Saturday, April 30, 2005

Христосъ воскресе!

Христос воскресе из мертвых, смертию смерть поправ, и сущим во гробех живот даровав.

Happy Easter — again!

Here’s Fr John Whiteford on why Eastern Orthodox Easter often is later than the Western observance.

The Easter Sermon of St John Chrysostom
As if war weren’t bad enough:

Combat veterans have higher risk of heart disease
From The Gaelic Starover
Depleted uranium
Do a search in this blog for links to more articles and pictures of how horrific this is

The Bushling could not find an “nookular” material or any other “weapon of mass destruction.”

However, he left plenty of it around for the children of Iraq.
Three from Katolik Shinja
From LRC
‘Collateral damage’ is mass murder

Is ‘reform of the reform’ real now?
A conservative Novus Ordo journal seems to think so — this article on Pope Benedict XVI paints him as well-disposed towards Mass-and-office Catholicism
That same day, Sunday, April 24, in all the churches of the world the Gospel reading was from the fourteenth chapter of John, in which Jesus says of himself:

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”
‘All the churches of the world’?! The churches that use the Roman Mass read part of John 16 and what of the churches that are part of big-C Churches that don’t use the Roman Rite?

Wilsonian posturing
Joshua Snyder calls this what it is

Friday, April 29, 2005

From Katolik Shinja
Terri Schiavo’s final hours: an eyewitness account
Eastern churches

Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk, ecumenical officer of the Russian Orthodox Church, with Pope Benedict XVI


An accurate view of modern RC practice
I may be Western Rite Orthodox, but when I look again at St. Hedwig's, it makes me want to rush off to a full Byzantine Divine Liturgy. Popes and Patriarchs [and academics in ecumenical dialogue] may dream of union, but when ordinary Orthodox people can see this (St. Hedwig's) kind of place around any corner in any city in the western world, they just do not believe that it is the equivalent of what they have, and they want nothing to do with it .... and in Orthodoxy, they do have a say .... it (St. Hedwig's et al.) is all very depressing.
- Fr Michael (Wood)

In other words, dropping the filioque (something some mainline Protestants do occasionally), tacking on an epiklesis and adding a token deacon to a service that in spirit is really mainline Protestant doesn’t make it resemble the Christian East, or any other Catholic services, any more than my putting on a baseball cap backwards and speaking in rhyme to a beat would make me a gangsta.

Eastern Orthodox Good Friday
For the peace of the whole world, for the welfare of the holy churches of God and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

The plashchanitsa, the icon of the burial of Christ used in the Orthodox liturgy on Good Friday

Благообразный Иосиф, с Древа снем пречистое тело Твое, плащаницею чистою обвив, и вонями во гробе нове покрыв положи.

The noble Joseph, taking down Thy most pure Body from the Tree, wrapped It in a clean linen, anointed It with spices and placed It in a new tomb.
From truthout
Some health news:

Dentists no longer automatically pull wisdom teeth
Good — somebody tried to sell that to me nearly 20 years ago and I didn’t buy it

Girls on radical diets more likely to get fat
Seems like common sense. Stay in the state of grace and eat just about anything you want.

Chernobyl may blow again

Good news related to granola conservatism:

Eco-friendly living in Portland, Oregon

And on mental health:

We’re all a little mad
It’s just a matter of channelling it in ways both objectively good and that work for you

And on to other news:

Tenet admits Iraq WMD ‘slam-dunk’ comment ‘dumbest ever’

UK government’s secret memo on Iraq war

Which Mr Blair tried to hide

On Abu Ghraib, the big shots walk

Between Iraq and a hard place

US House passes bill: a minor pro-life victory
Which isn’t really pro-life (murder is still OK within state lines, and across them if the parents approve) but the pro-murder people (like TO themselves) are still upset

On the box
PBS’ ‘Now’ visits Gitmo, talks about Abu Ghraib
LRC picks
The worship of the state leads to the degradation of persons
On the views of Pope Benedict XVI

On the ‘good’ done in Iraq
By Harry Browne

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

From truthout
Rights watchdog calls Abu Ghraib ‘tip of the iceberg’
From blog member Samer al-Batal
Syria quits Lebanon
S al-B: The article points out that there is doubt as to whether the entire intelligence apparatus has been cleared out of the country. As I mentioned before, Syria is less willing to scuttle its intelligence network than to withdraw militarily. But by and large, and with the resignation of Lebanese security chief Jameel is-Say'yid and the departure of Syrian intelligence chief Rustum Ghazaaleh, that network has been dismantled, and Syria's past influence is now diminishing noticeably.
From Fr James Tucker via blog member Samer al-Batal
Pope Benedict XVI on sacred music in the Roman Rite
LRC picks
The next depression?
By Lew Rockwell

And the angels sing
Appreciating Johnny Mercer

Lest I seem too ‘O tempora’ last night I listened to the Ramones and the Clash.

Have the Rolling Stones killed.
- C. Montgomery Burns on being insulted by the Ramones

And if the article’s title refers to what I think it does, Mercer got that tune from a Jewish wedding song.

Jörg Friedrich on Dresden, Hiroshima and the beginning of the Cold War
Eastern churches
From blog member Samer al-Batal

The ikon in the home (PDF format)
S al-B: This excerpt from Undiscovered Russia, authored by Stephen Graham who lived in tsarist times, offers a brief but very vivid description of the power this religious object of devotion once had to evoke piety in and summon forth reverence from the faithful Russian Christian. In illustrating the many traditions that surrounded it, the author illustrates how tremendous respect for this channel between the visible and invisible was ingrained in the Russian people’s collective psyche.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

From Katolik Shinja
Joshua Snyder and Archduke Otto von Hapsburg on politics
From The Latin Mass
Blessed Charles of Austria
Emperor for peace
After the war [World War I] he lost his throne to the infamously unjust peace settlement that eventually led to the Second World War.

He deeply respected the limits that Catholic moral principles imposed in the conduct of military operations. He was completely against unrestricted submarine warfare as practised on a large scale by the Germans because they frequently failed to distinguish between military and civilian targets. He resolutely opposed the bombing of cities and did everything possible to prevent the use of chemical weapons.

Blessed Karl sought peace first and foremost because of his devotion to Christian principles, not due to any notion of pacifism. His political savvy brought him to the realization that the continuation of hostilities would be fatal for the survival of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was convinced that both socialism and communism would find a propitious climate in countries torn by war and that in the ensuing chaos, different nationalistic tendencies would reignite and threaten the unity of the Austrian empire.

