Friday, May 31, 2013

Trads have vocations

While in the church’s old American base in the Northeast, our archdiocesan seminary considers selling off more of its grounds (how’s that ‘renewal’ working out for y’all?), Modestinus reports that the SSPX has outgrown its former Dominican seminary in Winona (already having outgrown the former Jesuit retreat house in Ridgefield) and is building a bigger one in Virginia.
I will stand by... the position that the priests of the SSPX are indeed Catholic, that they are not schismatic, that their priests serve valid Masses, and that in parts of not only the United States but the rest of the world, they are “the only game in town” for those Catholic Christians who desire not only the traditional Catholic liturgy, but the rhythms of an authentically Catholic life. Beyond these claims there is a lot of room for debate.
I have my Mass in the official church because the saintly Archbishop Lefebvre sacrificed himself.

Related: Hilary posts Christopher Ferrara on our theology and worship war.

Back in the years of John Paul the Overrated, the neocons’ boy, the liberals didn’t take trads seriously; our bitterest rivals were the conservative Novus Ordo, defending tradition since 1970 and whatever the Pope happened to think that week. (It wasn’t high-church yet. That was Benedict the Great.) So ‘for you and for all’ (‘That’s wrong.’ ‘Shut up!’) and middle-aged ladies (at the time; they’re now old) giving out Communion and pushing women’s ordination. No wonder semi-congregationalist liturgically trad Anglo-Catholic parishes looked good in comparison to this Episcopal boy at the time. From conservative Novus you’d get ‘I’m just Catholic’ pretending the conflict wasn’t there, or lulus like the SSPX is a new, non-Catholic church, as if it were the Utrecht Old Catholics (nope: never schismatic in principle).
Whatever goes on in Rome, stay Catholic. They can't take the faith from you unless you're willing to relinquish it.

American Anglo-Catholics' six options

Listed by Fr Sutter: stay put, join one of three kinds of breakaways, join the ordinariate or join one of the two Western Rite Orthodox options?
  • Anglican Communion: Nope. Their semi-congregationalism means there are a few conservative parishes (Fr Kelly at St John's, Detroit, for example), but ultimately you've got two options there: mainline (Modernist, liberal) or Evangelical, both Protestant. We were wrong about Anglicanism. Checkmate.
  • ACNA: The Episcopal Church in 2002. It failed so let's re-create it. No thanks.
  • AM(iA): Offshoot of Evangelicalism; not an option for Anglo-Catholics.
  • Catholic Church–Ordinariate: Not perfect but pretty good. I'm not in it because I'm not a married aspiring priest nor do I have a jones for the Prayer Book on Sunday.
  • Anglican Catholic Church: Sectarian. The conservative Presbyterians have their act together with the PCA; Continuing Anglicans splintered.
  • Orthodoxy–Western Rite: I appreciate its appeal to sincere high churchmen who have principled objections to the papacy. Problems: in it, you're trying to rewrite history ('Orthodox Ireland' and similar garbage) and Orthodox anti-Westernism (you're not really welcome there).

Catholicism and Orthodoxy: OicwRs and ecumenism

Steve Hayes writes here:
I've no idea what "OicwRs" are, but I think the two-lungs metaphor is a bad one, and bad theology. Too sentimental, really. Though I don't think there will be reunion any time soon, we can find a modus vivendi if we learn to recognise differences without minimising them (which some Catholics are tempted to do, and it's patronising) or maximising them (which some Orthodox are tempted to do, and it's belligerent). Most Orthodox responses that I've seen to the election of Francis as Pope of Rome have been positive and sympathetic.
OicwR is short for ‘Orthodox in communion with Rome’, confusing because it sounds like a positive description of what Rome wants Greek Catholics to be, liturgically Orthodox and doctrinally Catholic but expressing that in Orthodox terms, showing the Orthodox it’s doable and desirable. The people I’m describing dissent from Catholic teaching.

There aren’t that many OicwRs. Stuart Koehl, their doyen online for about 20 years; a Melkite bishop or two; and a few Catholics and others who pass through Greek Catholicism, get fed up with the latinization and second-class treatment, buy into Orthodoxy and convert.

Right, bad theology and too sentimental. Relativistic, which is why ‘ecumenist’ is a fightin’ word among online Orthodox.

It’s like the Anglicans with their branch theory, trying to be nice by including Catholicism and Orthodoxy in the true church but patronizing because it insults the teachings of both.

I understand why you don’t like Catholics minimizing the differences. But it’s not patronizing, according to Catholicism. It is an assertion of the true-church claim, which of course conflicts with the Orthodox claim to that.

My opinion: the only real difference is the nature and scope of the papacy.

My guess is most Orthodox don’t care about the Pope or the current holder of the office; he’s irrelevant to them, like the Patriarch of Moscow’s irrelevant to Catholics. In liberal academia you get some who sound like Catholic liberals (contradicting the fine traditionalism in real Orthodox life) or mainline Protestants such as Anglicans, so they like social-justice Francis. (Who as far as I can tell is not interested in the Orthodox.)
Though I don’t think there will be reunion any time soon, we can find a modus vivendi if we learn to recognise differences without minimising them ... or maximising them ...
The Russian bishops now, such as Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), their ecumenical officer, seem to be of that mind about Catholics, which is great. (The fanatical, belligerent faction of ROCOR, around since the ’60s, lost when ROCOR rejoined the Russian church, so the crazy splinter Orthodox churches got a few more people.) Right, a way to co-exist. That’s as far as ecumenism all around will go. We know what the other churches teach and aren’t trying to kill each other.

