Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fourth Sunday after Easter





  • Mass: Cantate Domino canticum novum. My parish about to have a May crowning. We had "Hail, Holy Queen, Enthroned Above" for the recessional. Also: you forget how important the master of ceremonies is until you try to have Sung or High Mass without him, as happened today.
  • Brooklyn's Holy Name Church partly restores/high-churches itself. The Pope Benedict effect continues. Too bad the table is in front of the high altar but it's livable with Benedict's reform, and far better than the upside-down hockey sticks remodel that this replaced. You'll see more of this as the church recovers from the council.
  • It's always puzzled me that there weren't more holdouts pushing back against the Sixties, like Cardinal McIntyre (an almost forgotten hero of the American church: he kept L.A. Tridentine throughout the '60s and kept celebrating our Mass in retirement; he pushed back like Cardinal Spellman wanted to), Archbishop Lefebvre, or Fr. Gommar DePauw. Lots of well-meaning priests and nuns, not necessarily heretics, bought into the spirit of the space age, thinking that a streamlined, modernized church would be even bigger and better. And, as Lefebvre said, a lot of this stuff was shoved down people's throats in the name of obedience. Women may have been particularly gullible about this business, with the result that the big old orders of sisters have destroyed themselves. In my past life as a journalist I once visited one of their motherhouses, built in the '60s as big as an Army base. They had one middle-aged postulant. Local conservative orders are doing fairly well but the damage is done. The church is bouncing back (which is why the Pope Benedict effect started and places like my parish exist) but nuns are now gone from American Catholic culture.
  • Latin. The trouble with this article, as with most mainstream coverage of traditionalism, is it makes it sound like the only difference between the two forms is the language, as though traditionalism were mostly about Latin. I like Latin and defend its usefulness in the church (unchanging standard/template and universal auxiliary language) but my traditionalism isn't about Latin. The Mass just happens to be in Latin.
  • Patriarch to meet Pope in Jerusalem, talk schism’s end. "Talk schism's end" has been around for 50 years. Not going to happen. It's up to us to persuade the Orthodox (who are not Protestants; they are estranged Catholics) that the Pope is just a defender of the faith and not the threat to their customs they think he is, and we have to walk the walk and defend their right to their customs plus clean up our act by dropping things like the Novus Ordo to become more like them again. The Orthodox are proud, ethnocentric, and nationalistic; they don't want to come back. Ecumenism's played out: we know what the others teach and aren't trying to kill each other anymore. Pictured: "Christ is risen." St. Demetrios, Upper Darby, in Tina Fey's old neighborhood, which had its festival this weekend. Had a gyro, Coke, and an apricot square for lunch today. It's Greek immigrants but Fr. Rutler's former secretary from Rosemont's a parishioner here.
  • Another vagante "womanpriest" story with the usual media ignorance/spin. What strikes me, coming out of Anglicanism after I learned of women's ordination there, is that in the church, this just doesn't come up, despite the liberals trying to sell it for over 40 years. Only old cranks want it. For Anglo-Catholics, WO was like a neon sign flashing, "You were wrong about Anglicanism. This is not part of the Catholic Church. Move on." Anyway, the anti-Catholic media pick up these stories on slow news days to spite the church. The less dramatic reality is this poor woman left the church to become a non-Catholic minister, if that (I doubt she has a congregation). Also, the people who push this are clericalists. Did she do this because she's fervent about the teachings of the church? No, she wants what she thinks is the power of the clergy.
  • The idea of our holy mother, the church is foreign to Protestants.
  • For some reason, the church trying to defend itself by using liberal arguments doesn't work.
  • Fr. Matthew Venuti on being a married priest.
  • The devil doesn't come with horns and wearing a red suit. Neither he nor you are that stupid. He comes as everything you've ever wished for. Pray for wisdom and discernment.

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