Monday, October 31, 2005

From Fr Joseph Huneycutt
Happy Deformation Day
In the US — the happy hunting-ground of sectarianism — Protestantism is changing as the mainline version is dying
From blog member Lee Penn
NSA keeps Tonkin Gulf study classified
Lee: It makes the Vietnam escalation pretext look as empty as the excuse we used to invade Iraq.
Eastern churches
From Bernard Brandt

Why he has been a Russian Catholic for 18 years
Fleeing the Novus Ordo was a lot to do with it

On Byzantine Catholic message boards, and not only quasi-official ones, you’re not supposed to talk about that. Do and you’ll be shouted down and/or banned.

It’s fashionable to look down on traditionalists there: if a ‘trad’ doesn’t become Eastern then his sincerity and character are questioned for that and they write as though he’s not welcome in their churches*, but if you do really learn their rite and one or more of their cultures, and continue to criticise the NO, you’re damned anyway, accused of preaching schism, as late high-church BC worthies like Blessed Leonty (Feodorov) and Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky) were in some quarters — worthies the online BCs give lip service to but actually dishonour. They really sound like Novus Ordoites playing Eastern. More a problem of the Ruthenians and Ukrainians than any of the others.

Either way if you admit you are fleeing it you’re accused of not really caring about the Christian East. Of course the two issues — fleeing spiritual harm and caring about the East — aren’t mutually exclusive as Bernard shows. It takes a lot of dedication to the Orthodox tradition to be a Russian Catholic. Any real conversion has both positive and negative elements to it: being discriminating and judgemental (horrors!), a rejection of one thing and an acceptance of another.

Perfect solutions are found only на небесах but despite the anti-trad online saddos not only the exemplary Russian Catholic and Melkite churches but other BC churches are sturdy refuges for Catholics (as opposed to ‘Catholics’) in the US.

Слава Богу!

*They start from the correct premise of defending the integrity of the rite from attempts to hybridise it but refugee trads are presumed guilty of that with no appeal.
LRC pick
Bully ‘Cops’
As seen on American TV: entertainment* meant to scare the proles into submission backfires in Japan

The Anglo cops speaking dog Spanish are fun.

*The kind that’s a jump removed from gladiatorial games and snuff porn.
From The Gaelic Starover
Quotations from Eastern saints on peace
LRC blog picks
Scooter Libby: well, we knew that

Slavery in the American North

From Civil War/Lincoln myth-buster Thomas DiLorenzo

What’s wrong with Patrick Fitzgerald
From The New Criterion
A stage musical about John Lennon: my God, this sounds like a train wreck

For the most part the writer twigs both what was cool about Lennon and what was wrong with him but Mr Steyn’s unfair about ‘Imagine’ in one way: it’s dangerous because it’s a beautiful song, not contrived. Always hated it.

Mining boomer nostalgia:
You’ll recall that, in the days after 9/11, the first clue that the righteous anger of the national mood was unlikely to last was when the all-star all-network fundraiser decided to go with “Imagine,” the perfect post-national anthem for cotton-candy nihilists: “Imagine there’s no heaven/ It’s easy if you try/ No hell below us.”

Oh, I hope that’s not so, if only because I like to think, in one or the other, John Lennon’s looking down or up on this show and roaring his head off.

The subject of this biotuner would, I’m sure, despise this show—not because of the hard sheen of its showbiz opportunism but because its reverential sentimentality is ...
Exactly what I thought when Anthology came out and Sir Paul doctored one of John’s demos with some treacle to do ‘Free as a Bird’. The sort of thing Lennon would have had nothing to do with.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Roman Mass
Hallowed Ground
Jeff Culbreath and I differ on lots of things — evolution, the war on Iraq, Mr Bush and his minders, women wearing trousers* — but not this:

Why manly men think the Roman Mass is better
Than most mainstream Western churches

*‘No enemies to the right’ in religion is a fallacy: many in ‘tradsville’ as my girlfriend calls the scene (based on firsthand experience) are, regrettably, barking mad.
Harry Reid to Karl Rove: ‘Quit’
From Katolik Shinja
On conviction vs opinion
Jeff Culbreath on the secular world’s hypocrisy, with a Catholic classic quotation:
The world, of course, confuses opinion with conviction. We Catholics must hold the revealed truths of the Faith (and their many corollaries) with unwavering ferocity. Yet the world isn't going to cooperate: we're expected to be indifferentists when it comes to religion but fierce partisans when it comes to sports or economics or SUVs. T.S. Eliot was right when he said "The world is soft where the Church is hard, and the world is hard where the Church is soft."
From the comments
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.
From The Gaelic Starover
The war and the indictment: Rosie O’Donnell gets it
She has a blog
From Huw Raphael
Hell reconsidered
Music: October Project, ‘Wall of Silence’

Not that I claim to live up to this standard but well done.
Hell is rather like C.S. Lewis imagined in The Great Divorce: a wide "community" of people slowly, by self-made choices, drifting further and further apart until each of us has a house alone in the darkness in which we can pace and plot and never reach each other ever again. Hell is like Oakland: there is no there, there. But the "there" that is absent is the divinely given human heart of Love. It is a absence made present in my own lack of Love, in my own ego.

As it stood for decades: Father, forgive
Salve, Regina,
Mater misericordiæ,
vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Hevæ.
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hac lacrymarum valle...
Dresden has rebuilt Church of Our Lady
Which interestingly is Lutheran
Hurricane Beta
Why the jump from Wilma to Alpha? Why not have 26 names prepared and have Hurricanes Xenia, Yolanda and Zeno? Probably not enough names starting with those letters and the official namers can’t reuse names.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Viva el Cristo Rey
By Michael Davies

On the social kingship of Christ
LRC blog pick
Interview with former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter
Here is a summary
From Mark Shea
Canadian government caught funding anti-Christian (including anti-Catholic) bigotry; minister won’t apologise
If only John Diefenbaker and his Tories had won the day more than 40 years ago — there’d be no silly beer-bottle-logo flag and none of this
From Cacœthes Scribendi
LED may replace the conventional light bulb
Three from LRC
Now that Scooter is taking the blame...
Here’s more from Justin Raimondo

A British hero
RAF officer Malcolm Kendall-Smith refuses to return to Iraq
To initiate a war of aggression... is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
- The 1945 Nuremberg Charter

Crying racism where none is
From John Treat
The McGovern resolution
A good piece of legislation being introduced in the US to cut off funding for the Iraq war

(A tip of the biretta to the AFSC.)