Blame for the disappearance of Austria-Hungary lay with the republican and anticlerical forces connected to Masonry that totally refused the peace proposals of the emperor.
- Fr Ignacio Barreiro
From truthout
Blogs vs mainstream media
By Juan Cole
From blog visitor New Catholic

Abortion-clinic workers refused to save live baby despite mother’s screams
The Catholic faith
From Fr Alvin Kimel

Is God a he?
Chernobyl 19 years on
Also, do a search in this blog to find a link to a tour of the abandoned Soviet city of Pripyat’, AFAIK still a запретная зона (forbidden zone to the public).
Eastern churches
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt

On Anglo-Americans, including in the South, turning Catholicwards through the Orthodox tradition
Others have written on the phenom of a new, larger RC presence in traditionally Protestant Dixie thanks in part to yuppie migration of Northerners but also to Southerners discovering the full faith.

(As one of the tutors at college put it, teach an Evangelical history and he often becomes quite Catholic.)

It seems to be Novus Ordo but conservative; sound in the essentials — it’s got potential to take the next step and become traditional liturgically.

The phenom described specifically here is what I call Eastern Orthodoxy’s convert boomlet over the past 20 years and includes former Evangelical (Free Church) leader Franky Schaeffer, Terry Mattingly and LRC’s Steven Greenhut.

Fifty years ago these John Henry Newman-like people would have become Anglicans or RCs.

‘The end of the world’ in the 1960s changed that.

Now they’ve essentially got the faith but with a mystical kick that’s culturally unique and with the company of lovely people from Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

The rite (all of its texts and practices) and all of the positive doctrinal statements (not the negative opinions about post-estrangement issues with the West) contain everything I believe in.

"It's not about getting the sin-debt paid, the ticket punched and now you wait around to die and go to heaven. Orthodoxy is a transforming journey where every day the Christian is being enabled to bear more of God's light. That's exciting," she [Frederica Mathewes-Greene] said.
Western Catholicism teaches the same thing. Coming from a charismatist version of Low Churchmanship Mrs Mathewes-Greene might not know that.

Roman Catholics believe the pope has ultimate authority, while Orthodox Christians say their council of bishops is more in line with Scripture and church tradition. (The early church had five centers of Christianity - in Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Rome and Constantinople, which is now Istanbul.)
Acknowledgement of the Chair of Peter is patristic East and West but to give these dear people their due I noticed that a lot of the rhetoric recently on the changing of Popes (the flock gathered round its shepherd, spiritual fatherhood, etc.) rightly applies (primarily?) to the local bishop, perhaps (?) more than to the super-patriarch of the whole church.

The Pentarchy, the five centres named in the article, are an historical accident, nothing to do with Catholic ecclesiology as such — all that’s essential sacramentally are bishops, no matter the places.

Orthodox Christians also disagree with the [Roman] Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, which states that Jesus' mother was born without sin herself.
The truth on this matter.

Some good words from a fervent, observant, un-liberal bishop:

Archbishop Dmitri, 81, leads the Archdiocese of Dallas and the South for the Orthodox Church in America. He grew up as Robert Royster in a Southern Baptist family in Teague, Texas, but converted to Orthodoxy as a teen because he wanted more out of faith.

"Everything was true, but it was not complete. It wasn't that I needed to repudiate it. I just went on to find the rest of it," he said.

The Orthodox consider themselves to have a bond with other Christians but believe they have a more accurate understanding of the faith. At a recent daylong festival in Dallas about Orthodox Christianity, Archbishop Dmitri encouraged people in other denominations to cling to the elements of the historic faith that their churches uphold, but added an invitation: "If you find there are holes at the bottom and you have to abandon ship, then head for one that's still afloat," he said.
How he became a clergyman is an interesting story. The Antiochian Archdiocese did an experiment in the 1950s or 1960s of ordaining some converts with little or no formal training and all predictably were disasters except him. God moves in mysterious ways.
From The Gaelic Starover
The case of Sibel Edmonds
A heroine
LRC pick
Iraq ‘uptick’, superpower ‘downtick’
truthout picks
Final curtain falls on Iraq WMD myth

Not only Iraqis but the US Marines are getting shafted

US rights group call for special prosecutor to probe alleged torture

A setback for US pro-life demonstrators

Which TO thinks is good news; we tend to disagree

Bush-backed drug marketing
I don’t think that’s what people had in mind when they heard ‘compassionate conservatism’

And some good news:

New nursing home emphasises ‘home’

And from the BBC:

Demand for Rumsfeld abuse inquiry
US Gen. Ricardo Sanchez was cleared of abuse in Iraq, I don’t know if rightly or not

Monday, April 25, 2005

From Fr James Tucker
The Acton Institute
This looks like a good site.

On which Joshua Snyder (Katolik Shinja) found:

True liberalism
That is, classical liberalism. A good thing.
Matters liturgical

Pope Benedict XVI after his enthronement Mass with Orthodox and (turbaned) Coptic clergy in the background

Not only are his vestments overall an improvement over the 1978 ceremony but a blog visitor brought his pallium to my attention. I like it! Red for the blood of Christ on white (like the flag of England), it shows a knowledge of ancient and early mediæval liturgical history, a knowledge fostered by the legitimate liturgical movement (now gone over 35 years), and makes clear that this archiepiscopal vestment is the same as the omophorion of Orthodox bishops.
Eastern churches
Russian Orthodox Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev)’s substantial remarks on the enthronement of Pope Benedict XVI
Gaudent angeli
Some people watching Pope John Paul II’s funeral Mass noticed and posted online that Brother Roger (Schutz), the founder of the originally Protestant experiment in monasticism at Taizé-les-Cluny, France over 60 years ago, received Communion.

It turns out that he is now a Roman Catholic! (This article confirming it is in Spanish.)

(He’s Swiss and originally belonged to the Reformed Church — Lutheran and Reformed men co-founded Taizé.)

In a way that’s not surprising as by its nature (Christian life that’s Godward, communal and liturgical) Taizé has had many Catholic elements in it. I love their recorded music as something devotional — it uses repetitions and even Latin! Probably thanks to its age I’ve always associated it with the legitimate liturgical movement more than the Novus Ordo. (Even though its longtime member Max Thurian, also a Protestant to begin with, was an adviser at its invention — he later became a priest.) Going to a couple of Taizé-style services left me cold but of course I like that they use candles and icons including the crucifix.

