Thursday, August 31, 2006

On Rumsfeld’s crazed speech
From the LRC blog
Two old criticisms of the Catholic faith
From Cor ad cor loquitur
Autistic artist sees Rome by helicopter, then draws accurate panorama from memory
Londoner Stephen Wiltshire is a savant, one of several kinds of people on the spectrum. From John Boyden.
‘Spiritual but not religious’
Yes, that. What it really means.

An obscene posting
Reminds me of the comedian who said, ‘When you’re angry with somebody why say “Eff you?” Why wish him the most wonderful thing in the world? ‘Hey, audit you, man!”’

From Warwickensis.
Ecumenical statement condemns Christian Zionism
From Fr Jim Tucker via The Cassock and Cotta

US Jews hold anti-Israel protest

First, cast the fascism out of thine own eye
From The Gaelic Starover
Now people wearing Arabic messages on T-shirts are being harassed by airport security. From Huw Raphael.
Russian Orthodox ‘missionary’ hieromonk opens rock club
Настоятель Бибирева — молодец! Why not? Traditionalism in the sanctuary; ‘come as you are’ for the laity as I like to say. And no, the club is not actually in the church! The best of both worlds and legitimate evangelism to post-Soviet Russia. Brilliant! As long as it’s not the awful ‘Pious Riot’ kind of ‘contemporary Christian music’ — and it sounds like it’s not.

Reminds me of the ‘Sportsmen’s Club’ undercroft bar I’ve been to at a Russian Orthodox church in Pennsylvania.
Catholicism and economics

What you’re not being told about stem-cell research

RIP Princess Tatiana von Metternich

Actually a noblewoman from tsarist Russia

From LRC.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Let's face it--the original multimedia worship experience was not staring at a screen while some dude was pounding the drum kit; it was the great processions with the colored copes and dalmatics and chasubles with incense and statues and singing and...

So--why would we go from all that to staring at pictures on a screen??
- Derek the Ænglican
Religious groups accept money from the state and then discover that the state can change the rules
Dance all you want but you shall have to pay the piper. Oopsie.
- Huw Raphael
The Orthodox tradition on divorce and remarriage
There’s a whiff of ‘East good, West bad’ in this blog post. Gabriel and I comment. From Ad Orientem.

Another Eastern Orthodox blogger, Julio Gurrea, writes...

On the papacy
I was only having a discussion and describing the Orthodox position but thanks for the link and the compliment
Against Iran panic
What I find so astounding is that many of the very same people who argued that Iraq posed an imminent threat to our security and that we must invade immediately are now arguing with straight faces that Iran ... poses an imminent threat to our security and we must invade immediately! Forgive me if I seem a bit skeptical.
- Lee at Verbum ipsum
In praise of the Prayer Book daily office
Filter out the anti-Romanism and this blogger’s got a point. Only two good things came out of the English ‘Reformation’: an attempt, long successful I might add, at the daily office for everyman... and services in English (there already was an English Bible) under which you can add the musical tradition in that tongue. And what English it is.

The straight Prayer Book office is fine — maybe without the exhortations, like the 1549 version — but to a Catholic it can seem more a Bible study than liturgical prayer; you miss the saints’ days, verses and prayers tying into the rhythm, the cycle, of the church year.

More on the subject.
The rise of the unmeltable ethnics
Michael Novak of First Things on his book of that title from 1972. Ties in with this posting earlier today. (And he is an ethnic Slovak.) Of course this comes so close to what I believe in but AFAIK Novak, like Reagan and his neocon fans, is still a statist and militarist. Besides being personally very likeable Reagan seemed very appealing indeed — though he was never really of the American Old Right he knew of it first-hand and thus knew how to speak its language (rather as he did in his speech for Barry Goldwater, who though far from perfect probably would have made a fine president).
The great Katrina PR stunt and the hidden underbelly of America’s poor
From TCR News via man with black hat
Bibs and bobs
On judging another era by our standards
I think it was C.S. Lewis (Problem of Pain or Mere Christianity) who warned us not to think too much of our modern accomplishments and then think of those of the Middle Ages as violent, cruel and barbaric. Their sins may be trivial compared to our lack of courage, our craven devotion to comfort and things, and our vast pride in our own accomplishments. Chronological chauvinism at work.
- Rick Killough at Drell’s Descants

On modern credulity and hypocrisy
Oddly enough, these types of folks that don't see the action of the One True God in the sacraments have no problem seeing power in crystals and other New Age stuff.
- Steven Cornett at The Curt Jester

And some classic humour from Evelyn Waugh
I have noticed again and again that lay interest in ecclesiastical matters is often a prelude to insanity.
- Quoted by Fr Jim Tucker
‘Social inertia’ vs self-conscious, activist conservatism
Jeff Culbreath writes:
When I travelled to northeast Pennsylvania a few years ago, I noted that the culture was superficially much healthier, perhaps thirty years behind California in cultural decline. Beautiful. But this apparent conservatism was due merely to social inertia. There didn't seem to be much consciousness about the inherent danger of forces and ideas which were gaining traction around them. There were no consciously conservative voices in the local print media. The big news in Scranton - still a fiercely Democratic political stronghold - was that the Howard Stern show was finally available on a local radio station.
Both have their good and bad points, or there’s a difference between natural traditionalism amenable to this blog and the narrower, often self-righteous aspect of the latter, rather like the difference between traditionalism/orthodoxy and fundamentalism (itself a modern phenom). Nor is this natural traditionalism the same as the real problem of social inertia (parochialism, complacency).