Friday, October 28, 2005

Why Spong is wrong
If he had any honour he’d have quit like James Pike did
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt
Tom DeLay’s bad religion
I don’t understand the Photoshopped jab at the Pope but this is an informative entry
DeLay is also a self-declared member of the Christian Zionists, an End-Time faction numbering 20 million Americans. Christian Zionists believe that the 1948 creation of the state of Israel marked the first event in what author Hal Lindsey calls the "countdown to Armageddon" and they are committed to making that doomsday clock tick faster, speeding Christ's return.
A history of the King James Bible
By LRC writer Laurence Vance
From the middle of the seventeenth century, the King's Bible has been the acknowledged Bible of the English-speaking nations throughout the world simply because it is the best.
And Fr Joseph’s parody of what the average semi-churched, no-popery Anglo-American believes.

You don’t have to take Dr Vance’s word for it: read the KJV yourself as it’s in my links, a complete original Anglican version with the deuterocanonicals/Apocrypha, a Catholic Bible (not the Protestant version you usually find in shops).

It and the Prayer Book are the English standard.

For commentary get an old Roman Catholic Douay/Confraternity Bible and for help with the language if needed there’s the Revised Standard Version.
LRC pick
Condi tells the truth
And so Wilsonianism will come full circle. Wilson lied America into World War I, with fables of German soldiers bayonetting Belgian babies. The result was Lenin, Hitler and World War II. But the experience did give America a lesson in minding her own business and, for a time, a foreign policy for Americans (first). This time, Wilsonianism will give us a vastly disordered Middle East, the greatest Islamic victory since the fall of Constantinople and oil prices that might make the Trabant America’s best-selling car. Will it also give us, again, a foreign policy for Americans, as Senator Robert A. Taft put it? We can hope, we can hope.
- Military expert William Lind
From Bruce Schmoetzer
Internet Explorer can give away your credit-card number without your knowing it
Another reason to switch to Firefox

Thursday, October 27, 2005

From Mark Shea
The prophetic G.K. Chesterton
In 1920 he had it sussed
Bush lied, 2,000 died
The peace march in New York this week
Eastern churches

Moscow-ROCOR reunion to happen next year
Хорошо. Here’s more from Fr Andrew Phillips*.

From The New Liturgical Movement
The Byzantine Rite holy table and antimension

*Some people have told me that RedNova has glommed onto either my blog or its HaloScan comments. That’s a problem with Fr Andrew’s site as well.
Miers withdraws
Yes! Finally a public defeat for Mr Bush’s minders.
From sixsixfive
It’s that time of year
Revisiting an old favourite: a public-service announcement for Halloween

A good Catholic article on the subject
I understand the fear of the occult but this is far better than Guy Fawkes Day coming up (celebrating anti-popery with bonfires and firecrackers)

The bonfires are fun though...

The last hours of Latimer and Ridley
Ab illo + benedicaris, in cujus honore cremaberis. Amen.

For the irony-challenged: just kidding!
Anglican doings
Is Anglicanism Catholic?
And what does that mean anyway? As the Global South bishops meet in Egypt and the good fathers of Forward in Faith meet in the UK, Andy of All Too Common asked this perennial question, starting two lively comments-thread discussions (here’s the other one).
Some thoughts on marriage
First from the good C.S. Lewis, who famously fell in love and was married late in his life:
As I have said, I am not married myself, but as far as I can see, even a woman who wants to be the head of her own house does not usually admire the same state of things when she finds it going on next door. She is much more likely to say ‘Poor Mr. X! Why he allows that appalling woman to boss him about the way she does is more than I can imagine.’ I do not think she is even very flattered if anyone mentions the fact of her own ‘headship’. There must be something unnatural about the rule of wives over husbands, because the wives themselves are half ashamed of it and despise the husbands whom they rule.
Nicely balanced out by Fr Anthony Chadwick:
My God! I winced on reading this on a Roman Catholic traditionalist forum:
When a wife is right and her husband is wrong, the wife must still obey. Even if in time, the husband amends his error and re-directs his family to the wife's recommended path, that does not change the natural order of authority. So it is with the order of obedience between the Supreme Pontiff and the faithful (including Monsignors, Bishops, and Cardinals).
[The Nuremberg way. This is the evil of clericalism, not the good that is sacerdotalism. Even vowed religious don’t obey their superiors if ordered to sin (remember Audrey Hepburn in The Nun’s Story?) And isn’t this how the gay-priest scandal became such a big problem?]
I would find it difficult to believe that the person writing such tripe is married (if so I pity his wife!)*. I would compare the obedience of family life with that of the priests of the Oratory of St Philip: the give and take of community life comes from profound love of God and of the other members of the community. When love in marriage is true, sanctified by the Sacrament of Matrimony, the man and the woman fuse together in love and care for each others' needs. A man doesn't need to tell his wife what to do, because she already knows what needs to be done. Everything is decided in common in one heart and one mind.
From the same entry in Mere Comments
Alan Jacobs on Lewis and the attempted ordination of women
Arguments for the ordination of women were then rarely made by people committed to traditional Christian orthodoxy; that is why he brings into the argument the different question of whether it is appropriate to speak of God as ‘Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’. He assumes that people who want women to be ordained will also have serious reservations about all sorts of other beliefs that have historically constituted orthodoxy and that if we follow their recommendations we will find that we have ‘embarked on a different religion’ than Christianity.
Jack was right on that one.

