Monday, May 30, 2016

Anglican would-be Catholics: Romanizers and Papalists

Just about everybody who's heard of Anglo-Catholics thinks they're would-be Catholics, and they're right. But most outsiders just assume they want to be in the Catholic Church, accepting everything we teach. That was only true of a small minority of them, Anglo-Papalists, something you'd see usually only in England and they were a small minority of the English. These went Novus Ordo when most Catholics were forced to. American Anglo-Catholicism is more like 19th-century Anglo-Catholicism in that it believed in something it thought was Anglicanism, though it was really little to do with the Reformed faith of the framers; it saw itself as, if not the true church (and some thought that, as classical Anglicans did), then the truest version of Western Catholicism. For some reason they couldn't sign onto Catholicism, even sounding admirably conservative, fearing the Pope was a monster who'd change doctrine on a whim (impossible according to our teachings, which the Pope must answer to just like everyone else). But they saw their church as part of Latin Catholicism and thus their Prayer Book as part of the Roman Rite. So, after A-Cism's beginning when, like the old high churchmen they didn't adopt our ceremonial, sticking to the Prayer Book, then meeting up with the Gothic Revival, a parallel Romantic reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the "Enlightenment," and the "Reformation," and thus going through a medievalist Sarum phase, A-Cism became Tridentine but often not, as understandably assumed by outsiders, would-be Roman Catholic. Many were in fact pushing a rival true-church claim... by imitating the Catholic Church. (In England that claim was impressive: "the church" vs. "Romans" and vs. Non-Conformists/Dissenters.) In other words, all second-wave and later A-Cs were Romanizers, but only some were Papalists. "Romanizer" can be a useful adjective to describe the non-Papalist ones: sort of alterna-Catholics. Many thanks to the Rev. Robert Bader of the Continuing Churches for pointing this out to me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Music, music, music





  • So "the Voice of a Generation," Bob Dylan, is 75. Rather fitting that a figurehead for an awful time I lived through, the Sixties conquering Middle America, has a terrible singing voice, a Pied Piper for the mad. At least the two main Beatles could sing (I've seen Sir Paul McCartney in person; he's charming), as can Joan Baez. And by the way, while big bands (the past has a past) and rockabilly are my staples, I also like pretty, tuneful hootenanny music such as the Kingston Trio, the Serendipity Singers, and, answering a record company's casting call to cash in on Dylan's and Baez's popularity, Peter, Paul, and Mary, as well as cool jazz such as Dave Brubeck and Vince Guaraldi (the piano jazz in "A Charlie Brown Christmas").
  • Recent passings of musical people I do miss:
    • Sir George Martin: One of the driving forces behind a phenomenon I have mixed feelings about (the Beatles, basically, four English kids who did mean impressions of Little Richard, et al., who like Dylan became accelerants for the Sixties' inferno) actually was rooted in an earlier, better, era, even dressing like me throughout the group's run. You can argue that his contribution, from a man half a generation older (a Fleet Air Arm veteran from the war who made it to 90), epitomized the establishment's share of the blame for the Sixties or at least acquiescence to it (witness how so much of the church caved with Vatican II). But the music is very good and Sir George, a "blimey" Londoner (you could still hear traces of that from him) but with Prince Philip's looks who taught himself the old cut-glass BBC accent, was a "quintessential English gentleman" (as the announcement of his knighthood said), calm/unflappable, self-effacing, and supporting talent he judged greater than his. And his light classical music wasn't bad either: "Pepperland Suite" for example, one of my favorites.
    • Prince: Like Michael Jackson and so many others, in Donald Clarke's words, a black talent who worked his way to success by putting on a professional show, honing his act by paying his dues in Minneapolis clubs. Like Jackson, gone too soon. Both his appearance and his music had a very Latin (Mediterranean) Catholic sensibility in their sensuality.
    • Isao Tomita: A synthesizer player who made Debussy sound cosmic. Fell in love with his rendition of "Arabesque No. 1" when it was the theme of PBS's "Star Hustler," later "Star Gazer," the astronomy bit those stations used to show before signing off for the night.
  • What my Sunday mornings before going to Mass look and sound like: "Hound Dog," for example, on my radio. The slightly older, crooning Elvis is relatively easy to impersonate; next to nobody can capture the energy of the very young Elvis.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Caudillos with heart, and more


