Saturday, July 31, 2004

From the Ship of Fools board
Only four English Missal parishes in England?
Most of us know that four churches in England still use the English Missal. At All Saints’ [North Street], York [been there - great place] the Roman bits of the canon are said silently, but the Prayer Book parts are perfectly audible.

What is the practice at the other three churches?

In the unlikely event that shipmates have forgotten where they are, they consist of

St Chad, Toller Lane, Bradford
St Luke, Southport
[not the friendliest place in the world, I understand, but at least they're sound in theory]
Great Torrington, Devon
O tempora.

Makes this kind of religion almost as rare in England as Russian Catholic churches in the US (more on Russian Catholics). Four parishes apiece in countries much different in size.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Good show
I'll be a commander-in-chief who will never mislead us into war.

I don't want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God's side.

- John Kerry in his acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination for US president

How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?

- John Kerry before the US Senate in 1971 after being in combat in Vietnam

But lest we forget another Democrat who ran as a 'peace candidate':

Doomed to repeat
Forty years ago, political deceptions plunged the US into war. A Navy pilot from New Hope, Pa., whose photographs helped escalate conflict in Vietnam, wants you to know the same thing happened in Iraq.
From The Onion
What do you think? The 9/11 Report

Thursday, July 29, 2004

From Pontifications
How to market a boutique church
ECUSA's niche as 'that gay liberal church' (and upper-class) makes it a boutique, doesn't it? But I think that may be self-limiting for the same reason it may be for the Unitarians.

From Pontifications' comments:

When my dad became Unitarian a bunch of decades ago, it was still necessary for a socially acceptable person to be a “churchgoer.”
Which is why Unitarianism started in the first place, in the 1700s - a 'church' that outwardly looked like Christian churches but was a social cover for the atheists, agnostics and other freethinkers ... like Thomas Jefferson.

When he eventually realized, some time in the 90s, that that reason had evaporated, he didn’t take long to quit.

Why exactly someone would bother with the New Unitarian Church aka ECUSA is beyond me.
A punto.

I have defined Episcopalians, in a humorous set of Definitions that offends everyone equally (including me- as I said, I offended me so bad that I will never talk to myself again), as “Unitarians with a Trinitarian liturgy.”

I find it ironic that the ECUSA is already a step behind the trendsetters of the culture you describe. They are pushing for same-sex marriages, not blessings of same-sex unions, and they know the difference. I can’t see them terribly impressed with our same-sex blessings. Once again, we are two steps behind the zeitgeist. I expect the ECUSA will still draw disaffected liberal Catholics, but not too many of the secular “yuppies” you describe. They may be amused by our present conflict, but not impressed with our relevance.

“The Church which is married to the Spirit of the Age will be a widow in the next.” (W. R. Inge)

“The Church always seems to be chasing after the train that’s just left.” (Karl Barth)
And from the Orthodox tradition, a different approach to the usual ones in these discussions but 100% Catholic. Wisdom, be attentive:

Reading the Post article it amazes me I made it as long as I did in the mainlines where religion has become the grand enabler. I was reminded first off of Fr. [Alexander] Schmemann’s short book on the sacraments, where he described the gospel not as help, but as transformation. Salvation not only being unlike a form of help, but totally opposed to it.

The brightest and best educated people I know are either churched or secularist. As someone previously mentioned, the secularists, at most, find the Episcopal church’s antics silly or amusing but largely unworthy of their attention. The church-going individuals (by which I mean ones who take it seriously and make it their business to know what is being put forth as Christian doctrine and belief) recognize when they are being deceived, manipulated and subject to contradictory leadership.
Having seriously dated somebody hard on the wrong side of a lot of these matters of faith I know that's entirely true: the churches' compromises to try to please such people don't impress them at all.
From Ecclesia Anglicana:

Selling your soul
For political success. This blog isn't recommending Messrs Kerry or Edwards for canonization but that's irrelevant to the election.

From Dave Brown. Sorry it's so long but I didn't get a link:

Ways abortions are done
The following contains quotes from a current medical journal article on
abortion techniques. Some of the descriptions are chilling to read. It is
not for the squeamish.

The July 1, 2004 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology (Volume 104, number 1)
contains the article "Methods for Induced Abortion," as part of the
"Clinical Gynecologic Series: An Expert's View" (pp. 174-185). The article
was prepared by Phillip G. Stubblefied, MD, Sacheen Carr-Ellis, MD, and Lynn
Borgatta, MD, MPH of the Boston University School of Medicine, Boston
Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Some quotes from the article:

"The Alan Guttmacher Institute reported 1,313,000 legal abortions for the
year 2000, an abortion rate of 21.3 per 1,000 women aged 15-44 and an
abortion ratio of 24.5 per 100 live births. This paper will review methods
for abortion used in the United States, describing common techniques in
detail." (p. 174)

"Methods for Abortion in the First Trimester
Vacuum Curettage
Vacuum curettage (also called suction curettage or uterine aspiration) is
the most common method of abortion in the United States. By recent
convention, procedures performed before 13 menstrual weeks are called
suction or vacuum curettage, whereas similar procedures carried out after 13
weeks are described as dilation and evacuation (D&E)." (p. 175)

"The necessary dilation of the cervix can be accomplished by mechanical
cervical dilation with tapered cervical dilators of the Pratt or Denniston
design, by hygroscopic dilators such as laminaria, or by
prostaglandins...Vacuum curettage, performed with a 6-mm flexible cannula
and modified 60-mL syringe, has been used worldwide since the 1970s.
Initially, manual vacuum aspiration was used only at 6-7 menstrual weeks.
However, manual vacuum aspiration is effective in pregnancies as early as 3
menstrual weeks. Preoperative ultrasonography, careful inspection of the
aborted tissue, and follow-up with serial a-hCG titers ensure complete
abortion and allow early diagnosis of eptopic pregnancy. Manual vacuum
aspiration is as safe and effective as electric vacuum through 10 weeks of
pregnancy." (pp. 175-176)

"Medical Abortion in the First Trimester
Three highly effective regimens for early medical abortion are available in
the United States: 1)mifepristone (RU-486) with misoprostol, 2) methotrexate
with misoprostol, and 3) misoprostol alone." (p. 177)

"Approximately 85% of women starting medical abortion with
mifepristone/misoprostol administration, but for a few, expulsion of the
pregnancy will take several weeks. Vaginal ultrasonography is customarily
performed to ensure that the uterine cavity is empty. Presence of an intact
gestation with cardiac echoes 2 weeks after start of medication is
considered a failed abortion. If a gestational sack is present but no fetal
cardiac activity is present, the patient may elect to simply wait for
expulsion, take more misoprostol, or have surgical evacuation. If medical
abortion fails, surgical termination is advisable because there is possible
risk for fetal malformation from misoprostol and from methotrexate." (p.

