Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My impressions of the Pope's visit, and more


  • My impressions of the Pope's visit. Predictable. Amiable fellow; polite, innocuous PC message (talking in liberalism's language and not pushing Jesus' and the church's truth claims because the world already knows them, or is it a sellout by omission?); of course he didn't go against the teachings of the church like the world wanted. As Pope he can't! The outdoor Mass in Philadelphia had typical Novus Ordo junk but was slightly higher than past such extravaganzas thanks to Benedict the Great, ironically "the Great" because he doesn't have a cult of personality; the papacy is about the church, not the man. An arm-waving cantrix in an appareled alb?! Also, unliturgical music isn't more solemn if an orchestra plays it. The Holy Spirit speaks through the church and doesn't contradict himself; the Pope can only defend the teachings. Pope Francis has a quality of great men: like the church itself, nobody owns him. I didn't get to see him. The trip to Wildwood is a big yearly event and happened to fall on the wrong weekend; I rationalized it by saying he'd say nothing new and it wasn't worth going through security and standing for hours just to see him on a big screen. I may have missed the chance of a lifetime, but maybe I'll see a better Pope one day.
  • Giving the Holy Father credit: at 78, saying a few things in a language he doesn't really speak in front of a huge native-speaking crowd. And now I know what Argentine Spanish sounds like.
  • He's Catholic: "On women priests, that cannot be done." Good he repeated that but here he sounds unnecessarily apologetic, trying to please the feminists.
  • Rob Sexton writes: It appears to me that the Pope is urging Americans in ways subtle and obvious to think outside the strictures of the completely artificial left/right dichotomy we have confected in this country. Catholic leaders have always done that, from Rerum Novarum to Fr. Ryan's social program for the American bishops in 1919 to distributism/third-wayism to Fr. Coughlin; the Social Reign of Christ the King, a society with a heart. I'll take mine without the low churchmanship (false view of the early church; Protestant) and the political correctness (ripoff of Christian ethics, likewise Protestant).
  • Fr. Stephen Freeman: Un-ecumenism. Obviously something that denies the West is part of the church and that sells out on divorce-and-remarriage and on contraception isn't the church, but good point. Every ancient church claims it's the true one; so did the old high-church Anglicans. Christians have fallen for Protestant denominationalism, and the state, Leviathan, has become a false church. And as I like to say, that Western state's religion, political correctness or secular humanism, is a Christian heresy.
  • Hat etiquette. About the only time I tip it is passing a Catholic or Orthodox church.
  • LRC: The new shackle of serfdom: clinging to health insurance.
  • From 2012: Millennials getting nostalgic for not having a life as kids.
  • Happy Michaelmas. Prayer to St. Michael. Angels of course are amazing.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Wildwood Classic Car Show Weekend 2015



Sunday Mass at Assumption, Wildwood Crest. Space-age building obviously originally for the old religion. The usual: this setting with Benedict the Great's reform on top of '70s-'80s Novus Ordo. Small-c charismatic African priest, arm-waving cantrix with her heart in the right place, probably not knowing that what she's doing isn't liturgical, alternating organ and piano (ew), Lucia Fest altar girls in albs (no altar boys), and a squad of Eucharistic ministers. Thanks to the recent reform, it's orthodox in spite of the problems; it is the Mass. But the problems are jarring when you're not used to them. The message: general Christian moral uplift. What struck me was this vacation town got a good-sized congregation even for this. They don't buy the kumbaya stuff; they're just doing what Catholics have always done, because it's the Mass and thus good for their souls.


Irish Weekend (St. Patrick's Day II) in North Wildwood. I wasn't the only local Catholic who didn't get to see the Pope.

I will probably have a serious post about Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia once I get caught up on what I missed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Antipopery, democracy being a fraud, and more

  • "I am not an antipope." Probably not. Even if Pope Francis is a malefactor as far as the church is concerned, he knows the Pope can't change church teaching. The plan, possibly: appoint dissenters, do as much damage as possible through the media, then nominally do his job as Pope and issue a formal statement repeating our teaching, and thus start a backlash. Much like Humanae Vitae.
  • LRC: Democracy is an incredibly successful long con. It works because of the illusion of consent. People actually believe they are “represented.”
  • RR: Poor people don't have less self-control. Poverty forces them to think short-term.
  • Finished reading Cranmer's Godly Order, Michael Davies' expanded edition of his book, including quotations from Eamon Duffy. Summary: in the 1500s (a few little groups started earlier) some Europeans came up with their own version of Christianity, imagining it was the original vs. the Catholic Church's version, in which Jesus' saving work was all in the past, and the believer is saved by feeling he's saved ("justification by faith"), so no Catholic Church is needed to make Jesus' sacrifice present today (what the Mass is) and to give the Christian grace (sacraments are just symbols; unlike in the church, they aren't and don't do what they signify). (Logically, ultimately in Protestantism you don't need any church.) God doesn't change you when you're a believer; he just covers up your sins. So where these new teachers took over in Europe, they got rid of the Catholic Church starting with the Mass. It happened in England when the king went into schism to get an annulment he didn't deserve, really taking off when he died (he was still sort of Catholic) and convinced Protestants ruled for his underage son. The English liked being Catholic and had armed revolts that were beaten (battles with blood running in the streets, torture and executions, priests hanged from their churches) because they weren't ruthless enough, trusting the king would listen to them and not burning the city of Exeter when they had the chance. (They meant well; they weren't trying to overthrow the government, just have the church back.) The only English people who really liked Protestantism were kings and nobles who stole church property and money, a few crazy true believers such as Nicholas Ridley, and a then-small hipster class of upper-middle-class merchants who, like now, thought the old religion is for idiots. So eventually the new Church of England was literally forced on the country, violently. Of course all the Protestants wrote completely new church services, which historically Christianity doesn't do, in which "active participation" and the individuals doing the service matter; adoration of the Communion elements was evil, missing the point of the service. Davies' point in this, the first in a trilogy: sound familiar? In the 1900s, Catholic liberals basically said they thought the Protestants were right (30 years ago, at a Catholic college, I read and heard them say so) and repeated much of that history in their thought and new services. Anglicanism isn't what I thought it was (part of Catholicism), growing up with it. It's a strange version of the Reformed faith that happens to have bishops and a kind of liturgy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pope Francis in America


