Wednesday, August 26, 2009

From T1:9
  • ‘I was minding my business lifting some lead off the roof of the Holy Name Church...’ ‘fiddlers on the roof’ nicked by high-tech paint.
  • Families trying to carry on with Dad out of work.
  • Some standard lines on Anglicanism.
  • Redefining sex, claiming a power the Pope doesn’t dare.
  • Games the other side plays: what do they mean by ‘monogamy’?
  • FiFNA’s new bishop. You can read my comments there. It’s well-meant — I wish Bishop Ilgenfritz well — but, like the circa-1988 Episcopalianism this replicates, it makes a hash of Catholic ecclesiology.
  • I’ve done some Google research and a friend has volunteered some information about Canon Wittkofski and St Mary’s, Charleroi; I used to know a priest from there, Fr Steven Kelly, and have met Bishop Ackerman. Interesting, at least to me.

    (Here followeth a ramble about history that touches on Episcopalianism. You can skip over it if that doesn’t interest you.)

    Wittkofski (1912-1976) was interested in using hypnosis in his ministry but other than that wasn’t liberal in the sense understood today, theologically (against wholesale liturgical revision and WO) or politically (in the ’60s he was in the John Birch Society), and St Mary’s apparently has long been ‘working-class Anglo-Catholic’, a type once known in England. (In the States Fr Clayton Hewett and his son Bishop Paul Hewett in the Continuing movement — I slightly know the bishop — come from that background in the Midwest.) I’ve never been to that town but of course know and love upstate Pennsylvania. I imagine it’s a more charming church than many local Novus Ordo parishes.

    Wittkofski’s issue with Rome was apparently he was a sort of statist super-patriot, ‘200 per cent American’, IMO his failing: the Americanist heresy or Freemasonry comes in both liberal and conservative versions. He belonged to a missionary order (OMI), was stationed in China (in the ’30s?) and claimed (per Protestants’ suspicions about Rome) that the church was operating at cross-purposes with the US government. Which of course to me seems to be to Rome’s credit, and why Stalin for example hated it so much he banned it in the Ukraine: he couldn’t control/subvert it.

    Such trying to make a play for lapsed RCs (historically the Episcopalians tried to co-opt immigrant schisms) is bad. Of course the mainstream Episcopalians wanted to make Protestants out of them eventually.

    (Bad Catholics ≠ liberal Protestants.)

    I wrote to the friend that Father probably fitted in back when there were good Barry Goldwater (should have been president — Camelot was a big nothing) Republicans among the Episcopalians.

    Anyway, much like the PNCC’s appeal that church and priest seemed nice, upstanding 1950s small-town citizen types. RIP.

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