Friday, August 31, 2007

A missed and sad marker
From Preludium
Very scary, kids
How the US Air Force has changed and only very recently, blogs Air Force chaplain Fr Mark Juchter:
  • The Air Force has increased deployments by 300% in recent years.
  • Air Force personnel are taking more casualties in the present conflicts than they have since Vietnam.
  • In part this is because there are airmen closer to the conflicts - even pulling convoy duty.
  • The Air Force is cutting back in size by around 40%.
What does this mean? It means that everyone is going to deploy, especially given that they’re looking at this as a 30-year war.
Once again:

I am not a pacifist. The problem is not the military as such. Fr Mark like all Christians in the forces is standing on the shoulders of giants like my old rector who not only was a teen fire-watcher atop St Paul’s during the Blitz but was a rating in the Royal Navy by the end of the war and later returned to the Navy as a chaplain.

(He was defending his home — literally. The American government in Iraq is not.)

That said:

Support the troops — bring them home now.
Religious gleanings, bibs and bobs
When ‘inclusion’ crosses over into idolatry
That is, a kind of self-worship. All are welcome to come and pray in a Catholic church as the Archbishop of Canterbury more or less repeated about a year ago, but...
I think Archbishop Williams was correct in moving toward “welcome” or I would rather say hospitality; he just didn’t make it a decentering term for all ... in light of Christ the center. Hospitality mutually challenges one another, girds one another on in the things of God, upbuilds one another.

Inclusion and exclusion... are actually not radical enough. They presuppose some set of persons in the community as the center, rather than Christ, and in light of the Community, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we are all welcomed and challenged to renew our minds.
Christopher Evans, whom I’m sure disagrees with me on several things, from haligweorc

Defined doctrine as a necessary evil
Especially from the Orthodox point of view. Following up on this.
Is dogma a tragedy?

Dr. Clark Carlton argued this in a recent Ancient Faith Radio broadcast. It is a compelling thesis. Dogmas, definitions of faith by ecclesial authority, arise out of a breakdown in the transmission and lived experience of the Gospel. They are evidence of the collapse of faith under the weight of sin and heresy. For the saints the truth of Christ should be self-evident; it should not require the coercive and constricting support that human reason provides. The cost of dogmatic theology is that the single and infinitely profound Truth is reduced to a system of smaller truths. Truth ceases to be the Beloved and becomes instead a mere object within a system of thought.
I like it!

I wouldn’t go as far as Fr Maximos or the Roman Catholic apologist he quotes approvingly on development of doctrine but a good thing about defined doctrines is this reduction sets limits — the English concept of rule of law — on any future speculation/use of power. Bishops (including the Pope) and other teachers can’t just make stuff up.

Doctrines are ‘the church’s auto-immune response to the presence of heresy’.

Talking about Vatican II again

And the Episcopal row
The great Iraq swindle
Operation Iraqi Freedom, it turns out, was never a war against Saddam ­Hussein's Iraq. It was an invasion of the federal budget, and no occupying force in history has ever been this efficient.
Uncivilised and civilised freedom
LRC’s Michael Rozeff explains the difference

US, Red China, what’s the difference?
Both countries’ secret police monitor the Internet
The Pope on this blog’s politics
We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principles of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need.
— From Deus Caritas Est (God is love)

Not a dime’s worth of difference
Which party again is the big-government, tax-and-spend one? Which party is the party of genocide, the Dems who killed half a million children in Iraq with the embargo or the Republicans who killed half a million civilians in Iraq with the war?
— Sharon Astyk

Christian Zionism
The image of thousands of conservative Christians from the heartland waving the flags of a foreign nation would have astounded anyone 50 years ago — except maybe George Orwell.
— Michael Brendan Dougherty

From Joshua Snyder.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

American Christians should listen to Arab Christians (article)
From Christianity Today (to their credit — some evangelicals are seeing through the neocon-Likudnik propaganda fog) via Ryan Rodrick Beiler at Jim Wallis’s blog
During one of my five trips to Israel-Palestine since June 2005, this reporter was informed by a spokesperson for the Nazareth-based Sabeel [Arabic for "the way"] liberation theology center founded in Jerusalem, by the Anglican Rev. Naim Ateek, a 1948 refugee, that "90% of all Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land NEVER even meet Palestinian Christians!"
Nationalism is not necessarily racism but...

Anti-Zionism is anti-racism
From Fr Deacon Methodius Hayes
American idols
How conservatives including conservative Christians worship the government. From LRC.
Food for thought: check the date
Plus ça change. Written about the same time Catholic Dorothy Sayers said religion had become a hobby of little old ladies and pale-faced curates (nothing against either mind) and the Lion of Judah turned into a declawed moggie. A Simple Sinner touched upon these issues in my com-boxes recently as I did here (religion as cute ethnic customs for naming babies, having pretty weddings and nice funerals: hatch, match and despatch... young-adult rites of passage too: first Communions, bar mitzvahs). Here’s the problem: how does one stop this happening without falling into a theocratic fascism (thank you, C.S. Lewis) of the right or the left?

From Tripp.
On a proposed Muslim state school in New York City
My comment

We were crunchy when crunchy wasn’t cool
Catholic Action and environmentalism in the 1930s
Well before the Second Vatican Council, there were efforts being made to develop an amazing array of ideas on social thought. In my opinion, a lot of the good and orthodox efforts got hijacked by some rather outlandish ideas. From time to time, it is interesting to take a look back and see what we can about those earlier efforts. What do you think?
That in many cases they had the Catholic answers for modern man and so there was no need for the council and the destruction it caused. (Jeff Culbreath is right: people are better off ignoring Vatican II.) Any needed fine-tuning — translating services and changing policy (this is not doctrine) on religious liberty and ecumenism — could have been done better without it.

As for Fr John Rawe’s economics and suchlike, like with the socialism of the Anglo-Catholic slum priests or Dorothy Day’s pacifism I honour the good intentions but as a libertarian think some of this is politically and/or economically naïve. The sciences and economics are autonomous (for example there’s no such thing as ‘Catholic physics’ opposed to the laws of physics everywhere else). We are sacerdotalists not clericalists, which means a priest has no more competence because of his orders to tell a farmer or anybody else how best to run his business than he would to operate on my shoulder trying to do a nerve graft!

Fulton Sheen on Mary and Islam
He who does not believe in the Mother of God does not believe in God.
Archimandrite Anastassy (Newcomb)

Yes, that’s hyperbole. What it really means:
As those who lose devotion to Mary lose belief in the Divinity of Christ, so those who intensify devotion to her gradually acquire that belief.
From Per Christum.

On Modernism from the ageing ‘silent’ and ‘boomer’ generations
A generational divide from the younger people I’ve written about too. True of more than one church. My comment.

Jonathan from Per Christum on when ‘listening process’ means ‘shut up and listen’ (like what Joan Rivers really means when she says ‘Can we talk?’):
I’m not against having an honest discussion on these issues. I’m convinced that sound Catholic theology based on Scripture and tradition* would easily win the day. However, in all my years of theological training and practice, “having a discussion” usually means “keep listening until you see it my way.” The Church does not need that kind of discussion.
Charley on labelling generations

From Drell’s Descants.

