Sunday, November 30, 2003

Happened to see and hear her on a TV chat show recently.
• She looks great these days.
• Even though the world seems to be making fun of her (I read that she can't act and shouldn't make movies), I like the way she speaks! And that's not just because many English accents are music to my ears - her voice is far from a full-on English impersonation. It's not ridiculous or affected at all. And considering I remember 15 years ago when her (original) speaking voice sounded like (as one critic put it) 'Danny DeVito on helium', those elocution lessons have paid off.
From blog correspondent John Boyden
Implant could replace credit cards
JB: I remember a MasterCard commercial I saw seven or perhaps eight years ago. Patrick Stewart was the voice announcing, 'Imagine: a microchip implanted in your hand completely eliminating the need for cash or cards. MasterCard. It's smart money.'

Scary sh*t really.

The conversion of Dr David White
What I’m watching
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

'Stand tall on the quarterdeck always.'
From David Virtue
Just when you thought you could write off the Anglican Communion:

Province of Nigeria to set up American branch

Straw will never become gold
by the Revd Dr Geoffrey Kirk

Griswold quits ARCIC
In a way it's a good thing but I wonder - he's not sorry for what he did (making Gene Robinson a bishop) but at the same time he says he doesn't want to jeopardize ARCIC?

Episcopal Church flunks test with teenagers
The percentages for young Episcopalians are pretty high, but still...

Reminds me of a conversation I had last week with a friend, another Catholic-minded person. The ageing baby-boomer liberals in the ecclesiastical scene don't realize they're a joke (witness 'Beavis and Butt-Head' and 'South Park' - the kids are laughing at you) and have been superseded. In a way one has to admire the New Agers (boomers) and goths (younger people) who at least realize (as October Project sang) 'there's something more than this' and are seeking the mysterium tremendum, the numinous. The latter are taking fragments of a medieval Catholic culture they don't understand (nobody has explained it to them) and shoring up their ruins. If I were 15 years old, didn't know any better and was offered the either/or choice of patronizing Mr Van Driessen ('Women Are Better Than Men')* of 'B and B-H' in the pulpit and being a goth, I'd be a goth!

*Political correctness = Christianity knocked off kilter, without Christ.
What I’m watching
The Family Man
From a review: 'Carp all you want about this derivative premise, with its marginal stereotypes and biased embrace of domestic bliss and dirty diapers. The simple fact is, The Family Man works like a charm.'

Amen. Like A Christmas Carol*, Brigadoon (which I also recommend) and It's a Wonderful Life, AFAIK it never mentions Christianity but is chock full of it implicitly in its message. One can question Hollywood's sincerity here but IMO this is a Catholic story.

(Even though I live cheek-by-jowl with blue-collar types who are nowhere near as nice.)

Blog correspondent John Boyden writes:

Re: your comments on Family Man I am reminded of a
preface I read in a book from Sheed and Ward. A
collection of short stories called 'Our Father's
House' published in the very early ’40s.

The preface is by a sister who taught literature in a
Catholic university, brilliant essay, she says
something in this regard of stories being Christian or
having Christian or Catholic principles. In effect,
she says, a rosary thrown into the story or a
character going off to Mass does not make the story
Catholic, in fact it's the message. Doesn't even have
to have a particularly religious theme anywhere in it.
(Like Flannery O'Connor, for example.) Remind me to get it
for you when I'm back home again.

The collection is quite interesting. Of the 20 or so
short stories, at least 4 of them have to do with
equality of races. That wouldn't be surprising for
authors in the late (or even early) ’60s; these
stories, however, are from the late ’30s! I found that
quite interesting. I've looked into it a bit more and
I was quite pleased to see the Church in the US (or,
at least, many of those in the Church) were strongly
against segregation and discrimination... thirty years
before the Civil Rights Movement took fire.

In a similar vein, I remember reading Black Like Me
in high school. In the oppressive days of the ’50s,
the only place a black person could cash a cheque was
in a Catholic institution like a bookstore. [End.]

*Which does mention God and church - and see the Albert Finney musical version and note what Bob Cratchit has on his mantelpiece.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Stuff Bush
For his 'turkey' of a PR stunt using taxpayer money, whilst his handlers continue to 'deploy' ever more soldiers in Iraq through 2006 (at least).

Thursday, November 27, 2003

From Vesti, Russia
On the closing of the al-Arabia TV channel by the US puppet government in Iraq
In Russian.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Attacked for telling some home truths
by Robert Fisk
'Are we now to support atrocities against the "scum of the earth" in our moral campaign against Evil?' asks Fisk.

Gospel verse found on ancient shrine

Rowan Williams pleads for Anglican truce
More of the British (not just 'English' as Dr W is Welsh) trying to be British (charity knocked off its foundation) about rank apostasy - good old Anglican comprehensiveness

A former friend recently mass-forwarded an e-mail reminding people that the Henrician schism was dodgy from the start:

'The actions taken by the New Hampshire Episcopalians (i.e., inducting an openly gay bishop) are an affront to Christians everywhere. Personally, I am just thankful that the Anglican church's founder, Henry VIII, and his wife Catherine of Aragon... and his wife Anne Boleyn... and his wife Jane Seymour... and his wife Anne of Cleves... and his wife Katherine Howard... and his wife Catherine Parr... are not here to witness this shocking assault on traditional Christian marriage.'

- Letter to ed. in Tennessee

Good point, but some will say that Harry never really founded a church; he simply took the Church in England into schism in an arrangement not too different from what was going on in other European countries, only taken a step further, in Renaissance fashion. (If the timing were different, England would have been placed under papal interdict and the schism would have died with Henry.) One could say Thomas Cranmer and friends did invent a new church after this king died but even they might have denied that.

More bad news for the House of Lords
Bliar is at it again

Does the US need a federal marriage amendment?
No, says Dr Thomas Fleming

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

by the Revds E.S. Abbott, H.J. Carpenter, Dr V.A. Demant, Dom Gregory Dix, Dr A.M. Farrer, F.W. Green, A.G. Hebert, the Bishop of Southampton, R.C. Mortimer, A.M. Ramsey, A. Reeves, C.H. Smyth, Dr L.S. Thornton and T.S. Eliot

A long Adobe Acrobat document.
From today
Der britische Reich

What Tony Bliar hath wrought
Two interesting bits of old news
From nearly a year ago, from The Glastonbury Review, part of the site of the British Orthodox Church, a group that may have been of vagante origin but is now in the Coptic Church (the Church of Egypt, part of the Oriental Orthodox communion) under Pope Shenouda III (AFAIK it doesn't use the Coptic Rite, however):

Reception of Father David Sennitt
With the permission of His Eminence Metropolitan Gabriel of the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese in Western and Central Europe, Father David Sennitt, a priest of the British Antiochian Orthodox Deanery, was granted a canonical release in order that he could be received into the British Orthodox Church. This took place at the hands of Abba Seraphim at Babingley on 9 February. Father David will serve alongside Father David Seeds at the Church at Cusworth, Doncaster. [End.]

If this is true - if the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch really gave a priest its blessing to transfer to the BOC - then the schism between the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox communions is over.

Christian Unity Service at Babingley
The established annual Vespers service at St Felix Chapel at Babingley to mark this week was held on 21 January. This is a feature on the local 'Churches Together' programme and was supported by clergy and lay people from the Anglican, Catholic and Methodist churches in King's Lynn. Some fifty worshippers filled the small church, and all but lifted the thatched roof as they sang the office of the Raising of Evening Incense (AFAIK a service based on one in the Coptic Rite). Fr Patrick Radley of the Russian Orthodox parish of the Transfiguration at Walsingham was the guest preacher.

