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.

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