"Second Trimester Abortion
...In the 1970s when abortion became legal throughout the United States,
abortion after 12 weeks was generally accomplished in hospital by labor
induced with intra-amniotic hypertonic saline. Practice changed rapidly
after a series of articles from the CDC demonstrated that second-trimester
D&E procedures provided in out-patient settings were safer than the labor
induction methods as then practiced. In 2000, D&E was used for 99% of
abortions at 13-15 weeks, 94.6% at 16-20 weeks, and 85% at 21 weeks or

"Dilation and Evacuation"

[Different techniques for dilating the cervix to the necessary size are

"Instrument technique for uterine evacuation varies with gestational age and
with the preference of the surgeon. At 13-15 weeks, evacuation is readily
performed with vacuum cannula of 12-14 mm diameter, with ovum forceps used
as an adjunct, or the surgeon may prefer to use forceps as the primary
instrument and use the vacuum only the end of the procedure. The 16-mm
cannula system (MedGyn, Lombard, IL) allows evacuation with the vacuum
curette alone through 16 weeks, but at 17 weeks and beyond, even this
large-diameter aspiration system is not adequate by itself. Forceps
evacuation becomes the primary method and vacuum, the secondary." (p. 179)

"A further evolution of technique is the intact D&E procedure. This involves
2 or more days of laminaria treatment to obtain wide dilation of the cervix.
Then an assisted breech delivery of the trunk of the fetus is accomplished
under ultrasound guidance, and the calvarium [the upper domed portion of the
skull] is decompressed and delivered with the fetus otherwise intact.
Federal legislation passed in 2003 to ban so-called "partial birth
abortions," although nominally appearing to be aimed at "late term"
abortions by intact dilation and extraction, is worded so broadly and
vaguely that it appears also to make intact D&E illegal at any gestational
age and may threaten standard D&E as well...." (p. 179)

"Hern has developed a combination D&E technique useful for later procedures.
After multistage laminaria treatment over 2 or more days, 1.5--2.0 mg of
digoxin are injected into the fetus under ultrasound guidance, the membranes
are ruptured, and intravenous oxytocin is started (167 mU/min). An assisted
delivery is performed after a few hours." (p. 180)

"Labor Induction Methods" (p. 180)

"Use of Feticidal Agents. Transient fetal survival is a problem with all
prostaglandin methods. To prevent this and to shorten the interval to
abortion, feticidal agents are commonly used. These include 60 mL of a 23%
saline solution, intra-amniotic urea, ultrasound-guided fetal intra-cardiac
injection of potassium chloride, and 1.0-1.5 mg of digoxin given either as
an ultrasound-directed intrafetal injection or just into the amniotic
sac....It is likely that the use of feticidal agents reduces the induction
to abortion interval and improve efficacy, but this has not been subjected
to a controlled trial." (p. 181)

"Selective Fetal Reduction
In cases of multifetal pregnancies, selective reduction by means of
ultrasound-guided intra-cardiac injection of potassium chloride is used to
avoid the risks of extreme prematurity for the surviving pregnancies. In a
series of 3,513 women treated in a multinational study, fetal loss was
higher at first and fell as the operators gained experience." (p. 182) [End.]

Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer.
From blog correspondent John Boyden
The real RC renewal
The one that Vatican II scuttled

I've read a good percentage of the V-II docs myself, and I haven't found a single truth in them that wasn't expressed before the Council with much more clarity and force. But even these truths are hard to find: most of the Council docs seem to consist of fluff and flattery that is already embarrassing to read a mere forty years later.

Catholics are better off simply ignoring V-II. The Council itself really imposes a choice: live as though the entire Faith must be "reinterpreted" for the modern world, and therefore ignore the older voices completely, or ignore the Council and live by the clear and unambiguous teachings of the perennial Magisterium.

- Jeff Culbreath, El camino real

Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky)

From blogforlovers

Happy birthday (1865), Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky)
The Polish count who became the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church for half a century, dying just before full Soviet occupation of his western Ukraine and also remembered for trying to save Jews from the Holocaust.

Recommended reading: Metropolitan Andrew by Fr Cyril Korolevsky ( Jean François Charon), translated by acquaintance Archimandrite Serge (Keleher). Not only a bio of the beloved metropolitan but a comprehensive, and fair for the time (except Fr Cyril's bias against married priests), history of the Byzantine Catholic churches.

Some Catholics are called East like him. He should be their patron saint.
LRC pick from yesterday
An antiwar Protestant right
By Bill Barnwell

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin (Gaelic speaker Daithí Mac Lochlann)
The Spoof: George Bush adds Ireland to axis of evil
Sure and begorrah!
Tell me why
'You're always window-shopping but never stopping to buy' as Judith Durham sang back in the 1960s. Many of you visit my book-pick links but few buy the books, even cheap used paperbacks.

Click here to order almost any book, CD, DVD, toy, etc. you want and you can help keep this blog going. Thanks!
From Touchstone’s blog via blogforlovers
Fr Pat Reardon on ‘liturgical renewal’ talk creeping in among the Orthodox
The single exception ...was a disappointing lecture on “liturgical renewal” by a professor from one of the Orthodox seminaries. The material was essentially the same shortsighted nonsense that the Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans were forced to endure thirty or forty years ago.

We clergy, three quarters of us adult converts to the Orthodox Church, sat in sackcloth and inwardly groaned like pelicans in the wilderness, while a life-long Orthodox liturgical expert explained to us at length that Orthodox worship “no longer speaks meaningfully to modern man” and suggested ways in which an established panel of his cronies and clones might bring their expertise to bear on this crushing problem of Orthodox irrelevance to American life. They would pull our worship up to date and make it more meaningful to the refined sensibilities of contemporary society.

•The last time anybody really believed this crap in the West was about 30-40 years ago.
•I would dare the speaker to find a church person under 45 who does now.
•Look at the results - empty churches and more unchurched people.
•The people who push this stuff really don't get it - they think people who work in grey office cubicles want church to be like that. Often they don't have to live that way themselves - they're clergy and/or tenured professors, not corporate wage-slaves. No, human nature doesn't change and it's really no different from the industrial slums of 19th-century England, those dark satanic mills where the first Anglo-Catholic priests brought material relief and, more important, a spiritual alternative with lots of colour and joy. So it should be amid these dark satanic mills.
From Ecclesia Anglicana
Father, bless!

The blessing of the Lord!

Worth a thousand words: the apostolic ministry at work, in the Orthodox tradition*

*Redesigned for your viewing pleasure
From Lee Nelson
Evelyn Underhill against the ordination of women
She was a Modernist, regrettably, but at least she got some things right
More on the 'prayer is good for you' topic:

Religion, spirituality may cut down hospital time
P.J. O'Rourke (a shill for the US Republican Party but a funny guy - met him once!) wrote that 'spirituality' is for people who are prosperous... they think they don't need God. (Like Taylor Marshall's observation on celebrity infatuation with Kabbalah: 'You can still believe in God and appear to fit into traditional Judeo-Christian mores, while at the same time engage in promiscuous sex with other Hollywooders'.) When things get tough, out goes fluffy 'spirituality'; people turn to religion.
From Mike Russell
This week George W. Bush's campaign site's front page has no pictures of Mr Bush but does have a big graphic featuring John Kerry's handsome face.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

From Ecclesia et mundus (now merged with Katolik Shinja)
Former Lutheran minister Jennifer Ferrara defends the Catholic view of the sexes and the apostolic ministry
Thanks to Pope John Paul II's theology of the body

According to John Paul, men and women were not created essentially the same. Masculinity and femininity are not just attributes; rather, the function of sex is a constituent part of the person. Men and woman both express the human but do so in different and complementary ways. Believe it or not, this was a radically new idea to me.

Which is why the constant substitution in speech and writing of 'gender' (an artificial grammatical construct) for 'sex' (not just intercourse but something innate and immutable, masculinity and femininity) is pernicious. Those behind this change don't do it just because the meaning of 'sex' in English has narrowed and makes people giggle and blush.
It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world
Somehow I didn't think that was an Olympic medal event - the secular world's massive dodge of reality is even here.
You have to sign up to read these (sorry)
Iraq vet becomes soldier for Kerry
Army captain wrote term paper criticizing the war

In Boston, blogger reputation gets a boost
Teresa Heinz Kerry
So much for Camelot, Mk II
More cult follies
Bogus bishop also a currency smuggler
Christians fear persecution in new Iraq
Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer
Like watching a dear friend drink or dope himself into oblivion
From this RC-related article:

Yet concern about the teaching of Catholic doctrine is wide spread. I have heard it expressed in the most diverse circumstances. During a trip to Moscow in December 2001, Metropolitan Kiril, the number two man in the Russian Orthodox hierarchy, told me he was "worried" about the orthodoxy of modern Catholic theology. Professor Jaroslav Pelikan, renowned for his study of the history of Christian doctrine, told me in the summer of 2002 that he was "alarmed" by the "superficiality" of much modern Catholic theology - and by the way Rome appeared to countenance various theological trends which contain heretical tendencies. "I am quite concerned about Rome", he said. And even in Rome, a number of Vatican officials have expressed to me privately their concern about the lack of profound orthodox Catholic doctrine in many parts of the world.