  • If Pope Francis wants to help the poor, he should embrace capitalism. Results, not romantic nonsense.
  • The spectacle.
  • Schmemann on St. John Paul the Overrated in '79. I remember his reign well, when both Catholic liberals and Catholic putative conservatives told people like me to give up all that artsy-fartsy old-fashioned stuff and become charismatics. That movement eventually recatholicized, part of the church's big slow turnaround, but now it's as dead as disco; I still see them in passing if I happen to be at Benedict the Great's English Novus Ordo (only once so far in nine months). JP2 was small-o orthodox so the right people hated him plus he gets partial credit for the fall of Communism. Of course I accept the church's decision. But I don't have a lick of devotion to ol' low-church JP2. I don't have to!
  • "Urban Trinity." One of my city's TV stations on the history of Catholics here. Caught part of it. Of course the country's Protestant bias is all over it. What it covered — the Know-Nothing Protestant anti-Catholic riots, the lay-trusteeship dispute (the Hogan Schism at Old St. Mary's), the Irish vs. other ethnic immigrants, Italians and Poles (no mention of the Ruthenians as the part I saw only covered the 1800s and Philly wasn't heavily East Slavic), including the Polish National Catholic schism (which happened up in Scranton, not here) — is true, but it doesn't say so much. Just some typical Protestant American bromide about religious freedom, not crucial differences between the Catholic and Protestant sides. (Is religious freedom a good thing or does it promote indifferentism? Were Protestants understandably afraid of our true-church claim? The infallible church vs. justification by faith alone, a belief invented in the 1500s, are not compatible. Just got done reading Michael Davies' expanded Cranmer's Godly Order, which explains that.) Then in this depiction the church went from mascot for religious freedom to victimizer as the show made more of the Nats than they are (a splinter group started by a liberal weirdo; most Polish-Americans remained Catholic). Trusteeship, lay ownership of church property, is possible in our doctrine. (The disputes that made some Slavs in America leave us weren't really about doctrine and were largely our fault. Let's talk. I'd put everything that's not doctrine on the table.) It has its risks.
  • Pat Buchanan: US and Catholicism in crisis.
  • Photo: Mayor Frank Rizzo in '79. What I'd like to be photographed doing of course. Because it's about the office, which is about the church, not about the man.

The strength of Trump's appeal and more

  • I don't dislike Carly Fiorina personally; heck, I think she's attractive for her age, elegant. But she's just another mainstream Republican who wouldn't do anything about abortion, and she failed at Hewlett-Packard. Republican me-too marketing, letting the left call the shots. "See, we can field a black and a woman too!" Basically I've opted out of the system since 2000. For me, it's been Ron Paul, the Libertarians (nationally I vote LP), or, in 2008, nothing.
  • The case for Trump, the only candidate I really like even though he's wrong on much so I probably will stay opted out. From Roissy (CH).
    • Commenter Matt King: We (conservatives, what's left of the people who made the old America) are in a fight to the death. All that matters is strength vs. weakness. That’s why Trump can be a secret socialist Manchurian candidate for all I care so long as strength is seen winning. The standards of social intercourse have been turned on their ass. (The Sixties won.) Up is down, man is woman... Nothing can be accomplished until we unf*ck the skew that distorts everything. Nothing. CH pats himself on the back ... for his contribution to a renaissance of this worldview, and he should congratulate himself (just like Trump does). He has promoted a return to manliness — albeit with too much focus on the wrong ends, limiting his appeal — and Trump is its first manifestation in politics.
    • A life lesson from him: he follows Roissy's Eighth Commandment. Do not say you’re sorry for every wrong thing you do. It is a posture of submission that no man should reflexively adopt, no matter how alpha he is. Apologizing all the time is easy for well-meaning Christians to fall into.
  • Ex-Army:
    • Libertarianism in America has been through a lot over the years, but now seems to have been pretty much co-opted by the left. That is to say, the libertarian mainstream here is dedicated to furthering the political correctness/cultural Marxism of the left at the expense of genuine libertarian principles. You can see it in the pronouncements of prominent libertarians on such subjects as religion, homosexual marriage, race, and law and order. I say "prominent" because there remains a group of libertarians uncontaminated by the left. Unfortunately, we have to use terms like "libertarian nationalist" and others so as not to get ourselves confused in the public mind with flat-out leftist bozos like Bill Maher who like to call themselves libertarians, as well as with the people running most libertarian institutions these days, who aren't much better. Right, "defending freedom" has turned into daddy issues, an anti-authority kick. I'd just say I'm conservative and then have to explain I'm not a mainstream Republican.
    • Defending Western civilization. If we and the Mohammedans just leave each other alone, including staying off each other's turf.
    • The homemade-clock story: This seems to be an all-around hoax to give the Social Justice Warriors something to whine about. Now if our Middle East policy didn't stink, they wouldn't want to come over here to bomb us. The lost point of 9/11 I realized (having started to read Lew Rockwell months before) when I was told the plane crashing into the World Trade Center wasn't an accident.
    • Arab tribalism and Hispanic socialism cannot coexist with our values. This is why mass Islamic immigration into Europe and mass Hispanic immigration into America mean the end of any semblance of classical liberal ideals. Values are, for the most part, not transmitted to adults via election season ads. They are transmitted throughout the formation of someone's life. Hispanics come to America having had their whole moral outlook formed by low-trust socialism. That, not "outreach failure," is why they do not and will not vote Republican. They have not been "fooled" by Democrat "race-baiting." They vote Democrat because the Democrat Party's socialist platform resonates on a fundamental level with who they are as a people. The GOP cannot win the Hispanic vote because ethnic Hispanics are not American conservatives. A sane party would care about the health of the ethnic group that produced the values it's founded on, but the GOP does not. A sane party would be wary of surging numbers of migrants from cultures hostile to everything it stands for, but the GOP is not. A sane party would be deeply suspicious of the opposition's stated plans to reshape the country's demographics, but the GOP is not. The Republicans and the Democrats are only pretending to be against each other.
  • Bob Wallace:
    • One thing the Manosphere does get right is to stay away from feminist women, or even ones who have been infected by feminism even if they claim they aren't one. They're leftist, and leftism is always about destroying men. Which doesn't make women happy because men build and protect civilization; in love, healthy women insist on male superiority. The reason ladies of a certain class drooled over a certain recent TV character from America's golden era.
    • In love, men and women should be compatible politically — and in other important ways, too. Unfortunately a lot of women are ignorant as hell about politics and economics, which is why historically they've never been allowed to vote. I once met a woman who believed in socialized medicine because her fiancé — now ex-fiancé — believed in it. For good or bad, women often follow men's leads. When they don't, their default position appears to be socialism/fascism, where they put a non-existent "safety" above freedom.
  • On Jon Hamm winning an Emmy. When I heard the roar of the audience when the presenter said his name before announcing the winner, I knew he'd won. Deservedly: smart, well-written show, great actor. A good-looking fellow playing a heel: muchos tingles para las chicas. (And he's now available, ladies.) But as much as I appreciated the show for re-creating the era and thus helping a lot of unintended nostalgia, it celebrated the wrong things, namely, the fall of the era it depicted. Don Draper was a nihilist, actually not that unusual then. "I live for now; there is no tomorrow," etc. The Sixties didn't come out of nowhere, and the kids didn't start it. That and Hamm's a PC wuss in real life.
  • Calling poverty "the wall and the mother of consecrated life." Pope Francis met with former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Cuba today after this morning's Mass, and then delivered a sermon in which he praised the "spirit of poverty" and warned against wealth. Guess that explains the abundance of virtue, such as intact families, low illegitimacy, and no drink or drug problems, in North and West Philly. Yeah, right, to hell with capitalism, literally; let's be low-trust socialists like South America since they're so successful. Peronism doesn't work.
  • The "Society of Catholic Priests," which is Episcopal, all you need to know. As I like to say, if I were planning to open a church that tried to please as many as possible including myself (credally orthodox! sacramental! loves history! loves traditional liturgy!), it would look a lot like this. God had other plans.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Pope Francis and "family meetings" about our teachings


