Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dominica in Albis/Antipascha

  • Low Sunday.
  • Some social history and impressions regarding the church.
    • The rise and fall of Ruthenian-American Catholicism. "Greek Catholic" refers to the "Greek" Byzantine Rite of East Slavic (most notably the Russians) Orthodox and East Slavic Catholics, not Greece or ethnic Greeks. The members of my Ukrainian part-time parish tell similar stories.
    • Longtime religious blogger and high churchman Huw Richardson is now Catholic. His impression regarding it all: "The Catholic Church: here comes everybody."
    • "The Rrrromans." SPQR, "lend me your ears," and all that. When I was Anglican I understood "Roman" from Anglicans (for example, "the Roman Church") to mean "hey, we're Catholic too." Later I learned it can also be a Protestant putdown: "the dago mission to the paddies," etc. Throw in political correctness and you get something like the Black Legend of Spain vs. enlightened women clergy and gay marriage, a kind of rival true-church claim rather like classic Anglicanism's at least implied one. Like the American ordinariate, Anglican English is still my religious English and I am Roman Catholic in every sense. You sometimes get this "the Romans" business from zealous convert Byzantine Catholics too, with similar problems; they start sounding like they're not Catholic because in fact they are on their way out of the church to Orthodoxy. Born Byzantine Catholics don't do that; they're Catholic and that's that. I like worshipping with them.
  • Hogwash 101. Steve Sailer keeps noticing things. The law of God is written in the heart of every man. Don't pay so much attention to what liberals say; watch what they do. They preach egalitarianism and anti-Westernism (a distortion of Christian humility: mea culpa, etc.) but under the "safe" disguise of fantasy they love (even obsess about) children's fiction about a tradition-laden, even medieval institution, a boarding school in our mother country, and even "good breeding" (a natural elite vs. "muggles"). The same way they love their ivy-laden colleges in real life.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Online vs. real American Eastern Christianity

The Web version of American Eastern Christianity: Eastern Orthodoxy is getting more "diverse," a Good Thing™, with converts by the parishload, happy all-American young families, lots of prayer ropes and saying the Jesus Prayer, and every parishioner having a spiritual father. And not Catholic; "we're a completely different faith." Byzantine Catholics, likewise "diverse," are semi-closeted Eastern Orthodox, angsty because they're torn between two churches like being in the middle of a divorce. "Praxis! Phronema! We're not like those loser traditionalists and their Latin Mass! Don't force your Latin doctrines on us!"

More like the reality on both sides: ethnic Catholics, most of them estranged from us (in schism); nationalistic/ethnocentric; losing the kids and grandkids like crazy to assimilation. It usually fails in three generations. Small and getting smaller.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A religion and realtalk sampler

"Linker" posts are passé thanks to Mark Zuckerberg's wildly successful site but anyway.
  • From 2013: A sociologist on the "Latin Mass." An honest one who apparently didn't believe in the traditional Catholic faith but wasn't biased against us either, actually listening to people. (I like sociology, my favorite one-off college course.) Quotations that don't necessarily reflect our teachings but come from the heart; impressions. Like folk religion. I use quotation marks in the title because Catholic traditionalism is not about Latin.
  • Fr. Longenecker: Fideism R Us. An understandable mistake but it's relativism. Catholicism, yes, belief in the usually invisible God but also a God-man, is grounded in reality.
  • Takimag: David Cole gets real about the Jewish question. A lot of Jews don't like Christians but blaming them for your problems is like blacks blaming whites for all of theirs.
  • Château Heartiste: The myth of the hottie bitch. I admit I fell for that one: original sin would make an entitled girl insufferable. The counter-argument: if you're attractive, the world loves you so you think the world is loving. So hot girls are actually more likely to be polite, turning down an invitation (to a date, etc.): "No, thank you." The good old-fashioned way. As with social class, the rudest girls are the ones insecure about their status/attractiveness (like middle-class snobs) so they resent approaches from men they imagine are beneath them. (That and hypergamy or assortative mating; take your pick.)
  • Face to Face: The violent left and the deep state are now indistinguishable. The sedition against the president speaks well of him. Almost worth it to see the left agree with George Wallace on states' rights. A possible difference between the headline-grabbing, street-theater left and the deep state: the former, the anti-gun folks, don't really know how to fight (but watch out for Weather Underground–style terrorism); the latter has real power so it's a threat.
  • By the way, I haven't dropped one of the two consistent things about this blog and myself since I started blogging nearly 15 years ago (really getting started 14 years ago): high church (Catholic again long before circumstances allowed me to come clean that I was Catholic again) and the "America First" message of this blog's title. Trump was never one of my idols; "he'll do." Still true. That said, no to war in Syria. Old news now but anyway. Assad's is one of the only remaining non-Mohammedan ones in the Near East. (I understand Alawites consider themselves Mohammedans but they're really not. Like Mormons are to Christians.) Unlike Sunni Wahhabist Saudi Arabia (a chamber of horrors run by best friends to our elite, and where most of the 9/11 hijackers were from), you can be a Christian in his Syria, home of several apostolic churches, some of which are Catholic. Even if he is a poison-gassing son of a bitch, he's not our problem. Don't invade; don't invite.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Delatinization redux

  • A British ex-Anglican priest in the Ukrainian Catholic Church: True to tradition. I add: a tradition with a small t.
From elsewhere:
It's necessary to take a definitive measure to end the Eastern schism. Talks and good will are not effective. Each Orthodox church needs to renounce the separation and became an Eastern Catholic church of the Byzantine Rite.
Yes, but. You don't have to latinize to be Catholic. Don't harass the latinized majority in the current Byzantine Catholic churches, but guarantee to the Orthodox that we will never do to them what we did to Toth and Chornock in America. "We love you and miss you. Join us so we can leave you alone."

Don't harass the latinized majority in the current Byzantine Catholic churches. This got me put in moderation (basically suspended) at byzcath (yes, a Catholic-hosted forum; sometimes we're our worst enemy) for about two years and just now nearly pushed off Facebook's Russian Catholic group. Two deacons chewing me out like drill sergeants. "Stop pretending to be a Russian Catholic and go away; enjoy your traditional Latin Mass." Do as Fr. Deacon Dork says (harass the latinized actual East Slavs in the church; like me, Russian Catholics usually aren't Slavs) or turn in my icons (from a deceased Russian's collection) and Slavonic prayer books. Нет (nyet).

Russian Catholics usually are born Catholic non-Russians who love things Russian and Orthodox but have the sense not to leave the church.

The calling to delatinize oneself looks like anti-Westernism, a sin of the Orthodox, but isn't. (A favorite story from a departed priest friend who lived it: the English Jesuit superior of Fordham's Russian Center taking down an icon of St. Ignatius Loyola because it doesn't belong in the rite.) But it can become malicious. That's how evil works; it's a parasite, spoiling a good thing.

A good thing, the calling to be an unlatinized Byzantine Catholic, gets twisted into the sin of pride (when it's about your ego and not God: my cause), looking down on others who are entirely Catholic. Mirroring our treatment of Toth and Chornock, ¿no? Same self-righteousness as many of the Orthodox, of rad trads, and of NCR liberals (Modernists).

I love the mild delatinizations, imposed from the top, at my Ukrainian part-time parish. It's not entirely восточный (Eastern) but seems and is meant to seem Orthodox, perfect for my offering all that the Orthodox taught me back to God in the Catholic Church. The parishioners, Slavs who are nth-generation Ukrainian Catholics, aren't as keen on them ("Why can't we have our Stations of the Cross?"). That's reality. Their opinion, and they remain entirely Catholic. We get along. It takes a special kind of jerk to be a non-Slav barging in and telling Slavs how to do their services. I'm not that person.

You don't have to become like them but don't force them to be like you. Their relatives and in some cases they went through hell in their homelands to remain Catholic. Some respect is in order.

If you want восточный, there are the Melkites and the Russian Catholics. But, just like with the Orthodox, lose the attitude.

Христосъ воскресе!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Predictions about the American Catholic Church

Prophetic? Marie-Thérèse Power writes:
In 20 years' time the people who thought it ['70s-'80 Catholic liberal low-church] was "really nice" will have gone to their reward, and their children won't be bothering to attend. Those who were irritated by the duck soup will still have to travel an hour to get to a traditional Mass, but those will be the only Masses on offer.
That reminds me: 30 years ago here in the Philadelphia area, a priest, very knowledgeable and from before Vatican II, on board with the liberals but not too obnoxious about it, claimed to me, "By the time you are in your 50s the church will be completely different." He didn't elaborate. I'm in my 50s. Let's see if that has come true. The teachings of course can't change. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is shrinking (and hasn't bottomed out yet; more parish closings and mergers) because it has spent down its financial and social capital from before the council (whilst claiming the "renewal" is a smashing success). Thanks to the Holy Ghost and Pope Benedict XVI the Great's reform, like in England 30 years ago you can now find old-fashioned Western high-church if you are looking for it. My parish is a reform-of-the-reform shop now run by an always-conservative order, which happens to do the Tridentine Mass too, my home base, and there's the ordinariate (which is not part of the archdiocese; they have their own bishop) for Anglican alumni who like the old Prayer Book, their symbol of saying no to the Sixties revolution, just like the Tridentine Mass. (I can join but it only has my moral support; going there isn't practical and Cranmer was a heretic. But the lasting lesson from it is Western traditionalism doesn't have to be in Latin.) The charismatic movement, "the future of the church," fizzled. The Byzantine churches here are slowly dying (I don't want that to happen; I'm there part-time) due to age, assimilation, and people moving away (almost exactly like the Orthodox except some people become Roman Rite).

