Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Canada: HM Dominion tells Bush what for
‘Boisterous demonstrations’ from opponents of the US-led war in Iraq
Red Cross: ‘form of torture’ at Guantánamo
From blog member John Boyden
The latest from the Zionist state
And its treatment of Palestinians
The rightwing Army Radio commentator Uri Orbach found the incident disturbingly reminiscent of Jewish musicians forced to provide background music to mass murder. "What about Majdanek?" he asked, referring to the Nazi extermination camp.

The critics were not drawing a parallel between an Israeli roadblock and a Nazi camp. Their concern was that Jewish suffering had been diminished by the humiliation of Mr Tayem.
What can you say about a people who didn’t learn anything from their own history?

Monday, November 29, 2004

LRC pick
An open letter to ‘Christian conservatives’
Eastern churches

I love this woman - she takes the mickey out of Bush

Probably not much but anyway... As one can see from a recent pre-election repeat of ‘Saturday Night Live’ one of the most beautiful women on television IMO happens to be Eastern Orthodox. In one of her usually very funny bits on ‘Weekend Update’ Tina Fey compared Mr Bush’s posture during the debates to the late actor Norman ‘Mr Roper’ Fell and crossed herself after mentioning the latter. Sweet.

Got off the Web: her full name is Elizabeth Stamatina Fey and she’s half–ethnic Greek, so one can assume she is communed as the handmaid of God Elizabeth.
Still more on the mess in the Ukraine
• The US obviously wants to rig the election
• Except for the far southwest, the Ukraine is Russian
...the "Great Powers" are still at work. After making a massive mess cutting up the old Ottoman empire after WWI, then adjusting things in Yugoslavia last decade, they begin now to work on the Rus directly.
- Dimitrios Galanidis
From Katolik Shinja
Words in wartime
Joe Sobran on the ridiculousness of the propaganda term ‘Islamofascist’

Sunday, November 28, 2004

From blog member Samer al-Batal
Pope transfers relics to patriarch of Constantinople
As blogged here earlier, the Holy Father as a goodwill gesture has returned some of the bones of two church fathers, SS. John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzen, two of the three founding fathers of Eastern Orthodox theology, the other being St Basil the Great, who wrote many of the Byzantine Rite’s beautiful prayers.

The Catholic faith
On the veneration of saints and their relics
As explained by the Greek Orthodox. As Bishop Kallistos (Ware) writes, such veneration is part of an elaborate theology of the body — the goodness still in God’s creation with an extra supernatural charge.
Roman Rite
Shrine of the Holy Whapping
The legit liturgical movement in a nutshell

Saturday, November 27, 2004

The revolution televised
The Western media’s view of Ukraine’s election is hopelessly biased.
Thought so.
English cricketers snub Mugabe
That racist thug — quite right
Prison reform
In Pennsylvania, life means life
Fair? I think so as a rule. Tyrone Werts deserves commutation.

UN slams UK prison conditions
Camp humour
From Fireside Chat with the Rector:
And what did the BVM say to the Infant of Prague?

"Young man, don't think for a moment that you are going out dressed like that!"
‘Don’t you know that I must be about My Father’s business?’
From Touchstone’s blog via Occidentalis
Real Celtic spirituality
... says James Kushiner, is simply sober Mass-and-office Catholicism as practised by us on this blog and not the woo-woo New Age and vagante stuff. Acquaintance Archimandrite Serge (Keleher), who is New York-born but lives in Dublin and like our own Dave McLaughlin speaks Irish, uses fluency in the language as his way to sort the real from the fake. (Of course the Irish always have prayed liturgically in Latin, not Irish.)
LRC pick
New Labour’s police state
Gulag UK
Americans are building another empire in the East. It seems to me an oil-driven empire out of Afghanistan, Iraq and maybe Iran, southern Russia. This is a big deal, and a lot's going to happen and a lot's in play right now, and who knows where it's going to come out?
- Oliver Stone about the parallels between Alexander the Great’s time and today

Though of course Mr Bush is no Alexander. I haven’t seen the film (yet).
From blog member Samer al-Batal
The Spectator
An 1898 school exam for 11-year-olds

Thomas Woods book interview
On his latest, The Church Confronts Modernity: Catholic Intellectuals and the Progressive Era
What does disturb me, though, is the degree to which the American hierarchy supported Woodrow Wilson's decision to involve the United States in World War I. It is all the more bizarre given James Cardinal Gibbons' public criticism of President Wilson less than two years earlier for attempting to drag his country into a war for no reason other than to vindicate the ludicrous principle that every American should have the right during wartime to travel through declared submarine zones aboard armed, belligerent merchant ships. (Shameless plug: I think the World War I chapter is the most satisfying section of my other new book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History.)
From The Onion
White House Thanksgiving turkey detained without counsel

Friday, November 26, 2004

LRC pick
The neocons are turning into Nazis
Interesting article from Protestantism, er, Christianity Today
C.S. Lewis was more Catholic than his Evangelical Protestant fans:

He believed in Purgatory.
• He went to an Anglo-Catholic parish in Oxford (of which there once were many) not because he was a party man but because it was his geographical parish.
• Starting around 1939 he went to Confession.

But the article’s point is he was also more Protestant than his RC neocon fans might think. I agree it was because he was a Protestant from Northern Ireland, something that stayed with him. The high end of Central Churchmanship was his spiritual home.
‘Holiday’ musings
Advent/the St Philip’s fast (in the Roman and Russian Byzantine rites respectively) are fast a-coming and, of course, for secular people that means ‘Christmas shopping season’ is here in full force.

A few thoughts:

• Haven’t got a prob per se with generic songs about snow, etc. They have their place for Jews and others not to feel left out but only alongside real Christian carols. (As the rabbis point out, Hanukkah is not ‘Jewish Christmas’ and never was, and I understand many Jews love and celebrate the non-religious aspects of Christmas. The actual religious aspect of Hanukkah is only as involved as, to give an equivalent example, my lighting the votive lamp at home, only saying a prayer while lighting the menorah candles, full stop.)
• Adam Sandler’s ‘Hanukkah Song’ celebrating the many, many Jews in show business is cute and funny.
• Pet peeve the past couple of years: the secular folk who write TV ads and schedule radio music who think Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘These Are a Few of My Favourite Things’ is a Christmas song!
• Also, ‘happy holidays’, Soviet in its ubiquity.
• Best TV ads in the States so far: Target, bar none. Always cool.
• Most annoying: Old Navy, with those attractive but smug carollers, the secular world’s notion of hip.
• Best songs: ‘Veni, veni, Emmanuel’ (an Advent hymn that’s chant), ‘O Holy Night’, ‘We Three Kings’, ‘In dulce jubilo’, ‘The Coventry Carol’, ‘Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming’, ‘Небо и земля’ (Russian)* and ‘Добрий вечiр тобi’ (Ukrainian). Also, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Metallica’s medley of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ and the Ukrainian folk song (nothing to do with Christmas really) ‘The Carol of the Bells’.
• Worst: ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer’, Dan Fogelberg’s ‘Same Auld Lang Syne’ (want some clinical depression in your Christmas cracker?) and one I saw years ago with spliced video of meowing cats ‘singing’ the tune of ‘Greensleeves’. (I actually like the dogs barking ‘Jingle Bells’.)

