Saturday, October 24, 2009

From Rod Dreher
  • New Orleans as a Caribbean city with a Mediterranean culture. Why the government do-gooders do harm.
  • On fat and class, taking a page from Paul Fussell.
  • America and the black experience. This from the linked Andrew Sullivan piece jumped out at me of course: It reminds me of the way in which Britain always defined itself as a Protestant country, even while, of course, it was deeply, deeply Catholic before it was ever Protestant — and for a much longer period of time. As a Catholic growing up in England, and having genealogical roots in both Catholic Ireland and in Domesday Book England, it took a while for me to appreciate the pied beauty of this identity. Tribalism is a powerful thing, especially for the Irish. I remember one day, as I was herded into the local Anglican church for my high school assembly, thinking: “This ancient building was once mine, ours.”
  • Pope Benedict’s traditionalist ecumenism (title by Joshua) as part of his Catholic revival, or ecumenism for non-ecumenists, written reacting to his opening wide the doors to the last real Anglo-Catholics. Benedict knows that the only Christians who are going to survive intact over the coming decades are those communities firmly rooted in tradition. Liberal Anglicans simply aren’t going to make it, and not because they're bad people, but because there’s precious little solid ground upon which they can stand as a distinctly Christian community against the strong currents of modernity. Benedict is trying to gather in as many faithful traditionalists as he can. What a blessing it would be if he and the Orthodox patriarchs could come to an understanding that could pave the way for reunion. Personally, I don’t see how it could be done, given the wide divergence between Orthodox and Catholic theology since the Great Schism. But with God, all things are possible. Again I don’t think it’s a wide divergence but one insurmountable one separating two Catholic churches: the scope of the Pope not his office’s mere existence. Central high command (but on the ground in English-speaking lands often Protestant in most of its practice since/because of V2) or something juridically even looser than Anglicanism (and much older and not Protestant, save, on the ground, widespread selling out on contraception)? Parallel tracks. Close but never meeting.

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