Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday
  • O Trinity of blessed light.
  • James Hitchcock: The conservative Catholic claim is more modest than the liberal claim, because conservatives do not offer themselves as spiritual paragons – a conservative Catholic can readily admit to being a bad person in need of redemption. Liberals, on the other hand, claim to have actually found a better way of being Christian. Given human nature, that is a promise they cannot fulfill.
  • Eucharistic adoration. Fitting for Corpus Christi this Thursday. Just like its origins, the new trend of this among orthodox Roman Catholics, often younger people as many know, is a reaction to abuse, to a denial of the full sacramental presence, this time abuse in more subtle form as the desacralising of the Mass (heresy plus the Thomas Day factor – Irish low church – hijacked and crashed the liturgical movement and Vatican II). (The Orthodox: hardly anybody denied the presence. No Berengarius so no Benediction. And of course that liturgy is sacral in spades. The theology is pretty clear: if you reserve, you can have exposition, Benediction etc. But you don’t have to.) That said, the exposition craze is not beyond criticism. Traditionally the Mass was always central; technically you had to get the bishop’s permission to have exposition, Benediction etc. The answer of course is resacralise the Mass like Pope Benedict is doing, not an exposition craze alongside a low-church JPII Novus Ordo (something you’re seeing less of as the charismatic movement goes away).
  • Cardinal Wuerl on the upcoming American ordinariate. More from Fr C. The AU (Book of Divine Worship) at least at first; only convert priests will be married; ex-Catholic clergy won’t serve in it as clergy. My reactions: I’d rather see the American Missal; no strong opinion (they can change that rule but don’t have to); of course they won’t.
  • A classic: Fr Georges Florovsky. We know where the church is but cannot say where it is not, but subsistit in doesn’t mean indifferentism.
  • Small on the American scene but of interest to some here: bishops of America’s three Russian churches concelebrate, making clear what’s been so since 2007, that they’re in communion. For the foreseeable future, still three churches, the old dioceses from before the Russian Revolution (ex-Greek Catholic Slavs in the rust belt, like in The Deer Hunter – not Russians but their cousins; they split because the Irish treated them badly, not faith or morals – and some Alaskan Indians), the WWII Russian exiles and the little exarchate (technically not a diocese even though it has a bishop) that the Soviets started after WWII trying and failing to grab control of the old dioceses (Russia’s downgrading the exarchate from a diocese, giving up a territorial claim, was part of the peace deal granting the old dioceses independence). Nothing to do with faith or morals and largely the same liturgy; just the practical matters of saying no to the Soviets and, Metropolia/OCA vs ROCOR, American vs Russian culture (calendar, language – the Russian groups have a little boom right now thanks to post-Soviet immigration; Philly’s exarchate immigrant parish is thriving). The jurisdictional mess (in the same country, two sets of dioceses and an exarchate; one set of dioceses independent, no longer literally part of the Russian Church) doesn’t faze the Orthodox, a communion of conservative churches remarkably alike yet little to do with each other (‘religion: my family, my parish and lamb on a spit’... there’s something to that; ‘my bishop’ and infallibility are mostly unspoken givens); their ‘normal’. (In the chaos after the Russian Revolution, other ethnic Orthodox churches in America had and still have the same kinds of splits.)

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