Sunday, November 15, 2009



Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
  • Beautiful instructional videos on the Tridentine Mass. Low Mass. The rest are now here (scroll down). The consecration is done this way in Latin at Clem’s. Commentary at Fr Hunwicke’s. Of course it’s a hotchpotch; that was standard thanks to longtime priestly habits, parishes having only an older copy of the Missal and immemorial custom. There’s a story of John XXIII doing things like that, the older forms of ceremonies that he was used to despite their recently being modified or stopped officially. Or as one man suggests, this simply could be a snapshot of official practice in much of 1962. Elsewhere somebody quoted Gamber that the second Confiteor was made optional not banned.
  • Fr Z fisks RU-486. Lefty RCs don’t like the Pope’s offer to the last Anglo-Catholics. Surprise, surprise.
  • An FSSP priest talks on EWTN about chant (plays on Windows Media Player). Another non-surprise: compare the age of the audience of this to that of the average readership of The Tablet.
  • Margi on Rome and the Pope’s offer.
  • Jeffrey Steel: it is totally unacceptable in Catholic theology to have structures set up that would allow for bishops to not be in communion with one another. Or we and the liberals actually agree: flying bishops, codes of practice etc. will not do. As Damian Thompson says, they’re a Wendy house in a liberal Protestant denomination.
  • The besetting failure of Orthodoxy in America is our almost global unwillingness to lay aside knee jerk anti-Western polemics. Also a criticism of identifying with either of the two big political parties. From Mere Catholicism.
  • One for the religious blogosphere.
  • Вечная память (eternal memory, RIP): Patriarch Paul III of the Serbian Orthodox Church, aged 95 (pictured at right). Biography. Acclaimed by all that knew him as “the walking saint”, he will be sorely missed by all apostolic Christians as a true example of Christ-like humility and piety, and a light in an increasingly dark, Godless world.
  • The Patriarch of Moscow’s hobby: flying planes.
  • The Russian Orthodox Church ends ecumenical relations with the German Evangelical Church, the old state merger of Lutheran and Reformed that’s the country’s Protestant church. Talking to each other is fine but of course official talks on union make no sense because of the very different Catholic vs Protestant beliefs on the church (infallible vs fallible and fungible). That became clear talking to the professors from Tübingen in the late 1500s (just like Protestants today they wanted both an Eastern church legitimising what they did and to start a ‘Reformation’ in the East). As with the conservative Anglicans over the gay bishop and gay weddings, why now? Coverage of this makes it sound like John Stott’s compromise of limited women’s ordination (in which the woman minister is always supervised by a man and there are no women bishops), an untenable position that understandably seems more offensive to liberal Protestants than the Catholic one. Official Orthodox talks with ACNA make sense because there’s still a remote chance of ACNA’s three AC dioceses converting.
  • Report from Moscow and on Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk meeting the Pope.
  • Ex-Planned Parenthood director cold-shouldered by her old pro-abortion church. More. Somehow I don’t think St Francis would like that place very much. (He was devoted to the Pope and wanted to go convert the Muslims... I think these people might have hired him as their gardener on their grounds.) Time to convert.
  • Those churches that live by the surrounding culture, die by the surrounding culture. 1955 was better of course but it had its problems: since the ‘Enlightenment’ mainstream Western churches, including, in practice, RC, too often became mere vehicles of civic religion useful for making more productive or more obedient citizens (at least in ’55 they were more likely to give lip service to orthodoxy). As Dr Tighe recently wrote of the quintessential Anglicanism of the period, a deep freezer of latitudinarian moralism, the dutiful religion of the Queen and George H.W. Bush. To be fair, isn’t the modern mainline more about SWPL decorum than living faith or coherent doctrine? (Or it’s just as homogeneous and conformist as the ’50s but I like the ’50s better.) From Tripp.
  • Li Madou: Fr Matteo Ricci.
  • Patrick Kennedy. A commentator: What he doesn’t get is that he doesn’t disagree with the hierarchy of the Church, he disagrees with the teaching of the Church. And ...yes, that makes him less of a Catholic. A lot of Catholic politicians (and Orthodox politicians for that matter) think they can be Protestant individualist pick ’n’ mix theologians Monday to Saturday and good Catholics or Orthodox on Sunday. The Kennedys seem to straddle the line between Bad Catholics and Modernists. They’ve always traded on the ‘Catholic = my grandmother was Irish’ identity not the Catholic = I believe in all that stuff (even if I don’t live up to it)’ one. Patrick Kennedy’s guilt depends on whether he’s ignorant or malicious. There are lots more Bad Catholics than Modernists. Bad Catholics don’t agree with the church but don't think they can bend tihe church to their will; Modernists like Protestants think they can. Joe Biden is a Bad Catholic. The church doesn’t micro-manage, and there’s some truth to ‘Catholic’s not just what you believe; it’s what you are’ (so Bad Catholics arguably are still in the fold), but if you cause public scandal it’s time to excommunicate (part of Pope Benedict’s mop-up after the Epic Fail Council?).
  • The greatest scandal in American Orthodoxy. Selling out on contraception and presenting that as church teaching is second.
  • Some buckshot at the Protestants from a friend of the blog: Reading “magisterial” Protestants discuss history is a lot like hearing whores talk about love. You know that they really don’t take it seriously, but only use historical data to justify their own pet theories. Never once does it occur to them to step into the actual world that the authors of the thirteenth century or the Patristic era actually lived in, oozing with scapulars, rosaries, saints’ bones, and other “superstitions” that don’t jive with their pet interpretation of the Gospel. Never will such a person admit that, “hey, maybe the way people did things a thousand years ago really is better than what we do today”. Instead, it will just be another toy in their bag of seductive tricks to defend their whitewashed churches, minimalist doctrine, and the fact that, compared to any church prior to 1500, their assemblies are barely shadows or ghosts of what a Church should look like.

    So I offer you all my advice: ditch the history crap and jump on the Rick Warren bandwagon that is actually the future of your church anyway. Twelve-step is where it’s at, without all the pretensions of being linked to the past in any viable way, or the long venerable tradition of Western humanism. Who cares anyway? All that stuff isn’t going to get ya saved! Besides, instead of being a starving grad student mulling over Latin texts that you could give a rat’s ass about when the rubber hits the road, you could be making hella bank from megachurch SUV drivers with lots of disposable income. It’s not like you don’t have families and stuff. Anyway, cut all the pretensions of actually caring about history. Just be Protestants already and be done with it.

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