Will Pope Francis try to change the teachings of the church, allowing Communion after divorce and remarriage (separating doctrine from pastoral practice), and thus depose himself as Pope? After talking to a Catholic friend about it, I don't think so. He knows that as Pope he can't.

As soon as I learned about him after he became Pope I realized he'd be another Paul VI, a disaster. What's happening is just like the run-up to Humanae Vitae; it's hurting the church's standing the same way.

You can have a debate as a teaching tool, with a hypothesis (rhetorical question) and discussion. The way of the university, part of whose purpose for Catholics is to discuss every point in the catechism in order to better understand it.

The trouble with this approach outside of academe is the non-Catholic world thinks the church is like a Protestant denomination that can change its teachings by decree or vote. It thinks all this hubbub preparing for the Synod on the Family, with dissenting bishops mouthing off against church teaching (yes, we need another Pius XII to shut them up), is like the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. "Finally those fishsticks are stopping being hypocritical about this and getting with the program. Marriage is only about how the couple feel about each other so of course gay marriage; let's be nice to those downtrodden homosexuals and excuse our own behavior by so doing."

The blogger at Face to Face has made this point about being parents. It's like the rule against fraternization between officers and enlisted men in the military. Nice parents might play games with their children or have family conferences so their kids better understand their rules. The trouble with things like that is it confuses the kids when the parents have to use their authority on them; the false idea that they're equals. He points out that when he was growing up, parents might show the kids how to play a game but not actually play with them like equals. Might be cold and harsh but point taken.

In the 1960s and again now, here's the Pope calling for a family meeting acting like a vote. "Let's have discussion groups and tell me how you feel in various countries about this teaching."

Pope Francis will end up defending the teaching of the church on divorce and remarriage just like Paul VI did against contraception but this run-up will have done its harm: a big backlash just like after Humanae Vitae. A few more people will lose their faith and leave the church.

Maybe he really wants to drop this teaching and, knowing he can't as Pope, is resorting to this tactic.

In a way we're better off than under Paul VI. The church under him still had the huge infrastructure, social clout, and funds it had earned before Vatican II (and thought the "renewal" would make it even bigger and better); we don't anymore. But we don't have the ICEL paraphrase of the English Mass anymore, thanks to Pope Benedict the Great. Just like 50 years ago, I can go to a Catholic church anywhere in the U.S. and hear Catholicism in the Mass text. St. Liberal's is orthodox in spite of itself. So when this synod is done, we won't have to take cover; the official church will still be fine.

If Pope Francis did become an antipope, who would make that call for us?

Walking through downtown Philadelphia this week I saw lamppost banners with Pope Francis' picture and innocuous politically correct quotations from him such as "be happy" and "do good." I realized the hoopla about his visit is NOT celebrating the teachings of the church.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

What if: Could a Stuart king today roll back history?

A Catholic monarchist writes:
Now — if one can maintain civility, I open the floor to a question I asked my Jacobite friend, which I think is one worth asking (and please do not fight the Jacobite Wars over again here — that is not my point — nor ought you to assert the superiority of the American republic! Please just follow along). As we know, George III absolved his American subjects of their allegiance to the Crown with the treaty of Paris in 1783 — from which dates the de jure independence of these united States. Now the Jacobites did not accept the Union of Parliaments of 1707, because for them, it was an action approved by the usurper, Queen Anne, and not by James III. Obviously Charles III was not a party to the treaty of Paris. Now, presumably, if a closer heir of the Stuarts than the current Royal Family once again occupied the Throne, both the 1707 and 1800 Acts of Union, the independence of the American colonies, and indeed, the 1922 partition of Ireland and the Statute of Westminster would not be recognised by said heir (although one can easily suppose that they might soon be officially recognised out of necessity). For my Jacobite friends, what think ye of all of this?
Right, and before the Acts of Union (whence the British flag, the Union Flag/Jack) you had England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland as separate countries that happened to have the same king, sort of like the setup today with the dominions (so Elizabeth II is the Queen of Canada, etc.).

Anyway, practically speaking, probably not. But fun to think about. (Better still: undo World War I.)

If a Stuart monarch claimed Ireland or America, what could he do about it now?

By the way, the church has never been synonymous with Irish republicanism, American St. Patrick's Day notwithstanding with well-meaning American Catholics giving money to the IRA "cause." Early Irish nationalists were Protestants; later ones Marxists. The Popes would have loved to help Catholic Ireland with a top-down solution, hierarchy being the natural way, by having a Catholic British king such as the revert Stuarts bring all those kingdoms back into the church at once. Sort of like how we'd like to bring all the Orthodox back into the church at the same time.

Since the empire in its old form is done (and has been since World War I ran Britain broke, and which its elite were already preparing for secretly with Americans), with its real capital now Washington (obvious since World War II), is the question moot, sort of like Taiwan legally being Nationalist China?