IIRC part of his inspiration for Taizé was his mother telling him that during World War I, I forget in which country (France?), she found peace one day visiting a Catholic church. The Divine Presence in the Reserved Sacrament probably had something to do with it and she probably didn’t realize it at the time.
Eastern churches
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt

Concise explanation of every day of Eastern Orthodox Holy Week
LRC pick
Our deranged leaders

Sunday, April 24, 2005

truthout picks
Some US soldiers are still killing civilians with impunity while the dead go uncounted

Remembering Marla Ruzicka
Eastern churches
Katolik Shinja
Armenia marks 90th anniversary of Turkish massacres
As Joshua points out Armenia (Hayastan) is the world’s oldest Christian country

Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II (2nd right) speaks as Armenian President Robert Kocharyan (2nd left) attends a ceremony at the memorial to the dead, to mark the 90th anniversary of the mass killing of Armenians in Yerevan, April 24, 2005. Hundreds of thousands of people clutching tulips, carnations and daffodils climbed a hill in Armenia's capital on Sunday to lay wreaths and remember the 1.5 million they say were killed 90 years ago in Ottoman Turkey.

What the Turks did encouraged Hitler to go ahead with the Holocaust because I understand that he said that nobody remembered Armenia.

Even so a Central Powers victory in World War I would have been better for Catholic Europe and for Palestine in the long run.

Speaking of that war and senseless killing:

Gallipoli 90 years on
Although far more British soldiers died it left a bigger psychological scar* on the young nation of Australia. I’ve heard that Aussies, famously friendly and fun-loving, will joke about anything (something they share in part with their English cousins) except that.

*Not to underestimate the hurt done to Britain as Remembrance Day and the cenotaphs all over England make clear.
Matters liturgical
From Drake Adams

Sarum survivals and an attempted revival
The ‘Western Rite Orthodox’ who say they do Sarum (a minority of a minority) don’t really do Sarum in full but a cobbling together of Roman Rite (of which Sarum is a use) and various Book of Common Prayer elements and Byzantinizations

From friend John Treat
An example of an ‘English altar’
Fr Michael (Wood):

Nice, but for that odd baldacchino-type canopy. Quite unnecessary addition to an Altar with riddel posts in a reservation-dedicated chapel - the roof of which ought to be the canopy and appropriately decorated. But an English Altar with riddel posts ......with electric candles on them!!!!!!!

The real problem is that the "Lady Chapel" was originally the equivalent to the eastern
proskomedia (жертвенникъ) - a table of preparation of the elements of the Sacrifice - and a place of reservation. It was not intended as an Altar for celebration.
From Katolik Shinja
Sex summed up
Catholic common sense or as Fr Joseph Huneycutt has described it, ‘Right, you can, but you can’t’.
Better-looking than the vestments used in 1978?

Pope Benedict XVI

Nice thurible as well.

Again, I’m hopeful.

Friday, April 22, 2005

truthout picks
Henry Hyde changes mind on Clinton impeachment
Second-term Clinton ended up being a better conservative than many neocons

Speaking of which...

Cost of Iraq and Afghanistan wars now over $300 billion

The new McCarthyism

Teacher busted for daring to criticize the Zionist state

Iraq deteriorating: Australian contractor
From Drake Adams
Behind the rage at Benedict XVI
The heathen make much ado: a good sign.

I think Pat Buchanan has got this right.

Then again, being cautious, I have in my library at home a dusty 25-year-old paperback titled John Paul II and the Catholic Restoration or some such: on the ground level where most of us are he didn’t deliver. It’s still mainline Protestantism, non-Anglo-Saxon-style.

At the very least, even if nothing changes in the parishes (they remain uninhabitable — salus animarum lex suprema), etc., this Pope will hold the line on Catholic principles just like the last one, only the liberal and secular critics will be more vicious to him as he is not young nor extroverted: he’s a mild-mannered, cat-loving, reserved German academic, not a TV star to alternately love and hate like they did the last one.

At the most:

The Pope celebrating the Roman Mass in Germany a few years ago

Hurrah for Benedict XVI!

From Fr Alvin Kimel
The halo of hatred pick
Britain’s absurd election
The Catholic faith
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt

A classic examination of conscience for Confession
LRC picks
On ‘conservative’ critics of non-intervention, the classic conservative position

A possible male contraceptive pill
More pig heaven for dishonourable men at the expense of women

The state does not bind in marriage
Common sense from an Evangelical on gay civil marriage

Germaine Greer (an Aussie) on Englishness

Thursday, April 21, 2005

On the box
‘Revelations’ revisited
On seeing the second instalment I’ve now got it sussed: it largely copies ‘The X-Files’ with a Da Vinci Code overlay of good old lurid Anglo-American Protestant anti-Catholic fiction and Gnosticism/New Agery.

You see, Scully and Mulder, er, Pretty Nun and Beefy Brooding Sceptical Scientist (that chap who played the macho US president in Independence Day) are encountering bizarre supernatural forces that only they and their enlightened friends understand and are battling a big evil bureaucracy threatened by them. Standing in for the US government (why, oh, why didn’t people remember this fable when Mr Bush’s handlers started taking away freedoms and invading countries?) is... duh, duh, dumm, the Roman Catholic Church.

NBC seems to like the production values (the visuals) of the church which makes its anti-Catholicism a little less obvious but apparently Pretty Nun’s order are dissenters not liked by Rome (even though the non-hot nuns, that is, everybody except Pretty, wear proper habits) because they are mavericks like David Duchovny’s ‘Spooky’ Mulder searching for the hidden truth!

The big bad church is threatened, you see, because (as a minor-character nun dramatically says) ‘now Jesus is no longer in heaven but on earth’ (again, a risible theological clanger) so perhaps the big bad church’s services are no longer needed.

(You see, Cletus, ah toldja: them papists are tryin’ to keep people from Jeeeezus.)

‘The End Is Here’ = ‘The Truth Is Out There’.

Actually the sceptical doctor and believer roles are reversed between the sexes so never mind; it’s entirely different!
Eastern churches
Patriarch of Moscow condemns ‘parish cultism’
A phenom I’ve heard about, allegedly among the Eastern Orthodox convert boomlet but also in some pockets of RC traditionalism, in a way understandable when one is under siege. The distinction between sacerdotalism (the Catholic principle of the apostolic ministry) and clericalism (its caricature, as Fr George Rutler explains) is forgotten.
An answer in pictures
The neocons say:

We remember as well, and more... like what partly caused it

World War I: see entries earlier today and search this blog for more

From Katolik Shinja
Why the death penalty should be used only cautiously and rarely
LRC picks
The new American militarism

The authentic German classical liberal tradition

Connect the dots

LRC blog pick
Pope Benedict XV on World War I (full text)
From 1914: on the upcoming war ‘that destroyed the world of liberty’

The new Pope has taken the name last taken by the preconciliar pontiff whose advice, had it been heeded by the world, would have avoided the bloodbath of World War I, the triumph of “democracy” under the tank treads of Woodrow Wilson’s armies, and the final toppling of altar and throne in Europe.
- Christopher Ferrara
From blog member Samer al-Batal
On the RC Church’s decline over the past decades and the last pontificate
By Pat Buchanan

The latest feature online from The Remnant:

Thoughts on the day after
Michael Davies on now-Pope Benedict XVI:

Some years ago, the late Michael Davies approached me with an odd request. He asked me to stop publishing criticisms of Cardinal Ratzinger in The Remnant. He acknowledged that the Cardinal had positions which were problematic to traditionalists, but nevertheless asked that we consider moving away from criticizing him publicly. It was Michael’s adamant contention that Cardinal Ratzinger would prove a great friend of tradition in the end. “He’s on our side, more than you know,” he assured me.
Once again, I’m hopeful.