Catholic/Orthodox ecumenism is not only self-limiting (one side would have to give in on the Pope; not going to happen) but as society’s become less religious, most people just aren’t interested in ecumenism anymore. Unlike the ’60s, when most still went to church and people thought church union was just around the corner. The symbolic lifting of 1054’s excommunications (excommunications no longer apply after you die) got Catholics’ hopes up and scared Orthodox (some of whom jumped jurisdictions to become the fanatics in ROCOR) that Florence and the unias were about to come to full fruition with the Orthodox coming into Catholicism; the council got liberal Catholics’ and liberal Protestants’ hopes up that Catholicism was turning liberal Protestant; the English Anglicans and the Methodists were talking reunion; Paul VI gave Archbishop Ramsey one of his rings and Anglo-Catholics got their hopes up; American mainliners (liberal Protestants, though not as liberal as they are now) had the COCU merger plan. Nope.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

An American Catholic passing: Fr Andrew Greeley

The Rev. Andrew Greeley passed away peacefully overnight.
Interesting character. I’ve read one each of his novels and his serious books. A victim of the council like his generation and I hope not a lost soul; he needs our prayers. A second-rate Modernist awash in the ’70s sexual revolution and me decade. (At least he was into women.) Interestingly he was a kind of liberal high-church, rare among the American Catholics he claimed to speak for: he didn’t hate the traditionalist trappings he grew up with but emptied them of their content in favor of sentimentality, his cultural Catholicism. My Jesus, mercy.

Happy feast of Corpus Christi.

Forever Jeannie


Roissy on the connection between the Pill and divorce

A reason society went to hell after around 1968.
The Pill is one of the Six Sirens of the Sexual Apocalypse. Like opening Clamdora's Box, the Pill is one of the six crimson spirits that now haunt the world and visit upon the civilized West far-reaching unintended (and perhaps intended) negative effects. Why would Pill usage contribute to a rise in the divorce rate? For an answer to that, you have to look to women first, and how the Pill alters their perceptions of men.
The church and real science agree: it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. By the way, before the 1930s this wasn’t just a Catholic thing; it was a generally Christian one.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


  • Modestinus’ trad taxonomy. I’m just to the right of the first group, in the official church but knowing all’s not sweetness and light there (I’m hoping for Pope Francis’ benign neglect, expecting nothing more). Mass-and-office, pre-conciliar’s high-and-dry.
  • Aussie Western Rite Orthodox breakup. A defection to an uncanonical church. Guess the true church for Westerners in Australia isn’t in Fr Michael’s home after all. For all the official church’s problems, St Peter’s, ; St Petroc’s, no.
  • That said, an unexpected lesson from after the council, from Anglo-Catholicism and Orthodoxy, is that the grassroots (Anglo-Catholic semi-congregationalism, which is how it managed to exist; Orthodox decentralization) can be a serviceable refuge for the pre-conciliar and is historically how the church has been (in the ages before easy travel and instant communication).
  • Maybe St John Lateran’s a better synecdoche for the church, since it’s the Pope’s cathedral. HQ’s long been Rome but not the Vatican (the usual synecdoche) for much of that time.
  • From Takimag: Dominique Venner.
  • New to me: Rachel Allen. Or Ireland isn’t much like ‘Ireland’. I like good food of course but don’t really cook. Found this beauty when flipping channels recently. Couldn’t place the accent so Google told all. She’s no Hollywood golden-era colleen or American TV leprechaun. This is modern, nouveau, Celtic-tiger Irish. I understand that her sound, halfway between BBC and common-knowledge Irish, isn’t unique to her. It’s how lots of Dubliners talk. Of course I’ve met Irish from other regions who don’t sound as English.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our twisted politics of grief

Norman Solomon at
Darwin observed that conscience is what most distinguishes humans from other animals. If so, grief isn’t far behind. Realms of anguish are deeply personal—yet prone to expropriation for public use, especially in this era of media hyper-spin. Narratives often thresh personal sorrow into political hay. More than ever, with grief marketed as a civic commodity, the personal is the politicized.

Miss Lube Rack 1951


Who she’s not.
The photo was taken in 1951 at the Muller Brothers Oldsmobile Tires and Carwash in Los Angeles, California by Life Magazine. The photo was one of many that appeared in a photo documentary about the world's largest automotive service station. The idea for the beauty contest was to celebrate the 3,000,000th vehicle to go through the car wash.
That explains the Olds on the lift.

Who else thinks this might be a re-enactment?

The show

  • Yesterday I caught some reruns of the season so far and picked up a couple of plot points I missed the first time. Must have dozed off then. Don’s creepy domination game with Sylvia backfired, but the point remains she did play along for a long time. I don’t think he messed it up deliberately; passive-aggressive isn’t how he rolls (even when his game is off, like last episode when he was on drugs), and his reaction was real. She came to her senses and dumped him. Sayonara to a sexy girl. I agree with others his ‘please’ was perfect acting. And I learned why Joan was sick (of course nothing life-threatening; they wouldn’t write that bombshell off!).
  • Don and Betty: didn’t see that coming! Hey, it’s a soap. Very sexy. An ex-model like her character, January’s arguably more beautiful than Grace Kelly.
  • Arlene the swinger again. Another attractive woman. Didn’t see that curveball either but it fits her. Reminds me of girls’ hip-to-be-bi kick now. Women are naturally more fluid that way than men; sometimes they fall in love with their best friends. In the messed-up modern culture, where Christian charity to the oppressed has turned into a big endorsement of homosexuality, girls are encouraged to do that and exaggerate it so they say they’re bi. (‘Hot damn; I’m gay. I get power and get to play a victim.’) I understand the reality is by the time they’re fully grown, in their 30s, most such are married and raising kids. What you do is your business, but as a gay pundit once wrote, you can spare yourselves and us the big coming-out speech. Anecdote: at an Ivy League college, a married grad student who really was bi didn’t talk about it because so many girls were claiming to be. By the way I have zero prurient interest in lesbianism.
  • Good riddance, Abe. We’re being prepped for Peggy and Ted to get together. ’68’s been kind to her; she’s prettier.
  • Most of what I wear is simply old (at work, up to 80%) or lookalikes but one’s because of the Don: my Helbros watch has a black leather band. While you’re there, enjoy Flickr’s redesign; they’re giving you a lot more free space too.
  • Of course I’m sad to see the show leave the golden era (it tapered off after ’65) but it’s interesting to see it segue into what I remember. I’m Kevin Harris’ age; the first car I remember was a ’67 Galaxie wagon.
  • What’s your opinion on that Bob Benson guy? Good question! At first you weren’t supposed to like him; his ambition was too obvious and he’s kind of a geek. Not a smooth operator like the anti-hero main characters. He’s a wannabe. When I think about it, in the show’s world, many of us would be like him, socially out of our depth. I like him. What’s wrong with ambition? He's puppy-dog sincere in his friendliness and it’s obviously self-serving at the same time. What you see is what you get, unlike the smart double-dealers at the firm. And ... he’s managing to date Joan? Guess he’s no geek after all.

