Wednesday, August 31, 2005

From Axis of Ævil
The blog of an American expat in Finland:

A list of suggested buzzwords to ban from the Queen’s English
I don’t feel as strongly about some of these (like the variants of ‘blog’, obviously) but I like the idea
From The Gaelic Starover
List of links to send money to help the hurricane victims
In Louisiana and Mississippi
Iraq war costlier than Vietnam
The men responsible for it are not real conservatives
Real conservatives promote fiscal prudence, public accountability and limited government.
In New Orleans and in Baghdad over the past three days
Save me, O God : for the waters are come in, even unto my soul.

I stick fast in the deep mire, where no ground is : I am come into deep waters, so that the floods run over me.
- Psalm 68/69:1-2

Photo from Whitehall

Of your charity pray.
...per Christum Dominum nostrum. In quo nobis spes beatæ resurrectionis effulsit, ut quos contristat certa moriendi conditio, eosdem consoletur futuræ immortalittis promissio. Tuis enim fidelibus, Domine, vita mutatur, non tollitur, et dissoluta terrestris hujus incolatus Domo, æterna in cœlis habitatio comparatur...
- Preface of the Dead, the Roman Mass
Latinos for Peace
‘Our kids aren’t going to be cannon fodder anymore’
Eastern churches
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt

If Palestine isn’t part of Greece, why is the Patriarch of Jerusalem always Greek?
Of course since the time of the Maccabees and certainly in Our Lord’s years on earth Greek was the common second language of that part of the world, the eastern Roman Empire (perhaps even more so after the western empire fell), which is why the New Testament was written in it (and its omission in Mel Gibson’s The Passion egregious). But no, it isn’t and never was Greece.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

From The Gaelic Starover
On the future of offensive war
By Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani (written in 1949), defender of the Roman Mass and a man of peace
Venezuela offers food, fuel to hurricane-hit US
From The Onion
Bush: Holiday ruined by ‘stupid dead soldier’
The malicious code that won’t die
Spoke too soon. The hotsearchbox crap is still clinging to Internet Explorer. So every day at work when I want to use IE to get work e-mail I have to run Hijack This! before turning it on.
From blog member Samer al-Batal
Report: Sunni revolt could get far worse

RIP Jude Wanniski
The antiwar economist who invented the term ‘supply-side economics’ has died of a fatal heart attack.

Allah yir(h)amo.

Miraculous crying (speaking?) Madonna of Aleppo
Samer writes: I’ll leave a question mark on this one, but authenticity aside, we still have a good display of Levantine piety and religious enthusiasm in a land where miracle stories spread quickly and are quite popular. The possible miracle involves a statue inside a Chaldæan church.
Eastern churches
From Charley Wingate

News from the world of dodgy icons
Charley tells me:
It appears that Bridge-Building Images* has had a divorce from Robert Lentz** — amicable or not, I couldn’t say, but except for a few oddities their offerings are more Orthodox. They've also eliminated the rainbow from their logo. On the other hand, they've picked up Monastery ‘This is as dull as Novus Ordo ought to look’ Icons***. Looking at all the various offerings the only ones I really like are those of Lu Bro (eccentric artistically but intriguing) and this nativity.

I’m not sure how Monastery Icons washed up on BBI, but (depressingly) they make the often a bit loopy BBI images look distinguished. At least Lentz’s heretical images had some faint trace of artistic interest. Monastery’s junk makes God look dull.
*Who changed their name after enough Orthodox complained about their calling their stuff icons.

**Who has gone back to the Franciscans. He claims to be Byzantine Rite but sounds like he’s talking bollocks (search the blog for nec plus, nec minus, nec aliter to see what I mean). But he has artistic talent and can paint real icons when he wants to.

***Made by New Agers who cater to a Novus Ordo clientele.
From Mias blogg
Nostalgia for ’80s pop
Guilty. I like things like a-ha’s (of Norway) ‘Take on Me’ (marvellous video, both for its story and its artistry) even though, as Chris Kattan made fun of in an American movie recently, ‘in a day or twooooo’ is one of the worst climactic endings for a line or song (makes no sense in English). I’m not a Peter Cetera fan (he was the weakest link of Chicago, a band I like).

I lived in England at the end of the period Mia describes and I wonder: why do so many Europeans, like the reserved Swedes and the usually snarky, irony-laden English, go absolutely mad over pop music that Americans (sometimes unfairly) think saccharine and juvenile? Think of David Hasselhoff, an American actor who’s a pop star in Germany. Or the biggest example, Abba, who never really made it in the States (people think of them as camp: disco and outrageous costumes) but with Frida Lyngstad’s* fine voice and Benny Andersson’s melodies (with Swedish-folk and classical allusions few Americans would have thought of) made catchy, proudly non-American pop loved in most of the rest of the world. The Clash were considered hip and Abba a bit naff (perhaps even back then) yet today in too-cool Britain as I write there are probably about three Abba tribute bands simultaneously touring the country (and there’s the musical Mamma Mia, AFAIK a crap plot that’s only an excuse to sing Abba songs) and AFAIK no Clash ones (RIP Joe Strummer).

My theory is that Americans perhaps don’t need an outlet for all those soft emotions but the English, Germans and Swedes culturally do, hence a lot of the sugar in the pop music.

(Then again Australians express their emotions openly yet love Abba, perhaps more than any other people do, so guess again!)

*She sang solo on one of the most beautiful recordings I have, performing in a moody, wonderful arrangement of the 1890s Swedish Christmas carol Gläns över sjö och strand (‘The Umlaut Song’ ‘Shine Over Sea and Shore’, or ‘Star of Bethlehem’), recorded in 1972. Apparently this song is very well-known in Sweden. The tune sounds like a centuries-old hymn and as you can read the words, without being preachy, are about what Christmas really means. (If you’re really curious, to the ear of an English-speaker those first words are pronounced roughly like this: ‘Glenss oover hoo oh strahnd’.)
Good terrorists vs bad
Even to people with no respect for rights, some practitioners of ‘extreme’ speech are OK.

But before we libertarians start celebrating...

Last night my girlfriend observed that Mr Blair plans to ban from Britain those who advocate terrorism. So, she asked rhetorically, will Pat Robertson be on the list of those banned?

Of course not because, like Zionist ones (like handsome Paul Newman in Exodus!), Protestant ones apparently are allowed, and Mr Blair’s Britain is Airstrip One, an American protectorate, as the centre of empire shifted westward after World War I. (Most people didn’t realise it until after World War II, when a cash-strapped Britain began divesting itself of its colonies.)

‘Extreme’ = Muslim = ‘towel-head’, not barking-mad televangelists.