*The late actor Robert Urich, who was half-Ruthenian (his last name was not German but really Юрик) and half-Czech, sang it on a TV Christmas special in the States back in the 1970s.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Some thoughts for American Thanksgiving
HM Dominion of Canada celebrated last month and LRC’s blog points out that not only did the Spanish first colonize North America but they also celebrated the first Thanksgiving. What’s more, among the English, Anglican churchmen in Virginia celebrated something like it before the dissenting Puritans did in Massachusetts.

Anyway, Dave Brown e-mailed me something from Gerard Serafin Bugge’s site that is from the Orthodox tradition:

Glory to God for all things (audio)
That expression, За все слава Богу, is printed at the very end of Russian Orthodox prayer books and this is an akathist by an Orthodox cleric, either Metropolitan Tryphon or Fr Gregory Petrov, in the 1930s

From Julian of Norwich
Interestingly, the late Fr John Rotelle, whom I met and who compiled this book of readings I’ve used every day for four years, assigned this quotation to this very date.

‘We Gather Together’ (warning: loud MIDI music)
A fine Dutch hymn
Pennsylvania and Slavic (and thus Eastern-churches) history
Way of life wanes for anthracite miners

St Mary’s (Assumption) Greek Catholic Church, Centralia, Pa., an old anthracite-mining town — I was here this past summer. The cornerstone, in Ukrainian, says it was built for Centralia in 1911.

You’ve got to admire them though it’s not a fun job: first the English and of course the Welsh did it in Pennsylvania’s mountains, then when they had enough the Irish were imported, and they loved the treatment they got so much they founded the Molly Maguires (a labour union or terrorists depending on who you talk to). When that happened the mining companies (who owned whole towns and kept their workers in debt — Tennessee Ernie Ford’s ‘I owe my soul to the company store’ was fact) got strike-breaking labour by importing the Slavs: Poles, Galician Ukrainians, Ruthenians, et al. (Which is partly why, in addition to Irish prejudice against the Byzantine Rite that caused the John Ireland/Alexis Toth schism, the Irish resented the Slavs.)

SS. Peter & Paul Orthodox Cemetery, Centralia
From blog member Samer al-Batal
Christianity’s present condition in Europe
And an atheist secularist’s defence of the Faith’s contribution to civilisation and philosophical thinking
“To this day, we have no other options. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter.”
Put another way, historically and culturally speaking, the Catholic faith is European civilisation

Japanese: An impressively challenging language to study, even for the locals
Arigato gozaimasu, Samer. (All I know in Japanese are a few words.)

News from the UK:

Make late abortions easier, urges ‘charity’ chief
The article is filled with all the usual servings of obfuscating terminology: terminations, charity, services, &c.
LRC pick
Condoleezza Rice
We know
Justin Raimondo on the mess in the Ukraine
Maybe they really do want to be Russian and not a US puppet

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Apparitions true and false
By Fr Peter Joseph
Puts perhaps unintentional mockeries like Our Lady of the Cheese Sandwich into perspective
Eastern Orthodoxy and eternal Rome
‘Eternal Rome’ as explained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre of blessed memory. Let’s have a look:

Both the Orthodox and Old Catholics claim union with eternal Rome.
First let’s get the Old Catholics out of the way: that probably was true of at least some of them when they got started in the 1870s but today they are nothing but a rump sect of Dutch, Germans and Czechs who don’t appeal to antiquity at all - they now ‘ordain’ women. (The Middle European version of Broad Church Anglicans.) Next...

The Orthodox: I think the near-consensus in that communion is yes, they do claim that union, but with Rome as described before the estrangement between East and West was final. It was a gradual estrangement from around the crowning of Charlemagne (an insult, thought the still-reigning Roman emperor in Constantinople) to the Polish annexation of Galicia in the early 1300s (cheesing off the Russkies). (Galicia later became the home of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which puts the complaints of the Church of Russia about it into context.) Many among them would say no, not with Rome since then as understood by the archbishop. But despite that, in Rome’s view they may well be! (Explanation.) Put another way, it is Catholicism as written in 11th-century Greek theological language. The number of Orthodox who’d say they agree with Soloviev is probably microscopic, and again, you’ve got the irony that the most fervent, observant and Catholic-minded among the Orthodox usually are exactly the ones who don’t want dialogue and would object to Soloviev’s opinion. (To be fair, while he had a lot of good things to say, Russia and the Universal Church is 19th-century hackwork that’s unfair to the Russian Orthodox Church, as the contemporary stuff from the abbé Guettée probably was to the Church of Rome.)
From The Latin Mass (sorry, they’re not really online)
Edwin Faust faces head on the accusation/caricature of traditionalists wishing it were the 1950s, something that in ways goes against this blog’s (and its fans’) young-fogeyism and granola conservatism (see links list), IOW not what we mean by conservatism:

The catechism of Beaver Cleaver
As Bishop Richard Williamson also points out, the rot set in long before the first naff hippy-wannabe priests and nuns touched a guitar.

What religion was practised by Ward and June Cleaver?
The point of course is ‘we don’t know’ on all those American programmes — it was never mentioned. In one sense that’s fine — the stories were supposed to be universal, something anybody of any or no religion could identify with. Then again, American radio only 10 years earlier wasn’t afraid of ethnicity or religion — ‘The Life of Riley’, ‘The Goldbergs’ and even in debased but at the time very popular form, ‘Amos’n’Andy’. And of course at the cinema there were Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman as a priest and nun. But Mr Faust’s point is by the Nifty Fifties (the time o’plenty in the States whilst Britons still were slogging through rationing) most RCs had joined the diluted-Protestant/secular mainstream, so maybe the shows’ lack of religion was just as much a mirror of how a lot of people were. I’ve known two people who grew up in that period with no religion — their parents’ choice. BTW, Ozzie Nelson was a lifelong atheist. Interestingly, on the other hand, Hugh Beaumont, who played the benevolent, unflappable Ward Cleaver, was in real life an ordained minister before he became an actor.

Mr Faust points out that this state of affairs paved the way for RCs electing slithering filth like JFK as America’s first very nominally RC president. (Cardinal Spellman, no fool, knew better.)

I believe there is a point at which TV Land and the Church met and merged.
I don’t go as far as Mr Faust in saying ‘get rid of your television receiver’ — it’s a tool; abusus non tollit usum. Just be aware — part of what this blog is trying to say.

For many Catholic men, this will also mean ceasing to burn incense at the altar of the great god Sport.

Don’t get me wrong — I know the games are fun and have a place but ‘normal’ people have been brainwashed into wasting lots of money (tickets are expensive, for one thing) on a big business that doesn’t give a toss about them in return.

The Game will have to go, and if you take away the Game, what basis of brotherhood or topic of conversation is left to men?
I know. Thanks to the sickness described immediately above, nothin’.
From an advert for New Oxford Review in The Latin Mass (chock full of good stuff this month):

Liberal Catholicism’s gift to the church: pædophile and homosexual priests

NOR aren’t without their probs. Of the Novus Ordo neocon persuasion, they ran a doubtless well-intended article criticizing the Eastern Orthodox that 1) used shoddy journalism in that the author didn’t join and leave, and therefore wasn’t talking about, a real Orthodox church and 2) used anti-traditional arguments (showing how ‘backward’ and ‘rigid’ those Orthodox are) that easily can be used to bite them in the ass - the same arguments liberals in general (like the quislings running things in NOR’s communion) use against all the Catholic-minded, including, erm, good high-church Byzantine Catholics, but it seems such simply aren’t on NOR’s radar. (As friend Brendan Ross would say, Protestants are these folks’ designated other.) And when I wrote to them pointing these things out, my letter was rewritten and printed so that in some cases it said the opposite of what I meant. Snakes.
From blog member Dave McLaughlin
What Mr Bush wants to go ever deeper into debt for
As I was saying, ‘conservative’ my arse
From blog member Samer al-Batal
On a pro-war book
But as I point out in this blog’s links list, this is not a pacifist blog.