On Catholics who prefer Low Mass


These days, I find myself preferring the Low Mass on Sunday. If I had a Low Mass or two during the week, I would prefer a glorious Solemn High Mass on Sunday with all the works, as it should be. But as it is I don't get enough spiritual quietness. Or perhaps I'm just getting old. I hope Our Lord understands.
The church is right that the High Mass is the theoretical norm (ideally with the local Christian community gathered to sing it, and understanding it as much as possible) but most Catholics throughout history since the Low Mass developed have agreed with you. I understand it developed for medieval priests to have private Masses but most congregations prefer it. Most people aren't very religious or at least liturgically minded. Reminds me of two things. For 40+ years a mainstay of orthodox Catholics has been the earliest, lowest Novus Ordo on Sunday morning: if we can't have a better Mass, as we were incessantly told after Vatican II, then fine; no bad attempt at music and no ad-libbing or other funny business, Father; just read it out of the *&$# book and get it over with. (Like tough old immigrants who survived persecution in Ireland and then poverty in South Boston, etc. Their faith survived and thrived on semi-secret Low Masses and saying many rosaries.) Sometimes I'm like you and miss the days right after Summorum Pontificum when my parish's Tridentine Mass occupied that schedule slot. (This place was the first in the archdiocese to have a Sunday-morning Tridentine Mass after Benedict the Great freed that Mass. As it's only 15 minutes from home I signed up there.) The pious purists might scoff but I liked getting my obligation done first thing with my whole day free, just like most Catholics 50 years ago. For the past few years our Mass has been a mid-morning Sung one and it's great: the right kind of ecumenical, a high-church kind. Besides the actual chants of the Mass (ordinary and propers), much of the music is just like an old Episcopal church's: the processional and recessional hymns (the offertory and Communion hymns tend to be Catholic classics) and pipe-organ preludes and postludes.

This preference of most of the laity is partly why the liturgical movement failed and/or self-destructed in the '60s after about 50-75 years of doing so much good, influencing many: printing the first bilingual hand missals and teaching people chant.

Study of the liturgy is actually new; nobody had the means nor really wanted to centuries ago. (So Trent's and St. Pius V's reforms were just the medieval Mass handed down, as liturgy usually is.) The Protestants including the Anglicans were driven by a new, false Christianity that put Christ's saving work firmly in the past so no Mass; Christ's sacrifice was no longer eternally present at the Communion service. (The Protestant Christ doesn't change you; he just covers up your sins, so no need for grace through a church. Protestant churchgoing is self-refuting; when norms catch up with Protestant values, Luther's principles, the Protestants logically stop going to church. American do-gooders, SWPLs, social-justice warriors, are "spiritual, not religious"; endgame Protestants.) But along with that you had fanciful notions of the early Christians (sitting around a table; minister "facing the people"; the Lutherans kept the trappings of the Mass at first to deceive but, after writing their symbolical foundation documents answering us, theologically are semi-Catholic but still without a real Mass), since nobody, including on the Catholic side, really knew what the early Christians did. (Catholics did the right thing and just passed the liturgy down, of course making lots of small local changes. The text, not the ceremonial, of the Roman Rite was essentially the same in 1960 as it was in 1460 and circa 500 for that matter.) So for the first time in Christianity, you had new services from scratch. The Protestants had the notion, not without merit, that it's better for the people to actively participate, something the liturgical movement took up about four centuries later minus the heresy. (So the Christian community would understand and be inspired by the liturgy itself, leaving it [ite, missa est] feeling recharged.) The movement's ideal at first fitted both our doctrine and the rules of the Roman Rite: congregationally chanted High Mass. Counterpoint: the church is a big hospital for sinners, not just for people who like church services (sacraments work ex opere operato, really doing what they stand for, and the liturgy simply is, no matter what the priest and congregation are feeling), plus there are many shy contemplative types; "active participation" isn't everybody's cup of tea. And mother church is fine with that. You can go to High, Sung, or Low Mass and follow along OR zone out and do your devotions. As a layman you have a lot of freedom! The lapsed are below the minimum requirement for participation at services but are still in the church; they are welcome. Not good enough for the holier-than-thou early Protestants who wanted only committed Christians, and not good enough for our litniks as they started to go bad, and not good enough for the politically correct Modernists after Vatican II who thought the purpose of the church is to serve the world's masters by working for justice and peace, man.

So anyway, "active participation" became a kind of idol. Part of the liturgical movement, based on what people liked at dialogue Masses in Germany, abandoned history or misread it with the perhaps unspoken idea that anything that gets the people actively participating is good. So, for example, the clergy's penitential prep office before the actual Mass and the Orate, Fratres became the people's prayers when historically they aren't, and looking at some ancient basilicas (which faced west but the altar and people actually faced east, the custom then), some litniks got the idea that the early Christians had Mass facing the congregation.

Whence, along with a dose of space-age optimism about progress, we got the un-Catholic notion at Vatican II, just like Protestants (no Mass; Christ's saving work is in the past so the service is all about the individuals in the congregation, narcissism really, not adoring Christ in the Communion elements, which creates the real Christian community, Christ's mystical body), that a complete rewrite of the services, simplifying them to fit somebody's fantasy about the early church, was in order; "active participation" being better than anything else at services. (American Orthodox and American Eastern Catholics got it right by not really adopting liturgical renewal or even the Sixties: just offer English as an option. Byzantine Catholic liturgical reforms are mostly Orthodox-related, not Sixties at all. That's great, but so are latinizations if they're pre-Vatican II and don't take over the rite.)

Throw that wrench into the already long-entrenched folkway of preferring Low Masses, and bye bye, traditional liturgy, High and Sung Masses (incense and chant), and legitimate liturgical movement. The parishes ended up... still having Low Masses junked up with sappy hymns based on pop music, only with an inferior text for the Mass, certainly in English. Just like the first Anglican service in English, in 1549, skating towards heresy ("one in being", "for you and for all"). Benedict XVI fixed that (in good conscience I can go to Mass anywhere in the United States now, just like Catholics 50 years ago) but the old is still better.

By the way, happy feast of St. Januarius (San Gennaro). May his prayers protect Naples from Mount Vesuvius for another year.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sweet Mandy and the Teen Twisters, and more




