Sunday, December 31, 2006

A thread on feminism in the world and among Christians
I don’t agree with every opinion here (there, that should cover my arse) but there are lots of valid points
The liberal doctrine on this is a white upper-middle-class phenom.
Liberal religion is a greying one — kids are either secular or interested in orthodoxy.
• Why don’t ‘white upper-middle-class men ... trust their daughters to the young men who should be shouldering the responsibilities of marrying them’?
Equity feminism (good: fair play) vs gender feminism, a distinction I had articulated to me reading Christina Hoff Sommers 12 years ago. Pat Buchanan remembers when the radicals turned on motherhood they alienated hard-working women like his mother, a nurse.
  - Sidebar: The wage gap is nothing to do with discrimination. (More.)
A more balanced view of Frederica Mathewes-Greene. I met her once and found her very pleasant. Orthodox anti-Westernism annoys the crap out of me too but still...
  - Yes, what about that bogus bishop who was invited to the site of those dodgy apparitions in Bosnia?
American idolatry
A category in Michael Spencer’s blog
On Hussein’s execution
Today’s après-Mass Internet-café read, known to Chicagoans as the Revd Tripp Hudgins’ Sunday sermon. Good points as always but I’ll add:
• I don’t believe for a minute that Iraq is really autonomous.
‘What Saddam failed to understand is that there is no difference in the value of one human being over another in the eyes of God.’ That’s right, the seamless garment: with God there is no difference between a ‘wanted’ and ‘unwanted’ human life. This blog is pro-life.
The year that was: June to December
By Tom Tomorrow. My favourite: Mr Cheney’s CIA code name is ‘Edgar’ as in Bergen.
The top 10 religion stories of 2006
1. ‘Hey, look, Akhmed, a distraction!’ I understand that Muslim authorities dredged up those months-old Danish cartoons because lots of pilgrims to Mecca were accidentally killed.
2. Or ‘these particular Muslims couldn’t understand an academic citation and wanted to kill to cover their embarrassment’. The Pope, who became a professor in 1958, did nothing wrong.
3. The Episcopal row? Sure if like me you’re connected to Anglicanism by an accident of birth. But considering that Roman Catholics (No. 15 — whole dioceses of the US’s biggest church going bankrupt from the priestly underage gay sex scandal*), Southern Baptists (No. 17) and Pentecostals** (No. 16, a faith celebrating its centenary) all far outnumber Episcopalians, those stories probably deserve to be in the top 10 instead. Which is partly why ‘The Book of Daniel’ flopped (No. 14... what, people would rather watch ‘Desperate Housewives’?).
5. Yeah, baby! Morality includes peace issues and financial responsibility, and — like LRC’s Laurence Vance, an orthodox evangelical — I can’t be played any more by politicians using abortion and/or homosexuality. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, clean out your desk.
6. Sì.
8a. Dan Brown’s silly book possibly deserves 10th place along with the film’s colossal failure despite all the promotion from the book selling so well.
10. Whatever his motives he seems to have done the right thing. Deo gratias.

I wonder if/when the Eastern Orthodox convert boomlet will make it into the top 20 or if, as Owen the Ochlophobist thinks, it’s had its day.

*Rod Dreher and Lee Penn agree with me: covering up ‘Father’s problem’ does not serve the church! (Covering up includes refusing to report these stories online or being bullied into not doing so.) A different matter from libertarian freedom, privacy and tolerant conservatism: when it harms somebody it becomes the public’s business and, as the church is supposed to be about doing the right thing, coming clean actually serves it. The Vatican should hand these men, including the bishops who covered this up, over to the criminal-justice system and wash its hands of them.

**You’ve got to give the RC charismatic version some credit: in its orthodox form in many places in the 1970s and ’80s it was the only alternative to Modernism that many people knew about.
Nancy Pelosi on her faith
She’s no theologian but I like what she said in the first paragraph quoted. I fear, though, that she doesn’t mean something libertarian by it like I would. Liberals don’t really care about individual rights or privacy.
On ‘hispanicising’ RC culture in the US
Fr Andrew Greeley is a liberal, seemingly the kind of condescending one who likes traditional things for sentimental and anthropological reasons, a bit like Joseph Campbell, but often once you get past that — and his famous literary preoccupation with sex — this priest and sociologist has a point as he does here. (And Thomas Day understood the Irish Jansenism that Greeley’s obviously railing against.) He seems to take a gringo’s boutique ‘spirituality’ approach — ‘sure, a lot of it’s superstition but I know most of it’s not true and I can make it work for me’ — and never mind his blather about Trent vs Vatican II but his valid point is that a kind of living tradition like mediæval Christendom can be found in some Hispanic cultures. (¿Verdad, Arturo?) A lot of it is sanctified natural religion. Different from the ice-cold consolation of a ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ without any community or praxis.

But as the late Canon Colin Stephenson observed (in a manner not unlike Greeley’s) if you want to see mediæval Catholicism in action see Eastern European Orthodoxy.

In unbowdlerised form I dare say that’s not what the spirituality-shoppers chafing at the big bad church’s rules had in mind! The sexes standing in church on opposite sides for hours-long services... headscarves and long skirts in church for the women... only men are allowed behind the iconostasis... ‘priest’s back to the people’ (really Godwardness: priest and people facing the same direction)... midnight Communion fasts, no meat on Wednesday and Friday and four serious fasting periods of the year in which no sex is allowed... I dare say not. They tolerate it from people deemed exotic enough and in small enough numbers to be non-threatening but they’d scream bloody murder if Roman Riters did it. Ah, political correctness. As a friend observed a long time ago if this lot took it seriously Eastern Orthodoxy would be an embarrassment to them.

In traditional societies it’s not ‘spirituality’ where you’re in control of things including God; it’s religion where you know you’re not entirely in control and humbly ask a higher power to help you. And conforming yourself to objective reality: ‘reason’ as the Schoolmen and classical Anglicans understood it.

Yes, ‘here comes everyone’.
War and Catholic moral principles
From 1958. A reminder: the head of the Holy Office, Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, defended the Roman Mass and wanted the church to condemn the use of nuclear weapons.

Neocon RCs and the Iraq war
I’m not taking sides in the East-West church battle here but the note about support for the war being fuelled by Protestant influence is spot-on

Saturday, December 30, 2006

On Iraq after Hussein
From CounterPunch
Wrapping up 2006 in Iraq
‘Worst year ever’

Hussein’s hanging is just one more occasion for a blood feud in a country that now has thousands of them

From Samer al-Batal.
LRC round-up
How anarchy could work
Classic libertarianism from Murray Rothbard

Bush’s enemies list
The elasticity of ‘radical’ and ‘extremist’ as ‘one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter’

Rumsfeld and the American way of war

Want to do something about the Sudan and Burma?