*A Catholic friend, a happily married man, says when he sees some man online rabbiting on about male headship he imagines that saddo’s wife is probably having it off with the UPS delivery guy.
From Verbum ipsum
On religion and politics
...I must say, after returning from working in Mississippi last week with 300 United Methodist preachers, if you have a hurricane blow through your town, totally destroy your life and make you want to kill yourself because you’ve lost everything, you will be a lot better served by Christian people than you will be served by FEMA or the Red Cross! The government has a way of killing so many things that it touches. There are things that we’ve allowed the government to do that people of faith can do better.
Defending Christendom
[Anglican theologian Oliver] O'Donovan's notion of Christendom is a lot different from that of, say, Pat Robertson. For starters, it would be committed to a robust notion of social justice, and it would refrain from the oppression of non-Christian minorities because it's Christian, not out of a liberal commitment to "neutrality" or secularism.
The authentic Catholic position. T.S. Eliot, Dorothy Day and Trevor Huddleston are looking down and smiling.
LRC pick
Was Russell Kirk wrong?
Gasp! Maybe he was in calling classical liberalism (in itself good) ‘conservatism’ (different but also in itself good). The l- and c-words, one can say, have relative meanings anyway but today in common discourse the c-word has been dragged so far leftwards that it’s all but meaningless (as if the title of this blog meant we were on the side of Mr Bush and Faux News and their big-government politics and warmongering).

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Eastern churches
An interview with a Byzantine Catholic priest
Fr Thomas Loya speaks on an Orthodox online radio programme to presenter Fr John Schroedel (background information)

Well done! Слава Богу!

About the only thing he doesn’t talk about here (and he covers the rest very well), because it’s politically incorrect and perhaps job-threatening so to do, is that many of the born RCs making up the majority of and keeping afloat* many Ruthenian and other BC churches are fleeing the Novus Ordo, whether the refugees end up high-church** восточники like Fr Thomas*** or not. If not for them, chances are they wouldn’t (still) have a lot of their churches because they’re losing their third- and fourth-generation ethnics through assimilation including ‘marrying out’.

Archimandrite Serge (Keleher) isn’t afraid of telling it like it is, however; he’s been published criticising the NO and not falling into the PC thing of looking down on refugee traditionalists.

Fr Thomas, a pastor interested in evangelism, has got his own online radio show.

Clifton Healy on icons

*Especially in non-Slavic areas like the American Southwest.

**Orthodoxising: nec plus, nec minus, nec aliter as St Pius X told the Russian Catholics to do. Often it’s the newcomers who end up doing this much more than the ethnics.

***An ethnic Ruthenian born into the church — I know a relation of his, also a Ruthenian priest.
From The Onion
Trick-or-treaters to be subject to random bag searches
From truthout
Bring them home
By US Sen. Patrick Leahy
The gay-priest scandal
So bad in Philadelphia now that the paper has a page dedicated to it (use bugmenot for this and the next two links):

Most priests, innocent of this scandal, are grieving
Despite the Novus Ordo and shock after shock, such as this longtime charismatist fraud* now in the dragnet for ‘enabling’ these crimes decades ago, most priests are good, like the one I’ll call ‘the Monsignor’, who in the box and his weekly bulletins gave me Tridentine moral theology, something to set my conscience to, which 20 years on I’ll still got ‘on board and in use’, passed down to me like an old car that’s been kept in perfect running condition.

(I can take that analogy further and say that the English tolerant conservatism of men like Fr Peter Laister taught me how to drive it in heavy traffic.)

Even if he hasn’t got somebody like the Monsignor to teach him, a literate teenager can get more, actually learning the gospel and other parts of the Catholic faith, from poring through a circa-1960 St Joseph’s Sunday Missal, which explains the meaning of every Sunday’s gospel reading in terms of the old religion but written for modern man, than from years of Novus Ordo CCD/RI, etc. It worked for me.

*A former friend tried this fellow’s prayer meetings and noticed that after years of this nobody in them seemed to get over their problems.

Sylvester Stallone by Ward Sutton

Yo! A sixth Rocky film (yo, bugmenot, do your thing!)
Stallone is 59 now and he’s going to play a competitive boxer? There’s an explanation.

David Smith on the rowhouse where Rocky was filmed
It’s in Polish and Irish Kensington (very different to the London original), near very Polish Port Richmond, not in Italian South Philly

From blog member Samer al-Batal
killermovies entry on this
Samer: I was brought up in the ’80s, and like any happy victim, I am condemned to the occasional bout of nostalgia for things — hopefully not the silly, stupid things — of that time. ( has a good deal of affectionate parodies and references to what was spawned by that decade.)

[Nothing to be ashamed of — it’s when I came of age and so I’ve got some synth Europop on my computer at home thanks to Kazaa ... and Rubik’s Cube was cool; had to get a book to descramble it!]

Samer: The Rocky films are fondly remembered. I doubt 15 or so years later this upcoming instalment will be imbued with the feel of its predecessors any more than a new Indiana Jones film would at this time, but I’d give this one a look.

And here’s an interesting article on the upcoming film via an LRC blog entry. [End.]

Even though Rocky fought back and Our Lord seemed passive to the Romans and the Jews, does a wounded Rocky in the ring, like the bottom-left part of the picture, remind anybody else of the Passion and Crucifixion? With his arms raised as the champ — like the statue in front of the Art Museum in the movies, now in front of the old Spectrum in South Philly IIRC — he’s like Christus Victor, seeming to lose but really winning on the cross and later harrowing hell and coming back to life in the flesh.

P.S. The middle-left part of the picture is from Cop Land, worth seeing. Sly fattened up for the part of Freddy Heflin and either did it for free or for scale, ars gratia artis.
Two from Lew
In the US, the bad guys will still be in charge after the indictments

Secret MoD poll: Iraqis want the occupiers out

Government policy ‘disastrous’
From Fr Will Brown
The conversion of Anne Rice

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

US military deaths in Iraq hit 2,000
Not one more death, not one more dollar
Eastern churches

Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa is in the spotlight:

Joint Russian Orthodox-ROCOR delegation visit the Ukraine
To explain to the Russian Orthodox faithful there the reunion negotiations between the two groups

Хорошо, but this seems to be cancelled out by yet another inter-Orthodox row:

Metropolitan protests against Constantinople setting up shop in the Ukraine
His Eminence is correct

From Fr Joseph Huneycutt
Gorby given top honour by C’ople
Apparently being an archon doesn’t mean much as US Sen. Paul ‘Senator Death’ Sarbanes is one for being Greek, but let’s call it even: John Paul the Overrated made ‘the Hearst of the Oughties’ Rupert Murdoch a Knight of St Gregory (unlike this fellow who richly deserved his KSG and ‘Sir’).