Later in the same week Fr Anthony addressed a meeting of Anglicans and Methodists at Fulmodeston Methodist Church on the subject of 'The Coptic Orthodox Church'. After answering many questions from the floor, Fr Anthony invited those present to give their response to the use of the title 'Mother of God' for St Mary. On a show of hands this was rejected by all twenty-five folk present. He then went on to enquire how many believed that Jesus was God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity. This was also rejected by a show of hands, twenty-four to one! The convenor of the meeting, a leading Methodist layman, emailed Fr Anthony later that week to say that following the discussion, he realised that by belief he was in fact a Unitarian! Food for thought ... [End.]

Indeed. How sad. It show how far things have sunk in what was the western part of Christendom. (Specifically in England, Mary's Dowry from the Middle Ages!) What's more, these weren't random people including the many unchurched - like the bloke in the last paragraph of this article, obviously modelled on real life - but 'church people' who should have known better!

Reminds me of a survey somebody conducted in America in which most responding said they were 'born-again Christians' (a kind of Protestantism, usually admirably conservative in its very basic credal orthodoxy) but many of the same people also said they believed Jesus committed sins.

Archbishop Robert Morse has said, 'Calvinism always collapses into Unitarianism' - literally true historically as the first Unitarians were apostate Congregationalists - and it seems that mainline Protestantism has been turning Unitarian for quite some time, which the Unitarians gladly note. Many don't realize that Unitarian Universalism isn't a Christian church (and doesn't claim to be), though like Mormonism (another non-Christian religion, and a quite wacky one at that) it culturally grew out of Protestantism and is still often mistaken for it. A logical terminus ad quem of Protestantism.

I would add that this shocking apostasy (or simply ignorance) reflects the temptation of western Christianity to slide into Arianism - the Germanic tribes that conquered Rome often were Arian, and one could argue that the Protestant heresies sprang up partly because the Germanic peoples never were completely 'churched'.

I personally don't think that true of England - it was Protestantized by force. An acquaintance a long time ago, the now-Revd Jack Lusted, once said he thought that underneath it all - the indifference today atop a substratum of no-popery - the English still are medieval and Catholic at heart. (Not unlike the post-Soviet Russians?) Wishful thinking or no?

I see that news page also mentions St Alban's, Holborn, where the Bishop of Fulham once preached the best sermon on prayer for the dead I've ever heard. This was the 'shrine church' Fr Alexander Mackonochie founded but it was all but destroyed in the Blitz. (That was just the building. Now with the ascendancy of Modernism it may be truly gone now.)
From blog correspondent Lee Penn
Brain scan ‘identifies race bias’
Lee Penn: A brain scan to identify racism?

The marvels of modern technology ... maybe they will use these to ID orthodox Christians, or those who harbor "anti-government" views.

1984 ... from the past to the future.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

I found this link on Sean Roberts' blog today:

Transubstantiating the culture
Andy Warhol (Андрей Вархола), Byzantine Catholic

His family came from what is now eastern Slovakia. There is a Russian cross on his tombstone.
A letter from London
Michael Davies has advanced prostate cancer.

Lord, in thy mercy: hear our prayer.
What I’m watching
Nation Within: The Story of America’s Annexation of the Nation of Hawaii

'Pa, what does "confiscate" mean?'

- from the movie Shenandoah

Monday, November 24, 2003

She's not my kind of conservative but Ann Coulter, besides being moderately attractive, deserves credit for this:

'Liberals can't just come out and say they want to take more of our money, kill babies and discriminate on the basis of race.'
Well put
I am a completely unregenerate High Tory. I believe that wealth carries responsibilities towards the less fortunate, and believe firmly in old-fashioned paternalism with every community taking care of its own. I distrust both unfettered Capitalism and Socialism, or any other system that fails to take account of original sin. Catholic socialism à la Frs Conrad Noel and Jack Putterill might be okay in theory, but in practice it might just be a little too utopian.

- the Revd Peter Robinson
From blog reader cacofonix
Queen’s fury as Bush goons wreck garden
From Virtuosity
Anglican Church of Uganda cuts tie to Episcopal Church

More from the Russian Orthodox Church regarding Gene Robinson’s promotion:

‘The Church cannot approve of the perversion of human nature’
The apostolic ministry speaks.
From today
Don’t get upset over civil ‘gay marriage’
by Charley Reese
The American pols who brought you the immorality in Iraq are trying to tease the Protestant religious right into voting for them again.

There are several acts denoted as sins that are not illegal.

So it has been since the beginning of Christendom (which is why medieval society tolerated prostitution, for example) - true conservatives realize that righteousness can't be legislated.

Protestants in particular have a problem. It was the Protestants who said: "We don't need no Pope or priest to interpret the Bible. Everybody can read it and interpret it for themselves." Well, everybody includes homosexuals. Protestants have been arguing and even fighting over interpretations of the Scripture for centuries, but again, that is a private affair and no concern of the secular state.

Exactly. Jerry Falwell and the Metropolitan Community Church, to use two examples, only represent different points on the same slippery slope of heresy.

On Kublai Khan’s visit to London
As his grand vizier bows and scrapes
by Eric Margolis
From blog correspondent John Boyden
Russians fume as Mormons try to buy souls
'The Russian Orthodox Church has expressed its outrage at what it claims is a Mormon scheme to buy up the names of dead Russians in order to baptise "dead souls" in their faith.'

Как сказать по-русски 'Yankee, go home'?

Sunday, November 23, 2003

20 ways to annoy telemarketers
Got to give credit where it’s due
A quondam online friend writing in the comments yesterday brought this article to my attention as it has a section on Vladimir Soloviev:

Feminism as antichurch
From the good folks of the Society of St Pius X. Excellent!

Sophianism seems to be another attempt to pass off decadent end-stage Western liberalism as Eastern Christian mysticism.

I can't help noticing that the venerable late Father Georges Florovsky, a Russian Orthodox priest in good standing (an archpriest, no less) who is disliked by the hateful fringe element among the Orthodox and their sectarian offshoots, is shown here to be entirely orthodox (Catholic) in his rejection of sophianism as a kind of Modernism.

He is mercilessly slagged posthumously by the online hate brigade (warning: language... the type I call 'Orthodicks' - and the phenom does seem to be largely a dysfunctional male one, probably lots of chaps angry that they can't get a date*) along with two other departed Russians, Frs John Meyendorff and Alexander Schmemann, the last of whom proved his orthodoxy by stating once re: the Anglicans' attempted ordination of women that it was 'the death of all dialogue'.

Here is an article by Fr Georges from 1933:

The limits of the Church? (Adobe Acrobat file)

A money quote:

Mark you, I do not presume to call false any Church which believes that Jesus is the Christ.

- Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow, 1831

(I think the fact that an Orthodox bishop is talking speaks for itself against any accusation of indifferentism.)

What giants among men! Personally, FWIW, my favourite form of Russian Orthodoxy would have the externals of the Church of Russia and of the Russian Church Abroad** (and a lot of their honest piety and shared stance against modernity) combined with the thinking of men like these - Catholic in spirit without the dilution and naffness too often seen among Byzantine Catholics, who too often (but not always!) come off as RC Novus Ordo liberals in ethnic fancy dress. (Fr Georges seems to use the C word similarly in his article too.) And one that would do far more for prolife, as indeed some brave souls in the Church of Russia are trying to do now in their country.

'Wisdom, be attentive': from my good friend and blog-comments contributor Keble (a solid Christian of the classical Anglican persuasion - a Central Churchman with whom I've fought about the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament):

Nobody outside Christianity is fooled by excessive differentiation, so too much emphasis on differentiation comes across as hubris (which it rather often is). And "all those heretics aren't really Christians" rhetoric labels the speaker as a separatist crank, because people can see that this isn't true in the larger taxonomy of things.

Likewise, I think there is everything to be gained by admitting that the divisions are there, but that they occur within a larger and more fundamental similarity.

