Monday, March 30, 2015

Church, state, and more: The usual from me

  • Church and state. Ms. Pelosi and Ms. Boxer I find extremely distasteful. And regardless of where a person's religious conviction lies I found the threats that Ms. Pelosi has leveled against the Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco absolutely wrong and an infringement on his religious freedom. Were I the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco I would have long ago excommunicated Ms. Pelosi and quite possibly banned her from church properties. The biggest political football now here in California: do religious leaders have the right to set religious standards in their private schools? I say the government has no right to interfere with standards that they set for their faculty. Quite right. The government has NO STANDING in the church. NONE. We permit transgressions of that at our peril. Catholics haven't exercised that clout since the Sixties. The great Cardinal Spellman would have done that and most Catholics would have obeyed, so even though the Rockefellers and other Protestants would have hated it, they would have had to go along. (Our primatial see should be Baltimore but is really New York, which was Spellman's.) Politicians of Nancy Pelosi's kind would have been finished. But in the Sixties, what with Vatican II, Catholic churchmen went for mainstream acceptance, "the seamless garment" packaging the Rockefellers' liberalism, for example, as Catholic social teaching. (For example, Fr. Theodore Hesburgh at Notre Dame, a leader from before the council who sold out so the mainstream loved him. Reduce Catholicism to St. Patrick's Day parties and sports.) What's happening now is this accommodationist "Catholicism" that took over all our pre-conciliar institutions such as parishes and colleges is dying out. As it dies, those old institutions, our footprint in America, are going away; closing. The good news is the remnant that still goes to church is conservative, even sometimes traditionalist, and has kids. (My magnet parish, for example.) But in the meantime, we still have bishops who'd rather have their pictures taken with the president and get government funding than act Catholic. While of course the church has been amenable to arrangements with the state (being the state religion), the state can't own the church (why sultans, tsars, and Communists have hated it).
  • Congregationalist Catholicism? This charter and amendments from a Greek Catholic parish that went into schism in the '30s are interesting. Historically American Greek Catholics (Greek Rite but not ethnic Greeks; mostly Slavic) didn't organize like in the old country (state churches) or like Orthodox in their countries (again, state churches). They went congregationalist (very American, like the Pilgrims), organizing as private clubs as protection against hostile local Roman Rite bishops (who really started the schism here; it wasn't about our doctrine). The Polish National Catholics, offshoot Roman Riters, do the same. Most here know that congregationalism isn't how the Catholic Church in America operates. But as I like to say, everything in church polity is on the table except the papacy and the episcopate, which are doctrine. Now congregationalism, like clerical marriage, can be abused: it could be a libcath fantasy, part of the protestantization of American Catholicism I describe above (the Rockefeller liberals to us snappers: cut your apron strings to Mamma Rome and don't let some celibate bishop in a dress tell you what to do). Spiritus Christi Church in Rochester, NY, for example, a latter-day vagante schism when a new bishop acted Catholic and cracked down on a liberal parish; the vagante bishop's just a hired hand like a funeral director, popping in for ordinations. But just as Anglo-Catholic alumni and Eastern churchmen are fine conservative examples of ordaining the married (we don't marry the ordained and all our bishops are celibate), conservative congregationalism is worth a look. Also, because Episcopalianism is semi-congregational, some Anglo-Catholic parishes managed to resist the spirit of Vatican II. (Part of one here, St. Clement's, became the core group of one of our Tridentine parishes, Holy Trinity.)
  • Ex-Army: The boomers didn't start it. As I say, they were just dumb kids buying records. Good reactionary talking point: the kids were just a propellant for what older generations had started.
  • The "Enlightenment" steals credit from... medieval Christendom. Progressivism is a Christian heresy. No culture other than Christendom could have come up with it.
  • A scare article about spring break. Unsurprisingly I've never been. What this article touches on is how the left seemingly has changed and has its wires crossed. Back in the days of Hugh Hefner and the swinging Sixties, this degeneracy was considered progressive. Then a reaction set in among the left; it came up with its ripoff of Christian morals, political correctness, in which "rape is pretty much anything that makes a woman uncomfortable." (I guess "microaggressions" are their "venial sins.") But what's telling is spring break, like Hef, still gets a free pass in mainstream society including the media. If you criticize it, you're just a stick-in-the-mud, probably one of those dangerous conservatives. Like I've said before, all those outrageous dirty jokes including about homosexuality, in the '70s and '80s, that are called un-PC now really were PC; they were part of a program to desensitize Middle America to that stuff. (The "free speech" movement?) So, right; don't let your daughters go on spring break in Florida, Mexico, etc. I wonder what Face to Face has to say about all this: unsocial Millennials in an age of cocooning vs. the sociable '80s, or if these stories are true, are these kids really being anti-social?

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