    Or if they’re not dating, he’s a beta orbiter, friendly with an obvious ulterior motive just like at work, one that’s perfectly normal and not in itself wrong. (Beta orbiting in the friend zone doesn’t work for that objective, by the way.) But Joan has never treated men like that; golden-era people didn’t have weird, unnatural platonic relationships like that. Sure, there were opposite-sex friendships like Don and Peggy but they don’t pseudo-date. Don and Anna, the real Don’s widow, were another exception, understandable, that could have really happened.

    The Bob-Joan connection could be a fake-out for the audience; maybe Bob’s gay and she’ll be nice and protect him, as a real friend. (You’d think a dweeb like him’d be tongue-tied around her. Not a bad-looking guy. But usually a little awkward.) But the show already did gay with Sal (I know someone Pete’s age, now in his 70s, who like Sal is Italian-speaking second-generation American); it’s not that common in real life.

    Update: About Bob Benson...apparently earlier in the show, he said that his father had died. Now in this episode, he said that this nurse he recommended to Pete had "nursed his father back to health." Busted. So what’s with him?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Some dead things to memorialize on Memorial Day

An LRC pick from Thomas DiLorenzo that doesn’t well-meaningly bash our military but names the freedoms we’ve lost. By the way, do ‘governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed’? Or do they answer to a higher authority than mob rule?

More on the American Revolution and the special relationship

With good friend Jim C.:
I think we make more of the American Revolution in the sense of glory and righteousness than it deserves, and not just because of its perpetuation of African Slavery but because it was less a revolution (culturally and ideologically) and more a typical tax revolt . . . or the prototypical tax revolt? The ideology? This was prominent in the Mother Country--the Enlightenment's Contract Theory of Gov't--before our Founding Fathers decided to employ this ideology to justify their break with the Mother Country. I am a loyal American too, seriously loving all that flag waving, martial music, re-enactors (Revolutionary & Civil War), etc., being a Vietnam veteran and a retired naval officer, more etc., but I must acknowledge frankly that had the colonists not revolted or succeeded in revolting from King George, etc., African Slavery in the British America might have ended in 1833. Something to think about. And given the natural resources of the North American continent and the energy of its peoples (OK, the Indians got screwed too, not just the African-Americans), the "nation" would have been explored and developed anyway.

The American Revolution was our first tax revolt. The Parliament-imposed taxes were not unreasonable. To help pay for the French-Indian War of which the colonists were primary beneficiaries especially vis-a-vis the acquisition of western territories.
Interesting to me, having lived in the UK and visited Canada, is what alternative-history British America might have been. (Someone once wrote that America's what Britain would have been if Britain had room to grow.) We would have looked and sounded much the same, like Canada now (American English sounds different because English sounded different when America was settled, in the 1600s; we would have -our spellings, like Canada, because American spelling was invented out of spite after independence), but would we have been a model of Burkean conservatism or as socialist and anti-religious as the mother country, Canada, and Australia (they're irreligious; I don't know about socialist) are now?
I don't know about irreligious. The religious ideology cum quasi-myth of the Mass. Bay Colony, etc., with its Calvinistic expression in Presbyterianism and Congregationalism (pre-Unitarian) was pretty-well entrenched long before the Revolutionary War. Would a non-Revoutionary War have changed the religious movements and revivals of the 1820s, the ferment that led partially to the advent of Mormonism and other off-short (some of the others not surviving) religious movements? Who can say. Interesting to contemplate or for someone of a literary bent, writing an alternate history novel other than those stupid alternate history Nazi or vampire [what's the difference?] novels. He he he.

Re: the Fr. & Indian War and the British/Colonial acquisition of former French Western territories/forts----->>>the origin of American manifest destiny (before the phrase was uttered) and American Imperialism??? Perhaps. I think we could look upon the new nation--the United States--as the British Empire, Jr., even though the U.S. and Gr. Britain were quasi-enemies even through the U.S. Civil War . . . the War of Northern Aggression for you unrepentant Confederate Rebels and anti-statist Libertarians! LOL
We're definitely the British Empire, Part II. Even though for much of our history, Britain was a threat to our independence (there were a naval arms race and a war plan to invade Canada, both as recently as the 1920s), the cultural tie of course remains. When WWI and the Depression bankrupted the empire, it did a couple of things: divested itself of its white colonies (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. — the monarch's still head of state but they're independent now) and passed command from London to Washington, the point of the Rhodes Group/CFR (as in Rhodes Scholarships to maintain the special relationship), to keep the empire going even after British decline. WWII further impoverished Britain so even the illusion of a British-run empire went away (just what Churchill didn't want); the black colonies and India were spun off, and the US military took over the British role of world cop. Britain became Airstrip One, independent of Europe thanks to the role reversal of becoming a protectorate of its former colony.
In WWII Gr. Britain definitely was the loser. The empire was declining even in the relatively recent run-up to WWI. WWII put the "kaput" on what was not accomplished by WWI. The main tragedy IMHO was that WWI was fought due to competition among the European Imperialists but it was played out on the European land mass rather than in imperialist overseas areas (the war stuff happening overseas was basically inconsequential during WWI). WWII was rendered almost inevitable (OK there is a lot of room to argue this) by the disastrous results of WWI, again almost all the cause of European imperialism. We got drawn into it (WWI) over money/finance/commerce and into WWII if only sympathetically to what were now considered our British cousins. Again all opinion subject to debate, here, on your blog, in internet-space, etc. Interestingly, the author John Toland, in his Pulitzer Prize winning book, "The Rising Sun," considered the War with Japan to be wholly avoidable.
It was. Just like Nixon with China, peace with imperial Japan was possible and, for America, which is all that should matter to the US government, desirable.

Memorial Day

Hooray for small-town patriotism and the sincere men who have served, meaning to lay down their lives for their families and friends.

What strikes me, having lived in England, is how easily we got off; British Remembrance Day (our Veterans Day) is much bigger and more solemn because proportionally they lost so many more men. Many English towns have a World War I monument for that reason.

A lot of my libertarian sources make the mistake of hating all authority including our military, much like the modern left when it’s out of power, which has long not been true. The scum who at home tried to fight for the North Vietnamese, trying to kill our own soldiers at home, are now respected law professors. The enemy’s won in our country. (That Obama commencement speech this year: shut up and obey the government.)