  • Charles A. Coulombe: The quest for a Catholic state. Franco’s and Sálazar’s ways are valid options.
  • Discuss: Some say nationalism, the nation-state, is modern, a Protestant error; I think I see the point while agreeing with Steve Sailer and other conservatives that "charity begins at home" with local loyalty, love of family, community, church, and ethnos, as long as they don't become idols (schismatics often worship their culture, putting it above the church). Good "blood and soil" loyalty that will have the chattering class accusing you of Nazism (actually considered "progressive" then; of course it was wrong to idolize race). How is the medieval and Catholic res publica Christiana, Christendom, dozens of little countries sharing the universal church, different from modern secular liberal internationalism such as the UN (space-age idealism) and the EU (partly the idea of a Catholic if recall rightly)? The ruling Western culture now, a bastard only Christendom could have sired, is a mock catholic church. Sailer: liberals leapfrog their loyalty, claiming a universal love for humanity while hating their own people for being narrow-minded.
  • From last year, by a strict-constructionist Vatican II priest (conservative Novus Ordo "reform of the reform"): The sinister story of Communion in the hand while standing. Not his title. A rank Protestantization, actually outprotestanting the Lutherans and the Anglicans. Why only 30% of Catholics now know what the church says the Eucharist is, Christ's sacrifice and its grace, here and now, literally awesome. That ignorance among the people was the liberals' intent. They broke the rule on how to give Communion (the council didn't call for this change even as an option), then forced that on the Pope, the vacillating Paul VI, as a fait accompli. But it didn't change our teaching, because nothing can. Churchmen such as Fr. Heilman are right about the letter of Vatican II, which, like Archbishop Lefebvre but more so, I don't have a problem with. (His SSPX's real objections are to religious liberty and ecumenism.) The trouble is everybody knew what the real game was, and you see this in the liturgy constitution for example: praise an old practice rhetorically, then effectively abolish it by making it optional. Also: next to no churchman in the early '60s was so arrogant as to consider writing new anaphorae as alternatives to the Roman Canon, the second oldest Eucharistic prayer still in use (the Nestorians, with no institution narrative, have the oldest). By the way, the Lutherans and the Anglicans respectively are rival true-church claims that by historical accident are our close cousins for different respective reasons (the Anglicans getting a mention by Vatican II), the Lutherans being willing at first to use our trappings to spread their new faith and later unsuccessfully trying to reconcile with us, and the Anglicans being confused and sad because their kings and queens literally forced them out of the church for selfish (dynastic and avaricious) reasons.
  • Face to Face: The American multi-party system of shifting coalitions, and third-party prospects today.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday-morning religion and politics