A British subject
By Larry Zolf
Something almost forgotten now that had a lot of potential: a gentle, British-based Canadian conservatism (owing much to HM’s loyal Americans forced to flee after the War of the Rebellion was lost), not the socially liberal madness today that HM Dominion is better known for nor Pax Neoconservativa (though Disraeli, mentioned in the article, thought like the latter)
From Fr James Tucker
Even the Moonies think Bush’s crew are mad
It's a sign of the times when even the people who bankroll Washington's leading conservative newspaper are said to be uneasy with Bush administration foreign policy.
Procession of the Blessed Sacrament in Sydney
From Verbum ipsum via First Things
God and Bertie Wooster
Suppose . . . oh, I don’t know, suppose that it was 1919, and the First World War had just finished cracking [Catholic] Europe across its knee like a stick, and you were living in what the poet T.S. Eliot in one of his occasional sour moods called the Waste Land, and words were all you had...

‘You would not like Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound.’

And write he
[P.G. Wodehouse] did, making so much money — from his books, scripts for Hollywood and Broadway, and articles in magazines such as Vanity Fair — that the American tax authorities and the British Inland Revenue united in one of their first joint projects, a trans-Atlantic cooperative effort to dig as much as possible out of Wodehouse’s international royalties. That may have been what finally drove him abroad in 1934, when he and Ethel settled in France.

If Bertie Wooster had ever really existed, he would (as George Orwell once pointed out) have died at the Battle of the Somme in 1916 along with most of the rest of his Edwardian class.
From The Gaelic Starover
Libby: Cheney did it!

Sliming Fitzgerald (predictably)

‘He's a vile, detestable, moralistic person with no heart and no conscience who believes he's been tapped by God to do very important things’, one White House ally said, referring to special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald.
Sound familiar? I know Americans don’t do irony but I hope it isn’t lost here on this person.
RIP Rosa Parks
She sat down in order that we all might stand up - and the walls of segregation came down.
- The Revd Jesse Jackson
Pope sends top envoy to Russia
A working visit to sound out the possibilities of exchanging ambassadors

Monday, October 24, 2005

From David’s Daily Diversions
Turkish writers persecuted for acknowledging Armenian genocide

From blog member Samer al-Batal
Deadly riot in Alexandria targets Coptic church
The Copts — the ancient Egyptians — have been a persecuted minority in their own country since they let the Muslim Arabs in rather than be ruled by the Greeks

Samer: Friday, it had become quite serious, involving around 5,000 people, and apparently there could be a political factor in all of this, as the article reports. A Coptic candidate has withdrawn from the election race in response to the event. Also, Pope Shenouda III has called for three days of fast.
Eastern churches
The problem with women’s ministries
By Frederica Mathewes-Greene
And how Eastern Orthodoxy has largely been spared this

The answer isn’t peculiar to that tradition however but rather that the Catholic faith — that’s right, the big, bad patriarchal church, which literally has patriarchs — holds to an essential sameness (but complementarity) of the sexes about things that matter.

Her observations also apply to the feminisation in a bad sense of mainline churches overall (covered well by both Patrick Arnold and John Weldon Hardenbrook: search the blog for more from them): ‘voluptuous purple italics’ and ‘adorable butterflies in the logo’ only reinforce the view among modern men that religion is for sissies!
From conjectural navel gazing
American family idol?

Chicken or the egg?

Is contraception the real reason why mainline Protestantism is dying?

The writer says it isn’t because of theological liberalism... but that liberalism is why mainliners were the first Christians to accept contraception!
Dissident slates Yahoo! for collaborating with Communist China’s government

Google is the killer app in the age of information

LRC pick
The anti-Falwell
The Revd Vicesimus Knox (1752–1821), Anglican priest and promoter of peace

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The enemy in their own words
"They're always accusing us of repressing their speech," she said. "I say let's do it. Let's repress them."

She later added, "Frankly, I'm not a big fan of the First Amendment."
- The horrible Ann Coulter

Drake Adams comments (source):
I swore as a soldier, and now as a deputy of my County's Sheriff to 'support, protect, and defend the Constitution' - looks like Coulter is one of those enemies 'foreign and domestic.'
How to say ‘get the f*ck out of my country’ in Arabic
From The Gaelic Starover
The depth of treason
Desertion in US law usually deprives one of the right to vote, let alone stand for office.

Crimes like blowing Valerie Plame’s cover incur the death penalty.
From truthout
Karl and Scooter’s excellent adventure
The more we learn about the C.I.A. leak case, the more we learn about the real secret Karl Rove and Lewis (Scooter) Libby wanted to protect: the "why" of the war.
From Hallowed Ground
Youth culture and the teenager
Adolescence is nothing but a marketing invention!
- The cool Frances McDormand in Almost Famous (paraphrase from memory)

I’m nowhere near as hard on rock’n’roll and if you came from a dysfunctional family, a car and even driving alone are refuges, but Jeff Culbreath has a point.

Today I was browsing at a secondhand bookshop and found something called The Slacker Handbook or something like that, exactly about the sewer of ‘youth culture’, both making fun of and celebrating it (at least as it was 10 years ago), and I thought ‘What horrible people!’
Eastern churches
The Optina elders
Съ праздникомъ!

