Saturday, January 28, 2017

King Charles the Martyr-er?


I have in a frame on the wall two old prints of portraits of Anglican Cavaliers, as much a part of my heritage as my Spanish ancestry. They were appreciably close to us, but...
Should the Ordinariate be permitted to keep the Anglican cult of St. Charles Stuart? He could have saved his earthly life by ending the episcopacy of the Church of England. All kinds of contentious things surface here, such as “was there any episcopacy left in the C of E?,” and Eastern churches being reunited with Rome yet allowed to keep their post-schism saints, etc.
No. I was active but not officially a member at St. Clement's, Philadelphia when it was last Anglo-Papalist, in the 2000s. Then the king's statue was taken down and I was told that a few Catholics were killed during his reign. Because he was born outside the church, he gets the benefit of the doubt, but he died for a kind of magisterial Protestantism with bishops, not Catholicism. It is a kind of Reformed Christianity, so no more real episcopate, as Leo XIII wrote. By the way, here's the Anglo-Papalist position: "We were born outside the church so we get the benefit of the doubt, and thanks to imported Old Catholic orders validating ours, we accept the church's teaching in Apostolicae Curae." We accept post-schism Orthodox saints (though I happen not to have icons of them on display) because doctrinally they're estranged Catholics, not Reformed.

We include the Christian East: Why I am still a Catholic even though I don't like Pope Francis


An example regarding why I am a Catholic forever: I have a Russian icon corner. The church says I in good faith can. (And I love using the Orthodox forms I've learned, but now to serve the Catholic Church.) The Orthodox would ban my Western Catholic sacramentals if I were one of them and they knew of my having those things, their little halfhearted Western Rites notwithstanding (which are so byzantinized it's ridiculous). We include the Christian East. They don't really include us. I am grateful to the Anglicans of my baptism, etc., for a certain humane approach (which Peter Robinson named "tolerant conservatism" for me) and for beautiful English I still use, but it's a kind of magisterial Protestantism, a branch of the Reformed faith, not the Popeless Catholicism that modern high churchmen think it is. Fr. Jonathan Mitchican, an Episcopal priest in my area and a former Catholic, has explained Anglicanism beautifully at his blog, The Conciliar Anglican. Fr. Hunwicke has explained the papacy: it's about the office, which is part of the church, not about the man. I liked Benedict XVI; I don't like Francis. No matter; I'm not a priest so the Pope's not my employer.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

RIP Fr. Brannan: The importance of living links


My parish just lost one of its living links to our pre-conciliar culture. One of our supply priests, Fr. Patrick Brannan, S.J., who had been celebrating the traditional Mass again for Philadelphia since the indult years, over 25 years ago, has died. Glad he got to live to see Benedict XVI's pontificate with Summorum Pontificum, the reform of the English Novus Ordo, and thriving communities such as ours. Jesu, mercy; Mary, pray.

Pre-conciliar Catholicism has survived because it is barely still a living tradition; it didn't go extinct like Sarum. Living links, adults from before the council, Fr. Brannan's generation, lived to pass it down to a receptive generation, two generations later. Many of our parishioners are in their 30s and they're having kids.
I was discussing just this subject a few months back. I was saying it's why we put more emphasis on the PPX-XII era than, say pre-Trent traditionalism. Because the living tradition is our best link to the ancient tradition.
For pre-Trent there are the Eastern rites but, like our culture, they're not for everyone.

There's nothing theologically wrong with trying to revive a dead rite or church subculture but without living it and/or learning it from the people who lived it, it can degenerate into play-acting. Related: the SSPX does much good, even though I don't agree with them, but their model, a Counter-Reformation religious order, isn't nearly the depth and breadth of pre-conciliar Catholicism, including some more easygoing people.
Yeah, live-action role-playing (LARPing) came up in our conversation. Those are two arguments against trads: 1. Our traditionalism is too recent, therefore not traditional. And 2. We're just LARPers in birettas. But because of the living tradition perspective, these arguments cancel each other out.
Maybe well-meaning people under siege such as in the SSPX, who think the whole pre-conciliar church is a perfectionistic micromanaging cult ("everything and everybody was perfect"), can be accused of being fake.

Vagantes, clergy wannabes, are LARPers in birettas.

Disclosure: I've worn clerical choir rig, cassock, cotta, and biretta, as part of a group for public recitation of the office, loved it, and would do it again.
I go as far to say if the living tradition were to die, something like dedicated, sincere, lifetime LARPing would be the best way to revive anything close to the original.
Like the Anglo-Catholics, copying something that had been lost in England.

Of course I've been called a LARPer; hats and all that. One day some years ago I realized I could turn back the clock, so I did.

"The pretty stuff motivates me to worship": Christian images


The pretty stuff motivates me to worship. I am a very visual person; I must have beauty. That's why my house resembles a shrine.
Right; the church took that natural religion and ran with it. And when we wondered about the First Commandment vs. graven images (a valid question), the church explained at the seventh council: the Incarnation makes using images possible. I have a foot-and-a-half-long crucifix high on the wall over my kitchen alcove, ruling this whole home, because like the Mass it calls to mind, it calls down the power of Christ's sacrifice, his love and grace, on me and my home here and now. I wouldn't say we must use images; that would be taking a cultural preference and making it doctrine, which would be a kind of idolatry. The Orthodox are guilty of that. Not to be confused with requiring images in a rite as a matter of discipline. The Roman Rite has a cross at the altar; the Byzantine icons; the Assyrian/Nestorian can have no images! (It's an interesting sight: what looks like an Orthodox service in an imageless church.) No, all we have to believe is that we have the option of using them, thanks to God becoming man; Catholics who do so are not worshipping idols. (And let's give pagans credit: their images are a kind of icon too; few are so stupid as to literally worship things they've made, as Lawrence James once wrote.) "All can; some should; none must."