  • To a high-church gentleman of conservative tastes who has left the church. I understand. I don't approve of course. Fr. LaRue has a point and I wish him nothing but good.
  • Things Episcopalians say: "You don't have to check your brains at the door." A true-church claim veiled in passive-aggression. Not that there's anything wrong with those claims per se! Classical Anglicans were open about theirs (it was all theological, not personal), minus the snobbery here, namely, the implied insult "Catholics and evangelicals are stupid." Yeah. St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the world's greatest intellects, was a brainwashed moron and an Eye-tie anyway. Classical Anglicans were content just to say they believed he was very wrong. The joke's on these mainline liberals: the cool, open-minded upper-middle-class whites (basically Nordic) they hope to attract (that culture being their gospel, the Christian ethos minus Christ really, like the Jefferson Bible: teaching it to mascot-ized minorities) don't go to their church or any for that matter.
  • One of the ironies of the Episcopalians, that weird Reformed church I was born into, because my dad had left THE church, the Catholic Church (he came back): since the 1800s it has had remarkably Catholic-like buildings. The parish is likely post-"Enlightenment" liberal but it falls into this pattern because this style was fashionable. What's more, you had the would-be Catholics, Anglo-Catholics, whose churches were meant to look like Catholic churches, pre-Vatican II; that hooked me as a teenager. Why did that exist, since Anglicanism is really Reformed? My theory is it's because England was a consecrated Catholic country driven from the church literally by force. (Heartbreaking: the people remained furtively Catholic until the 1580s, 50 years after the "Reformation.") The church haunts England (I've lived there) in its old place names and the structure of its church, in a way it doesn't America (which is a sort of spiritual no-man's-land, though Christian; Protestant but neutral). It's a scar on English people's souls. I've stood in a ruined abbey and knelt at the tomb of St. John Southworth so I will never look at Anglicanism the same again. But I'm thankful for the formation it gave me.
  • We have wonderful news! The diocese is re-opening St. Stanislaus Parish in Nashua. It will serve as a Tridentine Rite-only parish so everyone who loves the Latin Mass can now find it in another one of our churches. Wonderful indeed, but what floors me is that for all of New England's historic, populous Catholicism (Irish and Italian in Boston, Portuguese in Fall River, French in the far north) there is only one such parish and only recently. Why did ethnic Catholicism up there cave so readily to Vatican II and the rest of the Sixties? Pedantry: our Tridentine Use is not a rite but part of the Roman Rite. The Byzantines are a rite. Msgr. Gamber: with Fr. Bouyer's canon, the pseudo-canon of Hippolytus, or as I call it the express-line canon, etc., is the Novus Ordo still the Roman Rite or a Latin rite but not Roman? Fr. Bouyer was a fine fellow, perfectly orthodox; writing a new anaphora wasn't his idea (no Catholic churchman in the early '60s imagined such impertinence) but he did what he was told to.
  • I see Pope Francis' gaffes as a teaching opportunity: tell people who ask that Catholicism is not the cult of the reigning Pope's opinions. His office is infallible ex cathedra and I owe him due obedience (actually something that never comes up since I'm a layman; he's not my employer), but in most ways I don't care what he thinks.
  • Pentecost: the long liturgical off-season is here, with green vestments almost all the time. Punctuated with a couple of feasts to boost morale, Corpus Christi and the Assumption, and a few more localized ones (Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Rocco, for example). Salve regina, mater misericordiae...
  • In Nearer, My God, which I've just re-read, Bill Buckley mentioned the fallacious assumption that the home and Sunday school offset public-school indoctrination. One measly Sunday church service plus Sunday school or CCD (After Vatican II? Forget it!) leave kids with the impression that religion 1) is and should be 100% private, kicked out of the public square for pluralism's/good manners' sake, and 2) because it's purely private, is just a hobby for some. So you have a nominally Christian people, Protestant-based America (but with a huge minority of us Catholics), acting as if Christ had never come to earth.
  • "A right to health care" sounds Christian and may very well be (we are free to disagree regarding which means are best) but these same people think it's okay to kill "inconvenient" human life, just like the Nazis did. As humorist P.J. O'Rourke (fun guy; met him) wrote, it takes a lot of "therapy" (brainwashing) to reach that conclusion. (Him: a cold-hearted pragmatist may support both abortion and capital punishment. A devout Christian may oppose both. It takes a lot of "therapy" to be pro-abortion AND anti-death penalty. An inconvenient baby hasn't forfeited his right to live. A violent criminal has.) Actually it's just selfishness: it's easy to look righteous by supporting government health care while really being monstrous by murdering unwanted unborn children.
  • We don't need deaconesses (who weren't lady deacons; there was no such thing). They did what "active" women religious (sisters) do.
  • I've noticed Google's liberal bias in its special banners, and take it for granted that anybody I've not heard of whom it honors on his birthday anniversary was no good. What a shame. The card catalogue of the greatest library ever is run by Com-symps. So do Sergey Brin and his family live in a worker hovel on subsistence wages, his profits going to "the people"?
  • "He's 24 months old." 2. Your child is 2. Thank you.
  • We had no business invading Iraq. Here the reigning Pope's opinion agrees with mine and his predecessors'. I've marched against abortion. I marched against that war to try to stop it. I stand by both of those actions.
  • How abortion and birth control destroyed traditional families. Right; all that and no-fault divorce, so now women start 70% of American divorces, not because of abuse but because they're bored with their domesticated, nice provider husbands (doing everything modern society and even well-meaning Christians tell them to). Society now encourages women to have sex with alluring strangers and laugh about it with their gal best buddies over drinks the next day. It's party time for a minority of men; unlike a healthy society, most men are frozen out. And most women aren't really happy with this either.
  • Obama is an ex-Muslim (lapsed Muslim father and he was raised in the world's biggest Muslim country, Indonesia) but that's not the issue. (Logically ISIS should hate him more than a born Christian president.) He's really a WASP (his white mother's family) with no use for religion. Rather, like white liberals, he likes to use the Muslims to stick it to conservative whites (so "down with Christianity"). Funny thing is only a Christian society could have produced a bastard like our modern secular society.
  • The Loyalists were right and the "Enlightenment" wrong in many ways but the founding fathers started a good thing with the old American republic, a serviceable home for Catholics.
  • I'm as patriotic as the next normal guy and love the WWII generation (and big-band music), but I'm a complete revisionist about WWII, or rather I'm an "isolationist" without apology. The America First Committee was right. The imperial Japanese weren't saints but weren't our problem. All they wanted was an Asian empire, not to conquer the U.S.; we should have made a deal with them like Nixon later did with China. Instead, because both the British and the Soviets (lots of Commies in FDR's government) wanted us in the war, FDR baited the Japanese to attack (and stirred up racial hatred in America to drum up support for the war). Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field were MILITARY targets; fair game for the Japanese navy carrier pilots. Targeting civilians is a war crime, even when all-American boys do it; Hiroshima was inexcusable, according to Catholic teaching. Fr. Leonard Feeney and Cardinal Ottaviani were rightly horrified, as were old-school American generals and admirals. The Germans weren't our problem either; they had neither means nor plans to invade us. They wanted to get rid of the Slavs and annex Eastern Europe (and yes, they were mad at the Jews). WWII was the Soviet Union's war and victory, not ours; the truth you won't learn from a John Wayne movie. We were played. The smart answer would have been to make a deal with Japan and to let the Soviets and the Nazis destroy each other.
  • The bathroom controversy is obviously not about the fraction of a percent of the population who want to pretend they are the other sex because they're mentally ill; it's about sticking it to straight conservative America. There are quiet ways to accommodate such people and keep others safe, for businesses that can afford it: "family bathrooms" with completely secure stalls, for example.
  • The Mohammedans are easily dealt with. Don't invade (don't take their bait; they're here to pick a fight); don't invite (they can't bait us if we don't let them in). I'm more worried about our own bastard in Christendom, secular humanism, which is trying to use the Mohammedans as its "muscle" here.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The righteous remnant's enthusiasm, criticism of traditionalism, and bigotry Western and Eastern


