Monday, June 30, 2003

From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Exorcist calls for crusade against occult

AS in the mainstream media
Caught part of one of the better US TV programmes last night, one of the 'Law and Order' series (the one with Vincent D'Onofrio), and got my hopes up when I found the writers had discovered Asperger syndrome and incorporated it into the plot. ('Law and Order' does a lot of 'ripped from the headlines' detective stories, thinly disguised stories copied from the news.) While mainstream awareness of AS is usually a good thing, and the show's researchers got a lot of their facts right, unfortunately the writers misrepresented it, as well as perpetuated the stigma against mental illness, by making the AS sufferer a murderer. First of all, AS isn't a mental illness - no more than being dyslexic or colour-blind. (They're glitches in the way the brain is constructed and works.) Second, most people with mental illnesses and nearly all people with AS are not criminally violent. A sufferer is no more likely to hurt you than your neighbour who wears glasses!

The commonest mental problem associated with AS (but not directly caused by it) is depression - an understandable reaction to living with undiagnosed AS for years, which most sufferers do (it wasn't recognised as a diagnosis until 1994).

Kids today with AS, on the other hand, have it made - they've got parents and teachers who understand and get them into special classes at a young age to get them started on the right track.

Some societal changes are good!

Death notice: Dr Vince Eareckson
David Virtue reports from Rosemont, Pa., that an acquaintance of mine, Dr Vince Eareckson, died suddenly of a heart attack yesterday, aged 59, while riding in a car on his way to Sunday Mass at the Church of the Good Shepherd, an Anglo-Catholic congregation. I am fairly sure I heard him say once that he was a Baptist minister before he became an Anglican. Requiescat in pace. Jesu, mercy; Mary, pray.
I thought I should write and tell you all that our brother in Christ
and my dear friend Dr. Vince Eareckson died Sunday on his way to church in the back seat of a car driven by friends. He was rushed to Springfield hospital suffering from a heart attack, but apparently nothing could be done for him. Vince was 59.

He was a good and godly man who cared deeply for the church, The Episcopal Church. He was extremely well educated having earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University. He was knowledgeable about the history of the Episcopal Church and understood the nuances of the canons and constitutions and their interpretation. He was very perceptive about
the big picture of Anglicanism. He was a very thoughtful, bright, insightful, knowledgeable and humble servant of Jesus Christ. He was a significant commentator on the Anglican scene and had his own LISTSERV.

He was a theologian in residence at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, PA where Forward in Faith North America had just completed its 15th Annual Assembly.

I saw him for the last time there yesterday. We exchanged greetings. He was bright and cheery, with no known medical problems.

Vince had a great sense of humor. He was mightily amused by Washington Bishop Ronald Haine's vast right-wing orthodox conspiracy speech from two years ago, and took the VROC as his handle.

He will be sorely missed by those who knew and loved him, especially this writer.

Following Fr. David Moyer's Presidential Address as the Sermon at the FIFNA Annual Assembly where Vince and I sat just a pews apart, this hymn was sung. It is a fitting tribute to him.
Lord, forever at thy side, may my place and portion be;
Strip me of the robe of pride, clothe me with humility.

Meekly may my soul receive all thy Spirit hath revealed;
Thou hast spoken, I believe, though the oracle be sealed.

Humble as a little child, weaned from the mother's breast,
By no subtleties beguiled, on thy faithful word I rest.

Israel, now and evermore, in the Lord Jehovah trust;
Him, in all his ways adore, wise, and wonderful, and just.
May light perpetual shine upon him and give him peace.
Fr Chrysostom Frank and the Ruthenian Catholic mess
The shabby treatment given Fr Chrysostom Frank and his new Russian Catholic congregation in Denver by some Ruthenian Catholics*, including on their quasi-official message board, is very telling. It roughly parallels that board's running me off a long time ago. To recap, Fr C, a pastor, was driven out of a Ruthenian church in Denver for being 'too Eastern'. They really do feel threatened by Fr C and his brand of Byzantine Catholicism. He's what their propaganda says they are and what Rome says they should be - but what they wilfully aren't. That those people 'diss' somebody as respectable as Fr C speaks volumes. And of course the Ruthenian online peanut gallery hates people like blogger Sean Roberts (a new Catholic and member of Fr C's new church) - they're good conservative Catholics and expect Eastern Catholicism to be Eastern. How dare those interlopers! Don't they know the object of the online Ruthenian game is to mix liberalism with ethnic snobbery?

On CINeast, Mary Lanser seems to have got the Ruthenian mess sussed: link.

Yuck. No wonder their seminary is nearly empty. One point where I disagree is I don't think there is any Catholic plan to hand the Ruthenians over to the Orthodox. A pretty cockamamie scheme considering both Roman Catholic ecclesiology and the Ruthenian reality and I think if somebody did try to pull that off, the Ruthenians would react by self-destructing - namely, the rank and file would all go Roman Rite, the high-church minority probably would become Orthodox (as quite a number of online ones already are) and that would be the end of it.

*Most of the rank and file I've known in person are nice, profoundly Christian people who don't act like the types one sees online.

From today
On ‘Sex and the City’
by Shelton Hull
I've never seen it, but Mr Hull describes the vicious circle of this evidently damnable show - it both mirrors and fuels the most uncool secular world.

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