I think, thus explained, our close cousins the traditional Lutherans (they kept crucifixes and other images but don't venerate them) and classic Anglicans (who used to be iconoclasts like other Reformed Protestants) can better understand our seventh council (which some Anglicans frankly believe in). It's not superstition like the Protestants thought. Hey, thanks to ecumenism even the anti-Catholic Reformed Episcopal Church doesn't have a problem with my crucifix anymore. But the Protestants believe Christ's saving work is all in the past, so no Mass and most say no to my crucifix; ultimately they lead to not having a church: secular humanism. See, it's all connected.

Interesting: the seven councils and Vincentian canon (what has been believed always, everywhere, and by all). To give the Orthodox credit, with those you do pretty much get Catholicism (doctrinally, Orthodoxy is Catholicism circa 800), which is why Anglo-Catholics, pushing a claim against us, ended up looking just like us.


My roll call of saints' images is modest; not much if anything to alarm a traditional Lutheran or classic Anglican. Nothing for its own sake and not at all superstitious. Besides Mary (big statue, small statue, both holding Jesus, big picture of her with two saints, handing them rosaries, and small metal Greek icon), St. Clement (patron of the Anglo-Papalist parish that helped form me; the decent-sized picture is the same as in their narthex), St. Panteleimon (tiny Russian cloth icon in brass frame), St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena, and Mother Cabrini.

Mass-and-office Catholicism in Anglican English here.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Fake Catholicisms: Rex Mottram, papolaters, and Ancient Faith Radio

Mark Cameron writes:
I would like to propose a name for this phenomenon of inveterate support for any and all Papal actions, imputing to him wisdom and spiritual insight beyond all the Saints and Popes of past ages: Mottramism.

This takes its name, of course, from Rex Mottram, Julia Flyte’s husband in
Brideshead Revisited. At one point, Rex decides to convert to Catholicism in order to have a proper Church wedding with Julia. But the sincerity of his conversion becomes suspect when he is willing to agree with any absurdity proposed in the name of Catholic authority, and shows no intellectual curiosity into its truth or falsehood. As his Jesuit instructor, Father Mowbray describes his catechetical progress:

“Yesterday I asked him whether Our Lord had more than one nature. He said: ‘Just as many as you say, Father.’ Then again I asked him: ‘Supposing the Pope looked up and saw a cloud and said ‘It’s going to rain’, would that be bound to happen?’ ‘Oh, yes, Father.’ ‘But supposing it didn’t?’ He thought a moment and said, “I suppose it would be sort of raining spiritually, only we were too sinful to see it.’”
An online former acquaintance shown the door after this rant (old man yells at cloud):
You are still a Protestant! Heretics one and all. Too proud and stiff-necked to take lawful orders from any other human being, even the Vicar of Christ! Born traitors. Roma Dixit Causa Finita. A right-wing heretic is just another heretic, and a traitor. Have you been seeing visions in the maple grove like Joseph Smith? You are just arrogant self-righteous egomaniacs. Really who do you think you are, and in what church? I thought we were speaking about The Roman Catholic Church? The Pope is the head of that! Go play as a Protestant. You don't really expect me to discuss de fide doctrine and the pope speaking ex cathedra as a canon lawyer in this forum, on social media? If you can't obey the Pope as the lawful head of the Church you are not a Roman Catholic, why not go elsewhere, heaven knows there are enough other Christian churches to choose from. Papal Infallibility was defined in 1871 (sic), not last week! I like to obey the Pope, even outside areas where that is strictly required, and I don't like traitors who openly show disrespect to the Pope. Orthodox are you, perhaps? I was military: It was not our custom to speak disrespectfully of your commanding officer. So full of their own opinions and so adverse to showing respect to the clergy who devote their whole lives to these matters, let alone to The Holy Father! They probably tell their own mothers how to cook as well. Ha ha.
Friends, that's not Catholicism. It's what too many, even some well-meaning Catholics, think it is. We're not the Pope's personal cult.

"The Pope isn't a Mormon Prophet. If he says 2+2=5, or that the divorced and remarried, and Protestant spouses, can receive Communion for 'pastoral reasons,' it still isn't true. That is just basic theology. We are to obey the Roman Pontiff in matters of faith and morals. We are not to say whatever he says goes. Certainly you are aware of the various times this has happened in the past, no? He's infallible but that doesn't mean he's always right. Gotta love lay Popes — hurling anathemas left and right! Sorry, what you are espousing is not Catholicism but some chauvinist caricature of Catholicism. No point in arguing further; have a good day."

Reminds me of Fulton Sheen, who said most anti-Catholics don't hate the church; they hate what they think the church is.

Read Fr. Hunwicke on how Vatican I actually defines the limit of the Pope's authority. Then again, crazy Catholic reverse snobs will just dismiss him as a "stuffy Englishman" who's still really Anglican; their loss. Like what Newman went through: too conservative and orthodox for the Anglicans; too liberal in his opinions for many Catholics then.

A real Catholic, Melchior Cano, theologian from the Council of Trent:
Peter has no need of our lies or flattery. Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decision of the Supreme Pontiff are the very ones who do most to undermine the authority of the Holy See — they destroy instead of strengthening its foundations.
In the news, a bishop bans ad orientem at Mass. He can do that. The Roman Rite has many options, and within those rules, the bishop is the "liturgiarch" of his diocese. But if I lived there, I'd only give my weekly offering to my parish; all other charity would go to traditional Catholic and other causes. The crazy man above is partly right; there are right-wing schismatics and heretics. I'm not one of them. Liking ad orientem is not a reason to leave the church. As long as we have Pope Benedict's English Mass, I'm good. Bad clergy can huff and puff but they can't change our teachings, and I'd only have to put up with them an hour a week and forget them as soon as I'm out the church door. "That, Bishop, is how little you mean to me. You can't threaten my job; I'm not a priest in your diocese and this is America. So go soak your head."