Sunday, April 16, 2017

When ethnicity protects: An example of good Novus Ordo

An example, but not the only kind, of good Novus Ordo, the best the official Roman Rite had to offer in many places for decades after Vatican II and I imagine still is the best in at least some. (And is better than even 10 years ago thanks to Benedict XVI's reform.) Novus Ordo-fied but their heart is still with the old religion (I know it well; Msgr. Murray and his parish were just like this... it reminds me of the English for a few decades after the "Reformation"), here with ethnic culture serving as a hedge against Modernism. This is Sacred Heart Church, the historic Polish parish in Clifton Heights (it used to be a national parish; notice there are no Irish national parishes) and maybe merged with one or two other parishes now. (Yo, how's that "renewal" working out for youse?) The candles on the gradines in the reredos (behind the altar; what traditionally were the altar candles) happen to be electric lights. This parish took out the Communion rail and moved the mensa (the table that's the actual altar) forward probably only because they were told to. (Likely at great expense, especially for this blue-collar town.) Unlike Catholic liberals, they're obviously not trying to attack the teachings of the church. By the way, unusual in the archdiocese, this is one of the only parishes besides mine where there are no altar girls (the territorial parish I live in but don't belong to is a Lucia fest), but the sanctuary crew receives Communion in the hand and there are lady Eucharistic ministers. One wonders if some official years ago bullied these Polish-Americans into having both. Layfolk giving Communion don't affect the sacrament of course but I hate the liberals trying to force their agenda on me especially with something as intimate as worship, receiving Communion particularly so (think about it: Catholics and other apostolic Christians get to touch God), and in this case especially because I'm an ex-Anglican. (They're soft-selling the attempted ordination of women.) Partly why in five years back in the church I have never received from a lay person. They're supposed to be a practical thing under "extraordinary" circumstances. Note the icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa ("chenstahova"; being Roman Riters, except for her, Poles don't really do icons) and the Divine Mercy picture on the gradines; there's also a portrait of St. John Paul II in a side vestibule. (We are actually better off now even with Pope Francis, because Benedict the Great's reform still stands. What's helping us: Francis doesn't care about liturgy and he doesn't speak English.) The Stations of the Cross are in Polish with English titles on little signs below them, and the priest and congregation still speak some Polish; I understood what I heard.

Other good kinds include high-church (reform of the reform: make it look and sound like the Tridentine Mass, including eastward-facing; my parish did that before Summorum Pontificum freed up the traditional Mass; the ordinariates are the "libretto by Cranmer" version and yes, that's as strange as it sounds, given the history, as Cranmer came to hate the Mass) and "say the black, do the red," pared down with no attempt at music (that is, a Low Mass).

"For God so loved the world..." Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy upon us.


  • Byzantine Rite Sunday here: Христосъ воскресе изъ мертвыхъ, смертiю смерть поправъ, и сущимъ во гробѣхъ животъ даровавъ. (This is Slavonic, the traditional liturgical language the Russians still use; my part-time parish uses English and Ukrainian.) From a few years ago, my tribute to Russia; may it with Putin be a sword of Christendom as well as, in the tradition of St. Seraphim of Sarov (we Catholics give born Orthodox saints the benefit of the doubt), spread peace by example. (Of course Christians can do both. Jesus himself used force at one point.)
  • Filipino crucifixions on Good Friday. (Note the British headline's disapproval of "extreme religious acts." Because "we don't do religion anymore.") A folk Catholic practice. I understand the possible well-meaning Protestant objection to this: it's true that we can add nothing to Jesus' sacrifice and there is only one of him so only one sacrifice for Christians; the people doing this don't earn their way into heaven like the Protestants think we believe. What strikes me is this sounds exactly like their objection to the Mass. So these re-enactments by my brothers, like me partly Spanish, the penitente tradition "plus," are Passion plays "plus." Catholicism is an entirely "real" religion, literal. We believe baptism with water literally gives grace, that the God-man was nailed to a cross, and, even though he only appeared mysteriously to his followers, he literally returned in the flesh from the dead. These acts in the Philippines by analogy show the reality of Jesus' sacrifice, certainly to the people doing them, like the Mass makes it truly present "disguised" as bread and wine. If miracles happened at these events I wouldn't be surprised.
  • A Catholic church is both a temple, in which the one sacrifice has replaced the old covenant's sacrifices but it is still a place of sacrifice (both Jesus' sacrifice made mystically present and Christians' giving thanks; εὐχαριστία) and the gathering (σύναξις) place for the assembly, the community (ἐκκλησία).
    • The cleansing of the Temple and the sacrifice of the Mass. Fr. Hunwicke on Rabbi Jacob Neusner. I'm not as educated as Fr. H but the point seems to be Neusner didn't believe in Jesus but believed Jesus obviously meant what Catholics and others in the apostolic family (Catholics who don't admit they're Catholic as I put it) do about his Supper. I'm also reminded of the late Michael Davies, who pointed out that when Protestants use realistic sacrificial language about Communion, they don't mean what we do; they really believe "he is not here."
    • New clericalism is imposing old ways on modern church architecture. Modern Westerners don't understand the true, sacrificial symbolism of a meal in ancient cultures. Arguably the Protestants, 16th-century northern Europeans long removed from this culturally, didn't either. Which partly explains the mistakes of this NCR article; the author sounds like he's really a Protestant. Also, Catholic liberals are the biggest clericalists. Fr. George Rutler has said we are really sacerdotalists; clericalism is a kind of caricature of the church. Which is closer to our beliefs, a priest submitting to the great tradition (say the black, do the red, face the altar with the congregation) to plead Jesus' sacrifice (Jesus, the one actual priest and one victim) and give literally him as a sacrament, or the courtroom sanctuary in which the priest's chair displaces the Reserved Sacrament, towering over a shrunken altar? (Anglo-Catholics adopted traditional practices voluntarily, facing fines and prison in England, because of love; they thought they were part of the larger church or wanted to be.) Christian altars are tables but the Protestants and neo-Protestants (aging Catholic liberals) think they are only tables. How wrong they are. Also, this is the bookend of radical traditionalism: Catholic liberals think their architecture and liturgics are the only, God-given way. If you want to experiment, fine, but stick to our teachings (Pope Benedict XVI the Great's reform in English does that) and don't tell me I can't have the traditional Mass (Benedict answered that with Summorum Pontificum). The super-clericalism is also why the old Catholic liberals want women priests; most of us Catholics, including the many lapsed, at least tacitly know it can't be done.
  • A Russian Catholic actually in Russia (rare) asks:
    • Do you think it is necessary to reform the Orthodox rite or not? No. Possible but not necessary and likely not desirable. Witness the Roman Rite after Vatican II.
    • Can a person be in the Eastern rite (sic) but not be a conservative? There are several Eastern rites. Anyway, it depends on what you mean by "conservative." Our doctrine can't change. The church is above politics; both the political left and right can be in the church in any rite. You can be a perfectly good Catholic and believe in a strong central government with socialized health care, for example. That said, most of the Eastern rites are culturally conservative; if you want to experiment liturgically, you can be Catholic but an Eastern rite probably isn't for you. And as at least an opinion I hold that modern Western leftism, including political correctness, is Christianity without Christ, not an option for good Catholics.
  • "Two integrities" nonsense in Catholicism? Fr. Longenecker's honest about church politics these days being bad. Good thing the church is indefectible; our teachings can't change. (Like how, despite the lack of "liturgical studies" for most of our history, we still have the Mass; that's the Holy Ghost at work.) So no, Pope Francis can't turn the church Protestant like Cranmer did in England. The Fr. Martins are in one ear and out the other, forgotten by me as soon as I'm out the proverbial bad parish's door. Jesus' killers couldn't keep him down and they can't take my faith.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Conservative principles

Worth pondering. Timothy Arndt writes (I admit I haven't read what he has):
The common principles of the early Conservatives of Western Europe (roughly, from Burke to Donoso Cortes) listed by Robert Nisbet in his foreword to The Works of Joseph de Maistre (Schocken, 1971).
  • 1. God and the divine order, not the natural order, must be the starting point of any understanding of society and history.
  • 2. Society, not the individual, is the subject of the true science of man.
  • 3. Tradition, not pure reason, is the only possible approach to reform of government and society.
  • 4. Organism, not social contract, is the true image of social reality.
  • 5. The groups and associations of society, not the abstracted individual, are the true seats of human morality — and also of human identity.
  • 6. True authority springs directly from God and is distributed normally among a plurality of institutions — church, guild, social class, and family, as well as a political state.
  • 7. A tragic view of man and history is required, one that sees the recurrence of evil and disaster in human affairs, not the kind of linear progress assumed by the Enlightenment.
Not libertarianism (although that is useful in America; it taught me to think critically about our political scene, left and right) and not the "liberalism a few decades ago" (exactly what American neoconservatism is) that passes for American conservatism (which isn't surprising since America was founded on the "Enlightenment") or, put another way, American "conservatism" as in mainstream Republicans is just social liberalism that plays the stock market (the dumbed-down, non-threatening to liberals "conservatism" of "Alex P. Keaton"). I do believe in capitalism/the market (better than any other economics man has tried), though, but the real reactionaries, and the best churchmen, are right that work is for man, not man for wage slavery, which is cleverly marketed as individual liberation from poverty and narrow old morals; among other evils it destroys families and communities. (Medieval life may have been hard and short but the church made sure you got your time off for festivals, etc., which the Protestants got rid of.) The worst churchmen mistake the ripoff of Christianity that is Western liberalism (only our apostates could have come up with it: for example, globalism and "it takes a village" are its false church; it includes feminism) for the gospel. My guess is Pope Francis is one of these suckers, which doesn't affect our teachings, because it can't, but he doesn't act like somebody owns him; he's unpredictable. Vatican II (policies, not doctrine) happened because too many of our churchmen forgot the seventh point: "Let's streamline the church for the space age, and as part of that, now that we've learned the history of the Mass so we know what we can take out, let's rewrite it."

