Friday, December 21, 2012

Today's links

  • From antiwar.com:
    • Raimondo: Chuck Hagel versus the Israel lobby: a battle that must be won.
    • Last of inactivated 170th turning out the lights at Baumholder. All that’s left of what used to be the 170th now fits in one building near the back of the post. The brigade was the first of two Europe-based combat brigades the Pentagon planned to dismantle. The 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade at Grafenwöhr is to be gone by next October, leaving two combat brigades on the Continent. So WWII’s finally ending? Going home’s good (anti-war, pro-military, our forces should be for defense) but it won’t really be over until the narrative tells the truth. The winner, the USSR, was the greatest evil. We were supporting players in what wasn’t really our fight (America first).
  • From Ad Orientem:
  • From LRC:
  • From Roissy: gifts women love, or being romantic isn’t just for betas.
  • From The Woman and the Dragon: the feminine imperative. I think Roissy would answer: because women are reproductively more valuable. Also: American Heritage Girls. So the sister organization of the Boy Scouts isn’t the Girl Scouts? If so I’m not surprised. Complaints about the Boy Scouts of America are that, to their credit, they’re (relatively) conservative, the opposite of the Girl Scouts, who apparently buy every feminist and PC trend. (Understandable: that’s Christianity minus Christ so it appeals to the well-meaning nurturing sex.) There’s more than one conservative alternative to Scouting; somebody I know at Mater has his kids in a Catholic one. By the way I think the original British Boy Scouts were more military than the American; like the cadet training British schools did, or JROTC. And I read once that in PC Canada, the Boy Scouts went completely PC, which decimated them.
  • From Gottesdienst via Bill Tighe: the LCMS on WO.
  • From RR: the SPLC doesn’t like us.
  • From The Anti-Gnostic: Patriarch Bartholomew, a pan-Orthodox council, and official talks with the Catholic Church. The kind of story that has naïve but well-meaning Catholics (such as some of us trads and conservatives hoping for more to join us, in another traditional rite; the point of the little Roman Rite ordinariates of Anglo-Catholic alumni) and the anti-Catholic netodox (the mostly nice ethnic majority of Orthodox aren’t online much, like I don’t watch EWTN because I already know about the church) talking about it. Regular readers know my line: ecumenism is a zero-sum game. (Catholic ecumenism is you-come-in-ism.) The nature of Catholic doctrine makes it non-negotiable. With one true church, corporate union can’t happen except sacramentally with the Orthodox and other Eastern churches; sacramentally we’re already the same. But in ecumenism we’re talking about different ecclesiologies. Catholic infallible church vs. Protestant fallible, fungible church. With Catholics and Orthodox you have the same one-true-church and infallibility claims, but churches that are run differently, and the difference (the scope of the Pope) is irreconcilable, even though Orthodoxy’s folk Catholicism in practice is good (better than Vatican II) and historically how Western Catholicism really works too. (Orthodoxy’s defined doctrine is Catholic.) Casual Catholic readers might need to know Bartholomew’s not the Orthodox Pope; he can’t just decide to bring the Orthodox communion into the church. (By the way the Russians are the biggest Orthodox church but the patriarch of Moscow’s not Pope-like either.) Of course I hope the proposed pan-Orthodox synod (ecumenical council 8 or 10 depending on how you count them?) wouldn’t be their Vatican II. I don’t wish that on them, and given their grassroots nature I don’t see it happening. (A benefit of disorganization. While remaining amazingly similar, the churches of the Orthodox communion, with different languages and cultures, naturally have very little to do with each other.) Still, it would be interesting if, as Pope Benedict recatholicizes the church, the church’s biggest fellow Christian rival (on earth, not in the mostly Protestant English-speaking world) caves/protestantizes. We’ve gone as far as we can with ecumenism. The Protestants know what we teach and vice versa, and we’re not trying to kill each other. Again the Orthodox with their bishops and the Mass etc. can relatively easily become Catholic, as groups/national churches, but probably won’t. ‘The two one true churches’ are on perpetual parallel tracks. Chances are the most that would happen is, like the creation of the Greek Catholic churches, a few Orthodox churches would join (the way the Ukrainians and Melkites came in) but most wouldn’t. You’d have a few more Greek Catholics. (Eastern Catholics are about 2% of Catholics.) By the way, for Roman Riters new to this stuff: the Greek Catholic ethnic majority doesn’t identify with the Orthodox. They’re their own self-latinized thing. (I’m fine with latinizations when they’re old/non-Novus Ordo and don’t take over.) The few Greek Catholics who do are converts (born Roman Riters) who are either what I call in this context high-church (doing exactly what Rome has always said: liturgically be just like the Orthodox — a great thing about being Catholic is they don’t tell you to hate the Orthodox) or the very few, contradictory ‘Orthodox in communion with Rome’, who deny post-schism Catholic teaching, and are almost all passing through, on their way out, to Orthodoxy.
  • Definitions: trads and conservatives. Above I was thinking of the distinction my old friend Jeff Culbreath makes. Trads, like the Orthodox, value immemorial custom and slow, organic change; ‘we’re papal minimalists’ while of course trads believe in the Pope. Conservatives are essentially the sound in the official church as it was under John Paul II: ‘conserving 1970’, accepting and enforcing the Novus Ordo, and more interested in papal pronouncements/creeping infallibilism (much of the what the Pope says is fallible) than the centuries-old ordinary practice of the faith. To balance things out, Fr C has a point about trads’ faults; as the old trad priests in France he knew put it, ‘they (the trad movement) are not what we were’. The whole church before the council was huge, strict on paper as it should be but easygoing in practice, unlike a religious order in the Counter-Reformation mold reacting to the Vatican II disaster: the SSPX, which has done much good but of course isn’t perfect.

