Sunday, April 14, 2013

Good Shepherd Sunday



  • Misericordia Domini plena est terra, alleluia. Here, Low Mass with organ and Anglican hymns, with Fr Brannan, our living link to the golden era. He was ordained a priest during the council, 50 years ago. That still counts as before the council, rather like it counts as part of the ’50s. The garbage didn’t really start until about five years later. The only differences between here and ’63 are the Anglican music and he would have been the 30-year-old new priest! (It takes about 10 years to become a Jesuit priest.)
  • Trads have kids. The unruly little boy behind me crawling into my pew will either be a dad or the next Fr Brannan. We’re a minority in the church for the forseeable future. But the liberals in it are dying. Kids don’t bother with liberal religion; either they’re with us or they drop out. If the Second Coming (dies iræ) doesn’t happen yet, the church in 50-100 years will be much smaller, but might be trad.
  • Ego sum pastor bonus: et cognósco meas et cognóscunt me meæ. Thanks to location, our Anglo-Catholic alumni minority are from Good Shepherd, Rosemont, part of the old biretta belt misplaced on the low-church, agnostic WASP Main Line. Gothic and Prayer Booky but with our ceremonial. Met them 25 years ago; one of those fine places that taught me high church when, pre-Benedict, the official church wanted nothing to do with it anymore. Possible due to Episcopalianism’s semi-congregationalism; you could have conservative would-be Catholics in the middle of mainline Protestantism. The priest at the time was smart and saw the handwriting on the wall; he’s long been in the church as a Dominican priest. As for Rosemont, the Episcopal Church has the right to govern itself; it’s theirs and nothing to do with me. Most of the old parish is with Bishop Moyer in a holding pattern waiting to land in the church, as their new name, Blessed John Henry Newman, shows. We have an ordinariate parish, I think in Northeast Philly: St Michael’s, formerly the Episcopal Church of St James the Less, meeting at another Catholic parish church. (Fr Brannan took care of them before Fr Ousley was Fr Ousley again.) I have no jones for the Prayer Book and am not a married ex-Anglican priest applying for ordination, so I’m a trad.
  • Et alias oves hábeo, quæ non sunt ex hoc ovili: et illas opórtet me addúcere, et vocem meam áudient, et fiet unum ovíle et unus pastor. Our attenuated branch theory upholds the one-true-church claim (Catholic ecumenism is you-come-in-ism) but includes the East (a great thing about being Catholic is on principle they don’t hate the Orthodox) and anybody else meeting the criteria for valid orders: credal orthodoxy so basic the Nestorians pass, an unbroken claim to apostolic succession, and, the deal-breaker for Anglicans, unbroken true teaching about the Eucharist as sacrifice and complete real presence.
  • Pastor æternus. Many Catholics and others don’t understand we’re not the cult of the Pope. He’s an indispensable part of the church (consider his track record: even with his mistakes, the council and all that, he upheld the true faith on contraception while most of the rest of Christianity has caved; the Holy Spirit at work) but still only part of the church. Pope Francis and I probably don’t have much in common. It shouldn’t matter, any more than my archbishop probably isn’t high-church either. As Jeff Culbreath says, we trads are papal minimalists; the Orthodox, Union of Scranton and old-school AC laissez-faire approach of letting immemorial custom run itself, and submitting to it, is great. We agree with it up to a point.
  • Out and about: fleatiquing. As much social and a way to enjoy the weather as it is a chance to get more vintage stuff.
  • The living-room die-cast all-stars, parked together after I cleaned them. The yellow one’s my dream car, usually on the shelf in front of me as I type; like Stephen King’s Christine, a ’50s-era car without a cult around it like the ’57 Chevy has (boxy; my dad thought they were ugly at the time; of that run I like the ’56 best).



10 comments:

  1. Very interesting pictures my dear!

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  2. Everybody in my generation wanted the '56 Chevy! But it WAS the '58 that was the most obvious styling breakthrough. It didn't have actual tailfins, but a cat's eye look to the tail-lights. I can remember the real 'wow' factor those cars had on me and most people (both little kids and adults).