  • "Tradition!" Fiddler on the Roof gets it wrong. Of course; why didn't I see that? It's condescension from golden-era liberals (from the days of Broadway shows and movie musical versions of them being part of pop music).
  • The ruling Western liberals, Christian heretics from Protestantism, know how to be rude, for all their ripped-off Christian talk about peace. The White House has invited some opponents of Catholic teaching to meet Pope Francis. Pretty aggressive for a president who has no use for religion. To be fair, it seems he didn't directly invite them. His staff invited one with permission to invite the rest. (By the way, he's not the problem, just a symptom.) Does he expect the Pope to go all liberal and go against church teaching by saying something off the cuff? (It wouldn't matter: the Pope can't change the teaching; Francis' job is to defend it no matter what he thinks.) More like the ruling left's version of "dialogue": shut up and do as we tell you. We get it: America is a Protestant-based country whose religious liberty (now endangered?), barely putting up with us, is a relative good for the church, not an absolute good. Obama may not have done the inviting, but he's not just non-religious; he's anti-religious. Inviting Gene Robinson (who?): the ruling liberals wish the church were the Episcopal Church but don't actually go to that. "Yo, fishstick! This is America. Deal with it." Can't imagine Harry Truman, for example, doing this, but back then American Catholics were peaking; politicians needed our votes. There is no Catholic vote anymore; the few orthodox are an add-on to the Republicans (the political refuge of religious Americans since the Sixties; the Stupid Party's better than the Evil Party but it lost my vote nationally after 2000), probably not a swing vote.
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury considers ending the Anglican Communion, replacing it with a loose federation that doesn't pretend to agree on doctrine. Over here, Bill Tighe articulated some of what I thought. It would put an end to the old high churchmen's true-church claim for Anglicanism (their often misunderstood branch theory: "Catholicism and Orthodoxy are real churches but in grave error; we're in the same apostolic club as them but we're No. 1 because we're both Catholic and reformed, rightly the only lawful church in the realm"), admitting it's just a Protestant denomination, which most Anglicans really believe. It's basically Episcopalians (liberal high church: the creeds are true and sacraments, history, and traditional liturgy are fun, but these people don't really believe in the church) vs. mostly African Evangelicals (no church as we understand it either, but closer to us on morals). Why would they even want to meet up now (to do something about "climate change," for example)? Welby's just trying to be politely English about the breakup. ACNA: slightly less liberal Protestant denomination. By the way, Anglican doctrine's recognition of Catholic bishops and sacraments pointed the way into the church for me.
  • Again this year I didn't get all solemn about 9/11. Of course it's right to remember and pray for the nearly 3,000 killed, and to love our country. The trouble is still next to nobody is asking the right questions. All those deaths have been turned into just another part of our civil religion. Like the way we look at wars. (Beware the left's nostalgia about World War II or anything for that matter.)
  • Music: Sweet Mandy and the Teen Twisters. Swedish rockabillies; Amanda Wallgren is best of course singing in her language, as in the first song. Its title/refrain, "Kom ner från taket," means "Get off the roof." This is a cover (original from '60).
  • From Rational Review:
    • Justin Raimondo: The GOP debate: outsiders vs. warmongers. Tough-talking you-know-who is actually more peaceful than "crazypants" mainstream Republican foreign policy. (Like the great America Firsters, the maligned "isolationists": not pacifist.) By the way, I understand he has some black and Mexican-American supporters, people whom illegal immigration directly hurts. Anyway, Punch and Judy: the Republicans and the Democrats only pretend to be against each other. Some think that's a feature, not a bug: stability by having only two parties, which are almost alike. And cut out the scare about the Russians: they're not Communist anymore nor are they one of our trading partners, and hooray for their Christian anti-liberalism.
    • Pope Francis misses the sizable moral dimensions to capitalism. It is history's greatest force for raising the living standards of the masses. Unshowy charity that works (teaching a man to fish vs. giving him a fish in front of the cameras), unlike voluntourism, for example (cute pictures with Third World children to try to impress a kind of potential date).

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Annulments and more


  • Pope Francis's change to the annulment procedure. Fr. Zuhlsdorf points out that the church doesn't nullify marriages ("Catholic divorce"); it determines there never was a marriage. Anyway, this is a non-story; educated Catholics know the church can and does change rules (such as how many tribunals review an annulment case), not teachings. Some speculate it's a political maneuver to defend the faith at the Synod on the Family next month by taking this issue out of the conversation; possible. Whether the Pope should have simplified the procedure, whether the church loses face, is a legitimate discussion. But again, at heart, a non-story. The teachings are unbreakable.
  • While I'd love it if Raymond Burke were Pope, you have to watch out for/not get sucked into stories about "conservative revolts at the Vatican," even though you can and should criticize the Pope; both you and he are subject to the faith so both have the job of defending it. But those stories smack of the media-academia-government (MAG, establishment) game of "survey says," as if the church were the same as secular politics, with everything up for a vote and change like a Protestant denomination. (Funny: MAG wishes the church were the Anglican Church, yet it doesn't go to the Anglican Church.) Usually it takes the form of polling self-described Catholics on the street and treating their uninformed opinions (gotten from Protestant/secular society) like a papal or conciliar definition of doctrine.
  • Somebody else noticed that Pope Francis is a Peronist. Never mind the swipes at the church. What it comes down to, why Perón (a man of the left even though he was military) failed, is what Margaret Thatcher wonderfully articulated later: eventually you run out of other people's money.
  • Cheers for Nadia Bolz-Weber. But just one or maybe two cheers, not three. She leaves out much of what Christianity has to say. There is a limit to how radical she and her church can be. God wants to do more than forgive you. He wants to change you. A fundamental difference between Catholicism and Protestantism, including the conservative Lutheranism little to do with her.
  • The word “belief” is not the appropriate word for marriage. Marriage is a fact, not a “belief.” To imply that it is a “belief” means, in modern context, that it has no grounding in reality. It is improper to call marriage a “belief.” MAG is trying to train you to believe there is no truth other than what it tells you; only "beliefs." Catholicism is about reason, seeing objective reality, things as they really are.
  • Even if the worst speculations about the church are true, that Pope Francis is a heretic and/or the German bishops are starting a schism, where else is there to go? Eastern Orthodoxy, which blesses divorce-and-remarriage and contraception, and says "Byzantium is the church"; idolatry? No way. (I'd love it if American Catholicism were Byzantine but that rite has a limited shelf life here.) Evangelicalism, whose logical conclusion is "No middleman between me and Jesus? Fine, I won't go to church"? The mainline is obviously MAG's puppet, not worth taking seriously. There's the SSPX and, at "Defcon 1," MAG, Communist-like, or ISIS persecution, going underground like many Ukrainian Catholics did last century.
  • The Muslim refugees pushing their way into Europe may well be a Trojan horse. Not mostly women and children (whose only foreign policy is "don't hurt me" as one decent person wrote) but young men of military age. The U.S. government may well have created the problem. Solution: let's leave each other alone, including staying out of each other's countries (so they'd go home) and our no longer supporting Israel.
  • Five types of Russian-Americans. A priest once told me that none of the Russian immigrations get along: the real tsarist Russians thought the World War II refugees were Sovietized, which the refugees in turn thought of the post-Soviet immigrants. I've had the honor of meeting a real tsarist Russian (or Russian-identifying Ukrainian), Serge Koolish, in his 100s.
  • Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning British monarch; 63 years. I like her, but:


    Fist bump!

    The British establishment knows what God, the Catholic faith, and the church are (what the names of their old churches and colleges mean) and says, "I will not serve." Creepy self-awareness. (Some smart observers: Americans on the other hand think they're Christian but they're not.)