It’s weird hearing the left get nostalgic about our wars, especially about the war, but it makes sense. First, the old establishment liberals weren’t bad guys. They believed in individual rights and, like the church, still believed in objective truth and fighting for it. They really thought foreign military adventures were noble causes, fighting tyranny including Communism (Vietnam was their project).

Because conservatism’s seen as law-and-order, and has a basis in authority, many Americans don’t know or have forgotten that the authentic, old right was for peace, against the left’s crusades for ‘progress’. (The Southern Baptist Convention was officially anti-war as recently as 1936; liberal mainliners were warmongers.) They didn’t want us in the world wars; America First, slandered today as Nazis, were 100% right. The John Birch Society, God love them, were even divided on Vietnam.

So I’m far from the left’s and libertarians’ anti-authority kick; it’s childish. (But I’m a true believer in libertarianism’s cornerstone: no one has the right to initiate force against another.)

That said, because of the objective evil of war, the damage it does to all involved, it’s only fair to question the state’s self-serving narrative (loving my country doesn’t mean being a slave to the government; the American Revolution was supposed to end that) and ask why the hell we were fighting.

A quick rundown (by the way, in Catholic teaching, very few wars are just):
  • The American Revolution: jury’s out; I love the old republic (so I say the flag pledge and mean it) but the many Loyalists, now slandered like George III, had a point.
  • The War of 1812: unnecessary. As I understand it, it was about the new US trying to grab the remaining British colonies in North America, what’s now Canada, and getting their asses kicked by the redcoats. We’re taught it was Part Two of the War of Independence.
  • The Mexican War and the Spanish-American War. Wars of aggression and conquest. Wrong.
  • The Civil War: we’re taught it was the noble war to free the slaves, so any cost was justified. Great seeing the black US Army re-enactors in my town’s parade, but the true story is more complicated. The South had every right to do what it did, according to the Constitution (a former president, John Tyler, was elected a Confederate congressman), Lee, not hostile to blacks, was a hero, Lincoln a monstrous dictator and Sherman a war criminal.
  • World War I: the world would have been better off if the Central Powers (Catholic Austria) had won. Palestine would have remained a sleepy outpost of the weak Ottoman Empire where all faiths were welcome.
  • THE war: I love the Greatest Generation and the war effort but we should have stayed out of it. America First (not pacifist, by the way). Let the Soviets and the Nazis kill each other, and, just like Nixon with China, make and keep the peace with imperial Japan; not our fight. The war arguably made us a superpower but the means were wrong and left the world worse off. The truth about the war: we were chumps for the real bad guys; the Soviets won, and we helped them. (Because that SOB Roosevelt’s government was riddled with Soviet agents. Yalta. Joe McCarthy was right.) Hiroshima and Nagasaki were war crimes.
  • Korea: justifiable because, once we’d betrayed Europe and Asia by handing them to the Coms, we had to contain them.
  • Vietnam: ditto but I appreciate the intelligent case against it. (Not the jerk kids waving the enemy’s flag, literally; I’m not Fonda Hanoi Jane.) I read The Quiet American when I was 18. Just a civil war; not a threat? Nixon’s Realpolitik with China seems to say so. (Smart, well-meaning guy, often wrong according to us conservatives, but wrongly demonized. He wasn’t handsome so he couldn’t get away with election cheating like Kennedy did.) The dominoes fell; he did what the people wanted and pulled us out (I remember), but we were fine. God bless and keep the good kids who didn’t get college deferments or run away to Canada (to hell with Haight-Ashbury, etc.) and tried to do what they were told. RIP.
  • Grenada and Iran/contra in Nicaragua: ditto.
  • Iraq I, Iraq II, Afghanistan and the rest of the perpetual ‘War on Terror’, or 9/11 Changed Everything™: NO! If we’d done right from the beginning, not propping up Israel (the Christians are now the chosen people; we don’t owe the people of the Old Testament anything, least of all weapons to do to the Arabs what the Nazis did to them) and not stationing our soldiers on their holy ground, the big revenge attack never would have happened. We’re paying twice as much for gas because of this idiot war.

The ugly truth about WWII.

Our troops have been horribly misused and thus abused through the years but I support them. Anti-war, pro-military. Thanks and RIP.

Catholicism and Orthodoxy: 'two lungs'

At best, it’s a way of saying Catholics don’t hate the Orthodox, recognize their grace, and envision a place for their tradition in the Catholic Church (again). At worst, it’s a branch theory, relativism that insults both churches exactly as online Orthodox say (why I object to the few OicwRs: being Catholic but thumbing your nose at Catholic authority, while saying you agree with the Orthodox but don’t join; it’s making religion a game).

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Trinity Sunday

  • Mass: Benedicta sit sancta Trinitas atque indivisa Unitas. Sung Mass with our workhorse, the Missa de Angelis so the congregation can sing the Gloria and Credo if they want, with the Old Hundredth at the offertory, Schubert’s Ave Maria at Communion and the chant Deo gratias from True Confessions. The gist of Fr Matthew’s sermon: the Trinity shows that God is not infinite loneliness but infinite love.
  • Sermon by Fr Robert Hart.
  • Catholicism and Orthodoxy: Rusyn religious identity 75 and 100 years ago. Makes sense given the regionalism in much of the church’s history and especially in the East: grassroots folk traditional Catholicism. There was much non-faith based, pragmatic "flip flopping" back before 1920. My grandparents' worldview, and that of their peers was very insular. Their religion was "nas virnyj" - our Faith [naša vira/наша вера; naš virnyj means something like ‘our faithful’] - not viewed in terms of Catholicism or Orthodoxy. The clergy knew, but the average Joe or Mary didn't care until "nas virnyj" was challenged. My parents' generation was somewhat more aware of Catholicism and Orthodoxy as they were, for the most part, more worldly unless they grew up in a "patch" by a mine or a mill. Maybe. Po-našomu (‘po nahSHOmu’, like по-нашему, ‘po NAHshemu’, ‘our way’) church as its own thing, both, and neither exclusively, Catholic and/nor Orthodox, like the Melkites in Syria and Lebanon now. (The expression refers to the whole Rusyn culture: language and church.) Can anybody confirm that about East Slavic immigrants last century? After the schisms in America (East Slavs pushed out of the Catholic Church for no good reason about 75 and 100 years ago) and the Communist persecution of Catholics, certainly not true of Slavs now, such as the Ukrainian Catholic refugees I knew 30 years ago. As has been written elsewhere, unlike 100 years ago, the only russophile Rusyns now are the Rusyn-American majority, descended from ex-Catholics 100 years ago, of America’s ‘Russian’ Orthodox (the OCA).
  • The Orthodox and Western liberal fantasy about Celts. Vs. the Catholic historical reality of Ireland and Irish-Americans. The thread starts here and picks up here. I have no Irish ancestry that I know of. Marcella: I had no intention of accepting a discredited Victorian Protestant thesis about a pure ‘Celtic Church’ repackaged as ‘Orthodoxy’. Sounds like Western Rite Orthodoxy’s myth. And: There is a huge amount of research taking place today, none of which confirms the myth of the free-spirited, woman-friendly, environmentally concerned ‘Celtic church’. Surprised? Me neither. The Irish still have a sort of mascot status from the American left (to steal St Patrick’s Day parties), part of the left’s anything but the old America kick, as long as they’re deracinated/assimilated, having left the church for something more acceptable (or at least thumbing your nose at Rome) or believing the left’s made-up ancient Irish religious history.