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    1. I like the ’58 too, but, as you can see, my dream is something like a ’59 or (shown) ’60 Impala or Biscayne. Several other kinds would be fine; for example, the ’63 Mercury Meteor.

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  3. We had a 1958 Oldsmobile Super 88. I loved that tank! The sound of that big 8 (I don't recall the cubes) with that throaty, masculine sound. Not at all wimpy like modern autos with their "ding ding" seemingly made of tin sound. End of an era, sadly. Oh and gas mileage was a whopping 8 mpg in town (at $.25 per gallon).

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  4. Eh, would love to say with that Catholics don't hate Orthodox in principle, so long as they stay quiet and be submissive like the good little immigrants in America that Catholics expect them to be. (After all, look at how nice we've been to them during all their troubles in the 20th century).
    But the moment an Orthodox brings up the issues of substance on which West and East differ, oh then do the fangs come out. How dare you place so much emphasis on the Filioque! Oh, you haven't evolved since your last council. And it so impolite to point out that it was the Papacy that created so many innovations, and that we are enablers of the expansion of Papal power. Nasty, stupid Orthodoxes.

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    1. I have heard no such things from fellow Catholics. Oh I'm sure some would say that. Then again, there are hard shell Baptists, etc., etc. AFAIK, most Catholics are barely aware of Orthodoxy and when they are, it's something like "Oh they are like us only more ethnic." . . . or similar words to this effect.

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    2. Jim, doubtless you haven't, spend some time with Catholics in conversation with Orthodox, and you very well may. There is a certain beauty when Catholics are challenged by Orthodox (we bring a certain consistency and credibility that cannot be found among Protestants, which baffles many Catholics who are not familiar with Orthodox), in that an Orthodox can make the most squishy, liberal, progressive, WASP wanna-be Catholic into an rapid ultra-montanist willing to fall on the sword to defend Papal absolutism. Happens every time, guaranteed.

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    3. But the moment an Orthodox brings up the issues of substance on which West and East differ, oh then do the fangs come out.

      I mean that's kind of par for the course and expected when it comes down getting into the "meat and potatoes" of why "we're right and you're wrong!™" I've seen plenty of it in those settings - the claws and fangs come right out... That - IMO - is when the ugly really starts because the combatants get into the "being right" mode... it ain't pretty. But would anyone expect otherwise really?

      But I will say this - you can read 100 Catholic authored books on Catholicism and very possibly never see a reference (critical or otherwise) to "The East"... Attempting to read my way into Orthodoxy ten years ago I noticed that it was near impossible to find a book on Orthodoxy not rife with contra-distinction to "The West". It seemed woven into the (English language) narrative of Orthodox identity.

      It was hard to shake the feeling that many Catholics were on the range of complete ignorance about anything EO to really hoping to one day be a guest at a "Big Fat Greek Wedding" to excitement over baklava at the next Labor Day Greek church festival. (Let's be honest, all Orthodox are Greeks to most Catholics!) Conversely It felt like the Catholic world loomed large in the mind of many Orthodox as home of the Franks that just pillaged Constantinople. Antipathy to the West just seemed present in a way that (outside of apologetics circles) is simply unseen in any comparable form in Catholic circles.

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  5. It is my limited experience thus far that liberals (Catholic or otherwise) pretty much ignore the Orthodox. As far as Orthodox-Catholic discussions, (polite) arguments, etc., we had plenty of these on the old York Forum which is now virtually defunct. And we pretty much avoided flame wars, although we had two flame wars on the York Forum as John will confirm, but they involved Orthodox-Orthodox remonstrations with each other while we Catholics and Continuing Anglicans got to stand on the side of the rails and watch two Orthodox trains collide. It was an ugly sight to behold and it basically destroyed pragmatically the York Forum. The YF was never the same thereafter. Sad.

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