Monday, April 30, 2007

A new saints meme
I waited to be tagged — by Jorge, it turns out — before answering this one.
Name four favourite saints, a favourite blessed saint (?) and somebody you think should be canonised.
  • The Mother of God.
  • St John the Evangelist after whom I’m named and for his high-flying theology.
  • St Benedict, whose ‘Mass-and-office Catholicism’ is a way of life you don’t have to be a monk or nun to love.
  • St Basil for his beautiful prayers with their orthodox theology and another father of monasticism.
As for ‘blessed saint’ Megan at Tripp’s blog rightly asked ‘What?!’

I’ll give two answers:

Roman Catholic beatus: Blessed James Kern, who was wounded in World War I and became a Norbertine canon offering up his suffering for Catholic unity.

Eastern Orthodox blessed... some canonised saints traditionally are called that (St Augustine for example); ‘blessed’, ‘holy’ and ‘saint’ are used more or less interchangeably. But sorry, this is not a ‘blessed’ but a ‘venerable’, again different to the Roman use of the title, what the Orthodox call a monk or nun saint: St Seraphim of Sarov, a hieromonk (monk who is also a priest) and probably the world’s most beloved Russian Orthodox saint.

Person whose cause for canonisation I’d consider: Oscar Romero, late Archbishop of San Salvador, a modern-day Becket and AFAIK sound in his basic beliefs (which is why the government mistakenly thought he’d be tame).

People I know online who might join in and haven’t been tagged yet: Fr Anthony Chadwick, Arturo Vásquez and Owen White. In fact recently Arturo already wrote something on the saints.

Here are my answers to an earlier saints meme.
The orientalist of Letchworth
Adrian Fortescue
Dr Fortescue organised a remarkable celebration of the liturgy of St John Chrysostom in Westminster Cathedral, with the choir trained to sing the eastern chants.
From Joe Oliveri.
George Weigel on fanaticism on Mt Athos
He has a point — echoing the late Gerard Bugge on the Protestant-like ‘anti- spirit’ one can find among the Eastern Orthodox, defining yourself by what you’re not — but as longtime online writer and Mere Comments com-box regular Stuart Koehl (a Byzantine Catholic) notes on other matters (he does a better job than Weigel explaining Mt Athos and 1054) Weigel doesn’t understand Orthodoxy: write on the board (Bart Simpson fashion) ‘The Patriarch of Constantinople is not the Orthodox Pope’ 100 times.

One more time: being in communion with Constantinople does not define being Orthodox like being under Rome defines being RC. It’s rather like the Anglican Communion without any Protestants but not exactly. (The Archbishop of Canterbury, though not a Pope-like person with universal jurisdiction, sort of defines who’s in the family according to which bishops get invited to the Lambeth Conference.) Belonging is defined by being in the communion, the family of churches, which happens to include this bishop in Istanbul.

I’d like to add that, contra some Athonites and the serial-Cyprianist converts (the ones who foam at the mouth online about Sergianism and ecumenist heretics devoid of grace) who often change not only their church but their religion three or more times in five years, ‘non-Roman’ does not necessarily mean ‘anti-Roman’ or ‘anti-Western Catholic’ (some well-meaning RCs don’t understand this either) even if one holds that the papacy is a man-made rank of bishop for the good order of the church and not (as RCs are required to believe) divinely instituted like the episcopate itself. Witness a fine gentleman, Touchstone’s own Fr Patrick Reardon (a former Episcopal priest). I’ll take one of him over a boatload of the fanatics and Internet types.
US: on economics and immigration Madame Speaker doesn’t get it
U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on the subject of how new tax dollars would be spent... Here’s what Market quoted Pelosi as saying: “We need to raise the standard of living of our poor, unemployed and minorities. For example, we have an estimated 123 million illegal immigrants in our country that need our help along with the millions of unemployed minorities. Stock-market windfall profits taxes could go a long way to guarantee these people the standard of living they would like to have as ‘Americans.’”
Do that and the immigrants will wonder why they left home; in the long run they’ll have the same awful standard of living they tried to leave behind!

As a born Roman Catholic Mrs Pelosi (yes, she’s wrong about abortion, like the Republicans are really doing anything to stop it) like many well-meaning Christians wants to help these people. Where we differ is not in the goal but the means. (Arguably she is potentially the most powerful RC in the States now — would that she’d stop listening to the Israelis and use that clout to ‘de-fund’ the war on Iraq and get the American-led occupation army the hell out of there.)

Witness Eastern Europe. Socialism does not work.

More on immigration: this rubbish from a local politician in Utah (oooh, the devil made them do it!):
“In order for Satan to establish his ‘New World Order’ and destroy the freedom of all people as predicted in the scriptures, he must first destroy the U.S.,” Larsen’s resolution states. “[It is] insidious for its stealth and innocuousness.”

Larsen’s proposal to defeat Satan? Close the borders to illegal immigrants to “prevent the destruction of the U.S. by stealth invasion.”
I don’t know if Mr Larsen is a Mormon but this renascent nativism and xenophobia is somehow fitting from the home of a native-grown apostate sect (in the happy hunting-ground of sectarianism as Mgr Ronald Knox described America).

Also look up ‘idolatry’ and ‘taking God’s name in vain’ (the notion brought to Plymouth Rock of America as ‘the city on the hill’).

On immigration I’m halfway between LRC’s anti- view and open-borders libertarians (all would be welcome, just like 200 years ago, if they want to work, which immigrants famously do). Race and nationality should be nothing to do with it. A country’s first obligation, real charity, is to its own and it can handle only so many new people at a time so some controls are sensible (not a border fence or anti-Hispanicism). To their credit my mentors at LRC as libertarians are not racists unlike some other anti-immigration sites.

Back to abortion:
Oops. My mistake!

I thought that this article was about abortion.

The pro-death crowd are the only ones who get to lie and are praised for doing so.

Like, it's not a baby, it's only a clump of cells.

Like, it's my right to do what I want with my body.
It is your right but you’re hypocrites because you don’t care about the child’s body. Got smacked in the face with this at the latest peace march I went on (‘Impeach Bush and Cheney’), this past Saturday.
If she had stolen the money for an abortion, she would be a hero.
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt.
The war charade in the US Congress
From LRC
Kucinich officially moves to impeach Cheney
From truthout
Great moments in punditry
From Tom Tomorrow via the LRC blog and Samer al-Batal

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The place of custom and tradition

On culture
... people in the Soviet Union had no direct access to Christian literature or to religious education. But Russian culture, including music, painting, literature and poetry, was so imbued with Christian ideas that it continued to become the bearer of religious message even in the times when religious propaganda was officially forbidden. For example, people could not access the works by the Church Fathers, but they could read Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov, where many pages are dedicated to the presentation and interpretation of patristic ideas."
— Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev)

From Logos.