  • Reading: The Righteous Remnant: The House of David by Robert S. Fogarty. Published in 1982, second edition 2014, about the House of David, a sect I'd never heard of, based in Benton Harbor, Michigan, about 100 years ago. The author traces this variant of the "enthusiasm" described by Msgr. Knox and of "the American religion" described by Harold Bloom to 1600s England, the spiritual turmoil that the English Civil War caused. Ignorant, heretical rants from charismatic personalities male and female, taken seriously even in an age when we think people knew the Bible, etc. better. Many really didn't! Me: Some of this in England paralleled folk religion in Catholic countries; Fogarty mentions followers of the prophetess Joanna Southcott outwardly conforming to the Anglican Church (which the English impressively saw as "the church" vs. us "Romans" as well as vs. the Non-Conformist Protestants); Anglican priest Jacob Duché of the First Continental Congress, later a Loyalist who moved to England, was into this sort of stuff (Boehme and Swedenborg). Unsurprising to Dr. Bloom, this hysteria found fertile ground in America; same revivalist/burned-over enthusiasm as begat the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses. Millennarianism (predicting the end of the world and a righteous remnant of 144,000, misunderstanding the code of the book of Revelation) as exemplified by the first Seventh-Day Adventists (Miller and the failed prediction for 1844) and later the JWs. Also, judaizing (here, Israelitism), a strain in Protestantism, particularly evangelicalism, despite this being settled as far back as the Book of Acts. Actually zero to do with real Christianity but a lot of people were ignorant of that, even then. (But once you tear down the church and get going with Protestantism, anything goes.) Anyway, claiming the mantle of a mostly English line of self-styled prophets including Southcott was an American wannabe Joseph Smith (apparently there were many, as there were many messiah-like rabbis in Jesus' day) called Benjamin Purnell, a fellow sporting Jesus-like long hair and a beard, which marked the men in his faith; he and his second (but not legal; he was already married) wife, Mary, set up a heaven on earth in Benton Harbor for the elect to hunker down for the imminent end of the world (predicted for succeeding years), purifying themselves with sexual abstinence, vegetarianism, and communal living (like Oneida and several other religious experiments roughly contemporary). Like the Mormons, they had aggressive missionaries (bringing over a number of like-minded British and Australians) and good public-relations stunts, from businesses selling goods to a touring baseball team to an amusement park on their property. But Purnell turned out to be a Warren Jeffs-like (hetero) sexual predator, the religion a control cult to service and make money for himself; after his losing a trial and dying shortly thereafter in 1927, the community split and dwindled much like the Shakers so by the early '80s it was down to a few old true believers. Fogarty also draws parallels to the hippie Children of God cult and the deadly Jim Jones (a religious darling of the left, by the way, which was how he got away with it for so long).
  • The end of traditionalism. Amidst another rumor of the regularization of the SSPX, a former Catholic brings up some longstanding valid criticism of the traditionalist movement: that it misses out on the depth and breadth of pre-conciliar Catholicism (I forget who first said this but Christendom is big and messy, a hospital for sinners, not a pious remnant like the catacombs) for a nostalgia only about externals. My answer for some time: I know that, for all the good that Archbishop Lefebvre and the order he founded have done (face it: we have our Mass because of him, and his issue wasn't even liturgy but opposing relativism regarding ecumenism and religious liberty), one need not fit into his opinions or the order's mold to be a good Catholic or to have a vocation. Of course I think regularization would be good and, I dare say, it would solve the problem this blogger brings up. I try to balance things out, finding the depth, the breadth, of the real pre-Vatican II ethos, including being challenged by Catholic social thought (maybe the Protestants of the Republican Party aren't always right), by... being in the official church. By the way, my semi-traditionalist parish, actually a territorial one but a magnet so people like me jump parish boundaries to register there, isn't re-enacting; we have Anglican hymns, for example.
  • Bigotry in the Christian West and East. There is a true church, and besides that, Latins and the East are one big apostolic family, but we're all sinners:
    • The Toth schism, according to Catholic World Report. Our fault thus heartbreaking; even more so the Chornock schism still barely in living memory, but a friend notes: I think I had mentioned to you before about some letters of Ireland's that were published posthumously I had read about. They were written to another bishop, I believe, and said that Toth had approached him about a problem with debts he had accrued as a result of gambling. Ireland refused monetary help but the Orthodox bishop agreed to help with a condition of becoming Orthodox. To me, the fact Ireland had not spoken about this publicly gives veracity to this account. Goes to show that there are always two sides to every story. I'd love it if American Catholicism were Byzantine, not Novus Ordo, but that just isn't happening; Catholic or Orthodox, it loses most of its people to assimilation by the third generation.
    • The Orthodox don't necessarily recognize our baptisms. In their own words. Many do but they don't have to. They don't because they think they're hot stuff, because they used to have an empire. They have bishops and the Mass, and a traditional Mass at that, but I take this theology about as seriously as I do Benjamin Purnell's.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Dating: Notes on my first post-red pill relationship