I like those towns in upstate Pennsylvania with their Slavic Catholic (including Orthodox) people... and understandable, well-intended but perhaps economically naïve labour politics. Recently went to one of those churches’ festivals and tucked into some comfort food (голубцы и варенники, stuffed cabbage and pierogi) as well as loading up on fine old sacramentals (including a brass crucifix about nine inches high) for pennies to the dollar (I love jumble sales). The church is Roman Catholic and historically Slovak from about 100 years ago, one of those immigrant ones that built the school but never got round to building a church or ran out of funds before they could, so the (well-preserved Tridentine-style) church is on the ground floor of the school. In the hall I could read the Slovak painted on the walls (‘Welcome! For God and country’) but as far as I could tell that lingo is long gone among the people as by the third generation it usually is. Owing to ageing and shifting demographics it’s not an official parish any more but has been merged as a Mass centre/chapel of ease of the default-Irish parish in town.
The five morons
Mr Bush, his minders and Ms Rice: why mince words? From LRC.
In and near ‘Fluffya’

Auntie Em!
I didn’t see this but the weather was dramatic yesterday

Another reason to vote for Bob Casey

Moggie saved from stadium demolition now top US pet cat

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

If gay marriage, why not polygamy?
Get the state out of the marriage business. From Rod Dreher.
Pope Benedict on St Bernard and ‘not busyness but prayer’
Doing vs being revisited. From On Church and Liturgy.
Two Catholic attempts at peacemaking
One successful in Uganda, the other a plan for Palestine from Fr Samir Khalil Samir. From The Western Confucian.
Few US troops charged with civilian deaths see prison
More coverage of Iraq
Fr Walter Ciszek
My father confessor knew him. I understand the liberalised Jesuits didn’t treat him well the last few years of his life but that was probably a summer holiday compared to what the Soviets did. And my copy of this book was signed by him.
Father was later fired from his secular job and forced to leave Norilsk by the MVD (Interior Ministry) because his activities during Holy Week were considered "subversive". It certainly puts the lie to the notion that religion, at least at its best, sedates people — there is no doubt from the memoir that Fr Ciszek's work with his people opened up dimensions in their lives that Soviet philosophy simply could not encompass, even in the lives of people quite highly placed in the local Party.
From Even the Devils Believe.
Why are you worse off?


‘McBain to base: under attack by Commie-Nazis’

Sir John Betjeman
Only posed as a failure. And he didn’t like C.S. Lewis.

From LRC.
Always hated that expression like I do John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ and for similar reasons. Here I try to explain why. From my sparring partners at Fr Jake’s place.
A fit instrument?

Benedict, pacifism and just-war teaching

On this

From Maclin Horton of Cælum et terra.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The parable of Barrington
Or sometimes the armour of God can be a bunny’s fur. A sermon from the Revd Tripp Hudgins.

The best of Anglicanism
And a parallel to immigrant and refugee Orthodox, or I understand a part of these people, and perhaps they me, not only because I know Russian. From An Anglican Cleric.
Real conservatism and permanent things: the legacy of Russell Kirk
From Logos

As Eunomia points out, establishment conservatives identify more with James T. Kirk, who was modelled on the liberal Cold Warrior of the day, spreading ‘democracy’ by phaser. ‘We come in peace — shoot to kill!’
RIP Fr Gresham Kirkby
Fallible but a survivor of the days when authentic Catholicism and working for social justice went together as a given. Socialism of course doesn’t work but like other well-meaning Christians his heart was in the right place. And the anarchist strain resonates with this blogger’s libertarianism.
Kirkby studied at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, west Yorkshire, during the time that (the later Archbishop) Trevor Huddleston was a novice. He regarded Huddleston, at the time, as rather conservative.
Search the blog for more on him. The man who wrote Naught for Your Comfort was still sound.
After three further curacies in Middlesborough
Tough crowd!
He chose the architects - Robert Maguire and Keith Murray (obituary, November 29 2005) - and they asked the question: "What will Christian worship be like in the year 2000, and how can we build a church to reflect this?"
Well, we all know the ideas of futurists are always spot-on. Would you be so kind and get me my jet-pack over in the corner? I’m off to catch the 6.30 shuttle to Mars.
For many years the Divine Office was sung daily to Gregorian chant.
Mass-and-office Catholicism, or hooray for the legitimate liturgical movement.

A prediction I wish had come true.
O GOD who didst cause thy servant Gresham to enjoy the dignity of a Priest in the apostolic Priesthood, grant, we beseech thee, that he may evermore be joined unto the fellowship of the same. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Jesu, mercy; Mary, pray.
Some anti-war analysis
Joshua Snyder’s links from
Three from Touchstone
Mileposts along the broad (and Broad Church?) path
The stages in which Christian schools go secular

Then again there’s this point.

Conservative Protestant groups ejected from Georgetown
Granted, they, mainstream RC in practice and secularism are all wrong but you’ve gotta love the PC religious veneer of the letter: ‘Blessings and may God’s peace be upon you! Now kindly shove off.’

More from First Things.

The seven interesting sins
Nothing’s changed really since the temptation in the garden
How schools shortchange boys
Reminds me of one of the worst jobs I ever had, starting out on my own — as the only man in the back room of a library

From LRC.

Rod Dreher’s take on Michael Noer
And mine: strong, intelligent women are sexy. God made them that way. But all the world’s wisdom, Christian and other, says that at the end of the day even the strongest want somebody stronger they can fall back on to take care of them if they need it. (The real meaning of headship, not power for its own sake or abuse.)

So, like sex, marriage and having children, if you can’t handle the results and thus have no right to do them, bear your cross but don’t begrudge those who can... like successful career women.

Incidentally, the opposite of the library fiasco, a couple of the best, most decent people I’ve worked with and for were older women who took time out to rear children, then went back to their careers (in journalism).

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ideas for a new US political party
The platform doesn’t need to be perfect and should, in fact, avoid saying too much.
From Hallowed Ground.
A professor thinks the unthinkable and tries to teach it
And predictably the real fascists in this little game — Judd Gregg for example — want to smack him down

P.S. Yes, yes... proof, please.

From The Gaelic Starover.
Converting at gunpoint
The early martyrs refused to apostasise even under duress

From Taylor Marshall.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Protesters greet Mr Bush on holiday in Maine
Comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable
Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
On the perils of poorly positioned popular sacramentals
Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to Mass we go...

