Monday, December 31, 2007

My New Year’s
A Te Deum and Benders @ Lourdes, then to a friend’s city-centre home to party like it’s 1999 into 2008...

Hope you enjoy yours.
T19 on the Bishop of San Joaquin
Hooray for Kendall Harmon, his regulars and ‘elves’*: intelligent conversation

In Pennsylvania historically church rows are nothing new. (More.) AFAIK in American history a whole diocese shifting (not exactly changing) its affiliation is.
In the catholic POV (which ++Cantuar has referred to in other discussions previously) the basic building block is the diocese. Basically because the church is where the bishop is — or by extension, one of his college of presbyters. The communion with other dioceses is not an administrative one, but flows from the one-ness of the timeless eucharistic offering in which we participate.
the Ship

Which includes agreement on faith and morals: Catholicism is a package deal. ‘Forget our differences (cough, shut up and let us do what we want) and gather at the Lord’s table’ is a distortion not the authentic version of this, just like ‘the church has changed scripture’ (Bishop Charles Bennison**) is a distortion of the Catholic view of doctrine: an infallible church is bound by rule of law, past definitions of doctrine; a fallible one is not. Again, as Christopher Johnson says, if your view of the church is Protestant, that changing essentials is prophetic, then it’s hypocritical to invoke Nicæa or quote St Ignatius of Antioch.

So is communion with Evangelicalism any more tenable or desirable than with Broad Churchmanship?

*I just twigged: they fight trolls.

**IMO of the youngest generation that still thinks radical scepticism about orthodoxy is cool.
CAN$1 > US$1

Lakota independence and possible recognition by Russia

Denominational parallels
Jewish (whose denominations, polity and practices are explained here) and Christian

From Huw.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Journalistic hypocrisy
Regarding violence outside an abortion mill. From MCJ.
Ron Paul is excluded from Fox News’ New Hampshire debate
They are scared of me and don’t want my message to get out, but it will. They are propagandists for this war and I challenge them on the notion that they are conservative.
Times’ top-20 religion stories of 2007
1. Anglican Communion-RC relations. An answer: so?
2. ++Cantuar: US is worst imperialist. Good for him!
4. Pope says RCs are the one true church. Duh. On the media spin.

7. Er war Superstar, er war populaire, er war so exaltiert because er hatte flair... Pope Benedict’s restoration brings in... more money and more pilgrims. They must not have got the memo from their betters telling them they’re supposed to want something more liberal...

(Always thought the cardinal in this fun video looked like Ratz. We miss you, Falco. RIP.)

From T19.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The holy blisful martir
Who stood up to state meddling in the things of God and thus is a patron of this blog as well as of the College @ Clem’s (Mass-and-office Catholicism in action): Richard Burton St Thomas à Becket.
Three on Pakistan
  • Stay out of it. The Saudis have never lived with the illusion that they can, through the exercise of sheer brute power, stamp their view upon the world. The House of Saud are like the Byzantine emperors in their approach: money and flattery over war. Americans, on the other hand, do live with the illusion that they can, through brute force, bend the world to their will.
  • Drawing the wrong conclusions. Obama attempts to play the role of the unconventional anti-Iraq War candidate. But, contradicting himself, he endorses an activist U.S. role in Pakistan: “We...stand with them in their quest for democracy and against the terrorists who threaten the common security of the world.” Does this sound like George Bush, or does this sound like George Bush?
  • What Bhutto’s murder really means.
It’s exactly what I said. Ten billion dollars we paid into this guy’s coffers to keep a military dictator who overthrew an elected government. And we’re supposed to die for spreading democracy? We’re going broke. And now we’ve created chaos in that country. We had Bhutto come back in there. Everybody over there knows our CIA is trying to run things. That’s why he’s so unpopular. As long as we’re going to interfere, there will be a motivation for people to get rid of our puppet government and turn against us as well. That’s where the radicalism comes from. It’s a response to a foreign policy that is seriously flawed.
Ron Paul

From LRC.
A thought on the Episcopal row
Specifically the often assumed/unspoken Cyprianism (no valid sacraments outside what one considers the one true church) and Donatism (no valid orders outside one’s views) of the loud online left. Ideas have consequences and people writing in grown-up fora ought to be accountable for them.
If you are Protestant — if you don’t believe in an infallible/one true church, and as a separate church you were founded by a schism from your lawful ecclesiastical head (again, if unity above all is true who was right in 1534, Thomas Cranmer or St John Fisher?) — you have no right to invoke Nicæa (or quote St Ignatius of Antioch). Ever.
Christopher Johnson (notes by me)
Smug face and social-worker voice
The condescension of political correctness
  • age of petty piety, where relativistic non-judgementalism coexists with new codes of personal morality.
  • ...a new form of moralistic hectoring; it is better to see it as amoralistic hectoring.
  • I am avowedly atheist. But listening to the bishops’ drab, eco-pious Christmas sermons, I couldn’t help thinking: ‘Bring back God!’
  • Mankind is more than the janitor of planet Earth.
  • There’s nothing wrong with conservation/good stewardship.
  • Again the Pope recently said, more or less, ‘Give me proof not hype’.
  • AFAIK ++Cantuar’s sermon may have lacked some Christian substance but didn’t say anything heretical.
From the LRC blog.
Thinking outside the box
Modernism is on its way out in church architecture as it is in theology (as one can see from the Orthodox convert boomlet to Pope Benedict’s restoration to the credal orthodoxy of the Archbishop of Canterbury — save recent dithering on necessity of belief in the Virgin Birth? — and Derek Olsen)
The Associated Baptist Press is reporting on an architectural revival, of sorts, among Christians trying to get away from sterile, stadium-like box-shaped megachurches.

The architects agreed the tide is turning — both in the church and culture — toward more overt spiritual values, and the days of spiritually neutral churches may be ending.
People are realising that beige, bland ecumenicism (not the same as ecumenism as in talking to each other and acknowledging things in common) is not the way to go.