Post-modernity and Orthodox witness in the 21st century
From Fr Deacon Methodius/Steve Hayes
EMEMBER, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, thy mercies and bounties which are from all eternity, and through which thou didst become man and didst will to suffer crucifixion and death for the salvation of those who rightly believe in thee, and having risen from the dead didst ascend into heaven, and sittest at the right hand of God the Father and regardest the humble entreaties of those who call upon thee with all their heart: incline thine ear, and hear the humble prayer of me, thy worthless servant, as the fragrance of spiritual incense, which I offer to thee for all people. And first remember thy Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, which thou hast provided through thy Precious Blood. Confirm, strengthen, extend, and increase her, and keep her in peace, and for ever proof against the power of hell. Calm the dissensions of the Churches, and foil the plans of the powers of darkness, dispel the prejudice of the nations, and quickly ruin and root out the risings of heresy, and frustrate them by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Jordanville Prayer Book

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Neither the sickle nor the swastika
An expression I learnt from this blogger’s husband who 15 years ago helped form my worldview. Lew Rockwell reminds his listeners there is an alternative to the establishment left and right: learn about the American Old Right (which is built on English conservatism, that is, classical liberalism).

The Nixon/Bush parallels
1975 Saigon + 1979 Teheran = Baghdad sooner or later

On gun control:

The cops only come when you’re dead
Self-defence for women. Again I understand some Europeans’ well-meant revulsion to a proliferation of guns (like I understand Christian pacifism but with the Catholic faith and C.S. Lewis maintain it’s wrong).

The woman of the hour: Venus Ramey, Miss America 1944, a Kentuckian who even though she uses a walker recently defended her farm with her gun. She’s from what friend Jeff Culbreath calls ‘the Old Republic’: tough but following old etiquette (she gave Jay Leno a lesson in it: like with the Queen today one didn’t shake a woman’s hand unless she offered it) she thinks Homeland Security supremo Michael Chertoff should be sacked (for violations of liberty like forcing an octogenarian lady to take her shoes off at the airport) and Mr Bush is ‘a spoiled rich kid who deserves a spanking’. Well done, ma’am.

How would we feel about a man who made his fortune selling guns to a mass murderer? Would we put him in charge of disarming a country? What if he also sold RPGs and tanks and chemical weapons to known mass murderers?

Yet this is exactly what governments do, by selling billions of dollars of weapons to despotic tyrants the world over – and the US government leads the pack in this blood-profiteering.
Working for the clampdown
What might Mr Bush do with his new power to declare martial law?
Bush blames the troops
From Working for Change

Friday, April 27, 2007

Ex-CIA supremo rubbishes Cheney in book
George J. Tenet, the former director of central intelligence, has lashed out against Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials in a new book, saying they pushed the country to war in Iraq without ever conducting a “serious debate” about whether Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to the United States.
‘Education for citizenship’ = totalitarianism?
The Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo on secular Spain’s plans

This touches on the difference between morals (objective right and wrong) and ethics (behaviour); they overlap of course but are not the same. In a pluralistic society, even one by default, if there are state or for that matter secular schools I think you’d want something lowest-common-denominator neutral (not necessarily the same as teaching ‘there are no absolutes’) — ‘be fair to each other’ (behave well including ‘don’t beat up homosexuals’ for example) and not ‘homosex is objectively good’ which would be a case of the state invading religion’s turf.

As for the Spanish president’s and the cardinal’s different approaches to relations with militant Muslims I’m undecided. Simple fairness without bringing religion into it (for example ‘hands off Palestine’, stop propping up Israel) could work and may well be the best way as the Christian and Muslim conceptions of God, though both monotheist and based on claimed revelation, are so different.

From the LRC blog.
On pseudo-cons, Republicans trying to milk pro-life again, Führer complexes and questions of character
A Joe Sobran column from last month
Back when I was “a roaring anti-Semite” (and long before Jimmy Carter was accused of being one, though his brother Billy was), I was afraid the neoconservatives would get us into a war with the Arabs. That was the easy part. What I didn’t expect — because I just couldn’t even imagine it — was our getting stuck in a Muslim civil war. What president, of either party, could ever be that dumb? Or that smart? (In the sense of knowing how to accomplish such an impossible thing.)

Once upon a time, people who wanted limitless government and made trouble around the globe were called Communists. Today, of course, they’re known as conservatives. If that’s just semantics, call me anti-semantic.

Well, as Billy Carter once observed, “There’s a heck of lot more Arabians than there is Jews.” And a lot of them are even madder at us than they are at each other.

What hasn’t changed, and shows no sign of changing, is the American idolatry of the Executive Branch — the sure and certain faith that a new president can come to the rescue and solve all our problems, even with Democrats controlling both houses of the U.S. Congress.

After all, this is the same country that still thinks Abraham Lincoln did away with slavery with a stroke of the pen and, according to polls, ranks John Kennedy among its greatest presidents. As Robert Higgs of The Independent Institute has written in an article titled “No More ‘Great Presidents,’” Americans now expect their presidents to perform “supernatural feats.” Who says this is an age of skepticism?

Let’s skip the etiquette and get to the point: What truths is John Edwards willing to affirm? If he doesn’t believe in God, Christ, the Virgin Birth, or the Catholic Church, or if he thinks they don’t really matter, his behavior makes sense.
I understand the liberals for the most part are not our friends but this isn’t about bringing somebody into the family nor a canonisation. However repulsive his views, box him in nicely with a hostile legislature and you’re good to go.
The Holy Whapping kids imagine having a TV channel
The best listings:
8.00 PM. Two and a Half Acolytes - World-class mooch Baron Corvo is forced to move into the spare rectory room of disapproving former patron Cardinal Manning after he loses all his money in a scheme to perfect underwater photography. This week’s guest-star: Percy Dearmer as himself.
8.30 PM. When Heretics Attack! - This week: Cathars prey on an unsuspecting young couple visiting Yellowstone National Park!
9.00 PM. American Chorister - Bishop Bruskewitz brings to tears Henry Wooton-Thorpe, Choirboy Third Class from St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue, after a disastrous rendition of Nolo Mortem Peccatoris.

