Saturday, May 24, 2003

Tomorrow in church history
May 25, 735: Bede ('The Venerable'), father of English history, dies. In addition to his Ecclesiastical History of the English People (731), biographies of abbots, and Scripture commentaries, he wrote our primary source for the story of how Celtic and Roman Christianity clashed at the Synod of Whitby in 664.

Съ праздникомъ
Мы, A conservative blog for peace, поздравляем всем - и нашых самых дорогых и многолюбимых женщин словачкых, Михаилу Хадсону и Марину Белицу - сегодня с праздником (по-старому) свв. Кирилла и Мефодия, первоучителей словенских.

Happy Julian-date feast day of SS. Cyril and Methodius, Russian Orthodox and all the Christian Slavic people. The peoples of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia can thank these two Greek brothers from Salonika for giving them the written word. (They didn't invent the Greek-based 'Cyrillic' alphabet used in Russian, though - that came later.) They did, however, turn early Bulgarian into Slavonic, the Latin of Eastern Europe - the medieval literary language and still the liturgical language of Russians, who understand it about as well or badly as English-speakers do Chaucer.

Was talking to a Jewish friend last night who remarked about the survival of the Jews through centuries of persecution and foreign rule that one had to be smart to survive, and I added that the written word is central to the culture - Torah, Tanakh, Talmud (and no figural art per their interpretation of the First Commandment). An illiterate Jewish person is almost a contradiction in terms. People of the Book.

And of course Christians call God Himself the Word, ho Logos, Verbum, Слово.

Got a break from the depressing English-like weather last night (it continues today, though) as I went to hear talented friends October Project perform. 'Shout outs', in no particular order, to Emil, Julie, Marina, Dave, Urbano, Martha, Alan, Bill, Steven, Jeremy, the Reeds from Boston and Crystal (ex-Talisman)!

Today in church history
May 24, 1089 (traditional date): Archbishop of Canterbury, scholar, and church reformer Lanfranc dies. Known primarily for his development of the doctrine of transubstantiation, in which the eucharistic bread and wine become Christ's body and blood, he also educated brilliant scholar Anselm and future pope Alexander II.

May 24, 1543: Polish astronomer and cleric Nicholas Copernicus dies in Poland. His heliocentric (sun-centered) concept of the solar system was radical, though not unheard of before his time. Still, some theologians strongly criticized the theory. While not ordained to the priesthood, he participated in a religious community at the cathedral of Frauenburg.

May 24, 1689: Parliament passes England's Toleration Act, granting freedom of worship to Dissenters (non-Anglican Protestants) but not to Catholics and atheists.

From A conservative blog for peace correspondent Samer al-Batal
Sit at the back of the church
Get the feeling these people are an embarrassment to the RC authorities and aren't really welcome? Meanwhile, the chick in the story and pic yesterday gets to use a cathedral high altar, all under the watch of a supposedly conservative Pope. Huh?
Dirigatur, Domine, oratio mea sicut incensum in conspectu tuo
However, there was some good news today:
Cardinal celebrates Tridentine Mass in Roman basilica

From A conservative blog for peace correspondent Lee Penn
Vatican vs. Moscow : church politics and ‘missing letters’
Lee Penn: Are either of the players doing what Jesus would do? (Rhetorical question.)

Pathology: blaming and smearing the victims of last year’s gay-priest scandals

Vatican ties US outrage on abuse scandal to Calvinism; considers policy retreat
I wouldn't use NCR for toilet paper but a stopped clock is right twice a day. Lee Penn: Business as usual, as long as the hierarchy can get away with it ...

I agree with the worldly-wise (and even holy) European view that sacking a man over an offence committed decades ago and repented of is wrong. But what's really outrageous is when not only sex-offender ex-clerics won't own up to what they did, but the authorities themselves play games on such matters.

Снова в СССР России
McCartney serenades Putin, rocks Red Square