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Rockall Times’ take on the Robertson-Chavez furore
From truthout
Iraqi activist taken up by Bush recants

Access to abortion restricted in several US states
Gaudent angeli

Halliburton whistle-blower ‘removed’ by US Army
Leave Iraq now

The war party unhinged
From Verbum ipsum
Remember the Kosovars?
From Fr Anthony Chadwick
Fr C on Mr Bush
This time, the Leader speaks English and prefers Revival hymns and choruses to Götterdammerung. Fundamentalist Protestantism has taken the place of the god Odin, the old northern European dark myths of the Aryan Obermensch and the strains of Wagner.
Meeting between the Pope and the Society of St Pius X (details in today’s entry)
Today on the feast of the Beheading of St John the Baptist
The meeting lasted about 35 minutes, and proceeded in a serene climate. The audience was the occasion for the Society to manifest that it has always been attached - and that it will always be - to the Holy See, eternal Rome. We approached serious difficulties, already known, in a spirit of great love for the Church. We have arrived at a consensus about proceeding in stages for resolving problems. The Society of St. Pius X prays, finally, that the Holy Father may find the strength to put an end to the crisis of the Church by 'restoring all things in Christ'.
- Bishop Bernard Fellay

Which sounds like it really means something, unlike the usual canned corporate rhetoric from the Vatican:
The meeting was held in a climate of love for the Church and a desire to arrive at the perfect communion. Although aware of the difficulties, the desire to proceed by steps and in a reasonable timeframe was shown.
I agree with Fr Chadwick:
The hard line will probably go in the sedevacantist direction, and a small part of the SSPX will go the same way as Campos and the Fraternity of St. Peter - quietly absorbed into the Ecclesia Dei scene.
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt
A history of the Crusades
It’s nearly impossible to cancel AOL
I know — when I did it nearly three years ago they lied to me, offering me two free months until the account was supposed to close, then not telling me that if I used it any time during those two months it would automatically renew the account. And then when I caught on to what they were doing they refused to take off the charge. I hope they go out of business. Soon.
The Big Easy gets slammed
Some might think it a suitably biblical ending for the place, and up to a point they have a point (I understand that there is weird evil there that only apostate Catholics including Anne Rice at the height of her fame could have come up with), but I’d still like to see it once in my lifetime


Lord, in thy mercy: hear our prayer.
Eastern churches

Thanks but no thanks!
Ukrainian Commie Party supremo defends Russian Orthodox Church in the Ukraine

A word on the Orthodox liturgical tradition
By Fr Joseph, hegumen, Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Redwood Valley, California

Съ праздникомъ: Happy feast-day of the icon of Christ not made by human hands, the mandylion or Veronica’s veil.
Browser hijacker update: fixed at last!
About a year ago some dodgy code glommed onto Internet Explorer on my work computer adding an unwanted search sidebar when turning on IE and then completely taking over the screen moments later. (The scumbag webmasters and kiddie coders who do this will have a special circle of hell for them if they don’t repent!) GoBack seemed to get rid of the full-screen hijacks but the malicious code was still there and so they started again last week. I’d have to force-quit (control-alt-delete) IE and restart it every day to do anything on it! Tried re-installing IE and downloading and running both Spyware S&D and AdAware but to no avail. Friday night after the last try I read about Hijack This! (wonderful name) and downloaded and ran it today. Voilà! Looks can be deceiving: this has a very simple interface but is more thorough than the others for this job.

The only things I still use IE for are reading company e-mail at work (can’t download attached .jpgs from it through Firefox) and editing my pages’ HTML on my ISP’s site as IE publishes them slowly so I don’t trip my own counters.
The decline of marriage in Scandinavia
And its connexions to contraception and attempted gay marriage. This blog isn’t anti-women in the work force in principle as this article seems to be at times but I recognise that it can be a trap, propaganda that gives companies more wage-slaves (disguised as ‘empowerment’ for women) and mires more people in debt such that they think they need two incomes.

This news seems to fuel the myth among foreigners (popularised, I understand, by porn) that these countries are unusually randy and libertine, that their people practise ‘free love’, which of course isn’t true. Having been in a room full of Swedes I can tell you about their incredible reserve, rather like Londoners without their humour (at least this was true of that lot). They’re outwardly very proper. The problems seem more insidious.

(As the smart and funny P.J. O’Rourke observed when he visited Sweden in the late 1990s the only naughty magazine at the newsagents’ was something published by Americans: ‘legendariske visionaren och chefredaktören Hugh M. Hefner’! Of course he was looking only for research’s sake.)
Scholars have long suggested that the relatively thin Christianization of the Nordic countries explains a lot about why the decline of marriage in Scandinavia is a decade ahead of the rest of the West.
That could be. The Germanic tribes that overthrew the western Roman Empire often were Arian, not Catholic, which explains some lingering problems among Western Christians in general and which may explain why most of northern Europe turned Protestant. (Although I’d feel at home in many old Scandinavian church buildings it seems that most now have the ‘form of religion but denying the power thereof’ (2 Timothy 3:5) — Nordic Broad Churchmanship.)
Religion is a key variable. A 2002 study by the Max Planck Institute, for example, concluded that countries with the lowest rates of family dissolution and out-of-wedlock births are "strongly dominated by the Catholic confession." [But] The same study found that in countries with high levels of family dissolution, religion in general, and Catholicism in particular, had little influence.

The Nordic countries are the leaders in cohabitation and out-of-wedlock births. They are followed by a middle group that includes the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, and Germany. Until recently, France was a member of this middle group, but France's rising out-of-wedlock birthrate has moved it into the Nordic category. North American rates of cohabitation and out-of-wedlock birth put the United States and Canada into this middle group. Most resistant to cohabitation, family dissolution, and out-of-wedlock births are the southern European countries of Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece, and, until recently, Switzerland and Ireland. (Ireland's rising out-of-wedlock birthrate has just pushed it into the middle group.)
The old northern-Protestant-false/southern and eastern-Catholic-true divide in Europe either no longer exists or is blurred. (Right, John?) Italy now has Europe’s lowest birth rate, not one of the northern countries.
Norway's Lutheran state church has been riven by conflict in the decade since the approval of de facto gay marriage, with the ordination of registered partners the most divisive issue. The church's agonies have been intensively covered in the Norwegian media, which have taken every opportunity to paint the church as hidebound and divided. The nineties began with conservative churchmen [in] control. By the end of the decade, liberals had seized the reins.
I like confessional (conservative) Lutherans. Establishment, a holdover from Catholic Europe, ironically helped finish off the Scandinavian churches: the few people who still attended in the 1950s were conservative but the parliaments forced the attempted ordination of women on them for example. You can suss the success of those moves by looking at the statistics of church attendance in those lands: [sarcasm] the massive recent religious revival there known worldwide, just like this one [/sarcasm].