A lady minister in the Church of England has spoken out on the right side of a prolife issue:

Archbishop of Canterbury gives his ‘full backing’ to prolife campaigner

Why the Revd Joanna Jepson is taking the police to the High Court
This non-priest deserves a tip of the biretta.

*Spouting theological jargon they probably don't understand and more interested in stupid church politics than God, love or spirituality.

**AFAIK, official reunion talks between the two in Russia, which ended yesterday, were most promising.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Everything you might have wanted to know about Russian Orthodox church bells and the art of ringing them
Have a listen!

‘Вечерный звоооон... (Боммммм!)’
Vatican official denies plan to make Fátima an interfaith shrine
If it is in fact a false alarm, wonderful.
Vladimir Soloviev
I read some of his writings once expecting to really like them and was underwhelmed. For all the problems these churches and people have, I found him unfair to the Eastern Orthodox.

Soloviev always referred to the Roman Catholic Church as "the universal Church."

This matches the most obnoxious things said and written by the other side!

To me this seems to be a parochial, ethnocentric misreading of what Catholic means. (Once again: not physical size and spread but rather that its basic teachings, and the thinking behind its practices, are universally applicable and beneficial to all men. A definition Anglo-Catholics are familiar with!) What I mean is not necessarily anti-Roman at all, simply that Catholic in this sense doesn't necessarily equal Roman. (Or Byzantine for that matter.) Un-Roman, if you will.
Ukrainian Catholic Church continues with plans to move HQ to Kiev
Great news for the internal affairs of Byzantine Catholics, horrible for relations between the Pope's Church and the native Church of the region, the Russian Orthodox Church.
US Army to keep 100,000 troops in Iraq to 2006
From blog correspondent John Boyden
Gen. Franks doubts Constitution will survive WMD attack
Money quote: 'Gen. Tommy Franks says that if the United States is
hit with a weapon of mass destruction that inflicts
large casualties, the Constitution will likely be
discarded in favor of a military form of government.'

JB: Well, at least we can be sure that if we do get hit
with a WMD, it won't be from Iraq.
From WorldNet Daily
Bio-chip implant arrives for cashless transactions
Very scary, kids.

Pulitzer won’t revoke New York Times 1932 prize
To a reporter who covered up Stalin’s crimes

Friday, November 21, 2003

22nd November 1963
Tomorrow will be the 40th anniversary of the death of one of the 20th century's most important people, one who inspires idealists to this day. Click the title of this entry for more about this great man.

What a friend we had in Jack, indeed.
Thanks and welcome
To new friend Advanced Calculus, Her Majesty's subject from the Dominion of Canada, who wrote in this blog's comments today and whose excellent blog is called, humorously, Dumb Canuck.
From blog correspondent John Boyden
US government hawk admits Iraq war is illegal
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
A blog from Iraq
In defence of a ditz
by Ilana Mercer
I have little idea who Jessica Simpson is (one of the characters on a satirical cartoon show?) but think similarly about Howard Stern and of course agree that:

'It has been suggested that Simpson, a successful, financially secure woman,
aspire to be more like the "brainy" babes at Fox News. What an unkind thing
to wish on her! Research has shown that the more you watch Fox News, the
more likely you are to believe that WMD have already been found in Iraq and
that Saddam and Osama planned Sept. 11 together. In other words, Fox makes
you more stupid.'

Thursday, November 20, 2003

From blog correspondent John Boyden
Modern art has been used as a torture device - literally
Why does that not surprise me?
Around 100,000 march against Bush in London
From blog correspondent Lee Penn
Totalitarianism watch: Lawmakers approve expansion of FBI anti-terror power
Lee Penn: The measure to expand FBI power was approved on a party-line vote.

"Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, introduced a motion to limit the life of the new law, but it was defeated on a party-line vote."I'm concerned about this," Mr. Durbin said in an interview. "The idea of expanding the powers of government gives everyone pause except the Republican leadership."

Republican idiots .... or worse. They have forgotten that they will not always hold the White House, and the new powers that they so eagerly grant to Caesar now will be used against them in the future. Remember Janet Reno?

Of course, the PATRIOT act would never have passed without Democratic votes, either.

Both parties are using the ancient excuse of tyranny, to gain more power for the Government.
From blog correspondent John Boyden
US demolishes houses of suspected Iraqi insurgents

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Lord mayor of London: anti-Bush protesters have moral high ground

Stop the War Coalition
Many thanks
To Pen at 'gutless pacifist' for the links!
From The Onion
Palestine appoints new Minister of Rubble and Urban Development

Speeding up Iraqi self-rule: what do you think?
Yesterday I posted a link to one story, 'Hold onto your humanity', that brought tears to my eyes and that I recommended with all my heart.

Friends, this is one of the areas where apostolic, Catholic Christianity comes into action on earth - where the rubber meets the road.

I see that:

•No-one, no, not one, has written any comments on it.
•The most active comments thread over the past few days has been about stupid ecclesiastical politics: jurisdictional fighting being waged by a small group of former Eastern Orthodox and their hangers-on. I got sucked into this argument myself.

Nothing I could write, however scathing, could indict 'religious' people of a certain bent more than the unintentional message of this.

My dear people, if that is what religion is about, then no wonder most of my generation are thoroughly secular.
From blog correspondent John Boyden
Britain: ‘BUSH, GO HOME!’
Glad to see a majority in the mother country see through him.

US RC bishops might excommunicate pro-abortion politicians

Monday, November 17, 2003

The apostolic ministry in action
Russian Orthodox Church freezes relations with Episcopal Church
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Hold onto your humanity
An open letter to GIs (highly recommended reading)
S al-B: A word to the soldiers who were chumped into Iraq.

Sympathy for the vicar
Keith Richards, closet conservative

And from today:

The (conveniently) forgotten holocaust
Seven million Ukrainians, killed by the 'good guys' in WWII - FDR's and Churchill's ally, Stalin

Why do I get the feeling that rich and powerful Americans aren't going to build monuments and museums to remember these people?

BTW, the US and British armies also violently 'repatriated' Russians against their will to the USSR - to their deaths.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Saturday, November 15, 2003

A site for Palestine
Stop the wall!
That's right - the same people who guilt the world over the walls of the Warsaw ghetto are doing the same thing to Palestinians. The site's comparison to apartheid is true too.
I like this commercial
The 'Swiffer Mom' is just adorable and I like the catchy ’80s-nostalgia sound. I read that 1) Devo never have broken up and 2) they rerecorded their song 'Whip It' for this commercial.
From blog correspondent Lee Penn
Despite Vatican opposition, some RCs support controversial United Religions Initiative
An original article by Lee Penn
Lee: Despite Vatican opposition, Roman Catholic support for the United Religions Initiative is growing worldwide.

Please post and spread this story as widely as possible, without making any changes. [End.]

Interestingly, considering this is largely RC news, The Christian Challenge is an Anglican magazine.

Catholic Support For Controversial Movement
Grows Despite Hierarchy's Opposition

[Note from me, a sub-editor in my offline life: perhaps Lee or the editor of TCC should have scratched inverted commas round the C word in that headline.]

By Lee Penn
The Christian Challenge (Washington, DC)
November 14, 2003

THE VATICAN stands firmly against it.

Nonetheless, Catholic support for it has spread worldwide, beyond the usual
array of dissident Catholic theologians, priests, and religious orders.

"It" is the eight-year-old, controversial interfaith venture, the United
Religions Initiative (URI), founded by liberal California Episcopal Bishop
Swing. Far from including only the major ancient religions, the URI has
opened its doors to "spiritualities" of all sorts, including those of the pagan,
occult and New Age genre. Some critics point to evidence that the URI will act
to distill from these many belief systems a one-world religion. Though still
relatively unknown, the URI has grown to 201 chapters and more than 15,000
adherents around the world, and has attracted some major benefactors.