From Fr Joseph Huneycutt
The Russians may finally bury Lenin — but Russia’s still dying (more — use bugmenot to read)
A quick description of Coptic worship
From Fr Anthony Chadwick
Almost a manifesto for English Catholic tolerant conservatism
Except I’m nowhere near as negative regarding Aristotle, whom friend John Treat, who has a master’s from Harvard, considers the best Western philosopher, undoing the damage Plato did! Then again, we weren’t subjected to bad presentations of the Philosopher (as St Thomas Aquinas called him) at traditionalist seminaries!
In our age of nihilism, I am convinced that it is both desirable and possible to have recourse to the culture of Antiquity and ancient "natural religions". This enables us to discern these cultural traces in remnants of our own world, and to use them as a tool for evangelisation.
Or, without being Modernist, indifferentist, relativistic or syncretistic, why I am ‘at home’ in traditional Hindu (the Lord loves the one who loves the Lord) and Buddhist practice and not in the Novus Ordo! A cool brand of traditionalism echoed in René Guenon (who ended up a Sufi) and Fr Seraphim (Rose) at his best.

Even apostates George Harrison and Joseph Campbell understood:
When the church stopped using Latin, the kids started learning Sanskrit.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Catholic faith
Richard’s Ramblings
I believe in God the Father, creator of heaven and earth
The fact that he is the Creator does not mean that we have to tie ourselves into knots regarding the Creation stories in chapters one and three of Genesis, of course. ‘Science explains the how; religion explains the why.’ If we are convinced by the arguments of evolution, the Big Bang, and other hypotheses of the same ilk, there is no reason why that should affect our belief in God. He works through these things – they are the vehicles of his creation.
From The Inn at the End of the World
The bicentenary of Trafalgar
Was yesterday. Its significance is that Nelson’s ships defended an England built on the gentle and just rule of common law and custom against the worst of the French Revolution — overthrow the wisdom and charity of tradition and you get a tyrant, the logical conclusion of private judgement. But that England may be vanishing. I remember when you could still find it if you were looking for it.

HMS Victory
Whom do we fear, knowing that God the Father is with us? No-one!
Whom do we fear, knowing that God the Son is with us? No-one!
Whom do we fear, knowing that God the Holy Ghost is with us? No-one!
I learnt that from former Navy man Fr Peter Laister, who died three years ago the day after tomorrow and was there with that blessing to ‘commission’ the beginning of my adult life, or my life as I now know it.

Well done, good and faithful servant. Requiescat in pace. Amen.
From A World of Speculation
Nutter lecturer at American uni promotes genocide
And gets away with it because he’s black, as Marxist class warfare applied to the races absolves members of oppressed groups of responsibility for atrocities
From Habemus Pabulum
One of John O’Sullivan’s blogs:

Where do Halloween colours come from?
From wide-eyed and laughing
The 100 best English-language novels since 1923
I’ve read, erm, 10 of them:

Animal Farm (formative)
Brideshead Revisited (of course!)
The Catcher in the Rye (feh)
The Day of the Locust (the literary origin of the name Homer Simpson)
A Handful of Dust
The Heart of the Matter (and The Quiet American* and a short story about growing up RC in England with a test of faith about the Blessed Sacrament)
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Neuromancer (whence we get the word microsoft)
1984 (very formative — read it that year as a teenager!)
The Power and the Glory

*The Quiet American: ‘They want freedom!
Worldly-wise Fowler: ‘They want enough rice.’

Written right before the great liberal crusade in Vietnam.

Sound familiar?

Support this blog and pick up some culture: you can buy all 100 if you like through Amazon:

Just added a picture of the Ghost Cats to the entry on visiting Eastern State Penitentiary
Birmingham named Britain’s rudest city
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt
Well, why not?
As long as it’s after one has received Communion (if one is planning to receive that day) and said prayers of thanksgiving, not before (the Orthodox tradition has a good idea about this as a kind of fasting)
Frost bit
How to stay warm this winter (those of you in the Northern Hemisphere) without burning wads of cash

I’ve done some of these — let’s see how well they work.
Fitzgerald expands probe to prewar intel
From Debugging My Brain via Hallowed Ground
Catholic obedience
What it is and what it isn’t
A Conservative Green
Eastern churches
In America, some retired Greek Orthodox priests and clergy widows are living in literal poverty
Kyrie, eleison!

Things are bad all round — near me a Roman Catholic order of sisters have to close a nursing home because they can’t afford to upgrade the building to bring it up to code. As wary as I am of government interference safety can’t be ignored as the Our Lady of the Angels school fire in 1958 Chicago showed — the story of which my girlfriend and I recently pored over in a well-done book.

The Eastern Orthodox churches in the West are much smaller and poorer than RC institutions so how can they do something?

Well, the Greek Archdiocese in America is the biggest Orthodox church in that land numerically and relatively well off, counting restaurateurs, university presidents and politicians among its at least nominal members, so I dare say some of that abundance could go to support richly deserving papas and presvyteras in their time of need.

Here’s an address you can send donations to.

Cardinal: East beats West in sense of sacred
In practice today that’s true but admitting it isn’t enough — now, Western prelates, put your money where your mouth is and do something about it

From Pontifications
Defending the Catholic faith East and West on the Blessed Sacrament
As wrong as the ageing ‘We Are Church’* are, giving themselves away as non-WASP Protestants with their complaint here, the perpetual-adoration craze (‘Let’s have it every day in every parish!’) isn’t traditional and while a healthy reaction to the problem isn’t the answer!

The Christian East’s balance, centred on the Liturgy and the Hours (in other words, Mass-and-office Catholicism), is.

*Well, if you’ve got real congregations and generational members you’re some kind of church but not one I’d go to. Meanwhile, my generation and younger are doing this:
If anyone is ever in the New Haven CT, USA area on Sunday evenings at 10:00pm, Christ Church Parish (Episcopal) [liberal but at least having the form or religion] offers compline every Sunday night while Yale is in session. A major part of the service is sung in Latin, especially the motets and the Salve Regina at the conclusion. It is a rare event that churches offer this particular office of the day and if you are ever in the area, you will not want to miss it.

The service draws quite a number of people, especially Yale students.

It is so nice to see young people in attendance at this, especially when the whole service is chanted and uses music that draws primarily from plainsong and polyphonic motets.