Search the blog for entries on the faithful Swedo-Catholic minority.

As for attempted gay marriage and the law, while it’s a sin against nature I am libertarian about it: just get the state out of the marriage business. It already licenses things that in the Catholic view (that is, in objective truth) aren’t marriages!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

From Verbum ipsum
Is peace realistic?
Neoconservatives and humanitarians can share a false trust in weaponry and a not-so-subtle imperialism

A review of this book.
Rieff appears to be a chastened liberal hawk of sorts; he was an advocate of various "humanitarian interventions" but first hand encounters with the results have left him a great deal more skeptical.
From Mere Comments
Funny how you never see abortions dramatised on the TV
Better to pull the wool over most people’s eyes with ‘choice’ rhetoric and maybe even the pro-aborts know better/are ashamed (find a politician who’d be honoured to have an abortuary named after him/her)

Why I believe
Echoing one of this blog’s entries
From Fr Anthony Chadwick
Among many good entries (such as the one dated yesterday: we are more than animals!), read the one dated today:

The real enemy
Refuting stock arguments against religion, like the ones popularised in John Lennon’s beautiful anthem of evil*, ‘Imagine’: ‘just chuck out all that God stuff and we’ll live in peace’. (You mean like Stalin and Hitler — named in descending order of importance — did as young men and for the rest of their lives?) As Fr Chadwick suggests, the history of the 20th century — in which the worst wars in human history are attributable to anti- or non-Christian idealists — proved exactly the opposite.

Though ‘what unites us is important’ doesn’t sound bad and, I think, on the surface is true. I think that what Fr C is criticising are relativism and indifferentism.

Sinéad O’Connor was wrong.

An English altar
Essentially my first experience of liturgical worship when I was a kid: as Fr Peter Robinson says, the Pius XII Vatican compared to most of what’s out there now!

We... find the European influence in the Russian Church, and they made the most of it...
From baroque architecture to good Tridentine methods like catechisms. The kind of thing that seemingly friendly liberal Orthodox chuck out in the name of being Eastern: the old defensive xenophobia meets Modernism.

Anglo-Catholicism produced a peculiarly English spirituality, an art of "tolerant conservatism" - a sense of discretion and being a gentleman about other people's faults. It was the spirituality of the Oxford Movement that took Newman and Faber to the Oratory of St. Philip Neri rather than to a local diocese or the Jesuits, for example.
The kind of thing I learnt by example from this fellow.

Father also has a lot to say about the problems of the Society of St Pius X (while neither of us are ungrateful for the good that they do): in short they don’t represent the breadth/diversity of the real pre-conciliar church (which had everybody from Dorothy Day and Charles de Foucauld to Francisco Franco and Fulgencio Batista**) but rather are only one form of clerical culture and perhaps a caricatured form at that. Men who should have been English Oratorians or happy diocesan priests are forced to act like Jesuits (the SSPX are a Counter-Reformation religious order, a specific vocation not for everybody) and it sometimes (often?) doesn’t work. As for the laity, it often represents essentially one kind as well: in France a certain bourgeois middle-classness as Fr C describes, which is also true in the States, where it’s a kind of Jansenist-tinged nostalgia for Irish-American arrival in the American suburban middle class in the 1950s.

On St Augustine

*Like both the Soviet (‘Союз нерушимий’, that is, ‘Unbreakable Union’) and Nazi (‘The Horst Wessel Song’) anthems: all beautiful songs!

**‘The Catholic Church: here comes everybody.’

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Eastern churches
The Falling Asleep* (and Assumption) of the Mother of God
Which the Julian-calendar Eastern Orthodox such as the Russians (the world’s biggest Orthodox church) and some Byzantine Catholics (in the Ukraine for example — the biggest Byzantine Catholic group) celebrate today, as in the Julian calendar this is the 15th August!

The story of the Assumption (that at the end of her earthly life the immaculate Mother of God was assumed into heaven body and soul) originally came from the Christian East sometime around the middle of the first millennium A.D. As with many other common Catholic beliefs the Christian East never dogmatised (defined doctrine about) it because nobody denied it... until Pope Pius XII defined it for the Roman Catholic Church in 1950. Then defensive Eastern European xenophobia kicked in and you started hearing some Orthodox make Protestant-like denials of it.

The original Eastern story is much more elaborate than the Pope’s definition (the latter is simply stated in the first parentheses in the first paragraph of this entry) with details obviously parallelling the Resurrection: the apostles whisked on clouds to Mary at her death and holding a funeral... then finding the tomb empty three days later as doubting Thomas is the last to arrive. Icons of the feast show the funeral. The Pope left whether she died or not and indeed most of the details of the Eastern story open questions.

The Assumption, the logical outcome of Mary being made the immaculate Mother of God, is the beginning of the resurrection of the body we all expect in the end as the West says in the Apostles’ Creed. She was the first Christian and the perfect Christian (thus to be a good Christian is to be a good Marian), and where she is now we hope one day to be, likewise in body and soul. ‘...the same reward that awaits all the righteous on the Last Day’.

The historical evidence is pretty thin for it but that’s also true of the Resurrection — only Jesus’ followers saw him, etc. There’s no evidence that the Resurrection or the Assumption didn’t happen.

Back to the Protestant-like denials out of spite: as an amateur Russian-speaker I picked up a religious newspaper in Russian recently in which there is one mean little article in English about the feast that acceptably outlines the history of Marian devotion but then denies the Assumption (summary: Mary died and the apostles had a funeral for her, full stop), while three preceding pages in Russian present the whole Eastern version which of course includes the Assumption! The редактор must not have been paying attention.

But anyway, съ праздникомъ!

*Byzantine Rite idiom for death (Greek koimesis, Russian/Slavonic успение), often rendered in English as the Latinate word Dormition.
Cindy Sheehan has a blog
From InfernoXV
What makes people homosexual?
Essentially what I thought before — a tiny minority, far fewer than the 10 per cent in Kinsey’s unscientific study — are born homosexual. And deserve our charity just like anybody else beset with any other kind of temptation.

I’ve talked to at least one person who’d ‘always known’ at least since puberty.

