Sunday, September 30, 2007

Quick question for Episcopalians
If what these chaps are setting out to do is schism, how’s it different to what Henry VIII did? That was a schism but not a problem in Anglican terms because Anglicanism doesn’t claim to be the one true church, so the parts after the split remained ‘the church’. So, theoretical questions about American state laws aside, why can’t whole dioceses break away like the King separated the ones in his realm from the Pope?

Now if the property was supposed to be held in trust for the larger church...

If one wants to be consistent the Church of England could unload falling-apart Canterbury Cathedral on the poor unsuspecting Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. :)

But seriously...

And as the experience of the Continuing Churches seems to show, and Protestantism for that matter (how many thousands of denominations are there? ...note to self: the Bible is not self-interpreting), with schism, once you start, you can’t stop.

Rome and Orthodoxy have their splinters (traditionalists, Old Catholics, vagantes, Orthodox nationalist and true-believer schisms) but not this fissiparity.

Some history
From Fr Mark Clavier at Covenant

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Note to a woman starting to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy
What Rob said

Reminds me of C.S. Lewis’s Letters to an American Lady, an Episcopalian who’d just crossed the Tiber when they started corresponding in the 1950s. He wrote that the people in the centre of their respective traditions are closer to each other than the (loud — my addition) people on the fringes.

Yes, I look like I’m in fancy dress. I’ve had that hat for 15 years; I am ready for north-eastern American winters. Even walked long distances with it in woods and fields like in Dr Zhivago. And yes, I’m striking a pose; the hat and not smiling go together as Huw and Tripp note.
‘No, Tridentine Missal.
American: ‘Trident missiles?’
St Euphemia
Today’s old-calendar Orthodox saint. What a beautiful Greek name: it means literally the opposite of ‘blasphemy’.
OU were tied to wheels and torn apart by wild animals, and went through water and fire. Strengthened by the Holy Spirit, you courageously strangled the leader of darkness. By the shedding of your blood, you entered the spiritual bridal chamber of your Bridegroom. O virgin, you offered up your sufferings as a dowry.

AVING blossomed through good deeds and having been enlightened through meditation, you pour out myrrh into the hearts of the faithful. You glistened from the east like a bright star, and you brought about an assembly of the holy fathers through the coming of the Holy Spirit. O glorious Euphemia, pray to the Lord for the salvation of our souls.
— From the stichera at Vespers

Orthodoxy’s unique contribution to my religious understanding is its view of images: icons.
Another Anglican crosses a river
My comment, another, still another* and I like this one:
"Welcome Home" seems to have become the equivalent of shouting "scoreboard!" while spiking the football with one hand and pointing at the opposing bench with the other.
Protestantism was a mistake or at best a ‘reform’ movement within Western Catholicism (as good high-church Lutherans believe).

Likewise Anglicanism was only supposed to be at most the part of the Catholic Church that happened to be in England, or existing only provisionally until reunion with the larger Catholic world.

It was still our home though.


Reacting to this...

Conservative American Anglican groups (and the Reformed Episcopal Church), a lot as diverse as their liberal opposite number, are making their next move (more here and here)
If the Church of England were to fail, it would be found in my parish.
— John Keble

How long can old-school middle-stump and even Catholic parishes officially not taking sides keep flying under the radar as Episcopalians? Well, I’m not a betting man.

A reminder that most of these conservatives are Protestants
Reminds me of my distinction between two kinds of Catholics. Pageantry without sound doctrine or sound moral teaching is what happens when the second kind, my kind, goes wrong. Abusus non tollit usum.


From Catholics literally struggling to survive in Palestine (harassed by Israelis every day and forced by them to live in bantustans) and Iraq (shot at and bombed, fleeing the Muslim onslaught Bush’s invasion unleashed, leaving their ancestral home) to Episcopalians dealing with life’s ups and downs (sometimes very big ones indeed), from Chicago to Big Sky Country...

Life goes on.

The name Michael signifies ‘Who is like to God?’ and was the war cry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against Satan and his followers.

O EVERLASTING God, who hast ordained and constituted the services of Angels and men in a wonderful order; Mercifully grant, that as thy holy Angels alway do thee service in heaven, so by thy appointment they may succour and defend us on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

SAINT Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the divine power thrust into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who roam through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

AN innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of the just; — we dwell under their shadow; we are baptized into their fellowship; we are allotted their guardianship; we are remembered, as we trust, in their prayers. We dwell in the very presence and court of God himself, and of his eternal Son our Savior, who died for us, and rose again, and now intercedes for us before the throne. We have privileges surely far greater than Elisha's; but of the same kind. Angels are among us, and are powerful to do anything. And they do wonders for the believing, which the world knows nothing about. According to our faith, so it is done unto us. Only believe, and all things are ours. We shall have clear and deeply-seeded convictions in our minds of the reality of the invisible world, though we cannot communicate them to others, or explain how we come to have them.
— John Henry Newman

*I dare say I’ll never be quoted on EWTN’s ‘The Journey Home’ or in Again magazine, which is fine with me.

Friday, September 28, 2007

How Lincoln ethnically cleansed Minnesota
From The Western Confucian
Eunomia on Burma
For once, we seem to be seeing a spontaneous, non-Sorosian popular uprising. We can tell the difference between the fake and the genuine article right away – in Burma there is not an officially approved and media-anointed oligarch waiting to take power as “leader of glorious revolution.” Despite some attempts to dub this the “saffron revolution,” because of the colour of the monks’ robes, it has not become the Saffron Revolution in media reporting in the same way that the non-revolutions elsewhere became endorsed movements complete with capitalised names. Unlike the generally fraudulent “colour” revolutions (each one of which has been shown to be nothing of the kind), the monks have evidently not developed a media strategy, have not been influenced by meddling NGOs or co-opted by foreign money. It does not seem to be stage-managed and pre-fabricated for Western media consumption. The lack of organisation and coordination among Western and other democracies suggests that the events have actually taken them by surprise, rather than being rolled out like a new consumer product. Unlike in Kyrgyzstan, this uprising does not seem to be an attempt to displace one clan with another.
And from the land of my favourite wine
One wonders if what Mr. Bush thinks of the tide turning against his poster boy in the Caucasus, Mr. Saakashvili.
Blood Diamond

Essentially a romantic adventure story with politics in the background--an old-fashioned movie, I suppose, but exciting and stunningly well made.

...starring Leonardo DiCaprio; a very nice lady with dark hair and blue eyes; and that big black dude who seems to have taken over from Morgan Freeman as Hollywood central casting's trusty African sidekick (I think he was Russ's buddy in
Gladiator). We have the upright honest villager trying to reunite himself with the family torn from him by the civil war in Sierra Leone (that's the African guy); hard-bitten soldier of fortune who's supposedly only in it for the money, but turns out to have a heart of gold (our Leo); and the cynical journo who wants to make a difference (the hot chick). (Tony Park)

For its flaws, Blood Diamond is a gem, if only for being an unusually smart, engaged popcorn flick.