*The Orthodox are right: scripture is part of tradition.
Greek Fire Relief Fund
From the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America via

The tourist mentality

From The Western Confucian.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Patriarch of Moscow praises the motu
Like recognises like: one traditional Catholic sees another. Ну, хорошо. (Very well then.) Слава Богу! (Glory to God!)

This is very recent as the Russian Orthodox celebrated the feast of the Assumption (Falling Asleep of the Mother of God) yesterday according to the Julian calendar (13 days behind the Gregorian one: Gregorian 28th August = Julian 15th August.)

Fr John Zuhlsdorf writes:
At various times in my articles in The Wanderer, during talks and on this blog I have opined that if we are serious about an authentic ecumenical dialogue, we have to get our liturgical act together: "What must the Orthodox think when they see how we Latins conduct ourselves liturgically?" At the same time, the solemn Mass in the older use of the Roman Rite is as grand as anything the Easterners do.
Michael Davies made the same point more than 30 years ago.

Regarding Patriarch Alexis II’s complaints about Roman Catholic missionaries:
  • In the far western Ukraine (Polish Galicia before 1939) the Ukrainian Catholic Church, banned by the Soviets in 1946, starting around 1989 took back what was theirs: churches the Soviets stole and gave to the Russian Orthodox. Case closed.
  • As for activity in Russia Fr Maximos at Holy Resurrection Monastery (Byzantine Catholic) has answered that: western Ukrainians were imprisoned in those parts of Russia (Siberia for example) and stayed; now they want churches. Fair enough.
  • The Roman bishops in Russia scrupulously do not proselytise the Orthodox/compete with the Orthodox, keeping in mind Rome’s dream of corporate church union. (Rome quietly accepts individual conversions but does not solicit the Orthodox.)
  • Some overseas bishops might be guilty of what His Holiness accuses. They do not represent Roman policy.
Truths not truncheons
For Christians (by which I mean those Christians who embrace the historic Christian faith as found in the Nicene Creed — even if, like most Baptists, they accept the doctrines while rejecting the form of the creed), doctrines are not dogmatic statements that we want people to believe to separate the sheep from the goats* — they are our very deepest convictions about the nature of reality itself. Either these convictions are true, and the teachings found in the creed (the Trinity, the Incarnation, the physical Crucifixion and Resurrection which saves humankind) are an accurate description of reality — or they are not. If they are true, then religions that do not accept them do not possess the fullness of truth (even if they may have many elements of that truth). If another religion possesses the fullness of truth, then we Christians are wrong about some of our deepest convictions.

Unfortunately, too many modern-day Christians are reluctant to genuinely believe the teachings of our faith, preferring to believe instead that they are metaphorical. But such a view drains Christianity of its power and its life.

[If that’s what somebody really believes, with sufficient reflection and full consent of the will — Pike repudiating the Trinity for example, or Spong’s functional atheism — then by definition he’s not really a Christian.]
Bishop Tim Cravens from the Revd Chris Tessone’s blog

By George they’ve got it.

Like Western Catholic traditionalism is not about trying to force everybody to have services in Latin and believing that all non-Catholics are going to hell** (Feeneyism is an allowable opinion but thank heaven not doctrine and never shall be — it comes up short on God’s mercy!), doctrines such as in the creed are not bludgeons to beat people with to feel superior, a liberal’s cartoon of the orthodox; they’re true!

Doctrines are expressions of truth revealed in the deposit of faith, in the one body of Catholic dogma.

All error among those claiming to be Christians is ultimately to do with where God and matter come together:
  • The big one — the Incarnation — who Jesus is. True God and true man or less than that? ...separating Christians from non-.
  • The Eucharist: really him or not? ...effectively separating Catholics from various kinds of Protestants. A conservative Presbyterian and historian once told me this should be the criterion by which Christians unite or separate.
  • And the one of interest to secular people today, their big non serviam to God, on the right and wrong use of sex.
That last bit is the flash-point of the Anglican row but although not everybody on one side or another is alike a Catholic sees a chain of causation: all of these issues are connected. Either the Word was made flesh (John 1:14) or he wasn’t.

A church that officially adopts a position contrary to the historic faith on any of these eventually will drive out those remaining in it who are orthodox on that point (not necessarily those who are orthodox on other points): Fr Richard John Neuhaus’s law in action. (When orthodoxy becomes optional eventually it’s banned.)

It’s not my place to tell you what to do (having retired from Internet clobbering)...

But ask yourself: where do you stand?

*In a way they are: until people started denying the truth about who Jesus is the church got by perfectly well without them but Bishop Cravens (of the independent churches) is right that this use of doctrine is not the main point!

For example the Orthodox only define doctrine when a truth is challenged, never for any other reason including for its own sake. Whence you get the teachings of the seven councils including the creed.

**These are among the caricatures drawn by liberals, as wrong as some conservatives’ ‘Mr X is an apostate and gets away with it so all members of his denomination are apostates and evil’.
Franz Jägerstätter and the rights of conscience
  • Of course the neocons lie and claim their wars of aggression are for national defence!
  • Great man, Newman: he never changed really despite what he said about perfection coming from changing often and all that. Protestant as a boy, the mature Newman was immutably Catholic but of the second kind here, which endeared him neither to many in his Church of England as a young man (who thought he was a dangerous reactionary) nor to the first kind of Catholics he found in the Roman convert scene when he was older (who of course thought he was a dangerous liberal). Anyway he was right: conscience is the ultimate authority; however, the Catholic faith says not just any old conscience but a well-formed one, that is, one as well-informed as possible, conforming to reason (objective reality as Aristotle, the Schoolmen and classic Anglicans understood — not my ‘reason’ opposed to fact or the doctrines of the faith) and, knowing the teachings of the faith, following them as best one can.
Clearly history should teach us that the State is about the last voice one should trust in determining the justice of a particular conflict.
From Daniel Nichols at Cælum et terra.
The value of uncoolness
In Touchstone Baptist theologian Russell Moore repeats a point Catholic churches understand: don’t pander to/patronise the kids and they’ll be impressed. It’s a difference between Fr Joseph Huneycutt’s orthodox Orthodox Liturgy, or the eastward-facing High Masses the kids at the St Michael’s Youth Conferences (Episcopal — one of the last surviving Catholic institutions there) put on, and the condescending, commercial codswallop that’s much of ‘CCM’ (‘Pious Riot’ as seen on ‘The Simpsons’ or P.J. O’Rourke on the subject 20 years ago: there ought to be an album called I Found the Lord and Lost My Talent*.) From Rod Dreher.

*John Michael Talbot is an exception. An old friend went to one of his music classes in which he said ‘Don’t inflict your mediocrity on the church’. His music is not for church but devotionally it’s fine... and very good.