This fellow gives my last word on the subject.
From Fr Anthony Chadwick
God phones Mr Bush
Can one be a Christian if one doesn’t do Christian things?
I don't think this has to do with individual "things" (ie. sins), but rather the condition of one's soul. Can I look at porn and still be a Christian? Yes. Can I look at porn for years on end without the slightest bit of guilt or feeling that I'm doing something wrong? No. If the latter case describes you, then you lost your Christianity somewhere along the way. But you did not lose your Christianity because of the actual act of sinning. The sinning is just a manifestation of a deeper problem: your soul has become darkened. All sins can be forgiven, but a person who has a darkened soul cannot be forgiven because he will not embrace that forgiveness.
‘Wisdom! Be attentive!’
Anglican doings
All Too Common
The Episcopal Church’s doomed ad campaign
And my view on it, with tips of the biretta to, in opposite corners, Al Kimel (for the boutique model) and Charley Wingate (for the idea of a fraction of certain social classes) for giving me some key insights that I used in my answer
From Occidentalis
Society of St Pius X pilgrimage to Fátima (more)
You can search this blog for my views on the Hindu incident there and on the Ukrainian Society of St Josaphat
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of thy mercy.
Who will say ‘no more’?
By former US Senator Gary Hart
From the BBC
As if skyrocketing abortions over there weren’t bad enough:

Baby thefts and sales for black-market adoptions and murder/organ-harvesting in the Ukraine
Господи, помилуй!

As materially awful as Eastern Europe is I have some problems with little possibly-baptised-Orthodox Maxim and Irina being turned into Jared and Brianna the Protestants in the States and this just compounds that! And the abuse risk isn’t one-way (limited to the Russias for example) either.
Three from LRC
Military lawyers opposed torture
Bush civilians demanded it

Brought to you by the Party of Morality™, damn it!

Photo at right: A combat veteran gives his opinion of Mr Bush’s war

Forgive and embrace Japan and Germany
Sabine Barnhart, from Catholic Germany like the Pope, probably agrees

The looting festival in Iraq
Waxman’s committee instructed Congress’s General Accountability Office to look into Halliburton’s biggest contract in Iraq: providing virtually all back-up facilities – from meals to laundry soap – to American forces. LOGCAP (Logistics Civil Augmentation Programme) contracts like this one are a product of the new ‘slimmed down’ American military, the quartermaster’s equivalent of Rumsfeld’s ‘invasion lite’. Rather than have uniformed troops peel potatoes and scrub floors, base support services have been privatised and contracted out so that, the idea goes, soldiers can get on with the fighting.
These people are wrong but, except for the figurehead, they’re far from stupid: they know how to take authentically conservative ideas (smaller government: a smaller, more efficient military and privatisation) and completely pervert them, just like setting John Bolton loose on the UN. And turn a profit for themselves by so doing.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Eastern churches
Pious and Overly Devotional
Photo album: Visit to New Skete
And, third comment down, the story of the place: the unique Russian Orthodox monks (as far as I know all Americans with few if any ethnically Slavic) whose works to support themselves are breeding Alsatians/German shepherd dogs (they wrote the popular book How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend) and writing and selling liturgical books, which apparently like their liturgical practice are radical by Orthodox standards.

But one thing that’s cool about the Orthodox is that their ‘radicals’ are still reactionary by Western standards: after all the late Fr Alexander Schmemann is considered one and he said that the attempted ordination of women* is ‘the death of all dialogue’.

Here is their site.

The bishop in the snaps (he’s the one with the Santa beard) is Seraphim (Sigrist), who has a livejournal.

*Here Fr John Matusiak gives an inquirer an authentically Catholic answer on that issue. Like New Skete and Fr Alexander he is in the OCA (the old Russian dioceses of America), which is considered ‘liberal’!
From Anthony’s Banal Adventures
Lubbock, Texas newspaper
Truth vs bollocks about the war

Recent thoughts on religion
The prosperity gospel and all that
From Fr James Tucker
Chastity, celibacy
The secular world mixes up these words and ideas all the time. Fr Tucker sets things straight.

In another part of my life I worked in a library where the sneering pro-abortion rare-books specialist made fun of a Roman Catholic promoter of teen abstinence (our employer was an RC institution) by calling it ‘teen celibacy’, probably an intentional jab as this woman was educated enough to know better.
Chastity in itself is not sexual abstinence, but rather the virtue of rightly ordering the sexual drive, and this applies to the unmarried and the married in different ways.
Once went on a retreat at the world’s only Byzantine Rite Benedictine monastery and the hegumen, Fr Leo (Schlosser), stated the obvious, helping me immensely: sexual desire is not a sin. It depends on how you use it.
Another reason to like Sweden
Swedish meatballs, the lingonberry, Ingrid Bergman, Abba, Saab, Ikea, Absolut and now... AdAware!

Just ran it on my work computer and it exposed about 50 spybots.

Reputedly one of the world’s most irreligious countries, they’re estranged from Catholic Europe but still part of the family. Got to love that Germanic thoroughness and efficiency.

From Drudge Report

Russia: Abortions outnumber live births
Russians, whose lives are shorter and poorer than they were under communism, have more abortions than births to avoid the costs of raising children
Господи, помилуй!

Apparently well-meant tracts handed out over there like this one aren’t doing the trick. (Quick translation: Here are the scientific facts about pregnancy; kill your baby and you’ll be judged by God.)

Extreme evil still seems to be in the ascendancy in that part of the world — any news from Tanacu (search the blog under that term)? (Marcica Cornici, we haven’t forgotten you.)

The political life there is somewhat entertaining though: how many MPs or congressmen would make a political point by making a porno flick?

Reminds me of Bananas when Woody Allen sees National Review (war porn to this day?) for sale pinned up on display at the newsagents’ alongside lots of skin mags.
LRC pick
Questioning ‘Support our troops’
Strong and thought-provoking. He has a point — not only the government but many soldiers are far from blameless — but that said, this isn’t a pacifist blog. I accept the theoretical protection of the military: a smaller, non-imperial one. Think of the Swiss Army for example: there you have a peaceful country where just about every man has a gun and knows how to use it if he has to, to literally defend his home*. Or the US Coast Guard, America’s other navy, who more or less stay with their mission of actually guarding the coast. Also search the blog or LRC for William Lind on a better militia or a Fourth Generation warfare force.