...the movie doesn't have a single narrative surprise--you always know where it's going and why, commercially speaking, it's going there.

Blood Diamond is, in the vernacular of Old Hollywood, a rip-roaring adventure, the kind made in the ’30s with Clark Gable and the handiest leading lady on contract at MGM.

Blood Diamond is a by-the-numbers message picture, to be sure... But the director, Edward Zwick, is craftsman enough that the pace never slackens, the chase scenes thrill, and the battle scenes sicken. And if it makes viewers think twice about buying their sweethearts that hard-won hunk of ice for Christmas, so much the better.

There's no use griping about the superfluous white-on-white romance that generates so much dead space in Zwick's movie
[true but it’s not overdone], for without it Blood Diamond would never have been made. Which would be a pity, for as liberal hand-wringing goes, it's a winner.

...a Bogart-esque reluctant hero.
[It even pinches, but tweaks, the airport scene with Rick and Ilsa.] entry in the advocacy-entertainment genre, in which glamorous movie stars bring our attention to the plight of the less fortunate.

...part action film, part buddy movie, part love story, part political tract.

It's like watching
The Treasure of Sierra Madre as remade by "Nightline."

...the film should have ended with the phone call on the mountain. I don't want to spoil the movie for those who haven't seen it, and those who have will recognize the scene of which I speak. Everything after that feels like an afterthought just mashed in any old way and really detracts from the power of that scene.
Reasons not to go to Starbucks
Miguel José Ernst brought this to my attention after I blogged the news of Joni Mitchell pushing her unoriginal anti-Romanism there. Not only do they work for the state of Israel; there’s this:
Starbucks fully supports Bush’s war of terror and has opened a Starbucks in Afghanistan for the US invaders — they like to do their bit to help the occupation.
So even well-meaning supporters of Israel who stand with me on Iraq have a reason to go somewhere else.

More from Ernst on Zionist racism and anti-Christian persecution
My father confessor lived in Jerusalem for a year and can tell you what the Israelis think of Christians

I interpret St Pius X’s opinion not as a green light to persecute Jews, which wasn’t what he meant, but rather the authentic Catholic position, opposed to dispensationalist nonsense, that the Jews have no more religious claim to Palestine and only Catholicism has the fulness of truth.
We are spiritual Semites.
— Pope Pius XI answering Nazism, which wanted ultimately to get rid of Christianity because it is a Semitic religion

The world would have been a better place if the Central Powers had won World War I and the place remained a distant province of Turkey.

News from the Lebanon
What is the church?
By Fr John Fenton

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Joni Mitchell and Starbucks: it’s still hip to hate Rome (more)
I almost didn’t blog this as it’s so minor and I didn’t want to fall into chic self-pity like the victimhood of the Episcopal left (much of which hates Rome as much as Joni does — BTW she’s an ex-Protestant) or the ‘O tempora!’, Chicken Little hysterics of some conservative Christians including conservative RCs. That said:
  • I’m disappointed because I am a fan. Joni Mitchell is so much more than people think (the hippy chick strumming a guitar singing about paving paradise and putting up a parking lot). In the first 10 years of her songwriting and recording career she made about six phenomenal albums. For ‘Woodstock’ (redone very differently by Crosby, Stills and Nash) or the title track of Blue alone I’d give her the house in Bel Air where she lives.
  • To get a bit nasty I understand she hasn’t recorded a saleable or perhaps really listenable album in 30 years because...
  • She’s strange: famously temperamental and difficult like the stereotype of the tortured artist. (Steve Shack once told me about meeting her at a gig, chain-smoking backstage not talking to anybody before her set.)
  • Didn’t she say a few years ago she was quitting the music biz (because it disgusted her) and focusing on her painting? Not the comeback one might have wanted.
  • Based on what little I know it seems like a throwaway line.
  • But the alarmists are right that no other group except, possibly, conservative Protestants could be treated like this with impunity. (Imagine a veteran folk singer throwing in a line disparaging Judaism.)
  • Form some balance here’s an interview the likewise sharp — and funny (met her) — Camille Paglia did with her two years ago.
  • The Onion gets the last word: ‘I can download Starbucks music on my iPhone while ordering a latte and talking on a conference call? Wow, I've hit the douchebag trifecta!’
At first I had no idea what the line is supposed to mean. I think she’s referring to the Magdalene laundries that used to be in Ireland, run by nuns for unwed mothers, and Peter Mullan’s film supposedly about them. I saw it and was horrified. But no less a pundit than Frederica Mathewes-Greene, not sympathetic to (nor particularly knowledgeable about) Western Catholicism herself, pointed out the film’s distortions (four composite characters in a few years had done to them nearly all the atrocities committed by the nuns in the laundries over about 100 years).
An enduring relationship

How Bush became the new Hussein

From Wendy McElroy.
Liberal Catholicism and the late Fr Godfrey Diekmann
It all depends on what you mean by ‘liberal’

In historical terms I’m a liberal Catholic (!) or rather a Catholic with classically liberal political and economic views unlike the well-meant socialism of theologically orthodox people like the Anglo-Catholic slum priests and Dorothy Day... or of the religious left like Jim Wallis today (‘let’s stop the state in Iraq but keep the almighty state to fix all domestic social and personal evils’... because ‘we know what’s good for you’).

My liberalism: economics, the sciences and so on are autonomous (the true sense of mater, sì, magistra, no, or there’s no such such thing as Catholic physics different to ordinary physics) — I’m not a theocrat (religious liberty is good — the truth has nothing to fear and the church can best flourish this way) — and theological and liturgical conservatism. They’re not mutually exclusive.

(Theologically ‘conservative Catholicism’ is redundant and ‘liberal’ doesn’t apply: the Trinity, apostolic ministry, Real Presence and morals aren’t up for a vote. Like a woman can’t be ‘sort of pregnant’ they either are or are not.)

As long as they were reined in by the pre-conciliar church (which is broader in the good sense and deeper than the RC traditionalist movement today) men like him could and did do much good: social justice (Catholic Action), the legitimate liturgical movement...

Cut loose from that they were a disaster.

A story about the man.

Twenty-two years ago a liberal RC priest who knew the old ways (one of the old men who destroyed everything) boasted to me that ‘20 years from now the church will be completely different’.

It didn’t happen really but there are signs it may... in a way opposite to what he meant! His and this man’s confidence is being proved wrong.

They managed to give RCs the worst not the best lessons from Protestantism turning most of them into indifferent mainliners.

(They probably didn’t know mainline Protestantism would be dying either.)