It is encouraging to actually see how many young people attend a service of this type that does not have "rock" or "pop" music and contemporary flavorings. So, I do not buy the fact that in order to attract young people to the house of God, you need to put in a rock band. All can learn to appreciate the beauty of this ancient form as most of us have.
I don't seem to have any problem attracting my share of younger people who are refugees from the rock band.
- Fr Peter Robinson


Dan Lauffer’s ideas on how high-church Byzantine Catholics can capitalise on all this
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Friday, October 21, 2005

From blog member Samer al-Batal
Confessions of a right-wing peacenik
By Joe Sobran
An expression I began using for the predecessor of this blog back in 2002
War is the most destructive of human activities, and because it destroys everything worth conserving, I marvel that it has come to be associated with ‘conservatism’. Yet conservatives who oppose war find themselves isolated like lepers among ‘mainstream’ conservatives, who regard them as puzzling eccentrics — charitably seen, perhaps, as in some spiritual peril requiring prayer. I guess if you find yourself preferring peace, at least your conscience should be troubled about it.
Expansion of West Bank settlements continues
The report by Settlement Watch [the Israeli Peace Now's project for monitoring settlement activity] found that the loss of 7,500 Jewish settlers from Gaza will be outweighed by the arrival this year of 14,000 residents in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
The farmer who lost his land
"He simply pointed to the side of the fence line where I was standing and said, 'that will be Palestine' and pointed to the other side and said, 'that will be Israel'.

"If you've got a problem with that, go and talk with your leaders."
Those leaders would probably try to guilt you and me about the Warsaw ghetto — the Zionists’ way of being ironic?

Cromwell’s ghost spotted in Ireland, possesses bishop: utterly bonkers and on destructive rampage, say eye witnesses
Samer: Unfortunately, the Philistine’s forehead is protected by a mitre.
Bishop John Magee, a close friend of Pope John Paul II, has been granted planning permission to rip up an historic mosaic floor and dismantle a 100ft marble altar rail in St Colman's Cathedral, Cobh.

The alterations are part of his plan to extensively remodel the sanctuary, nave and transepts of the cathedral designed by Edward W Pugin, a man regarded as one of the most important Victorian architects of the Gothic revival.
He’s ruining a church of the Pugin tradition?! (A.W. Pugin’s son did this one.) Horrible. ‘Sure and begorrah, we can’t be doin’ high church — that’s for the English. Our people do devotions.’
Dr Magee, the Bishop of Cloyne and the former secretary to the previous pope, believes the changes are necessary to bring the style of worship in the cathedral into line with Vatican II guidelines that modernised Mass by ending the use of Latin and bringing the priest closer to the congregation.
As I said to my girlfriend just two hours ago, after 20 years of being run around and seeing others so treated I don’t give a toss what those people think anymore. Like the peasants of Devon and Cornwall in the mid-1500s, ‘we will have the Mass.

Bishops’ synod: Final draft rebuffs Latin Mass
In a rebuff to the lone appeal in the Synod of Bishops in favor of the pre-Vatican II rite of Mass, the synod’s final message, set for approval tomorrow, contains no language on the subject.

Instead, the message affirms that the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) ‘provided the necessary basis for a progressive and adequate liturgical reform’.
Samer: Still, where the bishops are nary giving a moment’s thought on the issue, folks like Una Voce keep trying.

Conference to discuss developments for Latin Mass under Pope Benedict XVI
LRC pick
America’s Asian empire
Aggression, A-bombs and other atrocities

From blog member Samer al-Batal
Mehlis report: Syrian and Lebanese intelligence officials implicated

Our man in Beirut wrote all of the following:

Here are more samples of detailed information. (A strong recommendation: for those who wish to follow developments, read past and present entries in the blog reached through the third link.)

Here is the report itself. (A PDF file.)

That this would present itself as the conclusion of this stage (an extension has been granted) of Mehlis’ investigation is not surprising to the Lebanese or anyone else. In fact, the Americans have already been preparing to respond. The report has it that evidence points to levels of guilt on the part of — amongst others — high-level Syrian and Lebanese civil and military officials in security and military intelligence, amongst them the former Syrian chief of military intelligence in Lebanon, the former head of Lebanese General Security, the former head of the Lebanese Internal Security Force, the former head of the Lebanese Republican Guard, and the former head of Lebanese military intelligence. The possibility of relatives of the Syrian president being involved is still a matter of controversy. However, as expected, Ghaazi Kan’aan, the late Syrian Interior Minister who before his recent death and years back had been the chief of Syrian military intelligence in Lebanon for most of the post-war years does not appear within the circle of suspicion.

The report has been submitted to the members of the Security Council; Lebanon has received a copy (and an unofficial translation in full has already been splashed in one of the Lebanese newspapers), and one should eventually reach Syria. I understand the report delves into political underpinnings in addition to facts, incidents, and the technicalities of the operation, these latter matters deemed by Mehlis to be in need of an extended period of investigation, a mandate for which the UN has granted.

Frankly, it has for some time been more or less clear in which direction the report was leading vis à vis the general identity of the players, but not precisely how far up it would reach. I would say the degree of accusatory tone the findings and report’s presentation would take, their level of directness and of disclosure of names, and the totality and scope of figures involved were yet to be found out. Witness the charged atmosphere in a Mehlis press conference that has just concluded, having centred on the matter of the withholding of names in a section of the report. The extreme sensitivity of these foregoing factors should not be underestimated. There is a strong level of escalation being seen now, and tensions are rapidly intensifying. Right now, it is news in real time over here and beyond.

It should be made clear that the report does not arrive at a level of indictment against Syria, and further investigation and time would be required to produce conclusive results eligible for submission to courts.

Damascus will not accept the report as credible and will attack it as a politicised work lacking in conclusive evidence and intended to serve certain parties and interests. However, as preliminary as these findings are and with more information expected to be put forward by December, the implications of Mehlis’ presently submitted work will be of heavy weight and will serve to catalyse motions that will usher in an as-of-yet uncertain future to this area of the Middle East. If this enables the further realisation of neo-conservative designs in the region, the eventual results may be as devastating for the Levant as Mehlis’ dossier is against Syria.