As for his first sermon as Pope, I think that one shouldn’t take it for more than it was, a mix of politesse (showing politically obligatory respect for the last Pope) and pious rhetoric. A change literally overnight isn’t how the real world works. And if by ‘enact Vatican Council II’ all he means is restating the things it says that are true but already covered (better) in older church documents, supporting religious liberty as a relative good and continuing to talk to other Christians (especially of course the Christian East) and other religions (especially the fellow Abrahamic faiths of Judaism and Islam) then fine. One can support all of those things and be traditional liturgically and theologically. (If one is talking to the Christian East and taking it seriously I should think so!)

The lost art of speaking
By Joseph Sobran
Reminds one of the erosion of RP and the spread of Estuary, innit?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

From David’s Daily Diversions
David Holford rightly rubbishes the Pope’s liberal critics

Speaking of whom, amidst African bishops welcoming the new Pope:

However, South Africa's Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu said he was sad that the new pope was unlikely to end the church's opposition to condoms.

He said this was more important than the fact that the Pope was not African.

"We would have hoped for someone more open to the more recent developments in the world, the whole question of the ministry of women and a more reasonable position with regards to condoms and HIV/Aids," Archbishop Tutu said.
Where can one start?

Well, opposition to apartheid originally was grounded in the Catholic faith — it’s what got Geoffrey Clayton and Trevor Huddleston started in the 1940s and 1950s (though the latter may have strayed a bit himself towards the end of his life). Essentially the English Anglicans there stood up to the Dutch Reformed Afrikaners’ government over the issue. (A slight acquaintance of mine, a priest, was expelled from South African-controlled Namibia in the 1960s over it.) Tutu claims Huddleston was his inspiration and mentor. With these fatuous remarks he shows himself not worthy to hold Huddleston’s mitre let alone wear it.

Squandering the moral capital of the history of opposing apartheid for some alleged ‘right’ to use condoms rather than practise the self-control expected of men of all colours also ironically is quite racist: ‘Have mercy, sir: the poor nig-nogs can’t help themselves!’

But given the intellectual legacy of Margaret Sanger it’s no surprise that the left, with their zeal for population control in the Third World, are really racists.

The Pope could no more ‘end the church’s opposition to condoms’ than he could change the direction of the earth’s rotation.


Dotty American nuns hold ‘pink smoke’ protest for women’s ordination
I understand that Chicago is a centre of such daftness. These people are like a caricature of everything that’s gone wrong among the RCs for 40 years.

But they’re old (I reckon the average age of this lot is in the 60s), they’re on their way out and perhaps with Benedict XVI in the Chair of Peter they realize they’ve lost.

I don’t see any extensive news coverage of this ceremony nor any webcam getting millions of hits in a day.

A suggested sub-headline for this story: ‘Nobody gives a sh*t’.

"The voice has been shackled. We can't even have a conversation about this," said Drina Nikolai, also of the ordination conference.
The metaphor has been mixed.

This person is Russian?! Стыдно!

Many believe that before women are ordained, the church will allow married men to become priests, Vatis reported.
Many haven’t been taught very well. The Roman Rite may well change over to the Orthodox discipline (not doctrine) on this as indeed it has for its few married deacons. (And that discipline is: a married man may be ordained to major orders but a man in major orders may not marry.) The former issue, however, is beyond anybody’s authority to change.
truthout picks
Here, truthout just doesn’t get it
Mr Kerry is an excommunicate but 1) that’s nothing to do with his potential as a US president and 2) anti-abortion doesn’t automatically mean pro-Bush. See yesterday’s entry of quotations from the Pope for some proof of this.

Then again TO’s writers are wrong about this issue in general:

Kansas governor vetoes one bill, signs two
ISTM Gov. Sebelius is right about the first one — it OKs harassment by the government and the end doesn’t justify the means.

TO’s people like government spending except when it’s a well-intended attempt to stop the murder of American children apparently.

To turn round a valid criticism used by the liberals, you say you care so much about Iraqi children... what about the ones in Kansas?

The senseless death of the woman who fought George Bush
Though a good libertarian can question whether asking for government aid was a good thing, considering the similarity of how they died, Marla Ruzicka may well be in the same part of heaven as Margaret Hassan.

America’s secret tally of Iraqi civilian deaths

US soldiers’ wish-lists of torture tactics

Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer.
Still more on the Pope
We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.
- Pope Benedict XVI in a sermon just before he was elected

Benedict understands...
... what’s wrong with modernity, says John Mark Reynolds in his literate, impressive blog

From an Anglo-Catholic group:

Forward in Faith UK congratulates the Pope

And a few good words from the Orthodox:

Our Churches, which have authority and influence, should unite their efforts to spread Christian values to modern humankind. The secular world is losing its spiritual way and needs our joint testimony as never before.
- His Beatitude Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus’, the Church of Russia

While some American [Roman] Catholics may be nervous about the new pope's conservative positions, that very philosophy makes him popular among Eastern Orthodox church leaders, who in recent years forged a friendly relationship with the Vatican.

"I don't like to use the word conservative," said Metropolitan Nicholas, bishop of the Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of Johnstown [Pa.], who has met Ratzinger several times, "but he very much follows the Orthodox tradition."
Of course this Pope isn’t Byzantine Rite but what the metropolitan means is that in substance like recognizes like.

As St Benedict with his founding of Western monastic community life was an original builder of Catholic Europe, his monasteries sustaining faith and culture in the Dark Ages after the fall of the western Roman Empire, so may this Benedict be a re-builder of that Europe and a beacon to the world.
From The Gaelic Starover
Daithí Mac Lochlainn on the Pope
And his predecessor as prefect of the Holy Office, Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, defender of the Roman Mass and advocate for peace:

No state is justified any longer in resorting to warfare when some right has not been given its full due.
Again, this isn’t a pacifist blog but like the Pope, quoted here yesterday, he shows a connexion between the two issues, that the commitment to peace flows from the full Catholic faith. Something neither the liberals nor the Novus Ordo neocons want to hear:

While addressing the Council on his concerns regarding the proposed liturgical alterations, his microphone was extinguished. This flip of the switch was to become characteristic of the "new openness" in many Church quarters following Vatican II.
Like the stockholders’ meeting in Roger and Me.