Meanwhile the kids are trying to rebuild what these old men tore down: witness the motu. (If it were only about nostalgic old people the Pope wouldn’t have bothered.) And the Orthodox convert boomlet among Protestants (they would have been yesterday’s Anglicans) in the generations in between.
Stephen Fry has a blog
Writer, actor and apostle of camp... and Apple products from which I apostasised eight years ago. Anybody who quotes the Prayer Book in his blog and the title of his autobiography gets a biretta tip.
Let them eat tofu
Environmentalism as a substitute religion for rich liberals
...not only does it offer well-off socialists in the west a salve for their consciences, due to extravagant living, by shaking them down for donations, the money is then used to dissuade (apparently through "lateral thinking," a pensive activity I confess I am not familiar with but assume is akin to re-education) the foolish notions of impoverished but uppity wogs they, too, can use use CO2-producing machinery to ease somewhat their grinding existences.
I believe in conservation but...

From The Bovina Bloviator.
Sergeant Kokesh goes to Washington
A blog from a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War
I believe if we had, and would, keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-crooked fingers out of the business of these nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own...not one crammed down their throats by the Americans.
— Retired Gen. David Shoup, former commandant of the US Marine Corps, about the escalating war in Vietnam, May 1966

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Judge rules two parts of Patriot Act unconstitutional
Gaudent angeli. From Brian Underwood.
Infantile nation
Does this generation possess the gravitas to lead the world?

Considering the hysteria that greeted the request of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to lay a wreath at Ground Zero, the answer is no.

But Libya was a "state sponsor of terror," and Col. Ghadafi was responsible for Pan Am 103, the Lockerbie massacre of school kids coming home for Christmas. And President Bush secretly negotiated a renewal of relations in return for Ghadafi giving up his nuclear program and compensating the families of the victims of that atrocity.

Richard Nixon went to Moscow and concluded strategic arms agreements while Moscow was the arms supplier of the enemy we were fighting in Vietnam that used, at Hue, mass murder as a war tactic.

Nixon went to Beijing to toast Mao Zedong, the greatest mass murderer in history...

In 1959, President Eisenhower rode up Pennsylvania Avenue in an open convertible with Nikita Khrushchev, Stalin's
gauleiter in Ukraine, who, three years before his tour of the United States, had sent tanks into Budapest to butcher the patriots of the Hungarian Revolution.

What has Ahmadinejad done to rival these monsters?
The man would like to get rid of the Israeli régime as would I.

This just in: ‘It’s the plain meaning of scripture: God is really an upper-middle-class liberal like us’
The gospel according to Fr Thomas Woodward. Who knew?

Not the Pope, who’s been a doctor of theology since 1953. How’d that get past him?
Give peace in our time, O Lord
Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.

Hell itself is unleashed in times of war, and there is only one way to fight Hell and that is through divine intervention. We must turn to God in our quest for peace, since no one else is powerful enough to stop war. Nor were the Christians under the illusion that governments can bring peace or that governments are truly fighting for us. Not governments, not soldiers, not politicians – only God serves the interest of peace and is powerful enough to put an end to the madness.

O put not your trust in princes, nor in any child of man : for there is no help in them.
From LRC.

In the news from The Western Confucian:

Open challenge: in Burma, Buddhist monks march against the armoured tanks and threats of the military junta
The Dalai Lama has also expressed his solidarity with the monks.
A thought from Eunomia

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

On the race row in Jena, Louisiana
And the preferential treatment given to celebrity athletes

More from Rod Dreher
Archbishop Vsevolod has leukæmia
I met him once nine years ago: a Ukrainian born in Poland with a marvellous bass voice, a gentleman grounded in his tradition and, because he had nothing to prove, utterly devoid of the anti-Westernism that mars so much Orthodox witness. Authentically Catholic.

He has served the Divine Liturgy (celebrated Mass) in the crypt of St Peter’s Basilica.
For travellers by sea, by land, and by air; for the sick and suffering; for captives and their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.
Contracepted joy
Pig heaven for a certain kind of man marketed as empowerment for women. Not only is it a big lie about reality/the nature of things; it leaves a lot of people pretty miserable. From The Western Confucian.
The bird is the word
The Episcopal row: once again MCJ describes the thing

Affected victimhood
And people in unfashionable churches who have real problems
Libertarianism and Christianity
Not wanting to fall into the trap that C.S. Lewis described as preaching ‘Christianity and...’
Andrew Sullivan has the following response to a correspondent who suggests that Jesus is a Libertarian:

"Jesus has no politics. He has a message of individual salvation. No political system is necessary for it; none can ultimately prevent it."

I agree with Sullivan's point that Christ stands above and apart from any political agenda, including my own. However, I would also submit that a free society is one which gives people the greatest ability to live as Jesus instructed.
From the LRC blog.
Ken Burns’ war docuganda
From LRC

Monday, September 24, 2007

Rediscovering auricular confession
A second baptism (giving back sacramental, sanctifying grace when it’s been lost through sin) or as Fulton Sheen once called it psychoanalysis on its knees. Fr Peter Gillquist talked about this Wall Street Journal article last night and among the topics the host priest and I discussed were mortal and venial sin (or how I examine my conscience) and (his contribution) confession as talking about sinful areas in one’s life (they’re not mutually exclusive) and not trying to cover every commission of sin. As the article says Lutheranism has confession/absolution but it’s been neglected there — Martin Luther believed in and continued to practise it, stopping short of counting it as a sacrament.

Another observation from Fr Peter: even 20 years after the convert boomlet began most Westerners don’t know who the Orthodox are. If/when that changes they’ll (my addition in italics) change from being perceived as cute, quaint ethnics who paint pretty religious pictures but aren’t taken seriously to being hated by ‘post-Christian’ (I hate that expression — makes Jesus sound like a fraud) mainstream society as much as Rome and conservative Protestantism are now. (It already hates Russians thanks to the Cold War preceded by an old bias considering them backward.)

From GetReligion.
The pro-death foreign policy of pro-life activists
From LRC
The author of both Alma Redemptoris Mater and Salve Regina
Blessed Herman the Cripple

On orthodoxy and charity
That is, tolerant conservatism. John Mallon writes:
There is no conflict between right doctrine and loving pastoral practice, only between right doctrine and bad pastors.

Unfortunately, as another of my theology professors used to say, “In the Church, every reaction is an over-reaction.”

In an overly feminized Church there are some reactionaries who behave as if they have an extra “Y” chromosome.

Thus, within what would otherwise be the orthodox camp, the spirit of Christian love can sometimes be hard to find. This is a tragedy, because there is nothing more orthodox than love, properly understood, and nothing discredits the Christian witness more than the lack of charity.
From The Western Confucian.
The end of the American century

The great bourgeois sexual revolution

Capitalism’s ‘success ended up making the world safe for the secular, hedonistic values of Aquarius’

Put bluntly, ‘hey, Yoko, imagine there’s no royalties’. It’s easy if you try.