The good metropolitan, whose name in Russian and Slavonic is spelt with two l's (Кириллъ) and who is in charge of the Church of Russia's eparchies and exarchates abroad, and the good professor (a born Lutheran of Czech or Slovak heritage who quietly became Eastern Orthodox a few years ago) get the Catholic vs. 'Catholic' thing and rightly suss that much of what is passed off as RC is really mock-inverted-commas 'Catholic'.
From Katolik Shinja
Be a cypherpunk for free...

Just discovered the wonderful world of proxy sites:
Love the intro text for this one.

Or 'how to read Blogger/Blogspot blogs when your workplace (or in Joshua's case, adopted country, South Korea) has blocked them'. Can't log onto Blogger to post using them (that's their nature - leave no trail, and of course logging in is the opposite of that) but they work fine for reading other blogs. Thanks, Joshua!

Monday, July 26, 2004

LRC pick
The myth of the peace-loving liberal
'Make war, not love': Thomas Woods on the real foreign policy of the Left.

'American imperialism is, at its roots, a left-wing disorder rather than a conservative impulse.'

Or why it pisses me off when today's warmongers are called - and call themselves - conservatives.

The Spanish-American War lasted a mere three months. The humanitarian aspect—namely, liberating Cuba from Spanish rule—was bound to appeal to progressives. And support it the progressives did. Feminist leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton was typical: “Though I hate war per se,” she wrote, “I am glad that it has come in this instance. I would like to see Spain … swept from the face of the earth.”

Stanton had a point regarding women's rights - she was what Christina Hoff Sommers calls an 'equity feminist', for fair play and equal pay - but this remark is very telling. Liberalism meets bad old-fashioned protty American anti-Catholicism: the black legend of Spain.
From Virtuosity
Analysis: Pope courts Russian Orthodoxy
By Uwe Siemon-Netto
Хорошо. that the pontiff will give back "Our Lady of Kazan" as an unconditional gesture of reconciliation is considered highly indicative of the current state of ecumenism, Vatican sources say. It is seen as further evidence that despite Alexei's intransigence, John Paul has given greater urgency to unity with Orthodoxy than with Western Protestantism.

The latter's "tendency to succumb to secular fads has become so irritating that our relations cooled considerably," a Catholic ecumenical officer in Germany told United Press International.

The Kazan icon hangs across from the pope's desk in his Vatican apartment. It had disappeared from Russia in 1918 shortly after the Bolshevik revolution and turned up in North America, where it was bought by a Catholic organization called Blue Army of Our Lady in Fatima.

The image was to be handed back when Russia converted, a development the Virgin Mary is said to have prophesied in 1917 during an apparition in Fatima, Portugal, which is now a Marian shrine. Catholic conservatives strongly object to the icon's return at this point, saying that Russia had not converted.

But the pontiff has made clear in recent years that reconciliation with the Eastern Church had top priority.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Visiting Centralia

Where I’ve been recently
Upstate/central Pennsylvania
Took a relaxing drive to the tiny town of Centralia (more below), through 'God's country' of winding roads, green wooded hills and little coal-mining villages with wonderful Victorian architecture. If you want to feel good specifically about the Byzantine Rite, and can't make a паломничество to Russia, this is the area to travel through - Frackville, for example, has as the church in its high street a towering gold onion-domed Russian Orthodox church, dedicated to the Ascension. (Complete with Vespers Saturday night as is their custom.) It also has a fine Ukrainian Catholic church dedicated to St Michael and, two blocks over, St John's Polish National Catholic Church (an 1890s immigrant schism), a low-profile 1960s building that looks like an attempt by innately conservative people to copy the Novus Ordo to be 'with it' but without the hand of liberal bureaucratic oppression over them.

The little village of St Clair, southeast of Frackville, is as dense with churches as the city of York, England! Several RC ones - probably one for each ethnic group as well as the default-Irish one (get there at the right hour and you can say the Angelus - no, they don't ring it - saying each Hail Mary in front of a different church!) - and a slew of Byzantine ones on both sides of the fence. The landmark one, the tallest and prettiest (you can see it from Highway 61 just west of town), is Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, almost as nice on the inside too - a trio of onion domes and three-bar Russian crosses which the old-time immigrants weren't afraid of using. Over the door is the very properly Byzantine and Slavonic Благословен грядый во имя Господне (Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord). (It looks a lot like SS. Peter & Paul Russian Orthodox Church, in Centralia until the 1980s.) The Ruthenian church at the other end of town, St Mary's, has what I call a 'spite cross' on its steeple, with the bottom bar straightened out to distance themselves from their religious and cultural heritage. (Part of the mistaken notion of latinization - bastardize your rite because you think it's 'less Catholic'.)

Holy Trinity and St Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church (at right — more below) in Centralia (a beautiful landmark on a hill on the north side of town) were the best churches of the trip.

It was a beautiful day, sunny and not too hot.

The only smoke I saw in Centralia was coming from behind the yellow house (one of about eight scattered houses left on a grid of mostly empty streets - a Twilight Zonish aspect) as it appeared the guy who lived here was having a cook-out on a grill! (He also flew the Polish flag - nice touch.)

Fine little houses (the brick buttresses holding some of them up are cool too - they originally were rowhouses), neat as two pins - there's definitely pride of place there.

The veterans' memorial with the bell is in great shape. A man was mowing the grass around it on a little tractor. Here is another shot of the memorial and the townsfolk as they were in 1992.

It really is like a park! (I understand that once or twice a year a bear runs through.)

The fire seems pretty well contained - just a swath of grey, dead fallen trees by St Ignatius Cemetery and the cracked part of old Highway 61, like a scar marking the south side of town. I didn't go onto the cracked road - well marked off by white 'Underground Mine Fire' warning signs with red letters - but did drive by the fire spot once. There are actually three houses practically next to it.

St Mary's cornerstone is in Ukrainian, partly obscured: ___ька гр. католицька церков в Центрели. ро. 1911 (___ Greek Catholic Church in Centralia, in the year 1911). The obscured word is probably Руська: Rusyn or Ruthenian, sometimes translated as Russian.

It looks like it's the village church but it really isn't: Centralia was historically Irish and RC (and a meeting place of the 19th-century early labour union/terrorists the Molly Maguires); its parish church, St Ignatius, was closed and torn down in the 1990s.

What struck me was the empty streets and steps leading nowhere that were on the hill on my way up to the church, as far as possible away from the fire!

What the hell was the government thinking in the 1980s, scaring those people away and tearing down their homes? Sad.

From an interview online:
According to Lamar [Mervine, aged 88, the mayor of Centralia], $1.5 billion worth of coal lies buried beneath Centralia. The families currently living in town own the mineral rights. If the land were cleared of homes, the state could sell these rights to a major coal company. Hence the government exaggerated the danger in the 1980s, declared eminent domain, relocated a thousand people, and destroyed empty houses to prevent anyone from returning. “If there’s no more people in town here, I don’t know who’s going to stop them,” Lamar concluded.