Of course, it is something of a cottage industry in the Orthodox Church — especially among converts — to discover and “market” ever newer ancient differences between Eastern and Western Christian theology, morality, devotion, spirituality, politics, cuisine, or whatever else one can think of.
Thou hast said it. Spite.
More on the late Gerard Serafin Bugge
When I read his last blog entries this thought strikes me. Not only did he rebuild his ministry by becoming a lay blogger, but, though he didn’t have much by today’s secular standards, in things that really matter he had a lot:

No man is a failure who has friends.
- It’s a Wonderful Life

Gerard had a happy death, right after travelling and spending time with, and being surrounded in the end by, family and friends who loved him.

I dare say he had a holy death as well.

Given that I’m fast approaching 40 and not married nor having family, and, what with Asperger syndrome (and my having to live with its effects on the first three decades of my time here, even though I don’t suffer from it nearly as much as when I was a kid), meaning I may never have those things, I can only hope for something that good.

And, as I wrote brother blogger David Alexander, despite all my historical differences with the man, only some of which I can repeat here - our battles over Vatican II, Fr Malachi Martin and the treatment of Eastern Christians in online fora - as far as the essentials of the Catholic faith go, creed, sacrament and the apostolic ministry (including being against the attempted ordination of women), Gerard was sound as a pound as well as sincerely joyful about them.

Maybe, as has been suggested by Fr Anthony Nelson and others, the serious illness he suffered in his last years was a cleansing penance. (As you can suss from Father, himself not the gentlest of men, the man’s conduct online before that crisis could be far from perfect.)

At the end of the day I’ll miss him.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Today’s Roman Rite feast-day
St Clement, Pope and martyr
His epistles almost made it into the New Testament and before the canon was set were treated as scripture by some local churches
S. Clement, whose emblem is an anchor
Which is why I’ve got a little grey metal one on the outside of my door!

is the patron saint of anchor-smiths and blacksmiths, and his is also one of the several saints invoked by sailors. ... according to tradition he was martyred by drowning about A.D. 100... with an anchor tied to his neck.
After being sent to work in the salt mines. An old man when he became the bishop of Rome (whose see later adopted the title of Pope — papa, father — after the see of Alexandria first used it [and still does]), he knew the apostles who knew Jesus. He is in the list of martyrs in the Roman or Gregorian Canon, the consecration prayer that is the heart of the Roman Mass (and older than the two Byzantine Rite consecration prayers).

being thrown into the Black Sea
This holy Pope’s tentative connexion to the Ukraine, commemorated on some icons.

It was about November-tide
A long, long time ago
When good S. Clement testified
The faith that now we know
Right boldly then, he said his say
Before a furious king;
And therefore on S. Clement’s Day
We go a-Clementing.
What on earth, you might ask, is ‘going a-Clementing’? Glad you asked!
On his feast-day, smiths used to honour his memory... holding a feast at night which was known as the Clem Feast... At Woolwich until at least as late as the first half of the last century, blacksmiths’ apprentices in the dockyard chose one of their number to act as Old Clem...

A contemporary account... printed in 1826... describes how the company went round the town, ‘stopping and refreshing at nearly every public house...’ The evening ended with a jovial supper and, doubtless, a good deal of hard drinking at one of the local inns.

In another account there is mention of children and young people also going round Clementing in much the same way as they went Catterning two days later on S. Catherine’s Day. This visited the houses of the parish, singing songs that began ‘Clemency, clemency, year by year’ or ‘Clementsing, Clementsing, apples and pears’ and demanding the usual largesse of apples, beer and whatever else they could get. Sometimes the boys added colour to the proceeding by carrying lighted turnip lanterns of the Hallowtide pattern.
Another forerunner of American Halloween? Something a Catholic must remember when next confronted with the ‘Halloween is evil, EVIL I say!’ rubbish from the Prots.

So there’s a look at Catholic England, some of which survived long after the religious disaster in the 1500s. Today? Alas — November has got the anti-Catholic bonfire and firecracker fest Guy Fawkes Day (not celebrated on this blog) and Remembrance Sunday, which is right at the heart of what this blog is about.
From blog member Lee Penn
From his mass e-mails:

Of mice, men and in between
Welcome to the island of Dr Moreau

Hi, I’m a mog - half-man, half-dog. I’m my own best friend!
- John Candy, Spaceballs

LP: Read the whole story, carefully. This is the fruit of our "advanced" society. It's beyond Brave New World.

After reading this story, re-read C.S. Lewis' That Hideous Strength ... and reflect that we all live in Belbury now, and the N.I.C.E. are in charge. And re-read The Lord of the Rings, and recall who was interbreeding Orcs and Men. To see the meaning of this in non-fiction terms, re-read C.S. Lewis' Abolition of Man.

In his last published essay, "We Have No 'Right to Happiness'," C.S. Lewis concluded:

"Though the 'right to happiness' is chiefly claimed for the sexual impulse, it seems to me impossible that the matter should stay there. The fatal principle, once allowed in that department, must sooner or later seep through our whole lives. We thus advance toward a state of society in which not only each man but every impulse in man claims carte blanche. And then, though our technological skill may help us survive a little longer, our civilization will have died at heart and will - one dare not even add the word 'unfortunately' -- be swept away."
He wrote this in 1963, and this prophecy is being fulfilled in our hearing.

Kyrie eleison. [End.]
From Juliana Yulianovich
Nice Irish name that.

Gerard Serafin Bugge epilogue
Ms Yulianovich (actually in Russian it would be Юлияновна for a woman so I assume this lady is from Western Europe or North America) forwarded me this from the infamous Indiana List, the granddaddy of nasty Orthodox Internet places. Here it seems to live down to that, which calls for a balanced look at this fellow:

From: T.R. Valentine
Reply-to: Orthodox Christianity
Subject: Re: Gerard Bugge
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 14:49:11 -0800

On Monday November 22 2004 1:24 PM Daniel Scuiry wrote:

I've been informed that the controversial Gerard Bugge, also known as Gerard Serafin, who was a former Roman Catholic priest who often argued against Holy Orthodoxy on many Orthodox forums and groups, died this morning at 3 o’clock in his apartment in Maryland. Gerard had been very ill for several years.

May God rest and have mercy on his soul.
It saddens me that people here remember him this way. He was in love with the Orthodox tradition and while he may have had particular grievances with individuals he was hardly an enemy to Orthodoxy.
Sorry, Daniel, but he WAS an enemy of Orthodoxy. He was so antagonistic on Orthodox lists that he got himself kicked off multiple lists. His comments were full of poisonous venom against Orthodoxy with only a thin cover of feigned kindness. He admitted to deliberate lies in order to provoke Orthodox Christians.

I, for one, will not miss him.

Дорогая сестра в Христе, Юлияна Юлияновна!

Given the venom one sees on the Internet in the name of your church, with the Indiana List being notorious in that regard*, is it surprising that Gerard had a less than romantic view of it?

Like Al Smith said, let’s take a look at the record.

