Sunday, November 23, 2014

An early Anglo-Papalist, "the body of Christ," and more

  • Fr. Paul Wattson's cause for sainthood. Much more than a social worker. One of the Episcopal Church's only Anglo-Papalists, the OPPOSITE of liberal ecumenists. He gave up on corporate reunion and came into the church in 1909, a year after the Episcopalians allowed other Protestant ministers to preach in their churches. Fr. William McGarvey, his curates, and about a third of St. Elisabeth's Episcopal Church in Philadelphia came in at the same time for the same reason. Before the ordinariates, "groups of Anglicans" (anglicanorum coetus, as in the ordinariates' charter), namely religious orders (monks, friars, and nuns) that imitated the church's (because they really believed), have come in semi-corporately, allowed to remain together. The American All Saints' Sisters of the Poor, full "penguin"-habited nuns, are now what they were long taken to be, as part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
  • "Is the Holy Eucharist the real body of Jesus Christ or is it 'our brother'? Does this matter?" A favorite strawman of '70s libcaths, outluthering Luther (our wayward brother who took hoc est enim corpus meum seriously even though he denied the Mass). The late Bishop Tony Palmer (a Protestant) speaking for Pope Francis: "What is striking is that he (Pope Francis) awakens us to the fact that the real Communion is not the Bread, but the brother... Pope Francis is saying: this is what we find in the true communion. We find each other. We find our brotherhood. We find our brother and our sister that we thought we'd lost. When we look for Bread, which we think we need, we are going to find our brother, which is what we really need." The right answer is they're not mutually exclusive. Our Protestant host culture thinks they are.
  • Fr. Mitchican: "If I were the next presiding bishop." I wish a gentleman like him were. Not my fight but I like him, even though he's an ex-Catholic fine with women priests. Because although the Episcopal Church has the right to defend its property (just like any NRA pro-Second Amendment conservative) and enforce its teachings and rules (as we do ours), he's trying to serve Christ, not sue congregations for trying to leave... and then sell their buildings, for less than the congregations offered for them, to Muslims: the mainline in a parody of Christianity is nicing itself out of existence while the Mohammedans laugh, screwing over the infidels (the National Cathedral incident). By the way, paralleling Pope Benedict's Catholic revival, I think they're heading back to basics with liberal high church (they even love our Mass); Bishop Schori's liberalism is boomer passé.
  • No White House chapel. Mentioning American civic religion's would-be Westminster Abbey (much nicer than our tacky Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception) just now reminds me of this observation from Jeff Culbreath: "Does the White House have a chapel?", asks my daughter Amanda, totally out of the blue. "How many square feet is it?" The White House is 55,000 square feet and has 132 rooms, including a bowling alley, a gymnasium, and movie theater. But strangely and inexplicably, it does not have a chapel. Well, for Protestant presidents, the de facto chapel has been St. John's Episcopal Church (mainstream so it's now liberal) across the street from the White House. I appreciate Jeff's paleo and trad point; a country about nothing spiritually seems like hostile territory for the church. Yet America's been better to us than the mother country with its anointed Christian monarch and coped episcopal state church! Rather than being a Burkean fantasy, Britain is more liberal than here ("we don't DO religion"). In America, the choice was between neutrality (like how Disneyland's Main Street, USA has no church; creepy — the border South's Silver Dollar City and the South's Dollywood have them; Knoebels in upstate Pennsylvania has a '50s-style sign listing all the local churches) and having a Protestant state church (Main Street as the Know-Nothings then and now want it; no papists); the deists who started this enterprise did a pretty good job. By the way, I'll always give President Obama credit for teaching himself how to bowl.
  • Jeff on the War on Christmas: I promise not to be offended if you wish me "happy holidays." I believe you are sincere and mean well. However, I have to ask: to which holidays are you referring? Every holiday from Halloween to New Year's Day? Or just the holidays I choose, my choices being unknown to you? Do you even care? Let's be frank, shall we? In the United States. Christmas is The Holiday and the only reason "happy holidays" exists. The "holiday season" does not exist for Hanaukkah or Kwanza: it exists for Christmas and Christmas alone. Without Christmas, you have nothing but cold, rain, snow, and fog. These other holidays are either obscure to most Americans, or else they do not demand a season. Christmas alone has a legitimate season from December 25 to February 2, as well as the pre-season of Advent: the others are just single days on the calendar. Go ahead, try to revive the mythical pagan Yuletide or Winter Solstice and see how far it takes you. It's a dead end. Once it could be assumed that virtually everyone in your community either celebrated Christmas or had respect for those who do. Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians and Baptists — divided by creed and custom — could find some welcome common ground in civic celebrations of the birth of Jesus Christ. Without Christmas, "happy holidays" is just an empty politically correct nothing, and it threatens to make nothing out of other minor holidays as well. /end rant! "Happy holidays" is better than a golden-era nonsectarian way to be nice, "Season's greetings," and it has its place at work where you have to be interfaith or secular (where you're including Jewish customers, etc.), but yes. Hanukkah is the equivalent of the feast of SS. Peter & Paul, minor. Orthodox Jews know they live in a Christian country and aren't offended by our Nativity scenes, etc. Kwanzaa is made-up; blacks don't celebrate it. (They celebrate Christmas and go to churches that teach homosexuality is wrong.)

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