Then there’s TV’s humbly wise cartoon Texan, Hank Hill: ‘You’re not making Christianity better, you’re just making rock’n’roll worse!’ (Thank you, reader Jacobus, for reminding me of that one.)
War with Iran
It’s already started, says’s Justin Raimondo via Joshua Snyder
I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran's murderous activities.
— George W. Bush

Lord, in thy mercy: hear our prayer.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

St Augustine’s bones

My piece of them

No End in Sight
A new feature documentary about the Bush administration’s mishandling of Iraq


From Lee Hamilton.
The Orthodox convert boomlet revisited
My pennorth. From Ad Orientem.

The Ochlophobist on Schmemann
Worth a look: Wikipedia on Dom Gregory Dix

An oldie but goodie
From Charley: Isabel Hapgood and Anglo-Catholic/Orthodox relations 100 years ago
...true conservatives have always resisted the imperial and military impulse: it drains the treasury, curtails domestic liberties, breaks down families, and vulgarizes culture. From the Federalists who opposed the War of 1812, to the striving of Robert Taft (known as "Mr. Republican") to keep the United States out of Korea, to the latter-day libertarian critics of the Iraq war, there has historically been nothing freakish, cowardly, or even unusual about antiwar activists on the political right. And while these critics of U.S. military crusades have been vilified by the party of George W. Bush, their conservative vision of a peaceful, decentralized, and noninterventionist America gives us a glimpse of the country we could have had--and might yet attain.
— On Bill Kauffman
Pearl Harbor was a sneak attack against a military target. The firebombing of Japanese cities was an overt act against old men, women and children... The pundits can go to hell. And Japanese prime ministers should continue to visit and honor their war dead. The war criminal was Harry Truman, and nobody complains when someone visits his grave.
Taki Theodoracopulos

Two more cases of common knowledge getting it exactly wrong! Everybody who watches television knows that conservatives were hawks in Korea (like Frank Burns!) and liberals wouldn’t have nuked Japanese civilians. Think again. (Truman’s strongest critics on this were not only Dorothy Day but career military men including Eisenhower. That little Freemason was a war criminal.)

I know the Japanese committed atrocities in China. (They hate other Asians.) Not a reason to go to war. As other have written, a trading relationship with an unconquered Japanese Empire would have been morally equivalent to the one with Communist China today. (In case you haven’t noticed just about everything is made there now.)

That said, actually at Pearl Harbor the Japanese naval pilots followed an old-fashioned soldierly code of honour (theirs was a non-Christian but mediæval society the Americans set out to destroy) and did not bomb civilian targets like Honolulu or the oil refinery and storage tanks near the base (which militarily would have made sense and even possibly changed the outcome of the war), American propaganda at the time (‘Those inhuman Nip rats!’) notwithstanding.

(It was the liberal saviours who brought you the New Deal, which didn’t work BTW, who thought imprisoning citizens of Japanese ancestry was a good idea: appealing to the ugliest part of the culture to stir up war fever.)

Their objectives were actually limited: they wanted to grab the American, British and Dutch colonies nearby; countries that were killing them economically. ‘If those countries can have colonies on the other side of the world then why can’t we, right here in Asia?’ None of that nonsense about Hirohito in the White House.

(BTW my landlord’s wife is a dignified lady in her 60s from Japan who still bows instead of shaking hands. Lovely woman.)

The authentic right, including the maligned John Birch Society, was divided about Vietnam.

From The Western Confucian.
Vietnam’s real lessons
By Col. Andrew Bacevich, a Catholic who was there and whose soldier son was killed in Iraq

From Common Dreams via LRC.
Myths and truths about Iran
...the famous quote from Iran's President Ahmadinejad about "wiping Israel off the map." Here's the problem: from what I can tell, he never said that. ...I do want to highlight one word that Ahmadinejad used in his famous quote: "rezhim-e." What does that sound like to you? [Members of the audience answered "regime."] Right. cannot understand Iranians and how they think about the world without understanding the important role in their lives of the 1980-88 war between Iran and Iraq. A minimum estimate of Iranian lives lost in that war is 300,000. ...To put that in an American context, consider how many American lives were lost in the Vietnam war: approximately 58,000.
Iran lost half of one per cent of its people. If American losses in Vietnam were proportionate they would have come to a million.

Don’t blame foreign governments for fuel shortages: foreign government, no matter how powerful, can make us line up for gasoline. Only our government can do that, by imposing price controls on gasoline that prevent the price from rising to the point where the amount demanded equals the amount supplied. Result: shortages and line-ups.

Monday, August 27, 2007

MCJ gets the Episcopal row
Didn’t the liberals know, or did they want you and me to forget, that high-ranking politicians like the US president, even ones they like, usually don’t write their own speeches?
Liberals love Africans. Not as real people, mind you, with thoughts, ideas and opinions of their own, but as helpless children who need to be "saved" by their enlightened betters in the West. But let an African come along who strays from the reservation, who suggests that perhaps the West is, well, wrong about something, and such an anomaly needs to be addressed.

You can go the John Shelby Spong route and declare that your African is too stupid to know any better. You can call him a bigot. If neither of those approaches works individually, you can combine the two by implying that your African is too much of a simpleton to realize how completely he's being manipulated by evil, rich, Western conservatives.

What you can't permit yourself to do is to admit that your African arrived at his viewpoint by himself. Because then you have to open yourself up to two unpleasant possibilities. There is an African in the world who doesn't need you. And your self-evident right answer to The Issue isn't as self-evident as you originally talked yourself into believing it was.
Gonzales: hasta la vista, baby
I should think that any Christian worth her or his salt has gone back to the issue of pacifism over and over again and felt uneasy.
Fr Tony Clavier

I have done, as did C.S. Lewis, and like him I don’t feel uneasy.

This little story shows why.
Vietnam vets say no to Mr Bush’s Vietnam analogy
Some recall he wasn’t keen on going there himself at the time

Mr al-Maliki, meet Mr Ngo

Nice Catholic girls
Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne (who BTW are talented — Christina can sing) 1, pro-abortion Amnesty nil

From The Western Confucian.
When patriotism becomes idolatry
By Mark Shea. From T19.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

On the despicable Michael Vick
Specifically blaming racism and the idolisation of sport. Actually you can blame ‘da man’ in a way.
The thing is, we have the power to say no more. All we have to do is put down those tickets, turn off the TV, and buy plain ole Keds.
Even if you’re the kind of libertarian who argues that dogs are simply property and Mr Vick had the right to do with them what he wanted, good-hearted people of any political persuasion have the right to exercise freedom and comment on Mr Vick’s character exactly as Deacon Jim says.

The Catholic faith on cruelty to animals
The Schoolmen steer a rational middle course neither approving of Mr Vick’s evil nor the errors of the radical animal-rights people. BTW how do many of them feel about killing ‘inconvenient’ babies in the womb? Again sympathy for animals is good but how much of this is only upper-middle-class sentimentality?

Rather proves the article’s parting shot. From bedwere.
The Gothic Revival: a Catholic reaction to paganising, secularising, dehumanising influences on society and culture from decadence in art and architecture to the ‘dark satanic mills’ taking over England in the Industrial Revolution

(An economist such as a libertarian of the von Mises school might criticise the vision — much like critics of crunchiness today, another good-hearted movement — pointing out that industry benefited more people in the long run, but it still had a lot of truth.)