8.00 PM. Frater Magnus - A new season of last year’s blockbuster reality show returns. This time, the rectory is playing host to a member of the SSPX, someone from Voice of the Faithful, a Jesuit, a Priestly Fraternity seminarian, an Opus Dei numerary, a CL member, a Bulgarian Orthodox deacon...and Matthew Fox.
9.00 PM. Dr. Pusey. “Hello, Newman.” “Hello, Pusey.” The saga of America’s favorite sitcom about the Oxford Movement continues. This week, wackiness follows Dr. Pusey and Fr. Faber’s forced apartment-switch after Faber’s disastrous attempt to redecorate his place in the style of an Italian baroque chapel. Meanwhile, Christina Rossetti concocts an elaborate scheme to falsify her street-address so she can order Supreme Flounder from the local Chinese take-away.

8.00 PM. Elias - Ridiculously omni-competent secret agent Sister Dionysia Bristow continues her search for secret technology based on the prophet Elijah's chariot of fire, which is also being sought by evil ninjas sent by…um, er, well, we’re not sure what this show is about, but she kicks the crud out of a lot of people, wears really crazy wigs and disguises and there’s something about Cardinal Rambaldi. Go figure.

8.00 PM. How Not to Vest - The Rev. Mr. Kelly and Sister Anastasia (with her catch-phrase “Tacete!”--essentially, “Shut up!”) offer some emergency tailoring advice and a 5,000 Euro gift certificate to Gamarelli to this week’s lucky contestant—a fashion-challenged fifty-something priest who owns clerical shirts in every color but black.
9.00 PM. CSI: Catholic Saint Investigation - Much unnecessary swoopy computer-animation and neon-lit shots of very small, very wrinkled Italian nuns bent over lab-tables accompany this week’s dramatic attempt to confirm the authenticity of the skull of St. John the Baptist as a child.

9.00 PM. NCIHS. - The crack investigators of the Papal Navy’s police arm do their thing, though nobody can quite remember what the initials stand for, why so many interesting crimes seem to occur around the docks at Ostia, or why their lab tech looks like something out of Aubrey Beardsley.
‘Baby Got Book!’
The magic of YouTube. From Hoosier Musings.
39 + 27 = 66 books
And if you’re Catholic there’s even
And on that note, from friend Andrew Nardone:

‘Songs of Praise’ like you’ve never heard it before
Fun with subtitles and cathedral acoustics. Warning: language.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

US: the Democratic presidential candidates talk among themselves
Props to all for saying they’re now against the war, to Barack Obama for IIRC having the sense to vote against it to begin with and to John Edwards for seeming the least hypocritical about calling for a deadline to quit Iraq but voting for more money for the war because they want to look like they ‘support the troops’ (then bring them home!)

... like some pols posturing about being ‘tough on crime’ by executing more people or declaring ‘crime-free zones’ (so the acts are not crimes outside the zone?).

I know they’re wrong about abortion but I won’t be played with that again. (The other side will not stop it.)
US Army ordered not to tell truth about Tillman
Footballer accidentally killed by fellow soldier

UK: one handicapped baby in 30 survives attempted abortion

Very scary, kids
The 15-metre (49-foot) long air ships are emblazoned with government slogans. Written in bright red are the words: "We watch over you for your security."

"It's part of a plan - working with the people, better education, better police officers and better equipment for the police."
John Boyden writes: Why, surely they won’t bring this to the USA!
Radio radio
Samer al-Batal writes: Something amusing parodying the different genres in radio. Here’s the special Wiki article about it with Easter eggs, numerous real-world references, transcript, and so on, so one can get the most out of watching this. While watching the cartoon, keep an eye out for these Easter eggs (you will need to click on hot spots to trigger these) — the last two can be seen at the very end of the Flash cartoon; all the ones before require that you quickly click at the right moment during the course of the cartoon.
On the box
‘Battle for the Bible’
PBS might be a smidge anti-Catholic. ‘Tha thinks?’ (‘For a pledge of $50 you can have your own “Abortion YES!” coffee mug!’)* I predicted this one from the advert: Protestant-dominoing-into-secular propaganda. People still have itching ears for anti-Romanism a century and a half after Maria Monk. The preface to my King James Bible admits there were Catholic English Bibles before the ‘Reformation’. The real problem with Wyclif and his friends was they were heretics trying to distort the scriptures like Luther wanted to later (he wanted to get rid of James for example).

I’d think the producers of this programme wouldn’t want people hearing parts of Leviticus and Romans (because of this) for example.

But of course in a way the Protestant bias makes sense. Like I said it’s a domino effect: private judgement from individually trying to interpret scripture to a flat rejection of them. That’s right: Pat Robertson and Richard Dawkins are actually in a continuum, even on the same team really.

Funny how this never mentions predictable results of private judgement like the Roman Catholic martyr saints tortured and killed by the Protestants (who are all earnest truth-seekers and courageous martyrs here), or Jim Jones and his People’s Temple, but it does seem to take a ‘divide and conquer’ joy in seeing Christians split into thousands of sects.

They accuse the church of hiding the Bible and now what do some want to do? Bowdlerise the Bible of course! (It’s been done: Thomas Jefferson, the English ‘Enlightenment’ deist, with his de-supernaturalised scripture. Great statesman, awful theologian.)

Those of us who know English, Catholic and Anglican history can enjoy some risible clangers in the historical re-enactments and film clips. (Here’s another: the New Testament is in ‘ancient Greek’!)

(Funny how state control of a church is talked about as something not bad really — just like the Communists wanted centuries later.)

As I like to say ‘two only’ but not ‘as generally necessary to salvation’ things came out of the ‘Reformation’ in Blighty: services in English and a go at the daily office for everyman. Everything else was a mistake.

One good point they mention is that Coverdale’s, Cranmer’s and the Authorised Version’s idiom (like Shakespeare it’s early Modern English not Old or Middle! ...though from the sound of it Wyclif wrote in Middle English like Chaucer) has become the liturgical language of many English-speakers just about everywhere. This English is our Latin, our Byzantine Greek, our Slavonic. Having a hieratic, sacral language is instinctive; even Baptists couldn’t get away from it! (And even the hacks at ICEL couldn’t change the way people pray the Our Father.)

*I know there are excellent public television and radio stations; I’ve pledged to two of them. One, WYBE, shows news and music from around the world and in truly liberal fashion had the Christian bluegrass I mentioned the other day.
Political parties and the vast majority
ISTEN to a Whig, or to a Tory, and you will suppose that the great bulk of society range under his banner; all, at least, who have any property at stake. Listen to a Radical, and you will suppose that all are marshalled in the same ranks with himself, unless those who have some private interest in existing abuses, or have aristocratic privileges to defend. Yet, upon going extensively into society as it is, you find that a vast majority of good citizens are of no party whatsoever, own no party designation, care for no party interest, but carry their good wishes by turns to men of every party, according to the momentary purpose they are pursuing.
— Thomas De Quincey, Recollections of the Lakes and the Lake Poets

From Laudator temporis acti.