Dating: the manosphere is a map of the treacherous social terrain; blogger Roissy's my virtual coach. Good and bad, it's all true. Conservative Christians (traditionalists, would-be white knights who idealize women) have to deal with that or be alone; it's not just for players but for marriages. A red pill a day keeps the "let's just be friends" line away, my riff on MGTOW apostle Sandman's slogan alluding to The Matrix (take a dose of the truth and wake up to reality). Him: "A red pill a day helps keep the divorce lawyer away." The "red pill" is a limited dose of thinking and acting like an a**hole (confidence/mastery and even some detachment). Just as important as the blue pills some men need (no shame in that, just biology; I happen not to need them*). Mainstream relationship advice is worse than useless. Let him who has taken the red pill understand: game does work.

20 years ago when I had no game, even anti-game, my girlfriend would have turned me down flat.

Roissy maps fallen feminine nature, stuff feminists don't want you to know. He admits that players/pickup artists are bad for society; knowing the truth about human nature, he's actually profoundly conservative. Nice-guy beta providers had a chance before the Sixties ruined everything; the Sixties were a reversion to the law of the jungle.

The McKays, authors of the watered-down men's site The Art of Manliness (Roissy bowdlerized and sugarcoated for conservative Christian men), have a fine post, "Stop Hanging Out with Women and Start Dating Them," a good intro for those for whom Roissy's bluntness (and at face value much of what he says is immoral) would be too much.