At Rome in 1996, Bishop Swing received a firm rebuff from Cardinal Arinze,
who was then the head of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue.
According to Bishop Swing, the Cardinal "said that a United Religions would
give the appearance of syncretism and it would water down our need to
evangelize. It would force authentic religions to be on equal footing with
spurious religions."

Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, who worked under Cardinal Arinze (and is now
his successor), pointedly ignored Bishop Swing's invitation to attend the 1997
URI summit conference.

Since then, the Vatican has restated its opposition to the URI. In a June
1999 letter to Homiletic & Pastoral Review, a magazine for Catholic priests, Fr.
Chidi Denis Isizoh of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue said:
"Religious syncretism is a theological error. That is why the Pontifical
Council for Interreligious Dialogue does not approve of the United Religions
Initiative and does not work with it."

As the San Francisco Chronicle reported in June 2000, "Swing found that the
Vatican wanted nothing to do with his organization."

MANY CATHOLICS, however, are not following the Vatican lead. Open supporters
of the URI in the episcopate have included Cardinal Paul Evaristo Arns (the
retired Archbishop of São Paulo, Brazil), Archbishop John Baptist Odama (from
Uganda), Thomas Gumbleton (auxiliary Bishop of Detroit), and Archbishop John
Quinn of San Francisco (the retired Archbishop of that city).

William Levada, the Archbishop of San Francisco, has not officially stated
support for the URI. Nevertheless, the Archdiocese of San Francisco is--in
practical terms, if not formally--cooperating closely with the URI. Diocesan
spokesman Maurice Healey agreed that "through its actions, the Archdiocese has
viewed the URI positively." Fr. Gerard O'Rourke, director of the Office of
Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Catholic Archdiocese of San
has been an enthusiastic supporter of the URI from its beginning; he served on
the URI Board of Directors until 2002.

The Jesuit leaders of the University of San Francisco (USF) also support the
URI. Fr. John Lo Schiavo, S.J. (Chancellor of USF) served through 2000 on the
URI Board of Directors. In April 2001, Fr. Steven A. Privett S. J. (current
president of USF) praised Bishop Swing's "realization that dogma divides and
action unites" when he introduced Swing to the Commonwealth Club of San
Francisco. The Rev. John P. Schlegel, S.J., (President of USF from 1991 through
donated to the URI in 2000.

Sister Bridget Clare McKeever, director of the Office of Spirituality for the
Catholic diocese of Salt Lake in Utah, publicly endorsed the URI in 2001.

The Catholic Diocese of Oakland, California, donated to the URI in 2000--the
only Roman Catholic diocese yet to go on the record as doing so.

URI activities have also been supported by Catholic Relief Services, the New
Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, California, the Leadership Conference of
Women Religious, the Religious Orders Partnership (associated with Global
Education Associates), Pax Christi USA, and many orders of nuns.

John Borelli, Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and
Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
said in November 2002, "Since the Archdiocese of San Francisco is involved in
the URI, the Catholic Church is involved."

In March 2003, Borelli said, "My advice to Gerry O'Rourke from the start is
that all kinds of interfaith activities are beneficial and he should be
involved in the URI if he feels it is a worthwhile project." Borelli added that
there has been "no formal communication from the Vatican to the USCCB about the
URI." Thus, the USCCB bureaucracy is a de facto supporter of the URI.

Catholic support for the URI is worldwide. Five of the 37 URI Global Council
members are Catholic, including Fr. James Channan, of Pakistan (a Consultor
for the Vatican Commission on Religious Relations with Muslims and prior
Vice-Provincial of the Dominican "Sons of Mary" order), and Fr. Dr. George
(President of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of the Greek Catholic Church, in

Other prominent Catholics who have endorsed the URI include Fr. Thomas Michel
S.J. (director of the Jesuit Secretariat for Interreligious Dialogue); Fr.
Joseph Wainaina (who has been the National Pastoral Coordinator for the Kenya
Episcopal Conference); and Fr. Albert Nambiaparambil, who served in the 1990s
as Secretary of Interreligious Dialogue for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of
India. Catholics in Belgium, Brazil, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Uganda,
Zimbabwe, and other countries have taken leadership roles in local and regional
URI activity. Dissenting theologians supporting the URI include Paul Knitter
(senior editor at Orbis Books and professor of theology at Xavier University),
Leonard Swidler (professor of "Catholic Thought and Interreligious Dialogue"
at Temple University), and Hans Küng.
Sources available upon request. Permission to circulate the foregoing
electronically, or reprint it, is granted, provided that there are no changes in
headings or text.

Friday, November 14, 2003

•ISTM if it hasn't got a graphic scene of copious vomiting, it isn't 'ER'. (How do they do that? Give the poor actor syrup of ipecac? Make him watch 'Saving Jessica Lynch' before filming the scene?)
•What's scary about Romano (the vicious bald one-armed guy) is that there are workplaces where people actually treat each other like that.
•I know the audience is being primed to like him, but Luka Kovac is cool.
•I wonder if the precocious, well-spoken little boy (also pretty cool) following him around the last couple of episodes has Asperger syndrome (perhaps a future story line) - his amazing knowledge of and curiosity about medical stuff seems to be his 'special interest'.
•Of course I love the Two Londoners (as I've named them) - Alex Kingston as the tough doctor and the other one, the ethnic Indian whose doctor character is rather sweet. Didn't realize till hearing her talk about it on a chat show that Ms Kingston was 'Moll Flanders', the show that proved you can get away with showing soft porn on free TV (and PBS at that) in the States if it's an historical costumer with English accents! (BTW, yes, Alex is a very lovely lady.)
•If last night's episode was Bob Newhart's retirement from TV, what a way to go.
Why are vigil lamps lit before icons?
by St Nikolai Velimirovich
From and The Tablet
The state of religion in Britain
The Tablet is liberal but... stopped clock, you know. Bleak. A lot like I remember. Not that there still aren't a lot of fundamentally decent people around, but after all, Britain created the original version of TV's 'Coupling'.

Reminds me of the bit at the end of this article of the now-moribund Rockall Times.

Neither the 19th-century Evangelicals nor the Victorian-through-1930s Anglo-Catholics - opponents but both still Christian - managed to turn Britain around for Christ. Sad.

The Roman Catholics in Britain do not have any golden age to look back to

Hello? Uh.... the Middle Ages????

I understand the sense in which this is true. The continuity with the Middle Ages was broken - literally quite violently - the Anglicans claim all that heritage (reinforced by owning all the historic buildings and titles) and the RC Church in Britain is really a 19th-century immigrant Irish phenom (reinforced there by mucho traffic back and forth across the Irish Sea today)... a lot like in the States only more so ’cos Ireland's so close by.

A money quote:

“When people stop believing in God”, G.K. Chesterton said, “they start believing in anything.” [End.]

The new culture of “I’m a spiritual person, not a religious one”

Just like in the States. Being 'spiritual' means you can occasionally think happy thoughts but continue to try to do whatever you want.
From The Onion Dome
Insufferable blowhard signs e-mail as ‘The Unworthy Servant of God’
This man knows the online Eastern Orthodox scene - ugh!
Thanks for the link
To online Anglican new friend Laughing Linden Branch.
Fun with e-mail abuse
Today I got an abusive e-mail from somebody using the best troll name I've ever seen: Geopolitics J. Samovar!


Unless some boffin has come up with a spambot that generates fake e-mail names based on reading and targeting site content, the references in the pen name show the sender is obviously an avid reader, possibly for several years, of my original site (which had a more Russian bent - a language hobby - until the counters told me no-one read the Russian pages!) and of this blog. Thanks for the tribute, Mr Troll!

Subject: To live is to function. That is all there is in living.

Based on that I thought it was spam but the clever references in the name told me otherwise: a backhanded fan!

Content (warning: language, even after editing/censoring):

Let's be having you!

Home of big penises!