P.S. Dear Ancient Faith Radio: The West already has the true apostolic faith. We're Catholic! We don't need or want a foreign imitation. Maybe that's why Eastern-rite churches fail here in three generations as the people assimilate.

P.P.S. Dear Continuing Anglicans: Much as with traditional Lutherans, I like you. Your liturgical language is one of mine, always. But I doubt that God's plan for the true church was for it to end up a gaggle of squabbling little sects top-heavy with clergy, not even in communion with the Church of England. If the Anglican enterprise were true, wouldn't you all still be Episcopal with the Modernists beyond the pale?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Current events


  • The oddly spelled Dylann Roof deserves to be executed for murder if he knew what he was doing (mere mental illness doesn't excuse), which the court thought he did. The state can spare him but doesn't have to. There should not be "hate crime" in the law. The state ought not have a window into men's souls; bigots have rights. It is none of the state's or my business if young Mr. Roof hates Negroes. It and I should care if he harms them.
  • Bradley Manning (no, I won't play along): The U.S. government is guilty of wrongdoing so he was arguably heroic. But part of the heroism is taking the due punishment so that the Army can do its job. That said, he had no business being in the military. Looks like the Corporal Klinger game worked for him; seems cowardly. Anyway, when he gets out, he'll be kicked out of the Army with a dishonorable discharge so no VA benefits, so who if anyone will pay for the operation and artificial female hormones he wants? Obama pardoned him as a parting insult to the old white America including its military. Ditto provoking Russia, leaving a mess for Trump.
  • Looking at the left agitating for civil war against Trump, if I were him I'd have Homeland Security on the lookout for Bill Ayers-style terrorism. Other than that, I doubt many of these social-justice weenies know how to fight. Enough water cannons will shut them up.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Gay priests, the "gathering rite," and more


  • A lavender clergy mafia? From a conservative Protestant minister who knows many Catholic clergy who've talked about this: his guess is the Roman Rite priesthood is about twice as gay as the general population. It's a natural hangout for them even though it's not allowed. Just like the military: seeming to sacrifice normal married life for a noble cause, so nobody asks why you never married. Similar: sailors and oil-rig workers. That and the helping/caring professions attract more gays, much like those jobs' appeal to women. Most of "the scandal" wasn't pedophilia; that was just a liberal lie. They were gay priests attracted to teenage boys. Anyway, twice as gay is only 6% of priests, gays in the general population being only about 3%. If they don't attack the church's teachings or commit crimes, no problem.
  • The Remnant's Michael Matt on a "gathering rite" at an old Midwestern city Catholic church. I'm not a rad trad like him. Catholic churches are both gathering places for the assembly (ekklesia) and temples of Christ's sacrifice. These bad liturgics seem based on a Protestant denial of the latter, though even the Protestants would have found this "gathering rite" strange, the purpose of church for them being to sit and listen to the Bible and the sermon. And yes, I get "modes of presence," seeing God in your neighbor. That means charity, not this. My guess is this stuff is slowly going away; its perpetrators are old. Reform of the reform (let's high-church the Novus Ordo) will win, in a much smaller church. We've spent down our capital earned before Vatican II and haven't bottomed out yet. By the way, Bianca Jagger, Sting, and the late Andy Warhol (born into the Byzantine Rite) preferred the traditional Mass to the new.
  • The Chair of Unity Octave starts today. Forget "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity," a betrayal of Fr. Paul James Francis Wattson: he said to return to the Catholic Church and himself went from Anglo-Papalist Episcopal (rare) to Catholic. In the 1962 rubrics, a priest may offer the votive Mass of Saint Peter’s Chair at Rome, so we still have our octave in the traditional Roman Rite.
  • A friend, a conservative Episcopalian for about a decade, is dead against the Novus Ordo but Cranmer's Prayer Book in its 1979 Rite I Episcopal form is OK. What? Bad/rad trads and the Orthodox are guilty of something like this, and Anglo-Catholicism's rife with it: religion becomes about me, that is, my culture, my taste, my labors, and my entertainment. (There is religious entertainment and then there is religion.) Henry VIII didn't drive England into schism and Cranmer didn't force it into heresy so we could have nice services, and both of us would have hated Cranmer's creations (destroy the altars, statues, and chasubles, and let's have church in the round for Communion).
  • On the Vatican commemorating the "Reformation." Humility is good of course (we, but not our teachings, caused the Chornock schism, for example) but the "Reformation" was evil, a made-up Christianity set off by a madman; Renaissance Europeans' fanciful idea of the early Christians. That said, I like traditional Lutheranism: our close cousins because Luther wasn't consistent, he was willing to use the church's trappings to bait and switch, and his followers tried to reach an understanding with the church; they ended up closer to us than to the Calvinists. They don't reject things just because they're Catholic.
  • How the Church of England changed my life. A conscientious Anglican priest "being there" for everyone who lives in his parish. I hold no brief for Anglicanism but give credit where it's due.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The scoop on the Novus Ordo

The Novus Ordo has more flavors than Baskin-Robbins.
Unlike the Orthodox, the church has many cultures so it has several traditional rites* and in those many sub-rites.

I understand that until rather recently, churchmen didn't study the liturgy as history so they were cautious, changing things very little. Some things did change a lot but that took a long time. Priests were taught the liturgy as handed down, according to the rules, and that was that.

Then the new field of liturgical studies changed from appreciating the liturgy as it was to thinking it could improve it with a rewrite, an update. The spirit of the Space Age: progress! Streamline the Mass and the church will get even bigger and better; the Protestants will love us and come back.

So churchmen wrote a new Mass.

It wasn't heretical, but the English paraphrase was borderline until Pope Benedict XVI replaced it with a real translation.

That's the scoop on the Novus Ordo. Since I've been back in the church, I have worshipped and communed at it; I respect it. But it's not my home.