6 comments:

  1. My cousin made Eagle Scout and invited me to the ceremony; watching them unsuccessfully trying to get the younger scouts to move on cue with the elaborate ceremonial pomp made me realize what an task it must be to train very young altar boys. The nondenominational prayer at the beginning was pretty funny, too- as my cousin put it, "It has to be vague enough to work as a prayer to Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Zeus, or Space Lord Xenu". Still, my cousin's a good egg, and the Scouts deserve a lot of credit for that.

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  2. Traditional Frog2:15 pm

    American Heritage Scouts only came on the scene fairly recently. It was founded in 1995.

    Girl Scouts was founded by Juliet Gordon Low "Daisy" after she met Sir Robert Baden-Powell in the early 20th century. Baden-Powell's sister Agnes created a girls group in the UK called the Girl Guides which still exists. Gordon Low created her first Girl Guide Troop around 1911 in Scotland. When Juliette returned to her home in Savannah, GA she founded the first girl scout troop there in 1912, then also called the Girl Guides. The name was officially changed to Girl Scouts in 1915.

    Background: I did a history of the whole scouting movement when a young scout myself in the 80's.

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  3. Anonymous11:24 am

    Your comment on the following is most interesting: "The nature of Catholic doctrine makes it non-negotiable. ... We’ve gone as far as we can with ecumenism. The Protestants know what we teach and vice versa". Might be more accurate to say RC doctrine is very malleable by re-interpretation, at least pretty much on all things EXCEPT the papacy? The Lutheran Reformers would be rather pleased with the 1999 Joint Declaration on Justification. Would the bishops at Trent? Or the 16th Century popes? The Lutherans wanted liturgy in German, bible translated from original language into German, communion in both kinds, and married clergy. All OK today. And issues like purgatory, indulgences, relics, etc. are all forgotten in the life of the RC laity. They've disappeared pretty much everywhere but RC CCC. The papacy lost its temporal power. The RCC of 2012 isn't the Church of 1912 or 1412. Will the RCC of 2112 or 2313 be entirely different, too (esp. as regards the laity)?

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    Replies
    1. The Lutheran Reformers would be rather pleased with the 1999 Joint Declaration on Justification. Would the bishops at Trent? Or the 16th Century popes?

      I agree with the declaration. You can say the early Lutherans didn't understand what the church really teaches. You're saved by faith but faith without works is dead, and works prepare you for faith.

      The Lutherans wanted liturgy in German, bible translated from original language into German, communion in both kinds, and married clergy.

      Discipline, not doctrine.

      And issues like purgatory, indulgences, relics, etc. are all forgotten in the life of the RC laity. They've disappeared pretty much everywhere but RC CCC.

      Bad catechesis especially since the council. Protestantization of Catholics in the English-speaking world.

      The papacy lost its temporal power.

      Not doctrine.

      The church at the end of time will have practices based on the same principles behind the Tridentine Mass, and possibly will still have that Mass.

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  5. Re: the Great Synod

    I have seen very, very little about a pan-Orthodox Great Synod though I know one has been discussed for some time. I came across a site that claimed a seven-point agenda but it was unsourced and the site as a whole came across as not terribly trustworty so I'm not going to link it. The jurisdictional issues, the process of autocephaly/autonomy and ecumenicism are talked about a lot so I'm sure they would be discussed.

    The site said letters of invitation have been sent. The site did not mention that, in fact, it's up to the other Patriarchs whether or not they will attend. Again, I have seen nothing about this other than from a few sites. I don't think anything is happening any time soon.

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