Sunday, November 04, 2012


  • Dicit Dominus: ego cogito cogitationes pacis; invocabitis me, et ego exaudiam vos, et reducam captivitatem vestram de cunctis locis. We had a Low Mass with hymns (sung in full, a legacy of Fr James implementing the best of Anglo-Catholic practice; I listen) and still had out the catafalque with the black covering and six yellow candles from All Souls. And I didn’t bring a camera today! Printed in ’57, my missal’s table of movable feasts ends in ’87. No saints’ commemorations in ’62.
  • St Charles Borromeo, the inventor of the seminary. Trying to reform the church by making sure priests were educated enough.
  • Yesterday Donna and I went to a 30th-anniversary party for one of her co-workers, at an ‘independent Bible church’. Renewal of vows. Very sweet as you can imagine (a grandson was a ring-bearer). A bit of the heartland in south Jersey, or not all evangelicals are Southerners even though that’s their turf. The pastor (‘married for 40 years: yes, to the same woman’) gave a great sermon defending Christian marriage, impressive for a kind of Christianity that doesn’t call it a sacrament; could have fooled me. An unliturgical shop but of course we’re liturgical beings so the service had echoes of the Prayer Book. Big plain wooden cross on the apsidal wall and a ‘This Do in Remembrance of Me’ altar front and center. (I understand the funny word order is the King James using the same order as the original Greek.) Anyway, because I notice those things, I saw that the couple have an Irish name and, sure enough, their wedding album showed what looks like a big postwar Northeast Philly parish. Can’t pry but you wonder what went wrong. To be fair, as I like to say, 20-30 years ago, in practice (because of that awful council, in the dark ages before Pope Benedict), the church s*cked. Sad, but that these fine folks turned right and not left tells me their heart is in the right place. God is merciful.
  • From Cracked: It’s Not About Latin™ (but I like using it) and the only tradition English-speaking Catholics really have of praying in English is the Rosary (so even the liberals stay Tudor with the Our Father for example), but ‘this just in’: praying the Rosary in Latin is good for your health! (Scroll down here.) Namely your heart. Sweet. Ave Maria gratia plena...
  • Peter Kreeft, a Protestant-turned-Catholic, on that kind of ecumenism. The church and the mainstream liberal Lutherans agree that faith vs. works was never the real difference! It’s about authority: infallible church vs. fallible (ironically, claiming more power, to rewrite doctrine, than a divinely instituted infallible church). But... is Kreeft’s face-saving answer for Protestants a protestantized church or does he have a point? Chesterton: the reformer is right about what’s wrong but wrong about what’s right. Confessional Lutheranism’s (the good conservative ones) semi-Catholic.
  • The communion of saints. Of course I believe in their invocation but in my opinion ‘it’s just like asking a friend to pray for you’ is enough.
  • Funny old world, isn’t it? I hate the ‘Reformation’ (literally forcing people away from the body of Christ: omnes sancti martyres Anglorum, orate pro nobis) but I’m as Christ- and Eucharist-centered as a Missouri Synod Lutheran or Bob Hart Anglican. It’s Not About Latin™ but I worship in Latin; I hate Vatican II but believe in religious liberty and even ecumenism. (But ecumenism’s played itself out, it’s gone as far as it’ll ever go; the sides know what the others really teach and are no longer trying to kill each other. Corporate union is possible with the Orthodox — because sacramentally we’re the same — but probably won’t happen. The way forward is still individual submissions to the church.)


  1. The whole mess centered around the mistranslation of the bible verse by Fr. Luther who must have just been having a bad day: ". . . by faith ALONE." There is no "alone" in that verse or in the thought behind that verse.

    OK some nasty Church politics and corruption, but also all that nasty Continental politics. Interestingly, the Father of Protestantism was devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I am not sure of this but I seem to recall reading some where in my dim past that Father Luther also believed in the Immaculate Conception!

    Jim C.

  2. Right, he fudged scripture to fit his message, but he remained Catholic in other ways (yes, he believed in the Immaculate Conception), which is why orthodox Lutheranism is semi-Catholic.

  3. The whole mess centered around the mistranslation of the bible verse by Fr. Luther

    That is quite an over-simplification. Luther's mistranslation of that verse was (as the YF points out) a consequence of Luther's belief in justification by faith alone, not the basis of that belief. So it is not and cannot be "the center of the whole mess." Right or wrong, Luther was a serious theologian with a lifetime's worth of writings extant. You can't responsibly reduce his thought to a single verse and to "having a bad day."

    why orthodox Lutheranism is semi-Catholic

    Or, as we Lutherans like to say, the Catholic Church of the West rightly reformed.

    Lutheranism is "semi-Catholic" not simply because Luther himself remained Catholic in many ways, but because the intent of the Lutheran Reformation was to reform the Church as little as possible and no more than necessary (our churches dissent in no article of the faith from the Church Catholic, but only omit some abuses which are new, and which have been erroneously accepted by the corruption of the times, contrary to the intent of the Canons (Augsburg Confession)). Catholics and Lutherans will disagree, of course, as to whether that intent (to reform as little as possible) was realized. But the point is that the commonality between Lutheranism and Catholicism is not due to the opinions of one man (however important Luther was to Lutheranism), but is a consequence of the nature and intent of the Lutheran Reformation.

  4. Anonymous8:31 am

    thanks for sharing..


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