Monday, September 07, 2015

How the triumph of the therapeutic spread relativism and wrecked society, and more


  • Hypothesis: the gay-marriage debate was really over in the '50s. Not just straight people redefining marriage away from family continuation; rather the cause of that and more, which we'd say goes back to the "Reformation" and of course the fall of man, but the theory here is what Rod Dreher has quoted, the description of moralistic therapeutic deism, the key concept being Rieff's "triumph of the therapeutic." There's a lot to be said for modern therapy; many conditions are now understood and if not cured then treated compassionately. The trouble is: John Crowe Ransom argued in God Without Thunder (1930) that most Americans had already traded away the traditional view of God and replaced it with varying degrees of enthusiasm about science, progress, and the like. Here was the most definitive proof of his thesis. Religion, morality, even reality were now questions of self-fulfillment—making truth subjective and traditional truth claims irrelevant and meaningless. Same optimism behind Vatican II. Why wasn't the outward change earlier? "It takes time for norms to catch up with values." Like how many/most of the English lost their faith at the "Enlightenment" but the establishment kept going through the motions of orthodoxy with the creeds and the Book of Common Prayer.
  • The ghost of Episcopalianism past, a historical blog that has a kind of charm since the larger culture was closer to the faith, to the church, but looking at this as an adult, from Catholicism, like the observers of the aforementioned shift in American and Western culture, I clearly see Episcopalianism present. Claiming Orthodox recognition, desperate for validation from a real church, plus pushing little schisms from American Catholicism such as St. Anthony's, Hackensack, and the Polish National Catholics. I have some respect for Western churchmen who don't quite accept Catholicism but this is creepy.
  • A new, growing Catholic college has decided to reject nearly $1 million in federal aid so that it can remain free of the Obama administration’s mandates, which would lead to government interference with its Catholic mission and identity. It must really be Catholic ("conservative"); it's new and growing. What's left of the huge American Catholic minority the Sixties enabled Protestant America to eat up. That reminds me: I wonder how much the Rockefellers paid Fr. Hesburgh.
  • Let's motorvate: '58 Plymouth Savoy.
  • Labor Day car show, Cherry Hill, NJ.

On pushing progressivism in church and more


  • The medium is the message, and the message is progressivism. When the ruling Christian heresy (an offshoot of Protestantism) takes over Catholic churches: on American novusordo-ism. Articulating what has always put me off it. It's really showcasing upper-middle-class decorum. Mirror worship (the clergy and congregation congratulating themselves; see how diverse and democratic we are) disguised as social concern and, oh, yeah, a "religion" completely under your control. What's wrong with democracy: a mob isn't necessarily right. But, like the openly non-religious social-justice warriors, the aging Catholic liberals don't really care what you think. "They know what's best for you." A rival church with its own doctrine. It's not you and your reverend fathers in God both submitting to something greater than yourselves; it's bosses making up their own rules and at the same time pretending you're equals, buddies. Studied sloppiness as a kind of fake friendliness. Humblebragging of the kind the current Pope seems fond of.
  • The real thing. Our St. Joseph shrine and a consecration cross. Most American Catholic churches are only blessed; I think a consecrated church (done by the bishop; when it's debt-free?) can only be used as a church, and that the candles in front of the crosses (marking the spots where the bishop has put oil?) are lighted once a year on the anniversary of the consecration. Actually more important than the more prominent and obviously devotionally more appealing Stations of the Cross.
  • More from Louis Bouyer. Episcopi vagantes summed up: "tossing about between Modernism, theosophy, and simple megalomania." Ex-clergy or clergy wannabes who think they're better than the church and want to be clergy to get respect; clericalism. Quoting Dom Lambert Beauduin: "Thankfully, at the time of the 'Reformation,' no one in the Catholic Church wanted to change anything in the liturgy! It was understood so little and so badly that there would be nothing left of it." Trent (if I recall rightly) and Quo Primum sound like Vatican II in claiming to purify and restore the Roman Rite to the time of the church fathers but of course they didn't, because they didn't know how. Good. Just as well. The writers from the liturgical movement and histories of it point out that for centuries liturgy was just passed down and not studied in itself. Makes you wonder with the older, more devotional types if that study was a bad thing. I'd have to say no; of course in itself it's good. I'm surprised men training for holy orders weren't doing it all along. The legitimate liturgical movement, before Vatican II, wanted to unlock the treasures of the old services, not replace the services. Decades ago my hand missal (something the liturgical movement invented; the Catholic answer to the Book of Common Prayer) taught me much from the Bible and about the liturgy and what it means, exactly what gentlemen such as Bouyer wanted. (And as Thomas Day writes, the anti-liturgical people won, ironically in the name of "getting the people to participate" for inspiration and learning like the good liturgists wanted, but dumping Catholicism's content and keeping only... Low Masses junked up with sappy hymns.) And, again about democracy, here's Bouyer after the Modernists hijacked liturgical reform: "It is understandable that I haven't kept much of my youthful enthusiasm for 'conciliarity' [sobornost'] in general and less yet for that pocket-size conciliarity now abusively dubbed 'collegiality'..." By the way, Bouyer wrote the first part of Eucharistic Prayer II in the Novus Ordo (the one supposedly based on Hippolytus), the express(-line, -lane) canon as I call it because it's short, so it's very familiar to American Catholics, basically because he was told to. (I have some of my own liturgical lingo because standard Tridentine and Anglo-Catholic; for example the prayers at the foot of the altar are the prep office because that's what they are.) He wrote the two sentences before the institution narrative/consecration. My guess is Bouyer himself would have preferred to keep the Roman Canon, the second oldest Eucharistic prayer still used in Christendom (the Nestorians have the oldest, unique as it has no institution narrative); most Catholics 50 years ago just assumed it would remain the Roman Rite's only Mass consecration prayer and even remain in Latin.
  • For Labor Day from LRC: How capitalism enriches the working class.
  • Cultural Marxists don't care about you: Abandoned by the left. The old liberal concern about fairness vs. Sixties identity politics.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Reading Louis Bouyer and more