I am a Catholic so unlike most Americans I believe a king or a caudillo is an option. The right thing to do in 1775-1783 was to remain loyal to George III (even though he was Protestant, which didn't affect us, and Burke thought the rebels had a point).

On paper Britain and Canada (partly the American Loyalists who rightly opposed the revolution) should have been a conservative high-Anglican ideal but aren't. (Many/most English Reformed Christians lost what was left of their faith at the "Enlightenment.") Of course we believe Anglicanism is fatally flawed — it's just Protestantism with bishops — but anyway. And, although semi-congregationism is worth looking at as a hedge against liberalism, Popeless "Catholicisms" eventually get owned.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Is the SSPX the real BenOp?

Rod Dreher's striking omission. Gabriel Sanchez is long back in the church doing good with his writing. This piece is like my idea of looking to the 20th-century history of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, his church home and my part-time one, for a working model of "intentional Christian communities," traditional Catholic ones, under extremely adverse conditions.

I have a lot of respect for the Society of St. Pius X; we have the traditional Mass in the official church again because of them. But I'm not associated with them because my impression (and I have been to them many times) is, like with the Orthodox, while it's a good culture, they're too narrow, a bookend of the militantly low-church, insufferably self-righteous liberals (and yes, most of them were heretics) who scoured our churches of our culture 45 years ago, saying they were doing God's will, which baited some traditionalists into sounding like the caricatures many churchmen accuse them of being. Sanchez handles this well: he explains it's about principles, not nostalgia (certainly not about Latin in church): an authentic horizon beyond liberalism, one where Christ the King reigns supreme and the final end of man is not earthly satisfaction but rather eternal beatitude with God. I don't think "the American way" is the answer like political and church neocons do but I do believe Catholicism can live in the old American republic (the U.S. was never supposed to be a democracy, thank God).

More important than my first objection, Catholicism 101 includes being under your lawful bishop, your local successor to the apostles (the diocese is the church's basic unit; this is Vincentian-canon stuff the Orthodox, other dissident Easterners, and classic Anglicans agree with), who of course answers to the one church's head bishop. Wrong opinions aren't necessarily heresy; you can't break with the reigning Pope or your bishop just because you don't like him (and no, I don't like Pope Francis). The only religious thing I officially belong to is the bare minimum, a parish of the diocese. The SSPX conscientiously is not a separate church in theory but in practice is one.

A third objection is related to the first: there's real Christianity vs. "secularized and part-time Christianity," but "the Catholic Church: here comes everybody," not a perfectionistic micromanaging cult of of the self-righteous, the caricature of traditionalism, which is not the big tent of the real pre-Vatican II church (the faith of Francisco Franco and Dorothy Day; heck, the Irish and Italians in America used to hate each other). Still, the clergy's job in part is to point out the "authentic horizon" Sanchez mentions. Sound teaching from the pulpit and decorum in the sanctuary (a rite teaches and keeps order in church) but "come as you are" for the laity; private/home devotion is a free-for-all, for example. (The local SSPX chapel's Christmas Midnight Mass is packed... with local people, not just the parishioners you'd expect.)

Sanchez's criticisms of Dreher are fair: Dreher has left the church and is a writer who claims to critique contemporary liberal culture while remaining deeply embedded within it who wishes to curry favor with media elites who will draw attention to his book or give him free airtime, which seems to confirm my suspicion that his most vicious critics are right that he's a Judas trying to persuade conservative Christians to surrender (certainly leaving the church fits that), the "fixat[ing] on same-sex marriage and gender issues" being "bloggy outrage porn" (the critics' words) to get our confidence; bait.

Of note: "How's that 'renewal' working out for youse?" Even in secular terms Vatican II's a flop. Last fall, in rural Virginia, the Society opened a brand new-seminary to house the influx of vocations pouring in — something which no Catholic diocese in America has been able to boast of in decades.

Dominica de Passione: Judica me, Deus

  • Mass: Judica me, Deus.
  • Anglican missal translation.
  • A sign allegedly in a church: "Confession today (Saturday) will be exactly until 5:30 pm. There is only one priest available for confession today. Make your confession direct, to the point. Only confess your sins. No need to explain why you did it. Thank you very much." I think a lot of people confuse confession with spiritual direction, which is a sort of Christian psychotherapy before there was psychotherapy. Understandable since most Catholics including me don't have a spiritual director, just father confessors who do the best they can. (By the way, the Orthodox in America are the same on this. Spiritual fatherhood/eldership is monastic, and there aren't that many Orthodox monks and nuns in America. Stay away from parish priests who play staretz; it's a cult.) I'm blessed to have a city church (not my parish; not really a neighborhood parish anymore) that has many times set aside for confession so I don't feel rushed, but the sign has a point. "Just the facts, ma'am."

Saturday, April 01, 2017

The secular West's "peaceful future" according to Google

Doodle 4 Google 2016/2017 Winner! — "A Peaceful Future" by Sarah Harrison, Stratford, CT.

Another leftist Google doodle: superficially appealing art that, like leftism generally, rips off Christian ethics, "love thy neighbor" with Jesus Photoshopped out or here relativized. Edited out: the pile of corpses, the inconvenient babies including disabled ones* (and the left calls us Nazis) never born, euthanized disabled and elderly, and millions (more than the Nazis) Stalin, Mao, and others killed to usher in their "paradise," that this particular lie, that of John Lennon's "Imagine," is built on. (To Lennon's credit, he didn't buy into abortion. You never hear that.)

CØn†яÅ𝛿ï©T. The Mohammedan wants to forcibly convert or kill everybody else, including throwing the homosexuals off roofs (we conservative Christians believe what the homosexuals do is a sin but murder is not our answer). The Western liberals behind this art want to use her as a weapon against Western conservatives (who want to be left in peace, not invade the world, a liberal dream; it's really just colonialism, only with them in charge); that's why they invited her. They don't really care about her beliefs; they think that because they're so nice, everybody else, including her, really wants to be just like them. And what's she doing, anyway? Coming to our countries to use the rights there... to argue for taking those rights away, just like in her home country?

Of course I'm for giving talented women and minority members a chance at a job, etc.**, but it's an article of the leftist faith (without anything like St. Thomas Aquinas' five proofs) that pushing more such into certain fields will benefit those fields. It's... superstitious. How would a quota of women et al. in science improve science? (Women in combat are a bad idea.)

Hooray for separate countries. How about if we and the Saracens come to an understanding? We have our Christian kingdoms over here and they have their dar al-Islam, their theocracies, way over there, and we have less and less to do with each other as we buy less oil from them, finding more of it here as well as developing alternative fuels, etc.? We don't station troops and drone-attack there; they stop blowing us up and shooting us. Don't invade; don't invite.

The Japanese, for example, like being Japanese. They have a foundation culture. So do Americans. It's English, as in originally from England. Deal with it. I love it and I'm not even Protestant. (It is obviously formerly Catholic anyway.)

Good quotation: "If liberals think you're too conservative and conservatives think you're too liberal, you're probably just Catholic." Blessed John Henry Newman's life. He figured out that Anglicanism's latitudinarianism isn't the church but many Catholics in his day didn't trust him.

*The other side has a point that "labeling is bad" but "people with disabilities," etc. is showing off. And liberals love to label; it's flashing their ID. I'm part Mexican, not Guatemalan (they're neighbors who hate each other), Puerto Rican, etc., but there's "Hispanic." (Granted, sharing some Iberian ancestry, a language, and the church means something, but still.) Han Chinese, Malays, Bengalis, et al. get to be "Asian" together. You're not white? Colored "People of color." White liberals' version of "you all look alike anyway," I guess.

