowledge?"
At the risk of belabouring the obvious, I'll mention that Claire Wolfe is a right-libertarian and apparent agnostic who holds a rather higher opinion of Ayn Rand than I do; she is not, however, a fire-breathing Objectivist. She writes regularly for Loompanics, whose catalogue you'd probably find entertaining if you're not already familiar with it. [End.]
LRC pick
Anti-boy bias in state schools
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Did Roger Stone have something to do with the CBS documents?
An interview with Desmond Tutu
CAROLE MACNEIL: I can’t help but think that you must be watching the unfolding war in Iraq and the images on TV and thinking, I can relate to what’s going on there based on what happened to you in South Africa, is that true?

DESMOND TUTU: Well yes and no. Yes I the sense that there is considerable sense of déjà vu, when you have a white master say we know what is good for you Iraqis. No in the sense that one had hoped that we would have a new paradigm of power. That something as so utterly unnecessary as war should have happened. (Couldn’t understand) unnecessary suffering that has been inflicted on a people who have been suffering over the many many years. Perhaps the one saving feature of a distressing situation has been the incredible outpouring of concern around the world. When you look at what happened on Feb 15th with people demonstrating for peace you felt proud for being human.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Happy birthday, Edward Yong
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Today, on the banks of the East River...
In Iraq, we see civilians massacred in cold blood, while relief workers, journalists and other non-combatants are taken hostage and put to death in the most barbarous fashion. At the same time, we have seen Iraqi prisoners disgracefully abused.
- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan
From Virtuosity
The death of mainline Protestantism?
On one hand good riddance but on the other there's Joe Sobran's well-written appreciation of Protestant Americans, who promoted the ideas in LRC for example.

First, however, I need to deal up front with a critical question. Are Episcopalians Protestants? The answer to this question depends a great deal on which side of the communion rail you stand. Most laity in ECUSA would claim to be Protestants especially meaning that they are not “Roman Catholics, Jews, Orthodox, Muslims, pagans or atheists.” Most clergy, however, do not consider themselves Protestants.
True. The country-club and prep-school set (of George Bush the elder for example) don't consider themselves Catholics! What the writer says of the clergy is also true as a result of Anglo-Catholicism even though the number of ACs among them is microscopic. Many of them aren't Protestants - they're Broad Churchmen, or Unitarians in vestments; some of them (like John Spong) aren't Christians.

For example, by the year 2020 (remember, this is when ECUSA is suppose to double its size) less than 20% of the population will be Christian let alone Protestant! These Christians will be made up of primarily two groups.

* First will be Roman Catholics.
* Second will be a cluster of Conservative Evangelical Churches who follow a free church/ congregational polity.
Fifteen years ago in England I saw that coming there. Probably true of the States as well.

What I want to note for this article is the possible evaporation of one value that exists in American culture and is directly related to our Protestant heritage. That value is “tolerance.” I know that “toleration” has become largely an unpopular and politically- incorrect term in today’s world. When one speaks of tolerating another person or group, it seems to have a pejorative feel about it. But toleration is one of the great contributions of American Protestantism.

With disestablishment after the American Revolution, mainline churches had to learn to live together. Under this umbrella, Jews and Catholics found a place of toleration. Granted this was often barely tolerance, but it was much better than the way they were treated in many European countries.
That nicely echoes Sobran. Again, it paved the way for the freedom that both lets the Catholic faith flourish and respects the rights of man (created in the image of God), LRC-style (one might dare say the two not only aren't mutually exclusive but 'synergistic' to use a corporate-ism), for which thanks.

On the other hand:

By the 1950s, this toleration of one another made possible the great ecumenical decade. Think of the significant fact that by the 1950s no mainline church claimed to be the “true” church. Of course, this was something all claimed even as late as the 1920s.
Quid est veritas?