As I wrote, honestly, the 18th November not long after he died, Gerard had ‘a prickly love/hate relationship with Eastern Christians’, and I’m afraid one of the issues over which we crossed swords was his conduct on Eastern-churches newsgroups, listservs and message boards such as Indiana. Rather like me, in his own way he did like the Orthodox tradition a lot - in fact, St Benedict’s Church in Baltimore, where his requiem Mass was held Monday, is served by a Benedictine priest who is also in the Melkite Church, and St B’s, unusually high-church for American RCs, has a fine Byzantine Rite chapel. But where he went wrong was ‘picking on’ born Orthodox online in various fora, which as I tried (‘again and again, in peace’) to tell him in e-mails is not what Rome teaches is the proper approach to the Orthodox. (And for that he deserved to get thrown out of them.)

But the man I prefer to remember, besides loving his dog**, sounded quite different on his websites, which almost always are quite fair and present the beauty of the tradition. They include the best online resource for the Russian Catholic Church. The man behind the sites is who I choose to honour here - somebody who built up a ministry as his second career, which deserves respect.

And of course there was the honour of crossing swords with somebody who either held or had the equivalent of a master’s degree in theology.

(All of us on earth are sinners and I think whatever Gerard’s issues may have been, his apostolate and blog are testimonies that in the end he probably was repentant. One can’t accuse the man of not loving God!)

Gerard’s body was buried at St Mary’s RC Churchyard in Annapolis.

Dona ei requiem.

*And not just to non-Orthodox but internecine warfare as well. Да любим друг друга, anyone?

**Empathy with dogs is one of the few things I have in common with my late dad. Maybe Onion was there to see Gerard on the other side.
LRC pick
Celebrating American Thanksgiving, a wonderful holiday showing America being Godward, despite what happened to the aboriginal people later*

Give thanks for the free market
One of the issues on which the religious left and I part ways

*Which didn’t go down that way in Catholic cultures, from Russian Alaska to Spanish Meso- and South America, where it was far from perfect but the colonists merged with the natives through intermarriage. (To this day Aleuts are Russian-native mestizos with Russian names and are Russian Orthodox.) No Calvinist bosh about the natives being not of the elect.

Well, at least they didn’t accuse the Indians of having weapons of mass destruction.
41 years ago this week

What a friend we had in Jack

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Catholic faith
Letter from Mirfield
From friend and ordinand Michael Greene:

Unfortunately, I only got to know one of the most fascinating people ever involved in this community* at the very end of his life. Fr. Aelred, one of the pillars of the monastery for half a century, died at the end of October. He led a truly remarkable life: He helped to found the CR priory in South Africa, and became one of the first outspoken voices against apartheid. He served as personal spiritual director to Stephen Biko, whose widow attended his funeral. He was also spiritual director to Michael Ramsay up to and including part of his time as the Archbishop of Canterbury. His funeral was indescribably beautiful, and while there was much grief, the character was undeniably one of celebration for a life well-lived. Newcomers to this environment (myself included) were all struck by the power of the cycle of rituals surrounding the burial of a brother. What an incredible thing it is to be part of a place that has produced and continues to produce people who live that kind of life! The monks of this house have been actively in involved in some of the most important political and spiritual struggles of the last century both in England and throughout the world.

In addition to the Anglican Communion, there are currently very strong connections to the Armenian Church and the Romanian Orthodox Church. The CR has funded the construction of an Orthodox seminary in Romania, and as a result a very active dialogue with that church has begun. There is a fledgeling Romanian Orthodox congregation that meets in the College chapel and is growing by the week; and every term, Romanian seminarians are sent here to study. Another of my classmates is an Armenian priest who is in charge of a missionary congregation in Manchester, and is being groomed for the episcopate in the Armenian church. Next month we will be visited by the Catholicos of All Armenia who will be consecrating a new building for Fr. Gevork’s Church. Gevork is quite a character; he speaks English quite well, but his spelling leaves something to be desired: As guestmaster for the college, he recently left a note with some visiting prospective students asking them “out of love for Christ please to leave your shits folded on the bed when you go.” You can imagine the week of jokes that followed.
*The Community of the Resurrection, an Anglican religious order of men, whose motherhouse is in Mirfield, Yorkshire.
Maybe there’s a place for practical jokes after all
An old [Eastern Orthodox] priest of mine (who has passed on, and that's why I tell his story) was telling us once about being a young priest in rural PA* just after attending St Tikh’s**. He was in his mother's house in his hometown and was on good terms with all the clergy in the area. Well, some very overzealous Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon, I don’t remember, actually had the nerve to make purposeful visits to all the clergy in the area.

Because the evangelicals*** loved to quote scripture and debate, my priest hatched a plan. He met them civilly at the doorway wearing his daily cassock****, and after some time of withstanding slight harrassment from them, he got started talking about "That verse that talks about water from that spring in Jerusalem. You know, the one that burns sinfull people but feels like soothing coolness to His saved Righteous." The evangelists, rather than admit they didnt know what verse he was talking about, made sounds of agreement. My priest then told them to wait there, because he had some of this holy water that just arrived and he wanted to show them. So, he went and fetched his portable Holy Water sprinkler, and filled with from the boiling teapot that his mother had on the stove for tea.

He came back, and let them have it. They, surprised by the heat of the water when they were expecting to feel cool healing since they knew they were saved, ran from his door. Well, they didn't give up and headed to the home of the local RC priest. The second they left, my priest called the RC priest and hold him what he'd done. The RC priest then answered his door wearing vestements and soon turned the conversation to the holy water that he had just received as a gift from the Holy Land and would they like to see it? The evangelists mumbled some excuses and decided to leave before they felt the burning fire of the Holy Water on their sinners' flesh. My priest also called the local pastor of whatever protestant church it was. The pastor wanted in on the joke, but didn't have any vestements, so he went and put on a choir robe and was watching in his front door with some water in a bowl and a featherduster sprinkler as they drove up. The evangelists didn’t even stop, but sped away once they saw him standing there.
I wonder if Father got the idea from The Exorcist.

*Pennsylvania, once full of coal mines and steel mills and thus a centre of Slavic immigration to America in the late 1800s-early 1900s.

**St Tikhon’s, in Pennsylvania, one of the Orthodox Church in America’s (original Russian Orthodox dioceses in America) theological colleges (for training ordinands).

***JWs and Mormons aren’t Christians but come out of evangelical Protestantism culturally and so make much of quoting tons of scripture.

****The подрясник (undercassock), narrow-sleeved like a Latin cassock. The one with the huge sleeves, the рясса (riassa), is worn over it by deacons, priests and bishops.

This blog’s tribute to Fr Jolly
The cartoon creation/alter ego of Fr Thomas Janikowski of Grace Church, Galesburg.
Dodgy monastery in trouble again
These chaps are longtime vagantes who fooled the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad into taking them until the дерьмо hit the fan. The business with the icon seems Chaucerian and makes all Catholics look bad, especially in Protestant America. Again, sigh, abusus non tollit usum.

Tikhon29605 writes:

A word to the wise about monasteries: beware of jurisdiction-jumpers (monasteries that are constantly changing from one jurisdiction to another). It's always a sign that they want to hide something.
Well put.
That’s telling her what for
From a priest friend:
An old priest was called to give the last sacraments to a dying person in a nursing-home run by one of those 1960s liberal nuns. When Sister brought him to the person's room and Father got out the oil-stock to anoint the patient, Sister was rude and blurted out, 'You know, if I had a penis I'd be doing this!'* To which the dear old priest answered, 'Well... I usually use my thumb'.
*Cue P.J. O’Rourke: 'That's insulting to women!' shrieked the old bitch.
From Katolik Shinja
Machiavellian evil
Hitler was a corporal not a colonel and yes, it would have been murder

When in moral doubt, follow the Prince of Peace, not The Prince.
LRC pick
The trouble with ‘conservatives’

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Eastern churches

Archimandrite Ambrose (Pogodin)
An official observer from the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad at Vatican II. He also knew Fr Seraphim (Rose). Вечная память.