**That's what our fair English Christian culture does.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Dominica quarta in Quadragesima

  • Mass: Laetare, Jerusalem.
  • Anglican missal propers and readings. The difference in the standard Catholic version is the gospel goes on for one more sentence: When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
  • First photo: I haven't been but an old acquaintance's recent travels brought this to my attention. Les anglicans being plus catholique que les catholiques. The high altar of the Episcopalians' American Cathedral in Paris, seeming ready for a requiem (even though their Articles condemn our "Romish doctrine concerning purgatory") but with white candles, not yellow. Many of you know that traditionally the Reserved Sacrament is not on a cathedral high altar (and anyway those Protestant Articles condemn that too: "not by Christ's ordinance"; well, neither is Morning Prayer). Anyway, part of the point of Catholic traditionalists, reform-of-the-reformers, and the ordinariates of ex-Anglicans is we can and should reclaim this, building like this again (but not exclusively; the church has many cultures).
  • Second photo: no pink for me this Lent. My monthly Byzantine Rite Sunday, the Fourth Sunday in Great Lent, the Sunday of St. John of the Ladder: troparion and kontakion; epistle and gospel. The long St. Basil version of the Liturgy, here with the whole, longer anaphora chanted recto tono, the modern way. (Fr. John's got stamina.) By the way, not everything Eastern is old; the Roman Canon is older than the two Byzantine anaphorae. Afterwards, coffee hour and again meeting a couple I knew 20 years ago; he is of Ukrainian descent.
  • History: Beethoven's faith? Cradle Catholic but enigmatic; apparently he made his peace with God and the church. The great German composer with the Dutch name had his roots in Catholic Flanders.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Congregations that don't sing

I'm of two minds about congregational singing. Good thing it's not de fide and the church has many cultures. I understand in theory it's a Good Thing. Aware Christians, the community, etc. On the other hand, the community isn't just for the pious. "The Catholic Church: here comes everybody." Most of our people don't sing. Some can't and some shouldn't, so, playing on that old Anglican saying, maybe "none must." Quiet Low Masses (originally for monks' private daily Masses) have been a staple in the parishes for centuries... because ordinary people (and ordinary priests) wanted them.

The article makes the same point Thomas Day made decades ago: much unliturgical music really is a concert, unsingable by average people. The classic Protestant hymns we open and close our Sung Masses with are both orthodox and very singable.

Cranmer's busted religion and more

Chesterton wrote:
The Book of Common Prayer is the one positive possession and attraction, the one magnet and talisman for people even outside the Anglican Church, as are the great Gothic cathedrals for people outside the Catholic Church... might be put in a sentence; it has style; it has tradition; it has religion; it was written by apostate Catholics. It is strong, not in so far as it is the first Protestant book [but in that it was] the last Catholic book.
Which is why the Puritans hated it. I use its idiom just like the ordinariates (hooray for Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, for example) but I wouldn't go that far about the BCP. Broken anaphora in the English original, Black Rubric (Anglicans kneel but "he is not here"), and Articles (fallible, fungible church and no Mass). No. The church is right to forbid Cranmer's anaphora as printed in the BCPs... but although I'm not a fan, I say it could be an option because the Antiochian Orthodox have done our work for us, unprotestantizing/catholicizing it.

I have no problem being gracious to born Anglicans acting in good faith, such as visiting each other's services. Of course Communion's out of the question. I wouldn't lend our churches to Protestants either; the Orthodox don't do that and I can't imagine the ancient church doing it.

The flashpoint of all rebellion is where God and his creation meet in the flesh. I understand Milton's Satan would not serve man; man's rebellion has three fronts: who Jesus is, what the Eucharist is, and sex.

People who object to the church's office of head bishop (yes, the papacy) 1) want to run the show themselves (emperor, tsar, sultan, comrade first secretary), 2) think they know better than the church, not just the head bishop, and/or 3) have sex issues.

I'm not that religious though I believe; religion is a perfect "safe" blog topic. Regular readers care about it a lot and prying people don't.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Fisking a libcath post

Typical liberal Catholic bilge water, of course from an older person:
To say Vatican II is not Catholic is absurd! I was born in 1953 and grew up a child in the Vatican I era. I was an altar boy, did all the Latin etc., novenas, May processions etc. I know change is hard to accept and we want to remember in a moment of nostalgia the church we grew up with. With that said the Holy Spirit will never let the church get misdirected or misguided. Which means Vatican II was meant to be and we must accept it. The Holy Spirit wanted "a breath of fresh air" to enter the church. I believe we finally got it right. Each Catholic celebrating in their native language with the Body of Christ with the clergy amongst them is more like how I envision our first liturgies in the catacombs and the Last Supper, everyone gathered around a table. Be careful we don't let evil guide our steps backwards and let the Holy Spirit continue to guide our steps forward.
To say Vatican II is not Catholic is absurd! True; it didn't define any doctrine; it's not heretical. Maybe stupid, but not heretical.

I know change is hard to accept and we want to remember in a moment of nostalgia the church we grew up with. Don't patronize me.

With that said the Holy Spirit will never let the church get misdirected or misguided. True of our doctrine.

Which means Vatican ll was meant to be and we must accept it. No. It's suggestions and policy, most of which backfired.

I believe we finally got it right. The church is indefectible but things other than doctrine need reform now and then; sinless church, sinful people. But if true Christianity basically disappeared until Martin Luther, Joseph Smith, Vatican II, or who/whatever, Christianity's a sham.

Each Catholic celebrating in their native language with the Body of Christ with the clergy amongst them... An option. So's the traditional way. The clergy are among the people when all face the altar, and why not a vernacular option for the old Mass?

...more like how I envision our first liturgies in the catacombs and the Last Supper, everyone gathered around a table. More your imagination than history, just like the first Protestants.

Be careful we don't let evil guide our steps backwards and let the Holy Spirit continue to guide our steps forward. So your opposition to liturgical conservatives and I suspect against small-o orthodoxy isn't just a matter of having several styles and schools of thought aside from doctrine and of spirituality, but, just like the early Protestants, a battle between right and wrong, between good and evil.

With people like this claiming to speak for the church, and in the '70s and '80s, boy, did they, no wonder people leave it.

Mostly religious quick post

  • Good question: how much of your religion do you really believe and how much of it is really group identity?
  • "You know why we lack boys/men in church? Because It has become a feminized place." Men don't like sissy religion. Vatican II only made that worse; churchmen repeating globalist platitudes worse still. The old liturgies are masculine; they pre-date the feminization of Christian piety in the years before the council. Most Western men just write off church as for sissies including cucks; some become evangelical. When I was an exchange student in Mexico in the '60s, I noticed men and older boys were never seen at Mass. I believe it. That was thanks to the sissification of Christian piety going back to around the 1800s; Jesus as one's boyfriend. So I understand in Mediterranean and Latin-American Catholic folk cultures, churchgoing was for women with the priesthood both a respectable option for homosexuals and with the many (majority) straight ones having affairs or in practice married, with the bishop looking the other way; most men weren't really expected to participate in religion. Folkways nothing to do with our teachings.
  • I avoid lay Eucharistic ministers, not that it affects the sacrament but I resent being forced to play along with someone's un-Catholic agenda. In my five years back in the church I've never received from one.
  • Nobody asked me but... while I appreciate the idea behind connecting social service with Christian teachings, doing this to Confirmation could reduce Christianity to a kind of club for the socially skilled often of a certain class; like the Novus Ordo generally, the upper middle class patting itself on the back. "Good breeding." A sacrament, God's gift, reduced to the transcript- and résumé-polishing of that class. I don't know of anybody denying the sacrament to the disabled, but this phenomenon seems to make the disabled or even the socially awkward literally second-class citizens in the church. Somehow I have some kind of faith; otherwise being an angry goth kid has some appeal. (Buddhism's good too even though it doesn't answer ultimate questions.)
  • I didn't get ashes. (Best not to show that stuff at work.) I haven't been to Stations. I say a Lenten prayer in Slavonic doing prostrations in front of icons (looks like the Mohammedans except for the images; some say they got the prostrations from the Christians). Yes; I am Catholic. Small-o orthodox (that descriptor shouldn't be necessary; "Catholic" should cover it, but, hey, fallen world), non-fanatical TLMer with a side of Russian Byzantine.
  • "Our Orthodoxy is a little island in the midst of a world which operates on totally different principles — and every day these principles are changing for the worse, making us more and more alienated from it." What I got from reading Fr. Seraphim (Rose): I like the idea of a Christian traditionalism that both said no to the 1960s revolution in the West but acknowledged it sometimes had a point because the West's problems pre-date it. That said, I can say the same as this quotation as a believing (I didn't say good or holy) Catholic living in a Protestant country.
  • After Vatican II, Eastern-rite Catholics were still allowed to be traditional because they were relatively few enough to be considered well hidden plus maybe it was Catholic liberals trying to ecumenically bait-and-switch the Orthodox. (Note for newbs: there is more than one Eastern rite.)
  • "Autistic" is the "retarded" of the 2010s. What a shame that well-meant "awareness" about a real problem, autism, has become the playground-style putdown of the 2010s ("sperg," "autistic screeching"), replacing "retarded" (almost gone because, valid point from the liberals, labeling is bad). The schoolyard is a cruel place. Kids have been using “special” for “retarded” for years.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Dominica tertia in Quadragesima: Oculi mei semper ad Dominum

  • One of those fine Sundays in which the old Book of Common Prayer collect, epistle, and gospel still match the traditional Roman Rite, so here are the Anglican Missal propers. Mass: Mine eyes are ever looking unto the Lord.
  • The Latin propers.
  • Happy St. Joseph's Day, I believe pre-empted in the 1962 Missal. Great stepfather and often unsung hero.
  • Why the ordinariate? Of course I love the ordinariates; brother Anglo-Catholic alumni promoting real Catholicism (commonly called conservative or orthodox Catholicism) in classic English. Certainly there can be an English Catholicism (echoing Anglo-Catholic N.P. Williams' idea of a Northern Catholicism) like Polish, Italian, etc., but I think Fr. Tomlinson is overstating it in this case. For one thing, as Msgr. Edwin Barnes has mentioned, in England the English, Anglican things such as the Book of Common Prayer were Protestant things used against Anglo-Catholics, who largely were would-be Catholics, Anglo-Papalists. So my impression is the British ordinariate is really the Pastoral Provision with more clout; good, conservative, married Novus Ordo priests. The old BCP means something different to American A-C alumni; like the Tridentine Mass for cradle Catholics, it was part of their big no to the Sixties. So the American ordinariate is a little different culturally.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Protestant claims and my background

The International House of Pancakes Prayer, whatever that is:
We invite you to pray with us for the nations that have not yet heard the gospel. Let the word of the Lord run swiftly to Syria and Lebanon in Jesus' name.
"You know that Jesus preached in Lebanon's Sidon and Paul was converted on the road to Damascus, right?"

