Friday, September 19, 2008

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
  • Tightening up approval of Marian-apparition claims. Part of Pope Benedict’s Catholic revival the Protestants and secular people probably didn’t expect, if any of them follow such doings. (Common knowledge since the ‘Reformation’ is we use those things to manipulate the emotions of the gullible and thus separate them from their money.) I understand that before the 1960s débàcle, church-approved writings about these phenomena, like use of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass, were strictly controlled by the diocesan bishop for good theological reasons. (And he has the final say on such claims, part of his apostolic authority.) Of course the Mother of God is an essential part of the faith for exactly the reason that title says, and there is always a place for affective piety; mine happens to be more Christ- and Eucharist-centred (I like the Sacred Heart devotion for example). Filtering out her negative view of her sex, Hilary has a point about the fever swamp Marianism’s often become, accelerated by crossover with the 1970s charismatic craze (now on the wane like fake apparitions in Bosnia). This Holy Father on the other hand ‘gets’ Mass-and-office Catholicism, what Derek calls Benedictine and Anglican. Protestant belief and opinion about Marian devotion is a spectrum from the classical ones’ ‘It’s idolatry and an abomination!’ to the politically correct condescension of the modern mainline: people they think primitive ‘might need that sort of thing (like the Tibetans and their cute little god-king) but we know it’s really a feminine archetype’ and all that. Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
  • Derek: Your Office practices are soundly within the catholic tradition and are essentially those of Lay Roman Catholic piety where the emphasis is on praying Lauds and Vespers. Of course he means the historical RC mainstream. I know that most Roman Catholics don’t know the Office. I only know two who pray it. One is a also a New Testament Medievalist type, the other an Anglican convert...
  • The Episcopalians sack a moderately conservative diocesan bishop. My comment. Their last two Anglo-Catholic diocesans are next. As for mainline Protestantism in general Joseph Bottum has said it all for me.
  • A hero of the Californian train wreck: a Continuing Churches priest.
  • ‘Il miracolo è fatto!’ St Januarius. Blessed be God in his angels and in his saints.

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