>> Despair is the damp of hell, as joy is the serenity of heaven.

Lots of huge c***s films!

>> Everybody wants to do something to help, but nobody wants to be the

10.000 of exclusive massive d**ks images.

>> The essence of justice is mercy.

Exclusive real-time penitration (
sic) presentations.

>> Immense power is acquired by assuring yourself in your secret
reveries that you were born to control affairs.

Chicks who f**k mega d**ks.

>> Character is simply habit long continued.

16" Ultra-Big in tiny ass!


[No, I didn't try to open this, and based on the filth in this man's e-mail, I don't recommend you do either.]

Na chusku

[Hello, which language is this, Ruthenian? Dobryj den’, Pan(i) Nimchek.]

I never subcsribed want to unsubscribe and abuse:

We gain our ends only with the laws of nature we control her only by
understanding her laws.
Let men see, let them know, a real man, who lives as he was meant to
To look at the cross-section of any plan of a big city is to look at
something like the section of a fibrous tumor.

This supposedly came from this e-mail address.

The Slavic and sex talk make me think this might have come from a longtime online enemy peculiarly obsessed with me. (Must be something really compelling about the messages I share here. I thought only big-name celebrities had sicko fans. I'm honoured.) Possibly the same chap who used to impersonate me on message boards and e-mail lists using bogus Yahoo and Hotmail accounts, both called oldworldrus after the original site's former domain name. (It was going to be oldworldorder - vs. 'New World Order' - but I didn't want people to think 'Nazis'.)

Sound of Music reference: 'I'm Kurt, and I like to stalk and harass other men online!'

Such is life on the Internet.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal and
Sundays in Germany
by Sabine Barnhart
The third article from the lovely Ms Barnhart about the Catholic soul of her native land.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

From today
Muslims are good folks
Like Baptists only more so
by Charley Reese
Reminds me of two other things I've read, one of which said Islam's relatively simple theology (of God without the Trinity, for example) resembled the reductionistic systems of Protestantism, like its Calvinist (similar emphasis on 'surrender', I think), evangelical and fundamentalist versions. Also, read the article by William Dalrymple (in Adobe Acrobat) among the links here. Islam also has been described as a heretical offshoot of Christianity: the Mormonism of Eastern Christianity. Friend Brendan Ross has observed how adaptive and syncretistic it has been - the mosque architecturally is a copy of the Eastern Christian church minus the icons. (Doing prostrations on a rug might have been nicked from the Orthodox too.) It's a mix of three things: pagan Arab religion (whence came polygamy - Muhammad limited it to four wives, which only the super-rich do today), Judaism and Nestorianism (now known as the Assyrian Church or the Church of the East, the native Church of Iraq, and now widely considered orthodox, not really Nestorian), the last being the kind of Christians Muhammad came in contact with personally. Muhammad may have been illiterate but if he dictated the Koran and Muslim theology then like Joseph Smith of Mormonism he was a very smart man indeed.

Quotation from Mr Reese:

The oldest Christian communities in the world are in Muslim countries. Some of the oldest Jewish communities in the world are in Muslim countries. The deputy foreign minister of Iraq is a Christian. Saddam Hussein donated $1 million to help build a Christian church in the United States. There are Christians in practically all Muslim countries, and there have been for centuries. I've said all this before, but when lies blow strong, truth bears repeating.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

From blog correspondent John Boyden
Rumsfeld retreats, disclaims earlier rhetoric
JB: Seems that 'post facto' Donald Rumsfeld is backpedaling about anything he said (even on TV) regarding WMDs before the war started.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
EU constitution faces poll defeat
The latest political stirrings from the continent famous for its endlessly repetitive referendums
In praise of ritual
‘Here's to bowing and bending, bells and candles, chasubles and crossing oneself’
by Ronald G. Luckey, The Lutheran

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

From blog correspondent Lee Penn
Soros’s deep pockets vs. Bush
Lee Penn: Hobson's choice, 2004: the neo-con crazies, with Bush et al. .... OR, the left-wing utopians, funded by Soros (who has supported the United Religions Initiative).

Just as, in the Catholic Church, we can choose between Opus Dei/Legionaries of Christ ... OR the Jesuits.

Earlier Hobson's choices were:
Pravda or Izvestia?
Hitler or Stalin?*
Hanging or shooting? [End.]

*A nonissue for Americans, as John Flynn, Charles Lindbergh and the rest of America First tried to tell them in the 1930s. 'Let the Nazis and the Soviets destroy each other - neither can invade America'.

More on Mr Bush’s family’s Nazi connection
Or where Dubya’s trust fund came from.

Lee Penn: The idea for the PATRIOT Act had to come from somewhere ...

...and this gives new meaning to the Skull and Bones club that the Bush men have been members of while at Yale.

Liturgical and theological madness
Or the worship of ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ is. And no, the culprits aren’t Episcopalians!

Lee Penn: Some of you may have read the apocalyptic novel by Michael O'Brien, Eclipse of the Sun. On pp. 475-484 (hard cover edition), the novelist describes a blasphemous liturgy, held as "the opening for the Association of Pastoral Educators."

What the novelist imagined in 1998 is now real.

Money quotes, with Lee's commentary in [brackets]:

"Two narrators read meditations on the mysteries of water, air, fire, earth, flowers, the sun, the moon, the human body, family, friendship, second chances, forgiveness, willingness to love, peace, and liberty -- to which we responded (after each meditation) with a bongo-accompanied chant: "we WRAP ourselves in MYstery; enVUELta en miSTERio.""

[My comment: how cute. Did they also cast the circle in the liturgy?]

"Father Miller began with a story about a wild Protestant minister named Hezekiah who would lead the people to the river for baptisms. "Why was Hezekiah so filled with 'it'?" asked Miller. "He was inoculated with 'it.' 'It' left its mark on him. Some gifted people experience and feel 'it' more easily than others.""It" seemed to be Father's "fresh" and "re-vitalized" way of referring to God."

[My comment: Some radicals call their god "she." This priest calls his god "it." Maybe some inventive liturgist will come up with a new name for the thing or entity they are worshipping (which is not God), and use these two pronouns together in one word.]

"There is often a graceless acceptance of Christian doctrines, and a graceless battle against the structures of evil in our human personality.""

[So "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Mt. 16:24) is out of style, or graceless. Great work, Father.]

"Father concluded with some practical advice for our liturgies. "We should not," he said, "over-plan or over-choreograph our liturgies. We need to allow them a little wiggle room.""

[My comment: snakes do need wiggle room, and so do liturgies that celebrate the Snake of Wisdom.]

"Sister Mary Boys is also active in Call to Action (though this was not mentioned at the conference."

[My comment: Call to Action is a group of liberal RC dissenters that want to make the RCC over in the image of the Episcopal Church in the USA. (Me: yes, but without the wonderful conservative medieval and Victorian English trappings. Mainline Protestantism by and for non-Anglos.) Visit their web site at Call To Action USA and A Call for Reform to see for yourselves.]

Sister asked ""How could the Liturgy pull us out of our comfort zones?""

[My comment: Silly me. I thought that the purpose of the Liturgy was to give true worship to God, and to make His sacrifice present to us, and to feed us with his Precious Body and Blood,]

Sister offered a definition of fundamentalism: ""Religious fundamentalism," said Sister Boys, "has become a serious problem in our world, not only in the Christian world, but across all religious traditions, and even within our own Catholic Church." She defined "religious fundamentalism" as "a discernible pattern of religious militancy by which self-styled true-believers attempt to arrest the erosion of religious identity, fortify the borders of the religious community, and create viable alternatives to secular institutions and behaviors." Fundamentalism, according to Boys, goes far beyond anything about which we should be certain, though she was not at all certain about what we should be certain. "If you knew," she said, "why would you need faith? Certitude and faith do not belong on the same page."So, who are numbered among the "religious fundamentalists," according to Sister Boys? It wasn't entirely clear. Fundamentalism, she said, "also seems to assume that because revelation is fixed and utterly clear, the tradition must be handed on without change. Change is to pervert the tradition.""