  • The Memoirs of Louis Bouyer. A 20th-century French Newman? Suspected before Vatican II of being too Protestant and afterwards for being authentically Catholic. A convert Oratorian like him, sort of a via media (ha) between Dom Bernard Botte's orthodox but still rather naive liberalism and Klaus Gamber's great takedown of the Novus Ordo (maybe it's not really the Roman Rite anymore). He rambled so he's harder to read than the other two but his disillusionment with the Novus Ordo, already known to people in his field, is worth getting to. Interesting stuff: Bouyer's take on who took the liturgical movement off course is different from the other two. If I recall rightly, they and Thomas Day blame those who put aside being really scholarly about the liturgy (its history; what its parts mean), or even never really were, for the sake of "what would work in the parishes" (if "the people" seem to like it, if it gets them to sing, no matter what "it" is); Bouyer blamed ivory-tower academicians. Also: Bouyer was very French (ethnically mixed, very European) but not Catholic to begin with; his approach to the faith was, well, very romantic, different from a cradle Catholic's experience of the church at the time. He was orthodox and didn't like what was done to his own work after Vatican II but like Botte he tells it like it was, how his Oratorian novitiate was run by an idiot, for example. Apparently French Protestants didn't make much of a distinction between Lutheran and Reformed; Bouyer went to both as a child. Being drawn to high churchmanship, to the sacramental and mystical, he became a Lutheran pastor in the '30s before coming into the church in '39. Early on, in his sincerity he bought into a Western Catholicism minus the Pope, maybe under an Eastern church instead. He knew Fr. Lev (Gillet), "A Monk of the Eastern Church," whom Fr. Serge (Keleher) told me was an undercover Catholic priest (what?!); Bouyer describes a disreputable vagante-ish type, which involves the character of French "Western Rite Orthodoxy" at the time (a Modernist ex-Catholic priest, Winnaert, and his little following). Bouyer claims that, when he was a Protestant seminarian, Gillet received him into Orthodoxy undercover (no paperwork), keeping him in place at the Protestant seminary; Bouyer communed from him but eventually drifted away. He rightly had no time for Bugnini and says he was two-faced, telling Bouyer the Pope insisted on something Bugnini wanted and at the same time telling the Pope that Bouyer's committee insisted on it. And: Bouyer didn't like the baroque Tridentine Anglo-Catholicism I do; he thought it was tacked-on, fakety-fake, considering Catholic remnants authentic in his Lutheranism at the time. (Anglicanism is really Reformed with bishops.) About the legitimate liturgical movement.
  • Traditionalist ecclesiology: is there a future for traditional Latin Christianity? I'm a believer in "rule of law" but like Bouyer I believe Roman Catholicism is the real Western Orthodoxy. Everybody belongs in the church, but if you care at all about Western Catholicism you obviously should come home.
  • Gabriel Sanchez:
    • A note on recent news involving the SSPX.
    • An opening remark on the ways of Greek Catholicism in the West. The first traditional Catholic Mass I actually got to attend was Ukrainian, 30 years ago; World War II refugees (who fled from the Soviets) and their families. Philadelphia isn't as heavily Slavic as the rest of Pennsylvania but the Ukrainians are here, survivors of a once-thriving immigrant community; the Ruthenians are barely hanging on. I don't feel called to that rite but they're an option I'm glad to have. The rite's better than the Novus Ordo and they're endangered in America as they age and the young drop out, so they need all the help they can get. While it's great that some good Catholics have found a refuge from novusordo-ism and other good Catholics have found a true calling in the Greek Rite, the sad fact is the Slavic Greek Catholics of any kind are slowly dying in America. Same attrition problem as the Orthodox, assimilation by the third generation in America, plus we have the problem of "Catholic is Catholic" backfiring as many people go Novus Ordo when they leave the old ethnic neighborhoods. The third generation and beyond in America aren't Ukrainian or Rusyn anymore and literally leave those neighborhoods as there are no jobs for them there anymore, plus they're upwardly mobile, going to college. They move where there is no church of their kind so they go Novus Ordo or just leave the church (marrying a nice Protestant or Jew, etc.). Part of the big story of America in the Sixties. Not just the Protestant host culture eating itself but finally getting its wish of swallowing up its big Catholic minority, even culturally conservative Slavic factory and steel-mill workers. No more jobs in town, no more neighborhood; no more "village" to help you raise your big family, no more big family, PLUS the pressure from the larger culture (contraception and the Sixties generally). So your fourth-generation person in America with a Slavic surname ends up being... just another millennial jerk with no religion, church at most being someplace to go with Grandma at Christmas and Easter. (The Orthodox are the same way.)
  • Mt. Laurel's Cistercians fold up. It's tough for monasticism in America but Catholic monasticism managed before the council. Of course liberalization destroyed many communities; this one was never big (10 at most), an Italian import. Been to the liberalized parish church once, pre-Benedict XVI's reform.
  • So Trump has made a loyalty pledge to the Republicans. In context maybe not a sellout; maybe he read the accusations of being a Perot-like spoiler really working for Hillary Clinton. So he's not trying to hurt the putative conservative cause. Dead wrong on Catholic culture-wars issues (morals) but I like his supporters and that he seems to be scaring the liberal Republicrat establishment. That doesn't translate to my vote.
  • Kim Davis. Part of the heroism is taking the punishment; as an elected official she could either resign or take the consequences. Predictable attacks, sliming her as hypocritical white trash (there you go: the Wrong Kind of White the elite are warring upon).

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Swedish rednecks and more


  • Serious Swedish rockabilly subculture rebels against European political correctness. The Swedish raggare movement ... “It is something carried down through generations,” observes Linus Sundahl-Djerf. According to the photographer, the population that celebrates hot rods, Confederate memorabilia, and midcentury American pop has had a presence in Sweden for decades. It gets even better. Unlike American hipsters including some of the rockabillies, it's not camp/ironic/kitsch; like I mentioned, it's serious. Some of them even like the Sweden Democrats (keep Sweden Swedish, not Muslim). Celebrating both mid-century America's freedom and, in a way, its conservatism.
  • Why Wal-Mart is cutting hours after a minimum-wage hike, and other economics lessons. Basically, there's no such thing as free stuff from the government or anyone else. Eventually you run out of other people's money as Margaret Thatcher famously said. By the way, Bernie Sanders is no Robin Hood. Robin Hood got the people's tax money back; Sanders wants to be the Sheriff of Nottingham.
  • Good stuff from David Mills.
    • Don't be nice to other Christians. Being nice is when you say kind things to others that you don’t really believe, because saying nice things makes everyone feel good and get along. What the ruling Christian heresy is trying to tame the church into being. We got a whiff of that with the Sixties' great victory: Protestant America finally swallowing up its big Catholic minority.
    • The quaint quibbles dividing Catholics and Protestants. Be thankful someone still cares. It boils down to infallible vs. fallible church, a difference between us and classical Protestants, us and evangelicals, and us vs. "Latitudinarians with certain sacramental opinions" as old-school Anglo-Catholics called the first liberal high church people (now the latter believe the creeds but my main point stands). Also, there's Catholicism vs. evangelicalism (including, if I understand correctly, Lutheran "evangelicalism"): the gospel and the law, or do the sacraments really do what they stand for, transforming you by grace, or is being saved just covering up our sins? Neither side really believes we're saved by the law; the serious Protestant accuses us of believing that (so the church, the sacraments, and good works such as monasticism are suspect).
  • In DC, Pope Francis will canonize Junípero Serra with Mass in Spanish. Of course, given that aging liberals still control much in the church, that politics means he won't default to the Roman Rite's longstanding language (why it's often called the Latin Rite), the one that Fr. Serra actually used in church (to be fair he had no choice). Latin makes sense in international settings such as a Pope's foreign travels, or for that matters ceremonies in Rome broadcast to the world. In a way this plan makes sense since Spanish is the only language Pope Francis knows well. Might be safer, less vulnerable to misinterpretation than if he tried English. He doesn't speak English: he can recite it off a page but can't ad-lib in it, and he can fake his way through Italian because it and Spanish are so close. (I know an Italian speaker, a second-generation Italian-American from '50s Brooklyn, who can fake his way through Spanish.) But yes, this plays into the hands of our political liberals... and big business, which isn't really conservative, fine with more cheap labor at Americans' expense. By the way, my dad grew up speaking Spanish; I know Spanish. (Fun at former jobs: nobody expects the square throwback to speak Spanish.) I love languages and want people in America to keep their original ones, AND, out of courtesy, learn English. My traditionalism is not about Latin (I say the Knott/English Missal is ours for the asking) but here's the case for church Latin: because it's a dead language it's an unchanging template for all the translations, again it's a world auxiliary language (for well over a millennium after the Roman Empire, the Western world's scholars wrote to each other in it), and, being Italian's mother, it's beautiful.
  • Manosphere minute. Roosh may well be a liar making money off desperate guys, and Roissy's supposed alpha a sociopath, but the manosphere map's still useful. Fallen human nature, as is. "Women are like the police; they can have all the evidence but still want a confession." Ha ha. And if the man gives in by confessing, she gets bored and dumps (divorces) him after a few years because he's no longer the exciting guy she fell in love with. Well, duh. Um, not true. If the man don't do wrong behind or in front of his woman they will never have that happen to them. And the woman wouldn't have to be like the police! Guess that explains all the sweet, weepy betas on romance-novel covers.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