*I’m also reminded of another historically peaceful small country, and a monarchy at that, Denmark, when the Germans invaded. They’ve got palace guards like the more famous ones at Buckingham, in similar bearskin-hat uniforms. They’re not actors but real soldiers, an army unit, and those guns are loaded. When the Wehrmacht rolled into Copenhagen in 1940 they fought them in front of the palace; three of them were wounded. Heroes. They had the right idea. Now imagine that with Swiss or American efficiency and you’ve got a legitimate army that fights for the right reasons — and wins.
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt
Jackie Mason goes to Starbucks
Oy, such a ripoff!
From blog member John Boyden
Couple wrongly ID’d as associates of radical are harassed
Thanks to Faux News

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Four from the LRC blog
The US government doesn’t like real money
And doesn’t want you to have it

The Bush religion
Blessed are the warmakers. He who lives by the sword shall have eternal life. Do evil that good may come of it. Nuke your enemies. Christianity only has validity to the extent that it is endorsed by the American state, and to the extent to which it endorses the American state. America is the new Zion. Americans are the new chosen people. Bush is the new Moses. Resistance to the US is resistance to God. Am I forgetting anything? Oh, and the exaltation of very bad pop music.
Underneath the folksy, drawly public persona
Are the temper and profane vocabulary of a gangster

Pat Boone is clueless
Music legend
A legend where outside WND fandom and for what? Recording soulless covers ripping off black hits?
"This lady and the groups that have been demonstrating in front of the president's ranch in Crawford and following him around are the very same people that were the dropout, turn-on, anti-war peace activists back [in the Vietnam War era]," Boone said. "They still have this crazy notion that by just being peaceful and maybe toking up or something like that – it's like an ostrich with its head in the sand – maybe the danger and the bad guys will go away and leave you alone, which is not gonna happen."
I don’t know what they teach in Mr Boone’s heretical sect but the Catholic faith holds that calumny — like calling all voices for peace drug-users (does Bishop Richard Williamson toke up, Pat?) — is a sin.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
- Exodus 20:16

I reckon Our Lord — erm, that hippy-freak Jesus — was toking up before he uttered rot like ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’, eh, Pat?

And this:
Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
- Matt. 5:23-24

Finding out what has angered the Third World against the American empire is from the gospel, not bong-hit theology.
More World Trade Centers, more 9-11s are gonna happen unless we try to take the battle to them on their turf instead of letting 'em bring it to us on ours.
But, gee whiz, Pat, Iraq didn’t DO 9/11!
Boone, a descendant of American frontier hero Daniel Boone and father of pop star Debby Boone
Pretty girl, famous for singing one of the most embarrassing pop hits ever, ‘You Light Up My Life’, which is never requested today, even as a joke, and which nobody owns up to having liked at the time.
He cited America's founding documents, quoting the Declaration of Independence as he stressed, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator ... ."

"That's how opposed to God Thomas Jefferson, who wrote that, was. Yet he is credited with trying to keep all mention of God out of public life. I wish Jefferson could be back here today just for 30 minutes to set things straight."
So do I, so he can tell you how stupid it is to support a government that invades other countries for no good reason.
Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.
- T.J.
"Taking people's hard-earned savings from them when they have the poor judgment to die," lamented Boone, "the government steps in and takes half of everything they had already paid tax on and saved."
Now he’s making real-conservative noises. But, golly jeepers, Pat, what if Mr Bush wants to take the pennies from your eyes to pay for more wars to spread the Protestant way?
From Tom Tomorrow
Occam’s razor? Never heard of it!
From truthout
The American Legion are hypocrites
‘We fought for your right to protest but declare war on you if you do’
From Pontifications
A classic Catholic answer to Protestant heckling
From an Eastern Orthodox priest, I think of the Paris school of exiled Russian Orthodox thinkers, as told by an Archbishop Chrysostomos:
In the course of a certain lecture [at Princeton], a seminary student — frustrated, I suspect, at the philosophical depth of Father Georges Florovsky’s discussion of a certain Patristic point (in fact, he was, as I recall, discussing Origen) — raised his hand and rather boldly asked, ‘What does all of this have to do with accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?’ There was a long pause, after which Father Georges, with a piercing glance, looked up at the student and said, with the frail voice that in those days betrayed his advanced age: ‘Young man, I was converted to Jesus Christ, not to Protestant Evangelical piety’. He then continued his lecture, without another comment. He no doubt thought that the matter was closed; his clumsy student, no doubt, understood nothing of what Father Georges had said.
Очень хорошо!
Three from Fr James Tucker
Mugabe puppet bishop to be tried by Anglicans

Fred Phelps
Not only is he hateful (this fellow’s words are my last word on the issue) but it seems that theologically (credally) he is on his way out of Christianity following the path of Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russell, Jim Jones and Sun Myung Moon

Speaking of being b-duh, b-duh, b-duh, b-duh, batshit:

Fr T on Pat Robertson
Type As and those of us who aren’t
I’ve noticed this divide, which recent online friends from Fr Anthony Chadwick, an English priest in France, to Mia in Sweden have described.

Fr Chadwick writes (see his entry dated the 26th July for all of it):
Over the years, I have seen two fundamental temperaments of people:

- Those given to beauty and art. People of this group don't always dislike sports, but prefer the non-competitive activities like cycling, swimming and fishing. They spurn the "pop culture" and prefer classical music and realistic art. Don't ask me to be successful in business, because I hate to profit at the expense of others! This sort of person likes the Faith to be his entire life. Often this kind of temperament is more sensitive to friendship. Also, this temperament is kind to animals and cannot bear cruelty or indifference in regard to animals, and sometimes it goes to the extent of refusing to eat meat! Most of us are more moderate, eating farm animals killed by other people, but loving our dogs and cats.

- What I would call the "fundamentalist rugby-player type". We often find liberals and conservatives in this group. They are often the kind of people who are great organisers, they like modern "pop" music, are often interested in sports and a competitive mentality, extending from the soccer field into their working and family lives. Such men are often successful in business, for business is played pretty much by the rules of football, that is when it is fair and honest. Religion, for this temperament, is all about the cut-and-thrust of apologetics, using the same techniques as for marketing. This temperament has no need for beautiful churches, but for assymetry and functionality. There is little or no aesthetic taste. A lot of church women are like this, when you see them destroy a priest who dares to counter their aggressivity!
It fairly describes the difference between many of us ‘differently brained’ people (like those of us with Asperger syndrome or what Mia describes as ‘social phobia’, likewise a real disorder) and what some of us call ‘neurotypical’ people, the type the larger world favours: the Type As as Mia calls them, the second type described by Fr C.

When you don’t understand your own condition, whatever it may be, it’s easy to react in anger by demonising the Type As by being self-righteous, thinking you’re better and more spiritual, etc. (Which understandably/justifiably only gets the Type As more pissed off at you!) Now that I understand AS I try not to do that anymore... but at the same time know ‘where I don’t belong’, and why (which makes a big difference), and that’s fine.

If anything I better understand why people like Fr C and Mia and I are friends and am thankful for that, and them.

P.S. Mia also notes regarding ‘terror attacks’ and her lifelong home of Stockholm:
...they say it's no certain threat against Swedish interests in Stockholm. But there are very real threats to American, British and Israeli interests in the city.
Spirituality in America
The usual secular take: spirituality is cool, religion’s not. The Eastern Orthodox convert boomlet of about 20 years, big news in Anglican and a little less so in fundygelical/Pentecostal circles*, isn’t on the radar (and in fact the Orthodox aren’t even mentioned). The fact-checkers messed up by lumping Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses in with Christians. (If they’re Christians then Osama bin Laden is simply an eccentric Orthodox — that’s about the religious, cultural and historical parallel!)