John Boyden meets Archduke Otto von Habsburg

A legitimist
I am often asked if I am a republican or a monarchist. I am neither, I am a legitimist: I am for legitimate government. You could never have a monarchy in Switzerland, and it would be asinine to imagine Spain as a republic.
— Archduke Otto von Habsburg

The world would have been a better place if his father had won World War I.

Regarding government according to Robert Massie the late saintly Tsar Nicholas II said something similar: he liked America’s system, which worked there, but thought it wouldn’t work in Russia.

From The Western Confucian.

Boris Yeltsin’s Orthodox funeral
Foreign dignitaries included Lech Wałęsa, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, the Duke of York and Sir John Major
Yeltsin was laid to rest on Wednesday alongside writers, composers and artists in a funeral that was laden with the religious trappings given to Russia’s czars ... befitting the first post-Soviet president.
Ironically IIRC he was the Communist Party boss in Yekaterinburg (in his native region, still renamed after the Communist murderer Sverdlov) who carried out an order to tear down the Ipatiev house, where in the cellar Nicholas II, his wife, children and doctor were gunned down and bayoneted, lest it become a shrine visited by reactionaries. I hope he later changed his mind about all that.

The Patriarch of Moscow with Sir John and the elder Mr Bush in the background lighting candles. The liturgical colour remains white for Easter.

Not since the death of Czar Aleksandr III in 1894 has the Christ the Savior Cathedral officially been used for the funeral of a Russian head of state.
This one is a replica of the original blown up by the Communists. (Based on photos I think it’s boxy like a knock-off of the Taj Mahal; the Kremlin churches and St Basil’s are prettier.)

Покой, Господи, душу усопшаго раба твоего.

Update: Here it is on YouTube. From Ad Orientem.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sea change
hypersync and Jorge Sánchez note that the kids, the generation after me, are looking Catholicwards in their sincere seeking:
The poor need not be poor, so we cannot see the Church’s primary role as “feeding the poor.”
A punto.
The Social Gospel of liberal, mainline Protestantism is dead (not to suggest working with the poor is dead, however!)
Considering that Catholics pioneered working with the poor in modern (starting in industrial) times I should think not!
...the Baby-Boomer Seeker church experience has run its course, the liberal "god is dead" or perhaps "Process" theological perspectives have shown themselves to be not very satisfying to most people. The younger generations, so demographers and generationalists suggest, seek after something more solid and ancient (read, not trendy), something that restores a sense of mystery, and something that is respectful and non-condescending - unlike much of what passes for "modern" church.

I've said before that I hear more and more from younger people that they prefer the language of Rite I (Elizabethan English), they like the more formal liturgies, that they find resonances with contemplative and monastic-like spiritual experiences.

I find that older people in the
[Episcopal and I’ll add RC] Church (the [American] 1928 Prayer Book generation) and the young seem to have much more in common then the big group in the middle that now controls the Church.

... These two guys said there is even a semi-secret group at General that is regularly saying the Rosary. The Oxford
[Movement] Tradition of General is not dead, despite the 1960's "reformers" who want it to be so. How frustrating it must been for these folks whose life work has been to remake the Church into something else (what, I don't know), only to see young people raising the hands in front of them saying, "NO!"
Hi! Good to see you coming up on the horizon after all these years.

But residual Protestantism remains:
I've also found that young people tend to want to be challenged to think and seek, but not told what to think or do by "authorities." They respect the authorities generally, but want them to help them seek and find rather than to indoctrinate them. No easy believe-ism for these folks!
And I’d like to build a beautiful three-storey Edwardian house from the ground up without any blueprints or surveyor’s tools. I don’t think it’s gonna happen.

One can hope these ‘emergent’ folk will find out like Chesterton that when they try to make the heresy to top all heresies, the most original and profound thing they can imagine, they will end up with ... orthodoxy.

Tripp and Larry, why don’t you have a go at this one?
Obama’s vision: hegemony without torture
This is not a responsible retreat from delusions of grandeur, but simply more of the same [American interventionism, a hallmark of modern liberalism] in a slightly less menacing form.
One problem I see is unlike with second-term Bill Clinton when the Republican Congress — out of spite? — made real-conservative noises about this and nearly successfully fenced him in, today’s GOP (bare-fanged neocons) are just as bad if not worse (witness Iraq) since their Reichstag fire, ‘9/11 changed everything™’. If Obama got in there’d be nothing really holding him back.

From Eunomia.
Talkin’ ’bout the C word again
Here and here in The Confused Papist and The Continuum, or ‘Whaddaya mean Protestant? Them’s fightin’ words. :)’
On the alleged anti-Semitism of the Roman and Byzantine rites
That the liberals in charge of RC institutions are running scared and coming up with desperate arguments like this because of the ever-rumoured motu proprio is very good indeed. That said...

Two cartoons from Joe Oliveri:

Don’t go believin’ everyt’ing ya read now, boyo

Void where prohibited

Which probably would happen in the States as the aforementioned people in charge often are Modernists and hate high churchmanship anyway because they think it’s English

Fr Anthony Chadwick on liturgical revision
Father has a talent for unloading traditionalism of some of its undesirable baggage and getting to the real point

As for the wrong kind of revision, like most of what’s out there, read Psalm 73/74.
Is conversation even possible?
Between cultural conservatives and liberals today, asks good friend and gentleman Jeff Culbreath

Thought of this yesterday when an apparently angry person from the other side joined a good conversation I was having with Derek at haligweorc on ‘traditionalist yet welcoming’ Anglicans.

I stand by my original comment; bls seems the exception that proves the rule. (Before the fireworks started I left her a comment in her blog about her and Derek’s original topic — she came up with the label — and nothing to do with the controversy.)

When pushed against the wall Fr Amphilochios’ gentle way is usually the best. And if that’s rejected just shut up and move on.
Three on Virginia Tech
Columbine Tech
From Huw Raphael

On the same theme:

Is the scene of the crime the cause of the crime?
Something the official fake soul-searching dares not ask. From LRC.

The mature thing to do is not to blame immigrants or Koreans
VDARE can stuff it. From Joshua Snyder.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Realism and restraint
Reason likes Ike. I’m more sceptical — he was promoted by the establishment so high and awfully fast. Eisenhower wasn’t really of the peaceful, pious but mind-my-own-business (‘respecting your space’, a virtue as English as it was classically American) Old Right but was of a generation that at least understood it. (Robert Taft would have been a good president.) In this article he certainly seems better than the régime now. (For that matter so was second-term Bill Clinton nicely caged by a Republican Congress. Hooray, gridlock.)