From The Western Confucian.
  • +Rio Grande is resigning and going to Rome. The Protestant majority at Stand Firm are like Queen Victoria both in their no-popery and their not being amused. (Most of the conservative side in the Episcopal row is of the Protestant persuasion.) I knew Dr Steenson before he became a bishop and the only surprising thing really, based on his long-held beliefs and feelings (which I thought he’d given up but I could have been wrong), is it’s taken him this long. Culturally he’s quintessentially Anglican though which may be why. He’s a gentleman.
  • The Orthodox convert boomlet firsthand. Last night I heard and met Fr Peter Gillquist of Orthodox-convert fame. (Long story short: parallelling Anglo-Catholicism, and much like the Charismatic Episcopal Church more recently, he and a group of other unchurched conservative Protestants read the Church Fathers on their own and based on that unprotestantised and started their own church; most of his group became Orthodox about 20 years ago.) Challenged him publicly but politely on many Orthodox changing the faith on contraception (which undermines the claim that ‘we haven’t changed nor do we follow trends’) and he didn’t really answer me. He said ‘it just doesn’t come up’ then retreated into condemning abortion and Protestant theological liberalism — his ‘sales pitch’ (he used to be in advertising). The host priest and I later had a long, lively but friendly discussion on it. (He was born Reformed and I think retains some anti-Romanism from the larger Anglo-American culture but he argued well.) Nice men, both — Fr Peter’s conversion story both to Christ in the late 1950s American Mid-West and to catholic, apostolic Christianity are moving. His presentation was mostly positive. He did not bash Rome although of course he disagrees on some points (the scope of the Pope for example). He also made the good point that the main mission of the church is to preach the gospel not be sucked into culture-wars battles (preaching ‘Christianity and...’ as C.S. Lewis warned). Seeing this 6-foot-4, clean-shaven ethnic Swede in a black cassock preaching essentially the Catholic religion was like going back in time to the biretta belt.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

An earful of truth for ‘values voters’ from Ron Paul
I get to my God through Christ. Christ to me is a man of peace. He is for peace. He is not for war... I strongly believe that there is a Christian doctrine of just war, and I believe the nation has drifted from that. No matter what the rationales are, we have drifted from that, and it's very, very dangerous. And I see it in many ways being un-Christian.

Christ is for love and forgiveness and turning the other cheek, for peace. And to justify what we do in the name of Christianity, I think, is very dangerous and not part of what Christianity is all about. Christ came for spiritual reasons, not secular war and boundaries and geography. And yet we are now dedicating so much of our aggressive activity in the name of God... he is the prince of peace. That is what I see from my God and through Christ. I vote for peace.
From the LRC blog.
Alternative episcopal oversight that failed
Next week will be the centenary of the coming of Bishop Stephen (Soter Ortynsky) to America from old Austrian/Polish Galicia (in the Ukraine). In a way it was having a ‘flying bishop’ (if there had been airlines) but for issues (except the big one about the scope of the Pope and even that was more an excuse than a real reason) not really about religion and nothing to do with a difference in morals (unlike the Episcopal row today).

It happened here in Pennsylvania (a week from today the Ukrainian Catholics will have a special service at their cathedral in Philadelphia where his tomb is).

St Tikhon (far right) with the Bishop of Fond du Lac (centre) and a Polish Old Catholic bishop (far left) at the consecration of Fond du Lac’s cathedral

Essentially he was sent to do damage control after the ham-handed treatment of immigrant Ruthenian and Galician Greek Catholic coal miners and steelworkers by the resident Irish clergy drove many of them to their East Slav cousins of the same rite in the Russian Orthodox dioceses under Archbishop St Tikhon (Bellavin): the Toth split. (Today about 60 per cent of parishioners in those old Russian dioceses are Ruthenians and Galicians not Russians.)

Alexis Toth

After the Roman-Byzantine estrangement in the Middle Ages these people were Orthodox but went under Rome during long periods of Polish and Austrian rule. (The Galicians were trying to stop Polish persecution; the Ruthenians sought protection from the Protestantism of their local rulers.)

Pictures of Ortynsky show how self-latinised Ukrainian Catholics had become (against Rome’s wishes) — clean-shaven (he had a beard at first) and in a mixture of Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox choir dress.

Other than the competition for jobs a reason the Irish hated these East Slavs was simple prejudice/ignorance: for example unlike in the Roman Rite the East Slavs retained the Orthodox practice of ordaining married men. The year Ortynsky came Rome issued its first ban on the practice in North America. Enforcement beginning in 1929 started another schism, this time to the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Anyway his mission was a failure really: the local Roman bishops limited what he could do and as for the Galicians and Ruthenians in many cases that horse had run out of the barn: they were Orthodox. The Russians had diocesan bishops as opposed to the bishopless Greek Catholic churches at the mercy of hostile Irish RC clergy so ecclesiologically they happened to make sense. And to top it all off the Ruthenians and Galicians/Ukrainians didn’t get on!

(Eight years after he died Rome tried again and set up Ukrainian and Ruthenian dioceses in America overlapping the Roman Rite ones, which the latter’s bishops weren’t happy about.)

As I mentioned it wasn’t really about the Pope but looking back it does seem a conflict between an authentic traditionalism based on rule of law, the way things have evolved and always have been done, and I think this is a classic Orthodox position that’s authentically Catholic, and ‘all that matters is that you are under Rome’/‘as long as it’s a Wal-Mart’.

This blog doesn’t rejoice over schism but if you take away the hateful anti-Westernism one finds among some Orthodox, here the Orthodox had a point!

Two thoughts about recent news in the Episcopal row
Again the only inevitable outcomes are some parishes will be split and some others squashed. On both sides. Most Episcopalians won’t be affected in any way no matter who wins.

Flying bishops approved by Dr Jefferts-Schori for Episcopalians opposed to gay weddings? Just like Catholicism can’t be reduced to mere opinion or liturgical style, even though many on both sides of this issue are Christians (I retract and apologise for ever saying otherwise — that made no sense!) this is a non-negotiable (a deal-breaker for remaining in the same church) like the episcopate and the Real Presence and to say otherwise seems condescending. ‘You can stand over here in the Indian reservation/unia and be quiet/be Catholic while the rest of us have gay weddings/are Protestants.’ No.

As for the Archbishop of Canterbury (who is a Christian in his beliefs) having a secret church service for gays it was never a secret that Dr Williams sympathises with the liberals on the issue but he’s upset them because as ++Cantuar he’s tried not to let that interfere with what he thinks is his job, serving the massive majority of Anglicans worldwide who are not white, not rich and not liberal (but are Protestants so I don’t really have a dog in this race). Beyond a show of his personal sympathy I’ve no idea what it’s supposed to mean and speculation seems like only gossip.