From Episcopal Café.
New Year’s honours
  • Tolerant conservatism: Gay actor Sir Ian McKellen, 68, said after finding out that he was becoming a Companion of Honour: “It is particularly pleasing that ‘equality’ is included in my citation.” As long as he’s not literally in a pulpit preaching it’s not a sin, why not? I’d vote for somebody with Gene Robinson’s personal life — he’s wrong but that doesn’t necessarily say anything about his character — and Ron Paul’s platform. BTW I liked Sir Ian’s 1930s-fascist Richard III.
  • Songs from the wood... Ian Anderson, MBE. I’m a Jethro Tull fan.
  • I should be so lucky! Lucky, lucky, lucky... Can’t get my head round this one: Kylie Minogue, OBE... ‘for services to music’. I could understand ‘for commerce’ (the reason the Beatles got MBEs).
Queen longest-living British monarch
She may outreign Queen Victoria as well

Friday, December 28, 2007

Chaldæan patriarch: free Tariq Aziz
The patriarch is the head of Iraq’s biggest church
The Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad, who criticised the US-led invasion in 2003, said his requests to visit Mr Aziz in prison had been turned down.
Paul on Bhutto
From MCJ: mostly right about the Episcopal row, wrong about everything else
The collapse of the front-runners
Justin Raimondo’s latest. Never mind the ‘right’-versus-‘left’ (in which ‘right’ has been assigned the meanings ‘police state’ and militarism, or ‘kill rag-heads’), ‘Christianism’-versus-secularism or red-versus-blue Punch-and-Judy shows (and don’t pay attention to that man behind the curtain).
Each “frontrunner,” in succession, has been dethroned and cast aside, only to be replaced by a preacher whose brand of backwoods populism is more appealing to what Andrew Sullivan calls the party’s “Christianist” base. Yet it isn’t “Christianism,” whatever that is, that explains Mike Huckabee’s primary appeal. He has broken through to frontrunner status, in spite of the pundits’ disdain, and in large part precisely because of it. The Huckabee “surge” is part of a growing populist backlash against the alleged “wisdom” of our failed elites in politics and the media.
This statist warmonger, with his sledgehammer-subtle Christmas ad, knows how to effectively take God’s name in vain to get his share of the values voters and other resentful red-staters in Dubya’s fan base (Karl Rove’s patsies). Gotcha.
The media is now telling us that the Iraq war is no big deal, and isn’t really an issue anymore.
Easy to do as most of Middle America knows its kids won’t be sent over there.

But there are signs of intelligent life in the universe:
Polls show that the majority of Iowa Republicans want us out of Iraq inside of a year — and yet how much of the Republican presidential field would agree with that proposition?
Hint: the one with an MD.
William Schneider of the neocon-controlled American Enterprise Institute intones from his perch at CNN that “experience” is what matters most, now that Pakistan is about to explode, and the League of Former Frontrunners chimes in, with McCain, Giuliani, and Hillary all rushing to tell us that they know Musharraf, and Rudy opining that he can identify with what happened in Pakistan, because, after all, in case you haven’t heard, he was right there when the terrorists attacked us on 9/11....
Right, every sentence of Benito’s got a noun, a verb and 9/11. (That doesn’t get old.)
Again, however, the American people are in no mood to listen to these alleged Voices of Experience: they are in what might fairly be called a contrarian mood, and just aren’t heeding all the sage advice coming from the many mouths of the Establishment.

Ron Paul, in his interview with Wolf Blitzer, hit a home run when he said that he would certainly not send US troops, in “response” to the alleged “crisis” caused by the death of Bhutto.
Two on the C of E
Nothing to do with the Anglican row

A comment at Touchstone’s blog on the conversion of Tony Blair:
The plurality [number] of people attending RC Mass does not represent a renewed interest in Catholicism so much as a general apostasy in and from the Church of England.
As the Revd Richard Kew points out, England today isn’t just a case of casual churchgoing but of people with no religion or who are anti-religious.

The Archbishop of York via Fr Tony Clavier, who is on the mend:
... if the Church of England closed inner-city parishes, even if they are sparsely attended, it would cease to be the Church of England and become merely a church for the well-off in suburban areas.

He need only look at the Episcopal Church. More and more as we have retreated from the inner cities and the rural areas we have become a church for wealthy people; people with the money to attend meetings, espouse liberal causes, write checks and love at a distance. The poor — white, African American, Hispanic — are served by a few parishes and fewer clergy.
Some might argue that the Episcopal Church always was like that really, perhaps unwittingly. To be fair, all the mainline American churches are pegged to the upper middle class demographically. Which means, as Charley says, the only way they’ll grow is if their next generation has lots of kids.

That said...

This is what I’ve said about the Roman Church locally as they’ve more or less adopted that ‘business model’: some closings and consolidations are needed... but rather than have the church turn its back on the slums and be reduced to tokenism (ha) in social ministry, give some of those churches to teeming traditionalist orders! (In fine Anglo-Catholic fashion, from the Docklands to Sophiatown. I knew a priest who was kicked out of Namibia in the 1960s for saying no to apartheid and ended his days supplying at a Continuing parish.)

Of course you and I know why in most places that ain’t gonna happen with the RCs... unless Pope Benedict’s restoration has at least five years to pick up steam?

The decline from ‘religious’ to ‘spiritual’
Is the ultimate Protestantism: no infallible church means I not God call the shots. As our father among the saints P.J. O’Rourke and wiser folk have pointed out hardship tends to beat that out of people and bring them, well, to their knees.

P.S. Also, to be fair, ISTM that Episcopal and American Orthodox growth mirror each other, one a lateral church move to the left, the other to the right; neither really evangelises the unchurched/never churched. The latter lose many of their born members. In both cases the conversions may not happen as much as claimed.
LRC today on Ron Paul and more
You are asked, ad nauseam, if you lose the Republican nomination, will you back the winner? You reply, quite reasonably that you gladly will, but only if that person changes his views on foreign policy, free enterprise, etc. I wonder what would happen if journalists asked Rudy, Mitt, Fred, Mike, John what would they do if you win it: would they back you? I expect they would all lie and say they would. But, the truth is that they would support Hillary, Obama or Edwards instead of you. After all, the views of the present Republican poll leaders are far closer to those of the present Democratic poll leaders than they are to yours.

...the secret of your success has nothing to do with “money bombs” or “charisma” or “expert fund raisers,” etc.
Walter Block compares the other, unsuccessful money bombs to a cargo cult, seeing the method and not understanding the reasons behind its success.

On the Nazi smear:
One tack is to equate Nazism and Communism. One is national socialism, the other is international socialism. You oppose both. If anything, you incline toward the latter, since you are an internationalist (that ought to confuse them, if nothing else). They are equally bad. No, wait, here you can incline on the Nazi side, since the Communists have murdered more people, far more people.

The mainstream media sees dangers in only one direction, not both. When Britain’s Prince Harry wore a swastika, they went ape. This is evil, this is an abomination. Well, yes, of course, it is. But, seemingly every fifth kid on college campuses wears a Che Guevara T-shirt, or one depicting a hammer and sickle, and no one in the MSM says word one about it.
I once heard NPR get misty over the October Revolution.