- Pontius Pilatus

A down side of Protestantism and the seed of its self-destruction! And the cause of the relativism and other ills that David Virtue rightly complains about. So even conservative Protestantism is self-refuting: 'Let's re-create the situation of the 16th century (like the Elizabethan Settlement of Anglicanism) so it can fall apart all over again'.

Atheists don’t tend to be tolerant of other people’s religious views.
Illiberal liberals. True.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
On 31 August 2004, during the Republican National Convention in New York City, around 1,200 people were arrested and sent to a makeshift detention/processing center, which used to house city buses, at Pier 57. (Over 1,800 were arrested during the entire RNC.)
Police set up nasty fly trap

A detailed account of one individual's experience can be accessed here along with a good-sized archive of pictures and video footage at its conclusion.

Monday, September 20, 2004

The Catholic faith
On prayer for the dead
Q: What is to be remarked of such souls as have departed with faith, but without having had time to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance?
A: This: that they may be aided towards the attainment of a blessed resurrection by prayers offered in their behalf, especially such as are offered in union with the oblation of the Bloodless Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ, and by works of mercy done in faith for their memory.
Q: On what is this doctrine grounded?
A: On the constant tradition of the Catholic Church; the sources of which may be seen even in the Church of the Old Testament. Judas Maccabaeus offered sacrifice for his men that had fallen. (2 Macc. xii. 43) Prayer for the departed has ever formed a fixed part of the Divine Liturgy, from the first Liturgy of the Apostle James. St. Cyril of Jerusalem says: very great will be the benefit to those souls for whom prayer is offered at the moment when the holy and tremendous Sacrifice is lying in view. (Lect. Myst. v.9.)

St. Basil the Great in his prayers for Pentecost says that the Lord vouchsafes to receive from us propitiatory prayers for those that are kept in Hades, and allows us the hope of obtaining for them peace, relief and freedom.

The Catechism of the Orthodox Church, pp 68-69 [I have a copy!].

This is the old Catechism of Metropolitan Philaret from 19th-century Russia, translated into English and approved for use in North America by (the later Saint) Tikhon, Bishop of the North American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church (predecessor to the OCA)
The same great metropolitan of Moscow who wrote this:
'Mark you, I do not presume to call false any Church which believes that Jesus is the Christ. The Christian Church can only be either purely true, confessing the true and saving divine teaching without the false admixtures and pernicious opinions of men, or not purely true, mixing with the true and saving teaching of faith in Christ the false and pernicious opinions of men' (Conversation between a Seeker and a Believer Concerning the Orthodoxy of the Eastern Greco-Russian Church. Moscow 1831, pp.27-29). 'You expect now that I should give judgement concerning the other half of present Christianity,' the Metropolitan said in the concluding conversation, 'but I just simply look upon them; in part I see how the Head and Lord of the Church heals the many deep wounds of the old serpent in all the parts and limbs of his Body, applying now gentle, now strong, remedies, even fire and iron, in order to soften hardness, to draw out poison, to clean wounds, to separate out malignant growths, to restore spirit and life in the numbed and half-dead members. In this way I attest my faith that, in the end, the power of God will triumph openly over human weakness, good over evil, unity over division, life over death' (ibid., p.135).
Also in the main link in this entry is this scathing criticism, from an Eastern Orthodox (!), of a book by Fr Seraphim (Rose):
As far as The Soul After Death by Fr Serpahim (sic) Rose, this is a shoddy piece of scholarship. It makes generous use of pseudographia works, such as the the supposed writing of St. John Chrysostom called Homily on Patience and Gratitude or bogus quotes from St. Ephraim. Besides providing mistranslations of existing service books, Rose also quotes untraceable service books without providing sources. Rather than relying upon obscure, controversial sources on the after life, I prefer to stick with tried and true Patristics accepted by the whole Church, as directed by my spiritual father.