Ottaviani wanted to council to condemn the use of nuclear weapons — sounds good to me.

Only with this entry of Daithí’s did I twig what he meant by ‘Starover’ — I thought it might have been something in English from an Irish poet! He goes to the Russian Catholic Church in New York so it’s a Russian Orthodox reference about the Old Believers. Старовер — old faith!
LRC picks
Taiwan and Cuba
A case for ending the US embargo of the latter

Self-government in danger
Ron Liddle on the Blairites and the upcoming general election

A biblical view of Christians and the state
By Pope Benedict XVI

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

More good things about the Pope
• He has celebrated the Roman Mass since the indult began in 1984 (photo).
• He’s said to be well disposed towards the Anglican Use, which, though perhaps not as good as the Roman Mass, would be, if de-ICEL’d (and changed from a bait-and-switch/Potemkin-village operation to something with a chance to last), a good option throughout the English-speaking world. The ceremonial resembles the Roman Mass’s and if you add the King James Bible to Cranmer’s Prayer Book (less the Protestant Black Rubric and the Articles of Religion) and classic hymns you’ve got much of the history of Christianity in English.

Reasons to keep one’s optimism cautious
Perhaps cynicism comes a little too easily to this disgruntled trad. It's just that RC conservatives and traditionalists have had the rug pulled out from under their feet so many times...
- Joseph Oliveri

Also, ‘the Rhine flows into the Tiber’:

Once burned twice shy. Besides, Cardinal Ratzinger was a peritus at Vatican II of a German bishop. Those Krauts were the ones who upended the Council's [original, conservative] schemata.
- Jim Coffey

Yes, but based on the quotations I blogged earlier today and his reputation by the 1980s he may have changed his mind.

I’m still hopeful.
On the box
Jan Bear on the likely way the producers came up with ‘Revelations’
Reminds me of the true story of the birth of ‘Miami Vice’, something I never really watched: some network boss wrote on a pad of paper ‘MTV cops’ and the writers delivered.

She forgot to have them say that the make-believe TV nun had to be hot.

Rather like ‘The X-Files’ in religious garb.
The new Pope’s opinions on various and sundry topics

Image from Fr Marco Vervoorst

Benedict XVI on the war in Iraq:

The concept of a 'preventive war' does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church....

There were not sufficient reasons to unleash a war against Iraq. To say nothing of the fact that, given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a 'just war'.
On past councils (applicable to Vatican II):

Not all valid councils, after being tested by the facts of history, have shown themselves to be useful councils; in the final analysis, all that was left of some was a great nothing.
On Vatican II specifically:

The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the importance of all the rest.
On the eastward-facing celebration of Mass:

When we rise to pray, we turn east, where heaven begins. And we do this not because God is there, as if He had moved away from the other directions on earth …, but rather to help us remember to turn our mind towards a higher order, that is, to God....

The original meaning of what nowadays is called ‘the priest turning his back on the people’ is, in fact–as J. A. Jungmann has consistently shown–the priest and people together facing the same way in a common act of trinitarian worship, such as Augustine introduced, following the sermon, by the prayer
‘Conversi ad Dominum’....

A common turning to the east during the Eucharistic Prayer remains essential. This is not a case of something accidental, but of what is essential. Looking at the priest has no importance. What matters is looking together at the Lord. It is not now a question of dialogue but of common worship, of setting off toward the One who is to come. What corresponds with the reality of what is happening is not the closed circle but the common movement forward, expressed in a common direction for prayer.
On the Roman Mass:

For fostering a true consciousness in liturgical matters, it is also important that the proscription against the form of liturgy in ... use up to 1970 should be lifted. Anyone who nowadays advocates the continuing existence of this liturgy or takes part in it is treated like a leper; all tolerance ends here. There has never been anything like this in history; in doing this we are despising and proscribing the Church's whole past. How can one trust her at present if things are that way?

I am of the opinion that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it. It's impossible to grasp what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community that suddenly declares that what, until now, was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden and makes the longing for it seem downright indecent, calls its very self into question.

It is good to recall here what Cardinal Newman observed, that the Church, throughout her history, has never abolished nor forbidden orthodox liturgical forms, which would be quite alien to the Spirit of the Church.
On the Orthodox tradition:

Rome must not require more from the East with respect to the doctrine of primacy than had been formulated and was lived in the first millennium. When the Patriarch Athenagoras, on July 25, 1967, on the occasion of the Pope’s visit to Phanar, designated him as the successor of St. Peter, as the most esteemed among us, as one also presides in charity, this great Church leader was expressing the essential content of the doctrine of primacy as it was known in the first millennium. Rome need not ask for more. Reunion could take place in this context if, on the one hand, the East would cease to oppose as heretical the developments that took place in the West in the second millennium and would accept the [Roman] Catholic Church as legitimate and orthodox in the form she had acquired in the course of that development, while, on the other hand, the West would recognize the Church of the East as orthodox and legitimate in the form she has always had.
Neither side has defined as doctrine a belief that the other side is heretical.

More from the Holy Father on this topic (posted by Fr Deacon Lance Weakland):

The [Roman] Catholic has to recognize that his own Church is not yet prepared to accept the phenomenon of multiplicity in unity; he must orient himself toward this reality …. Meantime the [Roman] Catholic Church has no right to absorb the other Churches… A basic unity—of Churches that remain Churches, yet become one Church—must replace the idea of conversion, even though conversion retains its meaningfulness for those in conscience motivated to seek it.
This isn’t indifferentism. Note the big C in Church. Clearly Rome recognizes the Churchness of the Orthodox: it can do no other as such is Catholicism in 11th-century Greek theological language.

Here’s still more from the Pope on the subject.

It echoes Metropolitan Joseph (Slipyj) of blessed memory, no liberal himself.

On the attempted ordination of women:

[Is] ‘the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women’, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively... to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith?

Responsum: In the affirmative.

This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church.
As I wrote a little earlier, I’m hopeful.

On the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje, condemned by the bishop, who has the final say:
We at the Congregation [for the Doctrine of the Faith] always asked ourselves, how can any believer accept as authentic apparitions that occur every day and for so many years? Are they still occurring every day?

Habemus papam

Joseph Ratzinger: Pope Benedict XVI
I’m hopeful

Modernists hate him.

Not only does he honour St Benedict, an inspiration for traditional Mass-and-office Catholicism, but he didn’t choose a name that alludes to Vatican II like the John Pauls did.