Mr Bush’s campaign promises seven years ago haven’t gone down the memory hole:
We know that a blunt realist can win the presidency, because one recently did -- in 2000. Recall Bush's pre-9/11 support for a "humble" foreign policy that would not stir fear or resentment abroad: "I just don't think it's the role of the United States to walk into a country and say, 'We do it this way; so should you.' " He warned against overstretching the military. He opposed nation-building. He said -- something few dare to say -- that the Clinton administration had been right not to intervene in the Rwandan genocide. In the pre-9/11 Bush, Eisenhower would have recognized something of himself.
Biretta tip to Bruce Schmoetzer:
I don't know about you, but I am just plain tired of being told that the nation is "on orange alert" and that "terrorist-proof" 1 gallon plastic bags will save us. Maybe a little jaundiced, quiet pragmatism is in order.
Some Jeffersonian ‘free trade with all but entanglements with none’ mixed with a Burkean dislike of radicalism and Bob’s your uncle.

Speaking of Burke here is a gem via Joshua Snyder:
[I]nstead of listening to the foolishness of the neoconservative ideologues, the Cheney-Bush team might better heed the words of a real conservative, Edmund Burke: "A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood."
— George McGovern, who unlike Mr Bush has actually been in combat
‘And grant us victory in the Jihad
Samer al-Batal writes: It’s funny; I was listening to that Arab Orthodox radio station I introduced you to before, and this segment of ‘anthems’ (improvised, non-liturgical religious songs that may border sometimes on the Novus Ordo-ish) was playing. That line just came out in song in Arabic addressed to St Mary. I thought it was amusing to tell, so now you know. I’d just like to send that one to Fox and see them go nuts thinking a band of Jihadis were singing martial songs. [End.]

LOL! Just like some people get their knickers in a twist over the word Allah (God)!

I like many kinds of music including Christian songs I wouldn’t want in a liturgical context! Gospel is one example: hymns sung in a blues style. Just last night I was listening to Christian bluegrass (a kind of American country music). Beautiful.

Here jihad means ‘ascetic struggle’, self-denial (подвигъ in Russian). Was the song to Our Lady or to St Mary of Egypt?
The war goes ever on

Saw a documentary last night on the fall of Saigon — I think I’ll see a repeat on the news.
On truth and freedom
Basically, I think that Rome, the activist Evangelicals and the liberals (uneasy bedfellows these!) share a basic and pernicious error. It is the job of the Church to proclaim the truth. In the first place to its own people (which Rome appears to be having little success in doing) and then to whomever will hear and consider. It is not the job of the Church to force others to obey its findings as to what is right.

Since all three groups I mentioned are committed to political activism, and all three are willing to use the maximum force of government to enforce their respective views of what is right, I have to say that none of them are trusting the power of God to move hearts, nor putting their effort into bringing those hearts to salvation. All three are point blank wrong.

How did Jesus react when the disciples begged Him to bring in the Kingdom - NOW? Is His Kingdom of this world?

The Vatican is, in my opinion anyway, 100% right on these issues
[gay marriage], but 100% wrong in trying to get its way though political force. Let it first remove the log from its own eye - the log of widespread disbelief of its own teachings by its own people. If RCs worldwide were to believe what their pope teaches, there wouldn't be the worldwide clamor for these changes.

The only thing that makes me madder than political force to oppose what I believe to be right is the use of political force to enforce what I agree with.
Ed Pacht

By George he’s got it.

He is referring to abortion as well but I can argue that the state can step in here because of the ‘don’t harm others’ principle (your freedom ends where the baby’s begins). Religion doesn’t have to come into it.
Real-world politics and radical libertarianism
One of several great LRC articles today
92 years ago
April 24, 2007 marks the 92nd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Armenians worldwide will be commemorating the First Genocide of the 20th century with solemn religious and civil ceremonies. Along with the Armenian people, prominent celebrities and statesmen will be participating in this day of remembrance.

Since April of 2003, has undertaken the task of informing the general public, as a community service, of the events commemorating the Armenian Genocide. The public is encouraged to attend the functions in their area of residence, watch Armenian Genocide video clips/flash presentation and reflect upon the horrors which fell upon the Armenian Nation and Armenian people in the beginning of the last century.

During WWI, the Young Turk political faction of the Ottoman Empire, sought the creation of a new Turkish state extending into Central Asia . Those promoting the ideology called “Pan Turkism” (creating a homogenous Turkish state) now saw its Armenian minority population as an obstacle to the realization of that goal.

On April 24, 1915, several hundred Armenian community leaders and intellectuals in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul ) were arrested, sent east, and put to death. In May, after mass deportations had already begun, Minister of the Interior Talaat Pasha ordered their deportation into the Syrian Desert.

The adult and teenage males were separated from the deportation caravans and killed under the direction of Young Turk functionaries. Women and children were driven for months over mountains and desert, often raped, tortured, and mutilated. Deprived of food and water and often stripped of clothing, they fell by the hundreds & thousands along the routes to the desert. Ultimately, more than half the Armenian population, 1,500,000 people were annihilated. In this manner the Armenian people were eliminated from their homeland of several millennia.

On April 29, 1915, Henry Morgenthau, Sr. United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire had stated that “I am confident that the whole history of human race contains no such terrible episode as this. The great massacres and persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared to the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915.”

In 1915, thirty-three years before UN Genocide Convention was adopted, the Armenian Genocide was condemned by the international community as a crime against humanity.
Armenia (Hayastan) is the world’s oldest Christian country, becoming so before the conversion of the Roman emperor Constantine (canonised by the Eastern Orthodox). The Armenian Apostolic Church is in the Oriental Orthodox (not Eastern Orthodox) communion.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Talking to Tripp about limbo
Zadok the Roman (via Fr Jim Tucker) notes that biased, stupid reporting about Rome is not limited to the ex-Protestant Anglosphere. The historically anti-clerical Italians do it too.
St George, patron of Palestinian Christians
Today is his Gregorian-date feast-day
It is very true that St George fought against a Dragon. St John calls him “the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan”. He received the martyr’s crown on this date in 303, having suffered various tortures before being decapitated.

Palestinian Christians... must stuggle every day, pressed upon all sides - hated by the Jews for being Palestinian and hated by most Palestinians for not being Muslim.
That his legend, nothing to do with England, became identified with it even more than St Alban, said to be the first martyr there, says something about the universality, Catholicity, of the church there before the ‘Reformation’. (Both in the sense of being in communion with Catholics in other lands — certainly in Western Europe through their patriarch in Rome! — and in holding the full faith locally in every cathedral and village church.) The Crusaders, though far from perfect (one can’t excuse how they treated Eastern Christians — and the Pope didn’t!), brought the story back from the Middle East.