While I don't agree with all of his opinions, Fr Seraphim had a lot of good things to say. (Many of which G.K. Chesterton already said decades before while being funnier and using fewer pages.) In this book, for example, he explained what out-of-body experiences are and why one shouldn't seek them or have séances, and also - what's controversial among the Orthodox - brings up some perfectly acceptable Russian folklore (the aerial toll-houses) to explain the particular judgement that the soul goes through shortly after death ...before going to heaven, hell or the intermediate state (known in Roman Catholic theology of course as purgatory). This state is also called hades (as Met. Philaret calls it) or sheol, not to be confused with hell (gehenna).
Quick exit from Iraq likely
Thinks Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak
From Mike Russell
Bushido: the way of the armchair warrior
LRC picks
From a soldier in Iraq: we cannot win this war

British spy offed Rasputin
Rasputin, the influential pro-peace monk, wanted Russia out of WWI, so a British spy killed him.
Grigorij Efimovich wasn't and never was a monk - he was married! - but he was right about keeping Russia out of World War I. The tsar didn't listen and it killed him.

Uncle Sam’s shrine to Lincoln

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Downing Street
‘Only one side to be on’ with Iraq
And he isn't on it
The Catholic faith
A story about the Real Presence
This week’s Byzantine Rite saint (Julian reckoning)
St Joasaph of Belgorod
17th September: a bishop and a gentleman

In Russian
Иоасафовские торжества пройдут в Белгороде
As this is the 250th anniversary of his death his relics are going on a tour of the Orthodox diocese of Belgorod and Staro-Oskol’.
Today’s Roman Rite saint
St Januarius

Miracle in Naples today goes off as usual (in Italian)
A sign of God's favour for the next year

Festa in New York’s Little Italy
The heart of which is Mulberry Street, in which is St Michael's Russian Catholic Church, a fantastic little place and if I recall rightly where our own Dave McLaughlin worships
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Follow-up to ‘Laura Bush speech interrupted by dead soldier’s mother’:

Score one for free speech
And for a real great American, Sue Sapir-Niederer

‘Prophet of Profit’?

God speaks through me.
- Current Occupant of the White House, George W. Bush, 16th July, 2004

DM: So, I suppose that the Bushling would have us believe that Almighty God...

1.) cannot pronounce simple words.
2.) is incapable of mastering linquistic syntax
3.) salivates over carpet-bombing
4.) is a liar.

Et multi pseudoprophetæ surgent et seducent multos.
- Matt. XXIV: 11

More on the Bush quotation from Lee Penn:

There are several stories about this; if it is true, it's a keeper for those compiling data on juicy "God's Own Party" quotations.

For the record, I think that Bush said it ... the report in the Mennonite newspaper is convincing to me - despite the White House denial.

At the end of this collection of stories, there is a roundup story from the History News Network, about Bush's claims to a direct line of communication with "God."

Kyrie eleison.

- Lee

What's doubly appalling is Mr Bush said this apparently in his handlers' effort to try to trick the Amish into voting for him - the war on Iraq goes against everything the Amish, and we, stand for.

Milking your sources

Here is The Washington Post's report on the White House denial:

The Kerry campaign’s one-word weapon

The president who talks to God ... Hello? Hello?

Back to Dave:

This is clever....
DM: This animation was produced by the Sojourners, a community of Evangelical Christians -- the nice kind... [End.]

Well done!

Very scary actual quotations from televangelists.

I don't think I'd be quite so generous in describing Sojourners, though, who are more like well-meaning mainline Protestants who, as they do here, get some of the Christian message right but, like the religious right 'rewriting scripture' in this well-done Flash cartoon (which is much like Mark Fiore's excellent work you can enjoy by clicking his link in our menu on the right-hand side of this page), in their mission statement on their magazine's masthead they disdain 'old dogmas' of the Catholic faith. At least Jim Wallis is prolife.
From Mark Shea
The parable of Ranji

Navigating left and right as a Catholic in the culture of death
Which we of course also apply to the war on Iraq
LRC pick
Iraq for the Iraqis
The rebels are winning and the neocons are losing
The difference between information and knowledge is the difference between Christy Turlington's phone number and Christy Turlington.
- P.J. O'Rourke