’51 Hudson and ’58 Pontiac

At Mayfest in Collingswood, NJ.

When you go to lots of local classic-car shows you see many of the same ones. Miss Bonnie’s an old friend.

'Bewitched': the original 'Mad Men'

MeTV’s been running a commercial with this theme. Cute and true.

More on England and absolute power over reality itself

Regarding this post on the anti-religious British government’s claim of power to change reality, namely regarding gay marriage and the nature of the church and the sacraments (gay marriage and women bishops, as if the English ‘Reformation’ wasn’t enough of a clue), Michael Ernst writes:
England’s Constitution is unwritten and is essentially this: the Crown, and Parliament acting with authority from the Crown, are sovereign. Thus, anything is possible.
Not Burkean and/or the mother of our old republic but absolute power. I never thought of it that way before, but I knew that the monarch still has nearly absolute power in theory. So Parliament, acting in the Crown’s name, does. Thanks.

That reminds me: George III is one of history’s figures most wronged by myth. The American colonists’ grievances were against Parliament acting in his name, not him. My jury’s out about the American Revolution. I love the old republic. The classical Protestants and ‘Enlightenment’ men of reason and science who founded it still had enough in common with the church, believing in reason as conforming yourself to objective reality rather than do anything you want rather than understand old rules, to make it work. (Modern liberals hold their truths to be self-evident too but can’t back that up historically, so they throw reason out the window.) But again, the problems weren’t the king’s fault, only some of the colonists were rebels, not even a majority, and after all, they all owed the king their allegiance, like a vow, literally so in the case of colonial government and militias. The church is apolitical (it’s all good, as long as Catholics are free); politics is about choosing between imperfect solutions. So, stay with a Christian old regime turned anti-Catholic (not as bad in the colonies) or go with the literally godless republican rebels? The Loyalists, American Tories, get an undeserved bad rap along with King George. Many Americans were good, loyal British subjects, even serving in the British Army. The revolution was a civil war. We aren’t taught that. We learn about Benedict Arnold but he was the exception; he had understandable personal grievances and the British didn’t even like him personally.

Anyway, you’d think that Canada, which, before it became Canada, defeated attempted rebel/American invasions (or rather the British defending it did), was suspicious of the godless radical rebels, and was partly founded by Loyalists, would be a model of Burkean conservatism, a Tory alternative-timeline America, while America’s completely socialist and anti-religious, but the reverse happened. America still has its Scots-Irish Southerners, devout Baptists, who aren’t with the liberal elite’s program and thus are maligned as dumb hicks and dangerous bigots*. Canada looks and sounds like us but is as socialist and anti-religious as the mother country. So who knows what might have been best for America?

Recently a British pol said something like, ‘We don’t do religion’. In his country’s context, anti-religious, rather than the secular politics I believe in (how a Protestant country can be a good host for Catholics: the old America, back when liberals believed in individual rights). I’d rather have a Putin, even a likely hypocrite like him (gangster state), making political points by being photographed at a real apostolic church (not the English fake).

*And in the ’50s America had a huge Catholic minority at the height of its cultural and political power before the council threw that clout away and the Sixties assimilated them into the American liberal Protestant majority (so you have pols like Kathleen Sebelius: not Bad Catholic sinners like President Kennedy, but actual turncoats: I will not serve). The anti-abortion movement’s only practicing Catholics, a small minority of Catholics now (thanks, Vatican II) and a smaller one of Americans. And now our hosts have less in common with us and are more hostile, even more than the Know-Nothings. (For about five minutes in the Sixties, white ethnic Catholics were lefty mascots as part of anything but the old America; after all, the lefties loved the Kennedys. Then the lefties hated us again after Roe v. Wade.)

The mother of all impossibilities

Binky of Steynian is back:
SO THE ENGLISH Parliament, sometime plaything of kings and nobles and Calvinist rebels, but still the Mother of Western Democracy, has made law impossible things. Pseudogamous "marriage" for same-sex couples is law in the UK.

This is a crime against multiculturalism, of course, because Christians, Jews and Muslims officially oppose same-sexuality; and the line-up of sexual minorities behind the same-sex crowd-- at least by the logic of rights
über alles -- also deserve their slice of the legality/ benefits/ state-enforced & state-funded sex-pie, and are starting to ask for same.