This reaction to these forces, along with romanticism in literature (like Walter Scott) and some Anglican high churchmen’s return to Catholic doctrine through the study of the church fathers (the Tractarians at Oxford), all came together around the mid-1800s to form another expression of English and Victorian ardour, Anglo-Catholicism.

Ambrose de Lisle was another Roman Catholic very much of this school and IMO a saint.

Church and history on the Sussex coast
I used to know somebody in Lewes (the vicar of St Anne’s) — he wasn’t from there though. As I like to say you can find this religion in England if you’re looking for it (I’ve found it unexpectedly ‘oop north’) but it was easier in London, Brighton and the South Coast (advanced Anglo-Catholicism in the 1920s got this nickname from a railway line by that name).

Now I understand at a Roman parish in Brighton you can go to a weekly Mass in Polish — from having the Irish papers for sale in the narthex like I remember popping into RC parishes in England, they’re becoming a different kind of immigrant church. (The Irish stopped coming to Mass.)

BTW happy feast-day of Our Lady of Częstochowa (the icon and more about icons). My priest and father confessor is ethnic Polish.

Byzantine Rite (Orthodox) churches have far more in common with the mediæval vision of Pugin than the baroque statuary he hated (some of it like some classical music doesn’t really belong in church).

The pre-Raphaelites had the right idea too.

From TNLM and Deacon Jim.

London mayor has pierogi-fest to get Polish vote next year
Dr King’s niece on the ugly truth about abortion and blacks
The American civil-rights movement had a strong Christian element, rather like the Catholic part of anti-apartheid activism. Margaret Sanger was a racist.
In the last forty-plus years, 15 million black people have been denied their most basic civil right, the right to life. Roughly one quarter of the black population is now missing. This hasn't happened because of lynch mobs, but because of abortionists who plant their killing centers in minority neighborhoods and prey upon women who think they have no hope. The great irony is that abortion has done what the Klan only dreamed of.
It’s been explained to me that the civil-rights movement not only created bad legal precedent that now threatens the freedom of people of all colours but it really only opened up white society to upper-crust blacks like Dr King. I’m not saying he was selfish — he really wanted to help all and is a national hero — but an unintended result was many blacks were left behind (partly because of their own bad decisions) imprisoning them in ghetto culture today (which brings you underreported black-on-white crime and rap about killing cops and abusing women).

Dr King opposed big government’s liberal (yes) crusade in Vietnam (‘they want freedom!’) but didn’t seem to realise the same state he well-meaningly wanted to solve society’s racial (really cultural and not to do with genes) problems was... part of the problem.

From The Western Confucian.
On the discipline of praying the office and on spiritual dryness
Talking to Jorge: routine as a good thing, a background hum and markers for a life that’s prayer
Same old man, working at the mill
The mill turns around of its own free will
Hand in the hopper and the other in a sack
The ladies step forward and the gents fall back.
— Refrain, traditional folk song covered by Ian Matthews on Valley Hi (1973)

Mother Teresa’s dark night

Yoda bumps
Tricks of the devils and/or part of God’s ultimate plan? The Revd Sharon writes about them. From Tim Cravens.
Runnemede’s resident rabbit

Barrington, or the armour of God can be a bunny’s fur as Tripp preached about a year ago.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

On the box
Father of the Bride

For Spencer Tracy and Liz Taylor fans (I admit I never found her incredibly hot)

Seeing this again these things struck me:
  • Indifference or hostility to religion had become mainstream even by 1950: the Tracy character’s reaction to the plan for a church wedding was how many men of that class really felt.
  • Hollywood’s version of Anglicanism, in this case the Episcopal Church: the big sort-of Gothic church interior (lovely and just right for the period), the Englishman trying to choreograph the bridal party, the coped priest (whom the Tracy character calls ‘Reverend’ as in ‘Revd Galsworthy’*), the Prayer Book text and (if you’re paying attention) the hanging sanctuary lamp for the Reserved Sacrament. Recognisably Catholic to those in the know and about where Episcopal churchmanship was headed at the time. (The electric candelabra on the altar are hard to explain. Probably just a mistake they thought no-one would notice.)
  • There’s another, much shorter Episcopal church scene — acolytes putting out altar candles and bowing — in one of Vincente Minnelli’s earlier films, Three-Day Pass, made just a few years before. As an artist he seemed to have a eye for good production values in liturgy!
*Back then with these clergy only Anglo-Catholics were ‘Father’; everybody else was ‘Mr’ or its equivalent. Like in England.

RIP Aaron Russo
He would have made a good US president
As a musical producer and promoter, he brought Led Zeppelin to the United States and managed Bette Midler and the Manhattan Transfer. As a movie producer, he is perhaps most known for The Rose and Trading Places.

In our last telephone conversation, Aaron told me he’d kick my butt if I didn’t do what I could to ensure Ron Paul is the next president of the United States.
America: From Freedom to Fascism

Director’s authorised version
M.J. Ernst-Sandoval on Arab Christians
The problem of decaying infrastructure
Like unsafe bridges, as recently made the news from Minnesota. (Pennsylvania just issued a press release — I work for a newspaper so I get this stuff — that admitted, sort of, the state’s got a lot of dodgy bridges but by God they’re safe! Sure.) It’s a respectable libertarian position to say this is one of government’s legitimate jobs, not interfering with people’s God-given rights but delivering the post and paving the roads. Ron Paul says no, privatisation is best at least for safe bridges.

Long audio interview with Dr Paul
A conservative Baptist who doesn’t claim personal infallibility and gets tolerant conservatism (he wouldn’t harass homosexuals or women who make the horrible mistake of aborting). The interviewers, delightfully bonkers music and all, remind me why I didn’t vote for the Constitution Party (creepy Protestant religious-right vibe that would welcome theocratic fascism).
Talking to an Anglo-Papalist
Desire: Does Anglicanism want to be in communion with the Holy See?
Obviously most of it doesn’t, from the non-papalist Anglo-Catholics to the Central Churchmen to the Evangelicals (like the men overseas in charge of new arrangements in America) to of course the ‘Anglo-Liberals’ running the Episcopal Church. Anglo-Papalism is almost uniquely English but of course most English Anglicans aren’t Anglo-Papalists.
Necessity: Why should Anglicanism be in communion with the Holy See?
Because the Holy See is Catholic.

Because regardless of the controversy over the origin (man-made rank, a good thing; or divinely instituted Vicar of Christ?) and scope of the papal office, the Pope is Anglicans’ rightful patriarch and they were taken from him by force, by the king.
Change: What does Anglicanism need to do to be in communion with the Holy See?
Become Anglo-Papalist, not even merely Catholic, in its beliefs.
Reciprocation: Why should the Holy See want to be in communion with Anglicanism?
Tolerant conservatism, Catholicism with an English heart even when it wears Italian finery. The thing I most keenly miss when it’s not there. To me that’s what the language of the Prayer Book and Anglican music stand for. It’s as unknown in mainstream Roman Catholic circles, certainly in America (which doesn’t want it), as Novus Ordo-using Anglo-Papalism is among Episcopalians.