As he spoke, his wife Lana climbed down the stairs into the living room. “The government don’t give a damn,” she chimed in. “They’re no good themselves. I don’t care who hears me.” She settled into an easy chair. “The fire isn’t under the whole town, like they make it seem. Oh, they like to tell lies. They think that they can scare people out. We don’t scare easy. We’re just a bunch of dumb Dutchmen — we don’t know enough to be scared. You get so sick of it after a while, you know. Pestering and pestering for nothing. They’re nuts. They tell you those fumes are bad for you and all that junk. We don’t stand up there and breathe that stuff.”
Went as far as Aristes to the north (a town smaller than St Clair) and coming back down the hill got a good view of Centralia, including the patch where the fire is or at least used to be.

Hang tough, Mayor Mervine and co. - you've got a good thing.
From blogforlovers
St Sharbel Makhlouf
And a favourite book on him, chock full of quotations from the Desert Fathers

Regrettably the Maronite Church today is the most modernized liturgically of the Eastern Catholic churches (I know - I've been once), having lost most of its traditions in the centuries after restoring contact with Rome in Crusader times. Worse off in that regard than most Byzantine Catholics.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal (shown here with his mum at the Eastern Orthodox shrine and convent of Said Naya in their native Syria)
Vandals mount new attack against Rome

No way to grieve
Sorry, The Spectator makes you sign in to read their stuff

S al-B: How mourning and British society's response to death have lost their form. [End.]

Reminds me of Dianamania right after her death. (Yes, she was dazzling and is missed.) Who was best qualified to say what was appropriate re: displaying mourning, HM the Queen who had known Diana Spencer since she was a little girl or the sobbing masses who'd never met her?

That said, I like the epitaph of the late Dinah Shore - a fine singer, beautiful woman in her day and apparently a nice person all round - something like 'Those who knew her loved her - and so did millions who never met her'.

Polish excavation in Syria sheds new light on ancient cult
S al-B: Concerning the cult of the god Mithras.
LRC picks
Erasing the South
Reminds me of my visits to yankeefied Raleigh, NC, not only made so by uni students and corporate transients (what a godawful way to live) but - having seen the statehouse - rewritten/erased by Reconstruction.

Come on, America, you’re choosing a president, not a date
Thank you. Reminds me of what sometime friend and RC apologist Mark Bonocore - who bogglingly accepted the Novus Ordo and much else that came down the pipe but was more revanchist ('ancient-minded') than me in other ways - said about women and the vote (opposition to which is not the official position of this blog, but anyway), that they tend to vote for the handsome candidate who seems like he'd take good care of them. Charley Reese's advice is for such (of course not all) women.

You make a mockery of self-government if you allow demagogues to influence your vote on the basis of phony issues. The real threats facing the United States are not homosexual marriages or even legal abortions. If you allow people to persuade you to cast your vote based on those two issues, you are wasting your vote, because I guarantee that the politicians, regardless of what they say now, will not do anything about either one of them. These are scarlet fish.

Finally, you are making a mockery of self-government if you allow your vote to be influenced by concerns for a foreign country. And yes, I'm directing this to the Israel-first crowd, both Jew and Christian. The election in November is for the president of the United States, not the deputy prime minister of Israel. If you love Israel more than America, then by all means emigrate, join the Israeli Defense Forces and do your part. We need a president who will make his decisions based on the best interests of the United States, not those of Israel (or France, or Japan, or any other country).

A punto.

Friday, July 23, 2004

From St Stephen’s Musings (Karl Thienes)
The Buddhist-Byzantine Christian connection
He's not the first one to see the affinity people from Buddhism have to this particular rite and tradition of the Catholic faith.

(Or, as it is known to us who are récherché archaic in young-fogey fashion, an Oriental rite. Of course it's not as in East Asian, and not to be confused with the similar Oriental Orthodox, formerly called Monophysites - the Churches of Egypt, Ethiopia, Armenia and the Syrian Rite of which the Church of India is part - but the point here is that the old name may have a point!)

A page from a couple of years ago, transcribing a conversation on Usenet among Western (white, black, etc.) former Buddhists who felt at home in Eastern Orthodoxy:

From Buddhism to Orthodoxy

I have Alan Watts' The Supreme Identity on what friend Charley Wingate calls the woo-woo shelf of my little library but haven't read it yet. He shares the honour with Paramahansa Yogananda, Joseph Campbell, Ram Dass, Richard Bach, Robert Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - I read it; big f*cking derivative deal) and a couple of obnoxious little tracts by whitebread converts to Eastern Orthodoxy basically trying to screw over their former church.

He strikes me as very credible and thus very dangerous because he knew the Catholic faith very well as he was an apostate Anglican priest.

This bit rings true though:

Since writing The Supreme Identity I have travelled over much of the world and have witnessed the religious observances of many traditions. It has struck me that if one pay no attention to the meaning of words, most forms of temple-doings are essentially the same - chanting, bowing, candles, incense, gongs and bells - from the peyote ritual of the Oglala Sioux [I think that's done by some Southwestern desert American Indians and not the Lakota, actually] to the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Paris, and from the Abbey of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome to the Daitoku Temple in Kyoto... This is why one must become again as a child to enter the kingdom of heaven...

At face value that's not indifferentism (though doubtless that's what Watts was getting at) but rather a recognition of the commonality of natural religion. No problem.

In Not of This World, about sometime Buddhist convert Fr Seraphim (Rose)*, Fr Damascene (Christiansen) had Watts well sussed (Eugene Rose knew Watts in the 1950s) as the prototypical New Age dilettante, disrespecting the Asian religions he exploited (swamis reminded him their religion has rules and stuff) as he became a kind of hippy guru, ending up by his own admission an unhappy drunk who didn't like himself when he was sober.

I live in two rooms in an Edwardian house not counting the bath/WC: the front, the original living room, is naturally dark and very European-looking (like in England where of course it's overcast a lot); the back room where I'm writing this is in contrast bright and lends itself well to austere Asian décor. A Japanese wood-and-paper screen hides most of my bed and a big example of original Chinese calligraphy (all I know is it's a poem every Chinese child learns in school) hangs right above this computer (hooray for 10-foot walls). To one side along one wall is a shelf with a couple of icons of Our Lady and a blue votive light (on an antique silver stand got for next to nothing secondhand)... and below that is one of those little fountains with rocks in a bowl, with the Chinese ideograph for 'serenity' on the bowl. Fitting: my baptismal certificate is right above, framed on that wall above the icons.

*The favourite page from my original site of people in Eastern Europe, interestingly enough: Greece, Russia and Romania.
The riddle of the Romanovs
Aussie researcher says the bones aren't them

Translated by Zaghid Yusoupov

A Middle Eastern name russified with the -ov. Wonder if he's related to the late Felix, the gay prince who murdered Rasputin, famously trying several means in quick succession before throwing him into a river.

Anastasia again
From Pravda
From Forum 18, those pesky Norwegians with a point about religious liberty
Government of Red China blocks religious websites
Chinese web-users are denied access to a range of religious sites based abroad, Forum 18 News Service has found after a two-month survey of how far the Chinese government's Golden Shield firewall, used to censor the Internet, affects access to religious websites. Sites blocked include those related to the persecution of Christians and other religious faiths, the Dalai Lama, the Falun Gong religious movement, the Muslim Uygurs of Xinjiang and a number of Catholic sites, including the website of the Hong Kong diocese and the Divine Word Missionaries in Taiwan.