How Dr Paul ought to answer his consistently rude (often ‘conservative’) TV interviewers:
A. Please allow me to answer your first question before breaking off and trying to answer a second, and then a third, all at the same time.
B. I am sure your audience will get more out of this interview if you allow me to answer a question.
C. Please do not continually interrupt me; it is impolite.
D. Ignore his follow-up questions, and tell him you are going to keep doing this, until you answer the first few questions to your satisfaction.
On gold:
Strictly speaking, you do NOT favor the gold standard. Rather, you favor free-market money: any monetary medium chosen by market participants.
On the right kind of internationalism, like listening to sane, decent people around the world and thus not invading Iraq:
Robert Taft’s voluntarist internationalism insisted only that American policy abroad should be constitutional and conducted with the consent of, and in the general interests of, the American people. It was a policy formulated in the same spirit that animates what people are calling “the Ron Paul Revolution” today. In truth, this “revolution” consists in nothing more than calling the Republican Party back to its roots.

Unfortunately, after Taft the party gradually adopted the Democrats’ doctrine of unilateral interventionism.
The doctrine that brought you Vietnam.

Shock therapy
How realistic possible catastrophes could produce a Paul presidency. Of course I don’t mean a Reichstag fire! The people in charge now would just drive the country into the ground so that the people wake up.

In a corner of Turkey the persecuted Assyrian Church revives
From M.J. Ernst-Sandoval
In the post
Tomas Sören Kindahl writes from Sweden:

I regard myself as Lutheran. You write quite correctly (and maybe sympathetically?) about Lutheranism at this page. Just a note about what I regard being the core in protestantism: the priest is not an authority by God, he/she is a guide to for you to create and improve your relation to God by your own conditions. I don’t claim that non-Protestant have any different standpoint — I just claim that this was the basis for the emergence of Protestantism in northern Europe in the 14ths and 15ths. This protestant stance is very pronounced in the Lutheran and other Protestant churches I know of.
Hej Tomas,

Tack! (I only know a few words of Swedish.) It means a lot to hear from a Lutheran that I was fair and sympathetic to your church. I agree with what you wrote and made a point much like it here.

Glad jul.

Hej då.

I’m fair and sympathetic towards Roman Catholicism too, of course, it’s sometimes said by (Swedish) Pentecostals, that behind the surface, we’re all just Christians. I have adopted that saying insofar as the faith and the religious community in question don’t exercise an excessive control over the individual (like a few small sects and faulty theology systems tend to do — those that you mention in your pages).
Read on the Ship recently that charismatism is a praxis looking for a theology and ecclesiology and fell into Protestantism early on by circumstance/accident. Also learnt there that Pentecostalism is the older sectarian form of it; charismatism is ecumenical as one can see.

Holy Innocents
Ron Paul supports state right-to-life amendments

Writes my source for this link:
Those who really want Roe v. Wade gone.... pony up. It’s time for Congress to support something real.

It’s not a national ban on baby-butchering, but it’s a good start toward ending the madness.
Yes, kick it back to the states. The pro-murder folk in chi-chi blue states will keep having their way at least for a while.

But the Republicans have got too much invested in pretending to care about abortion as a way to cadge votes from the red-state religious folk for anything real to happen.

I’d like to see the laws restored to what they’d become by immemorial custom before the late 1960s.

Never mind the bollocks from the angry folk and their crossed-out coat-hangers.

Abortion was legal.

Medically necessary abortions, that is. To save the woman’s life.

And however the theologians want to spin that (‘only if it’s an indirect result of treatment for something else’) the church is cool with it.
There, that got your attention. Folk wisdom is mostly correct as opposed to Kinsey, political correctness and porn.
Modernity as opposed to post-modernity
Or fundamentalism and atheism are both modernist. From Fr Methodius.
US spending more on military than rest of world combined

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Political quotations from 2007
Scary and funny. Are Roger Simon and Chris Matthews trying to garner a ‘gay vote’ for Romney and Thompson respectively? Romney’s handsome. Women are sometimes accused of voting based on that (the handsome candidate who acts like he’d be a good husband who’d take care of them).

Progressives for Ron Paul
Welcome aboard the Peace and Freedom!

From LRC.
Ageing liberal religion hits hard times
Sorry for the schadenfreude tone but I didn’t want to let this one get by

Abbeys are largely independent of each other: once somebody at this one told me California’s St Michael’s Abbey in this order is ‘conservative’. This one has those 1960s so-ultramodern-they’re-dated buildings. The two generations before the boomers thought this approach to theology, liturgy and architecture was the way of the future: it’s Hans Küng and Annibale Bugnini in poured-concrete form. Religion in the Space Age. (Like Harold Wilson’s white-hot technological something or other.) The cloister looks like something at a World’s Fair or ORU; the church like something Communist from the same period (actually ORU’s praying-hands sculpture wouldn’t look out of place in front of it), and who else thinks the Russian cross is out of place? (As if second-hand liberal Protestantism and eclecticism impress the Orthodox. An icon-less traditional basilica and liturgy might.) I like the bell tower.

The coldness, the sterility of the early-’60s élite: things the hippies had a point rebelling against only a couple of years after this went up.

(Don’t get me wrong: you can have perfectly good religion with modern architecture, including things I don’t like, as other self-consciously modern buildings from this period show... as does an unpretentious 1950s-built Episcopal or Lutheran parish church.)

Twenty years ago an RC priest in another order and of that generation boasted to me that ‘in 20 years the church will be completely different’.

It’s getting there. :)
‘Hot gospel’
On the naffness of ‘contemporary Christian music’ as recognised and parodied by many: Pious Riot (‘The Simpsons’) and I Found the Lord and Lost My Talent (P.J. O’Rourke — met him)

BTW outside of liturgy (where chant is No. 1, polyphony second and sturdy, singable, orthodox hymns third) I love black gospel music.
’Twas the middle of that sacred time of year when all Americans pause to remember what is most important — Christmas Shopping Season.
The grinch that stole Advent: it began here around mid-November (it used to wait until after the harvest festival, American Thanksgiving, but not any more) and just ended really with the retail industry having one more toss yesterday. Secular society’s keeping its octave more or less: the decorations are still up.

Real Western Christmas has just begun of course. It continues past its octave-day (the Circumcision on New Year’s, Jesus’ bris also prefiguring his sacrifice) through Epiphany (Twelfth Night), the manifestation of Christ’s divinity to the gentiles, and then only tapers off, ending at Candlemas in February, his presentation in the temple in which the priest Simeon says what has happened.

From Chronicles.

The mainstream media on the meaning of Christmas
From GetReligion
The Mitt and Mike show?
Pat Buchanan thinks so, believing Benito’s done

(And although Rudy’s go at playing the ethnic-RC card is risible I wonder if residual Protestant and anti-Latin prejudice is also still at work: the Italian ring to his name.)