How to revive Anglo-Catholic worship?
In which the Silent Acolyte on the Ship states some good principles — Mass-and-office Catholicism and social action (the daily Mass is unique to Western Catholicism) — and at the end sums up ‘Our Present Duty’
God save us all, if Anglocatholicism is to be cramped and reduced to a matter of the chirping out metrical minor propers and faffing about with incense.

But the point is that if that's what it's all about, it ain't Anglo-Catholicism. It's dressing up. Dressing up can go very well with Anglo-Catholicism but they're not the same thing.
Of course I don’t agree with the liberal and ‘anti-tat’ positions of some in the thread but recognise the credal orthodoxy, commonality with me and good intentions of often younger people like Carys.

(On that note read Derek Olsen on Psalm 118/119.)
You do realise that to most North American Anglo-Catholics 'outmoded pre-Vat II practices' are what Anglo-Catholicism is all about?
If that’s what it’s all about one might as well go to the Society of St Pius X instead.

It’s true that the English version often is both far more extreme theologically and lower in churchmanship! (Imitating mainstream RC.)

See my answer to Warwickensis’s fourth question linked at the top of this entry under ‘Talking’.

(The easygoing ethnic Catholicism and mystical ‘kick’ you can find in the traditionalism of tsarist-bred Russian Orthodoxy, if you’re looking for those things, can be a fairly good approximation of what I’m talking about there. The second of the types I wrote about here.)

And re-read the Silent Acolyte’s first point on the office.
I also want to know what people mean by the "glory days" of Anglo-Catholicism. ... are we talking about singing Marian hymns on Westminster bridge in the 1920s?
In England a long time ago I met somebody who was there.

Friday, August 24, 2007

On the false opposition of the Christ of dogma and the living Christ
The ‘living’ one could simply live in your imagination to ratify whatever it is you’re up to
Refusing to learn from books is willful ignorance.

Trying to justify our willful ignorance by calling it "living tradition" compounds it into hypocrisy.
— From the Ship
On b*tching about church
Some hard-won wisdom (be attentive) from Rod Dreher

If you are the second kind of Catholic described here and try to force yourself into a church of the first kind you will burn out.

This cautionary tale also applies to the Anglican row: the psychological trap of building a whole life around hating the other side, like somebody in a bad marriage, and forgetting about God and ‘the whole “disciple” thing’.
"The traditionalists," he said, "I never was one of them, but they sure did call a lot of things right a long time ago."
Mainstream muddle
[Christiane] Amanpour apparently subscribes to some version of newsroom universalism:

“But as far as I’m concerned, as long as people believe that only their holy book or only their holy word matters and is relevant, then there will be no solution. And that’s why it takes committed and courageous leadership to provide an answer and solution that addresses the greater good for all.”

Her political beliefs seem incoherent and sophomoric. She says over and over that the only thing that can help the world is “committed leadership” but also laments, “that unfortunately the very vocal minority often dominates the political stage.” What do you think a “leadership” consists of if not a vocal minority?
Wanting the state not to interfere in your life but giving it far-reaching powers because you demand it solve this problem or that one over there. Like a teen-ager: ‘Get out of my life! Will you drive me to the mall?’
She basically comes off as an ill-informed Universalist with what are commonly called liberal beliefs, and as someone who doesn’t, ahem, get religion.
Putting Michael Vick shirts to good use
I’m sure if Shasta (an old reporter colleague’s dog) were still here she’d laugh her noiseless laugh in agreement

See you on the other side

Libertarians and animal rights
From Lee of Thinking Reed
Tech is here to stay
Part I: talking to Internet father Vint Cerf
The Internet... stands poised to become the greatest communications platform humanity has ever known.
No more waste of dead trees, of land, on overhead for redundant shops... I love it!

Those resources can be better used on more lasting things, like those reflecting permanent things. For example at home my library is largely pared down to my religious and especially liturgical books (lots of office books)... which as you can imagine are either old or recent reprintings or editions of old books.

It saves space.

The same reason LRC’s Gary North no longer has file cabinets full of newspaper cuttings.

As for electronic waste (see Cerf below on obsolescence) live simply that others may simply live, and simply because it’s meet and right (spiritually healthy and good stewardship). Resist the urge planted by Madison Avenue (in the business of manufacturing emotional needs that aren’t really needs) to buy the latest gadget.

(It’s been said Americans waste money on things; Europeans buy experiences: good food, nice holidays.)

Crunchy tech?
We will also be confronted with a kind of "information decay" in which digital objects become less and less accessible owing to the age of the software that created it.

It's not only file formats that change, though. Changes in computer programs, operating systems and even the hardware that we use to build computers will accentuate the challenge of keeping digital information meaningful.
Part II from Derek Olsen who wrote this entry’s headline.
On a book that formed me 23 years ago
1984, the same year I read another formative book
In 1955, long before the United States had entered the [Vietnam] war [and right after the French lost at Dien Bien Phu], Graham Greene wrote a novel called "The Quiet American." It was set in Saigon and the main character was a young government agent named Alden Pyle. [Opposed to the other main character, a cynical, worldly-wise Englishman called Fowler.] He was a symbol of American purpose and patriotism and dangerous naivete. Another character describes Alden this way: "I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused."
Pyle: They want FREEDOM!
Fowler: They want enough rice.

Read it.

From via The Western Confucian.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Using pulpits to push martial law
One of Mr Bush’s minders’ emergency plans. More taking God’s name in vain: ‘hand over your guns because Romans 13 says so’. As if ministers being used as agents of the state in weddings wasn’t bad enough. From LRC.
A society that hates sexual fidelity hates children
And is self-centred as hell — literally. From Per Christum.
Joe Sobran’s latest
I liked Richard Nixon, and he seemed to like me. I met him a couple of times after he resigned from the presidency. He was nothing like the ogre liberals described.

I found him kind, decent, gracious, intelligent, well-spoken, charming, witty, easy to like, and, though able to relax sociably with strangers, indisposed to share his innermost thoughts. I realized I’d never really know him.

The “imperial” presidency the anti-Nixon liberals deprecated was merely part of the monolithic imperial state — yea, a global empire — those same liberals had already been cheering on for several generations.

At least Jefferson and Lincoln, both brilliant men, might have understood each other; but could either have made himself intelligible to President Bush?

Bush is often ridiculed for his stupidity, but his real defect is an embarrassing incuriosity.