This simply screams to be re-created in Photoshop or something like it.

Actually not too different from some monasteries I dare say. :)

I must say that iconography lends itself less well to this sort of thing.

John O’Sullivan is blogging again! Gaudent angeli.

An epilogue to that Da Vinci nonsense
Sub-editor’s note: they damaged the stone walls and an organ pipe, not the window, thank heaven

I agree that Dan Brown should pay the bills.

From The Waffling Anglican.

++Cantuar doesn’t seem to understand the Orthodox
This issue


He seems to be saying, ‘Just wait for now, America... I’ll talk and talk as I am now and eventually those backward people will come around’.

Fr John Whiteford has a point; it does sound Pythonic. The British trying to be British about in-your-face error. The virtue of tolerant conservatism (see this blog’s sidebar) gone off the rails.
No... the rest of Christendom is not saying this is something that you must talk about. They're saying that you have departed from Christian tradition.
And only one question earlier in the same interview he got it right:
I don't believe inclusion is a value in itself...
All are welcome in a Catholic church but it’s there to change you and not the other way round, and some things are non-negotiables. Alas. Then again everybody knows he’s personally liberal in his views.

To the Catholic world, as an earlier ++Cantuar, Michael Ramsey, understood, the faith, morals and all, is a package deal. To change one part of it and still claim orthodoxy, as it seems Rowan Williams is trying to do separating doctrine from morals, is a splodge ruining the whole picture, as his predecessor described the Orthodox reaction to such things, be they Protestant reductions, limiting oneself to what’s explicitly in scripture, or Broad Church negations and additions.
White House blood libel
From LRC
The value of doing vs the value of being
Or an echo of 1 Corinthians 13

Biretta tip to the Revd Tripp Hudgins.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The community and the pack compared
From Warwickensis
The fate of hard power
On 4GW, echoing the military knowledge of LRC’s William Lind

From Empires Fall.
Pope sacks Vatican astronomer
And rightly — the issue AFAIK isn’t evolution but that Fr Coyne’s a Modernist; not the same things!

I’ve no problem at all with theistic evolution; the Bible’s not a science text. The point is God did it and gave man a soul making him in his image and unlike the animals; how he did it isn’t really important.

Speaking of Modernists it’s worth remembering that George Tyrrell was a jingoistic Tory like Disraeli; the ‘reactionary, mediævalist’ Anglo-Catholics*, for example, cared about social justice, a reason why such Tories hated them. (I reckon the latter among the ancestors of today’s neocons, though that movement started out as Marxist.) I understand men like John A.T. Robinson (at least before he got his faith back) had no problem with apartheid; after all it was the modern way. (Nor did Teilhard de Chardin with Nazism, speaking of evolution.)

*With a couple of new links for your reading pleasure.
In conservative New Hampshire a newcomer stands for office
From what I can see I like her. Regarding ‘the unthinkable’ (the neocons’ Reichstag fire), proof, please, but I wouldn’t rule it out.

Non-conservative Mr Bush’s mental-health screenings of schoolchildren a ‘drugging dragnet’

EPA whistle-blower: US hid 9/11 dust danger

Prediction: recession will be nasty and deep

Worse than 2001’s. My way of life, not entirely by choice of course, has its down sides as anything but this sort of thing makes me grateful and relieved to be living under most people’s radar, recession-proof. God will provide.

From Brian Underwood.
‘... by killing people’
From Fr Jim Tucker
Russia rejects sanctions against Iran
Конечно. Хорошо.
Sobran on war crimes
From The Western Confucian
The hypocrisy of the morning-after pill
Pig heaven for certain men marketed as empowerment of women

From American Papist.
This old man...
It happens to all of us: our “old man” (Eph. 4:22) plays tricks on us, leading us to neglect the one thing needful and fill up our lives, though we long for God, with that which leads us far from him.
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

RC diocese punishes nun for work of mercy
From The Gaelic Starover
Russia has paid off its Soviet foreign debt whilst the US is deeper in the hole
Scroll down to read. Russia did this thanks to the price of oil. Ну хорошо — я рад, что, покупая бензин от Лукойла, могу помогить Россию.

US government approves ‘morning-after’ pill
The one Mr Bush approved of

Too little, too late
Now Mr Bush admits Iraq was nothing to do with 9/11

He killed all those Iraqis and people like Cindy Sheehan’s son, caused the death of Margaret Hassan and sent that country reeling into chaos and probably a Muslim revolution very soon — for nothing. How does he sleep at night? More to the point, how do his minders?

‘The world’s worst Internet laws’ are sneaking through the US Senate
Bye-bye, freedom of speech

From Brian Underwood.
Bush ensured Iran offer would be rejected
I labour for peace, but when I speak unto them thereof : they make them ready to battle.
- Psalm 119/120:6

Photos of St Stephen’s, Gloucester Road
From All Too Common
The fertility gap
The Achilles’ heel of liberals

From American Papist.
Apocalyptic foreign policy
Isn’t it comforting to know that the Bushling’s foreign policy is informed by those who salivate over the prospect of jumpstarting the Apocalypse?
From The Gaelic Starover.
Sorry, Pluto
It’s official: the icy little rock is not really a planet

The woman who as a little girl named it.