Michael Rozeff writes: Don’t violate national sovereignty and get your people killed overseas not actually defending your country: extend the right to bear arms to hiring mercenaries so anybody who wants to hire them for their own defence, or to volunteer to fight over there for any reason, can
The curtain falls on an unforgettable performance
More on Mr Dan
What I’m listening to
‘America So Beautiful’, a folk song by Mother Katherine (Weston), an Eastern Orthodox nun in Indiana (thanks, Brian Underwood), from her album Where Is Your Heaven? Talent worthy of the old New York coffeehouse scene.

Update: Her biography from Brian: She was born and grew up in NYC. Her late father was an Episcopal priest. She started playing guitar at twelve years of age and lives at St Xenia (of St Petersburg) Metochion in Indianapolis.

These songs were all written and composed by her. She originally performed them regularly at the sadly now-defunct Revelation Coffee House in Indianapolis.
Why pardoning Nixon was wrong
If you think this happened because Mr Bush gives a toss about the Kurds...
... you probably think e-mailing your bank account’s routing number to these chaps is a good idea

Dead men tell no tales
From The Gaelic Starover

Thoughts from Notes from Underground
...if Bush is ever brought to trial for his war crimes, will there be any to plead for him to be pardoned?
And scripture from Hoosier Musings

Dictator stops taking US orders
From the LRC blog
Looks like I can put off buying a snow-blower for one more year
Deo gratias
Christmas is hip in China
Like in Japan where it’s a non-Christian retail fest originally imported by occupying American soldiers
Why I believe in Christianity
By G.K. Chesterton. From All Too Common.
Not at all the same as being unsocial extroverted side only has a limited durability before it needs to curl up and hide.
- Hoosier Musings

Change ‘curl up and hide’ to ‘rest and recharge’ and you’ve described me.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Steve Martin’s Christmas wishes
The 1991 classic (off-colour)
From April 2003: Bush, Rumsfeld, Blair and Straw were banned from Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
Think about it: ‘Bush banned from birthplace of Christ’. Again, all are welcome to come and pray in a Catholic church, even this lot, but I appreciate the intent. Reminds me of the story of St Mary of Egypt!
When the hour for the holy elevation approached, I was trying to make my way in with the crowd which was struggling to get through the church doors. I had at last squeezed through with great difficulty almost to the entrance of the temple, from which the lifegiving Tree of the Cross was being shown to the people. But when I trod on the doorstep which everyone passed, I was stopped by some force which prevented my entering.
From Brian Underwood.
On lefty hawks
I am as against intervention in Burma, and certainly against invasion, as anywhere else (a country’s first obligation is to its own) but David Holford makes a point:
...the hypocrisy of "Let's ignore the killing of our own babies and go after somebody else's human rights abuses."
A punto.
Do they not realise the Burmese leaders have an idea that most decent people and their governments think they are horrid little men? Bad, bad junta! We don't like you! So there!
Of course they do which is why they’ve had a media blackout for years. They realise almost Zen fashion that if a Western media person doesn’t hear a million people scream then it might as well not have happened.
The Rusyn-based part of a North American schism (story in English)
Which was nominally headed by the late Metropolitan Vitaly (Ustinov) in Canada. Apparently a few people in the old country, the ex-USSR, are upset about the Russian Orthodox-ROCOR reunion coming up in May. (ROCOR = anti-Soviet exiles who had missions in post-Soviet Russia.) Their hatred of the Soviet collaborationist church is understandable but certainly now theologically unjustified unless one is a Donatist. I don’t know their numbers but big countries like Russia and the Ukraine are bound to have splinter churches.

And you thought Anglican politics were nasty and complicated. There’s nothing new under the sun. (The Episcopalians are not the first American episcopal church to break up parish by parish and end up in court over it.)
The latest Nigerian scamorama
In which a Third World criminal with limited English has the cheek to impersonate an English noble or at least the widow of a knight or baronet:
From: Lady Toreth Hughes
52 Oxford Street,
I know of course the famous and bustling Oxford Street in London but does the imposter? Apparently not. It’s simply in England, which is like writing ‘Sunset Boulevard, United States’.
Here writes Lady Toreth Hughes, suffering from cancerous ailment.
And bad grammar.
I am married to Sir Richard Hughes an Englishman who is dead.
Charming in a macabre ‘Addams Family’ or even fittingly Pythonish way (like the dead parrot).
My husband was into private practice all his life before his death. Our life together as man and wife lasted for three decades without child. My husband died after a protracted illness. My husband and I made a vow to uplift the down-trodden and the less-privileged individuals as he had passion for persons who can not help themselves due to physical disability or financial predicament. I can adduce this to the fact that he needed a Child from this relationship, which never came.

When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of 20 Million (20 Million Great Britain Pounds Sterling which were derived from his vast estates and investment in capital market) with his bank here in UK. Presently, this money is still with the Bank.

Recently, my Doctor told me that I have limited days to live due to the cancerous problems I am suffering from. Though what bothers me most is the stroke that I have in addition to the cancer. With this hard reality that has befallen my family, and me I have decided to donate this fund to you and want you to use this gift which comes from my husbands effort to fund the upkeep of widows, widowers, orphans, destitute, the down-trodden, physically challenged children, barren-women and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially.

I took this decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are bourgeois and very wealthy persons and I do not want my husband's hard earned money to be misused or invested into ill perceived ventures. I do not want this money to be misused hence the reason for taking this bold decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I do not need any telephone communication in this regard due to my deteriorating health and because of the presence of my husband's relatives around me. I do not want them to know about this development.

As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank in UK. I will also issue you a Letter of Authority that will empower you as the original beneficiary of this fund. My happiness is that I lived a life worthy of emulation. Please assure me that you will act just as I have stated herein. Hope to hear from you soon.

You can contact me through my personal email address:

Lady Toreth Hughes
Needless to say I sent this charming titled woman my bank-account routing number straightaway. :)

This is even more old-school (insert appropriate hip-hop hand motion here) than being phished or ‘I made you a mix tape’.
Catching up with Europe :(
Fr Matthew Thurman reports that exactly half of America is now unchurched and asks why his church doesn’t reach out to these people in addition to the already Christian

The way things were
Alexander (Lycurgos), (Greek Orthodox) Archbishop of Syros and Tenos, who visited England in 1869-1870... was given the honorary degree of D.D. at Oxford and was present at the consecration of two Anglican bishops... and... expressed as his opinion that the Church of England was ‘a sound Catholic church very like our own’ and that the two churches would soon be united by friendly discussion.

... any missionary effort in Britain was banned by the Œcumenical Patriarch, who forbade the Proto-Presbyter Timotheos
(an Englishman born Stephen Hatherly) ‘to proselytise a single member of the Anglican Church’.
- Peter Anson

Even if the Anglican Communion hadn’t changed so much more than 100 years on I dare say the good patriarch and archbishop would be cyber-scourged today.

