Monday, November 14, 2005

From blog member Samer al-Batal
His LRC pick:

Asian wisdom: Communism doesn’t work and neither does democracy
Both prove themselves to be disastrous experiments
These two important lessons will stand the Chinese nation in good stead as the coming century unfolds, because the adoption of Communism and democracy are the two most catastrophic blunders committed by developing nations in the late 20th and early 21st century.
Samer: The explanation for the uselessness behind these two exercises in failure: unsurprisingly, a flawed grasp of human nature.
The only politico-economic system, or to be more precise, metasystem, grounded in the fundamental reality of human nature, is the spontaneously generated free marketplace.
Chaldæan synod: presenting reformed liturgy to the Pope
‘Reformed’? Oh, sh*t.

Samer: Given the date of this article, it must have been presented by now, a work of 7 years, though which of the liturgies of the East Syriac tradition is concerned isn’t clear. I have no way of telling what the nature of these changes happens to be, whether they bode good or ill, but comments or code (perhaps not so inaccurate a term) such as the following cannot be reassuring:
A source involved in the synod said that the proposed changes “aim to maintain the tradition whilst introducing modern elements for pastoral purposes”.

Mass will have a “more organic structure” preserving changes made over the centuries, and adding new words to some moments like the anaphor.
[*]
Like I said of the Ruthenians, it seems they want to be the Novus Ordo in drag.

This is the same bait-and-switch rhetorical game played in Sacrosanctum Concilium in Vatican II: praise a traditional practice in one sentence, then a few lines down add ‘options’ that undermine that practice; in other words, make a practice optional, which according to this game really means suppress it.

Exactly how Fr George Rutler recently described the literal meaning of the Greek-derived word hypocrite, holding a conversation under your breath rather like Kevin Nealon’s old ‘subliminal news’ gag: ‘Latin, Gregorian chant and the pipe organ are great and are to be promoted... they are now optional (dump them!).’

Samer: Not an unfamiliar tune, but with no concrete information, definitive judgements cannot be made. All that can be known for certain is that the liturgical flu does stretch to the Eastern side of the pond as well, and seeing how Novus Ordo-isms have crept into the Eastern Catholic Churches with time, while liturgies celebrated in many churches have become truncated beyond reason, would it be surprising not to expect this to be anything other than another example of liturgical disfiguring? Whatever the truth may be, what is clear is that with the troubles and trials Iraqi Christians face at present, the last thing they need now is their hierarchs recklessly playing Lego with their spiritual possessions in order to pay tribute to the gods of modern liturgical Volksgemeinschaft.

*Is this the famous Anaphora of Addai and Mari? I’m hoping not. The Chaldæans (or Rome, if one prefers) had already tinkered with this one long back by tacking onto it the Words of Institution, though Rome accepts today the validity of the original form of this ancient body of consecratory prayer thought even to predate the Roman Canon. (I wouldn’t be surprised if the aftershocks of this are still being felt by many in the Vatican who weren’t so eager to give a nod of acceptance to the old anaphora — controversy may not have died out yet.) [End.]

Samer, as you of course know Catholicism isn’t monolithic in its opinions, only in its dogma, and there isn’t even agreement on this blog about the Anaphora of St Addai and St Mari. John Boyden favours adding the words of institution; I say that’s blatant disrespect for the Christian East, which isn’t what the church teaches on the subject. Most of the time one can’t blame Rome for those distortions — the Eastern Catholics latinised themselves.

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