Coincidentally, in a ‘conclave’ of our own just the other afternoon some friends and I unanimously agreed that he wouldn’t be a bad choice.
From Katolik Shinja
Che vs Pinochet?
More on the hypocrisy of glorifying Mr Guevara

This Hobson’s choice is like the last national US election. Mr Kerry might have been the better choice: bad domestic policy and killing abroad vs bad domestic policy and the chance of less killing abroad.
Eastern churches
From Drake Adams

Cute or insulting?
I didn’t see the episode that Drake is writing about but it sounds like the kind of good-natured self-parody that was part of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and is represented online by The Onion Dome. As long as the church stuff is fairly accurate and not blasphemous* there’s a place for such ‘ethnic’ humour.

I’ve seen the show in limited doses and remember the Jane Kaczmarek character’s undefined Eastern European parents. Didn’t know they were supposed to be Byzantine Catholics, a group perhaps less visible and understood than the Orthodox!

*What was wrong with ‘Taxi’ and ‘Seinfeld’ (besides the latter’s rather nasty humour to begin with) when they misrepresented the Orthodox and Eastern Europeans in general. So doing could be considered not only the latest version of Hollywood’s recent contempt for religion, particularly Christianity and particularly its conservative versions, but specifically a perennial American theme (partly got from and not unknown in Britain), anti-Catholicism mixed with ‘nativist’ sentiment against immigrants from Catholic countries Eastern or Western. Mainstream Protestantism has morphed into secular humanism (they’re directly related) but that feeling is the same and is still there. There’s also historic Western contempt for Russia mixed with Cold War propaganda.
LRC picks
Waco, Oklahoma City and the post-9/11 left-right dynamic
Some conservatives still condemn Waco all the while cheering on Iraq, where Waco has been happening every day since the invasion.
Women, wages and work
Of course I’m for fair play and equal pay for equal or equivalent work* but as I’ve learnt from LRC and elsewhere they may be sound business reasons for the slight gap between the sexes that are nothing to do with misogyny or any plot against women. As one conservative businessman wrote in his book, many women realize the corporate rat-race sucks (it does!) and drop out, something that only makes good business sense for employers to consider.

Of course I agree that if a woman has the talent and the inclination to pursue a career in something she should but there’s the other side: businesses and the consumer culture duping women into becoming still more wage-slaves (like many men are) with ‘quality of life’ at home suffering as a result.

Reminds me of the quotation from the writer and Catholic Dorothy L. Sayers that she wasn’t trying to answer the question whether women should go to university but simply said that she wanted to go! Something echoed by other smart women like my friend Byrd, a ‘techie’.

I saw this story on the BBC site earlier but forgot to blog it:

Viagra might have medicinal value
Like marijuana’s** relief of cancer patients’s chemo-induced suffering only better as this application might save lives!

*BTW the 19th-century women who worked to try to accomplish this were against abortion, rightly seeing it as a form of exploitation by dishonourable men. Just like the work world and consumer culture trap both sexes into ‘needing’ double the income to make ends meet, the contraception and abortion rhetoric disguises its exploitation as ‘empowerment’ for women. It’s really pig heaven for greedy companies and cads respectively.

**It may be old hat to say it now but marijuana laws are hypocritical.

Monday, April 18, 2005

From CounterPunch
Harry Browne on the upcoming UK election
truthout pick
Defying US, Iraq’s Shi‘ites consolidate power
Bushian neocon ‘logic’: So in the name of overthrowing Muslim extremism, the US overthrew one of the Middle East’s few secular governments leaving a vacuum to be filled by ... more Muslim extremists

One doesn’t expect ‘they all look alike anyway’ arguments from places of power like the White House but there you are.

Very scary, kids.
From Katolik Shinja
Blogging about blogging
On comments-spammers
From the new Spero Forum site

On Mr Sharon’s treatment of Palestinian Christians
Walled off (like the Warsaw Ghetto!) in the West Bank bantustan: even Townhall and pro-Israel Henry Hyde have had enough
From Ship of Fools
Channel 4 lists the top 125 pop albums of all time (?)
As voted for by the British public. I admit I’ve never heard some of these (still catching up). Based on some of the choices one could argue that the allegedly steeped-in-tradition British now have a collective memory as short as people in the States! (Example: Jagged Little Pill had no street cred but is a well-made album by a talented professional singer... but in the top 125?!) Abba are in the list: it’s a Euro thing.
LRC pick
The bicycle is freedom

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Bush to Sharon: Whoa!
Whatever their motives and though they may not go far enough it looks like I’ve got to give Mr Bush’s handlers some credit for trying to stop Israeli expansion at the expense of the Palestinians.

UN condemns Israeli settlements

Incidentally on the box last night I caught much of Leon Uris’/Otto Preminger’s sprawling (nearly three hours!) 1960 propaganda piece Exodus with the then-hot Eva Marie Saint, Sir Ralph Richardson, Sal Mineo (doing some fine acting) and of course Paul Newman as a strangely American-sounding sabra (Jew born in Palestine).

As Leonard Maltin points out the minor characters are largely stereotypes (including likeable ones) but it was nice to catch a glimpse of an Eastern Christian service and see a Russian Jewish character (the Paul Newman character’s uncle) with a samovar and drinking his tea in a glass the Russian way.

For the real story of the founding of Israel listen to Dr Naim Ateek if you get a chance. He lived it.
The Catholic faith
Ratzinger on the Orthodox
Makes sense to me — says what I’ve been saying, that there is one body of Catholic dogma but doctrines are different expressions of that dogma in differing traditional rites.

Certainly in the photo His Eminence looks like he’d make a good Pope! But of course I know there’s no point in speculating who the next one will be. The last two weren’t among those considered to have a chance of getting it.
From Drake Adams

US troops stationed in Israel

Saturday, April 16, 2005

LRC picks
On the proper role of judges
‘Conservative’ activist ones are as wrong as liberals

I've long believed that many Americans in their hearts don't like democracy. Or, I should say, don't like democracy when the vote doesn't please them.
Which isn’t necessarily bad because as LRC has pointed out literal democracy — mob rule — is wrong and not what America’s founding fathers envisaged. They wanted a peaceful little republic run by landed gentry, which is what a lot of them were. Such activism could be seen as making a mockery of rule of law, whether based on immemorial custom as in English law (including as passed down to the US) or indirectly in the customs of the small monarchies of Catholic Europe.

Of course it is bad in the sense that I think Charley Reese means it here: that people are willing to hand over their freedoms to a government like that of Mr Bush’s handlers as evidenced in a recent survey in which teenagers said it was a good idea for the government to censor newspapers.