The article does look sympathetically at ‘neo-Catholics’, young RCs who believe in the same basics as I do (anti-contraception, anti-abortion, pro-Blessed Sacrament, pro-Marian devotion, basically the same practice of the confessional), and while our externals are different I can’t knock them too much: they’re born RCs or ex-Protestants who are trying to do their best with the religion they’ve received. But they’re still an ‘other’. It’s not quite Mass-and-office Catholicism (having Exposition and Benediction all the time isn’t traditional and it only wallpapers over liturgical problems; it doesn’t fix them), and they tend to drag in the politics as well as the liturgics, self-righteousness and narrow American middle-classness of the Protestant religious right (just add a misguided personal cult of the Pope** and some Irish-American devotional practices and voilà, RC neoconnery). The impression that charismatism (what Steubenville is largely about) is misleading though — that’s a ’70s and ’80s phenom of people one to three generations older than these kids that I think is on the wane.

There’s also a look at black Pentecostalism, specifically the Church of God in Christ (COGIC):
Part of Bishop Gilbert Patterson's appeal: his moral rigor. As he sees it, signs of social depravity abound, from gangs to gay marriage (though he sides with President George W. Bush on moral issues, he's a vehement opponent of the Iraq war and a staunch supporter of programs like affirmative action). "People are totally confused," Patterson says, "and they keep looking for something that they can believe is real and something that will keep them grounded." That "something" is Scripture, whose teachings Patterson has emphasized more than past presiding bishops.
He means well with affirmative action but it’s wrong (reverse racism) and of course sola scriptura isn’t even scriptural but he’s admirable. And interestingly enough in the print version of this in Newsweek you can see that they’re semi-high church: they’ve adopted Anglican clerical choir dress but aren’t high in their actual liturgical praxis or theology.

In humility Amy Welborn asks: how/why has religion so badly screwed up that so many people take refuge in ‘spirituality’ instead? (Fr Anthony Chadwick has something good to say on this as he often does: read the entry for the 21st August 2005.

*I wonder which group has lost more people to it proportionally. Somebody online recently suggested that the boomlet may be more ex-Episcopal than ex-evo. As I like to say, most of them are the kind of people who would have become happy Anglicans or Newman-type RCs as recently as 50 years ago.

**Which mysteriously disappears when he stands on solid pre-conciliar teaching to speak out for peace.
From Psychology Today
Why even for pragmatic secular reasons cohabitation is a bad idea
Surprise, surprise — a lot of twentynothing boys (I won’t call them men), especially today, are selfish twerps only looking for a way not to pay rent and have sex privileges

Apparently it’s becoming commoner now (especially in Europe and apostate Quebec) for people that age to live like pre-conversion St Augustine did in a temporary pseudo-marriage even producing children. At least St Augustine, cultured Roman that he was, actually loved his girlfriend, but for social-climbing reasons was too cowardly to marry her. They had a son, Adeodatus (‘gift from God’).

All this reminds of some of the online conversations now about a movie I wasn’t planning on seeing, The 40-Year-Old Virgin. I’ve read some reviews: even though it’s wallpapered over with an overarching message that’s OK, that even nominally praises love and chastity (and makes fun of the unchaste profligate wannabes out there — like Quagmire on ‘Family Guy’; I’ve met a real version of him), it’s definitely being marketed as ‘Hey, Christians and anybody else who’s chaste for any reason! We, the secular world (your betters in Hollywood and on Madison Avenue), think you’re stupid and hate you!’* (How dare you not buy our products and then not have to buy more products like abortion services!) Anyway, one thing I learnt from these conversations is that mainstream churches now go along with secular bridal-magazine sex advice — take a fortnight-to-month-long break from sex before the wedding (the mags say essentially ‘to make it feel special’). Even RC priests in the States apparently go along with this: ‘We know what you’re doing but for the rules’ sake (you know, from, like, that old German guy in Rome who wants to spoil your fun) pretend to be chaste and live apart for two weeks before the ceremony’. Better than nothing I suppose but still a sell-out.

All they want are pretty pictures of a ceremony (to celebrate their commitment to each other ‘as long as our love shall last’ I reckon). In a way it’d be better (more honest) if they did what the Japanese do and just rent a stage set and actor for all that. (While we’re at it, get the state out of the marriage business.)

An Eastern Orthodox online writer, I forget who, has noted that a lot of these types want ministers who are like funeral directors, all sweet and pious and at their service but not in any way, good or bad, trying to tell them what to do.

P.S. I’ve never seen a cohabiting relationship that lasted.

*The Nazi side of secular culture, with this PC love-filled message to the chaste-by-choice (wait, what about ‘pro-choice’?), the handicapped or the just plain unattractive: ‘You’re less than human so why don’t you just hurry up and die?’
Three from LRC
No free speech
Orwellianism and censorship at university

Charity on crack, or what happens when you take Christian charity and freebase it (‘freeing’ it from all that cumbersome God stuff*). Seems to answer Daithí’s and CounterPunch’s question in the entry below this one.
It considers discrimination to be present "even if there was no intent ... to harass or demean another."
With that, Catholic moral theology and its daughter, English jurisprudence, have been thrown out the window for arbitrariness to persecute Christians and/or people who’ve simply got common sense (‘I’m against affirmative action because it discriminates against white people’ — BTW, yes, I am because it does).

War crimes in Virginia
VMI remembers

More on Vietnam-Iraq déjà vu
Maybe the red-state heartland of America are starting to get it:
In his stay-the-course VFW speech, you could feel that the President now found himself in a new and confusing situation. Step by step, he's slowly been backing up. This time – contradicting the anti-Vietnam, no-attention-to-casualties playbook he has long been working off – he specifically spoke the numbers of dead American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, something of a first for him. Though he never mentioned Cindy Sheehan's name, he might as well have. Its absence acted like a presence, all but ringing from the speech. Read it yourself and you can sense the degree to which he is now uncharacteristically on the defensive. Even to friendly crowds, he finds himself answering questions that, not so long ago, never would have come up. Wherever he is, he is now essentially responding to what is, in effect, an ongoing news conference with the nation in which challenging questions never stop being tossed his way.
*The historical irony, as sharp folks like the late Murray Rothbard and Camille Paglia (who was there — met her once; funny lady) point out, is that 35 years ago the radical left tipped out all this God stuff in the name of ‘free speech’ (‘fighting for the right’ to say things like ‘Jane, you ignorant slut’ on the TV) and ‘free love’ (‘no paternalistic college is going to tell me I can’t go out at night and be sexually stared at and more’). Now these people with derailed consciences are the new puritans.
From The Gaelic Starover