Update: America’s mainstream Presbyterians have similar problems.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Trying to sell the war to ‘values voters’
Sure, do the right thing and bring the soldiers home now and before you know it the bogeyman’ll get you: there’ll be gay illegal alien terrorists in every US city having abortions. Please.
...critics like Fred Clarkson, co-founder of the blog TalkToAction, says the coalition appears to be "a classic inside the beltway paper tiger."

"It doesn't exist except to issue 'messages' to true believers and to make it appear in the media that there is more support for a failed foreign policy than really exists," he told IPS. "It smacks of a desperation move to shore up support even among religious conservatives, whose support for the war seems to be melting faster than the polar ice cap."
Right, who other than their ‘true believers’ takes Donald Wildmon and Pat Robertson seriously?

Besides Catholics there are other conservative Christians who refuse to be played, to be suckered into the culture wars or needless foreign wars for that matter: LRC’s Bill Barnwell and Laurence Vance for example.
The totalitarians among us
From LRC
The pro-family party? Really?
From Rod Dreher
Mr Bush’s war
Or as I call it his minders’ war

The special relationship that wasn’t
The US and the state of Israel

From Eunomia.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The state and the invention of adolescence
Unnaturally prolonging childhood while at the same time ‘consumer culture’ gives (sells) kids the vices of adults. As Frances McDormand said at the beginning of Almost Famous, a marketing tool. Of course the part about abortion violates the harm principle. From the LRC blog.
The myth of oil as a weapon

Mr Bush’s next world order
By now we're used to Mr. Bush blowing feathers up our skirts about Iraq, and treating the Constitution like a roll of Charmin, and ignoring Congress and Congress letting him get away with it.

Our military, at least the way we now equip and utilize it, has the effectiveness of a scattergun; if it hits the target we had in mind, it's pretty much by accident. the "long war" the Pentagon is preparing for: A low-level struggle against countless amorphous foes over equally amorphous objectives for an amorphously defined duration during which America maintains a state of national emergency.
Is terrorism a mortal threat?
Colin Powell and Pat Buchanan say no
For all the blather of a restored caliphate, the "Islamofascists," as the neocons call them, cannot create or run a modern state, or pose a mortal threat to America. The GNP of the entire Arab world is not equal to Spain's. Oil aside, its exports are equal to Finland's.
And even the importance of oil is exaggerated as Charles Peña writes in the first linked article.

Conservatism and ‘conservatism’
Paul Gottfried writes:
There are those on the right, quite broadly understood, who revel in crusades for democracy and who identify “conservatism” with an aggressive, Jacobin or Trotskyist foreign policy; and then there are the rest of us, who are simply viewed as inconsequential “fanatics” by both neocons and the conventional Left.

I think we’ll be stuck with neocons running the Republican Party and conservative movement, no matter what happens in Iraq and regardless of who wins the next national election. Unless the RNC, movement conservative foundations, the moneybag sponsors of both, and the liberal media start talking to our side, which is not likely to occur, the usual types will stay in power and continue to script “conservative” newspeak. How the fiasco in Iraq and a possible Democratic landslide in 2008 will change any of this is something I really can’t fathom. What a Democratic victory will do is accelerate the left-ward slide of our politics and culture, a process that the neoconservatives have steadily aided by their reconstruction of the American Right-Center.
From Taki via The Western Confucian.

No exit
Nothing has changed. There is no exit. More to the point, there is no plan for an exit.
Reasons to vote for Ron Paul
Many people like Ron Paul's views, but for some reason, they have decided that liberty is not "practical" and freedom is a "luxury" we cannot afford anymore. But deep down, they really wish it were different. It can be different. The answer is right in front of you: Vote for Ron Paul.

The other day a person said to me that they really liked all of Ron Paul's views and ideas, but why vote for him if he can't win? That logic confounds me. Was the person really saying that it makes more sense to vote for someone you don't like, who will get into office and hurt you, just because he has a better chance of winning? The only thing you get when you vote for a guy you do not like is policies you do not like – policies that will hurt you, hurt your pocketbook, and hurt your family.

Also, keep in mind that Ron Paul does not support big corporate welfare and they do not support him.

Oh, and P.S., Ron Paul is winning, he is winning in debates and straw polls and sweeping the Internet, but the mainstream media does not want you to know so they keep the news to themselves.
From LRC.
Pope refused to see Condoleezza Rice leading Italian newspaper said it was an evident snub by the Vatican towards the Bush administration.

There are at least two reasons why Pope Benedict may have decided peremptorily against a private meeting with Ms Rice.

First, it was Ms Rice who just before the outbreak of the Iraq war in March 2003 made it clear to a special papal envoy sent from Rome, Cardinal Pio Laghi, that the Bush administration was not interested in the views of the late Pope on the immorality of launching its planned military offensive.

Secondly, the US has responded in a manner considered unacceptable at the Vatican to the protection of the rights of Iraqi Christians under the new Iraqi constitution.
From Deacon’s Blog.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Manilow 1, ‘The View’ nil
I don’t know if snubbing ‘conservative’ Elisabeth Hasselbeck (so what if she’s putatively anti-abortion?) like that was right but I like the message it got out. Is it true he supports, even has given money to, Ron Paul? If so then there you go: everybody from Manilow’s fans (he makes millions happy and makes millions by so doing — I remember when he’d show up on chat shows in England on his tours there) to I imagine cyber-anarcho-punks knows Dr Paul’s the best choice.
James McMurtry, ‘We Can’t Make It Here Anymore’
Lee Penn writes: A moving song about our times. I can’t say that it is enjoyable, but it is a powerful song ... especially with the YouTube images that come with it. Music for the New Depression ... Kyrie eleison.

Reminds me of what Pat Buchanan wrote here about Catholics and others in places like this.
Talking about language
  • Brain trauma causes change in accent: This sometimes happens after a stroke — usually a change in a couple of sounds that happens to resemble another accent.
  • Male and female Japanese: Old friend Mark Bonocore told me about this a long time ago. I’m sure japanophilic reader Byrd already knew. People like a friend of his or my landlord’s sons who grew up with a Japanese mother but no Japanese men around are also susceptible to what happened to this writer.
Boffins: Men go for beauty; women for wealth
The latest from the Centre for the Study of the Obvious: instincts that are... good for producing and rearing children
The cultural contradictions of statism
It seems as though, for all that conservatives have ever said about libertarians, their main critiques now fall into two categories: That libertarianism, radically applied, would mean America’s death at the hand of foreign enemies; or, that libertarianism is amoral.