The bans against abortion and school prayer are perfect examples.
You’ve got to be careful with the latter because it can easily backfire on you. 19th-century Catholic immigrants to America reacted against what they perceived as teaching a state religion of generic Protestantism in the state schools. (Though I don’t see how reading the King James Bible specifically endorses Protestantism I understand the problem in principle.) A non-Mormon from Utah once told me that he remembered when, in the 1950s, the prayers in the state schools were Mormon!

One can argue, though (not that I am), that the US Constitution only prohibits an established religion nationally (federally) but not on the state level. The Congregational Church had that status in some New England states into the early 1800s, a continuation from colonial times and indeed the reason some colonies were founded.

Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion.
That’s become a bit of a cliché in American conservative circles but it’s still true. The ‘nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof’ part of the First Amendment.

Back to the future
An eyewitness account of what will probably be replayed in Baghdad in a couple of years

Two men from Galicia
Which was for a long time a part of the Austro-Hungarian (Holy Roman) Empire*, which explained the ethnic German von Mises, one of the inspirations behind LRC. Part of it is still in Poland. The rest is not only in the Ukraine (since World War II when the USSR stole it) but the centre of ‘Ukrainianness’ politically, linguistically and religiously! Interestingly the Russians historically have called it Малорусь, Little Russia, whilst the Poles name it Małopolska, Little Poland! (The ‘bar l’ has a w sound.)

More importantly:

So it was a Catholic culture, aristocratic, and somewhat non-democratic, that shaped Mises and John Paul into top-rate intellectuals within their realms of the social sciences. Their intellectual formation — reflecting several centuries of Scholastic influence on the Continent — contrasted with the modernizing tendencies of Europe at a time when Hegel was still the most popular philosopher in Germany. Aristotelian ideas were still very strong in Austria as well as in the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the decades leading up to World War I.
*I understand the latest issue of Latin Mass has an article on the last emperor, Blessed Charles, and his attempt at making peace during World War I.
For any women who love 1940s, 1950s and other retro fashion, here’s an online shop with high-end items for you owned by my long-ago acquaintance Sheri:

Swank Vintage

Friday, April 15, 2005

Eastern churches

St Seraphim of Sarov with his icon of Our Lady

Съ праздникомъ похвали пресвятыя Богородицы!
Last night Russian Orthodox churches began this liturgical day with Matins with the Canon and Akathist to the Mother of God.
truthout picks
White House blocking propaganda probe

Pentagon’s war spending ‘hard to track’
LRC picks
Let them eat bombs
Child malnutrition doubles in Iraq

Autopsy of a funeral
The Pope, Mr Bush and the parallels between post-World War II Poland and Iraq today

Thursday, April 14, 2005

How upside down it is for those who deny the teaching office of the Papacy to try and bully the same office into changing what it teaches? I have heard reporters and liberal "Catholics" tell me that the Pope is not infallible, that he holds opinions that are his own and they their own. [The man, as a man, is fallible and regarding opinion that’s entirely correct but that’s not what they really mean.] In the next breath, they insist that the Pope needs to change Catholic dogma to conform with the liberal point of view. Well, come on, kiddos: if he has no power, why do you need him to make an offical change in his teachings?
- A curmudgeonly priest who uses only the Roman Mass

Because it’s a Protestant habit, perhaps got from the larger culture when RCs try to do it, to try to bend the church to approve whatever naughty thing you want to do.
An epilogue to the coverage of the Terri Schiavo murder...

Pat Sajak gets it
To non-US-based readers: he’s a game-show presenter and apparently a conservative Republican. Be that as it may he’s right about this issue.
truthout pick
Gitmo detainee sues US for video of his torture
There is nothing I want to find out and long to know with greater urgency than this: can I find God, whom I can almost grasp with my own hands in looking at the universe, also in myself?
- Johannes Kepler, the 16th- to 17th-century discoverer of the orbits of the planets and a Lutheran

There are real scientists, from Kepler to Pasteur to Stanley Jaki today, who believe in and love God.

On the box
In the States the NBC network is trying to cash in on The Da Vinci Code with some original sensational Catholic-themed fiction of its own. So far it’s got:

• An actress with a pleasant modern-RP accent playing an improbably pretty nun (modified habit) with a misspelt Jewish name (‘Josepha Montafiore’). The supporting-player nuns are in proper habits — Hollywood’s got some sense.
• One scene authentically in a Greek Orthodox church but with mangled Western polyphony being sung in Latin as the incidental music.
• John Rhys-Davies — great to see him working again.
• A last-rites scene in which the RC priest uses nice-sounding thou-and-thee language and not ICEL drivel.
• One risible clanger theologically (I’m sure there’ll be more): Sister Josepha says ‘What if Jesus is no longer in heaven but now here on earth?’ Hello? At the first coming He remained in heaven while being made man. God isn’t limited to being in one place at one time (of course that’s the answer to Kepler’s question) but then again I wonder if the writers understand Christian beliefs in His omnipresence or in the divinity of Christ.

This was preceded last night by a news special that described The Da Vinci Code’s wild theories while fairly playing sound-bites from interview subjects explaining how and why they’re groundless (largely made up in the last century).

Pot, kettle; kettle, pot: ‘Revelations’ is ‘weird’ and ‘unbiblical’, says... Tim LaHaye.

‘Law & Order: Trial By Jury’
Fairly good storytelling even without the usual emphasis on the police side of the story (rather like ‘Criminal Intent’ leaves out the courtroom side) but now that Jerry Orbach’s Lennie Briscoe is no longer with us there’s no-one likeable to counterbalance the bitch-on-wheels that’s Bebe Neuwirth’s prosecutor. Deadpanning Amy Carlson is eye candy. I wouldn’t mind too terribly if Neuwirth’s character, like another TV lawyer, accidentally stepped into an empty lift shaft.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

From The Onion
Inner-city community bands together to find missing parent
LRC pick
Myths of domestic violence
Glenn Sacks on who hurts whom
truthout pick
Rumsfeld: No US exit strategy for Iraq
From blog member Samer al-Batal
And three whitewashes later:

Bush rewards his failures
By Eric Margolis

The report [of a US presidential commission] called Iraq "one of the most damaging intelligence failures in recent American history."

But, amazingly, the whitewash committee found no one responsible for this disaster. Victory has a hundred fathers; defeat is an orphan.
From The Remnant’s spiffing new site:

Did they love you, John Paul II?
By Christopher Ferrara
And it is precisely these contradictions the world now exploits in its great show of adulation for one Pope above all others. What Catholic would want to assist in the exploitation by failing to protest, as a Catholic should, that no Pope is utterly inerrant, and that not everything John Paul II said and did was in the best interest of the Church or a model for other popes to follow?