Bulgaria: Police raid Orthodox churches
Bulgarian police have forcibly expelled members of the alternative Orthodox synod [sic] from some 250 churches they have been using for over 10 years, causing deep concern in Bulgaria, although one government official has defended the expulsions to Forum 18 News Service. The police raids follow a long-standing split in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and a controversial religion law favouring one side in the split. Baptist pastor Theodor Angelov, general secretary of the European Baptist Federation, was blunt in his support for the ousted Orthodox parishes. "We have full sympathy for our Orthodox brothers and sisters. This is a very difficult moment for all the Churches and the whole population of Bulgaria." He told Forum 18 that he condemned what he regarded as communist-style methods not seen in Bulgaria since the end of the communist period. "Using violence in a time that pretends to be democratic is unacceptable."

The Orthodox often are the bad guys in Forum 18's coverage so when they do seem to favour them it's usually some group in schism, not the actual Orthodox church of the Eastern European country in question. While repugnant to countries that - in theory at least - have religious liberty, what Bulgaria is doing is explainable. First a recap of basic Catholic ecclesiology - one bishop, one city, and schism is a sin. An 'alternative Orthodox synod' is a contradiction in terms.

I reckon Mr Angelov would like to 'divide and conquer' to get a Protestant foothold in his native land.

Moldova: Why can’t Muslims or Russian Orthodox Church Abroad register?
Muslim and Orthodox communities have been repeatedly denied state registration, despite the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad winning a case against the government in the Moldovan Supreme Court. Two of the communities have told Forum 18 News Service that they have now appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The ECHR fined Moldova in 2002 for denying the Romanian Orthodox Church registration, and the government subsequently registered the church. Unregistered religious communities can be fined, and they cannot hold a bank account, publish literature in their own name, or build a prominent place of worship. State officials have refused to tell the communities or Forum 18 why the registration applications have been repeatedly refused.

Again, setting up altar against altar is wrong according to the internal discipline of the Orthodox as it is in the Catholic faith in general. Either the Church of Russia or the Church of Romania can claim Moldova (Romanians whose land, Bessarabia, is a longtime part of the Russian empire and who are now independent.) The USSR has been gone since 1991 so the presence of the Russian Church Abroad, a US-based group for exiles from the USSR, in the бывший Союз (ex-USSR) is problematic ecclesiologically.
From Mike Russell
Neocon Krauthammer: ‘Strike before Iran’s nukes get hot’
MR: This latest nugget of neocon lunacy comes to us from former Walter Mondale confidant turned Fox News warhawk Charles Krauthammer.

Dr. Krauthammer (a physician and psychiatrist turned self-professed political pundit and sofa Samurai), you may remember, is one of the folks who warned us ominously that showing The Passion of The Christ would cause spontaneous, anti-semitic uprisings in cities across America, in which thousands of innocent Jewish citizens would potentially be killed or injured. So, we should obviously listen closely to what this prophetic and insightful gent has to say.

Sorry Charlie, the body count from Gibson's Passion is still holding steady at zero. Of course, if people like him get their way, (Krauthammer urges the U.S. to now pre-emptively attack and invade Iran, since, well, they MAY develop nukes at some point and, besides, we're in the neighborhood)... there will be many thousands more dead Americans on foreign battlefields and in our own streets.

Let us pray that the Bush administration will finally stop listening to people like Krauthammer, who -- like almost every other ex-leftist turned neoconservative war zealot -- have never worn a uniform or experienced the horrors of combat first hand, and finally start listening to those who have. [End.]

Better still, get rid of the Bush administration.
From Ecclesia Anglicana (Taylor Marshall):

Babies are left- or right-handed aged 10 weeks in the womb
An LRC potpourri
Young men of the Old Right
Murray Rothbard explains the latter

Neither were many of these libertarians "Protestants." Meyer and Chodorov were Jewish, Mencken was an atheist, and Nock, although a lapsed Anglican minister, could hardly have belonged to any of the sects that Miles, in his obsolescent way, identifies with the Calvinist Protestants who were supposed to have ushered in the spirit and institutions of Western capitalism.

Robert Taft, the man who should have been president

The party-line version of American history: a parody

Rather like what the average Protestant-manqué American thinks is Christian history: in the beginning there was God, and then there was Jesus, who was His Son, whatever that means, and then there was the Bible, coming from somewhere, don't know where, and everything was great, but then those Catholics (cue the menacing incidental music here - duh-duh-DUMMMMM) showed up and loused it all up. (The churched go on to say 'until [name the venerable founder of one's sect here] came along and restored it'.)

Never mind the PC bollocks:

Taking sex differences seriously
Telling men not to become aroused by signs of beauty, youth and health is, as David Buss has noted, like ‘telling them not to experience sugar as sweet’. Using MRIs to examine young men’s brains as they look at beautiful women, researchers found that feminine beauty affects a man’s brain at a primal level – similar to what a hungry man gets from a meal or an addict from a fix.

Of course! That's how God made us. Which is partly behind the ubiquity of soft-sell advertising, putting a beautiful face and/or figure in an advert for no other reason (nothing directly to do with the product!).

Debate with a ‘Christian statist’
Like the Bushistas who occasionally pop into the comments boxes here

Pentagon tries to shove Abu-Ghraib into the memory hole

End the two-party monopoly

By US Congressman Ron Paul, MD (Texas)

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Two prolife entries from David Holford
Babies killing babies
How the government fuels modernity's big non serviam re: sex

Nazi eugenics redux, or ‘designer babies’
Only the 'fit' deserve to give birth, Margaret Sanger said
9/11 commission blames ‘failure of imagination’ and ‘institutional failings’, not government
Mistakes were made. I did not have sex with that woman. What is 'is'? Semper idem.
US Marines kill 25 Iraqis in Ramadi clashes
•Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer.
•Which part of 'Yankee, go home!' isn't getting through?
LRC picks
Blaming the boomers
I'm not of the 'let's emulate the 1950s' school of conservatism - both romantic young fogeyhood (’50s revivalist: 'Pansy!') and romantic yet practical granola conservatism (’50s fetishist: 'Beatnik!') fall well outside this model - but this has a point

The church of Bush
Bizarro world
From blogforlovers
Population earthquake hits Germany
Gerard Bugge: Europe is oh so comfortable, oh so progressive, and oh so sterile.

It ages and wonders where the retirement benefits will come from. But no one seems to think it might be good to have more children. Except the immigrant and convert Muslims! [End.]

Allaaaaahu akbaaaaaar!

Today in Christian history (From Christianity Today)
July 22, 1822: Johann Gregor Mendel, the Austrian monk and botanist who discovered the basic laws of genetic inheritance, is born.

July 22, 1844: The Rev. William Archibald Spooner, English clergyman and educator, was born. He lent his name to the verbal lapses called Spoonerisms, which involve the comic reversal of consonants. Instead of "our dear old queen," he is said to have called Queen Victoria "our queer old dean."

Gerard Bugge: [Know] Any [more] good "spoonerisms"?????

Hee hee.
Et introibo ad altare Dei

Et introibo ad altare Dei: an ironing-board/card-table-, burlap- and guitar-free zone

Where I got started in the Catholic faith, part II
The actual place, St Peter's, Kansas City, may have modernized as friend and Central Churchman Charley Wingate pointed out, what with their 'mission statement' about being 'diverse' and all that (could be worse - the place where I was baptized nearly 38 years ago has since had a lady rector!) but places like what it was 25 years ago still exist. Like this one, the parish of fellow blogger Taylor Marshall. Not high - I remember having Morning Prayer as the main Sunday service twice a month like them - but not inimical to that either, and at least Christian and conservative. It was high churchmen in this setting who pointed me in the right direction.

On my coming to ripe years of reason I did not shift my opinion from one to another but carried out the principles delivered to me... Just as the seed when it grows is surst tiny and then gets bigger, but always preserves its identity, not changed in kind though gradually perfected in growth, so I reckon the same doctrine to have grown in my case through gradually advancing stages. What I hold now has not replaced what I held at the beginning.