So when will the politicos admit that Rockall isn’t really an island?
There is no benevolent hegemony

The Muddled East

Perpetual war for perpetual peace

They hate us for our foreign policy
As LRC and I’ve been saying since before 9/11
Patriarch of Moscow and first hierarch of ROCOR to concelebrate later this year

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Jesus is Lord
From Fr Robert Hart via Mere Comments
Russian Church supports conservative Episcopal bishops
Спаси, Господи, люди твоя, и благослови достояние твое...
The letter expresses a willingness to restore contacts with those Episcopalians who “remain faithful to the gospel’s moral teachings.”
Слава Богу!
...newly elected presiding bishop Katherine Jefferts-Schori... is widely seen as an ultra-liberal and a theological revisionist. My own reading of some of her statements and some of the public prayers she has uttered suggest that she is not far removed from Unitarianism.
For fairness’ sake:

From what little I’ve read she’s wrong on the gay thing and her holding the job she does is itself a rejection of the entire Catholic world but one can argue that she hasn’t literally said anything heretical lately: as Charley Wingate told me ‘Mother Jesus’ comes from the very sound Julian of Norwich (who wrote a disclaimer before writing that) and the ‘Jesus is Lord?’ issue could have been a sensible, un-Feeneyite statement that the unbaptised aren’t hellbound. But connotatively the heretical senses probably were what she meant.
Perhaps there might be some effort to bring some of these disaffected conservatives back into Orthodoxy. The Antiochian Archdiocese has an active Western Rite Vicarate. Let us pray!
I’ll interrupt this crowing for the following message...

St Tikhon a century ago wasn’t hostile to Anglo-Catholics. What he envisaged was corporate reunion with the whole Anglican Communion in which the latter not only could be received economically in their orders but essentially (with a few de-protestantising tweaks) retain their rite.

As that communion has gone in a rather different direction that will never happen. Alas.

From Fr Joseph Huneycutt via Ad Orientem.

Update: More from The Living Church.

P.S. Just noticed after all these years that my Slavonic books printed by the Orthodox don’t capitalise words except at the beginning of sentences whilst those that come from Rome do. Unlike the Book of Common Prayer and like much modern printing in English the latter capitalise not only proper names but all pronouns referring to God and sometimes to Mary as well.
US court: driving with money is a crime
An Eighth Circuit Appeals Court ruling says police may seize cash from motorists even in the absence of any evidence that a crime has been committed

From John Boyden.
New Orthodox church in Siberia to offer Divine Liturgies regularly for aborted children
Why JonBenet Ramsey works as a distraction from real news
From Slate
Matter matters
By Fr Will Brown
The neocon RCs show their true colours
The Spanish Civil War was the left’s ‘finest hour’?

This picture says it all about that side but to be fair and authentically Catholic a Spanish bishop told Catherine de Hueck at the time that if the churchmen had followed the teachings of the Popes on social justice much of this wouldn’t have happened.

From Traditio in Radice, which credits Eunomia.
Pat Buchanan’s wrong on immigration
• Better Eurabia than Brave New World
• Mexico is in the historic mainstream of the West: Latin and Catholic

Mr Bush and abortion
He is not pro-life

Joshua Snyder also found this on Cælum et terra:

What happened to the historic Democratic Party?
In the last presidential election, a distinguished senator who was also a decorated war veteran was unable to defeat someone widely viewed as a failed president and an ignorant if not stupid man, someone tainted by his association with “religious extremists,” corporate criminals, and an unpopular war. Why?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I don't believe inclusion is a value in itself. Welcome is. We welcome people into the Church, we say: 'You can come in, and that decision will change you.' We don't say: 'Come in and we ask no questions.' I do believe conversion means conversion of habits, behaviours, ideas, emotions. The boundaries are determined by what it means to be loyal to Jesus Christ. That means to display in all things the mind of Christ. Paul is always saying this in his letters: Ethics is not a matter of a set of abstract rules, it is a matter of living the mind of Christ. That applies to sexual ethics; that is why fidelity is important in marriage. You reflect the loyalty of God in Christ. It also concerns the international arena. Christians will always have reconciliation as a priority and refuse to retaliate. By no means everything is negotiable for me. I would not be happy if someone said: Let us discuss the divinity of Christ. That to me seems so constituent of what the Church is.
- ++Rowan Cantuar

Making the rounds of the blogs.
The truth about the 10th August ‘terror plot’
Nafeez Ahmed on hairspray hysteria

From The Gaelic Starover.
The Israel lobby and US foreign policy
Long but worth a look

The American evangelical and congressman who opposed the Vietnam War
• There is a peace tradition in evangelicalism (remember William Jennings Bryan)
• Authentic conservatism isn’t militaristic

Britain to Mr Blair: break free from Mr Bush

RC-Eastern Orthodox dialogue to resume
Not that anything will happen but unlike the official talks with the Anglican Communion there is still hope. This isn’t like talking to Protestants: corporate union/restoration of communion is entirely possible.

The papacy is an issue.

The existence of Byzantine Catholic churches is not. The Patriarch of Moscow is still complaining that the Ukrainian Catholic Church took back what was stolen from them in their homeland of old Polish Galicia, itself stolen by the Soviets during World War II: churches given to the Russian Church, by then literally beaten and under Soviet control (but not heretical or even liturgically liberal). When the Iron Curtain started to collapse the Galicians took back what was theirs. Case closed.

That said nobody in the know, and I don’t mean liberals, wants to see the Orthodox tradition reduced to the state of the present-day Byzantine Catholics: in many places essentially the same as the Novus Ordo but with slightly nicer externals.

Which leads to the other real issue, fairness to non-Roman traditional rites in a reunited church. The current RC system practically speaking is unfair to them.

And that reminds me of this hypothetical problem: in a reunited Catholic Church how would one rationalise all the world’s overlapping dioceses of divers rites? Reducing them, making everything all nice and canonical again with all the local Catholics under one bishop?

From Ad Orientem.
Canon John Heidt on the attempted ordination of women
More from me
The war president’s track record
From LRC

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Priests are being kidnapped in Baghdad
Before the war you could practise Christianity in Iraq

From the Revd James Konicki.
‘I Want Nothing but the Ending of the War’
Kris Kristofferson is still writing songs

From The Gaelic Starover.
An interesting conversation on the C word
From All Too Common
Teens on rock and pop music in church: ‘Blech!’
A survey confirms that only some older people who think it’s hip want it there

I’m a month away from being a fortysomething and of course wouldn’t want it there either.

Reminds me of one of friend Charley Wingate’s peeves: Anglicans who go on Cursillo and come back wanting to get rid of the hymnal and have guitars.