Saturday, September 18, 2004

For the 1-in-1,000th visitor who reads Russian
Иван Грозный наступает сегодня
Буря, бывший ураган, не царь! Утра здесь идел много дождь а не ветер.
From Culture Wars via LRC
The demand for unconditional surrender
John Dombrowski on a great war crime
Or how FDR and Churchill rebuffed heroic German attempts to overthrow Hitler and negotiate a peace that could have saved much of Europe - the half of Catholic Europe they gave to Stalin at Yalta.

Pope Pius XII in June, 1944... explained...that he considered the demand for "unconditional surrender" incompatible with Christian doctrine.
From blogforlovers
The Melkite church in Paris
C'est magnifique! Our own Samer al-Batal is a lifelong Melkite.

I understand the historic 19th-century Anglo-Catholic and Gothic Revival church St Barnabas, Pimlico in London (now combined with the living of another, rather different Anglo-Catholic place, St Mary's, Bourne Street) is similary used by the Melkites now, which makes sense as St B's has a rood screen! (Source of this info: Edward Yong, sometimes of London.)
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Québec to start granting late-term abortions in local clinic
Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer

UN agency warns of Africa locust crisis
S al-B: Long ago, I experienced a period of locust swarms. Those buggers make quite the audible splat when they crash like a tidal wave into the car windscreen.

Echoing the Byzantine Divine Liturgy, "For favourable weather, an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and temperate seasons, let us pray to the Lord."

Via Drudge Report:

Orthodox Jews offended by Madonna’s Kabbalah ties
As they probably should be, just like the bindi fad offended real Hindus

In the eyes of Rabbi Bazri, whose father was one of Jerusalem's most renowned Kabbalists, the material girl can't be in the club. But the real Kabbalah appears to have little to do with the new age phenomenon packaged and sold, often at a hefty price, by the Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre.
S al-B: No different than the Buddhism marketed in North America, a far cry from what the monks of Tibet follow and practise.

As for sincerity, forgive me for not seeing it in the case of the woman who appropriates a segment of sacred music (Good Friday's 'Today is Hung Upon the Tree' sung [hyperlink {access the link and choose 'El Yom Olliqa'}] by the Lebanese Fairuz, recordings of which you can still hear being played from the windows and balconies in the streets of the Christian quarters of Damascus every Easter season) and inserts it into the background of a song expounding on her starved libido.

[I never would have described Mrs Ritchie's libido as starved.]

S al-B: Maybe her new spiritual awakening will prompt her to take the opportunity this visit to right a wrong by crossing the border into Lebanon and begging for forgiveness on her knees from a woman who has known the horrors of a bloody civil war, clinging to her faith for sustenance during that intensely difficult time, and who undoubtedly did not expect her voice to be used for this egotistical (hyperlink to old ’91 Sobran column) celebrity's obscenely undignified purpose. [End.]

I don't pay much attention to the Material Girl - to me, she's, like, so 1984, but good points. (And wasn't she trying to be Mary Poppins recently, writing an English-themed children's book?)

I understand that recently Britney Spears (see her bit in Fahrenheit 9/11!) was playing with this.
From blogforlovers
The roots of Pentecostal scandals: romanticism gone to seed
The sexual stumblings of prominent ministers point to a hidden flaw in Pentecostal spirituality
Or a natural consequence of Protestant individualism gone too far?

New monasteries and convents in France (and a new one in an old site, Liseux)
I like them! Recollected, Godward and lively.

Related to this...

Acceptable modern stuff
One link is from Ship of Fools, another from a discussion/argument I had yesterday on a mainstream RC board I pop into now and then.

Note the modern-art priest is facing the right direction, and in a church with a decent mediæval Italian-looking reredos too. Very 'legit liturgical-movement'.