These Russians may have sent observers to that council because 1) historically many in the Russian Church weren't particularly hostile to other Christians and 2) they may have looked up to the recently departed Pope Pius XII of blessed memory as an anti-Communist leader and may have been anxious to see what if anything would happen in that regard.
Non-violence and peace traditions in early and Eastern Christianity
By Fr John McGuckin
He is a Russian Orthodox priest, I think in the Orthodox Church in America (the original Russian dioceses in North America), and as you can see is at Union Theological Seminary, a mainline Protestant institution. Not quite the position of this blog, as the Catholic faith is not pacifist, but he still has a lot of interesting things to say.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

From Mike Russell
If this were true my friends and I would all have black lung by now
MR: Please, just try to keep this keep this report out of the hands of all pastoral leaders, presiders or worship facilitators at any inclusive faith communities you may know of who are committed to the Spirit of Vatican II™.

Perhaps those vigilant EU gnomes in Brussels will now attempt to ban the use of candles and incense in Christian worship throughout the European Union ... all in the interest of public health, of course.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Gibson taking Oscar high road for The Passion

Cardinal Ratzinger: Secular forces ‘pushing God to margins’

Painless dentistry?

So promises the introduction of the laser
Internet jargon
Just learnt that doubly evil spamming practice of pretending to be AOL or a bank to get people's credit-card or PIN numbers has a name: phishing.

Good thing that, when I had AOL, I realized they didn't send e-mails in less than good English linking to sites in poor countries.
Why Internet dating services have the stellar reputation they do
No matter which one is the predator and which one the victim, socially desperate American men + economically desperate ex-Soviet women* = disaster

*This goes on a lot in Transdniestria, which we've been talking about recently - where the average person, if he's working at all, makes the equivalent of about US $10 a month.
From The Gutless Pacifist
Spam gets religion
I've already got many 'Christian' versions of Nigerian 419 messages

Mr Bush signs debt-ceiling increase into law
'Conservative' my arse

George, there's a program that can help you get out of debt but you've got to make the first step.
LRC picks
Death to Iraqis, not to foxes?
To be fair, most English people oppose the immoral war in Iraq but this recent bill brings up a couple of issues: the anti-human bent of the looney fringe of the environmentalists (real environmentalism - conservation and good stewardship/husbandry of God's creation, including being against cruelty to animals - goes along with this blog's granola conservatism) and, as P.J. O'Rourke put it so well, a cold-hearted atheist can be in favour of both killing an 'inconvenient' baby and executing a criminal, a religious person might oppose both (we hold to the Catholic view that some crimes do forfeit a man's right to live* but like Pope John Paul II and almost like the 'seamless garment' believe death sentences should be exceedingly rare) but it must take a lot of 'therapy' (mind-twisting, brainwashing) to come to the liberal POV on these issues.

Real American history
The book also tells the little-known story of Operation Keelhaul, in which the West sent at least a million Russian POWs back to Stalin and certain death or enslavement. At Fort Dix, New Jersey, hundreds of Soviet POWs, who fought with all their strength when they learned that the American government was reneging on its promise not to send them back to the USSR, were drugged in order to calm them down enough for them to be shipped back.
We know:

...является отрад американской военной полиции. Все жуют жвачку... Приказывают: «Выходи добровольно, кто советский подданный». Мы сцепились за руки. О. Евгений стоял с крестом посредине ряда. Американцы начали избивать и хватать людей. О. Евгению выбили все зубы и погнули крест. Ирину избили всю, мне прикладом так ударили, что до сих пор отметила. Помню семью Закревского. Отец спускал ребеночка с окна церкви на землю, а солдат военной полиции прострелил ему спину. Шесть человек выбросились с пятого этажа на каменную лестницу. Люди резали себе вены, вешались. Стали, как дрова, грузить людей в грузовики. Повезли. Погрузили нас в вагоны для скота.
- Z.I. Peters, survivor (translation)

*For example, if whoever shot Margaret Hassan ever are caught.

Friday, November 19, 2004

From Paul Goings
Ned Flanders syndrome - RC neocon version
PG: Is this not a perfect example of "I think I'm coveting my own wife?"

From EWTN's Q&A (see comments on EWTN here):

A few years ago I became a male altar server (at the age of 40) because there were never any altar servers scheduled for the Mass I attend. I serve 2-3 times a week, never more than one Mass/day.

Serving has become an indescribable joy in my life. For me it amplifies and focuses the Mass to an amazingly high level. It's simply an awesome experience (and I choose that word with care.)

The joy and nourishment I receive from serving at the altar has made me study the practice and history of altar serving, which in turn has further intensified the grace I feel from serving. My prayer life has also benefitted from my serving, as well as my knowledge of the faith and the number of Masses I attend.

I'm beginning to feel however that serving has become almost an addicition of sorts. That perhaps too much of my faith rests on my serving during the Mass. The thought of quitting leaves me with a bit of a depressed feeling, but I think it might be the right thing to do.

Do you think an adult should continue to serve (I doubt I would be replaced) in my case? Have you heard of other adults in my situation? Were they able to wean themselves from serving?

Could you offer some advice on how to find other activities within the Church that might help to keep my faith and prayer life at the high levels they are today?

I discussed this with my pastor, but his eyes glaze over and he simply says "use your best judgement." Thank you so much.
Revd Lovejoy in his patented world-weary voice, like Billy Graham on downers: 'Why don't you try another world religion, Ned? They're all pretty much the same...'
Vatican seminar on Eastern Catholic churches
I assume not just the Byzantine Rite ones
In 1964, Ukrainian and Romanian Catholics were still facing brutal Communist persecution; today they are thriving under their newfound freedom.
I understand the Ukrainian one is the biggest Eastern Catholic church and that before World War II the Romanian one was big (up to 20%) compared to the country's general population, which is Orthodox, and that relations with the Orthodox there were unusually friendly for Eastern Europe - the two village priests would absolve each other's wives. The Communists ruined all that by banning the Byzantine Catholics and giving their churches to the Orthodox. The Ukrainian Catholic situation was completely different - as they were/are in old Polish Galicia, there were next to no Orthodox there until the USSR annexed them, banned their church and gave the buildings to the then-Soviet client Church of Russia.

At the same time, the immigration of Eastern-rite Catholics into the Western world has caused new challenges, as the Eastern churches struggle to maintain their traditions in countries where they comprise only a small minority of the Catholic population.
True if something that started 100-150 years ago is 'new', which I reckon it is in the eyes of the church! That's what the John Ireland (he started it)-Alexis Toth (1890s-1910) and Cum data fuerit/Orestes Chornock (1930s) schisms in coal-mine and steel-mill America were all about.

If "...Eastern churches should carefully preserve their own identity, their liturgical and spiritual traditions. "? Why are they so privileged? Why can't we of the West keep ours? Why do our Bishops (and most appointed by this Pope) show such vehement, zero tolerance for the Tridentine liturgy? Why do our Bishops show such visious hostility to our musical (organ, chant, polyphony), devotional (rosary, stations, saints, etc.), and Latin language traditions?
Good point - I too have seen this double standard for a long time. If you ask that question on a certain unofficial BC message board you'll get run off for your trouble.