"Do they know it's Christmastime at alllllllll?" Ethiopians were celebrating Mass for it when most of our ancestors were still worshipping the Norse pantheon. (A fourth of mine converted with the Romans, in Iberia, that is, Spain.)
"But ancient, apostolic Christians aren't Christians. They need the true gospel. It's the white (Protestant) man's burden!"
I know the rap. Ironically it helped get me started Catholicwards as a kid. A sister was a '70s charismatic "Jesus movement" person who left the family's tepid Episcopalianism (my parents really got their religion from the televangelists and self-help books old and new; a home brew) for at least theologically conservative Protestantism so I'd actually hear that stuff. "So-and-so was raised (name the Catholic-ish church) but he became a Christian." I figured if it's that old and she and her friends were reacting that strongly it has to have something going for it. And the little I knew of the culture, such as filtered through the not-yet-crazy Episcopalianism in the parishes, spoke to my heart, at the risk of sounding Protestant, like the Russians visiting Hagia Sophia.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Nuns and feminism

Kathy Shaidle: Twisted sisters.
Those feminists’ fascination with Catholic nuns made sense, actually. Here were women living and working together, doing good — and without men around.
That's why Ida Lupino, a Hollywood type not interested in Catholicism as far as I know, made the movie The Trouble with Angels in 1966 (right before the church and the rest of the Western world went to hell), more than a comedic vehicle for the cute Hayley Mills about a convent boarding school.

I'm a convert so I didn't grow up with nuns, old-school or liberalized (Catholics know what I mean: boo, Vatican II). I've heard the good and the bad from people who loved or hated them. Their virtual disappearance from American life is a reliable sign that Vatican II was a mistake (it didn't define any doctrine so I can say that). Little homegrown conservative orders are doing okay but we'll likely never see the big teaching and nursing orders again.

Anglicanism's charm

Anglicanism is charming to me for three reasons: they don't hate old-fashioned high church (here I'll include their classic music and classic English) like Catholic liberals do and they're more flexible liturgically than our trads (it's not my way or the highway), and their semi-congregationalism can be a hedge against liberalism. It's why some conservatives are still Episcopalians, believe it or not. But the "Reformation" was still evil.
The break with Rome in England was complex and initially was schismatic and not heretical. Whatever Henry VIII's faults he was not a protestant unlike Cranmer and Henry's daughter, Elizabeth I.
I know. Henry appointed Protestant-minded clergy who would do his bidding and when he needed Protestant allies in Europe but they couldn't practice their Protestantism. Anglicanism didn't really become Protestant until Henry died and Protestant regents ruled for his underage son, Edward VI. I lived in England nearly 30 years ago; largely anti-religious but if you're a believing Catholic it's obvious it was once ours.
Just now a High Church clergyman called to be bishop of Sheffield has had to resign because he has received so much hatemail from the liberal, woman-priesty side of the Church of England. They loathe the High Church wing so much.
Has he? I used to slightly know him; all I can say is "wish you were Catholic."

There's conservative high church and liberal high church in the Church of England and Episcopal Church. Conservative high church has existed for many years thanks to semi-congregationalism but obviously has no future in those churches and anyway doesn't make sense; doctrinally you are who you are in communion with. (Sometimes it's would-be Roman Catholicism; sometimes it's a rival Catholicism.) Liberal high church is virtually unknown to Roman Catholics; it's not like Catholic liberals. In Anglicanism you can find clergy who are lesbians but believe the creeds and love medieval liturgy. This alterna-Catholicism is becoming a house style of Episcopalianism, formerly the Sunday holding pen for religiously indifferent preppies and/or Masons.

It's not the church but I get it.

The trouble with gestures such as lending St. Peter's in the Vatican to the Anglicans for Evensong (a fine service; culturally it beats most of the Novus Ordo parishes) is they see it as validation for remaining outside the church. What have 50 years of these gestures really done? They keep moving away from us.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Byzantine Rite and wrong

  • Today's kontakion: Today the time of earthly deeds is revealed for judgement is at hand. Let us be found fasting, and let us bring cries of supplication, begging mercy and crying out: “I have sinned more times than there are sands of the sea; but forgive me, O Creator of All, that I may receive the crown that does not perish.” A troparion, and a kontakion is a kind of second troparion, is like a collect except it doesn't follow the Western formula (it isn't to the Father through the Son, etc., or it talks directly to saints) and it's not one of the priest's prayers; in theory the congregation but often in practice the choir sings it. (Real Byzantine Rite piety is wonderfully medieval folk Catholicism; the people can tune in and out.)
  • What a letdown. The church that Stalin couldn’t kill: Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church thrives seventy years after forced reunification. What an opportunity to tell the wonderful, moving story of a traditional Catholic church surviving real persecution in modern times, the church where I first saw traditional Catholic worship "live" three decades ago (when the Eastern rites were the only Catholics still allowed to be traditional), where I first experienced Byzantine Christianity (there is an Orthodox tradition, not an Orthodox Church), and where I am honored to worship one Sunday a month, and what a way to blow it. The story: during World War II the Soviets invaded and annexed Galicia, by then all that remained of the Ukrainian Catholic Church except immigrants abroad, because of past Russian westward expansion. Of course, besides their being atheists the Soviets hated the Catholic Church for many of the same reasons the Orthodox tsarist Russians did; they couldn't own it and they were doubly outraged that western Ukrainians, close cousins they thought should belong to their empire (the empire being a substitute for the universal church), chose not to — why Russian churchmen hate Uniates. A traitorous priest presided over a synod "returning" the Ukrainian Catholic Church to Russian Orthodoxy, which by then had been beaten, literally, into being a Soviet puppet. None of our bishops would leave the church; they were murdered, imprisoned, and sent into internal exile, never to return home. So the head metropolitan (his official title is major archbishop, essentially a patriarch), Josyf (Slipyj; Byzantine Rite bishops are normally, nominally, monks so they don't use their last names), was imprisoned until some kind of deal between the Holy See and the USSR got him released in 1963; meanwhile our top churchmen weren't sure the Ukrainian Catholics still existed in their homeland. Then as Communism began to fall at the end of the 1980s, this church resurfaced. Parishes supposedly Orthodox declared themselves Catholic again (same thing happened in Slovakia during the 1968 Czechoslovak revolt) and an acting metropolitan, Volodymyr (Sterniuk, pictured), appeared. He had run the Ukrainian Catholic Church from his apartment. You had crypto-Catholic parishes and underground ones. So what's wrong with this article?
    The next three-and-a-half centuries established the church as a thriving spiritual center that was closely connected to rising social and intellectual movements as they struggled to define an identity for nascent Ukrainian populations that found themselves under the serial domination of empires and states in the region... The church’s influence on Ukraine’s social and political life has been evident since independence. Students from the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv were some of the first to come to Kyiv in 2004, to support the ideas and aspirations of the Orange Revolution against an authoritarian regime. And in 2013-14, Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity was suffused with the moral values and tolerant attitudes propounded by the church. Its clergy were a daily presence on the Maidan throughout the three months of struggle. Together with the other churches and religious denominations of Ukraine, the UGCC has helped to create an ecumenical and diverse environment for social movements in Ukraine. As a bulwark against authoritarianism, this spirit of ecumenism continues to be Ukraine’s best instrument as it struggles toward becoming a democratic and prosperous state.
    The current metropolitan sounds like this. This isn't the exile Ukrainian Catholic Church I met in the 1980s, blessedly still pre-Vatican II. An empire, a neutral thing, isn't a substitute for the universal church but neither should churchmen tie themselves to the liberal idea of the nation-state, let alone the rest of liberalism. (The Orange Revolution and Maidan, in which the Ukrainians overthrew their lawfully elected president: American, that is, liberal, puppetry?) Why, seemingly ironic but because I'm Catholic, I'm moderately pro-Russian against this. Putin could be a new Constantine; Russia a sword of Christendom. But "diversity" and "tolerance," politically correct platitudes, in Byzantine drag? (I knew things were bad when 25 years ago I heard a Ukrainian-American priest apologize for "sexist language.") Not what Metropolitan Josyf suffered for; no, thank you. Why men such as Roissy think Christianity is for cucks. Liberalism is a Christian heresy; I understand its appeal, but it's still wrong.
  • Nice to hear about St. Patrick, as we are this time of year (thanks to so much 1800s immigration, March in America is Irish Month; by the way, he wasn't Irish, only evangelizing in Ireland), but... Russian Orthodox Church adds St. Patrick to its calendar. Aw, they're pretending to be a universal church. It makes sense because he's pre-schism so of course in theory they have always claimed him but still. Of a piece with the Western Rite Orthodox experiment (rootless, unlike Ukrainian Catholics). Reminds me of the Mormons proxy-baptizing the dead.