If you were expecting a rant on the apostles using the Tridentine Mass, "Quo Primum forever," six Protestant ministers co-writing the invalid new Mass, the real Pope being kidnapped and replaced with an imposter, no real Pope today, and all the church's problems being due to Russia not being consecrated following Our Lady of Fátima's command, you're reading the wrong blog.

*Roman (including local medieval sub-rites and those of certain religious orders), Byzantine (Orthodox culture), and others.

Religion, politics, and media


  • Religion:
    • The myth of the big, bad Catholic Church forcing the Byzantines to latinize. Gabriel Sanchez back to doing good work for the church.
    • What soured me on ultramontanism: in the '80s, well-meaning conservative Catholics were dragged into the liberals' Protestantizing agenda for obedience's sake, while the local Episcopalians, not even in the church, kept Catholic beliefs and practices thanks to their congregationalism. Similar with the Orthodox; traditional thanks to not being ultramontanist. I'm Catholic without apology but I learned from this.
    • Home devotion is a free-for-all. Rite sometimes barely puts a lid on anarchy. It's fun being functionally biritual; in church I worship in the Byzantine Rite 1/4 of the time. (I'm not against the latinized but with the church I don't push latinizations.) My native religion is Latin Christianity in that language and Anglican English, but, knowing what I know, grace before dinner for example can well be in Slavonic.
    • Bad religion. "The 'professional' lives of 'youth' is mentioned first. A totally natural approach for a false horizontal Christianity that no longer believes in Hell." This made me realize that even though the liberal campus ministry at my "Catholic" college would have hated Joel Osteen's guts, they weren't that different in this regard, but they gave lip service to liberation theology, etc., as something to assuage the yuppie wannabes' consciences. Do volunteer work/be a voluntourist for a year (gap year, a rich kids' thing) and vote Democratic all your life, and you too can have it all including heaven!
    • Eucharistic prayer in the 21st century. I'm not sure this is heretical. As we've seen with different traditional rites and now with the Novus Ordo, the church can write different and new services. (That doesn't necessarily mean it should write anew.) But no experimentation; dangerous. NCR wants heresy so there you go. Plus, frankly, when I read this I see a pathetic, desperate boomer or older priest putting on a Star Wars Mass and the millennial Comic Con-goers laughing at him and still not going to church. I understand the Episcopalians have a Star Wars-like Eucharistic prayer written 40 years ago that's often laughed about.
    • Do I understand this rightly? Kids in Western countries are being given anti-Christian indoctrination in college but Pope Francis thinks Catholic youth's main problem is "rigid" orthodoxy?
  • Politics:
  • Media:
    • The questionable ethics of computer animating dead actors. Kathy Shaidle also makes an interesting point about "Star Trek" vs. Star Wars fans. The first Star Wars is better art in my opinion (the best of old adventure movies, an intelligent philosophy, and boffo special effects vs. a rehash of 1960s America good and bad, a liberal sermon) but maybe Trekkers have more real-world success.
    • Culture is downstream from politics: TV shows adapting to Trump era. In which Face to Face explains "All in the Family" and "Family Ties."
      Archie Bunker arrived to television a full two years after Nixon's first inauguration. A key demographic in the Nixon coalition was working-class whites who were sick of the excesses of the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, whether these were rural Southern whites or urban white ethnics.

      In 1968, both groups had been loyalist Democrats for generations, but the influx of the Civil Rights movement antagonized them enough to defect at least temporarily (for white ethnics) or permanently (for white Southerners).

      The Democrats were apoplectic that such large chunks of their New Deal coalition had been so effortlessly poached by the GOP. It couldn't be because the Great Society policies were failures — it was because... uh, well, let's explore who these Nixon voters are in sit-com format, contrasting them with their liberal Democrat children. Maybe by portraying them halfway sympathetically and "feeling their pain," we can bring some of them back into the fold.

      Another show in the vein of "All in the Family" was "Family Ties," wherein liberal Jewish media executives tried to explore the nascent conservative and yuppie phenomena, as the liberal Boomer parents struggle to understand their
      über-Republican son Alex Keaton. Nixon did not run as a conservative, but as a pragmatist, law-and-order, liberal-moderate. Reagan's landslide was even more unforeseen to Democrats in the media than was Nixon's, and provoked greater panic to figure out what went wrong.

      "Family Ties" debuted nearly two years after Reagan defeated an incumbent Democrat, again showing that culture follows politics and economics. The producers hoped to pull the Alex Keatons at least halfway toward the liberal Boomer generation...
      The producers also tried to do this by bowdlerizing "conservatism" into "plays the stock market" for boys and "shops at the mall" for girls but otherwise being on board with the Sixties. And/or the über-Republicans (such as the neocons, really liberals) did that themselves.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Answering an Anglican


The Episcopalians, that goofy counterfeit Catholic church run by Masons.
Unlike, I suspect, most Anglicans today, I'm more or less at peace with the fact that historically we owe our distinctive existence to King Henry VIII.
Right; we disagree but I'll say it anyway. Henry didn't want to change the church other than getting an annulment he didn't deserve, and to the Anglicans' credit, for centuries their teaching on marriage was the same as ours, which is why as recently as 1936 a King had to abdicate. But with all due respect, Henry didn't force England into schism, and his churchmen later didn't literally very violently force heresy on England, so you could have nice music on Sunday mornings. If you really believe Cranmer's fanciful idea of the early Christians is true, then Anglicanism's for you; otherwise you're kidding yourself.

But as Thomas Day wrote, Episcopalians don't have American Catholics' pathological hatred of high-church liturgy. They're at least as liberal as the National "Catholic" Reporter but a good number of them worship like I do.

What if Pope Francis took away the traditional Latin Mass?