Some other thoughts so far from reading (and thinking about the pathologies, criminal and silly, described in) Bishops at Large:

• Ambrose Phillips de Lisle and Viscount Halifax may well have been saints (which doesn’t mean they were infallible) and if I’d been there and in their social class I might have tried something similar. (This is obviously where Archbishop John Hepworth got some of his ideas.) I don’t agree with Phillips de Lisle’s ahistorical disparagement of using images in English churches... seems a Protestant anachronism; the interiors of Sarum ones were covered with them, murals as well as statues. (P de L was a sarumophile.)
• I think Arnold Mathew may have been on the autistic spectrum... well-meaning, not stupid but foolish, with obscure all-consuming interests like his in zoology as well as church things, guileless and thus easily taken advantage of, like by the criminal ex-RC priests, Modernists like George Tyrrell and Theosophists who shamelessly used him.
US Army to court-martial soldier featured in PTSD story
The Revd James Konicki writes:
You see, Sgt. Tyler Jennings signed ... a contract and went to serve on the President’s orders. He came back, along with his comrades, unable to cope and quite mentally ill. He sought help, got none. He turned to drugs to cope, and sin of sins he spoke out. Now the army is going to Court Martial this Sergeant.

You see, the contract employer – the Army – can award you a Purple Heart for your physical injuries, and leave your mental, emotional injuries untreated. The contract doesn’t cover the Army’s or the government’s responsibility toward you. If you no longer meet the requirement for contracted materials they will throw you out as just so much surplus.

Beyond that, they will readily ask you to kill the non-existent enemy and to do so without valid reason, your eternal soul not being a factor therein.
And break the contract with ‘stop-loss’, the back-door draft.

St Thomas à Becket
‘The holy blisful martir’ who spoke truth to power in mediæval England

A modern-day Becket
Sentire cum ecclesia in El Salvador
Loss of meaningful rituals = lack of responsibility
From The Libertarian Enterprise
Stop Bushing the envelope
The man is not a conservative, or second-term Clinton was relatively better
Politics and economics in Eastern Europe...
Are apparently very like those of many Slavic-Americans in the Rust Belt, well-meaning but needing doses of libertarianism and Austrian economics
There are good reasons to object to Barack Obama
Like this, that and, yes, the other thing. (Another pro-war statist.) Not his middle name!
35 most outrageous fees and how to avoid them
Including phone surcharges

The LRC blog on the execution of Saddam Hussein
Oh, the stories he could tell... somebody’s making sure he won’t!

The Vatican opposes it
Rachel Corrie play censored in Canada

Thursday, December 28, 2006

US: State set to approve food from cloned animals
To produce a clone, the nucleus of a donor egg is removed and replaced with the DNA of a cow, pig or other animal. A tiny electric shock coaxes the egg to grow into a copy of the original animal.
John Boyden writes:
Sounds like a miniature version of what Frankenstein did.
Gerald Ford opposed the Iraq war
From truthout
LRC publisher Burt Blumert on his hate e-mails
...if you tell the truth about the "Great Emancipator" you’re "pro-slavery." If you criticize the neocons, you’re "anti-Semitic." If you disapprove of the religious right, you’re "anti-Christian." If you defend capitalism, you’re a "tool of the Jews." If you oppose forced association, you’re "racist." If you disparage welfare, you’re insensitive and anti-poor. If you undermine the case for government, you’re "a traitor." If you censure the police state, you’re "pro-criminal and pro-terrorist." And if you’re against the long litany of aggressive wars, you should be "strung up" or "shot."
I’ll add ‘if you’re really pro-states’ rights you’re a racist by historical association’.
US: A pro-Second Amendment news story
Canada: ‘Renovated Catholicism’ attracts few tenants
As I’ve said people my age and younger laugh at granola religion. From NLM.
The libertarian case against abortion
For Holy Innocents’ Day. From LRC.

A few points:
• It obviously violates the harm principle.
• I’m as against it as many of you are, when asked will try to explain why it’s wrong and want it outlawed for the reasons given here but I realised some time ago that pro-life marches and rallies often are a substitute for religion among their conservative and charismatic-movement Novus Ordo followers (one of the few rallying-points of Roman Catholic identity that’s left... get together, pray the Rosary which of course is good in itself, wave your arms and feel good)... and don’t actually stop abortions.
• Neither major political party intends to stop it so the pols can’t use it to play me.
Medically necessary abortions to save the mother’s life, a rarity especially today, were legal before the late 1960s and are allowed by the church thanks to double effect (the intent is to save the woman rather than have both mother and child die, not to kill the child).
All are welcome to come and pray in a Catholic church but pro-abortion pols who receive Communion and try to sell themselves as Catholic for ethnic/class reasons to cadge votes are being sacrilegious. So is inviting the people behind the Iraq war like George W. Bush to speak at RC prayer breakfasts, which it seems at least some pro-lifers have forgotten. Of course they are welcome to attend Mass like anybody else — receiving Communion is a separate issue, which it seems moderns have forgotten.
Britain’s Afghan quagmire
The president as a substitute conscience
On ‘the troops’ and their supporters or ‘it’s not the Nuremberg defence when we do it’. From LRC.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Spasmodic death throes of the record business
Does anyone think that the record industry’s tactic of repackaging albums with newly added material signals anything other than short-sighted desperation?
Read on. From AKMA.

‘It's Christmas time in the city...’
Spotted by Daithí Mac Lochlainn in New York. Very scary, kids.

Reminds me why I like ‘Law & Order’ less now. Not only have some of the cool characters/actors (like the late Jerry Orbach) been replaced with vacuous modelly types but the remaining believable cops act like Dennis Farina’s now-retired Joe Fontana, bullying anybody, good, bad or in between, who dares stand up for himself and question them! It’s like a middle-class version of ‘Cops’. Conditioning the public to accept such treatment? No, thanks.
More thoughts on services in English
Ever notice that as awful and bowdlerised as the language is of the Mass in RC churches and the official books for the RC office, the Our Father and the other prayers used in the Rosary are invariably traditional? In the office the lit-niks (as the late Fr Gommar De Pauw dubbed them) say a modernised Glory Be unknown to Joe and Mary Gubbins in the pew! Those prayers have a long vernacular tradition among Roman Catholics. (Yes, they usually say ‘Holy Spirit’ for ‘Holy Ghost’ but that was how 1950s missals for the laity usually rendered it.)