70 years ago


A triumph for a great generation in America, even though I'm a complete revisionist believing it wasn't really our war. Japan wanted an Asian empire, to become sort of the Britain of Asia (islands with few natural resources except intelligence and industry) to compete with us, the British, and the Dutch, who then had Asian colonies. Not to excuse Japanese atrocities (they hate other Asians and were brutal to us), but why not a deal with imperial Japan, like Nixon did with Red China decades later? They didn't want to rule America and couldn't anyway. (Interesting fact: the Japanese admirals didn't want the war. They knew it was unwinnable and they liked the British; their navy was patterned after the Royal Navy, and they'd served together in World War I.)

The Missouri: what a beautiful ship. Been aboard one of her sisters, the New Jersey, likewise a museum, across the river from me in Camden. The Iowa class was built for a kind of fighting that already was becoming obsolete, ship-vs.-ship gunfights, from the Armada to Nelson at Trafalgar to the British (the King George V) sinking the Bismarck. They were built to fight the even bigger Japanese Yamato class (guns with 18-inch shells vs. the Iowas' 16-inch ones), which U.S. carrier planes sank. The Iowas ended up doing anti-aircraft cover for the new capital ships, the carriers in their task forces, and lots of shore bombardment (Korea and Vietnam).


The war arguably ended Aug. 14 with the cease-fire, today with the surrender ceremony, or in 1952 when our formal military occupation/rule of Japan ended. They're still a U.S. protectorate, naturally our biggest ally in Asia. (South Korea's probably second. The Philippines likes us but they're not a powerhouse.) How about Japan paying for its own defense, really? (Having renounced war after their defeat, they have only a token military.)

Absolution and more


  • The upcoming Extraordinary Year of Mercy. As harsh as I am about Pope Francis, this is nice. In a Year of Mercy, he's given priests around the world the faculty to absolve those who confess the sin of abortion (stupid media: "Pope says abortion isn't a sin") and has given the SSPX the faculty to absolve for the year. (The order claims a state of emergency supplies them with faculties.) Though at least one person has pointed out that he could just regularize the SSPX so why play games? Anyway, Fulton Sheen called this sacrament psychoanalysis on its knees, and it doesn't cause scrupulosity (excessive fear of going to hell) but is a solution (the church's teachings on the three criteria for a mortal sin, grave matter, sufficient reflection, and full consent of the will, and on the distinction between mortal and venial sins). Our close cousins the conservative Lutherans still defend its practice, and the more spiritual among high-church Anglicans adopted it. As with spiritual direction, something different, more intense, fewer Catholics do; I admit I've never done it. The sacrament is "just the facts, ma'am"; here the priest doesn't have the time to go in-depth as with spiritual direction. The Orthodox, unsurprisingly, are really just like us: the few who practice have a father confessor (similar ideal of sticking with one confessor, but they are more likely to insist on it); fewer have a "spiritual father." By the way, the booth with the screen is only a few centuries old, a practical matter so priests won't be tempted when attractive women confess things.
  • Then again, he's appointed Archbishop Marini, I think the low-church liberal in charge of St. John Paul the Overrated's liturgies, head of the Eastern-rite churches' liturgical commission. Which shows no respect for those rites. "Lord, have mercy." My first traditional Catholic Mass 30 years ago was Ukrainian.
  • Deaths have spiked on the Delaware River; here's why. People underestimate its depth and current so they swim in it and, when boating in it, don't wear life jackets.
  • Nobody's above the law: Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka charged with murder.
  • Modern education: creating people who are smart enough to accurately repeat what they're told and follow orders, and dumb enough to think this makes them smarter than everyone else. Maybe the Prussian model of schooling, which "progressives" had us adopt in the 1800s, turning people into cogs, isn't the best or only one.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Should libertarians vote Republican? And more

  • LRC: The case against libertarians voting Republican. True but I'm wary of libertarians too, left-libertarians just being liberals with daddy issues, against all authority, which of course is against God. (Bob Wallace quoting someone: leftism is about killing the archetypal Father.) Still, I've voted Libertarian nationally since 2004 (first did in '92) except staying home in '08.
  • Roissy: Is Trump in it to win it?
  • They really are out to get us. The activists are trying very hard to make a no-loophole world for moral traditionalists. What we are looking at is ... dhimmitude. Rule No. 1: don't apologize. I know about Christian humility, but this is a cancerous version of Christianity (leftism is a Christian heresy) that knows how to take advantage of you that way. We aren't trying to pick on homosexuals. No, this is about malevolent people with real power using that issue to war on us. And remember, the way is a Josyf (Slipyj)/Volodymyr (Sterniuk) retreat underground with honor, not a Soviet sellout (stay above ground with the pretty Mass but surrender the public square).