If the thought of Nixon wielding enormous power is unsettling, given the constraints of the Cold War, the thought of Bush ruling the world’s only superpower without such constraints is downright terrifying. Nixon, a man who had the virtue of prudence, knew when to stop.
The sole superpower in decline
One evil empire down, one more to go. From The Western Confucian and picked up by today.
US officials give up ‘democracy’ line on Iraq
They’re almost admitting that overthrowing Saddam Hussein was a waste of Iraqi, American and British lives and Iraqi property. From Deacon Jim.
NOW you figure it out...
— What Iraqi Catholics must be thinking as they keep fleeing the country
The row revisited
I came into the church in the center of the old "high and wide" churchmanship, the sort that characterized many of the big east coast cathedrals thirty or more years ago. Or perhaps forty-five years would be more apropos. Back in those days the Broad issue was racism, a cause that allowed it to be easily allied with the Anglo-Catholics. When the Broad issues turned to the middle class (sexism and homosexuality), Anglo-Catholics became the enemy, because they were bound to teaching what they had always taught.
CGW (more here, here and here — he gets it)

The anti-apartheid movement — Desmond Tutu’s and Steve Biko’s mentors — was Catholic. I knew a priest (pictured) who was thrown out of Namibia in the 1960s. By the end of his life he was supplying in a Continuing parish.

Fr Tobias Haller gives some insight on the Pike trial:
Pike was seen as a peripheral and tragic figure, allowed to keep his seat in the House of Bishops more out of charity than conviction.
It reminds me of Black Narcissus when the demons invisibly working on the nuns took even virtues and turned them against them (every temptation is for an apparent good: isn’t that how it always works?): the kind-hearted infirmarian who disobeyed her superior and went into the village to try and save one child ended up turning the village against the convent when the child died. Here the English and Anglican virtues of kindness, tolerant conservatism and sticking together (the old boys looking out for one of their own) set bad precedent with unintended consequences.

But the blowback is not as severe or fast-acting as some on the Protestant and RC neocon right say. (‘Get out now!’)

There are still Central and even Catholic people and places ‘under the radar’. Reminds me of St Paul’s by the Lake in Chicago.

In the past year online and occasionally in person I’ve read and become acquainted with several people often younger than me (in another nine years I’ll just be a fogey) who unlike the two generations before them have an amazing sympathy for the Catholic religion. You can describe at least some of them as post-modern.

Here Fr Haller seems to speak for them:
I can affirm each and every statement that Fairfield describes as “Classical Biblical and Anglican theology” and reject the doctrines he attributes to Modernism... in which few progressive Episcopalians will recognize themselves portrayed.
The ex-Christians are nowhere near as strong as they and the mainstream media like to claim.

Spong’s ‘bright sixth-former’ recycled C19 scepticism is only popular with some of his generation and some boomers. ‘God is dead.’ Wow, man.
It is often said that you can only have a reasonable discussion with those with whom you disagree when you can state the opposite side’s case in language they recognize and affirm.
Any thinking person knows why stereotypes are — because they have lots of things that are true and lots of people fit them — but also why they’re not fair to everybody.

In the past year I’ve been especially careful to avoid generalisations and media caricatures, including those from the conservative parties (there are more than two sides) in the Anglican row: ‘The Episcopal Church is no longer Christian’, ‘all Broad Churchmen/women ministers/gays are alike/liberal/apostate’ and suchlike.

Trying to avoid the ‘blah, blah, blah, Ginger’ breakdown in communication in which for example ‘we are part of the larger church above all else’ gets scrambled on the other end as ‘you’re unjust to women’ and so on.

The new generation and I have much in common, which is comforting. I hope in some small way this blog, and in a bigger way and more important the Catholic faith, is helpful to you. (I realise when some of you say you’re Catholic you’re not making fun of me.) As we say and believe the same creed and sometimes even pray the same offices, please pray for me as I do for you.

But we are not in communion: nothing self-righteous about that, only honest. Perhaps you feel the pain of that as much as I do.

Getting back to what Charley hit upon mentioning class, perhaps it is a direct line from going into schism from one’s lawful patriarch (regardless of the controversy about his office’s origin and powers) to do the bidding of the king to making compromises to serve the upper middle class.

The way it now works and will work in future is ‘fine, you can be orthodox and old-fashioned — in fact it makes us look good, reasonable, tolerant, diverse, all that wonderful stuff — as long as it doesn’t get in the way of women’s ordination, gay weddings and anything else the upper middle class might fancy some day’. (Which is what things like ‘traditional where it counts’ mean.)

Eventually Neuhaus’s law — when orthodoxy is optional it’s only a matter of time before it’s proscribed — will be played out in the Anglican scene. The compromised Christians and the ex-Christians will duke it out and there will be only one kind left. But not now.

More speculation: in the nominal reign of ‘defender of the faiths’ Charles III England will disestablish and the Broad Church there will collapse in a country secular to an extent hard for Americans to imagine. (And perhaps there will be a Muslim ascendancy.) What’s left of the Catholic Movement is stronger than in the States but the part not co-opted by the gay movement as happened to most of it in America (‘they should have poped last Tuesday week had not their partners objected’) will go over to Rome as most already are liturgically low-church anyway using the Novus Ordo. (Anglo-Papalism is almost peculiar to south-eastern England.) The biggest native part of the Christian minority will be a Church of England narrowly Evangelical. Christian but Protestant. Perhaps part of an Anglican Communion of the same churchmanship in which the empire is reversed and the Global South calls the shots. Back to Blighty... there will be other Christians in that minority: a Roman Catholic Church no longer Irish, kept alive by Polish immigration.

BTW Fr Haller is right and the reasserters wrong. ‘What?’ He’s right that Protestant private judgement perhaps even in Hooker’s mild form* eventually and logically leads to things like gay weddings. (Not gay marriage, which the law of God and the natural law say is impossible.) The conservative Protestants don’t know it.

Why the new orthodox via media doesn’t work
The same reason the old Elizabethan settlement fell apart. By Fr Deacon Methodius Hayes, a former Anglican priest in South Africa (who also was thrown out of Namibia).

*But classic Anglicans, like the Schoolmen before them, saw ‘reason’ as ‘conforming yourself to the laws of God and nature, to objective reality’ (commonly called growing up) not ‘God does what I want and if you’re not cool with it then you’re a fundamentalist and big meanie, so there’.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Don’t blame capitalism
For the recent bumpy ride. Blame central banks, says Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:
It was they - in effect governments - who intervened in countless complex ways to push down the price of global credit to levels that warped behaviour, as the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has repeatedly noted. By setting the price of money too low, they encouraged debt and punished savings.

The markets have merely responded with their usual exuberance to this distorted signal.

So while the investment boutiques - Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers - may have pushed a toxic product (a rash of lawsuits will decide), this occurred in a context where policy error had bent incentives.
From LRC.
Hamas refashions its militancy
Fun with spam
I didn’t get anything haiku-like this week

Is the US government outsourcing its e-mail? Like using an Indian call centre? This one comes from Byrd, who notes, ‘The state of English usage at a federal department has apparently degraded badly’. :)

Agents Ngumbu and Scully write:

We believe this notification meets you in a very good present state of mind and health. We the Federal bureau of investigation (FBI) Washington, DC in conjunction with some other relevant Investigation Agencies here in the United states of America have recently been informed through our Global intelligence monitoring network that you presently have a transaction going on with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as regards to your over-due contract payment which was fully endorsed in your favor accordingly.