[My comment: Sister, the Episcopal Church Welcomes You.]

All of this is at an official RC diocesan event, for the Diocese of Monterey in California.

The leaders of this event are clearly ready for the United Religions, and perhaps even for the Maitreya.

Lord, cleanse Thy Temple! [End.]

What I describe in the following link is Catholic: per the Vincentian canon (always, everywhere and by all), meaning 'universal' but that really means not physical size and spread but rather that its basic teachings, and the thinking behind its practices, are universally applicable and beneficial to all men. What the article describes is - got to scratch in those inverted commas - ‘Catholic’.

The moral of the story: for the good of your soul, stay the hell away from mainstream RC churches in the US.
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Yard fury over Bush visit
It's a good sign that Mr Bush's handlers fear so many antiwar protesters in London. The British people have had enough of Bush, Blair and Co.'s crap.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Two from friend Jeff Culbreath at El camino real
Blasting ‘inclusive’ language
It's patronizing to women.

When PC happens to be right
Example: For instance, in the workplace some of the "sexual harassment" language can be interpreted as merely asking men to behave like gentlemen instead of pigs.

Not at all surprising! As people like G.K. Chesterton understood (before 'political correctness' was called that), PC is often simply Christian values knocked off their foundation. A ripoff or counterfeit of Catholicity!

With the above example you can see the hypocrisy of the left in action. When Fr McKenzie or Sister Mary Loretto insisted on this decorum, the baby-boomers seethed, but when women of the pro-murder persuasion rephrase it and say it, it's infallible.
Take the Austrian school of economics test
I'm no economist but have learnt enough online over the past few years that I got a passing grade even though I made a mistake hitting the answer button on one question.

Neocons hate ‘the Krauts’
Paul Gottfried sets the historical record straight:

The German Resistance, which failed in July 1944, consisted of predominantly conservative, Catholic anti-Nazis who in many cases, e.g., General Ludwig Beck, the diplomat Adam von Trott zu Solz, and former Leipzig mayor Carl-Friedrich Goerdeler, had opposed the Nazis since the 1930s. The first resistance of the old guard had developed in the thirties but failed to obtain the support of the Western Allies, which viewed any collaboration with these German anti-Nazis as a waste of time. By the time the old Widerstaendler, together with anti-Nazi aristocrats such as Klaus von Stauffenberg, Ewald von Kleist, Ulrich von Hassell, and Helmut James von Moltke, attempted to overthrow the Nazis and assassinate Hitler, they knew that they were working alone.

As the German Jewish refugee historian Hans Rothfels shows in his work on the German Resistance, unlike the other anti-Nazi (including und perhaps especially the Communist) undergrounds, his subjects encountered the contempt and suspicion of the Allies. In any case the Western Allies would do nothing that might compromise their alliance with the Soviets, e.g., by making a separate peace with the successful leaders of the Resistance. Thus the conspirators went to work with the sense that they were probably doomed. Describing such heroic figures, who died grisly deaths at the hands of the Nazis, as Nazi-collaborators, who were worrying about "real estate," is a boorish lie – albeit one worthy of a neocon lout. It was also the established lie of the East German Communists, who presented all opponents of Hitler except for the communists as fascist landowners.

So, who again were the 'good guys'?
From David Virtue today
"It seems to me that the 'extremist' elements in every church are
nearest one another and the liberal and 'broad-minded' people in each
body could never be united at all. The world of dogmatic Christianity
is a place in which thousands of people of quite different types keep
on saying the same thing, and the world of 'broad-mindedness' and
watered-down 'religion' is a world where a small number of people (all
of the same type) say totally different things and change their minds
every few minutes. We shall never get re-union from them."

- C. S. Lewis
from God in the Dock

Sunday, November 09, 2003

‘Average Joe’
The latest craptacular American TV show
Haven't watched but have had the commercials inflicted on me.

•Many of the men are actually handsome. Only a few are ugly.
•It's mean.
•Like 'Mr Personality' it's really 'Glorified Gang Bang'. It's immoral to date, make out and more w/multiple people at a time and that's what they're doing. Just like 'Joe Millionaire' is prostitution.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Case for war confected, say top US officials
From blog correspondent John Boyden
Apparently this has made the rounds of the Internet but is new to me.

Hu’s on first
by James Sherman

Starring: George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice

(We take you now to the Oval Office.)

George: Condi! Nice to see you. What's happening?
Condi: Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China.
George: Great. Lay it on me.
Condi: Hu is the new leader of China.
George: That's what I want to know.
Condi: That's what I'm telling you.
George: That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?
Condi: Yes.
George: I mean the fellow's name.
Condi: Hu.
George: The guy in China.
Condi: Hu.
George: The new leader of China.
Condi: Hu.
George: The Chinaman!
Condi: Hu is leading China.
George: Now whaddya' asking me for?
Condi: I'm telling you Hu is leading China.
George: Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?
Condi: That's the man's name.
George: That's who's name?
Condi: Yes.
George: Will you or will you not tell me the name of the new leader of
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he was in the Middle
Condi: That's correct.
George: Then who is in China?
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Yassir is in China?
Condi: No, sir.
George: Then who is?
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Yassir?
Condi: No, sir.
George: Look, Condi. I need to know the name of the new leader of China.
Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone.
Condi: Kofi?
George: No, thanks.
Condi: You want Kofi?
George: No.
Condi: You don't want Kofi.
George: No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk. And
then get me the U.N.
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N.
Condi: Kofi?
George: Milk! Will you please make the call?
Condi: And call who?
George: Who is the guy at the U.N?
Condi: Hu is the guy in China.
George: Will you stay out of China?!
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at the U.N.
Condi: Kofi.
George: All right! With cream and two sugars. Now get on the phone.
(Condi picks up the phone.)
Condi: Rice, here.
George: Rice? Good idea. And a couple of egg rolls, too. Maybe we should
send some to the guy in China. And the Middle East. Can you get Chinese
food in the Middle East?
Remembrance Sunday
Requiescant in pace

Dulce et decorum est’
By Wilfred Owen: a thought both for Remembrance Day and the present war

‘I survived the trenches — and would never go back’
Jack Davis, 107, remembers being a British soldier in WWI
Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to make first official visit to Russia
To talk to the Church of Russia. It looks like a schism is about to end.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Friday, November 07, 2003

From blog correspondent Lee Penn
WW3 watch: plans for regime change in Iran
Lee Penn: This was several months ago; our rulers still cannot decide whether to hit Syria or Iran next.

Rumsfeld’s Dr Strangelove - Keith Payne says 7,000 warheads aren’t enough

From blog correspondent John Boyden
News from the American Life League re: Terri Schiavo
Bishop Lynch [the RC ordinary] of St Petersburg is publicly seeking Terri's death. In a homily recently, for which he received a standing ovation, he publicly said her parents should let her go to God. But Terri isn't dying so the only way she can go to God is by deliberate dehydration and starvation.

Bishop Lynch has not allowed his priests to speak out in favor of Terri's right to be fed, but he has priests now releasing statements calling her parents selfish for daring to defend her and saying they should let her go to heaven. [End.]