Fascist America: Are we there yet?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

From blog member Samer al-Batal
Myth-busting: That same old tosh about mediæval Europe
The way some people go on one would think they don’t like the Catholic faith! The main site where this article comes from isn’t simpatico with us politically.
Robertson back-pedals after lying about urging assassination

Parody: Robertson assaults Ten Commandments
From Charley Wingate
Messages sent to Taizé after Brother Roger’s death
From the Vatican, the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Moscow, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Secretary-General of the UN and the head of the French Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference
For fear of the Jews*
A review of a novel by an Arab in Israel

A Palestinian who’s a better American than many Americans:
I saw an old Arab man on the news the other night who was asked what he'd do when the government was out of Gaza. He said he'd take his boat out on the water, free for the first time to sail where he wanted when he wanted.
An article with the same biblical title
By Joseph Sobran

Before you yell ‘Hate crime!’ search the blog under both ‘T.S. Eliot’ and ‘Fr Denis Fahey’ (both accused of being horrible haters of Jews) to better suss out my views.

As the late Fr Seraphim (Rose)** said when somebody tried to bait him over the pogroms in tsarist Russia, I don’t defend un-Christian acts.

*John 7:13 and 20:19.

**This page is over five years old. I’m not a follower of his cultus but he had a lot of good things to say. (At his best he was like good traditionalist Roman Catholics but more mystical and understanding in a very Eastern Christian way. For a shorter and more humorous version try G.K. Chesterton.) Here are some beautiful pictures of the monastery he co-founded in northern California (thanks, Minor Clergy).
From David Holford
Gaza different this was from 1948 when the Jews began systematically removing Palestinians and confiscating their homes and their lands. There was no compensation and no other provision. There are still refugee camps in Syria and Lebanon.

Another difference was that when Israelis took over Palestinian property, they left the houses and occupied them. In the withdrawal from Gaza, the houses will all be bulldozed. If Palestinians want to to make their land habitable, the will just have to start from scratch. Whole towns of perfectly good houses will be demolished. It can't be seen that the Palestinians get anything off the backs of the Jews, even though the Jews got everything off the backs of the Palestinians.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

From blog member Lee Penn
From May 2001: Bush’s Faustian deal with the Taleban
Lee: FYI, I unearthed this while going through some old files.

Here are the four lead paragraphs, emphases by Lee:
Enslave your girls and women, harbor anti-U.S. terrorists, destroy every vestige of civilization in your homeland, and the Bush administration will embrace you. All that matters is that you line up as an ally in the drug war, the only international cause that this nation still takes seriously.

That's the message sent with the recent gift of $43 million to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, the most virulent anti-American violators of human rights in the world today. The gift, announced last Thursday by Secretary of State Colin Powell, in addition to other recent aid, makes the U.S. the main sponsor of the Taliban and rewards that "rogue regime" for declaring that opium growing is against the will of God. So, too, by the Taliban's estimation, are most human activities, but it's the ban on drugs that catches this administration's attention.

Never mind that Osama bin Laden still operates the leading anti-American terror operation from his base in Afghanistan, from which, among other crimes, he launched two bloody attacks on American embassies in Africa in 1998.

Sadly, the Bush administration is cozying up to the Taliban regime at a time when the United Nations, at U.S. insistence, imposes sanctions on Afghanistan because the Kabul government will not turn over Bin Laden.
So John Walker Lindh wasn’t the only American fan of the Taleban.

Lee: Remember that we set Bin Laden up to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan after 1979; we installed Noriega in Panama (and deposed him in 1989); we sold arms (including gas and germs) to Saddam in the early 1980s to fight the Iranian Menace.

Wouldn't it be an interesting change to have a war against some person or regime that had not previously been on the CIA or Pentagon payroll?
From The Gaelic Starover
Another church scandal in the making?
Cindy Sheehan as St Joan of Arc vs the RC neocons
From truthout
Thousands protest Bush, Iraq war in Salt Lake City
With the message that people can protest a war while supporting troops and veterans
New blog
Tune: Kings Lynn
The second blog (here’s the other one) of good friend and fine Christian Charley Wingate, a modern Central Churchman I don’t necessarily agree with as I’m not a Protestant
It's no longer good enough to see the white-and-blue sign with the church arms. You have to find out what the rector is teaching; the sign doesn't tell you anymore.
From Drake Adams
Mass-and-office Catholic photo of the day
English version: this is the mediæval choir habit of priests that the Anglicans retained

Ow, ow, owooooo!

Pat Robertson: ‘Bring me his head on a platter’
Kill, kill, KILL!

Well, why not? After all, according to this minister of the Gospel who built his empire on the life savings of pensioners living in caravans, abortion in Red China is OK.
Eastern churches
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt

Welcome, Patriarch Theophilos

Eis polla eti despota!*

The new Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, whose name from the New Testament means ‘friend of God’. The veil over the stovepipe hat is worn by monks in the Byzantine Rite.

I still say, though, that as outrageous as Irineos’ (whose name ironically comes from the Greek word for peace) real-estate shenanigans with the Zionists may have been, they didn’t involve faith or morals so deposing the man smacked of phyletism (a formally heretical mixing of religion and politics/nationalism). But he’s out, and when the umpire (in both cricket** and baseball) calls you out that’s that.

*‘Many years, Master!’ (If you’re feeling Russian, ‘Многая лета, Владыко!’)

**I’m not big on sport. I’ve seen it played in England. I’ve seen it played by Indian and Caribbean expats in the States. I still don’t understand it. And that’s OK.
LRC pick
Murdered in Afghanistan?
Rather like A Few Good Men for real. Recognising that there is a legitimate mission of the military (defence, protection) and that there are, in spite of everything, honourable men and women in the services who believe in that mission, this isn’t a pacifist blog, but ‘military culture is rotten to the core (despite the clean-shaven, spit-shined façade)’ as LRC’s Laurence Vance wrote, quoting a letter from somebody who is ex-military, and evangelicals (who once had a healthy distrust of it) turning to it after the 1960s collapse as a paragon of good order, etc. are mistaken (producing the bizarro phenom of ‘Bapto-fascism’, or Jerry Falwell’s claim that ‘God is pro-war’).
From the BBC
Bomb rocks Beirut suburb
• Nobody was killed, thank God!
• As far as I know blog member Samer al-Batal is OK

Monday, August 22, 2005

From Amy Welborn
George W. Bush has pissed away the conservative moment
Eastern churches
The church row in the Ukraine

Ukrainian president Yushchenko, government staying out of it
Good for them

Letter to the Pope from the understandably offended Russian Orthodox metropolitan of Kiev
From truthout

Thanks, Joan Baez
She gave a free concert at Camp Casey in Crawford to support Cindy Sheehan. Meanwhile the neocons continue to rubbish Mrs S.
Cowards just prefer to pick on women.
- Daithí Mac Lochlainn
Iraq course bound to end badly
By Fr Andrew Greeley
Who’s not simpatico with us religiously (essentially he combines a patronising liking of traditional trappings with a ’70s-swinger-wannabe view of sex*) but this blog acknowledges truth from all quarters and this article is good. The only point he misses is that chances are there won’t be another Hussein, a secular ruler, but an extreme Muslim government of Shi’ites like Iran, understandably pissed off at the US.