Note the sanctuary in the second pic even has a cushion for kneeling Communion. I understand the incumbent there is responsible for the nice appointments, bringing the place up the candle.

All these (including the monastic communities?) need is the 1965 missal as the default...

Friday, September 17, 2004

Update to ‘My house, my house, my house is falling down’
The landlord finally let a plumber I chose come in and have a look. He found the cause of the problem in minutes. Turns out what caused the ceiling to rot and cave in wasn't a bad pipe but a crack in the wall - worn-out grouting. A contractor is supposed to come round next week - I'll know after that (if he makes the necessary repairs) if I have to move. The front windows leak and need sealing too.

The landlord's choice of plumber (they came about a fortnight ago) made the hole in my ceiling even bigger and replaced drains needlessly - by so doing they caused a ceiling cave-in and leak in the rooms behind mine. Brilliant. These Jamaicans were as good at plumbing and home improvement as their country's bobsled team were at winning medals in the Olympics.
LRC picks
Why invading Iran is a bad idea

On the US assault-weapons ban

This got my attention because thanks to a friend years ago who was a gun dealer I got to fire an AR-15 on the range once, which was pretty cool. As for gun control, I don't know. There may be more than one right answer depending on the situation. (Just like 'A monarchy or a republic?') In Britain IIRC most people aren't allowed to have them (which I'm sure doesn't stop criminals) and the police famously don't carry them. Sounds good... And people there think American cities are all like the Wild West with gun-battles in many of the streets every day. (To be fair there have been two shootings in the town I live in during the four years I've been here, one 'domestic dispute' and a gang-related murder.) I like the pro-Second Amendment Americans, not at all criminal types. But I wonder - other than for serious self-defence who needs full-auto rifles? (BTW, I don't think private militias are per se a bad idea.)
From the Ship of Fools
Eastern Orthodox church in Belfast
Reminds me of acquaintance Archimandrite Serge (Keleher) in Dublin, Ireland's lone Byzantine Catholic priest (he is Russian Catholic and speaks Gaelic like our Dave McLaughlin). He serves a congregation of Ukrainian immigrant workers in that city.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Russian girl who clutched cross recovering
Слава Богу. Кресту твоему покланяемся, Владыко, и святое воскресение твое славим.
From the Ship of Fools
Was the US Civil War (War of the Northern Aggression) a replay of the English one?
Laura Bush speech interrupted by dead soldier’s mother
Her T-shirt said it all: 'Bush killed my son'.

Dave McLaughlin:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
- 1st Amendment, United States Constitution

I was privileged to meet Ms. Niederer last April here in New York... [End.]
LRC picks
How the US was tricked into World Wars I & II
I knew much of this about the Lusitania and of course the run-up to Pearl Harbor but didn't about 'Intrepid' specifically (but did about British spies in general manipulating Americans) or the real reason why Germany declared war on the US after Pearl Harbor - read and learn.

Bush has clearly delivered the goods for bin Laden

Community as it should be
Not only Catholic countries but a 'natural' one like traditional Japan were/are like this. Of course sustaining a culture like this is hard in places like secularized Britain and well nigh impossible in middle-class America, not only de-churched but destabilized with corporate wage-slaves moving from town to town, region to region, uprooting the family every few years. Reminds me of what old friend Mark Bonocore said about there being no 'generation gap' among the ancient-minded (like he proudly said he was), recently departed historian William Manchester in Goodbye, Darkness about life in America before the postwar baby boom and the 'brooding influence of the peer group' (or partly why the 20-somes I work with almost to a person aren't very nice*) and of course that great quotation (from Frances McDormand's character) in Almost Famous about adolescence being a marketing invention.

*Those in their 50s on up, even if they're 180 me in their beliefs (like a late journo for 40 years who was a 'lapsed Unitarian'), are - courteous older generations. It's like night and day.
From El camino real
Objections to the Constitution Party
Or why I'm a registered Libertarian instead, which I am fairly sure Jeff Culbreath would have other objections to, but so be it.