Blogged at The New Liturgical Movement by LRC’s Jeffrey Tucker, who also wrote this recently on ‘contemporary Christian music’.
Just another day in the life of a Palestinian bishop
From the Mad Priest
Bush isn’t making us any safer
Time to stir up the proles with hairspray hysteria

War talk with Dr Oxymoron

‘Reproductive rights’
By which the left doesn’t mean a right to reproduce (which, along with the means of so doing, actually isn’t a right but something only responsible people should do) but in the looking-glass world of Working Assets, the investment for people trying to be charitable, murdering babies* is the caring thing to do (the Bishop of Rockford wins that argument)

From the mixed bag that is Working for Change, or ‘any of this blog’s political alliances, with the left or the right, are only provisional’.
People ask if I’m a Communist. I tell them I’m something more dangerous: I am a Catholic.
- Martin Sheen, who’s wrong about abortion but this is still a great quotation

*‘Rape and incest’: murdering babies for what their fathers did.
The Bishop of Rockford revisited

Irish America at its best:
St Brigid altar,
St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York
He may lack tact but Scott Richert says he doesn’t fit the negative Irish stereotype and is ‘one of the good guys’

Really wonderful news, for which thanks. It helps me form a fair view of the man.

But I’ll repeat Paul Goings’ questions:

Because of him is there any public recitation of the office? (Old or new — I assume ‘old’ at the Institute of Christ the King’s oratory.)

Sunday Vespers?

I don’t see it announced at St Mary’s Oratory. (Not that I’m not happy they’re there.)

A traditionalist showplace is nice but how are things at the cathedral? If the restoration isn’t diocesewide such things only seem condescending, perhaps part of a bait-and-switch.

As Joe Oliveri wrote here:
All too often it seems like trads are merely tolerated as "ethnological curiosities."
When in fact they are smack in the middle of the historic Catholic mainstream.
The CIA Torture Authorisation Act of 2006
Cruelty: a family value

From Mark Shea.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

My standard lines on doctrines and opinions on the hereafter
Desperately seeking affirmation
Katrina one year on: how it blew away Mr Bush’s credibility with the masses

From Adventus.
Is libertarianism down for the count?
So claims Michael Lind through The Salty Vicar, who seems to represent the religious left. Of course I hope not!
Scott P. Richert’s The Rockford Files
The executive editor of Chronicles and a reader of my blog. Worth a look.
Hilaire Belloc on the Puseyites
I don’t like the way some converts from it talk about my original home but at least Taylor Marshall is trying to answer why communion ecclesiology works for the Orthodox and not any more for the Anglicans
Doggerel for the culture war
By Huw Raphael
The autosacramental
And an Art Deco picture that perfectly captures the ethos of the legitimate liturgical movement in the early C20: nobly simple and modern yet entirely Catholic

From Arturo Vasquez.
Revealed truth
By Fr Patrick Reardon

From Orthodoxy Today.
American generals and Iraq: time for a rapid withdrawal
From CounterPunch
Murray Rothbard on the origins of the US welfare state

Satellite dictator Blair

Private prisons expect a boom

As the dictatorship jails more and more of us

From LRC.

Friday, August 18, 2006

On church, black and white
Much of what is preached from the pulpits (though they never seem to use them) of black churches is sound, Christ-centered and true. Whereas, in my opinion, popular white preachers often seem to be no more than positive-mental-attitude-snake-oil-salesmen.
- Fr Joseph Huneycutt

(Think he’s referring to Joel Osteen? And Jim Bakker in his heyday?)

Yes but you don’t see a lot of change for the better in that community even 50 years after the civil-rights movement*. It may be like in white Appalachia: the mountain or slum preacher and his church are part of the culture but there may be an attitude that you have your fun by sinning when you’re young, then ‘get saved’/go to church when you’re old, along with a kind of social pressure not to succeed because that would be selling out/‘trying to be white’.

Another solution to go with Christianity: black libertarianism.

*I know that even before that not all American blacks were poor. Some, including the clergy such as Martin Luther King, were part of an élite — segregated but doing very well, thank you.
The Catholic imagination

A punto

From First Things’s not that he’s gay, because as a celibate man it doesn’t matter one way or the other — it’s that he doesn’t shut up about it. That’s exactly what the Vatican meant. Straight priests don’t run around telling folks how they’re into women.
As Charley Wingate has said, the love that dare not shut up.
Unlike Damian Thompson, I don’t mourn the impending loss to the Church of lacy prelates at “ritualist churches” (in Vatican City or elsewhere) curling their pinky fingers and going goo-goo over this or that to-die-for arrangement of Palestrina’s Missa Papæ Marcelli.
Once again First Things and I disagree.

Yes, I know that mainstream RC doesn’t like them — they like ‘real men’ like Bishop Thomas Doran (he’s Irish*, by God, not into that fairy artsy-fartsy stuff).

Catholic parish, ; gay parish, no.

Me again on ‘openly gay’.

*To Daithí and others: yes, I know that’s not fair but the reason stereotypes are stereotypes is there are people who fit them. Just echoing Thomas Day here. In fact I’m quoting Where Have You Gone, Michelangelo? almost verbatim.
Evangelicals and contraception
From Mere Comments
On Madonna and ‘Islamo-fascism’ (not related, just in one entry)
From the Revd James Konicki
On hate-crimes laws
From LRC
Legalise it
Drugs laws are stupid

A whim and a prayer
A cousin of young fogeyhood

Could you survive a week on food stamps?

Or eating only locally made stuff?