More on Mr G from AmConMag:
Thinking like Karl Rove for a moment I can imagine Mutt and Jeff: a Romney-Huckabee ticket or the other way round depending on how each fares in the next few months. Appeal to both the secular neocons and the religious right, whichever public face is more popular getting the top billing.

Mike Romney or Mitt Huckabee. Possibly played by Fred Thompson or a guy wearing a Reagan mask.

None of which is meant here to deny that my man can possibly win.

Robert Taft deserved to.

For more on the 1950s betrayal of the authentic right read Murray Rothbard.

Also from Pat:
Congress was arguably the greatest disappointment and biggest loser of 2007.
Like I said earlier, it’s as if I voted a mostly Democratic ticket last year for my first time... for nothing.

From Chronicles.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The WSJ has a go at Ron Paul
For telling the truth about the American Civil War. From the LRC blog.

Rupert Murdoch and the WSJ
Colds and me
Basically, if left to my own devices, I’d buy Sudafed in quantities that would probably identify me to the authorities as a meth cook.
Rod Dreher

Yes, when I need it. That and Afrin. That is, the house-brand knockoffs of both: the magic words in the ingredients lists are pseudoephedrine (the stuff they’re try to keep away from the meth folks) and oxymetazoline.

Deo gratias.
07/07/07 a great day for the Church of Rome
Thanks to this! From Holy Smoke.
Jefferson: bad religion (not my problem), good politics
From League of the Scarlet Pimpernel

‘You, sir, have no business being president’
Olbermann to Bush

On the torture-video cover-up
From Andrew Sullivan via Stephen Hand

From Joshua Snyder.
Gore Vidal and The Philadelphia Bulletin’s Joe Murray on Ron Paul
Noam Chomsky, alleged advocate of peace, has shown his true colors by dissing Ron Paul even if his opponent were Hillary. However, the heroic Gore Vidal, America’s greatest living critic and novelist, appreciates Ron, and the decline of the neocon empire. A good lesson for the left as well as the rest of us.
Let the mainstream Republican candidates destroy each other.
It means the latest candidate to join the first tier with his $18 million war chest is about to surge.

Ron Paul is set to explode on the campaign circuit right before the early contests. His fundraising gives him a legitimate claim to the first tier, while his money will permit him to retain it.

Thanks to perfect timing, it appears Mr. Paul may be the last man standing when the snow melts this spring.
From the LRC blog.
Christmas in Diyala, the War Party’s ‘model’ province
We’ve dropped 150,000 or so of our soldiers into the middle of a war of all against all, a multi-sided sectarian conflict with US troops increasingly caught in the crossfire. Such a war — without any clear goals, or any conceivable end — is inherently unwinnable, and its proponents are setting us up for defeat.
— Justin Raimondo at Taki

Like I said, to see how this will end read about Vietnam in the early to mid-1970s.

The Grey Lady as bag lady
The NYT smears Ron Paul

The same newspaper that in the 1930s published Pulitzer-winning lies about Stalin’s atrocities and the same magazine that smiled and nodded in the Noughties when Katharine Jefferts Schori said her church’s members are richer and better educated than Roman Catholics.
How, you may ask, does someone invert reality to such a degree that the kindly country doctor, whose good name is a byword for integrity and principle, suddenly is turned into a monster with a hidden agenda? Well, it isn’t easy, and they’re having a really hard time of it...
Justin Raimondo
It’s all good. It means we’re winning!

qua political philosophy, by definition, cannot be racist. It is a political philosophy based on the view that all human beings have rights by virtue of their nature and the nature of the human condition.

No libertarian can possibly be racist in their political philosophy. It’s possible for a libertarian to be a racist I suppose but not in their political views. Were a “libertarian” to adopt racist political views, he would instantly cease to be a libertarian.
Truce 1914
A favourite Christmas story I’ve blogged in years past: I learnt it from now-Sir Paul McCartney’s song and video ‘Pipes of Peace’ about 25 years ago

Escape from America?

An Austrian-economics lesson from secular Christmas tele in the States
Silver and gold, silver and gold
Ev’ryone wishes for silver and gold
How do you measure its worth?
Just by the pleasure it gives here on earth.
From the LRC blog.
Ahmadinejad sends Pope Christmas greeting

Pope applauded in Transdniester for urging ‘humane, just and lasting’ conflict resolution

Urbi et orbi: Pope Benedict’s Catholic restoration is under way. From WDTPRS.
The sometime vicar of Atwater and the Bishop of San Joaquin

Even though of course I sympathise with +San Joaquin I understand the Episcopalians being upset that he and his diocese have left their church. It’s only natural to feel that way. And I understand that the Province of the Southern Cone is Global South Protestant and that Bishop Schofield is a Catholic in charge of an old-schoolish middle-of-the-road diocese (a churchmanship much like my good friend Charley’s) in conservative central California (descendants of farmers who moved there from the Mid-West during the Dust Bowl/Depression double whammy).

One of the principles of a good and fair debate is one must be able to present the other side’s position accurately, in terms that side can accept.

That said...

The Episcopal line seems to me very like ‘what if a Roman bishop broke with the Pope but a parish and priest declared that they remained under the Vatican?’ (Obeying the national or world church, considered the only licit church or one true church, would trump obedience to the bishop, whom they’d say is in schism.)

There are a couple of issues here. First, in the Anglican system the Episcopal Church and the Province of the Southern Cone share, a mission is different from a full-fledged parish. The American meaning of vicar is ‘priest of a mission church’. It’s true of all priests but vicar really means standing in the place of the bishop.

It is like the Roman Catholic Church in that unlike a parish (which is under a rector and very independent, actually semi-presbyterian in polity not theology/sacramentology), a mission and its vicar are directly under the bishop. So although I hope the bishop is as kind and fair to such that want to leave his diocese and remain Episcopal as indeed he says he’s doing with parishes, it seems fair to me for him to keep a mission’s property.

Likewise I don’t think Bishop Schofield was being a bully or lying to Fr Risard. Rather it’s like a command issued politely in the form of a question. IOW it’s not dishonest to say: ‘I didn’t come here to fire you. I’d like you to remain in my diocese. You’re not? Then you’re no longer my vicar.’

The other big deciding issue is ‘is the current Episcopal line correct that the national church not the diocese is this brand of religion’s basic unit canonically, affecting property ownership and the obedience of the clergy?’ (This affects parishes as much as missions leaving a diocese. As the Episcopal line says, these cases are legal slam-dunks for dioceses.) Honestly I don’t think it’s as clear-cut historically as with Rome. As the Anglican Communion is a group of independent national churches, you can argue that each diocese is a church unto itself. (And if I’m mistaken on that I trust the theological-college graduates who read this blog will say so in the comments.)