...the United States was never a "biblical" republic, and since we are Catholics -- that is, Christians of the New Covenant -- we don't want to live in some dour Calvinistic hell-hole "rooted in Biblical law".
A punto. Strip away the CP's protty religious-right rhetoric and the absolutizing of other opinions objected to in that entry and you get a peaceful republic in which the faith has the freedom to flourish - a libertarian position.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

A gay first
Canada grants first same-sex divorce
Bet that milestone won't be commemorated at any Pride Weeks
Well-deserved honour
New York renames small street after ‘Law & Order’
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Colin Powell in four-letter neo-con ‘crazies’ row

A furious row has broken out over claims in a new book by BBC broadcaster James Naughtie that US Secretary of State Colin Powell described neo-conservatives in the Bush administration as 'fucking crazies' during the build-up to war in Iraq.
DM: I couldn't have said it better myself.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal

Priest Yohana Ayub (left) holds a cross for worshippers to kiss during the ceremony for the Holy Cross Day. Allison Long / KRT

Iraqi Christians determined not to be driven away by attacks
S al-B: Many of them are crossing into Syria. From my recent visit, it appears that they form the majority of Iraqis seeking refuge in the country.

As always, the press gets things mixed up identifying the Churches of this region. The article displays confusion as to whether the church of St Bahnam and Sheik Matti is Assyrian (Church of the East) or Syrian Orthodox [Oriental, not Eastern Orthodox], though judging by the name and pictures, I'd say the former. A nice selection of photos in this article.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Samer wrote all of the following in this entry.

To supplement what has already been posted about the Apache strikes in Baghdad's Haifa Street, here's a reporter, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, giving his eye-witness account of the events:

A reporter’s proximity to the recent carnage in Iraq

I reached a building entrance when someone grabbed my arm and took me inside. "There's an injured man. Take pictures - show the world the American democracy," he said.
The next link (via provides access to graphic pictures. Select page 2 (that number may change as new pictures are added) and look for pictures captioned with 'Civilians Killed as Dawn Battle Erupts in Baghdad'.

Two picks from Ha'aretz:

Vatican: Poraz to resolve visa problem for RC clergy
Earlier this year, the RC patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, said the visa issue involved the survival of the Church in the Holy Land and warned it could lead to a complete paralysis.

There exist Israeli elements even more extreme than Sharon, apparently to the point of harbouring homicidal tendencies against him.

Rabbi says would hold Kabbalah ritual calling for PM’s death
Dayan conducted such a ceremony targeting former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin prior to his assassination in 1995.

It seems to work.

Eric Margolis has a book recommendation: Imperial Hubris: Why The West is Losing the War on Terror, by Michael Scheuer, a senior terrorism analyst for the CIA:

Why West is losing

Two good samples of political commentary:

Israel’s role in the genesis of Hamas

And this next one, better by far in content, length, and thoroughness (and very deserving of blogspace): Syria's strategic moves and its dialogue with the United States put into perspective and examined within the contexts of Syria's moves during the recent political maelstrom in Lebanon vis a vis the extension of President Lah'houd's term, and of the cardinal political quality and characteristic (almost a mystical concept) that leaders in that part of the world aim and are expected to embody: za'amah. The parallels between Syria's behaviour and that of the late Egyptian President Sadat are also explored. Joshua M. Landis' essay of a blog entry - very informative for those unfamiliar with the complexities of Middle Eastern geopolitics - can be found here.

Next are two articles via

From my neck of the woods:

Unfaithful Québec:

‘Catholic’ Québec leading Canada to abandon religion?
The silver lining I should draw attention to is that despite the fact that Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, the archbishop of Montréal, is quite liberal, there is a daily Indult Tridentine Mass available in one parish church in this city (permission for which I understand is very difficult to obtain). With the magnificent basilicas and churches this city still has (at least the ones that haven't been sold; Concordia University for example recently bought a large piece of Church property), all it would take to get the churches packed is permission to celebrate the traditional Roman Mass every day for one week in every major basilica (complemented with groups of professional cantors [the choir makes or breaks any liturgical ceremony; not a petty concern, and any clod knows that] and a strong and carefully planned advertising campaign).