From David Holford.
What I’m reading
Angela’s Ashes
Frank McCourt doesn’t like the church very much which may partly explain this book’s massive popularity with the secular world when it was published more than 10 years ago. (Decades after many Protestants lost their faith the market for spite-Rome literature is as lucrative as it was when Maria Monk was published.) That said it’s a story well told — I’ve already seen the film — and you can understand why he feels this way. The church in Limerick in the 1930s and 1940s according to McCourt was like a Jansenist-distorted fun-house mirror of more or less what I believe in.
Sicko spam
Malware promises Virginia Tech video. From Brian Underwood.
Hypocrisy, thy name is Bush
From Rational Review

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Patriarch of Moscow’s birthday greetings to the Pope
As a minister of the Church, you have long been a famous theologian fully dedicated to defending and affirming of traditional Christian values. What makes your position especially convincing is that you as a theologian are not merely a theoretically thinking scholar, but above all a sincere and deeply devoted Christian who speaks of the abundance of his heart (cf. Matthew 12.34).

I share many of the insights of your theological works and I would like to underline coinciding of our Churches' views on most vital issues with which the modern world challenges Christianity. I am deeply persuaded that it should become a solid basis for good relations and mutually beneficial cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
From Paradosis.
Political-ideology quiz
My results won’t surprise regular readers. From Jorge Sánchez.
The legend of the removed checkpoints
Déjà vu, sort of
As the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad will reconcile with the church in the mother country in a few weeks. Some are comparing the reactions in a few places to the Episcopal row.

As the message board this came from is down for maintenance I’ll summarise.

Apparently the rector of a church in Trenton, New Jersey and much of a congregation in El Rio, California say they’ll leave if the reunion happens.

Legally it parallels some Episcopal parishes’ moves to leave the liberalising national church and go under arrangements with overseas Anglican bishops.

Unlike the law in the rest of the United States, California has some recent precedent for breakaway congregations keeping their buildings as the Episcopalians have found out.

This reaction from some Russians who escaped the Communists in the 1940s — I know some — and some of their descendents is understandable!

However, as the Russian Church has done nothing deal-breaking/church-splitting like officially allowing an apostate to remain a bishop in good standing (like the Episcopal Church did in 1966), unilaterally trying to change the apostolic ministry (like the Episcopal Church did in 1977), trying to have gay weddings (the point of consecrating a practising homosexual as Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire a few years ago) or entering communion with non-episcopal Protestants (as the Episcopalians now have done with American Lutherans and United Methodists) the parallel breaks down. (How the Russian Church handles ‘same-sex blessings’: defrock the priest and raze the building. That actually happened.)

So these threatened splits among the Russians smack of Donatism (saying the unworthiness of the minister — such as from past collaboration with the Communists — takes away the grace of the sacraments administered): theologically they don’t work.

Churchwarden Michael Avisov of Holy Trinity, El Rio’s argument sounds awfully americanised and Protestant: ‘In my mind, it’s a clear-cut case of standing up for what we believe in, which is the American way, democracy, freedom of practicing our religion and being masters of our destiny.’ Nothing about obeying one’s lawful, still Orthodox bishop!

Interestingly in American Orthodox history, episcopal vs congregational ownership of church property was a reason for several Slavic immigrant splits from Rome and, in some cases, switches to the Orthodox because sometimes the local Roman Catholic bishop tried to use ownership of church buildings to break up Byzantine Catholic parishes — many Irish bishops hated them.

When defending money, property or that sacred cow, gay weddings, the Episcopal left affects an ecclesiology higher than Pope Pius IX in elevator shoes, quoting St Ignatius of Antioch and all that. Traditions and canons matter except when they, you know, don’t (like when trying to change the apostolic ministry starting back in 1974). Faced with that logic no wonder many choose to stay home on Sundays instead. Anyway, Midwest Conservative Journal (with whom I disagree vehemently on politics!) puts them in their place with this: ‘If you’re a PROTESTANT, then you don’t EVER get to invoke Nicæa. Not unless you’re planning on converting to Roman Catholicism or Orthodoxy.’
Gun control: some liberals get it
From the LRC blog

More from me.

An article from LRC’s Charley Reese.

Still more from ‘Nevski’.

And from Joshua Snyder in honour of the recent anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising:

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership

As the Catholic faith teaches, this blog is for peace but not pacifist.

Also from LRC:
The government school system is finally beginning to realize its original mission: to knock off [Roman] Catholic schools. The nuns and brothers had fought the good fight for 150 years. Without reinforcements, Catholic schools, with one-half of all private school students, are in deep trouble.
James Ostrowski

True but, though never perfect, the RC system also shot itself in the foot.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Abortion and subsidiarity
From Rod Dreher
England then and now
It was a multinational state, though not a multicultural one. It was a profoundly Christian society, in which religion was part of the language, of the state and of daily life in a way quite unique in Europe. It was a hierarchical country, in which people understood authority and respected it without grovelling to it, for it was also a society of individuals, nonconformists, dissenters, troublemakers, grumblers--self-reliant, given to banding together in unions, friendly societies and clubs, believing in law, but devoted to fairness. It was an educated, literate country with a strong musical tradition. Through its great literature, its verse and its hymns it had obtained an idea of itself that was comforting and powerful. It believed in the family and the home, that great zone of private life in which the state has no business.

... The breakdown has indeed been comprehensive.
— Peter Hitchens

The photo comes from here: A modified Prayer Book service with English Use ceremonial in a mediæval parish church... done by Orthodox: Drake Adams, crucifer; Michael Astley and Fr Barry Jefferies.

The Great Change
We all know it happened. Most who have thought about it have given it names and attempted to date it, trace its philosophical ancestry. I have sometimes called it The Asteroid, in reference to the massive change of all life on earth that was supposedly brought about at the end of the age of the dinosaurs. A change so radical, so deeply rooted, so all-encompassing, that the world of our grandparents is more alien to us than the world of tenth-century Germany would have been to Jane Austen.

It is this Before Time to which I am referring, half unconsciously, when I talk about a restoration of the traditional society. But we are all children of the Changed World. How can we ever internalize its lost presuppositions? I think we cannot, but we can rebuild what we are able to rebuild for those who come after us.
From Hilary White who has left blogging at least for now.