I think the court will end up deciding. (But of course rightly staying away from the religious issues that caused the split.)

I’m not interested in destroying somebody else’s church, depriving gays of their civil rights including the right to worship and marry as they please (which are the same as everybody else’s including Catholics) or suing congregations I don’t agree with out of their buildings. After all I’m a libertarian! All I care about here is preserving the Catholic religion in a cultural form that’s dear to me (it has no future in TEC) and defending others’ freedom to do so (note to the Anglo-left: politically/legally that freedom works both ways) and not what the church sign outside says.

In any event regular readers know my line: whatever happens a few parishes will be split, a few others squashed and it won’t (and in a free society shouldn’t) affect most Episcopalians.

Once more, regarding ‘unity above all else’, another part of the current Episcopal line, and sawing off theological and rhetorical branches one is sitting on, who was right in 1534, St John Fisher or Thomas Cranmer? Never mind Vatican I in this argument; that obviously wasn’t the issue (as there was no time-travel). The Pope is England’s patriarch. If the state calls this shot by divine right, why not break with my view on war and support the king, erm, president and ‘bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb Iran’? An issue along with Palestine on which the Anglo-left and I sing from the same hymnal.

Setting aside here the question of the validity of Anglican orders as seen by Rome and the Eastern churches, comments denying the validity of John-David Schofield’s orders because he is no longer an Episcopalian (whether permanently or as he sees it a temporary, emergency move until the Anglican row is sorted out) are the left’s version of the perhaps unwitting Donatism of some on the right who say the same of Gene Robinson’s because of his views and lifestyle. AFAIK TEC doesn’t hold a Cyprianic view of orders like many Orthodox in which TEC or the Orthodox communion is the one true church and outside it there can be no valid (guarantee of grace) exercise of holy orders. (That’s opinion; not everything the Church Fathers said is doctrine! The only Orthodox doctrine on this is ‘we are the one true church; we know our orders and other sacraments have grace but, other than they’re not the same as the sacraments of our church, don’t know about anybody else’s!’ The expanded version of an ecumenical favourite saying, ‘we know where the church is; we don’t know where it is not’.)
A British Christmas in Pennsylvania
Duck, sausage rolls, cream sherry, Scotch whisky for those who like it (I haven’t got a taste for it), Welsh kids singing carols on a CD, antique classical records playing on a period gramophone, going online to see about fixing some vintage plumbing and even Christmas crackers (I got a wallet-sized puzzle book and trivia instead of a bad joke: ‘What’s the main ingredient of mayonnaise?’ and ‘Which river is a border between France and Germany?’).

Many thanks, Paul Goings.

Happy St Stephen’s Day, commonly called Boxing Day.
Good signs o’ the times
From a regular reader:
Yesterday my wife and I traveled 90 miles to the top-most part of the state of New Jersey to have Christmas dinner with a college buddy Joe and his wife. He was serious “Youth for Goldwater” in ’64 and I, of course, was for Johnson. We were odd-couple room mates.

Anyway, riding on I-287 to his home one could not help but notice the Ron Paul for President signs everywhere!
Liturgical freak/perfect storms
Talking to Derek
‘2,000 dogs sued’
Funny ‘SNL’ stuff on YouTube

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas in the Holy Land

'And Joseph & Mary never imagined that when they arrived at Bethlehem there would be a checkpoint...'And Joseph and Mary never imagined that when they arrived at Bethlehem there would be a checkpoint...

From M.J. Ernst-Sandoval via John Boyden.
Christmas @ Clem’s and Lourdes
Did my usual bit with my friends at the former: Anglican Breviary Matins on Christmas Eve; High Mass at midnight with procession, carols, a setting by Haydn with strings backing the choir and organ, and a not-half-bad sermon on the Incarnation; then Lauds for Christmas after that!

This is the Tridentine Mass — complete with silent Canon as is the custom now on special occasions (Sanctus sung before the consecration, Benedictus after as the music was written for) — with parts in Elizabethan-style English. English Missal. The Prayer Book has a cameo at Clem’s Masses, the words of the priest’s final blessing.

(Before all that I read Vespers at home for St Herman of Alaska, a monk forgotten for over a century except by the local native people there, the Orthodox Tlingit Indians and Russian-Aleut islanders.)

Managed to wake up in time this morning to catch one-and-a-half Masses at Our Lady of Lourdes, Overbrook: Philadelphia’s version of the Brompton Oratory; a true face of the holy, Catholic, apostolic and Roman Church; the showplace for both the motu and the reform of the reform, that is, orthodox and high-church Novus Ordo.

Not getting home until 3 this morning of course the 7.30 Missa Cantata (sung Mass with incense) using the 1962 Missal was right out. Lourdes’ earliest Sunday and holy-day Mass is Tridentine. Would that most Roman parish churches did something that sensible 35 years ago like many Anglican parishes did and do with traditional-style worship.

So I caught the end (from the Agnus Dei on) of one of their usual Masses and all of the usual Sunday/holy-day Missa Cantata using the Novus Ordo.

I’m impressed. Treat, Ernst and other friends now there are in good hands.

To answer the Ship’s Mystery Worshipper question (tweaked a bit), if I weren’t committed somewhere else, would I make this my church home? Would I send Roman Catholics settling into Philly here as well as seekers/inquirers/the unchurched to plant them in the Catholic faith? Absitively.

Historically and through born-Anglican eyes high NO’s a recognisable but Catholic compromise like the American Missal (mostly Prayer Book, dressed up Tridentine fashion) of the old biretta belt or the 1549 Prayer Book Mass as English parishes did it throughout the 1550s (in the provinces the ‘Reformation’ didn’t really rear its ugly head until 1559).