- St Basil the Great

One reason I can say that is my Sunday-school teachers didn't press or even teach the objectionable (Protestant) stuff in the back of the Prayer Book. I memorized all the names of the books of the Bible, in order, and read a bit of the obscure minor prophets (like the book of Amos one summer), but also learnt about all seven sacraments, etc.

This could be seen as an argument in favour of Newman's on the development of doctrine too.

Incidentally and ironically I got this quotation from a beautifully made book, The Lives of the Three Hierarchs - the founding fathers of Byzantine theology, SS. Basil, Gregory Nazianzen and John Chrysostom - printed by this cult's Colorado monastery back when they were under some dodgy Greeks (not the actual Greek Orthodox Church), all of six years ago. The work of people who are quite mad, and dangerous, but in spite of themselves remaining quite Catholic except for basic ecclesiology/episcopal and monastic polity (obedience, stability).

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Onion picks
Rumsfeld humiliated as US credit card is rejected

Infographic: the Democratic convention
Eastern Churches news

Metropolitan Laurus

First hierarch of Russian Orthodox Church Abroad celebrates jubilee as priest
Поздравляем! Господь Бог да дасть ему и многая и благая лета!

I understand he is a very nice man (borne out in this photo-gallery link that Samer al-Batal sent me). A young woman recently told me, 'He used to baby-sit me'. The abbot of a thriving monastery made the time to be a child-minder.

Historical notes/corrections:

•Bulgaria has a good claim to be 'the cradle of Slavdom' as well.
•For all the Byzantine Catholics' problems historically, most of the good metropolitan's native land, far eastern Slovakia, and ethnos, Ruthenians (western Ukrainians without the nationalist bent), became BCs starting in 1646 because of pressure from their then-Protestant ruler, not RCs.
•A few families and villages like the Škurla family (the metropolitan's) remained Eastern Orthodox.
•Of course the Austrian Empire that owned Ruthenia encouraged the BCs - not different really from the religious conformity encouraged nearby in the Russian Empire. Minority faiths were treated relatively well by the Hapsburgs; religious liberty wasn't handed down in Russia until 1905.
•After the Austrian defeat in World War I, Ruthenia very briefly - less than a year? - was a nation complete with flag (dark blue horizontal stripe on top, red on the bottom) and national anthem, 'Подкарпатськи Русини' ('Subcarpathian Rusyns'), written in the 19th century by a BC priest, Fr Aleksandr Duchnovič. In 1919 Ruthenia voted to join Czechoslovakia and disappeared from the map.
•The Soviet Union annexed the eastern part of Ruthenia during World War II; this is still the Transcarpathian oblast' forming the far southwestern corner of the Ukraine. Its people are Ruthenian BCs, not Ukrainian Catholics. A former girlfriend's family came from here, immigrating to Ohio in America from Perečyn in 1905.
•The Communist puppet government of Czechoslovakia banned the BCs in 1950 (besides being anti-religious they feared a church controlled from outside the country that they thus couldn't co-opt); during the 'Prague Spring' of 1968, a break from Soviet control, almost everybody in far eastern Slovakia voluntarily became BC again.
•The metropolitan's early life resembles Pope John XXIII's, also remembered as being very joyful, who IIRC entered a junior seminary when he was 11.
US death toll in Iraq hits 900
Be careful what you wish for - you may be stuck with it
LRC picks
Neocons want to murder Iran
Those mad buggers want World War III

How I survived government schools

Banned on the Ship of Fools
Position statement on homosexuality
Written two years ago. Re-read it last night and didn't see what was wrong with it - why should one mortal sin become a protected class?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Designer of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor dead in double suicide
I know it's wrong but think I understand the temptation to 'Kevorkian' oneself if faced with painful, deadly illness or Alzheimer's. Still, he had done so much.
From Charley Wingate
More cult follies
This cult again. LOL.
Today in history

Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the Moon, July 1969 AD. We came in peace for all mankind.

- Plaque left on the moon, 20th July 1969
Planned Parenthood promotes kinks and porn
My father sells all of the condoms
My sister sticks them with a pin
My mother, she does the abortions
My God, how the money rolls in...

The song of mainstream society.

Of course chaste teens aren't good business. Got to keep those passions - good and bad, natural and unnatural - inflamed 24/7.

Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Bishops plan his and hers Church
S al-B: Via Fr James Tucker's blog. The issue of female clergy rears its head again.
From Virtuosity
Thump, thump, thump... another one bites the dust
And if you want to know just how theologically bankrupt the church is,
read what the weekly newsletter from St. Mary the Virgin [in Manhattan], a famous
Anglo-Catholic church in the DIOCESE OF NEW YORK, which in recent years has
become a heaven
[sic] for gay people. The Rector, Stephen Gerth says: "The
Episcopal Church is famously a Christian community where Scripture and
tradition alone do not define our faith. Reason along with Scripture and
tradition does too. We don't have to pretend Peter was the first pope -
or that anyone alive in his day thought he was. We don't have to pretend
that the Bible is literally true - we believe it reveals to us what we
need to know." Of course.

From being a place that celebrated Marian feasts and meant it to Unitarians with liturgical affectations, in only half a century. (Ditto St Ignatius on the West Side.)

Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer.

'And another one gone and another one gone - another one bites the dust' as talented late friend-of-Dorothy Freddy Mercury sang.
He’s going to attack Iran
Just like Iraq - imply or lie about some connection to 9/11 and feed it to the Fox News-watching proles
Mr Blair faces another Commons inquiry
About the lies re: Iraq
A mixed blessing
US losing Protestant majority
Protestants are only 52% of Americans. The country could be turning into something worse. Then again it simply could mean more people from Protestant backgrounds changing from nominal Protestant church memberships to unchurched - just like a former girlfriend's parents. Born in 1960 she was a nothingarian - never baptized, nothing.

Monday, July 19, 2004

From The Onion Dome
Greek patriarch to guest-star on ‘The Simpsons’
Tee hee. Might actually happen - me-too marketing after +Cantuar's appearance - if an ethnic Greek became US president. Ho-pah!
From Mike Russell
What the Protestant neocons want you to think
MR: Here's is a sample of some of the information that well-meaning evangelical and fundamentalist protestants are currently circulating and apparently whispering... (or perhaps shouting) into the Bush administration's ear. You will probably find it instructive, if not troubling to see that this peculiar ad-mixture of faddish "rapture"-based eschatology and secular ambitions of empire building have apparently come together in an unwholesome alliance that, to all appearances, is presently shaping our current foreign policy.

While the desire for the Jewish people to have a safe and secure homeland is, of course, admirable and praiseworthy, it would appear that Palestinian Christians, our long-suffering brothers and sisters in Christ (who, like the Jewish people, are /also/ the ancient and rightful residents of the Holy Land) do not even figure in this "prophetic" spin on middle eastern geopolitics. Rather, in this peculiar worldview, the Divine Will is apparently one and the same as the policies of Ariel Sharon's hard-line Likud party and the aggressive ambitions of influential neoconservative Washington think tanks like the Project for the New American Century.

Nonetheless, "Doctor" Tim LaHaye, "Doctor" Pat Robertson, "Doctor" John Hagee, Mr. Pat Boone and a host of other distinguished foreign policy experts assure us that: "Bill Clinton/John Kerry and friends do not want [us] to read this..." thereby reducing one of the most complex, long-standing, tragic and intractable of all historical human conflicts to a simple, election year "right" vs. "left" issue.

So there you have it... Is there a (real) doctor in the house? [End.]

Action Alert
The extreme left will be in Boston shortly for the Democratic National Convention with former President Bill Clinton as a keynote speaker. This is the last opportunity you and I will have to send a clear message to them.

What you are about to read is just a small sample of what is inside
The American Prophecies, and why it is already the national number-one selling book in its category on Amazon.