The fate of the region is being decided within foreign politicians’ chambers. So, what next? America has now gained a useful weapon for its arsenal, and its relations with Syria are at a breaking point. For reasons that may include ideology over practical politics, the US is bolstered enough to prefer outright confrontation and Syria’s public humiliation by ultimatum over the discretion of diplomatic dialogue and deals negotiated from behind the curtains. Overtures by Syria may no longer work. A briefing on the report is expected to be given next Tuesday and discussions concerning measures – sanctions or otherwise – to be taken against Syria will commence during the coming week.

Two resolutions may be put forward on the table in proposal, under chapters VI and VII of the UN charter. America will not be alone in sponsoring this; France is now a supporter of further measures. Europe will participate more strongly, and much momentum has built up. Also, a report is expected next week reporting the status of compliance with UN Resolution 1559.

A final note: Washington isn’t interested in ruling out the option of military aggression.

It isn’t clear what strategy, if any, the US would pursue should it ever exercise this option. There are some who think that the administration might be more interested in replacing a leader rather than toppling a regime and destroying the political grasp of the Syrian Allawites. For one thing is certain: given the nature and situation of Syria, the destruction of the Syrian leadership and government would send the country spiralling into chaos, and would likely be disastrous for Syrians in general, Christians in particular. Though these repercussions would likely mean nothing to this administration, this resultant instability, the thinking goes, would not be welcome by Israel, particularly when it shares its northern border with Syria. Whether this may influence an American decision is left to speculation.

When all is said and done, however, the question put forth to the US by this blog remains: by what constitutional right is it acceptable to launch a military attack on a sovereign nation that fails to pose any threat? Better put to the White House, what business is it of yours, you prats?

Pray for justice, a peaceful resolution to the troubles that may lie ahead, and that we not anytime in the near or distant future witness more conflagrations in the form of new military campaigns and their chaotic aftermaths.

Rice won’t rule out troops in Iraq in 10 years

Iraq becoming too dangerous to continue reporting
Robert Fisk is facing problems
The very bad idea
By Tom Tomorrow
On the box
Or, for UK readers, ‘Casualty’ with a humongo budget

¡Viva el doctor Clemente! Он тоже говорит по-русски. (Я его понял без проблем.)

It seems that the talented and potentially funny John Leguizamo finally has found a genre that works for him: edgy drama with some humour thrown in. A Colombian, he apparently can be as funny as Chris Rock or the ‘In Living Color’-era Wayans brothers but none of his past vehicles worked: ‘House of Buggin’’ and The Pest, one of the worst films I’ve ever had to sit through. (I was reviewing movies at the time, which is why I didn’t simply walk out. Wanted to though.) Even with that, though, you could see his potential: the bit in the shower at the very beginning is actually good.
From All Too Common
On reading G.K. Chesterton
How he looks different depending on whether you are of the Catholic faith or not
The Catholic faith
Verbum ipsum
On the invocation of saints
One has to accept it in theory as a valid way of praying, but ‘all can, some should, none must’
From High Church

Dr Ferdinand Cartwright Ewer
Anglo-Catholic priests usually are clean-shaven after the Roman model — he was an exception!

(Actually the first AC priest I ever met looked like that. What I might look like in a mozetta — the shoulder cape that rectors on up wear.)

He was the founder of St Ignatius of Antioch Church in Manhattan, once a great shrine church for the movement, and of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament.

Reading the article on this fine site, I can see where the present-day Western Rite Orthodox (like online friend Benjamin Andersen) are coming from, right or wrong. They didn’t adopt their position only recently; it has been one of the strains of the AC movement all along and is obviously a good fit with what the WRO claim.
From Drudge Report
Two from The Washington Post:

Kashmir relief effort world’s toughest
Lord, in thy mercy: hear our prayer

Hussein co-defendant’s kidnapped defence lawyer found dead

On Neil French

I don’t believe that women executives in the advertising business are ‘crap’ but apparently Mr French likes to shock

But this is largely true, whence you get the libertarian argument that there is no ‘glass ceiling’ but rather pragmatism from business owners and top execs:
The upshot of what he said is that you give [women] a shot and they run off and have babies.
Put more tactfully while remaining honest, I wouldn’t like the corporate rat-race and neither do most women. Realising it sucks, and because many of them do want to have children, they leave. In theory everybody deserves the same chance, but given the odds, what’s somebody running a business to do? Invest in the people more likely to stay... usually men.

Then there’s the argument that while of course women deserve a shot at following their callings (this blog supports equity feminism — search it to read more), as not all are called to be mothers and there’s nothing wrong with that, glorifying ‘career women’ while disparaging homemakers and full-time mothers doubles companies’ wage-slaves and also enables them to cut real wages so one person doesn’t get a ‘living wage’ to support a family anymore.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

LRC blog pick
The sovietisation proceeds в порядке
The US government can spy on you through your laser printer
From The Gaelic Starover
Is the Bushling obstructing Iraqi justice?
A story in pictures

‘What are you, blind? Look, morons — for the thousandth effing time, I’m not Osama bin Laden!

‘Shaddup! If I say you’re Osama, then you’re Osama! Besides, y’all look alike anyway.’

Nasty hipsters slate the woman who’s had 16 kids
No, the church and I don’t say every woman must risk her health and her finances and have as many children as she physically can!

Paul Goings: Progressives panicking due to the suddenly realized horror of contracepting themselves out of business!!!

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: have mercy upon us. High altar, St Anthony of Padua Church, Hackensack, New Jersey.

From Charley Wingate
Pushing out the Christians left in the Episcopal Church
This story is making the rounds

Here is the actual transcript.

What? Broad Churchbeings are nasty?! Nooooo!

Mr O’Sullivan, Archbishop Myers and his kind don’t want you and St Anthony’s. You’re too Catholic or simply are Catholic. How embarrassing for them. Al Kimel may think trading Coverdale for ICEL is cool. This blog disagrees.
Eastern churches
Russian Old Believer Church has new metropolitan
What happened to this fellow?