Don't sell consecrated things

Shame on you, antiques vendor. You're among my favorite people but consecrated chalices, something we Catholics believe has been set aside to hold God himself, shouldn't be sold. But you probably don't know better.

I have two first-class relics, of St. Augustine and of St. John Neumann, without certificates, Augustine is in a reliquary I got separately from an antiques shop (my bedroom windowsill is like a gradine: a crucifix flanked by candles, a statue of Mary holding Jesus, and the relic). I ransomed the one of Neumann from a thrift shop; they didn't know better.
I have saved vestments and relics etc. from going into the skip.
Why a friend and I once liberated two Roman chasubles from a decades-disused sacristy. (By the way it's not a fiddleback; the weird violin-shaped back was briefly a fashion about 400 years ago. Violin-shaped front and rectangular back is a Roman chasuble.)
A chalice that is sold loses its consecration. The bishop who ordained me re-consecrated my chalice.
I see. It's just like a blessed devotional object such as a rosary losing its blessing if it's sold. I understand a consecrated church (with consecration crosses on the walls the bishop made with chrism, with cross markers and candles afterwards, lit on the anniversary of the consecration) can never return to worldly use; it has to be torn down if you don't want it anymore. Most American Catholic churches are only blessed so that's not an issue.

If the chalices are still there next time I'll see about ransoming them and giving them to a priest or society at least conservative, explaining what happened, so they'd be reconsecrated and properly used again. Like most of my things (furniture, some appliances, clothes, and car), from golden-era America, ransomed from hipster vendors to be given a real home again.
At the Marché aux Puces in Paris in the 1980s there were still entire sacristies being sold off, much of the stuff bought by traditionalist communities, and some going for collections or profane purposes.
Of course I knew of things like that. I wondered if a Catholic parish threw these out because of the rampant heresy since the '60s, basically agreeing with the Protestants that sacrifice and adoration at the Eucharist are superstitious, ignorant papist trash, with the excuse that a church detached from greed wouldn't have gold chalices, etc.
The iconoclasm in France was usually less radical. Most of the old altars are still there but unused. Many sacristies still contain old vestments in more or less cared-for condition. Parish inventories are usually under the control of the local municipal authority. However, the religious orders threw out or sold most of the old stuff to "look poor" with ugly and expensive vestments, altars, etc. in a modern style.
I have no problem with space-age or "looking poor" churchmanship as long as it's still Catholic and churchmen don't try to take the old form away. Modern Anglicans including the new liberal Anglo-Catholics often get the second part right. (They love my Mass, on their own terms; Catholic liberals hate it for the same reasons classical and evangelical Protestants did.) In practice neither was the case 30 years ago in the United States; priests would literally yell at you, abusing the church's authority to try to force you to accept their heresy as God's will.

From this article:
In my diaconal formation I've been taught that the church is not a hierarchy. That it's not some grand pyramid with the Pope at the top, and that we are all the the same loving and inclusive level. Until you start asking about tradition and or question something the [reigning?] Pope said. Then all of a sudden [a clericalist caricature of the church]: “HOW DARE YOU QUESTION THE POPE! DON'T YOU KNOW IT’S A MORTAL SIN TO QUESTION A PRIEST, NEVER MIND HIS HOLINESS!!!?”
But they'd likely phrase it "you're outside the church/no longer Catholic; how dare you question the church?" to try to shame you, rather than the sound idea of mortal sin, or in their smarmy terms, such as "you're not open to the Spirit" and "this isn't healthy for you" ("you need help" as an insult), both of which priests said to me 30 years ago. (A friar brother also called me a fundamentalist: let's shame you into accepting our neo-Protestantism by calling you a Protestant. Ooookay.) I know the church's teaching just enough so that doesn't faze me. I'd forget such priests as soon as I'm out the church door, cruising in the Edsel on another wonderful Sunday. If one confronted me (why? I'm pretty low-profile at the new Mass; among my few tells, I genuflect during the creed and I don't go to Eucharistic ministers — nobody has bothered me in person the five years I've been back in the church, but I don't pick such fights), I'd quote Huckleberry Finn, "All right; I'll go to hell" and keep the faith somewhere else. But more and more the few remaining practicing Catholics really believe in Catholicism so no problem.

Moments at Mass

It seems the archbishop or one of his auxiliaries was to come round to do confirmations so the singing for the service was moved to the slightly later Novus Ordo Mass. So we had a nice quick Lenten (no Gloria) Low Mass, which threw off our altar boys; we're not used to it, Sung Mass being our norm. Hesitations and a missed cue (no shaking of the two sets of bells at the Sanctus). In the Our Lady of Lourdes recension of the Roman Rite, the maniple might or might not be taken off for the sermon, usually not with in-house priests, as was the case. Fr. Matthew looking over his right shoulder before genuflecting so as not to inadvertently mule-kick the face of one of the altar boys on the step just below him. Our usual Anglican recessional hymn. Communion and afterwards silently by heart, the Anglo-Catholic "Blessed, praised, hallowed, and adored be our Lord Jesus Christ on his throne of glory in heaven, in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, and in the hearts of his faithful people."

Dominica secunda in Quadragesima: Domine, bonum est nos hic esse

The Second Sunday in Lent, not of, as a pukka Catholic reminded me last week.
  • Mass: Reminiscere miserationum tuarum, Domine. Collect, epistle, gospel (we love the Transfiguration so much we commemorate it twice), and propers.
    Deus, qui conspicis omni nos virtute destitui: interius exteriusque custodi; ut ab omnibus adversitatibus muniamur in corpore, et a pravis cogitationibus mundemur in mente. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
  • Classic Book of Common Prayer collect and epistle for this Mass.
    Almighty God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
    Cranmer threw a word into the collect, not changing the meaning (the real collect happens not to say omnipotens), and shortened the ending formula (usually Western collects are to the Father, through the Son (cf. Ferrara-Florence!), and in the unity of the Holy Ghost, "world without end." Why did he use a different gospel, Sarum or his own idea? (The BCP is not Sarum in English; that's a myth about Anglicanism.)
    We beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
  • The Catholic generation gap. Good except the hippies didn't start the Sixties' corruption in the church; they didn't care about the church. It was their parents' generation's naïveté about progress, the Zeitgeist of the space age. After all, John XXIII announced the council in 1959. "Streamline the church like a jet plane for a new age and it will get even better." Which made churchmen sitting ducks for the Age of Aquarius. Their failure (my archdiocese's version) imitates mainline Protestantism's; the people leave and the churchmen think it's because they aren't being liberal enough! And the church can't really split; there's only one church. (Born Orthodox are estranged from us; I don't believe in them as a separate church because they make no sense as such.) Either you're in the church or not. Our teachings are online for all to read; if you knowingly say no to them, you're out. Within the church, within authentic Catholicism, there are cultures and schools of spirituality and even theological speculation (anything that's not doctrine is open to debate) that don't necessarily get along. That's what our "worship war" should be; keep the old forms but fine if you want to experiment as long as Benedict XVI's English text reform is American Catholics' baseline.
  • Catholic high churchmen's problems/frustrations: As with other things, when something gets your hopes up then blam. You're combing the antiques malls and find, offered for a C-note, a two-volume 1960 (the one that's easiest to use) Roman Breviary in good shape... but it's not the Vulgate Latin psalter; it's Pius XII's rewritten one that nobody likes. Of course you know to check.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fasting and abstinence

I don't fast much because I can't, but Sonny Shanks gets the reason for doing it:
...once we got to Lent, our RCIA class began discussing related topics, and one of the first of them was "fasting." About 1/2 the class was Protestant, the other 1/2 returning Catholics, and between them there was almost no thoughts on either the definition or necessity of fasting.

Many of the Protestants said it was an Old Testament idea that the New Testament had "cancelled." Many of the Catholics thought fasting was on the order of "making a deal with God," i.e., starving yourself to get your way.

"Ummm," I chimed in, "does any one in here think fasting has something to do with denying the flesh? Like in 'spiritual discipline'?"

Almost everyone in the class gave me a funny look and a blank stare.

"Well," I said, "Maybe I'm way off!"
If I recall rightly, classical Protestants, magisterial Protestants, didn't discard fasting.

"Many of the Catholics thought fasting was on the order of 'making a deal with God,' i.e., starving yourself to get your way."

Which of course they're right to oppose but it's not what the church teaches.

Penance: I steal a thousand dollars. I'm remorseful and go to confession. God forgives (the priest doesn't forgive; God does) but I still owe a thousand dollars.

Discipline: Training in hardship so you can handle real temptation.

Not dieting or even giving the money saved to the poor even though those are good.

The St. Pat's Lenten Friday dispensation: my archdiocese is doing it. Someone has claimed that fewer bishops are. Good and I'm not saying that to be showoffy trad. Because you're supposed to come up with an alternative penance and nobody does. Rather than try to remember, I just don't eat meat on Fridays year round.