[Editor's note: I've been to Québec, 17 years ago. My only time so far, besides of course being in England, in what used to be a Catholic country - strange mix of cultural artefacts as recent as the 1950s (from a crucifix in the centre of a modern housing estate to the shrines of Our Lady at Cap de la Madeleine, where I met a Latinless Québecois priest, and Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré) with virulent anticlericalism as heard from a beautiful guide in Québec City. Yes, partly blame the times and the larger culture but maybe like I understand it is in France and Italy (comments, John Boyden?) it may be a case of reaction to clerical abuses past and 'familiarity breeds contempt'.]

Priests fight for soul of Bulgarian church
On the regrettable situation of the Church of Bulgaria. Apparently, following the fall of the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc, communism left its mark behind in Church politics: its potential to create schisms and divisions by being used as a charge and accusation. Patriarch Maxim is Bulgaria's rightful patriarch as recognised universally by the senior hierarchs of the Orthodox Church.

Pope Shenouda III on the feast of the cross
Though the Copts have yet to celebrate their feast this month (which commemorates the day St Constantine saw his famous apparition rather than the discovery of the True Cross by St Helena, the memory of that event being celebrated during March), I think we'll benefit in appropriating His Holiness' writings on the subject of the feast, which are replete with scriptural references.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Still more Eastern churches stuff
From David Chiang
A visit to Lee Penn’s church
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Ambulance torn apart in Fallujah as US launches ‘precision’ strikes
Eastern churches news
Freak explosion flattens Ukrainian Catholic church in Connecticut
Господу помолимся: Господи, помилуй.

Nobody was hurt: Fr Cyril, his wife and son got out of the rectory next door just in time. The propane tanks used for cooking may have caused it.

To help Fr Cyril and his congregation rebuild, send money to:

St Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church
178, Linwood Ave.
CT 06415

‘It’s... THE BISHOP!’
The apostolic ministry in action
An ordinand is blessed by Bishop Nikolai to wear the cassock (подрясник), St Herman's Seminary, Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska

The Orthodox Church: Russia’s gift to Alaska
The Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska has survived régime change and shameful attempts to protestantize the natives, some of whom are Russian-Aleut creoles. The track record of Catholic colonies isn't perfect but note, as the article says, that instead of killing and interning the natives like the Protestants did, the Russians, like the Spanish, intermarried with them.
From Maired Sullivan via blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Circle of accountability
By Andrew Meier, Sherry Jones and Bill Moyers
From blogforlovers
More on the gay-priest scandal
Memo to at least one sex-offender ex-priest: come clean, at least to yourself, about what you did.

Rod Dreher tells the truth, echoing our own Lee Penn.

If one comes clean, one has nothing to fear from people like Messrs Dreher and Penn.

‘Icons are hip right now’
Among mainstream RCs, to quote old friend Brendan Ross, and Gerard's travels in France confirm that (the beautiful crucifix in Mantes cathedral shown here for example - happy feast-day of the Holy Cross by the way). Of course contra Gerard they are widely used by a living community, the churches of the Orthodox tradition they come from. The trouble with 'icons are hip' is that the rest of the objective, Godward, Catholic worldview contained in the Byzantine Rite, as it is in the Roman Mass and office, isn't recovered as well.
LRC picks
Japan could not invade the US
Vox Day rubbishes the hateful Michelle Malkin's neocon lies for FDR's race gulag

10 questions for Michelle Malkin
More on World War II

The myth of ‘the Old Republic’

As I have become more and more radicalized, my mind has opened more and more. It’s been extremely rewarding, at least intellectually. Far from closing my mind to those who disagree with me on fundamental issues, I have instead become more open to the thoughts of those who I once thought were enemies of true morality and civilization. The reason for this is that, the more I discover that what I’ve been taught is a bunch of lies, the easier it is to investigate with an open mind the ideas that the Establishment scorns.