Believe it or not, promiscuity as in "casual dating"/"casual sex" and weird, unnatural "platonic" relationships between the sexes are connected, to the same disordered understanding of the sexes (I'm deliberately using that Catholic phrase), which is why post-Sixties Western society glorifies both. I've had peer-pressure liberals turn on me in a rage over my hostility to the latter: "You HAVE to change your attitude!" Threatening me, Mr. Tolerance? Heh. Everybody older than junior high knows that "let's just be friends" is a condescending line for rejects (Roissy: "beta orbiters" think they have a chance); the few actual cases of that are homosexuals or, likewise now celebrated in our debased culture, jaded players and hardened-hearted whores "hanging out" trading stories about their sexual conquests. (When Harry Met Sally... was post-Sixties Hollywood Jews sticking it to Christian America again.) Some manosphere fellows and MGTOW writers/speakers glorify that too; they're fallible. It's evil. The generation born in 1930 didn't have that kind of relationship because those people were normal.

As you can tell from looking at me, I am not of this era. My first cultural memory is pre-Sixties America, in the '60s; I have a kid's memory of the change as the Sixties took over, from 1968 to 1973. That other America has haunted me all my life. (Tried to find it in other things: living in the mother country, England; Russian Orthodoxy.) Think of me as someone a generation older than me, born around 1930. (I should have been working in the newsroom of the Pottsville Republican around 1960.) I'm benevolent (loving a relationship with another rational adult) but as the man I call the shots; if you don't like it, there's the door. I am never friends with women one on one in person (and I don't use that line in breakups); I court them, only one at a time. I don't have a little black book and don't want one. People understandably think I mimic "Mad Men"; actually I started watching that when it was well under way and after I started "turning back the clock" in my life. (I ransom '50s and '60s things, giving them a true loving home again.) I don't want to be a player like Don Draper ("he's a miserable drunk," the actor who played him rightly said), Ricky Nelson's "Travelin' Man" or Dion's "Wanderer" (funny; that's the name of a fine conservative Catholic newspaper). Among that show's characters (few of whom are good or nice), I aspire to be Henry Francis, a stand-up guy very much in love.

Love's great; contra MGTOW, worth the bother of growing up; God made it including sex of course.

"Love one another."

*Obviously I'm not überfromm pious; what little religion I have is all Catholic before Vatican II, sometimes translated into Anglican English. I don't live up to the teachings of the church but I never attack them, something cultural Catholics understand. My goal's modest: confess and commune before I check into purgatory. My girlfriend is a Slavic lapsed Catholic who unofficially adopted her ex-husband's Baptist faith, bemused by my religion but somewhat familiar with it.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Another argument with ex-Catholic Orthodox


My Facebook posts have largely replaced my blog posts; I like the added privacy (you can narrowcast to friends). That and I've been busy with my job, taking care of my classic car (just got a buffer to wax her like a pro), and my first post-red pill romance (let him who reads that understand — long story short the manosphere is right about fallen feminine nature and it's a matter of us conservative Christians learning how to deal with that, modern mainstream relationship advice is trash, and "casual dating" and weird unnatural platonic opposite-sex relationships are both evil and connected to each other; I refuse both on principle and my girlfriend respects that as a sign of a real man, and by the way, we voted for Trump). Anyway, this story on the occasion of the church's second Easter last Sunday (I love shouting "Χριστὸς ἀνέστη!" to Christos and his crew at Colonial Kitchen this time of year) started yet another online argument, again with that rarity in real life, religious Catholics who leave the church for the estranged majority of Byzantine Riters, commonly called the Orthodox: Yes, well-meaning followers of Fr. Gruner and neocon idiots trying to revive the Cold War, Russia isn't Communist anymore. My Facebook post says:

1. Христосъ воскресе! 2. Hooray for Putin, the new Constantine. 3. Msgr. Kirill shows Pope Francis how to do liturgy.