This is yet another moment in the long war of our conformitarian Western elites against reality, and The Real -- ultimately, against God -- and against civilization, many of her people, and the actual best interests of children and future generations. That war started with the invention of the cradle-to-grave benefits state, with easier divorce, abortion & the Pill, the sexual revolution, widespread pornography, delayed and serial monogamous marriage, wherein the sexual habits of sex-crazed bunnies permeated the Middle class...
In somewhat related news, England’s established mainline church hardly anybody goes to anymore plans to have women bishops by 2015. Same principle: changing reality by vote. England’s been doing it since Henry VIII hijacked the church there to give himself an annulment so women clergy and gay weddings aren’t surprising. The liberals hold those truths to be self-evident. Western liberals are Christian heretics; they think they’re helping the oppressed. The Anglicans used to be the Tories and Republicans at prayer but that was just cultural. The ‘Enlightenment’ put out the light of real faith among them; the Sixties made that more obvious. The Church of England’s difference from the Episcopalians, besides being in a more anti-religious country, is the C of E has Evangelicals in it duking it out with the liberals.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Calling out lefty hypocrisy: pushing contraception on girls

OicwR* doyen Stuart Koehl:
I find it curious that the same liberals who believe trace levels of relatively innocuous chemical compounds are an unconscionable threat to public health and safety, that need to be banned "for the children", are willing to subject pubescent girls to a powerful hormonal cocktail, the long-term effects of which on their physical development and health have yet to be assessed.
Elementary as Holmes said. Fallen human nature: illicit sex trumps well-meant concern about health and the environment.

Roissy explains that in the contraceptive culture only alpha player men get most of the sex, licit or not, not the beta, herb and omega majority of men. (1950s society equalized this, favoring nice-guy providers, whom the women needed financially, which was better for society.) Cleverly marketed as girl power. Political correctness about sexual harassment is both a ripoff of the church’s teaching against illicit sex (the church says to respect women and our liberal Protestant hosts in America mock it; the left says it and betas had better obey, or else; alphas can do whatever they want) and a cover for female hypergamy, a fancy way of saying girls can now screen out nice guys for the illusion of no-strings sex with alphas. It’s short-term empowerment: through taxes, unfair divorce laws, etc. the women have fun with the alphas on the betas’, et al.’s dime. But the women end up ill-used, alone. (In short, feminism’s a lie.) And it’s bad for society in the long run, with fewer kids and more of those kids being maladjusted literal bastards (fatherless homes are bad for kids both financially and for social development). And of course contraception fails; the abortion culture is part of this too. Why society turns a blind eye to Kermit Gosnell (Obama in scrubs).

*A rare sort of Byzantine Rite Protestant theology from some nominal Catholics that’s conservative but flouts the teachings of the churches, just like high-church Anglicans’ branch theory.

Gays didn't kill marriage; divorce did

Gavin McInnes at Takimag. Rod Dreher has made a similar point.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Culture-wars bait: the gays and the Boy Scouts

I’m about individual rights and thus about leaving homosexuals in peace, all 3 or so percent of them. Private organizations have the right to make and change their rules. That said, of course I’m sad that, like with the public institution of the military (gay alumni weddings at West Point) on which the Boy Scouts are partly modeled, the homosexualists have hijacked another Middle American institution from the golden era, with which they will try to indoctrinate (and, if they get their wish about gay scoutmasters, recruit by trying to seduce) kids. My parish saw this coming, which is why its new troop won’t really be the Boy Scouts. Being an Eagle Scout has a lot of clout, which is why the homosexualists pushed Scout membership as a right.

Why Roissy, again

Judge373 writes:
I don't understand why you read the trash produced by Roissy.
Because he tells the unvarnished truth about human sexuality, as part of fallen human nature, and human biodiversity (groups on average aren’t equal). Because of that, beneath the amoral bluster, he’s profoundly conservative, as the Anti-Gnostic says. (One of his points: what’s good for players, the sexual revolution, isn’t good for society in the long run.)

His message is a splash of cold water in the face trying to wake up two kinds of well-meaning nice guys, who are related: conservative Christian white knights like you seem to be, and their politically correct, peer-pressure liberal cousins who now dominate the culture (they’re Christian heretics, a ripoff of Christianity). The guys who do everything mainstream society, including the conservative churches, tells them about trying to be nice, pedestalize women because of their God-given love for them, and wonder why they end up alone.

If your vocation isn’t to celibacy, you’ve got a choice: trip the porn faptastic or listen to him.

Catholicism and Orthodoxy: Russian pan-Slavism, Rusyn-Americans, and the story of ACROD

Pan-Slavism and Russian missionizing among Greek Catholic immigrants in America 100 years ago were imperial Russian propaganda. But to be fair, back then it was often mutual.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


They’re great. Nice kids, not as well taught as you’d like, thanks to society going to hell after about 1968, left to clean up the Boomers’ mess (the generation partying on the golden era’s hard-earned dime). Maybe enough ’50s people are still around, and us ’50s appreciators as a kind of reservists, to teach them some things. The great thing is they listen to that. They like my look. From LRC.

The Henrician church: no, thanks

Some Anglicans, official and not (some Continuers), point to the Henrician Church of England as an example of how to be. Of course that strikes me as absurd as idealizing the same thing 400 years later, the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, a schismatic puppet started and controlled by the government, its reason to exist. (Ironically, thanks to its isolation, it stayed Tridentine longer than the official church; the Communists didn’t care as long as it’s not under Rome and does what the government tells it to.) Reminds me of Bill Tighe’s remark, ‘the Established Church of Never-Never Land’, and of liberal high-church Anglicanism generally, which goes back at least to the ’20s (alongside our close cuz, old-school Tridentine papalist Anglo-Catholicism) or even to the original Catholic Modernists (Evelyn Underhill and her nominally Catholic friend Baron von Hügel), and which in its original form he describes as Modernism in Sarum vestments.

Apparently the theological war in the Continuum is between non-papal semi-Catholics (who want to be like the Henrician sect or the Union of Scranton Old Catholics today), much like the ’50s American biretta belt, who think ‘Anglicanism’ is the first seven ecumenical councils, the pre-‘Reformation’ consensus (which is serviceable; you more or less get what Catholicism says) and the Affirmation of St Louis, and the ‘reformed Catholics’/high-church classical Protestants, who base their theology on their fairly faithful reading of the English ‘Reformation’: the anti-Catholic Articles of Religion (Articles XIX and XXI explain Episcopalianism: fallible, fungible church) and the early Anglican divines such as Hooker and Jewel. ‘Hooker minus the Erastianism’ as one such once said to me. The second faction interestingly is liturgically higher than historical classical Anglicans/old high churchmen were: altars and chasubles, like the Henricians and like the other faction of Continuers. Even the Reformed Episcopal Church (conservative late-1800s breakaway from the Episcopalians) is in on the high-churchifying Continuing action now, going against its original Protestant reason to exist.