I know more about, understand, and appreciate, Objectivism, Roman Catholicism, and the conservative Reformed faith, since I became a libertarian. I also appreciate points of view from Pat Buchanan to Gore Vidal to Noam Chomsky – all of whom I once wrote off as racists and/or communists. Why did I write them off? Because I was told to do so. I don’t mean "ordered" or "coerced" into doing so, but that respectable conservatism would condemn Buchanan and scorn Vidal and Chomsky.
A punto.

Monday, September 13, 2004

From The Gutless Pacifist and LRC’s blog
US helicopter fires on Iraqi crowd, kills Palestinian al-Arabiya reporter


Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer
The Catholic faith
The right kind of predestination
Not the double kind of the Calvinists. A reason for hope:

To say that there exist probable signs of predestination which exclude all excessive anxiety is not against her teaching. The following are some of the criteria set down by the theologians: purity of heart, pleasure in prayer, patience in suffering, frequent reception of the sacraments, love of Christ and His Church, devotion to the Mother of God, etc.
Eastern churches trivia
Reason why the Jordanville Prayer Book is the gold standard of Russian Orthodox prayer books in English
And goes well with the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer psalter by Miles Coverdale: an Englishman, Fr Lazarus Moore, translated it!

(Source: Yahoo! Groups Ustav list)
Eastern churches news
Epilogue to ‘Pope killed in helicopter crash’:

Greek air force chief sacked for search delay
How to cover a hurricane for TV news
LRC picks
On Catholicism vs. Protestantism, or southern/eastern vs. northern Europe:

Mexicans and gringos have distinctly different views of the United States. An American explaining the attractiveness of his country will usually say, "I have a big house in the suburbs, three cars, a home theater, and 300 channels on the cable. I can drink the water, and in the mall I can buy anything, absolutely anything." He may talk of freedom and democracy, often having only the vaguest idea of whether he actually has them or what conditions might be in other countries.

A Mexican is more likely to say, "They are such a cold people. They don't know their neighbors. They don't know their children. They have no fiestas. Rules and being on time are more important to them than other people. They have no religion." (To a robust Catholic, bland agnostic Protestantism isn't detectibly a religion.) Democracy means little to an illegal with a second-grade education; in any event, Mexico is probably as democratic as the United States. He knows the government left him alone in Mexico, which is his definition of freedom. And mine.
A ‘peace’ bloodier than war
By Pat Buchanan
From visitor Jennifer Ayoub, a Palestinian-American
Two from blog favourite Justin Raimondo:

Rage against the machine

Neoconservatism and espionage

From the end of Jennifer's e-mail message:

Alternative Perspective Media

Zionism is racism, anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism.
(For one thing the Arabs are Semites. The ruling Jews are Europeans.)

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Eastern churches news
Pope killed in helicopter crash
Along with other bishops and priests: вечная память. Helicopters are a very dangerous way to travel - more so than aeroplanes.

But John Paul II is still with us. You see, there are four patriarchates that use the title, one in Rome and the other three representing the first see to use the title, that of Alexandria, Egypt (they're now in Cairo, much like the several patriarchs of Antioch in Samer al-Batal's Syria really live in Damascus). The actual head of the Church of Egypt or Coptic Church is Pope Shenouda III, who as far as I know enjoys friendly relations with his opposite number in Italy. (The Copts are the native Egyptians, the same ethnic group as the pharoahs.) And the small Coptic Catholic Church's patriarch has the same title, as does the patriarch of Egypt's small Greek Orthodox community (where the notorious Vassula Ryden came from, by the way) - the man, Pope Peter VII, killed en route to Mount Athos in Greece.