A Catholic friend:
The Russian Orthodox know liturgy and do it well — and take it more seriously than some of us Catholics. I always enjoy watching the DL at Pascha and Christmas on RT or even YouTube. When you were Orthodox, did you attend a ROCOR or OCA parish? I remember that video you made praying in Slavonic.
You got that right. A big part of their appeal, and something they can reteach us, is they don't hate their past the way too many of us were forced to. My first traditional Catholic Mass in person was 30 years ago and Ukrainian, thanks to my meeting Ukrainian exiles. Thing is, after a while trying out the rite in the Catholic Church, I made the mistake the Orthodox do of thinking their culture is the church, so I left, but ultimately I admitted that wasn't true. Yes, I learned Russian and Slavonic; I love languages. I belonged to two parishes, neither of them OCA. My first parish, where I was received by confession, was OCA-like; descendants of Slavic ex-Catholics who schismed 100 years ago. It was Moscow Patriarchate; some parishes obeyed the Soviets after WWII and joined that. My second was ROCOR but that needs explaining. My experience wasn't really ROCOR. My parish priest there was an emotionally wounded traditional ex-Catholic grieving because of Vatican II (he spent time in a mental hospital then) and still very pro-Catholic. Which was good and bad. He provided a refuge but it delayed my return to the church. When he left, I came back.

Ex-Catholic Richard:
The "Slavic" ex-Catholics were former Uniates from western Ukraine. From Galicia.
Right, it was a split from the city's only Greek Catholic church at the time, which is Ruthenian. A Galician group left and formed an uncanonical parish. And three years later there was a split in the split when one group returned to the church to become the city's Ukrainian Catholic cathedral and the other group went to the Russians, being in the Metropolia, now the OCA, until the Soviets sent a bishop to New York right after WWII, who ordered the Russian churches in America to submit to him. This parish did; most didn't.
A mental hospital? John, how can you smear his memory in this way after he was so kind to you?
No smear, Richard; he told me and there oughtn't be a stigma to mental illness and treatment for it.
John, then keep it to yourself!
But it's an indictment of our own churchmen for Vatican II, not of Fr. A. That they caused that kind man so much suffering says it all.
John, you're living in a fantasy world. Buona fortuna.
One faith and one church acknowledging the good in both sides and not being limited to one rite or culture is not a fantasy world, Richard (I know you won't read this or answer), but the wondrous reality instituted by Christ: the Catholic Church.

Ex-Catholic Eric:
It baffles my mind how you can both praise and demean a whole Church and its Patriarch at the same time.
That's the whole paradox of schism, Eric. There's much to still praise and much to criticize. You know what I believe. In a way we still include them; because they have bishops and the Mass they are still a part of us. But they are not the church as they claim to be.

Their being in schism, and daring to call us graceless (which we don't teach about them) for not being in their countries and culture, is demeaning to themselves.
I think that considering not a single church canon of a pre-schism ecumenical council said anything about Roman supremacy, you have no right to call us schismatic.
If there is only one church as is only logical, then a head bishop is logical. He's a caretaker of the faith. It's not so much about one see's supremacy (although I explained that just now) but that the church is more than one culture or rite. I like the Byzantine Rite. I don't mistake it for the whole church (never mind the small, half-hearted Western Rite Orthodox experiment). I'm where I am based on which side is fairest to both sides (acknowledging we have essentially the same faith). That must be the church. The thing confusing a culture with the church is obviously not the church.

There is no such thing as the Orthodox Church. There is only one church, the Catholic Church, and there are Byzantine and some other bishops estranged from it.
There are canons in the early councils which contradict the Roman model of church government and support the Orthodox. It's not the same exact faith, sorry.
It reminds me of the Old Catholics many years later, Eric. Both groups of schismatics, they and the Orthodox, have plausible arguments on paper. As I like to say, alterna-Catholicisms such as these fascinate me because they have a point, often about Catholics' human failings; there's more than one legitimate way of looking at things apart from doctrine. If the Old Catholics really were the true Roman Catholic Church, it would be self-evident: in America you'd see thriving Old Catholic dioceses with schools and hospitals, and religious orders full of vocations, for example, while the Pope's church languished in obscurity. Likewise mostly estranged Byzantium, which has an impressive résumé. Real bishops, the Mass, and, unlike Protestants, all its defined doctrine is true (because it's the first seven councils of our doctrine). But the truth is self-evident: the church includes many rites and cultures, one message for all mankind. One alterna-Catholicism pretends its rite and cultures, even its states, are the same as the church so all outside are graceless (such as Westerners believing in the same God with the same sacraments), but it's really just an Eastern European backwater; the other is a Middle European rump sect, basically Episcopalians.
Where did Jesus say His church would have worldly success and would be huge?
Byzantium (including Russia) thought so. The true church includes (ideally) but is bigger than Byzantium.