We will have unity with the Orthodox world if we just keep praying for JPII's efforts. Once the Orthodox are again in the fold, let's hope their "orthodoxy" helps keep the Roman Church on the path of tradition and away from Secular Humanist theology that many suggest today.
Like I've said online since 1999, 'saving medicine for the whole church'. But that's not how things have worked out really over 400 years for the Byzantine Catholics.
The Lego church
Hmm. Looks a lot like Robert Schuller's Crystal Cathedral except for the massive crucifix.


A Byzantine Rite pontifical Divine Liturgy done in Lego
And 'learning by playing'/re-enacting... nothing wrong with that; I've met at least two priests whose vocations got started that way along with being an altar boy at the real Mass of course. The play Liturgy also reminds one of the mediæval Western custom of the boy bishop (chosen from among the cathedral-school choristers?) once a year.

(Thomas Day notes this too: how in the good old days many Catholic lads would set up their own versions of altars on their night-tables - like the young Colin Stephenson and his barn shrine! - and how today we can be fairly sure boys don't put chairs behind the tables and pretend to be 'presiders'.)

Otherwise the page is like reading Adrian Fortescue's ceremonial directions, a 1930s copy of which I just got, but with the Lego model (like a military model or football chart showing how clergy and altar boys are 'deployed' in different parts of the service) instead of his diagrams.

There must be a complete Byzantine Rite equivalent somewhere.
Eastern churches
The Rosary as practised by some Russian Orthodox
Such as St Seraphim of Sarov, a universally loved Russian saint
…I forgot to give you a piece of advice vital for salvation. Say the ‘O Hail, Mother of God and Virgin’ one hundred and fifty times, and this prayer will lead you on the way to salvation.
As one Russian Orthodox priest once said to me if that’s not the Rosary I don’t know what is.
The full text of the prayer is: Open unto us the door of thy loving-kindness, O blessed Mother of God, in that we set our hope on thee, may we not go astray; but through thee may we be delivered from all adversities, for thou art the salvation of all Christian people.
Милосердия двери отверзи нам, благословенная Богородице, надеющиися на тя да не погибнем, но да избавимся Тобою от бед: ты еси спасение рода христианскаго.

Of course she’s not a saviour in herself but saves relatively as she brought the one Saviour to the world. One of those prayers in the Catholic world that's fun for scaring Protestants but in serious discussions needs to be explained.

As I blogged on the 7th October I like the Rosary and it’s a great fallback for when you’re tired or unwell but I like the office better — real liturgical prayer centred on the Word with content for the intellect to work with.
Eastern churches
From Forum 18

Byelorussia: most religious communities denied state re-registration are Protestant

Registration by most non-Moscow Patriarchate Orthodox churches was effectively barred
Which makes sense according to the Orthodox because these groups aren't really Orthodox - in Byelorussia only the Church of Russia is.

Like I say, there are two ways a Catholic can go regarding the right to be wrong - the Russias and other ex-Communist countries choose one, the US historically the other.
From Rerum Novarum
I’ve noticed that too
On the media:

Blacks who are liberal are good and stereotyping them is bad.

Blacks who are conservative are bad and stereotyping them is good.

I have noted already how disgusted I am at such double standards but the fact that the mainstream media is so blatant about what they used to be covert about is yet more proof that they are continuing to go through the "death rattle" viz. their relevance in society today.
Condi Rice isn't really a conservative but this observation/criticism is spot on.
LRC pick
In defence of beauty pageants
They're often silly and dated - if you want to see something funny bordering on painful watch clips of the Miss America pageant trying to be hip (yeah, right, it's a scholarship contest) - but Wendy McElroy is right: praise beauty, don't pathologize it!

To John Rawls, naturally beautiful people are akin to those born rich or with perfect health; they have won "the social lottery." That is, they've benefited from random luck, which they did not earn or deserve. His theory has been used to justify the redistribution of wealth and power in society.
Hot women (and men) prove the big fella in the sky is no communist, LOL.

The feminist contention that beauty contests are unfair to the average woman has a Rawlsian ring. It also sounds like envy.

Wrap the envy in sophistry and you've got righteous-sounding PCness. Just like you can wrap racism in it and get 'concern about population growth and its effect on the environment', or the pro-murder movement.
The latest TV scandal in the States
The ‘Monday Night Football’ incident
Yes, yes, I know, near occasion of sin and all that, but 1) I understand they didn't actually show anything, 2) can't you take a joke? and 3) it almost makes me regret not watching football. Nicollette Sheridan is still hot after all these years. The stuff about race is bosh.

On a lighter note:

Rude ‘Rainbow’
Racy, very clever and yes, very funny (but not for the easily offended) without actually doing or showing anything! This was staged and filmed as a joke by the cast and crew for a Christmas contest with other shows and was written by the man doing the voices of the puppets. I wonder how many takes the team needed to get through this without laughing. To put it in Stateside terms it's got about as much innuendo flying around as three episodes (in one short, super-concentrated dose) of ‘Three’s Company’, which makes sense as that was copied from a British show, ‘Man About the House’. ‘Rainbow’, BTW, was ITV’s attempt to copy ‘Sesame Street’.

So let’s sing the plucking song!

And in the news from Russia, in Russian:

Ballerina in controversial scene in new movie
Again, definitely not for the easily offended.

Мое мнение об Анастасии Волочкове: она — красавица (это значит: smokin’). But the pics lose their punch because of, sorry, that ugly dude slobbering all over her. He's supposed to be Pushkin but it looks more like 'Beauty and the Beast, Uncut!' The film is titled The Black Prince (правильно князь, не немецкое слово принц, да?) and no, I'm not saying this because Pushkin was black - the actor (Levani Uchanishvili, incidentally obviously a Georgian) as made up to play him really doesn't look cut out for love scenes!
Asperger syndrome in the news
The case of the poisoned cake
What's not so tough to figure out is the motive - revenge! If one of the girls really does have AS, she's probably got motive aplenty (reacting to bullying and ostracism) and the whole incident reads like a young teenage girl stunt that even non-AS kids could have come up with.

The next issues are:

Was there intent to kill? I imagine not though there was obviously intent to harm (sicken) - a vicious practical joke (I don't like practical jokes anyway) that's not excusable but explainable.

Are the authorities overreacting with the charges to what's really a childish payback prank and not really 'terrorism'? Yes, probably.

Is the AS a mitigating factor? Yes, in part, but 1) people with AS know right from wrong and 2) most people with AS aren't violent nor do they use it as an excuse to get away with malicious acts. I'm afraid this case and using AS as a defence will give people wrong ideas about the problem.

The father of the girl with AS, whom I saw on the TV, is right that the girls are guilty of lesser charges such as recklessness.

Not realizing just how dangerous a stunt can be is as much part of being 12 or 13 as it is part of AS.

The worst thing I did like this when I was that age was sneak-attack a bully with Mace. Like with a lot of things, if I'd known about AS back then, chances are both that incident and what provoked it (BTW the school was cool and understood that; I got a light punishment, considering - and the bully got the same punishment) never would have happened!
From blog member Samer al-Batal
The sweetheart contract with Sharon
By Pat Buchanan

Thursday, November 18, 2004

LRC pick
A short history of US involvement in the Middle East
All that's missing is the propping up of the Zionist state
From nearly a year ago:

Italian town offers $11,900 per baby
You'd think it'd be one of the proudly godless Scandinavian countries, but no, Italy has Europe's lowest birth rate, or 'if Naples becomes the stompin' ground of Muhammad in 50 years it's your fault'
Gerard Serafin Bugge
Mr Bugge died early this morning at home.