I probably couldn’t either
Mainstream RC schools are a mess
Fr Gordon Anderson’s right on that one. But outside the university, a purpose of which is to debate every point of the catechism, how far should academic freedom go? There’s no such thing as ‘Catholic maths’ (though of course we believe on faith that in one instance something is three and one at the same time), ‘Jewish chemistry’ (the composition of Manischewitz wine: eew) or ‘Muslim physics’ so does it matter if non-believers teach those subjects? Active dissenters and open and notorious evil livers shouldn’t be hired of course.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sing of Mary, pure and lowly
An e-mail exchange:
I read your website which talked about Mary.
Thanks for visiting the site.
It said that the Orthodox were even stronger supporters of Mariolotry.
Not Mariolatry, for no Christian church gives Mary the worship (-latry) due only to God.
But isn't there a bigger emphasis on Mary in Roman Catholic churches than in Orthodox ones?
Prayers to Mary, that is, asking her prayers, not worshipping her for her own sake like we do God, are built into Orthodox services even more than Roman Catholic ones but both sides emphasise her.
For example, some Catholics consider Jesus and Mary to be joint "co-saviors".
That takes a lot of explaining. Some Roman Catholics use the term Co-Redemptrix, which at face value looks exactly like what you wrote. There is only one Redeemer in himself, Jesus, but by being the first and best Christian, directly taking part in the Incarnation by agreeing to become the Mother of God, Mary in a sense participates in that and in a small-r sense is a redemptrix.
Popes have also called her "co-redemptrix".
Allowable opinion. Not doctrine.
The Roman Catholic Church also "noninfallibly" teaches that Mary was not only assumed into heaven, but first bodily resurrected, disagreeing with the Orthodox.
That disagreement doesn’t matter. It doesn’t involve doctrine. The papal definition of the Assumption issued in 1950 leaves whether she died or not an open question, allowing the traditional Orthodox interpretation. The story originally came from the East.
I do have a question though. How common is it for Orthodox to have rosaries?
Not very. The rosary isn’t native to their rite and with all the native devotions to choose from — canons, akathists, molebny — they don’t really need it!
In Roman Catholic churches, they often have services where they pray the rosary. But once in Russia I saw some beads for sale that I was told were used to pray to the Theotokos.
There are Orthodox prayer beads but they’re used at home not in church and not for the Dominican-derived rosary* that most Roman Catholics use. And Orthodox have canons, akathists and molebny to Mary in church.
By the way, one Catholic deacon told me that Catholics do not "pray" to Mary. Is it better to say "communicate"?
That’s a good way of describing it.
And with thy spirit!

*Interestingly the rosary actually used by Dominicans differs from the standard Roman Rite one.
Fr Richard John Neuhaus on Trent’s anathema against sola fide
The revolt from the Church began... because the German people could not and cannot but be devout.
- St Clement Maria Hofbauer

From Cor ad cor loquitur.
The seven unholy sacraments
Lee Penn has fisked this and said much of what I wanted to (he wrote all of the following):

The Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois has given a speech in which he makes himself perfectly clear. And the conservatives and Republicans among the RC commentators love it.

He begins by identifying the evils of our time with the Democratic Party and its special interest groups:
Many of the issues that confront us are serious, and we know by now that the political parties in our country are at loggerheads as to how to solve them. We know, for instance, that adherents of one political party would place us squarely on the road to suicide as a people.

The seven ‘sacraments’? of their secular culture are abortion, buggery, contraception, divorce, euthanasia, feminism of the radical type, and genetic experimentation and mutilation. These things they unabashedly espouse, profess and promote. Their continuance in public office is a clear and present danger to our survival as a nation.

Since the mid-1940s we have been accustomed to look askance at Germans. They were protagonists of the Second World War and so responsible for fifty million deaths. We say, ‘How awful’, and yet in our country we have, for the most part, allowed the party of death and the court system it has produced to eliminate, since 1973, upwards of forty million of our fellow citizens without allowing them to see the light of day. They have done their best to make ours a true culture of death. No doubt, we shall soon outstrip the Nazis in doing human beings to death.
It’s interesting that the bishop compares American culture to the Nazis ... but in raising the spectre of national suicide, he is himself taking up one of Hitler’s major propaganda themes.

[I’ll add: divorce and remarriage is a problem according to the authentic Catholic view, but all divorce? Can you say ‘restraining order’, Your Grace?]

The bishop says:
How accustomed we have become to the immense loss of life in our wars throughout the world! Those who have killed millions under their mother’s hearts cannot be expected to balk at a mere few thousand killed in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Somalia, in Darfur, in Bosnia, in Madrid, in London, in Baghdad, in Beirut, in Washington, in New York. The violence of abortion coarsens the lives of all of us.
What a pile of crap! What of the carnage of the Thirty Years’ War, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, the trenches in World War I, or of World War II? Can the bishop show — somehow — that those wars (which were — so far — much worse than the present wars) arose because of abortionists and sodomites and liberals?

[I’ll add: to be fair to His Grace, the Thirty Years’ War was to do with Protestants, the intellectual fathers of modern liberals (who brought us abortion without apology), and the other wars advanced this modernism at the expense and destruction of Catholic Europe.

But what appals me of course is the, yes, relativism of excusing killing Iraqis, et. al., for no good reason, which gives ammo to the pro-abortion side who claim the religious right don’t care about the babies once they’re born.]

The bishop says:
The toleration of sexual perversions among inverts, widespread contraception, easy access to ‘no fault’ divorce, the killing of the elderly, radical feminism, embryonic stem cell research — all of these things defile and debase our human nature and our human destiny. Should we cry out with the prophet ‘To the mountains, “Cover us,” and to the hills, ‘Fall on us’”? (Hosea: 10:8), lest other peoples see and, God forbid, imitate us?
The bishop is saying that we ought to tell the mountains to cover us, so that others will not see us and imitate us. Did he not read the Scriptural reference in Rev. 6:15-17? The cry to "cover us" is the cry of the unrepentant sinners ... not so that others would not see their evil example, but so that they might hide from God.

And then there is this ... (with bold added by me):
It is the duty of every Catholic to support the work of the parish Pro-Life directors and commissions and to work for the extirpation from our society of all those who in any way foster or promote these things. I wholeheartedly endorse the activities of our Pro-Life Office in the sure and certain knowledge that divine justice will not allow those who act against human life to prosper.