Now, it is quite interesting that some actually try to make both claims at once: If we followed libertarian morality too strictly, it would forbid us from slaughtering innocents abroad, and our ethics must be more situational than that – and yet, on the other hand, libertarianism is so permissive an ethical code that following it would mean the collapse of civilization under a wave of decadence and sin.
Why, there’d be gay illegal immigrants having abortions all over the place. Oh, and they’d be terrorists.

Long story short from the ‘conservatives’, ‘just shut up and vote Republican’. By which they mean ‘Rudy McRomney’* not a real conservative.

Twelve whiffs of failure
Americans are notoriously good at moving on, which tends to amount to turning our backs on the messes we’ve made, and averting our noses from the stench of what our government likes to call foreign policy.
The people who are entertained by reality TV have very short attention spans.

Another evangelical questions the bellicosity of the Protestant religious right
Including the arguably treasonous John Hagee

*Played by Fred Thompson or a guy wearing a Reagan mask.
Defining terms
Never mind the bollocks from state propaganda. From a US Marine stuck in Iraq:
...the fact is that when someone shoots at me (a legal combatant) or tries to use a roadside bomb (IED) against me while I'm on patrol they are not a terrorist.
Or from the Episcopal left; that is, ‘it’s not “leaving the church” when we do it’:
When we disobey canons it’s prophetic. When you do it — disobey us — it’s schismatic.
— From a Church of Christ turned Anglican turned Roman Catholic friend and peace activist who doesn’t abuse words Humpty Dumpty fashion

(Again the current row is about a small minority who want to quit the Episcopal Church — winning or losing won’t affect most Episcopalians in any way.)

So let’s see: for example one objects to the Pope historically because supposedly he claims he’s above big-T Tradition then hates him today because he says he has no authority to change it? (Pius IX, John Paul II and Benedict XVI: ‘I can’t. I’m only the Pope.’)

(Western liberal objections to the Pope because he’s CatholicOrthodox objections to the claims that his office is of divine institution etc.)

Here’s another: ‘Teaching what Christians always have taught = looking for the perfect church’.

Pride (implied here) is nothing to do with it.

Catholics believe the church, orthodoxy, is paradoxical like the Incarnation: true God and true man; sinless, infallible and indefectible church but sinful, fallible and defectible people, built upon the Rock that is Christ and not subject to the changing mores of the white upper middle class (or every wind of doctrine as St Paul wrote to the Ephesians), or ‘making it up as you go along’... like the caricature of the Pope.

(The same friend I quoted above notes that the obnoxiousness as is often the case comes not from born Anglicans and/or upper-middles but rather snobbish wannabes who’ve converted from some other church.)

But if one is a Protestant believing in a fallible church whose general councils can and do err in doctrine all bets are off, aren’t they? Tomorrow gay weddings, after that... ????

Also answering Dean Candler, Catholicism is irreducible to mere opinion or liturgical fashion, something I think some well-meaning liberal Episcopalians don’t understand about us. To compare it to an example from recent news that just about all churchmen agree upon, Ann Redding can’t be a Christian and a Muslim at the same time.

(Confusing doctrine with discipline or opinion, or academic freedom/debate — one of the Pope’s points at Regensburg IIRC, that we believe in a rational God and reason is conforming oneself to reality, nothing Protestant about it contra Dean Candler — with teaching heresy or apostasy is another liberal tactic. The mainstream media do it all the time: ‘Rome’s inconsistent on married clergy but won’t let you starve Terri Schiavo so what do they know?’)

The abolition of man proceeds
Or Christianity without Christ, modern liberalism, inevitably collapses and you’re left with barbarism. From Mark Shea, extensively quoting C.S. Lewis.

Catholicism with an English heart
Our Anglican/Episcopal tradition at its best has been a gentle, worldly-wise, patiently pastoral faith, developed by the realization that the principles of the few are rarely embraced by the many, to whom their parish church has been a place in which the important events of their lives have been celebrated and where, in the liturgy and the Christian Year they have found comfort and solace. True such a religion is small beer to the enthusiast and not the stuff which changes the world, or does it? Yet our tradition has produced a legion of unsung saints, nurtured by Prayer Book Christianity, parochial life, and the rhythm of "Catholic" devotion.
Archimandrite Serge (Keleher) once told me there is a tension in orthodoxy and I can easily see how, trying to resolve that, the Anglican knack for tolerant conservatism can go off the rails into liberalism (Modernism, relativism, indifferentism, a mistake some Anglicans — including some of America’s founding fathers — have been making since the ‘Enlightenment’). Abusus non tollit usum.

Then again the ‘Reformation’ was a mistake: separating England from its lawful patriarch and communion with the rest of Western Europe by force and letting Protestant heresies take over. Tolerant conservatism isn’t Protestant; it’s English. Nor are, in themselves, services in the vernacular! (The only good thing it did in England; literate people already had forms of the daily office.) All were possible at least in theory without bringing in schism and heresy.

Normal (pre-modern, un-self-conscious) religious practice
Faith and practice ... are to be discovered in the parochial life... and that, on the whole, isn't very adventurous, headline-grabbing, or the stuff of best-selling books. Comprehension is hard work and the very daily act of living together, as diverse people who make up a parish seldom gives chance for what the world terms heroism.
We have tended, for the last couple of hundred years, to become more and more gathered parishes of the like-minded...
Which is modern as Dr Frank Senn for example points out.
Our ancestors were prepared to term us merely "the church", the church of the village, whether that village is a locality, or today a gathering of all sorts and conditions of people.

I think we must now face the fact that we are narrowing our inclusivity, in danger of becoming a denomination. We need to be creative enough to find new ways to respect, uphold and encourage each other.
Like most things in classic Anglicanism entirely true as far as it goes. Inclusivity as in ‘all are welcome to come and pray in a Catholic church’ but not in the sense of contradictory doctrinal and moral teachings under one roof! ‘In essentials unity’ and so on as some Protestant said centuries ago. And in worship the same orthodox, Godward, objective principles in a plethora of rites and uses/recensions... not ‘comprehensiveness’ in the sense of four or more contradictory churches under the artificial umbrella of a (ex-)state religion. (The Broad Churchmen in the driver’s seat in Episcopalianism right now don’t really believe in it either.)