What would you do if Pope Francis prohibited the traditional Latin Mass and removed Summorum Pontificum?
I don't think he will because he doesn't care about liturgy. He's probably clever: giving confession faculties to the SSPX, for example, to throw traditionalists off guard. But given his hostility to trads ("rigid," "Pelagian," etc.), he might. If the TLM were taken away I'd be hurt and disappointed, and wouldn't make any extra financial effort for the institutional church as a result, but I wouldn't leave the church again. If I have Pope Benedict XVI's English Novus Ordo I'm fine, plus, as in the dark days of Paul VI and John Paul II, depending on where you are, there are the Eastern rites.

Nobody before Vatican II imagined the ordinary practice of Western Catholicism would just stop. The Pope has the authority to suppress the TLM and write a new service but like what provoked the Chornock schism in 1930s America, it would be stupid of him.

Writing new services isn't something we historically do. This may be a fairy tale from the liturgical-renewal folks but the story goes that churchmen didn't study the liturgy as history until at least the 1800s, so they were cautious about changing it, lest they cut out something essential. Just pass it along and learn the rubrics. It did change but very slowly because of this.

The SSPX means well but is wrong. Liking the old Mass better as I do isn't enough of a reason to separate from the official church. It was arguably different before Benedict's English Novus because the translation then was so bad. But arguably not, because, bad or stupid Popes notwithstanding, our teachings don't change.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The free market, the manosphere, and race realism are reality: Talking to anti-Trump orthodox Catholics

I continue to worry about some of my fellow Catholics who have fallen headlong into the Trumpist Cult: the Leader can do no wrong.
All politics are provisional. I've got the church, just like you. So I don't worship Trump, thinking he can do no wrong. You know my preferences: a king, a caudillo, or a Ron Paul. He'll do. He is a stay of execution for our country and besides, and go ahead and hate me, I like the man. The only candidate I didn't like personally was the one the Democrats betrayed Sanders for to try to force on us; the people to their credit didn't buy it.
I wish you would ask yourself why you like the man, and whether those reasons are good, and whether they are true and reflect reality. And I wish you would fess up to what you are ignoring about the man.
An Anglo-Catholic alumnus and Catholic convert like me, a Canadian subject and a monarchist, has pointed out facts: Trump isn't perfect. Namely, he's living in concubinage/adultery and his daughter is an apostate. But in our system, it doesn't matter. We are religiously neutral politically, which protects us as Catholics. Just like George III was in heresy, a Protestant, but we still owed him our allegiance as our Christian king. Religious law in England didn't apply to us, as the Crown showed in at least one colonial court case. The American Revolution was wrong.

I'm not making the perfect the enemy of the good so Hillary Clinton and her minions, the people whose theatrics have been making the news since Trump and we won, can bury us like they want to.

Ideally I'd like to have a Catholic Stuart monarch too.

Catholicism isn't a peculiar way of doing things but the way to look at everything. Reason is accepting objective reality. In our fallen world, the free market, the manosphere, and race realism are reality. Our challenge as Catholics is to deal with them as realistically and charitably as possible. Hillary Clinton and her minions want to bury us. Trump doesn't. Nobody else had a chance. My duty was clear and I can stand before our Maker and own it. He's not some lisping guitar-Mass idea of a Christian; he's a man. A pagan man, but a man. I like him without apology.
He is indeed a man, but that's not enough. He's a bad man. He'd turn on you in a heartbeat. It's fine to be glad that he's not Hillary and hope for the best, but any enthusiasm beyond that has to come — in my humble opinion — from a disordered place.
No need to worry, old friend: he's not my Dear Leader.
"The free market, the manosphere, and race realism": in point of fact, all of these are distortions of reality, despite the truths they might contain. Reality is found only in light of faith, and of reason illumined by the Faith. Trumpism needs to be evaluated accordingly.
I said "fallen." All have natural truth but all have sin too. The market is the only system that works, God made differences and a hierarchy for the sexes, and there are differences on average among the races. But the church condemns greed, abuse of women, and racial hatred. Our job is to discern.

Enforcing the law on immigration is common sense, not race-baiting, it was politically popular as recently as 10 years ago, and how dare one assume because I'm part-Mexican I'm for the illegals?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Catholic liberals are hypocrites: trads and the Christian East


Верую во Единаго Бога Отца Вседержителя...

Tisk... tisk... look at all those traditional hats! Fancy vestments! Gold! Tradition! Why is it that when Byzantine Christians wears lots of gold vestments and crowns and use tons of incense and march in grand processions, etc., it's beautiful and mystical and wonderful—but when Roman Catholics do similar things (as we have done for 1,500 years and more), it gets called rigid, old-fashioned, garish, triumphalistic, pharisaical, and who knows what else!!! Strange double standard going on there.
Fr. Z calls it: Catholic liberals (who doctrinally aren't really Catholic anymore) are hypocrites.

That's why my first traditional Catholic Mass in person (not counting Anglo-Catholic services) was Ukrainian: in 1985 Eastern rites were the only American Catholics allowed to have them.

Given the doctrinal fervor with which Catholic liberals tore down the traditional Roman Rite and anybody who wanted it for any reason, it is surprising. The implied doctrine: the Protestants were right. Like them, the liberals had a fanciful idea of the early Christians (varying to fit whatever they wanted) that disappeared in the big, bad Middle Ages; the Protestants were "renegade prophets." (A putatively Catholic book, from the Redemptorists, I had to read in college said that!) Good Pope John and his council set things right.

Self-hating Catholics, rather like self-hating Jews. Traitors.

True to form, Pope Goofball Juan Perón and his fans are silent when Msgr. Kirill celebrates Christmas Midnight Mass (Divine Liturgy) in his Moscow cathedral. (Monsignor doesn't believe we're baptized. We are required, indeed glad, to believe that he is a bishop and this is a Mass. We're not baptized, but divorce-and-remarriage and contraception are OK? People will believe anything if they want to.)

So why have Eastern rites long had a free pass?