I was acquainted with him online for nearly six years; we never met. I had issues with him and he with me - he didn't share my regard for the late Fr Malachi Martin, as Mr B was a Novus Ordo type who didn't like my and Fr M's 'conservative worldview', plus he had a prickly love-hate relationship with Eastern Christians. We crossed swords a lot especially when this blog was just getting started but at his best he really did try to bear witness to the Catholic faith through his online apostolate that became his second career.

Dona ei requiem/вечная память.
From Drake Adams
Russian-Israelis who are now Eastern Orthodox
Reminds me of several Russians I know, who either were born Jews or are of Jewish heritage (Jewish father, etc.), who converted to Russian Orthodoxy after emigrating. Unlike these people in Palestine who worship in modern Hebrew, a factor for them was homesickness for Russian culture so they're happy praying in Slavonic. But like them they're proud of their Jewish background.

Drake gives an example of a Byzantine Rite prayer in Hebrew:

Melekh HaShamaim, HaMenakhem, Ruakh HaEmet, Hanimtza bekhol makom umale hakol, Otzar HaTovot vekhonen khayim, boah ushkon banu, veteharenu mikol tumah vehoshiyah El Tov et nafshoteynu.
Even I recognize a few words including cognates with another, more widely spoken Semitic language, Arabic. How close/intelligible is it, Samer?

Back to Slavonic: here's an example of 'before and after', what I do with texts I find on Russian sites. I now have an office book of about 50 pages with these texts.

How I find it:

Господи Иисусе Христе, Сыне Божий, помилуй мя грешнаго (грешную).
And after I'm done with it, using Word and a set of Slavonic fonts also got off the Web:

The Catholic faith
From Joseph Oliveri:

Harold06 wrote Joe:
Sunday night I was watching "Sunday Night Live with Fr Benedict Groeschel" on EWTN. The subject was death and the last judgment. A caller asked about St Faustina and her belief that one has an absolute last chance to repent immediately prior to the moment of death or at the moment of death.

I have never heard this before. (Of course, I have not read up on St Faustina!) Apparently she believed that Christ appeared to her and said that everyone would be given this final moment of grace.

Is this correct?

I enjoy Fr Groeschel and if he believes it, then I would be inclined to agree.

I like it! Reminds me of what very holy former friend Mark Bonocore once told me about a private revelation that said right after death if God finds any good at all in the soul He will save that person, but maybe not right away.

On the lighter side, Joe notices that Peter Gabriel and Fr Benedict Groeschel (a Capuchin friar, which explains the fine beard, who started his own variant of Franciscanism) do look awfully alike now and both can be said to copy the look of Orthodox clerics and monks!

One of my favourite black-and-white art photos (a postcard of it is on one wall at home) is of a man wearing a soft round black flat-topped hat with a long grey beard blowing in the wind - he looks exactly like some kind of Orthodox cleric or monk but it's actually Auguste Rodin, ironically the maker of some of the sexiest, most sensual scuplture ever.
From antiwar.com’s blog
On liberals crying wolf and the real Nazis/fascists now
Reminds me of Godwin's law
Thanks, liberals, for every time you used the N- or F-word to describe welfare reform, opposition to affirmative action, laissez-faire economics, or the slightest insensitivity. Cos' now, we're looking the real thing right in the face, and the appropriate terms have been sapped of all urgency.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Eastern churches
From a link given by Samer al-Batal back in January, Tsarist Russia in colour:

Shrine of Our Lady of Smolensk, Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God, Smolensk, 1912

These photos are amazing! It's like being there. Makes the period come alive, doesn't it?

I have a big copy of the Smolenskaya icon in my home chapel. Nice to see what the original looked like surrounded by baroque splendour. The shrine seems bigger than the royal doors of the church's iconostasis!
The Catholic faith

An anchoress in Ireland
Now that's Godwardness
Russian army off-duty deaths rise
More suicides and accidents than combat deaths
Eastern churches
Russia’s ‘Vatican’
Not to be confused with the Danilov monastery where the patriarch of Moscow lives, which is also the home of the Sofrino workshop, ecclesiastical clothiers and makers of excellent inexpensive icons
From The Gutless Pacifist
Fallujah in pictures
This is what war is all about, unlike the video game war we see on the news.

I suspect that at some point, conservative Christians in this country may need to reconsider the idea that God is on America's side in the war in Iraq.
From the site itself:

i believe the american people are decent and not without humanity. they have not seen what is being done in their name. maybe we don't live in a world that can do without war. i do know that people need to know what war means before they decide.

a lot of people have sent me pictures of september 11th. please stop. i lived in lower manhattan on 9/11. i've seen it in real life.
Blog member Dave McLaughlin was in the World Trade Center.

the people in these pictures are just as important as the men and women that died on september 11th. a mother who loses her child suffers the same no matter what her nationality might be. she doesn't want a lecture on politics or religion. she wants her son back.
Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer.
Iraqis rightly angry over Hassan murder
A campaign to gather information on Hassan's whereabouts was recently launched in Baghdad, with a picture of Hassan holding a sick Iraqi child posted on billboards around Baghdad.

The billboards read: "Margaret Hassan is truly a daughter of Iraq... She is against the occupation."
Fox to make US version of ‘EastEnders’
Ugh. If it ever is broadcast it'll sink like an iron duck. Chicago is not East London - it won't work. As for the real programme it can be depressing but in so doing it does hit the mark. (At college I knew both an actor who'd been on it - he's now a liberal C of E priest - and somebody who was the genuine article; ’er accent was ’er trademark.)
On immigration
From El camino real:
In recent years I have soured on Pat Buchanan, primarily because of his frequently irresponsible rhetoric on the subject of immigration. (Please note that my objection pertains specifically to his rhetoric, not his position on immigration reform which is entirely legitimate.)
A country's first obligation is to its citizens and a country can only handle so many people.

Followed up by Katolik Shinja:
Like Mr. Culbreath, I, too, "have soured on Pat Buchanan, primarily because of his frequently irresponsible rhetoric on the subject of immigration." America does not face the same crisis of immigration as does Europe, whose immigrants come largely from Islamic lands. Our immigrants are mostly from Christian and Western Latin America. Hispanics are the only demographic group that is not attempting to abort, contracept, or sterilize itself out of existence in the US. Their presence will make us a better country.

The strong family values of Asians are also benefical to America. Mr. Buchanan singled out Korean-Americans, 70% of whom are Christian, in his 1992 speech:

"And there were the brave people of Koreatown who took the worst of the LA riots, but still live the family values we treasure, and who still believe deeply in the American dream."
LRC pick
A letter to Jim Wallis and Sojourners
And other well-meaning but wrong religious liberals

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

From A Yank in Ulster four months ago
Iraq peace party against the occupation
Eastern churches
Does Band Aid betray West’s ignorance?
Bush and Blair mangle English with ‘zombified’ management-speak

Please, God, no
From Mike Russell
Keillor: Born-agains should not have right to vote
Popular radio host says Christians' citizenship is really in heaven
Speaking in the aftermath of the presidential election, Democrat radio host Garrison Keillor says he is on a quest to take away the right of born-again Christians to vote, saying their citizenship is actually in heaven, not the United States.

