Sunday, March 23, 2003

‘As’: Stevie Wonder song described on somebody else’s blog
What can I say? I like that song! Good album too.

Chaldean Catholic patriarchal HQ in Baghdad damaged
From the correspondent who sent me this news: Tonight, please remember the Chaldean and Assyrian Christians in your
prayers. Upon them rests the burden of bringing true comfort to their
Muslim neighbors that can only come through the saving Gospel of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. May the Most Holy Mother of God spread her mantle of
protection over the people of Iraq.

Muslim US soldier accused of ‘fragging’ his own unit with grenades
To me, what doesn’t add up in this story is: it’s a volunteer Army (thank God), so if Sgt Akbar hates it so much, why did he join?

Maybe this is government propaganda spin, demonizing Muslims, to keep the masses supporting the war.

Cognitive dissonance
From the Net, written by a Byzantine Catholic

1. How could the Vatican II Council Fathers choose revolution/reformation for the Latin Church and restoration for the Eastern Churches in its Communion? This question is in regard to the Liturgy and ritual.

[Me: Been asking that question for many years - it is a big contradiction. I have never heard nor read a satisfactory answer. And for my trouble, amazingly I’ve had Byzantine Catholics online tell me to get lost - I was purged from the Ruthenians’ quasi-official message board in 2002. It seems the Catholic policy is to deny this contradiction exists.]

2. If the Council Fathers wanted the "updating" of the Church as a whole why have the Eastern Catholic Churches not seen the "aggiornamento" that has swept through the Latin Church? Since the Fathers saw that the traditional Roman Rite was in essence out of touch with modern man and its expressions antiquated, why have the Eastern Churches, whose Liturgical forms are even more esoteric and grandiose than the traditional Roman Rite, been encouraged to restore even further these traditions? Why the seeming discrepancy? Was this in essence the new triumphalism? Is not the underlying signal: We will make the Roman Rite new and dynamic and the Eastern Rites relics which adorn the since-sold triple tiara of the Pontiff? Has anyone else noticed this problem?

[Me: Yes. Not only me, either: check out Michael Davies, Pope Paul’s New Mass, and Thomas Day, Where Have You Gone, Michelangelo? Both Roman Catholics, they see the same contradiction we do. So does Fr Serge Keleher (in Eastern Churches Journal), a Russian Catholic who doesn’t go along with the denial being pushed in the ranks and is willing to point out that the emperor’s starkers, folks.]

3. And if Rome desires an "updating" for us as well, how could Eastern Churches update their liturgical forms to maintain the essence of an Eastern core without betraying its identity to either a Latin/Western liturgical paradigm and yet be made dynamic, relevant and modern?

[Me: Impossible. Copying aggiornamento BS would be a BIG mistake.]

4. And if, on our side, this updating is not intended, what can that possibly mean for the future of our Communion with the Latin Church? Was the aggiornamento of the Latin Church the work of conciliar genius which will only lead to its steady growth or was it the most perilous action in Church History only to possibly lead to grave errors and schisms/apostasies?

[Me: The latter, and, to use a phrase that was hip pre-Sept. 11, that’s my final answer.]

Are the Eastern Churches the salvation of the Latin Church while she plays with holy things or will we be relegated to the history books or reduced to nothingness because we did not as Episcopal retired bishop John Shelby Spong said, "Change or Die"??

[Me: I hope the former. A very holy Catholic man, on the margins of mainstream society by his choice, once told me so, referring specifically to the Byzantine Rite - very prophetic-sounding. The last priest celebrating the last Mass in a shattering universe as Christ comes again may well be using the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom. As for Spong, that just isn’t so. As I wrote earlier, dissent is the ’60s generation’s game. Religious kids aren’t playing that. It’s Spong and his generation that changed and are dying off.]

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