Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
  • The plight of Egypt’s Copts. The ancient Egyptians, who became Christian very early on but were estranged from the larger church because of politics and what turned out to be semantic misunderstandings. They let the Muslim Arabs invade because they didn’t want to be under the Byzantine Greeks and have been a persecuted minority in their own country ever since. From Eponymous Flower.
  • Iraq’s Christians seek return; sense extinction. Hussein’s (why were the media on a first-name basis with him?) rule, which was better for them than now, was none of our business. AFAIK Iraq’s apostolic Christians break down thus: the Eastern Catholic church, the Chaldæans, is bigger than its parent the Nestorian Church (properly called Assyrian; the full name is the Holy Catholic Apostolic Assyrian Church of the East... similar misunderstanding as with the Copts), which has two versions, the larger, somewhat liberalised (but not really by Western standards; relations with the Chaldæans are friendly, common among Middle Eastern apostolic Christians) one whose patriarch has lived in Illinois for some time (much of its diocese in California including the bishop converted to the Chaldæans about a year and a half ago, leaving the properties behind) and a small, Old Calendar, anti-ecumenical True Assyrian Church of the East started about 40 years ago. The Nestorians’ anaphora of SS. Addai and Mari is the oldest one still used (the Roman Canon comes close) and the only one in Christendom with no institution narrative. Website: Christians of Iraq.
  • More on Eastern Christian soul and brotherhood. This week I got to know the friendly older chap, also baptised John, who works at the pizzeria near work. Assumed all these months he was Greek but he’s Armenian (is John Hovaness in Armenian?), and Armenian Apostolic (in communion with the Copts), originally from Jerusalem whence his family fled from Armenia (Hayastan, the world’s oldest Christian country) after the 1915 Turkish genocide. He’s been in the States since the fine year of 1960 and like me is a fan of flea markets.
  • Did you know that Paul Anka and Jamie ‘Klinger’ Farr are Antiochian Orthodox?
  • ‘Apocryphal’: the Pope on Anglican orders. Taking out later mediæval ceremonies with bad intentofficially no longer ‘thinking with the church’ — invalidated them. Reordination is the only way.
  • Happy warrior Fr Longenecker’s sketch of the English ‘Reformation’ and him on the 20 minutes between the Pope and Dr Williams (short and funny): Don’t vorry. It von’t take me zat long to tell you vat I need to say.
  • Reverend Ref: The [US 1979] BCP and ESPN both turned 30 this year. And yet, why is it that ESPN is no longer “that new sports network,” while some people continue to insist on referring to the BCP as “that new prayer book”?
  • Gay trads. I’m all for being openly gay: honest with yourself and whoever else’s business it might be (your confessor for example). ‘Tolerant conservatism’ named for me by the other Bishop Robinson is a holy MYOB. Remember, you are a Catholic child of God first and foremost. Not a homosexual, a kleptomaniac, a glutton, a bigmouth, a lazy bones or anything else. We don’t define ourselves by our temptations or sins. We could all hang signs from our necks standing in the confessional line, but it’s the sign of the Cross that defines us and saves us.

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