Other places have tried to modernise the Lord’s Prayer but AFAIK the people won’t have it. Taking that further, those with the longest, most comprehensive and most venerable tradition of praying in English are or at least once were famously resistant. The revisers of the American Episcopal Prayer Book wanted to get rid of Cranmer’s idiom outright but had to back-track and came up with Rite I to appease the people in the pews! (Source of that information: Charley Wingate.) Common Worship in the Church of England retains a Tudor-style option as well.
It seems that all the Duke lacrosse players were guilty of is being jerks
Against which there is no law :|
Study war for peace
Or this blog is not pacifist. From
RIP Gerald Ford
Probably hand-picked to do the job of pardoning Nixon. (No, that wasn’t astute in the long run; it was corrupt. Probably something the current crew want for themselves.) There was that, the fall of Saigon (which will be repeated in Baghdad sooner or later), the Mayagüez incident and jokes (like from Chevy Chase) about being clumsy. He probably will be remembered as a nice but undistinguished fellow who had his 15 minutes.
The new blog of Fr Christopher Phillips and Our Lady of the Atonement Anglican Use RC Church in San Antonio, Texas

Rite I Anglican Use, as imperfect as it is (and it could be improved with the Holy See’s call for more accurate and prettier English translations, chucking ICEL’s paraphrases), has so much potential: it could evangelise the semi-churched (bring back the lapsed) in America, the kind of people who bought chant CDs in the ’90s and go to classical concerts at lovely old city Protestant churches. (They don’t want Haugen, Haas and Schutte miked up and sung at them, and truth be told neither do most RCs.) The idiom of the Prayer Book, the King James Bible and old hymns is still woven into the culture and is yours for the asking. Use it!

Not to sound too proud but as I like to say of Anglo-Catholicism it’s my culture brought up to speed with my Catholic beliefs. Ideally you’d do that with the English Missal I suppose but Rite I AU is better than run-of-the-mill Novus Ordo and in it you can have the culture, the history of Christianity in English from the Gothic architecture to the turns of phrase (acknowledging and bewailing our manifold sins... what’s my car to do with it? :)), the organ music and the hymnody... and don’t forget public recitation of the offices (having a form of that for everyman in the parishes and using English were the only good things the English ‘Reformation’ promoted, and the chalice for the laity as it came to be done is OK; everything else was a mistake).

That is, it would have a lot of potential if the RC PTB actually took it seriously and gave it a chance, which they won’t. Modernism + Irish hatred of things thought to be English = it’s dead on arrival/a bait-and-switch*. (Many are far more sympathetic to this than to me or possibly you: scroll down to read my remarks.) There are no mechanisms to ensure its survival once the ex-Episcopal priests retire and die and I think that’s intentional. Rome is making the US RCs have it: for now. But like that lovely contemporary mainstream film The Family Man it’s ‘a glimpse’ of what could be.

Ironically (fitting for the home of irony) English Anglo-Catholics are not interested in the AU; they use the Novus Ordo (at least a spikey version of it). You can describe reverence for the idiom of the Prayer Book as like ‘Masterpiece Theatre’: broadcasting of English-made historical dramas with a reverence entirely American!

Speaking of history and England, today LRC has a link to colour photos of the place... from 1890!

*Which is why they won’t have the English Missal and Anglican Breviary, which unlike Cranmer’s or the US 1979 book are not Protestant at all but their own religion translated back at them! These are Catholic and, broadly speaking, English (the Breviary was a 1940s-1950s American production) so they’re right out. Adopting ICEL instead of classic translations was among other things (this is back when abstract art and Bauhausian architecture were hip) obviously a move to spite the Anglicans.
Former tennis star Andrea Jaeger is now an Anglican nun doing charitable work
She retired from the game aged 19 after seven shoulder operations

The saga of the dislocated broken shoulder
Fell six weeks ago. Range of motion is still limited.

A trip to the physical therapists was worth it because they confirmed what I knew, that the arm is still slightly out of place and mustn’t be forced.

The MRI (my first ever) was interesting: I was in a tube for 30 minutes but with headphones listening to MOTR rock, soft lights and some air blowing on my face (to keep the air fresh and the experts know that blowing air in your face keeps the claustrophobic from freaking out). Even got a souvenir CD-ROM of the scans.

The orthopædist I saw was the first one available and not my doctor’s first choice: the second time I saw him he misread my chart (‘so, you hurt it two weeks ago’; ‘no, a month’; ‘oh’), acted like he never even talked to the physical therapists I saw and blew off their warning not to force the arm (he’s a bit prideful: ‘PTs are not surgeons!’). At least the MRI showed what’s wrong: one partially torn ligament and a stress fracture in one bone. (My first known broken bone!) This orthopædist doesn’t think he has to operate (which is usually good news) but it’s my arm and I don’t trust this guy’s judgement so I’m going to somebody else on the 2nd.
Quotation from the post
From a reader in Ireland, to whom I’d remarked ‘I read that Ireland’s getting more secular all the time, rather like what happened in Québec in the 1960s’:
What the British couldn’t do — the actuality is even worse — Vatican II’s aftermath has.
There you have it.
Alas, the only solution I can see is Holy Orthodoxy!
I understand what you’re trying to get at — and maintain that this tradition is a working model of concepts and practices that could renew the entire traditional Catholic world — but am not as sure as you that a wholesale adoption of a foreign church is the answer (sure, it’s an answer and yes, I know the ‘pre-schism is Orthodox’ argument... still looks like stealing Irish history to me) instead of building on Ireland’s own spiritual foundations which like it or hate it are largely 19th-century Roman Catholic, and I don’t mean pseudo-Celticness is the solution either. (Acquaintance Archimandrite Serge (Keleher) lives there, speaks Gaelic and can’t stand the pseudo stuff.)

I’ve been told that religion in Ireland is rather cyclical. They remained Roman to resist the English but before RC emancipation etc. in the 1800s weren’t particularly devout. The image exported throughout the world (by immigrants themselves as well as old-school nationalist politicians like de Valera) of the pious Irish is thanks to a Catholic revival in the late 1800s that’s now on the wane.