We will find a way to fix a schedule for you to come to our head-quarter in Washington DC to enable us advise you on what to do, but meanwhile you are further advised to be contacting us via email for now because we are having various investigations that we are working on now.
Rather like the US Army’s uniforms are made in Communist China.
Wonderful sex? It is thinkable!

Sounds like how many people got through puberty.
The Pentagon’s disturbing relationship with some Protestant sects
Taking God’s name in vain, or ‘Left Behind’ video games are not an exit strategy (or even adequate body armour to protect your soldiers). First proselytism at the US Air Force Academy, now this.

In a way it fits: ‘once saved, always saved’ and the nasty pastimes many soldiers love, even though they seem to conflict. Just like you see in parts of the American South: businesses out in the open to serve you at either end of your spiritual mood swing. (Driving in the South once I was most struck by this right outside an army base.)

Then again as recently as 70 years ago fundamentalists would not have been co-opted like this as they had a genuinely Christian distrust of the state and hatred of war.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

How fundamentalism works
Eunomia on Islam
The lesson of mainline Protestantism... is that religion without substance and conviction is dead and uninspiring and doomed to stagnation and irrelevance. People flee it as they would from the plague.
Or at least Beavis and Butt-Head laugh at it.

The term fundamentalist is an f-bomb in the chattering classes for any kind of conservative Christian (and sometimes the shoe fits) but Catholics — traditionalists — are not fundies with a Mass.

R. Scott Appleby, who has little sympathy for us, acknowledges that.

It’s the difference between the depth and breadth of the real pre-conciliar church — everybody from Franco to Merton — and the perfectionistic little sects some groups trying to emulate it become.
[Fundamentalism] is itself a modern phenomenon.

Appleby’s written that it’s amazingly adaptive and a selective retrieval of parts of a tradition. By definition a caricature!
Neocons and Red China: perfect together
The Bush administration and China have both undermined efforts to tighten rules designed to ensure that lead paint isn't used in toys, bibs, jewelry and other children’s products.
Seems like a violation of the harm principle of libertarianism to me.

The reader who submitted this writes:
Look for this to be immediately dismissed by news outlets like Fox as "Anti-Bush propaganda" and a fabrication of the liberal mainstream media.

Unfortunately, none of that addresses the fact that the Bush administration, to all appearances, really
isn't focused on protecting the American consumer from dangerous goods, predatory lenders and other threats to the public good.
Of course it isn’t!

One more time.

For all the prayer breakfasts (re-read Richard III) and other posturing about people on life support and of course using the babies as bait (I’d bet you a gold sovereign that Karl Rove used to laaaugh as the charisma-gorje RCs went all Pavlovian over this one)...

... the neocons don’t give a f*ck about you.

They’re sending your kids (that includes your daughters) to get killed in Iraq (if you’re not of their class) — not theirs.

Hmm. Sacred in the womb and if comatose. Both true of course. But according to Bushian moral theology every life in between is the state’s b***h. They own you. Own.


(Just like China and Mr Kim’s North Korea. Remember that ‘Axis of Evil’ go at Greatest Generation nostalgia? No, wait, we need this country for imported cheap crap, and this and that one have got nukes and can fight back... never mind! What happened to ‘bring ’em on’, Mr Bush? Down the memory hole with ‘dead or alive’ — Mr bin Laden is either cleverer than Waldo or we’ve been had — and ‘mission accomplished’.)
The Anastasis Dialogue
Holy Resurrection Monastery has got a blog! These are Byzantine Catholics in the US Romanian Catholic diocese under Bishop John-Michael (Botean), a peace witness (member of Pax Christi and against the Iraq war from the beginning).

Fr Maximos and novelist Anne Rice correspond:
A truly pro-life position has as its ultimate goal not the criminalization of abortion, but its abolition. We don't just want to punish people for their abortions; we don't want them to have abortion – or to want them – in the first place.

Once you properly define the goal of the pro-life movement, you suddenly discover a whole new range of possibilities open up beyond the narrow straightjacket of two-party politics.

The goal of a complete end to abortion will be won primarily by changing hearts, not laws.
Perhaps trite — but true.

Anne Rice, Fr Maximos and I may differ on many points but I dare say we may be one on this: don’t get played.
I really do suspect that the moral vision of the Orthodox tradition can offer western Christians an important help in this regard. The Eastern Christian emphasis on personal metanoia rather than on institutional solutions is one that is badly needed to reinvigorate the whole Christian engagement with the secular world.
Could it be... Orthodox libertarianism?

There’s much I like about this kind of monk but, like Archimandrite Anastassy, also much I like about Fr Seraphim (Rose)’s kind as much as they sharply differ from chaps like me and the late archimandrite: their fervour, observance and authentically Catholic worldview making many of the same points that Western Catholic traditionalists do — the late, great G.K. Chesterton* as far back as the 1920s saw through modernity exactly like Fr Seraphim but was much less verbose and much funnier in communicating that — but sadly often marred by an anti-Westernism that’s at times pathological or worse as self-destructive online converts show. (Un-Western — thou shalt not cut and paste rites in church, as Rome agrees — does not necessarily mean anti-Western.)

Each approach has its good and bad points: Fr Maximos’s, like the Parisian/St Vladimir’s ‘liberal’ intellectual school of Russian Orthodoxy, reminds me of the authentically Catholic liberal but orthodox and pre-conciliar avant-gardeness of Thomas Merton. Not a bad thing necessarily, not at all!

The danger of course is in being too trusting of the secular world, like what happened to mainstream RCs at Vatican II (the sectarian/Old Believer/cult temptation — ‘going Amish’ — is the other extreme), so in this case you could end up a sort of Eastern-flavoured liberal Protestant or New Ager, which has its own kind of creepy anti-Western snobbery. They look down on the good tsarist Russians who were Fr Seraphim’s models as ‘scholastic’ (try it: a consistent moral theology is a good thing), ‘in Western captivity’ and so on. Essentially the same reasons liberal RCs hate the Tridentine Mass.

(Good tsarist Russians were most unlike the pathology one sees among conservative Orthodox today especially among converts and especially online in that they were not particularly hostile to other Christians! They had nothing to prove. They knew who they were yet borrowed freely from scholastic theology for example. When speaking English they went to Mass on Easter; they weren’t trying to spite Rome like some ex-fundygelical.)

But back to the positive: the Orthodox version’s got a mystical ‘kick’ all its own and an unique form of sacramental presence, the icon.

Here’s more goodness from Fr Maximos:
I remember a story once (I'm not sure where I heard it) of an old Athonite monk who was asked about reunion with the [Roman] Catholics. He looked up to an icon of the Theotokos nearby and said, "only She can do it."

In my mind this goes with another story I once heard a Russian Catholic priest tell. Father's family background is Irish Catholic, and he told us of trying to explain to his "little Irish mother" all about the Russian Church and its customs, history, problems and why he found it so exciting. Finally, his mom looked at him and said, "Yes, but do they love our Lady?"

"Oh, yes mum! Perhaps more than we do!"