These unholy sacraments of our secular culture are the seeds of the destruction of our nation.
Note that we have the "duty" to "work for the extirpation from our society" of the PEOPLE who "foster or promote" the sins that the bishop detests. He's not just talking about extirpating certain sins; he wants to extirpate "from our society" "all those who in any way foster or promote these things."

Just to verify, I looked up the word "extirpate" on the Net to be sure that I was not misunderstanding it.

In the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia, the word "extirpate" has three meanings:
1. To pull up by the roots.
2. To destroy totally; exterminate. See Synonyms at abolish.
3. To remove by surgery.
Against the Republican rants of this mitred hireling, I offer the teachings of Vatican II, in the decree Gaudium et Spes:

Section 27 says:
Furthermore, whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or wilful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where men are treated as mere tools for profit, rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed. They poison human society, but they do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are supreme dishonour to the Creator.
[I’ll add: the council had its moments.]

The Democrats have some explaining to do. So do the Republicans, with their pre-emptive wars, first-strike nuclear plans, torture, and exploitation of the poor. [End.]

I agree with some of the culture-wars points but will choose tolerant conservatism (search the blog) over His Grace’s manners any day.

Daithí Mac Lochlainn writes: God help us! The bishop is reading Ann Coulter!

More from the Revd James Konicki.
On ‘schismaticists’
Cold buildings with bar fires and hot-water bottles are as English as Ribena but otherwise this is spot-on
US judge orders end to wiretapping
From Brian Underwood
Fr Peter Robinson on the papacy
There is very little or no evidence that St. Peter was given any jurisdiction over the other Apostles. He was simply the first among equals. A clear majority of the Early Fathers see Peter's profession that Jesus is the Christ, rather than Peter himself as being the Rock upon which He shall build the Church. Modern Papal claims of jurisdiction were built more upon Rome's prestige as the (former) capital of the Empire and its Apostolic origin, rather than any ancient jurisdiction over the Church.

However, Petrine
primacy is ancient, but it has to be remembered that jurisdiction and primacy are two quite distinct issues. Universal Ordinary Jurisdiction confers the right to intervene in any diocese at any time. That power just did not belong to the Papacy before the schism between East and West in 1054. Primacy, and the idea of Rome as a sort of final Court of Appeal in disputes, is ancient understanding (5th century) of the extent of Papal claims.

Based upon the ancient understanding of Papal authority, not to accept the Universal Jurisdiction of the Pope is
not a matter of disobedience, but of resisting false claims to a jurisdiction which was not given by Christ to St. Peter. Quite frankly, Papal claims to universal jurisdiction are based upon - erm - creative reading of Church history! Now if one accepts the doctrine of development ennunciated by Cardinal Newman, it is easy enough to swallow Papal ordinary jurisdiction over the whole Church, but the theory of doctrinal development can also be twisted. It is only because in theory Papal authority is hedged about with safeguards (e.g. the Pope cannot go against Holy Tradition) that the Roman Church has not been subjected to the sort of doctrinal revolution that has rocked the liberal Protestants.

That said, there are plenty of R.C. clergy who are in open rebellion, and they have suffered a post-Vatican II liturgical revolution that has done incalculable damage to the Church.
In the spirit of the university, which can debate every point in the catechism much like St Thomas Aquinas did in writing...

If there is universal jurisdiction, why bishops?

And the ancient and mediæval church couldn’t have run on the model described by the RC neocons (which they hold to often for this reason) even if it wanted to: of course the average Catholic didn’t flip on EWTN or go online; the immemorial custom of his parish was the church as far as he was concerned.

As Tripp might put it, I’m just sayin’, y’all.

The Eastern Orthodox mess

The Ochlophobist revisited
More on überfrommity
Contemporary Eastern Christianity hates definitions, considers their use to be inherently Western, and associates them with scholasticism and dialectic. Truth be told, this is one aspect of contemporary Orthodoxy that drives me bonkers.
Nineteenth-century Russian Orthodoxy is looked down upon in those circles as it incorporated much of the best of the Schoolmen. Much more Roman Catholic than the Novus Ordo shops, which buy from the house of Rahner.
Friends, there is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing more typical in American religion than to seek to find or create or re-create the "true New Testament Church."
The happy hunting-ground of sectarianism as Mgr Ronald Knox put it.
There is no religion in the United States today that is more European than Orthodoxy.
Except perhaps Orthodox Judaism.

I knew there was a reason I like it.

It’s an antidote to the phenom just mentioned.
Roman Catholicism is now an American fast-food religion, at least in common practice.
Oh, good, somebody else noticed. It’s not just the aliens and goblins beaming thoughts into my head.

As I wrote to somebody recently:

There are no big signs of Orthodoxy joining the mainline merger into mush; in fact there’s a huge counter-current that would like the Orthodox to quit the World and National Councils of Churches and stop all ecumenical contact, the other extreme! Just the usual history of nationalist and calendrical (Julian vs Gregorian) schisms of splinter groups (rather like the Russian Old Believers in the 1600s over minor liturgical tweaks) and some positive change like the imminent end of the Russian Orthodox/Russian Orthodox Church Abroad split now that there is no Soviet Union.


How many second- and third-generation ethnics really go in for the ethos of mainstream society, compartmentalising church for family and ethnic stuff? (I’ve had older ethnics tell me to my face they’re not pro-life! Then again...) Americans know of or remember George Stephanopoulos, Paul ‘Senator Death’ Sarbanes, Olympia Snowe, Tom ‘I Married an Ethnic Greek — Ho-Pah!’ Hanks, the beautiful but thoroughly modern Tina Fey and Jennifer Aniston (Anastassakis, whom I doubt has seen an iconostasis any time lately — she didn’t marry Brad Pitt in front of one). Their name is legion.