Now it’s time for a spike’s list of nitpicks/peeves:
  • Thomas Day’s taking notes: The first Mass had the organist (up in the choir loft Italian fashion, the RC mode in America) miked up and booming out instructions. Mitigating factor: he’s Irish thus a charming accent. (Like the stereotype — the movies — but there you go.)
  • On that note the Missa Cantata sort of began with a lay lector in the lovely pulpit saying ‘Good morning’ and (a necessary evil) telling people to turn off their mobile phones etc.
  • Dude, where’s my Introit? (Puer natus est nobis...) The Xeroxed sheets of paper for the congo had it but I didn’t hear it; the first censing of the altar happened whilst all were singing the processional hymn.
  • More Novus Ordo liturgical buzzkill like ‘Good morning’: no chanting of the epistle, gospel or Creed! Not the good Mercedarian friars’ fault I’m sure — always orthodox, they’re the ones who’ve taken this place up the candle. The apparatchiki, the liturgy commissars, in many Roman dioceses are still forcing this Protestant notion of ‘proclaiming’ the scriptures.
  • Still more buzzkill: the bidding prayers. I understand what they are — meant at best to be like an Eastern Orthodox litany (where the Kyrie came from) — but face it, they’re naff. They remind me of Chesterton making fun of the C of E of his day, going in for social commentary disguised as religion. (BTW for American readers, in an English RC or Anglo-Papalist church this litany ends with the Hail Mary.)
  • They and the rest of the bits in English are hobbled by ICEL (the Cliffs Notes of liturgy; Pope Benedict hopes to get rid of it). Makes me want to chase somebody around waving my copy-editor’s blue pen.
  • Unintentional humour I understand is familiar to habitués of modern services; the priest giving an instruction before reciting the Creed: ‘Let us profess our faith which is found on page 10.’ Really? So all I have to do to convert the unbeliever and bring the lapsed back into the church is show them page 10 of the pew book?
  • Putting the ‘stack’ (paten and chalice with burse and veil etc.) off-centre on the altar. Why, oh, why, do modern liturgists hate balance and symmetry? (Does it remind them of logic and thus orthodoxy?) Of course I’m happy there is a stack (AFAIK commoner now in Anglican churches than mainstream Roman).
  • Paten in one hand, chalice in the other at the minor elevation (Per ipsum...). Like the above not heretical but another peeve.
  • The first Mass didn’t use the rail at Communion but it wasn’t offensive in that context. (As Day explains Roman parishes like efficiency.) Saving grace: no unnecessary layfolk giving out Communion.
  • There was one of these at the Missa Cantata but they used the rail and he was a Mercedarian wearing a cotta over his white habit. He looked like the chalice-bearer in many Anglican churches; not offensive at all. (He had a ciborium; unlike the Anglicans they didn’t have a chalice for the laity — it’s not part of their culture, which I do understand and appreciate. Concomitance and all that: I believe in it!)
Other bibs and bobs:
  • Good vestments (gold brocade) at both Lourdes Masses: Gothic with gold orphrey cross at the first one; biretta, fiddleback and maniple for the Missa Cantata.
  • Good music: organ, carols, chant and a bit from Victoria. Lourdes has a good hymnal, in hardcover form like the Anglicans. Step off, Glory and Praise. Kids laugh at granola.
  • The memorial acclamation is not naff when it’s chanted in Latin. Done properly you can see a parallel to the Eastern Orthodox Liturgy.
  • The respective congregations? Clem’s turnout was big. Lots of regulars — older versions of me. Lourdes had a decent one as well for the big Mass: noticeable here are families with young children.
  • The Bambino at Lourdes was in the canopied niche in the reredos above the tabernacle where the crucifix usually is. There was no altar crucifix visible to the congregation at the Novus Ordo Masses; both had a processional crucifix (and a nice one too) and candles so I think that suffices in those rubrics.
  • The Nativity scene was a diorama of Bethlehem that night, a string of white lights behind a dark-blue curtain serving as stars. Cute and imaginative.
  • Sorry, friends: I like the white gloves on the altar boys! (Who’ve been well taught how to act liturgically, following the rubrics and so on. Godwardness and all that.)
  • And I even like the bronze statue outside of Pope John Paul II. He and Ronald Reagan are towering politico-cultural icons of the 1980s. Neither was ‘all that’ — Reagan a tax-and-spend non-conservative; the right people hated JPII for being orthodox but he wasn’t a traditionalist at all — but I like much of what both putatively stood for. Reagan personally was very likeable as well. (In the UK there was Margaret Thatcher: all I’ll say is she was right about the Falklands.)
  • The sermon at the Missa Cantata: how can you top St John’s prologue? (Also the gospel for Easter in the Byzantine Rite.) Father managed to preach a heartwarming but not gooey sermon on... ‘Rudolph’! That old American commercial jingle is chock full of implicit Christian values.
  • I like the loud sanctus bell, even if Clem’s quieter, barely shaken one is more by the book.
  • Fifteen years of being around the Byzantine Rite have given me a new perspective on images; Western Catholic churches really do use them differently, as decoration/illustration. Icons are something else. (There are Eastern churches that don’t use them: Assyrians/Nestorians’ rite is older than icons and the Armenians don’t have them. Neither bans images either. Both of these have churches where it’s like an Orthodox liturgy but in a Western-looking church.)
The Church of Rome is slowly waking up from a 40-year nightmare. Pope Benedict’s restoration is under way.

Christmas and church at sea
From, fittingly enough, the Ship

Apparently most of the world’s sailors are Roman Catholics.

I have a quiet smile to myself when members of housechurches which broke away from the established churches return to them for Christmas and other major festivals because they don’t have their own service. Obviously a bit of tradition is OK for special occasions as long as they don't have to do it every week.

Hopefully they will contribute generously to the collection or we may not be here forever to provide their yearly tradition fix.
Good point but thinking of lapsed members there are many levels of participating in the life of the church. Sure, ideally people would pray the office every day including in church and, in traditions that have a daily Mass, go to that but all are welcome to come and pray in a Catholic church, from the ‘Chreasters’ to the prodigals getting their tradition fix to the man with dodgy theology lighting a candle to his lucky saint.

Et Verbum caro factum est et habitavit in nobis.

The Catholic Church: here comes everybody.

Monday, December 24, 2007

And what is this shop called again?
The Revd Anne Kennedy encounters a bit of modern madness. Obviously it’s ‘The Soviet New Year’s Tree Shop’ (under their watch the ёлка Russians share with German culture and the whole holiday got shifted to Новогодный, a traditional time to party anyway just like in many other European cultures; the Communists’ red five-pointed star went on top of the tree) only somebody forgot to change the sign and tell her the new name!

Blue Christmas
I think there’s a place for this kind of help. MCJ’s Christopher Johnson offers advice on how to help the really despondent.
‘Christmas good gift’
Who knows this is replica?
I will pay you 20 bucks if u will find different with original!
Christmas discounts and free shipping program!
I send you premium answer question, 100 per cent!
Perpetual war
With the carrot-on-a-stick of perpetual peace: the 1984 racket in 20th-century American history. From 1953.

The anti-cancer drug
Legalise it

Romney for dictator
Because 9/11 Changed Everything™. At least he’s not a liar like Bush and Cheney.

The British revolution
In a country truly gone Orwellian in which MI5 tells Londoners on Kiss 100 (commercial FM pop radio station — I remember when those were new in England) to spy on each other. Some are now burning surveillance cameras. V for Vendetta, anyone? In any event a palm-out V-for-victory for the lovers of freedom based on rule of law and tolerant conservatism (and in another historical allusion, in the long run ‘on earth peace to men of good will’ as the gospel reminds us especially this time of year) and a palm-in V-sign to its enemies.