Keillor, host of the popular National Public Radio show "A Prairie Home Companion," made the comments during a speech at Chicago's Rockefeller Memorial Chapel and during his radio monologue the Saturday after the election....

During the Chicago speech Nov. 3, Keillor described his reaction to the re-election of President Bush.

"I am a Democrat – it's no secret. I am a museum-quality Democrat," Keillor said. "Last night I spent my time crouched in a fetal position, rolling around and moaning in the dark."
MR: From lovely Lake Wobegon, heartwarming thoughts from the host of the pseudo-nostalgic "Prairie Home Companion." Of course, he's, uh, just kidding...isn't he? [End.]

I'm not happy about the election either, don't think much of WND and granted this is probably a scare piece for the Prots but considering the history of the 20th century, when the Soviet Union tried to stamp out the Church of Russia in nearly exactly the same way, even if Mr K is joking this can't be taken lightly.

Damn shame - I have and like Lake Wobegon Days and have heard live and like Peter Ostroushko's music. Really thought this condescending crap was beneath Keillor.

And, Mr K, if you really mean it, living down to every hateful image one can have of 'blue-staters' who hate heartland Americans and their sincere (if technically heretical) faith, I'll chip in to buy you a one-way ticket to Pyongyang, Minsk or somewhere in the Transdniester, where the Soviet Union lives on, товарищ. Бог простит тебя - God have mercy on you.
From TCR
New bio of C.S. Lewis pulls no punches
No surprise - after all you can go to hell by imitating the faults of the saints

From Katolik Shinja
Possible war crime in Fallujah
In a Muslim house of worship no less

Bono and band of young Brit rockers revive Christmas charity song
I love that song - so ’80s cool
From blog member John Boyden
US FDA strengthens warning on abortion pill

Charges dropped against Vietnam veteran who flew US flag upside down in protest
The US flag never was meant to be a swastika. Interestingly in Britain, where the flag is far more potent in its Catholic symbolism, you don't see it nearly as much as you do the Stars and Stripes in the States, where you'll see it an average of about 10 times in various forms in one block, as if you might forget which country you're in!
From blog member Samer al-Batal
Where to buy Byzantine Rite music CDs

Greek and Middle Eastern church chant sound like the same genre and with the ison bass line and minor-key stuff sound like bagpipes transposed to voices. If you love bagpipes you'll love this, if not then you won't.

Monday, November 15, 2004

From De Fidei Obœdientia
World Youth Day 2005 will include... the Roman Mass
Stand by, boomers; the restoration is under way... it won't be finished until such is the default, not the exception
Reports from Fallujah suggest Christian warnings were right
From Drake Adams
Why I like Advent
Advent is a wonderful time, has always been so. Much that is ...Catholic ...remains in the most independent sect of Protestants and even on the lips of secular folk at this time.
Thought of that today when I heard Christmas carols on the radio. Real ones. Christian ones. The time of year when even the most iconoclastic Protestant has statues of Jesus and Mary on display in the form of Nativity scenes. I love it.

From The Rockall Times
Fierce battle rages over news hyperbole
From about a fortnight ago
Spammer jailed
‘A snake-oil salesman in a new format’
From Katolik Shinja

What Bush hath wrought
Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer
Linguistic boffinry
History of and changes in Russian spelling
Fun if you've tried printing pages for the office/hours in Slavonic by copying and pasting text from Russian sites and then properly archaizing the spelling using a good Slavonic font. Upping the boffinry quotient in this entry, HTML character code hasn't got any of the older letters so the text you find online is in modern (that is, Soviet) Russian spelling by default.

As the article points out a lot of the discarded letters sound the same as others but are useful in writing as grammatical markers and to tell certain words apart. The твёрдый знак (ъ) after a lot of words made sense for reading backwhenpeoplewrotelikethis.
LRC picks
Confessing Christ in a world of violence
Via Sojourners: rejecting ‘the church of Bush’

Machine-gunning people for the Feds isn’t good for your spiritual or mental health

In defence of Christian fundamentalists!

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Eastern churches and today’s Roman Rite feast-day
St Josaphat: hero or heel?
• The estrangement between East and West never should have happened.
• Some accounts say Bishop Josaphat was zealous in keeping the Orthodox tradition but the other side says he was so vicious to the Orthodox who didn't go under Rome that even the Poles complained.
• To be fair, what are now the Byzantine Catholic churches haven't fared well in keeping that tradition (largely because they latinized themselves) and the rank and file among them now aren't particularly interested in it. A high-church minority are.
• In America the Toth and Chornock immigrant schisms should more properly be called the John Ireland and Basil Takach schisms.

A word from somebody I trust is far less controversial than Bishop Josaphat (as he isn't accused of persecuting anybody - quite the opposite), in his native language:

Призри, милосердый Господи Иисусе, Спасителю наш, на молитвы и на воздыхания грешных и недостойных рабов Твоих, смиренно к Тебе припадающих, и соедини на всех во единой, святой, соборной и апостольской Церкви. Свет Твой незаходимый пролей в души наши. Истреби раздоры церковные, дай нам славить Тебя единым сердцем и едиными устами и да познают все, что мы верные ученики Твои и возлюбленные дети Твои. Владыко наш многомилостивый, скоро исполни обетование Твое, и да будут едино стадо Твое и един Пастырь в Церкви Твоей, и да будем достойно славить имя Твое святое всегда, ныне и присно и в безконечные веки. Аминь.
- Блаженный Леонтий (Леонид Фёдоров)

Before the disunion of East and West I die in the Catholic faith.
- Paraphrase of Bishop Thomas Ken

Another (and might I add better than the other) site with ‘byzcath’ in its address
In Russian
From Drake Adams
Debunking Zionism among Christians

The Ecclesiological Society

For those who love churches as much as we do
From blog member Samer al-Batal
Trad Catholic Radio
They'll start transmitting on the 28th November.

It isn't clear what brand or colour of traditionalism this station will be presenting, though the founder worships with the FSSP in Ottawa.
From blog member Dave McLaughlin
Gonzales nomination angers abortion foes
But if you listened to the debates the nomination and the issue that has upset pro-lifers are no surprise at all, which is why abortion wasn't a factor in how I voted; IOW, 'I told you so'.
Remembrance Sunday

Dulce et decorum est’
By Wilfred Owen
A thought both for the day and the war now

‘I survived the trenches — and would never go back’
Jack Davis, interviewed at 107, remembers being a British soldier in WWI

Taki on the desirability of a Central Powers victory
Wilson's war destroyed Catholic Europe East and West and Palestine would have been better off remaining a distant province of Turkey

LRC pick
Farce and tragedy

In addition to the Cenotaph in London many English towns have a prominent monument (you can see one in the background in the first scene of Bridget Jones' Diary for example) - the war wiped out a generation.

Dona eis requiem.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

From The Gutless Pacifist
Black People Love Us
Satire that works for the most part (except the heavy-handed Pictionary bit) - the same culture clash and white unease that produce Two-Beer White Guy, of whom these characters are a variant.

Dr James Dobson on corporal punishment for kids
I appreciate the criticism - 'mullah' and all that - but have come around to agreeing with Dr Dobson on this form of discipline rarely and fairly applied. (We disagree on other matters such as Mr Bush and the Iraq war.) I grew up with a form of the abusive kind of that punishment, having a disability nobody including me understood, but a friend my age with kids applies Dobsonian principles and they're fair, they're humane and they work.