Pope approves move of Ukrainian Catholic head to Kiev
Search the blog under ‘Kiev’ for my opinion on that

O weary Champion of the Cross, lie still:
Sleep thou at length the all-embracing sleep:
Long was thy sowing day, rest now and reap:
Thy fast was long, feast now thy spirit’s fill.
- Christina Rossetti, ‘Cardinal Newman’

From blog member John Boyden
Possible miracle through Cardinal Newman’s intercession
One of the guiding lights of early Anglo-Catholicism, a gentleman who was an apostle of English ‘tolerant conservatism’, doctrinally sound and intellectual without fanaticism

I dare say that like Lord Acton and other Catholic classical liberals he would have shared this blog’s disagreements with both the Jansenist- and fascist-tinged traditionalists and the Novus Ordo neocons.
From Fr Lee Nelson
The traditional Roman Rite prayers before and after the evening meal

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

From The Perennial Rambler
From the ‘bleeding a stone’ file...
Well put but the libertarian argument is that it’s in the business owners’ best (self-)interest in the long run to treat workers well, which is probably one reason why the Japanese do
From Pontifications
Do animals go to heaven?
Condolences to the Kimels about their cat, Tuxedo. My girlfriend has two cats and I know how important they are.

Thought of this issue again late yesterday. About a week and a half ago it rained very hard one day. One of the bins next to the house was about a quarter full of water and there were, I found out when I noticed it yesterday, four dead squirrels in it. Poor things. Probably got knocked off the tree branches immediately above. Apparently they can’t swim, or they couldn’t crawl out. Felt so bad even though it wasn’t really my fault (and in nature they well may have ended up as a hefty cat’s or hawk’s dinner!). As I did last year when I found one squirrel like that, I found a shovel, buried them and said a prayer thanking God for his creatures. And as the bins haven’t got lids and nobody apparently is using them I turned them upside down so it doesn’t happen again.
From Katolik Shinja
Pat Buchanan and RC news on the quagmire in Iraq
One of the weirdnesses of the post-Reformation era was the odd spectacle of Catholic monarchs allying themselves with Protestant forces in battle to make war on other Catholics. I can't help but be reminded of this as a semi-messianic faith in Democracy as the cure for sin leads many Catholics to say "Oh well, gotta break some eggs to make an omelette" as the Chaldean Catholic Church faces the real possibility of destruction.
- Mark Shea

On video: US soldiers desecrated Taleban corpses
The US military: modern-day knights defending Christian values against those godless, pot-smoking peaceniks, as right-thinking fundygelicals now believe

Wonder if the Prots covered this issue when they could get away with proselytising at the Air Force Academy (‘in case of rapture this plane will be on autopilot’).
From The Gaelic Starover
Arrest warrant issued for Tom DeLay
Spain orders arrest of three US soldiers for Iraq killings
Message-board madness
Who’s worse?
‘A pox on both their houses’ but is it...

Vicious people who often aren’t Christian (anymore) theologically or those who are Christians but are bonkers?
LRC pick
Liberating Iraqis
From food and water

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

From Huw Raphael
One SCOTUS under Roberts
Cheney resignation rumours fly
Grandmothers for Peace
Mr Bush’s scripted chat with soldiers
More from The Onion, in the entry dated today
From Verbum ipsum
Christians and the treatment of detainees
From Mere Comments
Eradicating the disabled
First they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because...
- Martin Niemöller
I myself recall having a conversation with a Down's syndrome adult man, who noted the disparity between Senator Edward M. Kennedy's well-publicized support for the Special Olympics, and his equally well-known insistence that no woman should have to bear the indignity of a "defective" or unwanted child. "I may be slow," this man observed, "but I am not stupid. Does he think that people like me can't understand what he really thinks of us? That we are not really wanted? That it would be a better world if we didn't exist?"
Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood reprinted Nazi articles in the 1930s: ‘only the fit should give birth’.

From Katolik Shinja
Our cowardly new world
Which isn’t really new:
In ancient Greece, babies with disabilities were left out in the elements to die. We in America rely on prenatal genetic testing to make our selections in private, but the effect on society is the same.
From What Attitude Problem? via David Holford
Maybe the trick is on us
An evangelical Protestant criticises his church’s Ned Flanders-like killjoy approach to Halloween (sanitised ‘alternative’ kiddie parties as bad and derivative/parasitic as ‘Christian rock’), which is just like radical Protestants’ banning Christmas in the American colonies — it’s anti-Catholic
From TCR News
RC high-school teacher sacked for refusing to display US flag
Considering what’s going on in Iraq can you really blame him?

See my entry earlier today on the church transcending nations.
Eastern churches

Cossack leader blasts anti-Semitism

And in that spirit, even though I don’t claim to live up to it:

Psychology rediscovers the power of forgiveness

RIP Robert Montgomery Scott
Last of the old Main Line gentlemen
LRC pick
Bird flu: manufactured hysteria?
Oh, my dog!
Woof: an Episcopalian paints ‘icons’ of dogs... and wonders why the Orthodox are offended

This outdoes Robert Lentz and his friends and that’s hard to do.

Father, forgive.

As I was saying yesterday:
...offensive especially to the Orthodox tradition for roughly the same reasons Hindus were offended at Madonna’s (erm, Esther’s) wearing a bindi for a while or observant Jews are by her perhaps well-meant tributes to Kabbalah like the video where she’s wearing phylacteries (only men wear those) and has the name of God in Hebrew written on a prop (a big no-no in their faith) and her latest song meant to honour one of Kabbalah’s most revered rabbis (doing that broke another rule apparently).
And Bernard Brandt wrote:
Orthodox iconography is a devotional and an artistic form which has its origin the veneration of the saints of the Orthodox Church. To the best of my knowledge, neither good Queen Bess nor a Welsh Cardigan or Pembroke have been so canonized or venerated by that Church. To draw "icons" that attempt to do so is to show disrespect to the proper purpose and use of icons, and to the Church in which iconography was born.

And, on the other hand, (to end on a good note), I believe that all those (Orthodox or not) who venerate the saints and their icons are among those of good will. Peace be to them, and to you all.
Finally, this isn’t the Anglicanism that introduced me to the Catholic faith and its praxis nearly 30 years ago.