Add to that the mainstream Orthodox acceptance of artificial contraception*, just like the Church of England 50 years ago, very cautiously, conservatively and plausibly for now, and the future doesn’t look so bright.

They’ve got their 20-year-old convert boomlet of ex-Anglicans and Newman-like ex-evangelicals but we’ll see if that lasts beyond a generation and offsets the huge losses as the ethnic kids leave or don’t have very many kids of their own.

More on the ‘icons’n’condoms’ disconnect
Apparently the Russian Church is Catholic on this as it should be

*Update: Just got word that this page of mine is being debated about online in Finland! Here is the link to the discussion if you happen to read Suomi (I don’t!). Summary from one of the participants who speaks English: ‘Well, the Orthodox debated wrote there are no rules, whereas the Roman Catholics emphasized their opinions.’ Hang on! No rules? Their opinions? Very scary, kids.
First Things gets it wrong again
‘Stupid Pope! What does he know?’ Funny how you hear that in stereo from both the left and the right.

Also, World War II (‘the good war’, blah blah) was fought to destroy Germany as a rival world power, nothing to do with Elie Wiesel and Buchenwald.

From Eunomia.
9/11 goes Hollywood
Having seen the excellent (!!!!) United 93 (search the blog) I was reluctant to plonk down some cash to see Oliver Stone’s version with big-name stars (look, it’s Nic Cage with a bad ’tache and a Noo Yawk accent) and probably swelling-violin incidental music. And according to LRC and TomDispatch I’d be better off spending that dosh on something else. Many thanks!
Hey, look, a distraction!
People are still being killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Lebanon but, OMG, news about a little white girl murdered a decade ago. Stop the presses!

From Adventures in Perpetuity.
My field guide to Anglican churchmanship
Talking to Fr Deacon Steve Hayes in South Africa

Spiritual tools for the ‘with-it’ churchman
Having spent the week working with these new tools, one may feel the need to renew the soul. The traditional Bible, however, contains many passages that cause discomfort and trouble for the seeker. The new Bible has all such passages removed. Unlike the cumbersome old Bible, it is easy to carry, can fit easily into a shirt pocket and can be gone through in minutes.
Thomas Jefferson beat you to it. I like his politics but not his religion!

From The Waffling Anglican.

A look at the kind of church that Novus Ordo-proofed me for life
Ironically this example is a parish of the Reformed Episcopal Church that like much of that denomination has Anglicanised and high-churchified itself* but the pictures get the point across. It’s the Pius XII Vatican compared to much of what’s out there now!

Though adding to the irony the short chancel without choir stalls and the carpeted sanctuary make it look even more like an RC parish of yore or SSPX chapel today than what I came from.

I’ve seen old-school, real Reformed Episcopal: the rector in a black academic gown for preaching and the Communion table (they wouldn’t ever call it an altar; that would be scandalously popish!) about the size of a tea-trolley. A trip back in time to much of Anglicanism pre-mid-C19.

From An Anglican Cleric.

*And ‘Reformation’ types had no use for St Thomas à Becket, one of this blogger’s heroes speaking truth to power like another archbishop, Oscar Romero, did centuries later.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Restorative justice
From The Gaelic Starover
Camp Democracy: Cindy Sheehan to move protest from Crawford to D.C.
Tiber swimming
And my comment

From Verbum ipsum.
France calls for end to Lebanon blockade
About those ‘birth pangs’

War without end
Says Mr Bush. Oh, and ‘war on terrorism’ is as stupid as ‘war on Kalashnikovs’.

July deadliest month in Iraq

Short-circuiting rational thought
Mr Bush’s propaganda

The horror unleashed by Roosevelt and Truman
The great equaliser

Want world peace?
Reject fascism and socialism

And from earlier this week:

The World Trade Center wasn’t a symbol or product of the free market

From LRC.
Be sceptical. Be very, very sceptical.
Making the rounds of the blogs
Craig Murray is the former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan. He was dismissed from his job after he exposed the fact that there were no actual Islamic terrorists in Uzbekistan. His investigations showed that the alleged terrorists were merely innocent local Muslim people who were being systematically tortured into signing false confessions. These confessions were then gleefully received by the US and the UK despite the fact they knew them to be false. For these and other favours from the Uzbek dictatorship the US paid a lot of money and supported this tyrannical regime.
The Home Secretary is an old bolshie, literally.
A tradition and persuasion not a movement
More good stuff from The American Conservative via Eunomia. Sounds much like Rod Dreher at his best (not sounding like ‘a neocon with good taste’ as Joshua Snyder well put it).

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

More on fundamentalism, modernism, po-mo and suchlike
Seems to pick up the conversation that the Revd Tripp Hudgins and I have been having (regarding this entry)

From wide-eyed and laughing, perhaps showing that even great minds that don’t agree sometimes think alike. (Nice Gilbert & Sullivan allusion too.)
O tempora, O mores
Get the state out of the marriage business but point taken

And a glimpse of a merry old England largely unknown today:
Compare the Church of England’s abject surrender to the time-spirit with the spirit of times past that still prevails in the quiet English village of Great Dunmow. For more than nine hundred years, the ancient tradition of the Dunmow Flitch has been honoured in this corner of Essex, in which married couples appear before a counsel and jury to prove that they have honoured their marital vows steadfastly and that they remain truly devoted to each other. The victorious couple are carried through the town on a special chair and presented with the “flitch”, a salted and cured side of bacon. One wonders how much longer such a healthy tradition can be maintained before it is condemned by the local Anglican vicar as an archaic remnant of a society that discriminated between marital fidelity and fornication.
With people’s moral compasses as wonky as they are now, which is more offensive to the politically correct, the virtues of marriage (including heterosexuality) or eating a rasher or three of bacon? After all ‘meat is murder’ (but apparently abortion is not). The recent interest in nutrition and fitness is of course good (people are now radiant and sexy well into what used to be middle age) but I adhere to the ‘eat what I want, be truly thankful and pray I die in the state of grace’ diet.

From First Things.