Ethnic population trivia
From the 1990 US Census
According to this site, ethnic groups from the British Isles make up about 34% of Americans. Doesn't the 13% given for English seem too low? German-Americans, as I'd learnt earlier, are the largest non-British group and probably have been since colonial times. (In a fit of anti-British sentiment the new United States considered making German the official language!). Slavs make up about 6% of the total according to this list, though it hasn't got any percentages for people from ex-Yugoslavia. The No. 1 Slavic group, not surprisingly, is Polish, at just under 4 percent. (Dzien dobry, Chicago!) Though it's hard to believe if you've been to Brighton Beach in Brooklyn or to Northeast Philadelphia, Russians only made up 1.2% in 1990. I wonder if that number has shot up, as the USSR has collapsed since then and immigration has gone up. Not listed on this site: blacks, originally from various west African countries, are about 12% of Americans.
Audio: interview with now-Mgr Graham Leonard
Quondam Anglican bishop of London and now an RC priest
From Forum 18
Belarusian government backs Church of Russia vs. schisms
This goes against the libertarian and American ideal of complete religious freedom (which Catholics would interpret as giving the truth free rein to flourish) but unlike these religious-liberty watchdogs I have to admire Belarus for backing the church of that land, the Church of Russia, vs. groups trying to set up altar against altar (incidentally going against Orthodox canon law) there. The Russian Church Abroad is Orthodox too but I should think they would have learnt their lesson about setting up rival churches in the Russias after the Bishop/Metropolitan Valentin fiasco blew up in their faces.
The holy souls
by Fr Franklin Joiner

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Letter from Bishop Richard Williamson shortly after Sept. 11
Fátima to become interfaith shrine
'...the Shrine is to be developed into a centre where all the religions of the world will gather to pay homage to their various gods.'


The shrine at Walsingham is nominally in the Church of England and wouldn't consider doing such a thing.

Nor would any Eastern Orthodox shrine.
Vatican aims to create ‘sacred vernacular language’, official says
As they say in the States, well, duh. Why reinvent the wheel (other than to try to save face)? In English all they have to do is see the King James Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, the Anglican Breviary and the Anglican or English Missal. It's been done.
Two movies show how low TV, and viewers, have sunk
by Jonathan Storm
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Christian families in Iraq targeted
S al-B: More of the same: Muslim fundies are moving in, making conditions worse for the Christians who decide to stay put.

Some soldiers would rather desert than return to Iraq
A Vietnam War veteran opines, 'If everything else fails, people should desert, just as George W. Bush did during the Vietnam War.'

Pope meets Putin but does not get long-sought invitation to Russia

S al-B: This one's a heart-warmer.

Compliments of your friendly neighbourhood father-turned-adventurous-webslinger:

Spiderman ends ‘£5m’ crane protest

S al-B: Now there is an example of a real Pop--disrupting entire areas of London for his little daughter. Good show, sir! Seriously though, I can't approve of his causing chaos in that sort of manner, but I toast his strong dedication to a good cause.

Final link:

So pastoral care and Christian charity translate to confirming practising homosexuals in their sinful behaviour by way of a 'blessing'? Logical as ever.

Anglican bishops allowing clergy to defy ban on gay prayers
From David Virtue today
And what Dr. [Earle] Fox did not describe, and, because he was rudely
interrupted, couldn't, were the practices of fisting, golden showers,
and mud rolling, all of which necessarily entail contact with human
waste. You can get not only AIDS from this behavior, but about 40 other
STDs transmitted by sexual promiscuity, mostly from anal sex, one of
the most popular and appalling homosexual practices.

If he had gone that far [ECUSA Presiding Bishop Frank 'Skippy']
Griswold would probably have had a heart attack
and his miter toppled to the ice rink floor, because, as Fox's
description indicated, it makes no more sense to encourage your child
to explore homosexuality than to play in the toilet
, and for the same
reasons. The consequences for both are predictably disastrous.

The truth is no one wants to talk about behavior because it destroys
the romantic, " it's all about love" and "committed" notions,
perpetuated by pansexualist propagandists, and pounded into us, day in
and day out by television, the Internet, movies and more.
From blog correspondent Lee Penn
WW3 watch: China-Japan relations worsen; silly incidents, real interests conflict
Lee Penn: Put the story in context:
•China has claimed the right to make pre-emptive strikes; Taiwan has done the same. Both are increasing their armaments.
•The Japanese are building up their own army, and discussing dumping the "peace" clause of their constitution.

And now this .... [End.]

Cult watch among RCs: power of Opus Dei increases in Vatican

Canadian arrested by US, sent to Syria for torture till makes false confession
Lee Penn: From the Inquisition in 1492 to the Kremlin in 1937 to the USA in 2002 ....

Oh, I forgot. We're the good guys ..... [End.]

This well could have been friend of the blog Samer al-Batal!
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Baghdad made last-ditch try to avoid war
There you have it - Mr Bush's handlers, the world's schoolyard bullies.
Brent Bozell rubbishes ‘Jesus was married’ drivel
Съ праздникомъ
Our Lady, Joy of All Who Sorrow (Russian Orthodox)
An anniversary
By the grace of God I, aged one month, was received into Holy Church by baptism through the Anglican Church 37 years ago today.

St Leonard
Today's Book of Common Prayer saint

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Chicago’s Russian Orthodox cathedral celebrates centenary
I understand this is in a Slavic part of town: in about a three-block area, there is this (Holy Trinity Cathedral), St Vladimir Cathedral (Ukrainian Orthodox - the cathedral church of the wonderful Archbishop Vsevolod), St Nicholas Cathedral (Ukrainian Catholic), and SS. Volodymyr and Olha Church (Ukrainian Catholic - old calendar/traditional).
The Prayer Book Society’s blog
by the Revds Dr Peter Toon and Louis Tarsitano
Rome’s chief exorcist: revised exorcism rite ‘a farce’
From blog correspondent John Boyden in Rome
TV news does story on ‘Da Vinci Code’
First read this story - about the secret society of descendants - about 20 years ago. About the only noteworthy item here is lovely reporter Elizabeth Vargas.

JB: More 'thought provoking' news articles, this time on the 'The Da Vinci Code'. The old saying that 'a little knowledge is a dangerous thing' applies here. The article even admits that the book is "partly grounded on historical fact." Well, what's the rest of it based on? fiction? the author's imagination?

I see Richard McBrien is still kicking (and still not for our team) and is one of the 'theological experts' interviewed who, of course, supports the unfounded claims of the author. [End.]

Why, yes, it looks like Dick is a heretic.

Photo: the wonderful world of Haitian voodoo (voudou)
In a word, aaaaaaaagh! Awful.

JB: I imagine this woman is, or soon will be, regretting the inroads paganism has made into Catholic devotional practices. Maybe just saying a rosary would be a better way for her to assist the souls of the departed. Besides, I dont think what she's doing carries a 'toties quoties' indulgence. [End.]

Yes, but I think these syncretistic Caribbean and South American religions - voudou and santería - have been around for centuries: the continuation of African religions such as that of the Yoruba people plus perhaps many years of poor catechesis.

From EWTN: Government forces mother to teach ‘gay is good’
The postmodernism generator
Instant academic essay!
To Fr Richard Sutter and St Luke’s Church, Colorado Springs
Bush to sign partial-birth abortion ban
Even if it's for the wrong reasons - the Republicans cynically trying to play the Protestant religious right and the Catholic vote to get re-elected ('you prolifers have nowhere else to go') - of course this is a good thing. And I think since Mr Bush is after all a sincere evangelical Protestant (Methodist, actually), he may mean it and this time be right.

Reminds me - 'Law and Order: SVU' on American TV last night took a potshot at prolife but was relatively fair in the end. As a man I couldn't help noticing that the show's producers got very attractive (aquiline Northern European-looking) actresses to play characters arguing for the wrong side: 'Melrose Place''s Josie Bisset and the still-beautiful Mariette Hartley as her lawyer, though I found the latter appropriately shrewish parroting the secular world's child-killing propaganda. The side of the angels was represented by a rude lout husband who, natch, tried to rape Bisset, and, for fairness' sake I suppose, a good performance by Shirley Jones as a prolife lawyer who worked with a fictional Catholic group called Agnus Dei.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Story on Emmanuel Convent and the wall in Bethlehem

Israel’s concrete plan to choke Bethlehem
From a Labour MP, Gerald Kaufman
From The Onion this week
Americans demand increased governmental protection from selves
Funny/sad but true.