Clerical marriage

High-ish ecumenical First Things has an article from I presume a Protestant-turned-Orthodox (of course for his well-being I hope he's not an ex-Catholic), something that was hip in religious circles a couple of decades ago: Of marriage and Orthodox priests. Are Catholics willing to pony up to pay to support priests' families? Probably not. The Orthodox are very small and often relatively poor in America; many of their priests are worker-priests holding secular jobs. Met a girl whose ethnic ROCOR priest father was a longtime high-school science teacher. You end up with part-time priests, possibly a lapse in ministry, basically with the workload of permanent deacons. Episcopal priests similarly have less demanding work for some reason. None of which means I object to ordaining the married on principle (longstanding custom, we made a horrible mistake many decades ago by banning it in America, causing many Byzantine Catholics to leave us, and everything that's not doctrine is negotiable), but let's be practical. And it doesn't attract vocations like you might think.

My first traditional Catholic Mass in person 31 years ago turned out to have been celebrated by a married priest, back when in America the Eastern rites were the only Catholics still allowed to be traditional: Fr. Joseph Panasiuk, a refugee from the Ukraine who had been pastor of his New Jersey parish since 1951. Eternal memory.

The Traditional Anglican Communion, which wasn't traditionally Anglican

A word to the wise: Do not make silly jokes or double entendres about Immanuel Kant in the presence of TAC seniors. They will not be impressed.
Thomas Aquinas College.
Thanks. That reference whizzed right by me, not being the father of collegians. (My friend's son is a talented philosophy student.)

I thought "Traditional Anglican Communion," which was not traditionally Anglican (which would be weekly Matins, quarterly Communion, "the north end," and next to no popish ornaments as real trad Anglicans deny the Mass) but part of the largely Anglo-Catholic Continuum (conservative unofficial Anglicans who started when they left the official Anglicans a few decades ago). TAC, at least at the top, said it wanted to come into the Catholic Church, a reason Benedict the Great chartered the ordinariates. (The other was Catholic-minded Church of England priests realized the game was over when that body started having women bishops.) But it didn't; interestingly in America a couple of Episcopal parishes did, which I honestly wasn't expecting. I like the American ordinariate from what I know of it and am eligible to join, but I'm settled into my rare high-church, partially Tridentine parish (run by a mainstream but conservative religious order; plainchant Sung Mass with Anglican hymns and a pipe organ) and besides the local ordinariate parish is hard for me to get to. Knowing the Book of Common Prayer's history including the intent behind it, I don't miss it that much. But I love that there is something approximating Western Catholic traditionalism with a vernacular option (and in classic English at that), which deflates most people's possible objection to it (few want Latin; fine).

A minority of Episcopalians, a small denomination (then mostly indifferent Protestants; very Masonic), by the 1950s American Anglo-Catholicism had become an imitation of the Catholic Church in practice (from a movement that began as an objection to an effect of Catholic emancipation in Ireland!) except for its semi-congregationalism (interesting to me as a hedge against liberalism; anything not against our doctrine is an option) and, important, a belief in something they thought was Anglicanism but really wasn't, an idea that while the "Reformation" was unfortunate, somehow in theory Anglicanism's framers were right. It came down to a belief that Catholicism and a kind of magisterial Protestantism are really the same. (Which, as Michael Davies once pointed out, insults the courage of the martyred Anglican founders. He also pointed out that when classical Protestants used realistic sacrificial language about Communion they didn't mean what the church does.) So no wonder TAC's American branch balked at becoming Catholic. Anyway, the old Prayer Book, obviously Protestant, and its unofficial catholicized variants, the Anglican missals, became American A-Cs' symbol of saying no to the Sixties cultural revolution including many Christians' liberalization then newly out in the open; their Tridentine Mass (fitting since their missals largely copy that). I use its idiom such as many of its translations, part of English-speaking culture and yes, a conservative statement (I use them when I'm at "the new Mass"; Benedict's reform is so close there is little difference), but not its original Protestant compositions (except I like reading those collects, which are sound and beautiful). Its anaphora is banned in the Catholic Church. (If I understand rightly, the ordinariates use the Roman Canon translated and aloud.) I think since the ordinariates are using Cranmer's collects, why not use the Antiochian Orthodox' work? They've unprotestantized that anaphora for their use. Interestingly Michael Davies, a traditionalist, thought that an ex-Catholic priest with the intent of celebrating Mass but using the old Prayer Book's Communion service would be celebrating a valid but illicit Mass. Msgr. Edwin Barnes has pointed out that the old Prayer Book was actively used against the A-C minority in the Church of England (a denomination that's long been indifferently Protestant); I add that a lot of them weren't really A-Cs but Anglo-Papalists, what many assumed A-Cs to be, would-be Catholics, always mostly a clerical thing. I imagine the few remaining ones have come into the church.

The other possibility was The American Conservative.

P.S. The National Catholic Reporter is a sorry excuse for a Catholic newspaper.

The sad thing is from the late '60s until Benedict XVI such people hijacked the church in America, trying to use the church's authority to shanghai you on board their heresy ("be open to the Spirit"). This of course pushed well-meaning orthodox Catholics into more extreme positions than necessary ("the Novus Ordo is in itself invalid," etc.). The slow recovery began at the end of the '80s and Benedict really got it going. Anyway, I know the church's teachings well enough and it's a matter of telling those who ask. A bad Pope doesn't faze me; why would he? And the NCR types are almost all old.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Do we still need Marines?

Do we still need Marines? Don't mistake this question for some leftists' including left-libetarians' anti-authority (daddy issues) thus anti-military kick. Being pro-military doesn't mean you think the military is infallible or above criticism. (My brown leather jacket is regulation Navy/Marine.) It's not a religion. Some say the Marines are a religion as well as a huge self-promoter. Anyway, in Base Nation, David Vine's liberal exposé (risking national security?) on the real problems of too many overseas U.S. military bases and a self-serving/self-perpetuating military-industrial complex, he brings up the old (since armed-forces unification at the top, what's now the Defense Department) question of whether we still need the Corps. We should have stayed out of World War II (let the Soviets, the real threat, and the Nazis destroy each other and make a deal with Japan) but we didn't use Marines at Normandy. The services cooperate much more now, and Vine makes the point against an empire of bases that with modern travel we can send ordinary troops from the U.S. to hot spots in enough time. So do we still need a small (1/8 the Army's size by law?) seagoing army integrated with the Navy (speaking Navy lingo) for amphibious landings, which we rarely do now? We haven't used the Marines as marines since Inchon in 1950. In Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan (Iraq's an immoral war) they have been used exactly like the Army. I understand to the Corps' credit it is the service that the Sixties revolution has affected least, still more interested in winning fights than political correctness; its machismo is why it usually meets its recruiting goals with young malleable men setting out to prove themselves. But as a creature entirely of the government, although military and conservative values work well together, the U.S. military is not conservative.

Ninny non-Catholic apologists and more

  • "The Pope appointing the bishops in other sees directly contradicts Canon 2 of Constantinople..." Plausible but ever notice that the usually convertodox and Anglicans, and the occasional Catholic liberal, who make these arguments against the reality of the Catholic Church often really have a problem with our other teachings? It's like the old joke about the celibate Roman Rite diocesan priest asking his bishop to be released from the ministry, rattling off an impressive list of theological objections to the church. "What's her name?" "The Pope has overstepped his authority!" screeches the schismatic who accepts divorce-and-remarriage and contraception, the convert schismatic who wants the sugar of exotic hipster Catholicism without the scrutiny and possible martyrdom being a real Catholic invites in today's Western society, and the liturgical Protestant who has "married" another man with a woman priest officiating. When travel and thus communication were difficult, "universal and immediate jurisdiction" really meant a laissez-faire governance largely by custom; how the church really works. There's only one church, it has a head bishop, and his office has certain powers. Not a problem.
  • What's now the Ukrainian Catholic Church was originally, at the union in 1596, the metropolia of Kiev with much of Byelorussia; Russian westward expansion and its accompanying persecution left it with only Polish Galicia, which the Russians didn't invade until World War II. Yet ironically, as a Polish acquaintance points out, that region was the last to accept the Unia: The archeparchy of Halicz Galicja was the last Orthodox diocese in the Commonwealth to join the Unia. This occurred in 1697. Before the Russian expansion it was called simply the Uniate Church as it was multiethnic. Please don't forget that the center of the Unia from 1596 to 1836 was the area of what is now called Belarus. In 1700, 80% of the population of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania now Belarus was Uniate (for comparison 10% Roman Catholic and 8% Jewish). The center of the Unia was the city of Vilnius, not Lvov. The Unia of 1596 was not exclusively Ukrainian as it also included ethnic Poles and Belarussians, which many seem to forget. I doubt the claim regarding Vilnius as Lithuania's fervently Roman Rite just like Poland (and, interestingly, the last European country to become Christian).
  • Christian images: all can, some should, none must, but always respect them. That there are ignorant people isn't news. What gets to me are things like this from people who know better: a local conservative Catholic meeting place for parties and conferences has icons as signs for the men's and ladies' rooms. Hello, I use icons to pray, exactly like the Orthodox. Way to set back the only ecumenism worth a chance. Icons are optional but they're not decorative. My icons are in a corner of my home where I do bows and prostrations; some say Mohammedans got the idea of prostrations from Christians. Icons are a beautiful part of our common heritage. The Catholic Church actually helped preserve icons during iconoclasm. Thanks for the reminder that iconoclasm was the Byzantine emperor's project if I recall rightly. God works in mysterious ways; wasn't one of the defenders of icons the iffy ("actress," which in classical times meant prostitute) empress Theodora?