From Fr Tony Clavier with whom I doubtless disagree on a number of things but whose intelligence and good humour are appreciated.
Anglican Missal now online
And downloadable

Here are Derek Olsen’s review and my review of his review.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Myopic Pentagon keeps filling Gitmo
Stephen Hand’s libertarian answer to the American culture wars
SH on the left’s counterfeit of Catholicity as exemplified by a Mason:
...his unconscious totalitarian temperament which desires the enforced global homogenization of all values.
‘Why doesn’t the rest of the world think and act like upper-middle-class white people?’ or they do believe in absolutes, a mixture of Christianity without Christ and their own made-up bits, possibly applied by force like in Elizabethan England or Maoist China.
The anatomy of cruelty
Real-life would-be Dr Moreaus and Mike Vick. From Taki via The Western Confucian.
Erwin Chemerinsky and the post-9/11 war on academic freedom

Sometimes it gets tasered

From LRC

As I wrote to Jorge, Fr George Rutler, the Pope at Regensburg and I defend real academic freedom, the Catholic idea of a university as Newman wrote.
Language loss
Fr Jim Tucker writes: Oklahoma is one of the five places in the world with the highest number of endangered languages. I’m surprised that so many of the indigenous American languages have survived this long.
From Samer al-Batal
Joe Sobran on Christopher Hitchens
From Chronicles

Book review
Dante Alighieri’s Paradiso by Robert and Jean Hollander

Samer writes: With its completion, the Hollanders, who have already finished their work on the Inferno and Purgatorio, have now produced what is probably the most idiomatic English translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Here is the transcript of a chat session with the translation’s authors.

The review is quite lengthy and makes a good read.
Surge protectors
A little old but still good
Talk Like a Pirate Day
I understand the reason people think 18th-century English pirates said ‘Yarrrrr’ and suchlike is one of the first actors to play pirates in talking films was from Dorset

There are still pirates — the carjackers of the sea — mostly in the South China Sea and in a few other places. I don’t think those Thais, Malays, Chinese and others sound particularly West Country.

Actor Robert Newton of Dorset as Long John Silver in 1950’s Treasure Island

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A saint who could fly, another who could disappear before your eyes...
And still another who left her abusive emperor husband. As Bart Simpson found out reading the life of St Sebastian in comic-book form no-one can say Catholicism is boring! From Per Christum.
The war... on film
Roman Catholics welcome Romanian Orthodox choice of new patriarch
From Cathedra Unitatis
How many neocons does it take to screw in a light bulb?
The answer: Neocons don’t believe in light bulbs. They declare war on evil and set the house on fire.

From TomDispatch via LRC.
Some common sense about the Episcopal row
My comment (sorry, I rant a bit). From The Enlightenment Project via MCJ.
Reminds me of what a liberal used to be -- fair-minded and an independent thinker, with some firm ideas about how people are to be treated. Nice to know there are still some out there.
And for fairness’ sake:

Not nearly as radical as you think
Fr Tony Clavier on his denomination, answering the Bishop of Down and Dromore’s legitimate objections to some doings in it, which Fr C says are not representative. From Covenant.

Just like I’ve come to the conclusion that winning or losing the row won’t affect nearly any Episcopalians in any way, I think when that church stabilises you’ll have something surprisingly orthodox and liturgically conservative, wrong about some issues and because of that separated from Catholicism — the Protestant Global South majority of Anglicans are separated brethren for different reasons but both are about private judgement — but with more in common with me than with John Spong. (Rather like the conservative kids and old liberals in the Roman communion.)

Protestant private judgement inevitably, eventually dominoes into unbelief (‘Calvinism shatters into Unitarianism’ as Archbishop Robert Morse says) but most Protestants, mainline and evangelical, are a long way off from that.

Roman and Orthodox dialogue with either the Episcopalians or the Protestant Global South Anglicans (the future Anglican Communion?) probably wouldn’t bring about reunion but at least could ‘detoxify’ each side’s view of the other so each could recognise the other as Christian. (As Fulton Sheen famously said most people don’t hate Rome; often rightly they hate what they think it is.)

Misrepresenting the other side (‘All Episcopalians are apostates!’ or ‘The Africans have ICBMs aimed at our church!’ — somebody actually referred to the latter’s new American bishops that way) reminds me of the ‘clown Masses’ in conservative Roman Catholic rhetoric. There probably hasn’t been one in a Roman church since about 1970 when even the dimmest innovator realised how foolish it is and besides clowns scare many kids.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Cultural history is written by dissenters
While it is often said that history is written by the winners, the truth is that the cultural images that come down to us as history are written, in large part, by the dissenters.
In other words for every story of how awful secular and ecclesiastical life were in the 1950s there are probably at least 10 people whose stories are not heard/are suppressed, like my father confessor who was taught by black-and-white-habited Sisters of St Joseph in an eastern US city and loved every minute of it. Liberal bias in the schools is probably much to blame. Traditionalists are often accused of romanticising that era but Alan Ehrenhalt via Rod Dreher gives some needed balance to that charge.
They are still around, the true believers of the 1950s, in small towns and suburbs and big-city neighborhoods all over the country, reading the papers, watching television, and wondering in old age what has happened to America in the last thirty years.
Why I like upstate Pennsylvania.
If you visit middle-class American suburbs today, and talk to the elderly women who have lived out their adult years in these places, they do not tell you how constricted and demeaning their lives in the 1950s were. They tell you those were the best years they can remember. And if you visit a working-class [Roman] Catholic parish in a big city, and ask the older parishioners what they think of the church in the days before Vatican II, they don't tell you that it was tyrannical or that it destroyed their individuality. They tell you they wish they could have it back. For them, the erosion of both community and authority in the last generation is not a matter of intellectual debate. It is something they can feel in their bones, and the feeling makes them shiver.
Thomas Day (read his books) nails this too. He explained American RCs to me. He’s no nostalgist but points out that many/most ordinary people didn’t experience the pre-conciliar church as the shop of horrors the secular media and the house-organs in much of the official church today make it out to be.

Reaching farther back in history into my own heritage most English people in the 1500s weren’t chomping at the bit to break free from the big, bad Pope and ‘reform the church’. (Regarding the latter old King Harry intended no such thing.) AFAIK Eamon Duffy (yes, a Roman Catholic) was right. The place was taken from communion with its patriarch (the chap in Rome) and the rest of Western Europe by force. You don’t see that on PBS — the (Liberal) Protestant or Post-Christian Broadcasting System — or the walls of St Gregory’s, SF: all the people Liz I tortured and killed.

Dreher doesn’t like libertarianism:
There is no such thing as a community of strong individualists.
If he means selfishness as I understand Ayn Rand believed in he’s right, but that’s no more the breadth of libertarianism than some Irish Jansenist stereotype (like this cartoon character) all of Catholicism.

I and I think Dreher aren’t sure what the means are to his noble goals of ‘crunchiness’ (authenticity and good stewardship) and true community. A kind of (thank you, C.S. Lewis) theocratic fascism (which Ave Maria, Florida reminds me of — a revival of a very American and Protestant perfectionism you usually see now as political correctness, or Christianity without Christ) isn’t the answer.

A clue is remembering that even relativist individualists can and do share many beliefs in common, falling broadly under the harm principle (do what you want as long as you don’t harm others).