‘What do you think?’: Unrest in Iraq
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin (a Sept. 11 survivor)
An raibh réamheolas ag Iosrael ar ionsaithe 9-11?
In Gaelic, which Dave speaks. Translation: Did Israel have foreknowledge of the Sept. 11 attack? Refers to an article by Neil Mackay in the last issue of Scotland's Sunday Herald.

Israelis seen filming WTC attack

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Съ праздникомъ
Our Lady of Kazan
From blog correspondent Lee Penn
World War III watch:

North Korea on the borderline: Asia Times does China a favour
From Rome correspondent John Boyden
US government advertising online for Selective Service board members
JB: Ummm... quietly getting the draft board warmed up?

Note that the government site's address is the mendacious '', as if they agreed with me about the proper job of the military.

Antiwar activist charged with ‘misusing phone’ to protest to US
JB: Getting Orwellian, are we?

Anglican Communion divided over ‘gay’ bishop
From the BBC

The Independent on the protesters
Including Fr Earle Fox

Tough South Philadelphia RC schoolgirls pummel flasher in street
JB: The nooz an' awl. 'Yizzle hafta face dem scoo gars from Greddy 'n coort an' all. It deaunt look good fer yiz.'

Bones from unearthed Philadelphia cemetery end up in trash
JB: 'Dey barr hope dem beaunes ain't no rel'divz a dem garrs from Greddy.'
St Augustine was not a proto-Protestant
by Joseph Willcoxson
Our Lady in orthodox Lutheran thought
From this amazing site, sort of the confessional Lutheran version of Anglo-Catholicism, as is this wonderful place, Zion Church in Detroit.

Zion Church is part of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. This, from James Nuechterlein, who belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), definitely parallels A-C experience today:

Most of us ELCA Lutherans of “evangelical catholic” sensibility experi­ence a curious dichotomy in our religious lives. We are thoroughly satisfied with conditions in our local congregations, and thoroughly unsatisfied with conditions in the larger church. (That is just the reverse of what I hear from my conservative Roman Catholic lay friends, all of whom rejoice in what the pontificate of John Paul II has meant for Catholicism at large but many of whom find the banal homilies and slovenly liturgical practices in their local parishes difficult to endure.)
Meet the Oriental Orthodox Churches
A photo album
Putin visits Pope to boost Orthodox-Catholic ties
How to read a vagante website
Translations of vagantespeak into plain English

'We are an Eastern Orthodox church with valid lines of apostolic succession™' - We're not really Eastern Orthodox. (Vagantes might as well have a patent on the emboldened words.)

'We respect conscience' - 1) We're gay, 2) We're an annulment mill/wedding chapel for hire target-marketing the divorced, 3) We allow artificial birth control, 4) Father left the RC obedience to get married.

'We follow the tradition of...' - We copied some of this church's usages but aren't really members of this church.
From Slate, 31st October
About the word Catholic
by Michael McGough
Very interesting — echoes this in a way!
In October, a Fulton County judge entered a consent order that permanently enjoins the "Misión Católica: Capilla de la Fe" (Catholic Mission: Chapel of Faith) from "representing themselves to be a part of or associated with or sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta or Archbishop John Francis Donoghue."
An advantage of copyrighting the word would be that vagantes (episcopal fakers) couldn't get away with using it. I'm not sure if these fellows were vs or simply con men passing themselves off as RC.
Of course, "Catholic"-especially when the "C" is capitalized-has other connotations besides "universal." As a result of the 19th-century Oxford Movement in the Church of England, some Anglicans began to identify themselves as "Catholics" in the sense of incorporating Roman Catholic rituals and vestments (what some called the "rags of popery") in their worship. To this day some so-called Anglo-Catholic churches are "more Catholic than the pope" in the sense that they preserve older practices (like priests celebrating Mass with their backs to the congregation) that have been suppressed in post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism. Some High-Church Anglicans even offer prayers during Mass for the pope (and for the patriarch of Constantinople, for good measure).
Even the presence of "Roman" in a church's name doesn't guarantee a connection to the Vatican. According to the Web site of the Old Roman Catholic Church in North America, schisms in its flock produced the Old Roman Catholic Church in North America-Diocese of Michigan and the Central States; the North American Old Roman Catholic Church; and the Old Roman Catholic Church-Diocese of Florida within the Historic See of Caer Glow (!).
Vagante phonies — usually (almost always) born-RC clergy wannabes who are 'gay' and/or New Age.
Lest that litany seem fantastic or facetious, consider the "Catholic Mass" celebrated every Sunday evening at the Episcopal church in my Dupont Circle neighborhood in Washington, D.C. The Mass is sponsored by Dignity, a group of gay and lesbian Catholics that takes issue with the Vatican's condemnation of homosexual acts.
Obviously based on content (scripture is clear on homosexuality) this group has no right to the big-C word in any of its meanings! Just like what just happened in New Hampshire can't be called Christian.

Speaking of which, David Virtue reports today:
Archbishop Peter Akinola, head of the 17.5 million-member Anglican Church of Nigeria, the largest Anglican province outside of England, came out swinging in an interview on Nigeria state radio. He said he would boycott all meetings at the global level attended by the Episcopal Church.

"We can no longer claim to be in the same communion," Akinola said. "We cannot go to them and they cannot come to us. We will not share communion. ... We have come to the end of the road."

David also reports regarding the 'Orthodox' bishop who was at the New Hampshire ceremony. As I thought, this chap is a vagante, not a real Orthodox prelate:
I MENTIONED IN MY LAST DIGEST ABOUT THE APPEARANCE OF A representative of the Orthodox Church. Virtuosity can now confirm that the prelate was the Auxiliary Bishop of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Paul Peter Jesep. A little sleuthing by an orthodox person turned up this "prelate" and discovered he is a member of an American outfit, non-canonical, recognized by no Orthodox Church in communion
with Constantinople, or Moscow. The Episcopal Church is also checking what ecumenical relationship, if any, it has with this church. Virtuosity apologizes for any inference that it was either a Greek or Russian Orthodox Church representative. Both churches eschew homosexuality.
Caption for the portrait on that vagante site's main page: 'I was a teenage metropolitan'.

Kenyan Anglican Church excommunicates Episcopal Church

Inclusivity without transformation is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. It will break God's heart.
— from a statement read at the Gene Robinson ceremony by Meredith Harwood, St Mark's Episcopal Church, Ashland, NH, USA

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod on homosexuality
by Dr A.L. Barry
Excellent, but:
Thus Christian citizens will work to enact laws that reflect Biblical truth in regard to homosexuality.
As a libertarian citizen I say that freedom works both ways — freedom for ultimate truth to flourish but also the right to be wrong. As a wise friend said to me recently, the government can't legislate righteousness. I don't want the government snooping around in people's bedrooms — it only becomes the law's business if it becomes a public health hazard. However, regarding 'gay marriage' I'm with Dr Barry.

Earle Fox’s uncensored New Hampshire speech
It's very telling that Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold cut him off midsentence — the secular world and its ecclesiastical imitators know the game is over if normal people realize how disgusting this stuff is. (Or, why Eric McCormack never is shown actually engaging in such activities with other men on 'Will and Grace'.) I find it odd he didn't mention AIDS — nature's payback. (Literally, it's not nice to f**k with nature.)

Signs things are different now in New Hampshire
Episcopalians there might notice a few changes...
  • In Rite II, 'Hosanna in the highest' is replaced with 'Faaaaaabulous!'
  • Cosmopolitans become an option for Communion.
  • TV's 'fab five' are invited to help renovate the cathedral.
By the way, I know well that there are men with this orientation/temptation who don't go in for such foolishness at all and instead like my kind of religion, at least for the æsthetics.