Of course I know what she means: it’s what friend Paul Goings calls ‘the end of the world’; the man who’s been my father confessor for 11 years went through electroshock treatments at the time because of it. Thanks to an accident of birth and circumstance I can claim to have experienced the Before Time in some ways up to 10 years after the big event and so in religion am both pre-modern naturally and pre-modern by choice, likewise part of the Changed World.
Jeff Culbreath returns to blogging... again
Good to have you back, old friend
Censoring the whole blogosphere is a bad idea
The Revd James Konicki understands
Three gems from Joshua Snyder
Peacenik prophets
In fact, the Hebrew prophets were the precursors of the Christian critique of conquest. While the Church has never advocated outright pacifism, beginning with St Augustine it has developed increasingly strict criteria by which to judge the causes and conduct of war.
From the top-drawer site of Taki, with whom I agree that the world would have been a better place if Austria had won World War I.

Anti-war elders
From Eunomia
Forty-eight percent of Americans 18 to 29 years old said the United States did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, while 45 percent said the United States should have stayed out. That is in sharp contrast to the opinions of those 65 and older, who have lived through many other wars. Twenty eight percent of that age group said the United States did the right thing, while 67 percent said the United States should have stayed out.
Virginia Tech was not a tragedy
In a tragedy like Oedipus or Macbeth, a basically great man, trusting in his own abilities, deludes himself into making self-destructive decisions. Flaws in his character lead him first to arrogance and then down the path of folly and ruin. Tragedies make sense of the human world, while these pointless murders seem to reveal a world that makes no sense. In calling them tragedies, we are essentially saying that human existence is pointless.
— Dr Thomas Fleming

Reminds me of this list of solecisms via LRC: the kind of things I try to keep from appearing in print as part of my job.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Warsaw ghetto uprising... and bad trips
In praise of the Swiss. From the LRC blog.
‘Fluffya’ violates religious liberty
Reminiscent of the SOR row in the UK. Of course homosexuals have the right to be wrong and to be left in peace as long as what they do is not a public health hazard. One even has the right to make a fool of oneself by flying a flag on one’s own property to tell strangers how one likes to reach orgasm.

What’s wrong here is the city government probably is using money got through taxes from Catholics and others who don’t want to advertise a sin and doing just that.
Hooray for the partial-birth abortion ban
The US Supreme Court seems to have done the right thing. It’s a human-rights issue for the unborn; ‘church and state’ is nothing to do with it. Just like there are laws against murdering the already born like what happened at Virginia Tech. Both kinds of killing violate the harm principle of libertarianism. Your freedom ends where the baby’s begins.

The anti-child and anti-man reactions from parts of the left are, as they like to say, ‘chilling’.

Update: Often these things are too good to be true. The Discalced Yooper thinks so. From The Western Confucian.
Eliminating the God of the Gaps to make room for God himself
Most sound Catholic commentators over the past two hundred years have argued strenuously that there can be no intrinsic quarrel between faith and reason, or between religion and science. The chief problems have arisen because many scientists mistakenly believe — on the basis of unrecognized philosophical preconceptions — either that a mechanistic knowledge of nature is the only kind of knowledge possible, or that an explanation of how things work in a mechanical sense somehow eliminates the idea of teleology (that is, a consideration of nature’s design and purpose).
As I touched upon earlier...

From Logos.
One of the 20th century’s many calamitous stupid ideas was the glorification of the teenager
Boomer entitlement:
Generation Narcissus still have not recovered from their senseless deification at the hands of a bunch of merchandisers and sentimental sob sisters. They still talk as though history begins and ends with them, as though the world is their supermarket, and as though they were the discoverers of both sex and morality.
Mark Shea via The Western Confucian
Adolescence is only a marketing campaign!
— Frances McDormand at the beginning of Almost Famous

Reminds me of this earlier entry quoting Drake Adams.

That said I like the emphasis on fitness today and that middle-aged people often no longer look old.
Russell Kirk, Bohemian Tory
From Rod Dreher

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

‘Get rid of the cross or we will burn your churches’
More ‘what Bush hath wrought’, or ‘you could practise Christianity in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq unlike today’, or ‘the “Christian right” hates Christian Arabs’
While stationed in Iraq I always wondered why the US presence there completely ignored the existence of the indigenous Christians. Once I asked the RC chaplain at Abu Ghraib about this and said he should maybe invite a Chaldean priest sometime but got a blank stare.
— From byzcath
The devil’s dictionary of war in Iraq
Five blogs that make me think
Chris Tessone gave me this honour (thanks) and asked me to pass it on. That’s a tough one as there are so many good ones, too many to keep up with regularly even with Firefox’s wonderful live bookmarks for RSS feeds!

Some of the most formative sites I read (LRC for example) are not blogs.

Well, here’s a list off the top of my head:
Taking God’s name in vain
Forwarded e-mail from some Protestant religious-right person:
A mother asked President Bush,
"Why did my son have to die in Iraq?"

Another mother asked President Kennedy
"Why did my son have to die in Viet Nam?"


Then long, long ago, a mother asked...
"Heavenly Father, why did my Son have to die
on a cross outside of Jerusalem?"

The answers to all these are similar --

"So that others may have life and dwell in peace, happiness and freedom."
You mean like in Iraq now?
If it could stop them killing more Iraqis I would.

More to the point the state doesn’t care about these soldiers. Support them by bringing them home. Now.
Fun with 419 spam
I am writting you this letter with due respect and heart full of ears.
Sounds like something Bosch or Dalí painted!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Some heavyweights weigh in on the neocons
From The Western Confucian
The ‘Christian right’ hates Christian Arabs
From LRC
Diagnosis: decline
Theodore Dalrymple on ‘reality TV’ (which I imagine is cheaper to make than actual television plays) and Mr Blair’s attacks on freedom. An ‘O tempora!’ article that’s true. From fides et ardor.
US: National Impeachment Day
28th April
Six weird things about yourself
This is being passed around the blogs. I was tagged by Tripp (thanks!).

For me it’s not fair. Eccentricities define young fogeyhood so I’ve got to narrow it far down to have only six!

Here’s a more amusing seventh one.

Tagging The Western Confucian, Chris Tessone, Arturo Vásquez, welkodox (you can use the comments-box for this), lukacs (likewise) and anybody else who’d like to play.
The Virginia Tech killings and TV news coverage
  • Fidelium animæ per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. Amen.
  • The BBC for example would have a good newsreader, old-school in the best way with gravitas and objectivity appropriate for just about any story including this one. Rather like a priest celebrating a Requiem, not trying to push your emotions with every word.
  • In the States you get hit in the face with a wet towel: repetitive images, intrusive music... the news as melodrama. Don’t try to force me to feel what you want me to. Good writers let the story tell itself.
  • In old films and video I see that American newsreaders like Walter Cronkite (announcing JFK’s death for example; his subtlety said exactly enough) and John Chancellor were like that (and more recently the Canadian Robert MacNeil, who used to work for the Beeb — saw him recently present a documentary on the history of radical Muslim groups, how Osama bin Laden got started; MacNeil’s ace in person as well).