From LRC.
Puer natus est nobis
The one thing I really hate about Christmas, after the commercialism, is people bitching about Christmas.
Though the complaint about replacing Advent with ‘a sprawling “holiday season” full of expectations that just become annoyances’ (from nasty relatives to retail vultures guilting you outta your gelt) has merit. At least ‘happy holidays’ acknowledges the month is holy to Jews and Christians, better than the older and more odious and Soviet ‘season’s greetings’ you used to see a lot.
This Christmas I shall be celebrating the birth of Jesus, as always, extravagantly and joyously, with much singing and dancing, elaborate and tasteless decoration, large-scale gift disbursement, and many other acts of merriment.
the Ship

Happy Christmas from ACBforP.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The new traditionalism
The mainstream media have noticed: the Roman Mass (a High Mass in Advent) made the cover of this magazine!

From Blog of the Dormition.
GetReligion on Mr Blair’s church membership
If he’s so liberal why’d he bother switching? It may be none of our business (part of the English value of tolerant conservatism is respecting one’s privacy on these matters) but in any event the mainstream media aren’t telling.

It’s official: churchgoing RCs outnumber churchgoing C of E members
  • I could have sworn I’d blogged this before.
  • An honour rather like being the best surfer in Minnesota?
  • A Pyrrhic victory thanks in part to this, rather like Anglo-Catholics won lots of little battles over practice but thanks in part to indifferentism (alluded to in this story by the liberal sometime Bishop of Oxford) lost the war? (‘We’ve cut off your church home from any hope of Catholic reunion but here, now you can have official texts for saints’ days. Enjoy!’)
  • The RC strength right now is thanks to Polish immigration. Based on that how long can this uptick last?
  • Name three towering historical/theological/literary figures in England missing from the mention of notable converts.
Unsolved mysteries
Such as grown men’s obsession with sport
...people for whom spectator sports are their raison d’être are puzzling. José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1956) was right to cite spectator sports as one of the phenomena associated with the Mass Man.
Of course it goes back at least to Roman times: panem et circenses or ‘Hey, look, proles, a distraction!’

From Chronicles curmudgeon Clyde Wilson via Joshua Snyder.
St Joseph the forgotten man
In the spirit of rocking blogging ecumenism, today’s after-Mass Internet-café read from Tripp
The Holy Spirit isn’t a means. He is a Divine Person. Last I checked the Church was called the Body of Christ. I suspect that might have something to do with the Incarnation. The humanity of Christ is the bond between members of the Church by the working of the Spirit, which is why the Eucharist holds center stage. To take the Spirit as the unifying principle smacks of docetism and an impoverished view of the resurrected flesh.
Authority of tradition
What Scripture is, functionally, for Protestants is a more or less fluid set of books. They modified the canon in the past and I see no in principle reason why they could not do so again.
A fallible church contradicts itself; an infallible one doesn’t.
And even if Scripture were the only normative source for teaching and practice there are I’d wager lots of practices or beliefs that have no explicit support in Scripture such as the perpetual virginity of Jesus or admitting women to the Eucharist.

And even if Scripture were the only infallible rule, the question is, who is the judge that is to normatively apply the rule?
Static cultural adaptation
I think we should preserve the Jewish forms of worship from the synagogue and the temple, albeit transformed by Christ. Jesus seemed to like them. To be Jewish in this respect is hardly “syncretistic.” And it is to be quite relevant for it keeps the church from having to follow after silly cultural trends and aestheticism and reinvent itself every five years like our existentially sick culture. It sends a message. We are not your culture. We are about something bigger than your culture. We are not a fad and we will outlast them all. People who constructed the great cathedrals of Europe understood this. Moreover, they also understood the relevance of the Incarnation to architecture. With contemporary Protestant architecture, and no small amount of Puritan architecture as well, God is everywhere in general and no where in particular. So much for the Epistle to the Hebrews.

A big part of the divine liturgy is about meeting God in the life of Christ, which is why the Liturgy and the church year are centered around “doing over” the life of Christ. Historically it seems to have done a far better job at making people “holy” than the pop evangelical styles. Evangelicals have values but they lack virtue.
Unity not uniformity
The medieval phrase, “all plurality is derived from unity and to the unity it returns.” ... a Platonic motivating and structuring concept. (Of course its roots are also in the older Parmenidian tradition.) [Which the writer doesn’t agree with.]
The Orthodox on the scope of the Pope
Authority... as if there is some common notion of it floating out and about. Is he even aware of the distortion that concept underwent in the hands of the Franks, divorced from its context in Roman society?
Calvinism shatters
Unitarianism is a Protestant invention. It doesn’t take a whole lot of brains to read Jonathan Edwards’ philosophical monism to figure out that’s what’s coming in the colonies next.
Perry Robinson
Is Pope Benedict cracking down on the Legionaries of Christ?
Something weird is going on behind the scenes of the Legionaries of Christ, the congregation of super-smooth conservative priests whose Mexican founder, Fr Marcial Maciel, was accused of being a sex abuser in 2006.
I really like this Pope.

The ReGain Network
A 1950 plan: arrest 12,000, suspend due process
A declassified document shows J. Edgar Hoover had a plan to imprison 12,000 Americans he suspected of disloyalty.
Faith on the ground
Charley Wingate quotes me as his starting point here (thanks):
Religion on the ground level is often a question of choosing the conscience problems you can live with over the ones you can’t.
And goes on to say:
The real problem for me is not I’ve been increasingly faced with problems in my faith, but rather, that increasingly I’m having trouble finding a place to practice it. In the end, though, I have to have a place to go to church. Surely some will come along and trivialize this problem...

Also, I am not buying the argument that the crappiness of the church experience is irrelevant.
As we were both formed by Anglicanism we don’t go in for ‘as long as it’s a Wal-Mart’. (More.) As long as the religion inside is Catholic (not just in appearance — really and truly) I almost don’t care what the sign says. (Except I obey my bishop and don’t receive the sacraments at churches not in communion with him.)
If most people’s experience of Christianity as religion is church, then it bloody well does matter how well it is done; indeed, it is important above almost everything else how well it is done.

... the problem in most places I’ve been that have been bad is that they are bad on purpose. It is a sin I can’t live with, so I won’t go there.
It’s a question of substance not snobbery.