  • Anti-Westernism/exoticism/Orientalism. Same as the beatniks who dabbled in Buddhism (before the left decreed that cultural appropriation is rude, to which we squares say, "Told you so"), the hippies who played with Hinduism, New Agers, and the kind of Westerner who betrays his people as well as the truth by becoming Orthodox or Muslim.
  • Ecumenism. But logically, given libcaths' anti-traditional bent, doesn't it look like a bait-and-switch? And at least condescending? To the Orthodox' credit, they've noticed and called it. Not at the useless ecumenical confabs, but their vicious anti-Catholic apologetics sites. And here this papist doesn't blame them. No wonder that among them "ecumenist" is a fighting insult.

Surrounded by so many lies, even from our own Catholic people, it's easy to be pushed into one of them: the heresy and cultural idolatry of the libcaths, the rad trads, or the Orthodox.

For me, it took reading and knowing reasonable traditional Anglicans to see through that... and find my way to the mind and heart of Christ and the Catholic Church. These essentials come in many cultures.

I spent Russian Christmas snowed in, lighting a candle in front of an icon and reciting Slavonic prayers (trisagion, canon to the Mother of God, troparion and kontakion), serving the same Christ and Catholic Church, praying too for these estranged traditional Catholics to return.

The libcaths won't come back to real Catholicism. They're old and will literally die out.

I don't mind if you want a simpler Mass than ours. As long as we have Pope Benedict XVI's English Mass as a baseline, we're good. Just don't deny us what's rightly ours. In Summorum Pontificum and the "reform of the reform" (high-churching the Novus Ordo just like Anglo-Catholics did with the Prayer Book), the church has spoken.

My guess is high-church Novus will win in the Roman Rite. I'd prefer the old Mass with a vernacular option. (In English, the Anglo-Catholics have already done our work for us.) Offer that and most Catholics' objections to it would vanish like a puff of smoke.

By the way, interesting: Midnight Divine Liturgy isn't Russian Orthodox parish practice in America as far as I know. A late priest friend who'd been on both sides of the schism told me that Russians have native Easter customs but the Christmas customs, such as they are, are really imported Latin Catholic ones at a few removes: the tree, the carols, and the vigil supper ultimately came from Germany. The Russians got them from the Ukrainians who got them from the Poles who got them from the Germans.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Historic mistreatment of Greek Catholics: Father, forgive us


This is a pretty picture, and the traditional Roman and the Byzantine rites obviously share the same faith (and are equally medieval in evolution), but here is some historical background.

Ruthenian (western Ukrainian) Catholic mountaineers in Poland were heroes fighting but losing a guerrilla war with the Polish Communists. The Poles, who never liked them simply because they're not Polish, dispersed them, ethnically cleansing the Ruthenian villages, either deporting the people to the USSR or moving them elsewhere in Poland. The Ruthenians' Greek Catholic churches were given to the majority Latin Church in Poland.

Doctrinally and liturgically sound Catholics aren't always right. Witness the Chornock schism in America.

One of the reasons I go to a Byzantine Catholic church one Sunday a month and worship there exactly like the Orthodox (bowing, not kneeling, no filioque, and all).

Без числа согреших, Господи; прости мя.
Someone who was at this Mass clarified that they were having a retreat nearby and needed somewhere to have their Masses. So the priest at the nearby Byzantine church, the closest church to where they were having their retreat, let them have their Masses there for the duration of the aforementioned retreat.
Thank you. But such churches and mixtures are in southern and eastern Poland for the reason I give.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Catholics being stupid: Infantilizing church

I very nearly spat my coffee onto my computer screen this morning when I learned (and confirmed) that the Holy See has published an order of worship for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which has as its central act... playing with blocks. Well, specifically, playing with shoeboxes covered in packing paper to represent stones (I'm dead serious) which are first built into a wall and then rearranged in a cross. THE SEVENTIES ARE BACK!
It's not heretical but it's stupid. This Pope is at best a doofus.

Thank God the '70s aren't back. We still have Benedict XVI's English Mass, not the possibly heretical monstrosity then.

When I was a teenager, the local Catholics went for this condescending crap; the Anglo-Catholics treated me like an adult.

That week, Jan. 18–25, began as the Chair of Unity Octave, started by Episcopalians who were would-be Catholics; Anglo-Papalists. Not Anglo-Catholics, who pushed Anglicanism; they wanted to come home to Rome, and when the Episcopalians let other Protestant ministers preach in their churches, in 1909 they did. Fr. Paul James Francis Wattson and Mother Lurana White of the Graymoor Franciscans.

Do yourself a favor and click the link, to a blog post from Fr. Hunwicke.

Another swing at the Orthodox because they deserve it

The thing is, you can't really argue with the Orthodox, since most of their arguments are constructed ad-hoc based on personal opinions and personal interpretations of documents of "Church Fathers"—and by the way, who's a Church Father is also completely arbitrary. There's no Orthodox Catechism, there's no Orthodox council documents, other than those from the first seven. You ultimately end up where you'd be arguing with a Protestant.
Yes! There is no such thing as the Orthodox Church. It's just a gaggle of tribal/national churches very little to do with each other that happen to share a rite because their founding church was part of an empire. The self-hating Western converts use it to try to invent a hipster Catholicism, cool because it's Popeless. Lifestyle accessory, such as shopping at Whole Paycheck, er, Whole Foods with the other SWPL bohos because "I'm fasting, I'm fasting, I'm fasting." Well and good; the Byzantine Rite is entirely Catholic. But what about divorce-and-remarriage and contraception? Behind the traditional liturgy there's really nothing there. Which is why they lose their people when those people Americanize.
René Guénon was a cuck who converted to Islam, the ultimate betrayal of his civilization.
His disciple Eugene Rose wasn't that different, converting to an anti-Western sect and rebaptizing Catholics and Protestants.