So rather like the invisible hand in economics people doing what makes sense for their own benefit end up with a good society. And the same freedom that says people have the right to be wrong also gives the church room to flourish with the truth both self-evident and converting people by persuasion — even in the form of Speakers’ Corner at Hyde Park as the old Catholic Evidence Guild used to do — not coercion.
Alan Keyes
I used to think he was good but he’s really a fake conservative the establishment uses to knock real conservatives out of a race. Apparently he was used that way for Pat Buchanan and now again with Ron Paul. From The Western Confucian.
The betrayal of the American right
Described by people whose knowledge or memory goes back beyond Reagan

On relativism
Without getting into the merits of relativism and absolutism, let me merely reflect that it is palpably absurd to think that no society has the correct moral code except a nation engaged in aggressive wars, with a negative savings rate, and with the highest percentage of its population in prison.

On the other hand, maybe the conservative is right, and the nation’s morals are under attack from an onslaught of relativism, or, what the conservative more likely means, nihilism. I don’t see it, though. In my experience, people do not do bad things because they think there are no morals – they do bad things because they believe them to be right. What I do see around me, though, is a disquieting form of absolutism.
Joshua Katz goes on to write about the perfectionism of political correctness and the militarisation of American police.

Why the recent US occupations have failed
Two invasions of practically defenseless countries with obsolete weapons and decaying infrastructures have to be termed failures.
Some explanations, some of which echo Bill Lind on 4GW. Using local proxies (Afghanistan) doesn’t work and not researching the countries was foolish.

‘GI Joe’ foreign policy
Only unlike in the toy-selling cartoon people are hurt and killed

From LRC.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Our Lady of Sorrows

Scars we bear for life

From Tea at Trianon.
Add this to my reasons to love upstate Pennsylvania: a sweet old-fashioned non-theme amusement park in the wooded hills owned by one of the state’s old German families complete with lumber yard and campground next to it, wooden roller-coasters (mostly — Paul pointed out an I-beam or two), some rides dating back to the 1940s, the 1920s or even around 1900, century-old circus organs, a Museum of Anthracite Coal Mining (and of the Knoebels and their park) with paintings by a Mike Rusnák and even halušky for sale at one of the food stands. Many thanks for sharing it with me, Paul, Treat and Bernie!

I admit when it comes to unnecessary scares I’m a right coward. I tried only one thrill ride, the Flume, one of those boat rides with a steep drop and splash! Paul and DaVida were fine in front whilst I hung on for dear life in back! Fun though — exactly at my limit for those things, in intensity halfway between the kiddie rides and the beautiful big coasters. (Should have bought the ‘All for Silas!’ photo of me cringing to scan and show. Alas.)

We all noticed there was a good spirit about the place unlike a Six Flags (said those who’d been to one) for example: no nasty adults nor lots of misbehaving kids.
Why be Protestant today?
From Marco Vervoorst

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Free among the dead
New Yorker, 9/11 survivor and Russian Catholic Frank Purcell remembers the day
America had made history but until now not experienced history, at least not since the War Between the States, and most of us are from families who immigrated since then. The day of the attacks it was said that this would be America’s second bloodiest day, second to that of Antietam, when twenty three thousand died in a couple of hours. But — thank God — the casualties are much less than was first expected, and even at the worst there could have been no comparison with Hamburg or Dresden, Hiroshima or Nagasaki, Warsaw or Nanking.

I was confirmed in my conviction that this was the inevitable consequence, not only of ten years of brutal sanctions, but of a half century of bribery and blackmail which corrupted the American body politic to the extent that the security of a foreign power was preferred to the peace and prosperity of the United States, and the Christian idea of the law of nature and of nations was suppressed in favor of the ancient Assyrian ethos of conquest and extermination.

The truly powerful conspirators against America are true believers in a ghastly Cromwellian gnosis, and they will see to it that it is others who are punished for their sins.

Unlike the religious Jews and the worldly Zionists, these Christian fanatics are dedicated enemies of the United States as a secular democratic republic.
Paul Gottfried and Thomas Woods take on common knowledge and out-and-out lies

From Taki who writes on the decline of English culture:
Cultural liberalism promotes social irresponsibility.
Why I am a Catholic libertarian
More from Woods via LRC

Friday, September 14, 2007

Motu proprio day
IFT high the cross,
the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore
his sacred Name.
The realistic best-case scenario for this Mass (the Pope enforces the motu: the bishops’ interference is shot down):
  • But the current rule (which is changeable) says the service books from 1962 (not just for the Mass but the office and the ritual for sacraments other than the Eucharist) have to be in it.
  • Most Roman Catholics don’t want to go back to Latin. They at least put up with it when they thought they had to, and many back then liked it — they had the education or at least because it was different and a badge of identity, yes, ‘community’. Next to no-one was agitating to change it. But that horse ran out of the barn decades ago.
  • So as long as the 1962 services have to be in Latin, as wonderful and better (objective and Godward) than the current ones as they may be, they will be self-limiting. Most RCs won’t give them a chance.
  • These services will become the usage of a robust minority. Possibly an example/leaven for the ‘reform of the reform’ (high-church Novus Ordo) people, but a minority.

Photo from Rorate Cæli

We’ll see.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Icons > pretty pictures
I don’t agree with Orthodoxy is a completely different religion from Western Catholicism’ (a favourite of xenophobes and really still Protestant converts) — Rome does not see Orthodoxy that way or even as a kind of Protestantism but as a Mk I version of itself — but I’ve repeated Archimandrite Vasileios’ other point

From Energetic Procession.
Two liberal churches in San Francisco compared
Ebenezer Lutheran (ELCA of course) and St Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal (more)

I apologise for my use of ‘old folks’. Let me correct that here by quoting IIRC Fr Chris Tessone among others (including a new local priestly friend who regularly reads this blog): ‘the church kids are alright’, credally orthodox and liturgically conservative, getting spiritual support from their octogenarian grandparents whilst many of the older middle-aged (I’m younger middle-aged literally becoming grizzled... and liking it) are doing ‘that ’70s church’ (sound bite of white-haired RC bishop: ‘it’s what the kids want’).

How another young clergyperson has described still-dominant liberal boomer churchmanship:
The phrase “liturgical imagination” often gets a bad rap when referring to certain forms of non-traditional ways of worship — like decorating the altar with fabric and other crap as they did at one of the three seminaries I have attended...
I don’t think the Revd M means frontals as in Laudian or this. :)
Those who know me know how much I love old things and tradition, particularly in all things liturgical. I love [most of] Ritual Notes — need I say more?
If the Roman Mass were only about nostalgia, a few ageing die-hards, the Pope wouldn’t have bothered with the motu going into effect tomorrow!

Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Philadelphia, photographed by Treat
As Chesterton once said (in words to this effect), orthodoxy is exciting and vibrant and alive. Heresy is just dead and boring.
From Marco Vervoorst.