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Religious ramble

After Mass this morning, my priest told me that I am not supposed to kneel when receiving the Blessed Sacrament. Is this a requirement? Or is this a suggestion? I would like to know because kneeling seems more reverent.
I don't make a scene at the new Mass if they stand for Communion (I did 30 years ago, kneeling); I've received that way exactly once since I've been back in the church (five years). I go to the priest, not the Eucharistic minister, bow before receiving, and receive on the tongue as usual. My parish by registration and by choice uses the altar rail again. Of course I receive standing in the Byzantine Rite, which I go to once a month.

A reason I like where I am now ecclesiastically is everything religious I do, including Byzantine Rite things such as having an icon corner and crossing myself that way and saying those prayers in front of it, is only for Jesus, not to make a statement against somebody else. Believe it or not, I don't stay up late thinking of ways to cut down the Orthodox, and I'm sure many devout Orthodox mirror that. The people at the hearts and centers of their churches are often closer to God and to each other than the fringe people fighting each other.

That said, someone online was quoting ancient rules from Constantinople about bishops not interfering in other dioceses, to try to discredit the Catholic Church. I don't care how clever or well-researched your argument is; the reality of Western Catholicism for 2,000 years touches my heart. Turn my back on St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis, and St. Teresa? I'd sooner cut off my right arm. Constantinople is now the ottoman (ha) of the sons of Mohammed. Byzantine culture is great but it's not the whole church, and don't try the Western Rite Orthodox argument. That's all converts, unlike generations-old Eastern Catholic communities. Name the countries and villages in Western Europe that have been Western Rite Orthodox for 400 years like Ukrainian Galicia has been Catholic again.

Everything that's not doctrine is negotiable. A more collegial/synodal/decentralized form of governance? Sure! Because travel and thus communication used to be so difficult, by default that's how Western Catholicism really worked. I don't jump when the Pope coughs; that's not how it works.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Mary Tyler Moore and more

  • Happy feast of St. Thomas Aquinas: Catholics don't have to use scholasticism or Latin for that matter (Eastern Catholics, Byzantine and other, are only about 2% of Catholics but are generations-old real communities, unlike Western Rite Orthodox) but from the five "proofs" of God's existence on down he is the greatest theologian, giving our doctrine a convincing voice. Yet he stopped writing after a mystical experience. Ora pro nobis.
  • What's so bad about globalism. As far as I can tell, globalism is a scheme concocted by the rich to destroy the working and middle classes through worldwide financial imperialism. I have a strong hunch that globalism is also a plot hatched to obliterate indigenous cultures and real human differences under the deceptive ruses of “multiculturalism” and “diversity.”
  • 10 things American liberals used to say.
  • Tee-vee land.
    • "I HATE spunk!" Kathy Shaidle on Mary Tyler Moore. "An incandescent performer," sexy when young and when fashion happened to be flattering ("Laura Petrie"), and admirably not a lockstep liberal in real life: ...a lifelong Republican (except for a lapse campaigning for Carter) — a Fox News fan and “libertarian centrist.” An ancestral connection led her to help fund the renovation of Stonewall Jackson’s headquarters. ... In fact, Moore told PBS in 2013 that she’d been a reluctant symbol of women’s liberation and “did not believe in [feminist Gloria] Steinem’s view that women owe it to themselves to have a career.” Further: ...she’d also endured tragedies and troubles — alcoholism, diabetes — without becoming a public nuisance. But, surprise, surprise, the mild women's-lib message of her most famous show, eponymous with her full name, was fake: She made a show about how single career women could still have fulfilling lives, with the help of the powerful TV executive she was married to. Media execs were selling girls a bill of goods.
    • Six horrifying things about living in a sitcom's world.
    • Watching early most mornings: "77 Sunset Strip." Noir lite; fairly entertaining, unrealistic private-eye stories. A style showcase: '58 and '59 cars from Ford; pointers on hats, suits, ties, and décor; light pop music; pretty women in the flattering fashions then (Mary Tyler Moore's in at least one episode); and Kookie parroting hipster talk as comic relief.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Conservative high-church ex-Episcopalians

Wouldn't it be great to win the high-church ACNA Diocese of ___ for the ordinariate?
It sure would but now that I understand Anglo-Catholicism better I think I understand why it's not happening. People assume they're would-be Roman Catholics but in their origin in classic Anglicanism, the old high churchmen, and the Tractarians that wasn't so. Like classic Anglicanism, it's a rival true-church claim against Catholicism even though it ended up imitating the Catholic Church. (Anglo-Papalism was different, here the opposite of A-Cism.) In the 1970s places like this believed in something they thought was Anglicanism and I reckon still do, so many of them formed the Continuum. (Plus we were a basket case after Vatican II, acting like liberal Protestant wannabes with an uglier liturgy than theirs.) They see themselves as the faith once delivered (both Catholic and Reformed); we see them as small and stuck in sectarian Protestantism where they don't belong. It's good to see these cultural conservatives say no to the Sixties and Spirit of Vatican II but if they wanted in, they'd be in by now. So some such dioceses moved from the Episcopal Church to another Protestant denomination slightly less liberal, ACNA. (The few such parishes still Episcopal have their semi-congregationalism as a decreasingly effective hedge.) Also, as I believe ACNA Bishop Iker said of Fort Worth, a number of parishioners are divorced and remarried so there you go, kind of historically fitting given Anglicanism's origin (even though those technically weren't divorces; Anglicans used to ban divorce and remarriage just like Catholics, why Edward VIII abdicated).

Sunday, March 05, 2017

First Sunday of Lent

  • Mass: Invocabit me. In my parish, a plainchant Sung Mass sandwiched between Anglican hymns (recessional: "Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days"); Communion. Deus, qui Ecclesiam tuam annua Quadragesimali observatione purificas: praesta familiae tuae; ut quod a te obtinere abstinendo nititur, hoc bonis operibus exsequatur. Per Dominum ... The propers of course echo the gospel, namely, ironically, the psalm the devil quotes: 90/91, Qui habitat, "Whoso dwelleth under the defence of the most High," also a Byzantine Rite favorite (in the Sixth Hour, and I understand Russian soldiers traditionally carry it on their persons into battle).
  • Classic Book of Common Prayer collect, epistle, and gospel, almost the same as ours but Protestant Cranmer changed the collect, although his work here isn't heretical and very good in its own right, as his collects are. Unusual: it's to the Son, not the Father. O Lord, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights; Give us grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness, and true holiness, to thy honour and glory, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen. The epistle: about καιρός, opportune time, vs. χρόνος, time.
  • Ending the epistle: "... as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." A Russian Catholic parish used to quote this on its website; more on that Particular Church here. Putin's Russia is great; it may well be a sword of Christendom. (Witness how the American left hates it.) But nobody can own the Catholic Church. The Russian Catholic Church is a good thing but endangered. Tiny, mostly outside Russia; non-Russians who love things Russian and Orthodox but stay in the church.
  • Orthodoxy Sunday. Catholic teaching on venerating images: thanks to the Incarnation, all can, some should, none must. And Byzantine Catholics shouldn't be afraid of the word Orthodox; the Ukrainian Catholic Church has always used it when using English. Just keep the teachings of the church.
  • Schmemann: The mission of Orthodoxy. Of interest because it transcends Orthodoxy; that is, it's not really about Orthodoxy but all churches' approaches to the world. As many of you know, Schmemann and John Meyendorff were the Russian intellectuals in the otherwise Ruthenian second-generation ex-Catholic Russian metropolia in America/OCA. We Catholics can relate to this article: the Modernists sell out to secular America while the rad trads are an escapist cult like the Orthodox temptation to worship the motherland. Schmemann appeals to me here more than conservative Novus Ordo because his church group had the sense not to rewrite its services (but it's still declining: Eastern-rite churches don't do well in America in the long run).
  • The Pope visits a Church of England parish in Rome, blessing an icon. Well and good. But ecumenism can't be based on wishful thinking about the past. Classic Anglicanism saw itself as both Catholic (creed, liturgy, and bishops, not the rest of our doctrine or our ceremonial) and Reformed (why they cut out most Catholic stuff; Renaissance Europe's fanciful idea of the early Christians) but "Catholic" Anglicanism as we know it, venerating and invoking saints (which violates the Thirty-Nine Articles), is only about 150 years old. (The Tractarians weren't Romanizers.) There's being eirenical and then there's ignorance or worse, rewriting history, which insults the English Catholic martyrs. It's good to try to make peace but these gestures haven't brought these people back to the church. The Catholic Anglicans who wanted in are now in.
  • "Powerhouse of prayer": Millennials are drawn to monastic life in Prairie du Sac. America's only Cistercian nuns. Yes, the cognitive dissonance of traditional habits and Novus Ordo liturgics (I hate it when layfolk grab the chalice) is jarring but not heretical; as I love to say, the church includes many cultures, and as long as we have Benedict XVI's English Mass as the baseline, it's all good. This is another story of how small conservative orders are thriving. What my late rector called proper nuns.
  • After 47 years, a Catholic mall chapel is evicted. That's a shame. A good apostolate, even though it's not traditionalist, that I hope continues elsewhere.