For 26 years the neo-Catholic establishment chanted: “John Paul II, we love you!” But did they love the Pope as a Pope should be loved, in charity and in truth, being willing, as St. Thomas teaches, to admonish even the Pope should the danger of scandal to the Faith arise? Or did they love instead the cult they themselves had built up around the man in sports stadiums and at the World Youth Days?

As he viewed the Pope lying in state in St. Peter’s Basilica during EWTN’s coverage, Marcus Grodi said that people must develop an appreciation not only for the Catholic faith, “but for the meaning of John Paul II.” When the person of a Pope is raised to the level of a “meaning” that is held to be something over and above the Faith itself, we are witnessing a process of papal deification that is foreign to our religion and must arouse in us no little fear of what is to come in the days ahead.
One of the two tents of the modern media circus, the other being the fatuous belief that the next Pope has the power to change whatever in faith or morals the secular world doesn’t like. A very Protestant tendency BTW: bend the church to approve what you’re doing. Backwards!

Troop withdrawals from Iraq

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The corporal works of mercy
Vaccine pioneer Maurice Hilleman dies
Saved about 8 million lives a year pick
US: The time to oppose conscription is now
The Catholic faith
From Fr Alvin Kimel

The Schoolmen and the hesychasts: both/and not either/or
But not only has the Catholic Church never dogmatically imposed a scholastic understanding of God upon the Church, it has never dogmatically rejected the Palamite understanding. The Western theologians at the Council of Florence, for example, may well have thought the Palamite understanding of God to be silly, nonsensical, and flat-out wrong; but Palamism was not judged to be church-dividing. This doctrinal condition continues to this day. One can be a full-fledged, card-bearing Catholic and espouse the Palamite distinction between the divine substance and the divine energies of God (see, e.g., George Maloney’s A Theology of “Uncreated Energies”). As a result, Thomists, Franciscans, Palamites, Rahnerians, and a host of other theological schools worship and pray together in the one communion of the Catholic Church. ... The Catholic Church simply refuses to dogmatically identify itself as Western. The Catholic Church is the Church of Irenaeus, Athanasius, Basil, Augustine, Maximus the Confessor, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure – and even Gregory Palamas.
A born and lifelong Greek Orthodox who is venerated as a saint in at least one Byzantine Catholic calendar, that of the admirably authentic and observant Melkite Church.

BTW, speaking of Rahner, I understand he may have written some dodgy things but was his view on monogenesis one of them? (I know that friend Jeff Culbreath is anti-evolution but I don’t think that’s the only Catholic position, only an opinion and a hard one to hold at that.) ISTM that Genesis isn’t science: the facts, de fide, are that God created the universe, made man as something unique, like the animals but like him as well, and that somewhere along the line man fell into sin.

How is the monogenesis that says mankind got its humanity from one person different to biological monogenesis?
Life issues
Half of infant deaths in Flanders were euthanasia
From blog member John Boyden
An argument against attempting to give Communion in the hand
I’d heard of this happening: people taking the Host home from papal Masses as a souvenir.

JB: Good God help us. This is an atrocity. In the five minutes I was watching the site, the bid jumped from $100 to $107. And it still has five days to go!! I hope some damn fool Catholic isn't going to try to reach the final bid of $2000 (!!) in order to "save" the Sanctissimum since this will only set a precedent for others who want to hold It 'ransom' for a price. But it looks like that may be the case since I can't imagine anyone who would spend $107 for a bottle opener, four stamps and a program. Utter blasphemy.

O Lord, my God and Saviour, Who, as Thou didst endure for our salvation the outrages of those who crucified Thee, so now endurest the irreverences of those who "discern Thee not" rather than withhold Thy Sacred Presence from our Altars; grant us Thy grace to bewail, with true sorrow of heart, the indignities committed against Thee; and with devout love to repair, as far as lies in our power, the many dishonours Thou still continuest to receive in this Adorable Mystery; Who livest and reignest, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
LRC picks
Part of what I’ve been saying for years about professional sport
It’s a private business and using tax money to build stadiums for it is a swindle

Anniversary of a lie
The ‘liberation’ of Baghdad

Prince Rainier tribute

Ron Paul on the Pope and US pols’ hypocrisy on him after his death

Blood, oil and Iran

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Catholic faith
From J. Blomeley

On liturgical worship, parts I and II
Written from the Orthodox tradition
truthout pick
Bush’s poll numbers worst on record
Eastern churches
The Onion Dome
Row at St Paphnutios’
Using satire Marie Moffitt captures the best and the worst of two kinds of Eastern Orthodoxy: old-school, slightly/poorly catechized, common-sensical Eastern European immigrants and admirably observant shading into fanatical newbie Anglo-Saxons. (You can infer the problem of the latter in this though it seems partly an exercise in self-congratulation. ‘The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are...’)

All I shall say as an observer is that I like Russians, who aren’t part of the second group’s Internet-church doings, and don’t like the latter.

From Jan Bear and Novæ Militiæ
A bishop who has a point
While of course this blog neither condones an unseemly personal cult of the Pope (such isn’t called for based on Roman Catholic teaching) nor the bishop’s nasty remark about a corpse (what of the beautiful Russian spirituality that honours every man as having the image of God?), nor does it approve of socialism and communism, His Grace +Tikhon of San Francisco, an über-observant representative of the Orthodox tradition as well as the apostolic ministry, is smart enough and Christian enough (yea, Catholic, though he probably wouldn’t put it that way) not to be a neocon. I like Mr Carter as a person too and likewise give Michael Moore due credit. And again, whilst that corpse was alive the man was instrumental in Russia’s changing from (at least functionally if not officially) an atheistic state into one where the Church of Russia can flourish again. Perhaps a little gratitude would not be inappropriate.

America holds the all-time record for terrorism. America terrorized Japan into surrender. War is one or more nations terrorizing each other. This is so elementary. Saudi Arabian suicidal fanatics could crash planes into a skyscraper in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc., etc., every year and still not match the ferocity of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, of Tokyo and Dresden. No this was not war of soldiers on the field where both sides risked everything, No. No. This was outright war against civilians, conducted from out of reach of all those civilians.

I sometimes can't stand the proclivity of some of my fellow Americans from sanctifying war if waged by America. We may be "on the right side", but our acts of war are just as egregious and despicable as the acts of war of our enemies: maybe more so, because we blindly and like automatons proclaim
"Gott mit uns," that we are a Christian nation and, moreover, unlike Japan or Andorra or Liechtenstein, apparently, a "nation under God."
- The bishop

RIP Archbishop Iakovos
truthout pick
A perfect storm of economic forces?