Whether he lives in Rome, Avignon, or Timbuktu, there is only one church and it has a head bishop; the Orthodox' old empire is nothing to do with it. Mistaking the empire for the church was the Orthodox' first mistake.

There are churchmen who don't quite accept Catholicism and then there are bigots.

Following the mind and heart of the church, I don't preach to Greeks and Russians. Traitors, Western converts to Orthodoxy who are online, are fair game.

Preaching to the Greeks and Russians has never worked. The Greek and Russian Byzantine Catholic churches are failures; they failed in their original missions. Better to try to bring in all of the Orthodox at the same time.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Good Pope John's council, etc.

If Pope John XXIII had lived, Vatican II would have been different. I don't think that it would have gone on for three years and from what I know about him I don't think that he would have approved the new Mass.
All possible. John XXIII was a good-hearted Italian who wasn't the liberal people think.
I always say, the Second Vatican Council would have been the perfect opportunity to promulgate the fifth Marian dogma. Marian devotion was very high after the war and through the fifties.
We can agree to disagree on that. I'm Marian as far as the creed etc. are, and I pray the Angelus and the Rosary, but that's it. She's the Mother of God; can't get any better than that.
She is co-redemptrix.
I can accept that as the church does but it's too much of a headache to explain. Luke, the creed, and Ephesus said it all for me: she's the Mother of God. I accept everything else the church teaches about her but there you are; I think it's commentary to the main thing. My patristic-like Anglican roots? Sure.

The real John XXIII told seminaries to step up teaching and using Latin and told religious orders not to ordain homosexuals. You never hear that of course.
Read his autobiography, Journal of a Soul. He was a very holy man. I don't know the veracity of this but I once heard it said that he felt it improper to look directly into a woman's eyes.
I believe that about Pope John: he had been in seminary since he was 11 (yes, junior seminary) so I'm sure purity including custody of the eyes, in a land with famously beautiful women (Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren, et al.), was a big struggle for him as a young man even though he had a vocation.

All the good that Vatican II ostensibly tried to do could have been done without the damage to the church's morale and standing, and without the scandal to the faithful, with a few papal pronouncements: American-style religious liberty can work, let's teach the Protestants and others by meeting with them, and allow a vernacular option for the traditional Mass. Done. (By the way, the Russian Orthodox in America, the Metropolia/OCA, handled the last perfectly: they just translated from Slavonic to English and adopted the Gregorian calendar; they didn't write anew.)

The trouble was our churchmen bought into the Zeitgeist, not of the hippies, who didn't yet exist and anyway didn't care about religion, but the Space Age (yes, my era!): everything streamlined and updated, getting better through "Progress!" Now that we've studied the Mass, let's write a new one for modern man. Catholics will keep coming to Mass in droves and the Protestants will love us and come back!

How's that working out?

Look at the UN building and the '64 World's Fair: that's the Zeitgeist of Vatican II. Not necessarily heretical but foolhardy when applied to the life of the church.

I wonder if you remember the crap I read and heard from Catholics in good standing in the '80s, basically saying the Protestants were right. Even books with imprimaturs taught this. No wonder congregational Anglo-Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy seemed better.
I remember all too well.
A pastor literally yelled in my face that "the church now is vibrant!" and I wanted "a church that no longer exists."
Many people are still being told that nonsense. I feel very blessed to have access to solid, orthodox parishes.
I know our teachings and I'm not the narrow reactionary the liberals think I am, so a priest or whoever couldn't cow me with that if he tried. I'd give him Huckleberry Finn's line: "All right, I'll go to hell." And leave and never return to that parish. I'd go to another.
I also know of instances where people have gone to confession to confess a mortal sin, and the priest tells them that what they have confessed is not a sin. The uncatechized simply believe the priest.
That's on that priest's soul; if he knows better (and wouldn't he?) he'll have to answer to God for it.
Yes he will indeed. I'm not sure which saint said this, but one of them said something to the effect of, "the floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops and priests." Very scary.
Indeed. I first heard that 30 years ago, from a holy SSPX priest. It's because of the (much overused word) awesome responsibility of the clergy for other people's souls.

Of course priests mustn't lie about the church's teachings but that doesn't mean being an ogre in the confessional. I've run across that exactly once and that was enough. I've been told that traditionally priests are taught to be gentle in the confessional. Where I go for that, a city church manned by a mainstream religious order, they are, very peaceful.

A traditionalist pioneer and a spiky liturgical question


The late Fr. Gommar DePauw celebrating Low Mass from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary at his Ave Maria Chapel in Westbury, L.I., N.Y.
One of the heroes of the movement to restore the traditional Latin Mass (TLM) to the Catholic churches. Many still remember Fr. DePauw at Mount St. Mary's.
That's right; before Vatican II he was a respected canon lawyer teaching the subject at a seminary.

Fr. DePauw's recorded Low Mass (same as this: Common of the BVM) on New York radio was my introduction specifically to the TLM 35 years ago! Being Episcopalian then (born into it), I knew of some Episcopalians' resistance to the Sixties, holding onto the older form of their liturgy (I was formed in a parish that was among them); he introduced me to the Catholic version. He had presence: big man with that Flemish (Belgian Dutch) accent and bass voice. The first clergyman I know of to publicly take a stand for the traditional Mass, a few years before the Novus Ordo! (But don't forget Cardinal McIntyre in L.A.: as far as I know he never implemented the changes; he was forced to retire right when the Novus Ordo came out. He never celebrated the new Mass, even in retirement at a parish. Only the old.) I don't agree with Fr. DePauw's argument (his canon lawyerly one that Quo Primum Tempore forbids any change; on the contrary, the new Mass in its original Latin and in the English approved by Pope Benedict XVI is valid) but am grateful all the same.