Anybody coming closer to the church is a good thing, and that goes for our other cousins, liberal high church (they believe the creeds and more or less the same thing as us about the sacraments, and unlike Catholic liberals they like our trad liturgies, but it’s all on their terms, not the church’s, because they think women clergy and homosexuality are self-evident truths), too, as it did for evangelicals becoming Orthodox 20 years ago, but schism and the Articles are dead ends.

Orthodoxy: church canonicity and non-canonicity, and American jurisdictionalism and congregationalism

I thought if one official Orthodox church recognizes you, you’re Orthodox.

During ROCOR’s fanatical phase, from the ’60s through the ’00s, when it took in a bunch of anti-ecumenical Greeks, ROCOR remained in Orthodoxy by a thread, being recognized by the Serbs. Otherwise it would have been the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Orthodoxy. But all those years, their priests couldn’t concelebrate with other American Orthodox so it was as if they weren’t Orthodox.

I’d forgotten how bitter the jurisdictional wars in American Orthodoxy have been, namely the factions of Russian Orthodox in America during Soviet times. When ROCOR first had a real presence here, right after the war (displaced persons), the Metropolia parishes were told the newcomers were schismatics outside Orthodoxy so have nothing to do with them. (Then in the ’70s some ROCOR parishes picked up old Metropolia parishioners when the Metropolia-turned-OCA dioceses dumped Slavonic and the Julian calendar.*) There was the Soviet church, the MP at the time, which a few Metropolia parishes joined, causing more acrimony and court cases. Parishes were congregationalist, unknown in European Orthodoxy or in Catholicism, jurisdiction-shopping and hopping. (Effectively, fire your bishop and hire another one; some places treated priests like that as they jumped ships.) There’s a Metropolia/OCA parish here, rare as it was founded by actual Russians (not Ruthenian ex-Catholics), that’s legally still ‘St Nicholas Independent Russian Orthodox Church’.

But unlike in the Ukraine, American messy Orthodoxy isn’t a theological problem and not a big deal to American Orthodox because almost all of the players are in communion with at least one canonical Orthodox church so they’re in communion with each other. That’s why only the MP recognizing OCA autocephaly isn’t a problem. (Exceptions: outliers such as the Old Calendarist Greek jurisdictions and the Byelorussian Orthodox Church in America; not in the club but in the family.)

American immigrant Orthodoxy has always imported bishops and priests from its home countries so it’s always been an ethnic jurisdictional patchwork and probably always will be. Makes sense since the groups speak unrelated languages and have different musical traditions. The same reason the worldwide Orthodox communion is a group of churches that have surprisingly little to do with each other.

*That’s as close as Orthodoxy gets to the Novus Ordo. No farther. Слава Богу.

Living with the past: what to make of early to mid-period rock

Rob Rogala writes:
As someone who very much enjoys the music of Elvis and The Beatles, I have to admit that had I been around at the time they were popular I would have been opposed to them. I mean, in my opinion there's correlative relationship between the introduction of rock n' roll and a general decline in morals, but the old stuff seems so tame compared to the garbage on the airwaves now. Still, should I have the same attitude towards, say, The Doors, in 2013 that I likely would have had towards them in 1967?
Almost as in ’67. RIP Ray Manzarek. At face value the Doors made great, minimalist-cool music, a jump removed from the golden era’s cool jazz (Dave Brubeck).

My dial’s set to roughly 1937 to 1967; any pop I know after 1998 is by accident. I’m not a huge Elvis fan, but like Pat Buchanan love early rock, and my jury’s out on the Beatles. Definitely, regarding them, I hear Rob. At face value the music’s very good and mostly harmless. The early stuff’s a continuation of the ’50s. (Once upon a time there were English kids who did a mean impression of Little Richard.) Yet they were an instrument of great evil. So I listen; I don’t consciously boycott the stuff. But beware, as in ‘be aware’. I am. Today in my home the Sixties never happened. (Just like at my church.) No Beatles paraphernalia. It just ended up that way, not by plan.

Man hacked to death in South London in alleged terrorist incident

Two attackers savagely killed a man believed to be a British soldier just outside an army barracks in an apparent terrorist attack in southeast London today, telling eyewitnesses the killing was "as an eye for an eye ... because Muslims are dying by British soldiers every day."
Elementary as Holmes said. We mind our own business regarding the Middle East. Buy oil from them and that’s IT. If we did that, no sane person would want to attack us, including in the street. (No 9/11s.) If you choose to move here; welcome. Hack our people to death and back to Hellholistan you go.

The show as imagined by nancy boys

From about five years ago when the show first hit it big. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Don has fans of that persuasion. I understand that getting a straight man, like if they were women, is one of their fantasies.

Sin’s sin but we’re all God’s children.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The faith

  • Anti-evolutionism isn’t a hill I'd die on. The church is against a random, chaotic, godless theory of evolution, but theistic evolution, in which God made man’s soul, like him and unique from other animals, and which fell through sin, is fine. You can believe in creationism, etc., but don’t have to.
  • Modestinus hits one out of the park: For my part, my (meager?) defense of Catholicism over Orthodoxy, aside from my familial ties and history in Catholicism, is that there is nothing true in the Eastern tradition writ large which can’t be crammed into the Catholic tent, up to and including just about every single Saint — official and quasi-official — the Orthodox have ever venerated. But when I am Orthodox, I lost 1,000 plus years of Western Catholic spirituality, theology, and liturgy. That’s a bad bargain if you ask me. Moreover, there are certain tenets of Catholicism that I just find more plausible than the Orthodox explanation or, to put it another way, I don’t find the Orthodox polemic against them to be convincing (e.g., Purgatory).
  • Yes, that polemic’s about a non-issue. Other than the scope of the Pope, none of their polemic holds up; either you accept the papacy or you don’t. Orthodox pray for the dead a lot; there’s a whole candle stand in church just for that. Prayer services for the dead after Sunday Liturgy are part of an Orthodox parish’s bread and butter. Prayer for the dead logically assumes an intermediate state on the way to heaven. The form of that state — mini-hell with fire, etc. — isn’t doctrine. Hell is possible and final because God gives us free will and is just. There may be no people there, but you can’t presume that. Kallistos (Ware) and some other hip Orthodox speculate about universalism in the form of apocatastasis, that you can pray someone out of hell and in the end all will be saved. (Based on one church father; the fathers’ opinions have to be vetted against doctrine.) Appealing. But wrong.
  • The toll houses aren’t about purgatory but the particular judgement right after death; a Russian folkloric opinion on what that’s like.
  • The official Orthodox Church is ethnic folk traditional Catholicism. Like Owen White, I like Rust Belt/Midwestern ethnic/immigrant Orthodoxy a lot because it’s so Catholic-like. Its right-wing splinter sects are like the church on crack.
  • Bishop William Love of Albany: The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is and always has been central to the Christian faith. It is not a fable or some story made up by man to help us feel better about dying. It is the very heart of the Gospel - the Good News of Jesus Christ. Our Lord's death and resurrection is the perfect expression of God's total, unconditional, all sacrificial love for the world. Great. But his denomination can vote that teaching away. The Continuers don’t get that leaving the Episcopalians doesn’t solve the problem.