Speaking of that adoption as an answer here is:

A glowing article on the Orthodox convert boomlet in America
Or as I like to think of it intellectual ex-evangelicals who would have become Anglicans 50 years ago
Greg Mencotti ... had been raised a Roman Catholic, lost his faith and became an atheist. Then he was born again as an evangelical Protestant, and went on to spend years as a Methodist... Today, Mencotti is a member of Holy Spirit Antiochian Orthodox Church... "I thought they worshipped Mary and they worshipped icons," Mencotti said. "I was like most Americans. I didn't understand anything about Orthodoxy."
Well, with all due respect to Mr Mencotti either the evangelicals thoroughly brainwashed him or he never really learnt Roman Catholicism!
Drink a round to Ireland, boys, I’m home again.
Drink a round to Jesus Christ who died for Irish men.
- Judy Collins song

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

RIP Daniele Perna (the elder)
No, not the famous one. I met ‘Mr Dan’ exactly 10 years ago when I was reviewing theatre for a newspaper (I’m doing something else for a different one now). He invited me to a New Year’s Eve performance of his bizarre musical of Pinocchio. I say ‘bizarre’ because towards the end it had a well-done but incongruous ballet scene. Everything good and fun about theatre people — actors, dancers, choreographers, writers, directors — applied to him and his eclectic, flamboyant and international circle of friends. Afterwards was my first of many marvellous parties he hosted in his little 1700s house in Gulph Mills, Pa., chock full of antiques and singsongs at the piano. He may have been semi-pagan in his views but Belloc would have recognised him: honouring his Italian heritage there was lots of laughter and good red wine at his house, lessons in living la dolce vita and in tolerant conservatism (something he reinforced in me). In a way it’s fitting he left this earth on Christmas Eve, one of the most joyful times of the year, I imagine with that joy as he lived his life carrying him into the hereafter to celebrate. He was probably well into his 80s.

Grazie per tutti. Deo gratias.

It’s an honour
John Boyden meets Crown Prince Otto von Habsburg, son of the late emperor, and announces:
Finally, just last week I finished my first work for publication. February’s edition of Inside the Vatican will include my article which deals with common misconceptions about the Vatican and the Holy See.
Wasn’t this one of the things that helped topple the Roman Empire?
From truthout
Mr Putin’s visit to the Ukraine reveals the country’s identity crisis
Большинство там — русскоязычное
It’s official: Russian Orthodox Church and ROCOR will reunite on the 17th May, 2007
The feast of the Ascension on the Russian church calendar. Хорошо. From Brian Underwood.
O little ghetto of Bethlehem
From John Treat
In ‘Fluffya’
Bye, bye, Tower Records
And reverse-snob hipster Repo Records in Bryn Mawr. Another one bites the dust. No overhead, no waste; hooray for the Internet (also the great rock-snob leveller) and people who realised they could buy much of the same music at Best Buy for $10.

Of course there’s still a market for old vinyl as the success of nice guys Dave Castleman and Mike Notaro at Shady Dog, with both real and virtual shops, shows.
If I wrote headlines for The Onion
DAMM (Drunks Against MADD Mothers)* name Miss USA their new spokeswoman
*Not to be confused with the real DAMM. To anybody who’s offended, ‘lighten thou up’.
Religious fanaticism
Or abusus non tollit usum, and removing religion only makes problems worse
Boxing Day (St Stephen’s Day)
In the spirit of the day (only some get off work today in the States) ‘shout-outs’ (not as good as gifts or money I imagine but anyway...) to...

• Erwin B., mechanic. I haven’t got a German car but have a German mechanic (which counts for something). Sounds like a song title, doesn’t it? If you live near ‘Fluffya’ (you know, where Rocky Balboa is from) and need moderate to serious work done on your car he is a hidden gem and all-round good bloke. As he said to me last time we met, ‘Fröhe Weinachten und ein gutes neues Jahr!’
• John V., whose lunch counter in the town where I work feeds me on Fridays (abstinence from flesh-meat). Nice family with an unusual background: third-generation Italian Protestants. Presbyterians actually. (Mr V’s dad left the church because he liked the preaching and fellowship of the Presbys. There’s a humbling lesson there.) They’re not pushy about it (walking into their shop you don’t get hit in the face with the sound of CCM like a soggy towel), not Ned Flanders-ish at all, but have newsletters from their church (an outpost of their faith in Rocky country) and copies of Guideposts to read. An effective silent witness by doing not preaching.
• Colonial Kitchen. Greeks who make the best spaghetti bolognese outside Bologna and maybe there too. A Tuesday-night tradition in YF’s world. I don’t think they practise Orthodoxy (only one or two answer ‘Aleithos anesti!’ at Easter) but if they did they’d be celebrating the Synaxis of the Holy Mother of God today.
A Christmas poem from Hoosier Musings. The mention of labour reminded me of a lively conversation on the issue earlier here, proving for one thing that Catholicism is orthodox but not monolithic.
Christmas review
Where I was: my favourite local shrine church for Vespers, Compline, Matins, High Mass (English Missal with music by Haydn done by choir and orchestra) and after that Lauds. Got home about 2.30 in the morning.
What I got: Bishops at Large, Peter Anson’s classic cautionary tales for frustrated high churchmen and no, the person who gave it to me wasn’t trying to tell me something. (Actually I’m acquainted with a bishop at large. He has a ministry which he describes as not competing with the big churches but filling in the gaps in their coverage. And he has a theological education from real schools: he is fluent in Hebrew.)
What some friends got from me: Kindzmarauli (never mind that Stalin loved it; it’s the best, самое вкусное вино в мире) and for one person with two adorable moggies a drinking fountain for cats.

To sum up yesterday:
People were out late last night attending services, singing hymns and welcoming in the incarnation of God. Today is subdued, businesses are closed and people can enjoy time to themselves.
- Reverend Ref

Finally from Ship of Fools:

It just wouldn’t be traditional if crackers had good jokes
‘I have no country’
A conversation with a US Marine

Foreign policy and the Prince of Peace
Vs the Prince of War. From Ron Paul the great.

Impeach the henchmen instead
That has a chance says John Dean

Goodbye, US Pledge of Allegiance
And good riddance

From LRC.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Christmas from A conservative blog for peace
MAGNIFICATUS est * Rex pacificus super omnes reges univérsæ terræ.

COMPLETI sunt * dies Maríæ ut pareret Filium suum primogénitum.

THIS King of peace * exceedeth all the kings of the earth.

THE days of Mary * were accomplished, that she should bring forth her first-born Son.
On that note here is another of the Revd Tripp Hudgins’ great après-Mass reads:

On Mary
Are we called to be imitators of Christ — but we of course are not true God and true man! — or of Mary?

And from the Australian summer Fr Marco Vervoorst notes regarding the often artificial niceness pushed this time of year*:
The Child in the manger asks for my obedience and devotion every day of my life and not just during these few short days when we remember his birth. Our Lady shows us the way: self-giving obedience. The gift which God offers is himself and he asks no less of us.
*The ‘Christmas’ that began early in November and ends at midnight tonight or at best New Year’s, not the one that starts today and goes on until Epiphany.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

From Verbum ipsum
On the Incarnation
The classic from St Athanasius with a foreword from C.S. Lewis! From NLM.
The palæos were right about Iraq
Well, yes

Pat Buchanan on the Episcopal row
And a prayer in reparation for the real bigotry here from a bishop who suffered far more than the indignity of possibly not going on a trip to Lambeth every few years. I say this prayer for Catholic reunion at least once a day.

Disclaimer: As a libertarian I hold to the church’s historic political position on prostitution... as I do on other moral matters. As long as it’s not a public health hazard it’s none of my nor the state’s business.