The American Prophecies: Ancient Scriptures Reveal Our Nation's Future
by Michael D. Evans
The American Prophecies:

...Israel also showed Clinton raw data that proved Arafat had given the green light to the renewal of terror attacks by Hamas. Israel had monitored the talks that Arafat held with the Hamas leaders in Gaza on March 12-19, 1997. Based on that information, the then head of military intelligence, Moshe Yaalon, determined that Arafat had indeed sanctioned these terror attacks on Israel. Clinton could have been expected to respond to this very harshly.
However, he did nothing because he was unwilling to abandon Arafat, who was part of the Oslo legacy and "peace process" to which he was committed.

Also in 1999, Clinton made even more blatant use of his special position as president of the United States in the eyes of the Israeli public to undermine Netanyahu's standing and to cause him to lose the election. Psychologically, Israel's unique relationship with the United States is one of the most important underpinnings of Israel's national security. If this relationship were to be viewed by the Israeli public as being shaken due to a particular individual, even if this had no objective basis in reality, it could result in serious public stress. Right at the start of the 1999 election campaign in Israel, Clinton sent a very clear message as to what he wanted: He sent the team that had run both of his successful election campaigns to lead Ehud Barak's campaign. This team was composed of James Carville, Stanley Greenberg, and Bob Shrum, a team worth more than a million dollars, and considering the activities for which the three were responsible, much more than that. Stanley Greenberg had already been involved in the process of figuring ways to win against Netanyahu back in 1998. He kept close contact with Barak. As the most prominent figure among the three, Greenberg did public opinion surveys and analyzed focus-group data. While the general opinion in the U.S. and Israeli press during 1998 was that Netanyahu would be in power for at least four more years, Greenberg found, and told Barak, that there was a way to beat Netanyahu. The main idea was to cross the security image threshold, and stick to the economy and social affairs - the same strategy Clinton had won with in the United States behind his sleight-of-hand slogan, "It's the economy, stupid!" He kept America focused on their pocketbooks while he did whatever he wanted. That was the main input of "the Americans," said Tal Silberstein, one of Barak's top advisers for the campaign. "They structured the research, came up with the insights, and we adapted it to Israel."

Some of the top donors to the Democratic Party and to Clinton's campaigns were mobilized for Barak's campaign as though this were another election the Democrats must win.

Overall, the Labor party spent between $50 and $80 million on its anti-Netanyahu campaign, roughly ten times what Netanyahu's own Likud Party spent. In early 2000, the state comptroller of Israel produced a report that stated the Labor Party, in doing so, had grossly violated strict Israeli campaign finance laws. The government fined the campaign an unprecedented $3.2 million and is still following through on a criminal investigation of Barak's "One Israel" campaign financing.

Clinton personally contributed to Ehud Barak by continuing his warm meetings with Arafat in the White House, while freezing out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and receiving Barak and Yitzhak Mordechai, both of the candidates running against Netanyahu in the election. "Clinton helped Barak more than he had to," said one of Barak's men. The fact that Arafat had become the White House's most welcome official guest (he could have been awarded the Blair House's frequent-guest prize) was interpreted in the Israeli media to the detriment of Netanyahu rather than of the American president. The result of all those efforts was the collapse of the Israeli political center, with 6 percent of Netanyahu's voters moving over to the other side, causing a change of government in Israel.

President George W. bush observed afterward that Clinton's final plan was the work of two "desperate people" - Clinton and Barak. One wanted to leave behind a legacy of peace in the Middle East when he completed his presidency in addition to his personal need to clear his name after the Lewinsky affair; while the other needed a peace agreement in order to survive the elections. Arab sources show that Clinton's far-reaching offer involved an extraordinary new development: It gave Arafat almost everything he wanted, including 98 percent of the territory of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, all of East Jerusalem except for the Jewish and Armenian quarters, Palestinian sovereignty over the Temple Mount, conceding only the right of the Jews to pray there, and a compensation fund of $30 billion."
I am on a fast, and I am humbly asking for only one thing RIGHT NOW, and will not ask for any more help this month on the book, except for your prayers.

If every person who has purchased a book or books would buy the same number the moment you get this email, and if every Jerusalem Prayer Team member who has not purchased a copy will buy one the moment you receive this email, the book will shoot past Clinton's book.

Order your copy of
The American Prophecies now!

This is very BIG, because it will awaken the secular media in seconds, and allow us the opportunity to receive millions of dollars of free air time to speak the truth! I do not want to see America further weaken Israel, and sell her out. The only way we can stop this from happening is to boldly stand up and speak up!

Let me do it today as your ambassador. Watch this site, and pray as
The American Prophecies, a book on moral values, shoots past a book on immoral values...a book that blames one man's failures on "the right-wing conspiracy"...on Bible-believers who are not afraid to act...on God-loving people such as you who are willing to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.

Fun with spam
Jbeeler - teen PRON for u as ordered...

You mean 'prawns', hack not fluent in English? Oh, good. I read this around lunchtime. How big are teen prawns? Are they in a salad?

Welcome to this new fantastic teen site choke-full with fresh exclusive content.

Teen girls nowadays are not only young, fresh, gorgeous and ever so hot, but also have enough sexual experience to show class and temper.
No shyness, embarrassment or stiffness - young chicks produce top hardcore action...

Click Here to enter Outspoken Teen Porn!

I'm so disappointed. Then again, how on earth could a spammer in Jakarta get me my lunch within minutes of clicking?
Reason not to trust the government

St Giles' Church, Imber

Villages destroyed by the state: Imber and Tyneham (more), England

'Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly.'

- Note pinned to the door of St Mary's, Church, Tyneham, Dorset, 1943

'Pa, what does confiscate mean?'


- the movie Shenandoah
LRC picks
The war, Martha Stewart and boobus americanus

Oppose the federal marriage amendment

It's your Christian duty
From blogforlovers
Revive the Angelus
In the Roman Rite. Wonderful idea! I like the parallel to 'Allaaaaahu akbaaaaar!' coming from the Muslims' minarets several times a day. It's also a good parallel to the divine office - a good substitute for those of us who aren't obligated to do the latter and can't during the day. I use it in this form just about every day, especially at midday.

Locally the only people who ring it are Anglo-Catholics, which isn't that surprising. Which, though it isn't surprising either, makes it sadder for me to hear, as I did this weekend from a curate from southern England, that the C of E's few remaining English Missal parishes are getting the squeeze put on them to drop it and comform to the newest modern substitute for the Book of Common Prayer, Common Worship ('Comic Worship', 'Vulgar Worship') - the latest Protestant mishmash destined to be dropped and forgotten in 15-20 years. (AFAIK there is no 'ASB Society' in England.)

What’s wrong with Byzantine Catholic practice in a nutshell
A good friend, an Anglican who uses the traditional Roman Rite including the English Missal, summed it up perfectly last night: except for a few high-church strongholds, often manned by converts (like this one, where our own Dave McLaughlin worships), the rank and file may use different and better words and a physical setting that's still tolerable but their approach is exactly like the Novus Ordo (which may be why got so defensive and hateful when I dared criticize the NO on their board) - liberal, revisionist, minimalist.

Many thanks to blog correspondent Samer al-Batal for the sound sample.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Rapper Jadakiss blames Bush for 9/11
Two from Russia
First, more importantly:

Kremlin sued for return of churches by Russian Orthodox Church
Furious that the Russian state still owns most of the country's churches 13
years after the collapse of Communism, and has had the gall to start
charging it land tax, the church has launched the first property restitution
lawsuit since the Russian Revolution in 1917.

The lawsuit, which is regarded as a test case that could open the flood
gates for thousands of other restitution claims

Очень хорошо! (Great!)