*I’ve read exactly one of his serious books and one of his mass-market novels, the former big on the first thing with a lot of the second, the latter focusing on the second. In spite of all that every now and then he has something good to say.
LRC blog pick
The Wall Street Journal: ‘Bomb, bomb, bomb! Bomb, bomb Iran!’
These "bloodthirsticons" just won't give up. The U.S. Armed Forces, which cannot even protect the road to the Baghdad airport, supposedly are going to be able to attack Iran and the mullahs there are going to turn in their resignations, and democracy will flourish -- just as it has in Iraq.
From the BBC
Looks like a copycat of the Brother Roger killing
Horrible — of course I’m glad that Mata Amritanandamayi* is OK. She reminds me of the holy-fool kind of saint** (though of course she’s not a literal saint as in ‘canonised Christian hero(ine)’). A born Hindu acting sincerely — can’t see anything wrong with what she’s doing, even though it’s not the fulness of nor a substitute for the Catholic faith.

*No, I can’t pronounce it unless I try very slowly!

**And a bit of Leo Buscaglia, or at least his public image: he was a pop-psych star back in the ’70s.
Three from LRC
The excuse for war is disposable
The hegemonic plan hasn’t been dropped

This is about a news story that flew under most people’s radar: leaks from US government types that the war in Iraq isn’t working.

The Swift-boating of Cindy Sheehan
‘American Dad’ is a mediocre cartoon show from the usually sharp Seth MacFarlane (also the voice of Peter Griffin and many other of his ‘Family Guy’ characters) but his depiction of Karl Rove* (Owoooooo! ‘Thank you, Satan’) is about right.

(‘Family Guy’ is slipping — the ‘Bachelorette’ parody with Brian the surreal talking dog, repeated last night, didn’t quite make it.)

Are we really better off without Saddam?
Of course not

*He was made to look like the baddie in the latest Star Wars, the one who corrupted Anakin Skywalker and made him Darth Vader. You can search this blog to read about the political parallel, whether it was intentional or not. Did any other church geeks notice that the deacon at the pastiche generic church (lots of Catholic trappings though) wore what looks like a Byzantine Rite stichar(ion if you’re feeling Greek)? (Which is what deacons, subdeacons, readers and their substitutes, altar boys, wear in that rite. It looks like a long version of the deacon’s dalmatic or the tunicle (which means ‘little tunic’) in the Roman Rite.) BTW, electing lay ‘deacons’ is something that some Protestant churches do. In Catholic churches they’re ordained by the bishop.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

From The Rockall Times
Defiant Iran rattles high-speed sabre
Germany on full-dress-uniform alert
Republican US Sen. Chuck Hagel: Iraq looks like Vietnam
Polish Gen. Jaruzelski apologises for Communist re-conquest of Czechoslovakia in 1968
Crushing the Prague Spring
From Fr John Whiteford
Not a blog with whom we have a lot in common (‘Rush is right’? Erm, no) but, giving credit where it’s due, this is a good entry:

Japanese ‘Schindler’ Chiune Sugihara
Convert to Russian Orthodoxy
From the BBC
Pope: ‘Do-it-yourself’, ‘consumer’ religion not the way to go
It’s nothing new: it’s what’s wrong with Protestantism as the Bible is obviously not self-interpreting (nowhere in scriptura does it say sola scriptura)

Not that it really compensates for its hæmorrhaging members, but the Episcopal Church todays is so big on this pandering to consumer tastes, competing with its biggest rivals, the ‘we don’t believe in God but like hanging out together on Sundays’ Unitarians and the ‘we’ll marry just about anybody to anything’* United Church of Christ, that a friend has this suggestion for those denominational signs you see in the States where there are Episcopal churches (the modern version says ‘The Episcopal Church: We’re Here for You’... not here for God, if he/she/it exists, but for self-esteem-filled consumer you!):
The Episcopal Church: We’re More Lenient Than the Church You’re Mad At
True in so many ways: that there is a real truth, an objective standard, that these people are running away from.

As for World Youth Day, there are reports of these shenanigans — jugglers in the sanctuary (to which any teenager of average or above intelligence will say: Don’t patronise me**) and altar girls. The Roman Mass gets a sideshow in Düsseldorf and that’s supposed to appease traditionalists while this is the main act. This fellow’s rant is interesting: quisling and secular types have their own wrong reasons to hate the Pope but, well, a stopped clock and all that (and Mgr Ronald Knox jolly well may have agreed with this criticism of ‘enthusiasm’). The answer to what he’s criticising is Mass-and-office Catholicism, not some ripoff of a ripoff (‘Christian rock’ as in ‘Pious Riot’) of secular pop culture.

Eastern churches
Mainstream media notice Ukrainian row
The move to Kiev happened today

According to the religious-news service RISU a motley crew protested: alongside understandably offended Russian Orthodox were leftover Commie-socialist types who for their own reasons have no love for the Ukrainian Catholic Church: ‘Keep that God stuff in Galicia where it belongs! We want to keep the Ukraine secular so people keep having multiple abortions and drinking themselves to death like in the glorious Soviet Union!’

And I understand the new cathedral, Resurrection, will be a strange Byzantine-modern hybrid, not a beautiful Byzantine or Byzantine-baroque building. I fear it will be a half-Novus Ordo monstrosity, the kind of hybridism the Galicians think is Ukrainianness. And exactly the sort of thing that men like Blessed Leonty (whose pre-monastic name was Leonid Feodorov) 100 years ago wanted nothing to do with.
The transfer of the Patriarchal see of the UGCC: an act born out of needs of the Church, not out of spite
And did Metropolitan Lubomyr’s nose get longer when he said that? Yes, it was spite.

*Like Homer Simpson’s brief garage-wedding-chapel ministry in one ‘Simpsons’ episode.

**That ‘this is what young people want’ or ‘priests have to do this to relate to young people’ would have been news indeed (and deservedly laughed at by) the lovely young couple I saw married at an English Missal Mass yesterday: congratulations, Michael and Annie (Helft) Tuck! Hip, hip, hurrah! (three times)