But now that this Mass is my home, now that I'm acquainted with the rubrics, my question remains: what day is this video Mass for? All of the propers are from the Common like a feria (weekday Mass or votive Mass) but it has the Gloria and Creed like a Marian feast. So what's going on?

No trad or conservative parish? No problem!

It's sad: where I live we have no churches with the traditional rite, and the "normal" ones look very Protestant, with loud music and people clapping... It's sad and outrageous.
That's bad but in the '80s with the bad (bordering on heretical) English translation it was much worse. I've been back in the church five years, since Pope Benedict the Great's cleanup of the English Mass. I can go to Mass anywhere: the text now tells the truth. If the parishes screw up, it's on them, not me. If I were you, I'd offer it up for the 45 minutes or so every week, then go home and not give them a second thought. Put your money in the basket and nothing more. Give to traditional causes on your own time. Disclosure: I'm blessed with a conservative and even high-church parish 15 minutes from home whose main Mass is Tridentine even though the rest of parish life isn't. (Pipe organ, Anglican processional and recessional hymns, and white-gloved altar boys, no altar girls, ringing two sanctus bells.) That's my registered (not territorial) parish I call home. If I didn't have that or the Ukrainian Catholic parish I also attend and support, I'd do what I say here.

There is always orthodox Catholics' mainstay since Vatican II: the earliest, lowest Mass your parish has. No funny business, no attempt at music; just recite what's in the book, Father, and get it over with.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Tale of two American Catholic colleges


Big difference between the Franciscan University of Steubenville and my so-called alma mater, Villanova University: Steubenville, very "Vatican II," has always acted religiously in good faith, trying to follow the magisterium. They're not heretics. Villanova from what I can see online has moved even farther from the church in 30 years since I was there (largish and sportsy; not just militantly low-church but heretics); it wants it both ways, using the church socially (false advertising) to get the alumni's kids and "leaving behind the Catholic ghetto" for political correctness (Protestantism's bastard), betraying Christ and the church for mainstream respectability, the big time, arriving in American society. Pope Benedict's reform of the reform (high-churching) isn't happening there. I predict their old church liberals* won't keep many followers among the young, most of whom eventually will leave the church. (Kids figure out that liberal church isn't worth their time.) In their minds Villanova's competing locally with Temple and Penn. Academe as big business. I took myself off their mailing list about 20 years ago and long have not set foot there. In contrast, I visited nearby Good Shepherd, Rosemont (first went there in 1985) until the Episcopalians took it back only a few years ago. (Their core group converted; they are now good Catholics and still brother high churchmen.)

Before Vatican II these places existed to teach not just practical academic skills but an entire Catholic worldview (vs. our Protestant host culture), sometimes called integrism. Catholicism isn't just a way of doing certain things, like an eccentric hobby, but a way of looking at everything: from the Trinity to transubstantiation (blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man) to learning to chant a High Mass to, yes, working for peace and justice (the social reign of Christ the King), from opposing unjust wars and standing up for labor to opposing contraception (the truth, whether fashionable or not) and abortion; it's all connected.

A big story of Sixties America is the neutralization of the country's big Catholic minority: JFK disowned the church to get elected, Vatican II was exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time, and the Rockefellers bought off Notre Dame's Fr. Hesburgh and pushed the Pill. The Protestants pretty much got their wish.

*They remind me of the Old Catholics; a rump sect.

P.S. The autobiography of Fr. Ray Jackson. Villanova has virtually canonized this fellow, naming a dorm after him. Sad to us; a good traditional vocation blown far off course. Blame Vatican II and the Sixties generally.

RIP Fr. Michael Scanlan: Charismatics and the American Catholic Church

Franciscan University of Steubenville today mourns the death of President Emeritus Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, 85.
I'm sure he will have many Masses and other prayers said for him; good. This news brings back memories of my sometimes stormy relations with the charismatic movement he was a leading light of. I don't hate them; not in the least. I don't mind much of what they do. The trouble was it got started right after Vatican II and was part of many Catholics' war on us traditional high churchmen. In the '70s and '80s, priests like him told people like me to drop our artsy old-fashioned stuff to "be open to the Spirit"; otherwise we were sick or even bad, disobedient, even no longer in the church! The liberals loooooved this movement: it was a weapon against us, much the way secular liberals try to use the Mohammedans now. (So I said screw this and went back to the Episcopalians, who at least left me in peace for a while.) But... the movement seemed to grow up, losing its anti-high church bias it dragged in from Protestantism as it ... re-Catholicized. It went from giving devotion to Mary and Eucharistic adoration another chance to falling in love with the church's teachings (the magisterium) to giving us a break. And their romance with the liberals predictably fizzled because the charismatics are based on conservative Protestantism, so ultimately no feminism or homosexualism; politically incorrect! There have been Tridentine Masses at Steubenville and Pope Benedict the Great reformed the English Mass. We won; more important, God and the church did, and the charismatics didn't lose either.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Catholic trads good and bad

What is the main goal of Catholic traditionalism, the salvation of souls or restoring traditional Catholic culture? Might there sometimes be a conflict?
I've come to realize that both many Catholic traditionalists and the Catholic liberals they are reacting against are wrong. The '80s American church was bad: Protestantized and militantly low-church. If you wanted old-fashioned high church, they told you that you were bad (disobedient, "not open to the Spirit," and even no longer Catholic) and/or mentally disturbed. A great thing about being in England then was you could find Catholic high church if you were looking for it. The liberals are heretical, but come to think of it, both sides make the same mistake as the Orthodox of thinking their culture is the whole church. Anglicanism, which I came from and in the '80s returned to, doesn't have that problem, hence its appeal to me then, but it's heretical. Orthodoxy seemed to offer a way out too but it idolizes a culture. With our doctrine, a non-negotiable, and Pope Benedict XVI's English Mass as a baseline, I'm fine. If you want a simpler Mass than mine or even an experimental Mass, fine with me as long as you hold to our doctrine and don't step on my toes.