++Cantuar on Christian unity
From the simpatico liberal-RC journal The Tablet. You’re seeing mainline merger madness (cuckoo for COCU reborn only in the form of intercommunion not structural mergers — the TEC/ELCA concordat for example, different brands and clergy rosters but functionally interchangeable now) but as for relations among Catholics, mainliners and evangelicals it’s like Charley has said: talking to each other teaches; it detoxifies your view of the other side. And blogging ecumenism rocks: reaching across centuries-old religious battlegrounds and even the ravages of recent decades of Anglican history. But like Orthodox Patriarch Jeremias of Constantinople said to the Lutherans of Tübingen who corresponded with him trying to start the ‘Reformation’ amongst the Greeks ‘I like you as a friend’ is as far as it goes! The Anglo-Catholic dream of corporate reunion between the great ancient churches of Christendom (the Catholic family) and the Anglican Communion has been dead since the 1970s.

It all boils down to two points:
  • With the Protestants conservative (‘what I say the Bible says’) and liberal (‘what I say the Bible says’ and any non-moron knows it says to do whatever upper-middle-class society fancies at the moment, one or more of which are things I happen to like doing): ‘You don’t believe in an infallible church.’ (As regular readers here know I now think that’s the tie-breaking issue defining who is a Catholic and who is a Protestant.)
  • Amongst the Catholic churches: ‘We agree there is an infallible church. But how does it work exactly?’ (Which really means ‘Which one of us is it?’)
On that note:

Russia and the Pope

Faith underground
A clandestine, outlawed Catholic church in modern times that survived that way for decades
Between 1946 and 1989 the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was the largest banned Church in the world. It was at the same time the largest structure of social opposition to the Soviet system within the USSR. Despite relentless persecution, church life continued underground through the work of an elaborate system of clandestine seminaries, monasteries, ministries, parishes and youth groups until the Church was legalized on 1 December 1989.
— From here
Archbishop Volodymyr Sterniuk, locum tenens (acting head) of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine (1972 -91). Born on 12 February 1907 at Pustomyty near Lviv, after studies in Ukraine and Belgium he was ordained in 1931 as a priest of the Redemptorist order. He witnessed the liquidation of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church at the “synod” of Lviv by concealing himself in the loft of St. George’s Cathedral.

After his arrest in 1947, he spent five years in prison and labor camps in Siberia. He returned to Lviv to work as a park gatekeeper, bookkeeper, janitor and ambulance nurse while clandestinely continuing his priestly ministry.

In 1964 Sterniuk was secretly ordained bishop and from 1972 to 1991 guided the UGCC in Ukraine until the return of Cardinal Lubachivsky. This period included the vicious persecution of the Brezhnev years and the final struggle for liberation in the late 1980s.

As a charismatic pastor and leader of the underground church, Sterniuk guided it from a one-room communal flat with a kitchen and bathroom shared with neighbors. He is remembered for his combination of prudence, resoluteness, warmth and understanding. He died on 29 September 1997 and a great funeral procession was conducted through the center of Lviv.
— From here

Another historical note: The Week of Christian Unity was started as the Chair of Unity Octave obviously by Catholics, people who believed very much in an infallible church: in this case American Anglo-Papalists, the Franciscan Fr Paul James Francis (Wattson) and the nun Mother Lurana (White), who made their submissions to Rome in 1909 partly as a reaction against exactly what mainstream ecumenism often is today. The last straw for them: the Episcopal Church voted in 1908 to allow non-episcopal Protestant ministers to preach from its pulpits.

The archbarometer: Covenant on ++Cantuar
“For all his personal theological liberalism, Williams does seem to be a great barometer for what is authentically Anglican in this crisis.”

Well, yes.
In both good and bad ways.
And that’s why he is attracting so much ire.
Which church Tony Blair goes to and doesn’t obey. (More via John Boyden.) Just like Benito in New York. (BTW that’s a Spanish name: Mussolini’s radical parents named him after the Mexican revolutionary Juárez.) BTW liberalism ‘on the ground’ among RCs is possibly why people like Mr Blair are welcome and the real Catholics of Archbishop John Hepworth’s little church (anglican not Lambeth Anglican including longtime good friend of the blog Fr Anthony Chadwick) are, well, not.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The intrinsic evil of nuclear weapons
From The Bride and the Dragon
The extent of the damage done to national assets by aerial warfare, and the dreadful weapons that have been introduced of late, is so great that it leaves both vanquished and victor the poorer for years after. Innocent people, too, are liable to great injury from the weapons in current use: hatred is on that account excited above measure; extremely harsh reprisals are provoked; wars result which flaunt every provision of the jus gentium, and are marked by a savagery greater than ever. And what of the period immediately after a war? Does not it also provide an obvious pointer to the enormous and irreparable damage which war, the breeding place of hate and hurt, must do to the morals and manners of nations? These considerations, and many others which might be adduced besides, show that modern wars can never fulfil those conditions which (as we stated earlier on in this essay) govern — theoretically — a just and lawful war. Moreover, no conceivable cause could ever be sufficient justification for the evils, the slaughter, the destruction, the moral and religious upheavals which war today entails.
— Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, late head of the Holy Office under Popes Pius XII and John XXIII and defender of the Roman Mass, in 1947

Beautiful Iranian women

From Photo Activists for Peace.

Distributist endorses Ron Paul
... a distributist state would more resemble the libertarian ideal than it would resemble anything else.
As does a defecting Democrat
Welcome aboard!

Ron Paul on war
The Korean War?

Totally unjustified.



A horror.


You’d pull American troops out of Korea, Germany, the Middle East, everywhere?

I would. Under the Constitution, we don’t have the authority to just put troops in foreign countries willy-nilly when we’re not at war.
Icelandic woman harassed by US Homeland Security
  • Almost titled this ‘Rudy Giuliani has a wank’.
  • Granted, Eva Ósk Arnardóttir broke the law years ago. Detain her civilly and send her back.
Charles Coulombe embraces his Frenchness
Growing up in the US he discovered anti-Frenchness and anti-Catholicism went together
...what united the world’s various Catholic (and in truth, as I would discover, Orthodox as well) cultures was far greater than what divided them.
From Joshua Snyder.
Why ‘the counterculture’(s) ought to vote for Ron Paul
Part of this fine series

The best defence
Is the golden rule and bringing the soldiers home: ‘ALL of them, Frank!’ as Cary Grant said in Father Goose

Dr Paul and I are not pacifists nor is Charley Reese.
As long as the cowardly Congress continues to fund the war, the troops will be stuck there.
Or I may well have voted a mostly Democratic ticket for my first time last year (remember ‘democracy’ at work, the great referendum on the war ‘so get out there and vote’?) for nothing.
Don’t look for any victory parades or celebrations. Bombs and bullets will stay on the menu probably as long as we are there and afterward, too, until some new Iraqi strongman takes control.
To see what will happen study the last few years of the Vietnam War.

From liberalism to Murdochracy
Tony Blair’s legacy

From LRC.