From The Western Confucian.
The twelve days of Whoopsmas
By Mark Fiore
Talkin’ ’bout Eastern-rite Catholics again
O come, let us adore him
By Fr Richard John Neuhaus

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Why the state hates economic freedom
From the LRC blog
Lee Penn answers the latest Vatican publicity move regarding priests’ underage gay sex scandal
Lee writes:

1. I agree that penance is necessary — but it should start with action by the church leadership. Without deeds by the responsible parties, the suggested words of contrition are empty.
2. Cantalamessa says that we are now ‘after the emergency’ occasioned by the priestly predators. I strongly disagree, and explain why.
3. I propose 13 things that the Vatican and local bishops could do to resolve the scandal and provide justice to the victims and to the scandalized faithful.
4. At the end, I propose four things that the faithful should do ... whatever the Hierarchs do (or fail to do).

Justice is the foundation for peace ... at Christmas time and at all times.
++Cantuar slams US and UK for ‘ignorant’ policy in Iraq
Spot-on! He’s on a roll. From Fr Mark Juchter.
The end of the neo-con dream
If any good can be mined out of the suffering of the Iraqis (and the hapless soldiers sent there as well as people like Margaret Hassan) this may be it
"The Project for the New American Century" has been reduced to a voice-mail box and a ghostly website. A single employee has been left to wrap things up.
Two from Brian Underwood:

UN votes for sanctions against Iran for developing nukes
Seems that’s a private club

Russian royal family still not legally ‘rehabilitated’
In the Ukraine: this reminds me of the Henrician schism
Even though the Orthodox are decentralised and it’s not a matter of breaking with one special patriarch. ISTM the uncanonical/schismatic ‘Kyiv Patriarchate’ is jockeying to be the state church; that the president is a member doesn’t hurt! (I understand the US favours both Mr Yushchenko and the KP in all this as they want to play Ukrainian nationalism and pro-Westernism to weaken Russia. Imagine the reaction if Mr Putin tried this in Canada or Mexico, or got the American Southwest to secede!) They broke with their lawful patriarch, the one in Moscow that most of the churchgoing minority of Ukrainians are still under BTW. (The KP ‘patriarch’ is the deposed former Russian metropolitan of Kiev.) One of the faults of RISU is they don’t make clear the distinction between who’s actually Orthodox and who’s not; the KP are friendly with the Ukrainian Catholics because it helps themselves (playing the same Ukrainian-nationalist card the Ukrainian Catholics do). Nationalist schisms are nothing new in this ecclesiastical scene (Moscow and Bulgaria broke from Constantinople the same way) and in time this group might be recognised as legitimate but again as most Ukrainian churchmen still belong to the Russian Church probably not.
Sacerdotalismo, sì; clericalismo, no
Everybody knows that the Roman Catholic Church is in principle a bastion of mean male chauvinism and everybody’s wrong, and church liberals often lack a sense of humour including irony. From Michael Liccione.
Ben in The Undercroft with more on an authentic traditionalism or how insights from the Orthodox tradition could genuinely renew (to use that much-abused word) the entire Catholic world*. I admit I don’t understand it all but it looks good. In the comments section, Michael Liccione representing the conservative Novus Ordo has linked to his rebuttal.

The trouble with orthodox NO ‘head religion’ without Catholic praxis (‘we don’t need all that romantic froufrou so go to the guitar Mass like a real Cat’lic ’cos we’ve got the Pope’), something that can have all the warmth of old-school Calvinism/Presbyterianism (or of Scientology as friend Paul Goings puts it):
...this “Hermeneutic of Continuity” - can you touch it? Can you smell it? Can you sing or pray it? Can you make an icon of it? Will it lodge in the imagination of a five-year-old? Will it enable her to grow up understanding why we have to drive past four [Roman] Catholic churches to attend a Mass thirty miles away?

So long as the answer to any of these questions is “no”, I’m afraid it’s of absolutely no earthly use.
Vatican II didn’t define any doctrines and said good things in themselves regarding matters of policy/approach: religious liberty is a relative good, ‘why not translate the services?’ (all Trent condemned was the idea that they must be in a tongue understanded of the people to be valid... one more time: ‘traditionalism is not about Latin!’) and ecumenism in the right spirit (catechesis, or clearing up misunderstandings — like the big one about justification — by actually talking to each other and treating each other in a Christian manner). That said, considering the harm it did, might the good it tried to do be done better another way and, as friend (no longer blogging) Jeff Culbreath has written, might Roman Catholics be better off simply ignoring Vatican II? I think so.

I think that’s as clear as the difference between a Byzantine Liturgy, an Anglo-Catholic High Mass and the chant and dialogue Masses the RCs’ legitimate liturgical movement was doing 50 years ago on one hand and the typical NO service on the other.

P.S. The English ‘Reformation’ was a mistake but I read Coverdale. Funny old world, isn’t it?

*That is, maybe ultramontanism in the EWTN or charismatic mould isn’t the answer and saying so doesn’t lump you together with Call to Action.
I gave up on Christmas cards too
From LRC
Rudolph revisited
Interpreting an American Christmas animated classic, a story originally written for Montgomery Ward ads in 1941. From Endlessly Rocking.

I still fondly remember ‘Raging Rudolph’ (the Mafia version) from when ‘Mad TV’ was funny.
++Cantuar on pilgrimage to Bethlehem, expresses solidarity with Palestinians there
With the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Armenian bishop of Great Britain and the moderator of the Free Churches. Here is more on this holy city from friend John Treat who recently was there.
What great divide?
Between US Republicans and Democrats? Both are interventionists not really for peace. From Eunomia.

Friday, December 22, 2006

US Selective Service System to test conscription machinery
Oh, no
Bush just can’t kick the habit
Of militarism... and he was only sort of in the military himself, which hardly seems surprising
Metropolitan Peter (Moghila) of Kiev
Has he been canonised by the Orthodox? Apparently so. A Western-friendly bishop centuries before Hilarion (Alfeyev), part of that wonderful art the Russians sometimes have of incorporating the best of Western Catholicism such as the Schoolmen and polyphonic music but without thoughtless latinisation compromising their rite. From Occidentalis.
RC flight to evangelicalism
An original submission from the Revd Tripp Hudgins

I see the point: ‘as long as it’s a Wal-Mart’ or the big institution with no personal touch and minimal or nonexistent catechesis — pretty much the RC experience for most people, certainly in a heavily ethnic city and ’burbs with humongo parishes like Chicago — does not work, which is why you meet so many nominal (only at Christmas, Easter and/or family rites of passage) or ex-RCs certainly in our age group, Tripp. The megachurches can and do deliver here because those that do break people up into small groups, de facto parishes, so the mega-pastor is more like the bishop of a micro-diocese. (As I’ve written before that’s how some non-episcopal pastors read the Fathers and see themselves.) And what’s wrong with that? Entirely compatible with traditional religion and liturgics.
Now that it’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere
A photo of proper nuns having fun and an invitation to write a caption:

Would that all church rows were only this serious.