Monday, April 16, 2007

The nor’easter
Yes, outside ‘Fluffya’ and miles away in the small town where I work there is snow on the ground eight days after Easter! Where I live, in crumbling Edwardian splendour, my bed is surrounded by windows on three sides; it was fun to hear the gale-force winds howling. Deo gratias, AFAIK nobody was hurt but lots of trees were knocked into roads and took down power lines with them.

I usually don’t drive to work; going by rail is more relaxing, from the Frank Furness-designed station in the next town to the huge Mussolini-esque 1930s one in the city and then out to work.

Not so today. What usually is a 90-minute ride ended up a 3 1/2-hour drive with lots of standstills and diversions to burn up ever more expensive fuel (which hasn’t reached European prices but still).
Oh, joy unbounded...
So if my postings so far today have an edge to them that’s partly why.
Much ado about little
The row over a radio announcer who probably deserved his sacking for making a racialist remark on the air. The state should and did stay out of it but it was his employer’s business. From LRC.

A common conservative refrain now is that some blacks talking about other blacks are even worse than him and of course get away with it: Snoop Dogg for example.

Again to give VDARE some credit:

The no-man’s-land of the white comedian

In other news people are still being hurt and killed for no reason in Iraq and both sides of the aisle in America are making noises about attacking Iran but what’s that compared to a ex-radio announcer I’ve never heard?
Telling God to sit at the back of the bus
Or the secular world, in this case some rich, ‘entitled’ hipsters, once again tries to tell Christians what to do: ‘Hey, how about a gay black church? I mean, God and all that are so much fun to have around, because they, like, make people feel good. As long as he knows his place. Spirituality not religion. I call the shots.’

Not like at those ‘uptight’ real black churches like the beautiful red-brick Gothic Seventh-Day Adventist chapel across the street from my house or the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), a Pentecostal denomination with lots of churches in ‘Fluffya’. (The COGIC bishop, who sometimes dresses like an Anglican one in choir habit, rochet, chimere, scarf and all, is sound as a pound on the beliefs taught in the creeds and as against Mr Bush and his minders’ war as I am.)
Some believers proclaim that in Leviticus 18:22 God condemns all gay people to hell. The scripture reads: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”
That’s a theology I’ve never heard from any Catholic, Ms Gregory. The scripture is right but nobody on earth knows who is going to hell and indeed one can hope there are no people there. One has to believe in the terrifying possibility though. Some acts (mortal sin as we say — Roman Catholic moral theology is the gold standard), like murder, risk it but any Christians with a rudimentary education, like I imagine you can get from COGIC, can tell you that in the end we commend all to the infinite love and mercy of God. (It seems you didn’t bother to ask them.)

Might the really loving thing to do be the spiritual work of mercy of instructing the ignorant that unnatural, unhygienic practices spread deadly diseases so it’s best not to do them... rather than enabling and approving this risky behaviour? Responsibility for one’s actions: that’s maturity and entirely Christian no matter the melanin content of one’s skin or the preaching and ‘praise’ style of one’s culture.

If it’s not a public health hazard one’s sex life is none of the state’s business.
Trying to restore ancient rights
David Holford reports:
When Americans know about my background as a lawyer and my domicile in the UK, they frequently tell me how important Magna Carta is and operate under the impression that it is still valid law. They have no idea that virtually the entire charter has been repealed.
The reasons given for the American war of independence ended up the same way.

English religious liberty under threat
The SOR row as reported by the RC press
Websites tracking deaths in Iraq

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Easter in Rome
With the Fraternity of St Peter along with our own John Boyden — the thurifer, kneeling at the epistle side, the third one down next to the altar rail — at the Easter High Mass at St Gregory’s (baroque perfection); click the photo to get a better view. From FSSP in Vrbe.

The Pope’s Easter address
Benedict 1, Bush nil
In the Middle East, besides some signs of hope in the dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian authority, nothing positive comes from Iraq, torn apart by continual slaughter as the civil population flees.
Lord, in thy mercy: hear our prayer.

P.S. Wishing the Holy Father a very happy 80th birthday. Feeling a bit like the 1923 Anglo-Catholic Congress I sent a message for this blog.
Some fun for Low Sunday

Evil Easter Bunny judges you!

Also, now that friend John Treat has resurrected his website:

Pray tell me what’s a Puseyite?
What Anglo-Catholics looked like to Protestant enemies in the mid-1800s
Voracious as a book-worm is this antiquarian man.
The Fathers is his text book, the Canons is his law.
He's mighty in the Rubrics and well up on the creeds...
The emphasis on the Fathers explains some Catholics’ gravitation to (Western Rite) Orthodoxy.
But he only quotes the "Articles" just as they suit his needs
... He's only for the bishop when the bishop is for him.
‘Not unto us, Lord, not unto us’ but larger church (past and present) > everything else.
The Bible is to him almost a sealed book
Reserve is on his lips and a mystery in his look.
Which explains the less than perfect score I got on this Internet quiz.

(As for Dr Pusey he was Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford.)
The Sacramental system is the lamp to illumine his night!
... Each saint upon the calendar he knows by heart at least;
He always dates his letters on a vigil or a feast.
‘I believe in the Holy Ghost; The holy Catholick Church; The communion of Saints...’

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards are not peace candidates
None will rule out attacking (including nuking*) Iran, something MoveOn apparently lies about in Mrs Clinton’s case.

I imagine that like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi they think they’re beholden to the Israel lobby, which of course the Protestant religious right, and the pols playing them, on the other side of the aisle also serve for their own barmy dispensationalist reasons.


*LRC’s Fr Emmanuel McCarthy (who’s fallible but makes some good points) talks to Fr George Zabelka, who in the US Army served the men who dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and later regretted it. Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, the late head of the Holy Office and defender of the Roman Mass, wanted Rome to condemn the use of nuclear weapons.
Green Zone down
Mr Bush moves to make Baghdad a prison. Echoes of Saigon (what eventually will happen there) and perhaps the West Bank and Warsaw. Yankee, go home. Now.

From LRC.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Byzantine Rite
Bright Friday: Feast of the Mother of God, the Life-Giving Font
S a life-giving fount, thou didst conceive the Dew that is transcendent in essence, O Virgin Maid, and thou hast welled forth for our sakes the nectar of joy eternal, which doth pour forth from thy fount with the water that springeth up unto everlasting life in unending and mighty streams; wherein, taking delight, we all cry out: Rejoice, O thou Spring of life for all men.
A reading from Basil of Seleucia
HE grace of the Spirit works in a mysterious way in the font, and the outward appearance must not obscure the wonder of it. Although water serves as the instrument, it is grace which gives rebirth...