Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
  • From Fr Hunwicke: A difference of opinion. You can have those in the Catholic faith! Father and I agree that Cranmer was a master of the art form of the collect but disagree on this one for Gaudete Sunday/Advent III. I like Cosin’s verbosity better than the Roman Rite’s terseness. That could come from my being around the wonderfully wordy Byzantine Rite for 15 years.
  • On ‘despising the things of this earth’.
  • I find a lot of comfort in comparing the underlying logic of the Immaculate Conception with that of our Lady’s Presentation in the Temple. As I was saying. Those who deny the Presentation fall under the anathemas of the fourteenth century ‘Palamite’ Councils, damning those who say that ‘the Immaculate One, the Theometer ... did not enter into the Holy of Holies’. Oh, dear. IIRC those councils together form what anti-Western hardline Orthodox (the kind you mostly meet online) consider their church’s ninth dogmatic council (the eighth, also mediæval, condemned the filioque) on top of the seven shared with Rome. I’d rather spend time with Hopko and Reardon who agree with me and St Pius V on that Marian matter.
  • On a Calvinist sermon: It was as if his Jesus was the fairy on top of the Christmas tree but not the root and fount of all good and the One who sets all his people free from Adam’s transgression. There is always the risk that people who do not explicitly believe in the Immaculate Conception will fall into this mistake.
  • Worth noting about Orthodoxy: its right (the Russians at Jordanville for example) and left (the Parisian/St Vladimir’s Seminary school of Russian theology) are actually rather friendly with each other and look more or less the same to an outsider (the worship wars are so much smaller), and both are far to the right of the mainline, well within small-o orthodoxy. Not so of the Roman Church in practice, where a bunch of old liberal nuns and the Fraternity of St Peter look like they belong to separate churches! A division as extreme as the churchmanships in Anglicanism even though Rome has one clear set of doctrines on paper.
  • Pope Benedict: Incarnation/Redemption too, although it took place at a specific historical moment, the period of Jesus’ time on earth, nonetheless extends its range of action to all time that preceded and followed. And, in their turn, the Second Coming and Final Judgement, decisively anticipated in the Cross of Christ, exercise their influence on the behaviour of mankind in all ages. Don’t miss Fr H’s three comments.
  • John Zmirak on the misunderstood virtue of humility. Refusing to take any credit for good deeds we’ve done, to gratefully acknowledge our natural gifts, or to graciously accept a compliment can turn someone who misunderstands humility into a cringing, obsequious toady — the sort of Christian one would gladly feed to the lions, except he might make the lions sick.
  • Speaking of the range of opinions in Catholicism there’s the 10th top religion story of the year according to Time: speculation on extra-terrestrials. Why not?

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