From All Too Common.
Spotted: wicked sense of humour among Episcopal conservatives
Oh, the humanity

But what’s it really all about, Alfie? Right, here’s the Episcopal row summed up. If the liberals look at it logically a few troublesome dioceses and entire congregations whose views they abhor want to leave them. Shouldn’t they be happy about that? And in a worst-case scenario for them ++Cantuar sides with the majority of Anglicans around the world — non-white, non-rich and non-liberal with hardly a golf-club membership or SUV to be found among them — and the liberal American bishops don’t get to go on a trip to England every few years any more but have their money, their buildings (ones their like-minded congos are using, not empty ones won in court out of revenge) and their people (the shrinking market share of churchgoing white upper-middle-class liberals along with the angry ex-Roman Catholic and ex-fundygelical burnouts who find them) intact. All the liberal angst about ‘schism’ is really spite: ‘people who think suing conservative Christians out of their meeting houses is a virtue’ as MCJ puts it.
Liberal religion in time of crisis
Rod Dreher and Alan Jacobs on P.D. James:
James seems to be saying that in an overwhelming and incalculable crisis of this kind, liberal theology just simply disappears. People either give up religious hope altogether, and like the majority of people in England try to get what comforts they can from what remains of human existence. Or they turn to a much stricter, more traditional, orthodox, fully supernatural view of religion, a fully supernatural Christianity.
As P.J. O’Rourke put it when times get tough ‘spirituality’ (as in ‘I’m spiritual but not religious’ meaning ‘I love a God I control’) is right out and religion back in.

Alan Henderson observed earlier:
To modern pagans, religion is a means of inner self-actualization — a self-help program. To the ancients, religion is a means of appeasing the powerful and often cruel forces of nature (and of man, as in the case of war) that the gods allegedly controlled, roughly analogous to a small nation appeasing large and dangerous neighboring empires.
One can agree with Schmemann that Christianity is not a religion in that sense but as he put it the fulfilment of the types and shadows that were religion, but the point stands.
On the ‘teenage wasteland’
The ‘O tempora!’ culture-wars brigade have a point — over the past decade I’ve seen the deterioration of manners among 20- and 30-somes (and watched that corrupt some older people who were taught better) — but Bryony Gordon notes:
If youths are behaving any worse than before — and, according to the penal reform charity Nacro, Britain’s youth crime rates have dropped 27 per cent in the past 10 years — then it is grown-ups who are to blame for having the audacity to demand respect from teens while at the same time disrespecting them. That might make me want to commit an act of violence on the nearest person in authority, too. And has anybody ever questioned that kids might be carrying knives because they are scared of each other, thanks namely to the preposterous way in which they are presented in the media?

When we are young, we are conditioned to be afraid of a non-existent bogeyman. As adults, we are now being taught to fear bogeychildren.

And the problem with that is that, the more we make monsters of them, the more likely they are actually to become those monsters.
And one can argue that toys like the Bratz are helping do just that — make monsters.

Manners BTW are nothing to do with putting on airs but are simply a practical application of charity as Charles Anderson describes:
Speaking from my experience, since I was a young boy, my father and mother taught me that while I did not have to be best friends with everybody I did, nevertheless, have to accept others and try to get along with them.
I wonder if teens and those who recently were teens are taught that any more or if all the PC (Christianity without Christ) pushing of ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ is simply backfiring and making them rebel (as youth are wont to do). Rather like kids naturally react against being forced together in schools by forming cliques (a kind of exaggerated imitation of their elders’ class system, their way of learning it).

From LRC.
Something to ponder
The Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska has excommunicated Call to Action, a group of Modernist dissenters like the self-hating Jews of the Roman Catholic Church, and rightly so. (The Holy See has backed him in this. Here are comments from me.) Sometime Detroit auxiliary Thomas Gumbleton, titular Bishop of Ululi (I like at least some of his peace witness but not his un-Catholic religion), is said to belong to CTA. If so that brings up an interesting point — it seems that there is ‘impaired communion’ in the Roman Church just like in the Anglican and Orthodox churches. (The Pope tells the truth but on the ground level they’re as fragmented and riven with heresy as the Anglican Communion only without the high culture or tolerant conservatism: would-be mainline Protestants who stay where they are for ethnic and class reasons.) Both +Ululi and +Lincoln are bishops and under Rome but +Ululi would be an excommunicate in +Lincoln’s diocese.

Wonder how the EWTN apologists would answer that one.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

‘Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier’ doesn’t work
As a substitute for the orthodox Trinity. From haligweorc.
What of the belief ‘God will not give you more than you can handle’?
I believe in that
Primate of Greek Orthodox Church visits Pope, signs declaration
That’s Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens, the head of the Church of Greece. All this probably doesn’t mean much really but at least the two sides agree with Russian Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev) on working together for ‘the defence of life and the recovery of Europe’s Christian roots’, human rights and peace.
Talking to the Episcopal Hospital Chaplain
About Esphigmenou, the Episcopal row and ‘re-alignment’
News of the macabre
Or the dark side of ‘every child a wanted child’ (‘we didn’t mean you but will harvest your ovaries for the ones we’ll make later’). From John Boyden.
In ‘Fluffya’
Beslan survivor treated at Temple University Hospital
Очень хорошо! Upon hearing that the heart operation was successful Diana Murtozova’s mother said she felt ‘Радость!’ — joy — of course.
Hitler didn’t listen to his generals either
Again, if he’s serious he’ll have to conscript (one more time: when are Jenna, Barbara and the College Republicans enlisting and flying to Iraq?)

Saving language from the clutches of the state
Or some people think 1984 was a how-to book

Ipswich proves what’s needed are Tory libertarians
Legalise drugs and prostitution, the church’s historic position politically and not at all the same as positively approving of them. Like the solution for gay marriage: get the state out of the business entirely.

Mr Bush’s new way forward is the same old backward way
‘In denial’ or ignoring the Iraq Study Group

From LRC.
Three from Fr Will Brown
The Greater Antiphons

Talking to René Girard
Who with his intelligence and learning said:
I think the relativism of our time is the product of the failure of modern anthropology, of the attempt to resolve problems linked to the diversity of human cultures.