Putin venerates newly returned icon of Our Lady of Tikhvin (icon)
Sounds like a Chinese name - 'Yingling' - but it's actually America's oldest brewery, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania since 1829. IMO their products are as good as English beers.
From Ecclesia Anglicana
Mormons backpedalling
On one of the world's biggest religious hoaxes
From Katolik Shinja (an American in Korea)
Why is it that a certain end of the political spectrum only tolerates public religious discourse among black folks?
A punto.

Condescending revisionist crap from modern RCs
And these are so-called 'conservatives'

The Second Vatican Council was a call to full spiritual maturity. It was time to take off the training wheels — to stop living “in the shadow of the Law” — and take our vocations as Christians seriously.

What hubris. So the fathers and other saints of the Church Catholic, East and West, from St Basil the Great* whose prayers I read nearly every day to SS. Thomas Aquinas, Vincent de Paul and Alphonsus Liguori were 'immature' to you and 'didn't take their vocations as Christians seriously'? Why, because they didn't have dopey Dan Schutte** songs to listen to?

The restoration is under way but once the old liberals are gone this rubbish has to be got rid of. These people really are Protestants in their approach.

I'm not of the 'the homos are out to get you' persuasion (the people Mr Bush is out to scare votes from) but this article has a point:

Poaching off heterosexual society
If any human group ever adopted homosexuality as the chief principal [sic] around which to organize society, it died out. No such society can long exist, except in the imagination of homosexual activists, since it would fail to provide for the future in the most fundamental way: by reproducing itself. Homosexual subcultures are therefore necessarily predatory, perpetuating themselves by poaching off the larger heterosexual society.

I don't think smart homosexuals pretend they're the norm because they realize this.

There is no such thing as the gay community. Maybe they're just people.

Then there's the other aspect of dodging reality about sex - through science, trying to have babies without sex.

*This example is the prayer from the end of the hour of Sext (don't forget to type that 't'!) in the Byzantine Rite.

**The homosexuals I'm friends with want nothing to do with this music.
On the box
End of Days

Ah-nolt, lurid anti-Catholic fiction with roots going back to 1840s America complete with scary priests and soft-porn stuff, religious ritual - both fake RC and even the satanic stuff - more interesting than most mainstream churches, the 'Y2K' scare (humbug), plot points pinched from The Exorcist, The Omen and that silly recent one with Al Pacino as Lucifer, special effects stolen from The Matrix (NTS, FWIW, a much better movie) and, best of all, lots of blowing shit up.
This hurts - a lot
Had it happen two mornings in a row, in bed, one leg one day, then the other. The pain is, well, exquisite. (Makes a good penance in a way, to 'offer up', and a chance to try certain prayers that calm you down - trying to get to a meditative state. The pain was too much, though - just offered it up.) Just getting back into shape - bicycled over 50 miles total over three days before it started raining. BTW it's pouring today - so much for the legend of St Swithun's Day!

May have to try some Gatorade this week to keep it from happening again or as often. Staying hydrated is no prob. It's the electrolyte loss you've got to watch out for.
Irish party leader suggests lifting ban on RCs becoming King or Queen
Sounds good to me though I don't see it practically making much difference.

The Irish Republic's Green Party leader Trevor Sargent called on the Prime Minister to lead the fight against sectarianism by changing the 1701 Act of Settlement.

One wonder what this has got to do with Mr Sargent, whose country in a burst of quixotic nationalism became a republic in 1949. Maybe it's the Republic's claim on the North.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Was the madness of King George due to arsenic?
From the blog of Fr James Tucker. The movie with Nigel Hawthorne and the ever-beautiful Helen Mirren gave a different medical reason that also explained another symptom.
From blog correspondent Lee Penn
British Medical Journal: Bush plans to screen all US students for mental illness
This is so Soviet.

LP: I wonder, though .... why would the Bush people push another expensive program when the budget deficit is already out of control? And the BMJ headline seems incorrect ... the story talks about mental health screening for all students, not (yet) the whole population.

Nevertheless, consider the possibility .... that the people who brought you the Patriot Act might want to test your mental health, or that of your child. [End.]
From Ecclesia Anglicana
Manly ritual
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Mark Fiore rules:

Minister of Fear

From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Oh, joy - another redundant Eastern Orthodox jurisdiction in America in the works
Don't get me wrong. These Arabic Orthodox are wonderful people - Samer's own ethnos from Syria - but as I explain here, the proper Orthodox MO really should be restored in America now that the Soviet Union is long gone. As a Russian-American choirmaster said to me - and he was from the independent Orthodox Church in America - the lot of them, Greeks, Slavs and Arabs (small ethnic chaplaincies really), should just go under the patriarch of Moscow again until the mess is properly sorted out. (I'm not saying that because I happen to like Russians. They were the first EOx in America so they have 'dibs'.) Of course that won't happen because the Greeks (in a tiny pond - EOx are something like 1% of Americans - the largely religiously indifferent Greeks are the most numerous) and the Arabs' patriarchs are in dying sees surrounded by hostile Muslims and so depend on American money to keep going. Understandable but the effect in America undermines sound Catholic ecclesiology: church as nationalist fiefdom and an alphabet soup of jurisdictions.
Today’s saints from the Russian Orthodox tradition
Tsar Nicholas II, his family and those with them (+1918)

Святые царственные новомученики и мученицы россiйскые, молите Бога о насъ.

Lovely people, but an incompetent emperor, not particularly bright, getting the country mired in an immoral war, World War I, owing to nationalism and misplaced loyalties, causing (as Rasputin predicted) his own downfall - and death. The war destroyed so much of Catholic Europe, east (in this case) and west (the soon-to-be beatified Emperor Charles of Austria-Hungary abdicated and his empire was carved up).

Besides a basic monarchist inclination - a sacramentally crowned king is profoundly Catholic - what turned me in favour of the Russian royals was reading Robert Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra back in 1996. This American historian (writing about 40 years ago) with no bias either way (royalist or Communist) convinced me that personally they are saints. (As for politics, saints are fallible in their prudential judgement.) In a society littered with loveless dynastic marriages (like the late Diana in recent years) the tsar was a country gentleman who truly loved his wife.

•The tsar's real title - I think since the Western-emulating Peter the Great - was Iмператоръ, Imperator, Latin for 'emperor', not 'tsar'! But the slavophilic Nicholas informally brought the title tsar back.
•Rasputin? He wasn't a monk. Didn't claim he was. The emperor and empress saw what he wanted them to see, the 'holy peasant' who could save their hæmophiliac son from bleeding to death.
•Princess Alix, the empress, was a German (born Lutheran) related to Queen Victoria (as most royals were) and lived in England most of her life. She was Lord Mountbatten's aunt by blood. In the tsar's palaces, the language of the house was... English! Which the tsar spoke with a perfect upper-class English accent, not a Russian one.
•Sydney Gibbes, the children's English tutor, got out of Russia before the family were murdered and was so moved by his experience with them that when he returned to England he ended up a Russian Orthodox priest and monk.
•The house where the royals were martyred in the basement, the Ipatiev house in Yekaterinburg (Communist name Sverdlovsk after the man who ordered the murders) was torn down by the Soviets to keep it from becoming a place of pilgrimage (Russian Orthodox are big on паломничество). The local Soviet boss who ordered the demolition was... Boris Yeltsin.
•Went to an exhibit of royal artefacts a few years ago. Moving. Among the items were the emperor's and empress's writings in both Russian (fun to try to read) and English, some icons and church vestments (reassuringly the same in the Russian Orthodox Church today), the coronation coach (the British one is a later imitation) and a bayonet used to kill the family and their servants, a second-class relic. Church people should have come in during the off-hours and done a молебен service.