"Well," she said, "that's all right then."
On fasting
...asceticism is not ultimately driven by either utilitarian or moralistic motives. Christians don't fast, for example, out of a desire to improve their physical health or support environmental causes. Nor do they give up food or drink because it is evil--that is why feasting is no less important than fasting! Now, these secondary motivations for fasting are not bad, in fact they can be tremendous benefits. But ultimately, fasting and asceticism is about sacrifice of self, that is about becoming one with the divine Word who speaks nothing of himself, but only what the Father bids him speak.
From Ad Orientem:

On intercommunion
Damascus versus Dubuque (comment)

*He gave a lecture at the first Anglo-Catholic Congress in 1920.

Monday, August 20, 2007

End the war on drugs
The WaPo talks sense. From Fr Jim Tucker.
The war as we saw it
By seven American soldiers in Iraq
VIEWED from Iraq at the tail end of a 15-month deployment, the political debate in Washington is indeed surreal. Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day...
From Rational Review.
How the religious right got played by Karl Rove
Fun fact: he is an Episcopalian, about as relevant as jailed mafioso Nicky Scarfo being a Roman Catholic. From GetReligion.

I was going to give this a headline I pinched from ‘The Simpsons’ — ‘Gay Mexicans with ties to al-Qaeda are sneaking across the border and unplugging our brain-dead ladies’ — but Mr Rove tried to play the Hispanic vote too.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Being a priest is being an artist in way. The mass is so beautiful, so mysterious.... as Paul Claudel once said, the most beautiful and august gestures ever confided to man were done so in the mass. In the mass, space and time ceases, and heaven and earth unite... just like an artist when he is painting, or a musician, when he is performing... he is outside of himself, and becomes one with the act of creation, and one with god. So being at the same time a priest and artist is not that far off.
Fr Gordon Anderson, priest and painter
It’s an honour

From Warwickensis.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Anglo-Catholic movement according to David Virtue
That about says it, doesn’t it? Take it as you will. Much of what he says is true including the unflattering parts.
Anglo-Catholics Face Isolation And Demonization
The real kind not the ‘Affirming’ Episcopal house style, a distinction he correctly makes.
The term "High Church" was first applied in the late seventeenth century to those individuals who were opposed to the Puritan wing of the Church of England. It is also called the "Oxford Movement."
High Church didn’t necessarily mean in the 1600s-1833 what it means now. As in the case of the Caroline divines it often went along with quasi-Catholic belief but was more to do with the authority of the church allied to the government (making this libertarian uncomfortable! ... although these arrangements are acceptable in Catholic doctrine) than doctrine let alone ceremonial (its main meaning today).

The Oxford Movement (Tractarians) mid-early C19 was a slightly different animal. For one thing it was against Erastianism, the state compromising the church! The old High Churchmen who didn’t go along with its catholicising in doctrine (and eventually in ceremonial) became today’s (or at least yesterday’s) Central Churchmen: high but Protestant.
Later, in the nineteenth century, it was applied to the Anglo-Catholic or Tractarian movement in England from 1833 going forward.
Correct — and the Tractarian movement was the Oxford Movement and began in 1833 — but Catholic and High Church still are not synonymous though they often coincide.
They harbor an inordinate number of homosexuals some of whom live celibately, but many do not. Those that do live out the lifestyle do not flaunt their homoerotic behavior...
Entirely true. Quasi-Evangelicals like Virtue, the Broad Church types, RC neocons and traditionalists, and secular gay activists think it’s hypocritical; I think that even though it’s not ideal it’s vice’s concession to the truth (even if one doesn’t live up to that truth). All part of the lesson of tolerant conservatism I learnt, a value most English, very Anglican and entirely Catholic (the church doesn’t micro-manage people like a cult).
They oppose ... (in principle) sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman.
And that, m’dears, is what saves all. Catholicism is not Donatism. As long as the faith is taught and practised the unworthiness of the minister doesn’t matter.
While some do use the Catholic Missal many also use the Anglican Missal produced by the Oxford Movement.
The Oxford Movement used the same Prayer Book services and ceremonial as everybody else. The Missals came from the third generation of Anglo-Catholics. And which ‘Catholic Missal’? A tiny minority like the Anglican Benedictines and the parish of St Saviour’s, Hoxton didn’t bother with translation and used the Missale Romanum just like the RC parishes. This kind of parish and the slightly larger circle that did Roman services in translation now use the modern RC services: mostly an English phenomenon, big in the Diocese of London for example, and unknown in the States. (What’s left of the Benedictines — not much — is ‘Affirming’.) There are a few Tridentine Anglo-Papalists using the Knott Missal (silent Canon in Latin and all) and then there are the Anglican and American missals (once the mode of American ACs and in the Continuum, mostly American, it still is — American bishops enforced Prayer Book use; many English ones gave up on that) with more Prayer Book in them.
This movement [Affirming Catholicism, that is, Broad Church dressed up] is inclusive of women to all levels of the church...
That sounds like something they themselves would say letting the clericalist cat out of the bag: ‘if you’re not clergy you’re not fully in the church’ which is nonsense. Not what Catholicism teaches. The faith is sacerdotalist; clericalism is a caricature many people mistake for the real thing.
...their views on the Book of Common Prayer (1662 or 1929) seen as out of touch with present realities.
Obviously a typo: I don’t think Virtue means the Scottish Prayer Book from 1929 but the American 1928 one. Attachment to the Prayer Book in any form is a nearly peculiarly American form of ACism (except among YFs?).

Clarence Pope again on the death of the Catholic Movement in the Episcopal Church (there are still Catholic people and places):
The culprit, in what he believes to be the death of Anglo-Catholicism, is the usurpation of powers and prerogatives by General Convention. Bishop Pope argued that over the past generation, the "vote" in General Convention had led to the triumph of "political correctness" over sound doctrine.

He also said that the vision of corporate reunion "put forth by Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Ramsey can now never be realized." The Catholic movement he said is at an end.

"General Conventions are not General Councils but they have come to behave as such," he said. "Doctrinal changes concerning holy matrimony, holy orders, and matters of sexual morality have put The Episcopal Church outside the limits of the Vincentian Canon, and marginalize everyone within it from the Catholic world."
Larger church > everything else, or if you believe as I was taught that you are only part of the church then stop acting like you’re the whole church.

(This is not misogyny.)
What has deeply and profoundly hurt and crippled Anglo-Catholics is the recent pronouncement by Pope Benedict XVI that the Roman Catholic Church is the one, true church with all others being in some form defective and their orders "invalid".
That doesn’t sound like anybody I know!

This could be Virtue’s own anti-Roman bias and is also bad reporting of what the Pope actually said. (The Pope didn’t say anything new.) He goes on to contradict this and say, correctly, that Rome recognises the orders of the Eastern churches.

Thanks to the Dutch touch (imported Old Catholic succession, recognised by Rome, from C19 schisms from Rome) there are ACs who accept Apostolicæ Curæ but hold that it’s now irrelevant.

ACs like the Orthodox understand and respect what the Pope said.

The Anglican Use is a bait-and-switch: mainstream RCs don’t want these embarrassingly Catholic ACs coming in.