Anthropology has failed because it has not succeeded in explaining the different human cultures as a unitary phenomenon, and that is why we are bogged down in relativism.
Which made me with my more modest talents and skills remember:
Nothin’ from nothin’ means nothin’
You gotta have somethin’
If you wanna be with me.
On apostolicity
Regarding this ‘war on Christmas’ story (here is Huw Raphael on the phenom)
The trouble with the PC nutters is that in their attempts to offend no-one they usually end up offending the vast majority of ordinary folks.
- Fr Peter Robinson

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

US government spying on peace activists
From Stellarblogger
Why I don’t post to Yahoo! groups much
Somebody posted this on a list claiming to be Byzantine Catholic: Ranger Rosaries needed by our troops

On 20/12/06, the_young_fogey wrote:
What’s needed is prayer of any rite and action to bring these people safely home NOW and out of that immoral war.

Also, the Rosary is wonderful but not part of the native tradition of Byzantine Catholicism. (You can argue that, with the hours and
all those akathists and canons to choose from, people following this rite can’t make room to import this devotion!) Rome says not to latinise and that should be followed. How you pray at home is entirely up to you of course but I question why this is in a Byzantine Catholic group.

For Byzantine Catholic peace witness Google Bishop John-Michael (Botean), the Romanian eparch of Canton, Ohio (and a member of Pax Christi), and Fr Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, a married Melkite priest with many children.

Happy St Philip’s fast.
Mиръ вамъ!
Here’s the firestorm that followed.
Re: [ByzantineCatholicsSpeak] Re: Ranger Rosaries needed by our troops

You are not sanctioned here except in this. I don’t ever want to see another note like this on this list again.

I mean that sincerely. I run this list for people who know me as well as people who do not.

I pray the rosary regularly and add the O Antiphons to my Vesper readings every season, and open every morning prayer with the canticle of Zecharia.

You may not like talking about such things but there are all kinds of people here and I will not have them sanctioned.

If you have something positive to add from Orthodoxy in this great season of the year, please do so.

If this is all you have to add, please be silent.

Mary Lanser
... That’s enough, Fogey. If you won’t put a stop to your postings, I will. Be warned.
So what Rome teaches about both peace-and-justice issues and Byzantine Catholicism is forbidden in a list that says it’s Byzantine Catholic? (But a posting about a non-Byzantine Catholic devotion and supporting a
war opposed by the Pope is above criticism.) Why? I wasn’t there to talk about the Orthodox as such, and why would that be welcome (seems counter-intuitive) and these topics not?

Perhaps Ms Lanser should change the name from ‘Byzantine Catholics Speak’ to ‘Things Mary Lanser Likes’ for truth in advertising.
A former Republican congressman switches to the Libertarians
Sounds good to me but of course The Washington Times doesn’t think much of the LP. (Nor does LRC but for a different reason: it says they’re sell-outs.) Ron Paul the great has been in both the GOP and the LP (he’s now in Congress under a Republican flag of convenience). I’m in the LP as a protest gesture. From Fr Jim Tucker.
More ‘screw the troops’: the British MoD version
Will the Vatican City State have its own football club?
Even rivalling Italy’s? Why not? I wouldn’t rule out Cardinal Bertone’s idea. With the orthodox restoration under way drawing a good-sized minority of the young worldwide (including some fine athletes) I think they’d have no problem recruiting excellent players from their priests and ordinands, an international talent pool at that: ace Italian, German and South American footballers, an all-star team.

Could make the World Cup more interesting in the next decade!

Source: Fr Todd Young.
Goooooood evening, Vietnam!
How Iraq is and is not like that. From
American ignorance about Bethlehem
From Daithí Mac Lochlainn
Joshua Snyder’s AmConMag picks
Catch-22 in American law
Someone at my job pointed out this irony: if one invokes his Fifth Amendment rights, everyone assumes he's guilty. Pleading the Fifth seems to be, well ... incriminating yourself!
From Ad Orientem.
MCJ on the Episcopal row
On ‘people who think suing conservative Christians out of their meeting houses is a virtue’:
This reminds me of a biting satirical poem by Wm. Thackeray "Damages, 500 Pounds". It was based on an actual British court case in which a man, who had repeatedly beaten his wife practically to a pulp, sued the man she ran off with for, essentially, depriving him of his lawful property. He won.
Speaking truth to power
THOU didst courageously rebuke the pious king who had formerly sinned, just as Nathan rebuked David, O all-blessed Ambrose. Thou didst publicly exclude him from Communion. After submitting himself to penance and correction he was numbered again in thy fold.
- Verse from Vespers on the eve, the Byzantine Rite

This Roman official turned Bishop of Milan, and mentor of St Augustine, has as his feast-day the 7th December, or today for those Byzantine Christians using the Julian calendar.

When it comes to open and notorious evil livers, would that the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston or New York had the cojones to do that to actively pro-abortion politicos like the Kennedys, or a Greek bishop to Paul Sarbanes, or an Episcopal or Methodist cleric to George W. Bush.
Diversity camp
Common sense and tolerant conservatism vs demeaning, oppressive PC nonsense. (Most of the homosexuals I know would want nothing to do with this kind of ‘mandatory training’.) From LRC.
Survey: most Americans have had pre-marital sex
More souls go to hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason.
- Part of Our Lady’s message at Fátima, which is not required belief (and there are perfectly good Catholics who point out that such sins out of weakness aren’t as bad as others*, all of these sins are of course forgiveable and one can be perfectly sound and hold that possibly there are no people in hell... enough disclaimers for you?) but still...

Remembering what Our Lord said (and Jimmy Carter was made fun of for trying to practise...).

It may be ‘normal’ or ‘natural’ but given damaged human nature so are lots of other reprehensible things!

*Which deserves impeachment and conviction more, lying about an affair with an intern or having nearly 3,000 of your own people and probably hundreds of thousands of Iraqis nothing to do with you killed?
Iraq troop buildup idea worries generals
If Mr Bush’s minders are serious about getting more soldiers they’ll have to conscript, which may well backfire and destroy remaining support for the war like Vietnam. BTW when are Jenna, Barbara and the College Republicans enlisting and going to the Near East to do their bit for the all-important war effort?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mainstream American religious leaders issue statement calling for justice for Palestine
Which is great but I fear these well-meaning people think the American government and its intervention are the answer when they may really be the problem
It’s been ages since I was last phished
Until now. How sweet. Nostalgic. Like some Third World criminal telling me, ‘I made you a mix tape!’ Awww.
We recently have determined that different computers have logged onto your Online Banking account, and multiple password failures were present before the logons. We now need you to confirm your account information to us. If this is not completed by September 24, 2006, we will be forced to suspend your account indefinitely, as it may have been used for fraudulent purposes. We thank you for your cooperation in this manner.
For anybody reading this who’s never been phished, real banks don’t do this. And the bank these guys are pretending to be from isn’t mine anyway.

This retro moment, complete with retro threat deadline, is brought to you by Nigeria’s dumbest criminals. Thanks for the extra laughs, lads!