More Moore, OK tornado videos

Hear the sirens?

Those and basements or storm shelters are why relatively few get killed in the Midwest.

From The Chicago Tribune.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The tornado, the sexes and the decline of the West, and Catholicism and Orthodoxy

Monday, May 20, 2013

The show

Drugs and psychologizing in the most recent episode. Flashback: why Don’s a sociopath. Don’s losing it and it almost hurt his kids.

It was fairly obvious from a few episodes back that Don’s first sex would be with Amée the prostitute.

The suspense with the burglar reminded me of ‘Crime Story’.

This is the worst I’ve seen Don; right after the divorce was second. I dig Sylvia too (yes, the affair is reprehensible, but sexual attraction is usually like that; nice guys like Arnie finish last) but hey, this is or was the Don. Guess he really fell for her. But hanging around outside her back door like a loser stalker? Come on! Not the Don I knew. The drugs worked for the story line, if it was a little pretentious in its effect. It exaggerated Don’s derailing. The dodgy doctor seems based on Dr Feelgood, I forget his real name, who served President Kennedy.

Bet that crazy stuff at the office really happened then. Madison Avenue was insane. Great soap-opera material.

Again, the control scene last week didn’t turn me on. What strikes me is it does turn on a lot of women, which is why they watch. There are lots of Sylvias. Beta affection, flowers and poetry, doesn’t work on them.

My guess is the show is ultimately about Don the anti-hero’s coming unglued (another casualty of the Sixties?), which explains the theme of the opening credits, and will wrap up next year (Matthew Weiner’s said next season will be the last and he’s written the ending) with him losing everything (Megan, kids, even the job he’s gifted at) but finding some kind of redemption so the audience isn’t completely let down.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Saturday, May 18, 2013

The generations

Stuart Koehl writes:
Compared to the Baby Boomers, the Millennials are models of sobriety, industriousness and chastity. There's a tendency on the part of 20- and 30-somethings today to look on the Boomers as a bunch of old fuddles (and that's what we're becoming), but, when we were your age, we did everything that your generation is doing, raised to another order of magnitude. The only difference is the Boomers had the luxury of an expanding economy to soften the impact of their dysfunctional behavior. Today, Boomers still have no profound faith, still despise tradition ("Question authority!"--even after they BECAME authority), have a sense of entitlement that puts yours in the shade (just think about touching "their" Medicare or Social Security!), and they just about invented existential ennui. As for porn--the Boomers mainstreamed it, remember?
Right: the Boomers were partying on the golden era’s dime.

I work with Millennials who are very nice.

Reminds me: I think Sailer observed that SWPLs (rich liberals) preach libertinism and perversion but live more like ’50s normal, more likely to be married and faithful, with kids.

There’s the fallout from American values/the American worldview going to hell (after about 1968), which hurts the proles more than the rich, that getting married is rarer among the poor now; it’s becoming a status symbol for the rich. (Betas and herbs blowing beaucoup bucks in a sort of mating display; alphas don’t have to.)

Understanding Anglicanism

‘I thought I understood Anglicanism but now...’
The original post describes classical 'Reformation' Anglicanism on Holy Communion and Holy Orders as the Anglican Articles of Religion teach.

Basically now in Anglicanism you have three factions; used to be four...

Catholicism and Orthodoxy have slightly different approaches to the same one-true-church claim.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Catholicism and Orthodoxy: relativistic crap ecumenism

From a professor nominally in the church, via Daniel Nichols:
Most Catholics probably envision future unity between the Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church as a re-installment of one world Church organization with the pope of Rome at the top of the governing pyramid. A look at history shows that such a model never existed, so what could Orthodox-Catholic communion actually look like if it were achieved?
What it would look like is not a “reunion” with them “returning to Rome,” to which they never belonged anyway; nor us being incorporated by them.

The new Catholic “Sister Churches” ecclesiology describes not only how the Catholic Church views the Orthodox Churches. It also represents a startling revolution in how the Catholic Church views itself: we are no longer the only kid on the block, the whole Church of Christ, but one Sister Church among others. Previously, the Catholic Church saw itself as the original one and only true Church of Christ from which all other Christians had separated for one reason or another in the course of history, and Catholics held, simplistically, that the solution to divided Christendom consisted in all other Christians returning to Rome’s maternal bosom.
Oh, sh*t. Branch-theory nonsense, or why ‘ecumenist’ is a fightin’ word among convert online Orthodox. The Zoghby Initiative. ‘Orthodox in communion with Rome’, which means Greek Catholic converts who reject some defined doctrines, which makes them neither good Catholics nor good Orthodox, denying the true church. Bill Tighe puts paid to all that: while it’s true and helpful to remember that the pre-‘Reformation’ churches have lots in common, none believe the true church is juridically divided against itself. Newman explained the history: development of doctrine, which is not the same as mainliners voting to change doctrine. (The Tractarians may have feared that in 150 years, because of the papal claims, the Catholic Church would become what the Anglican Church really became. Vatican II came damn close, but because of the church’s nature, that’s impossible.)

But Fr Robert has a point:
We are all ancient apostolic “Sister Churches” with a valid episcopate and priesthood and the full panoply of sacraments needed to minister salvation to our respective faithful.
I think the change is that before, Orthodox bishops were seen as real bishops but lacking jurisdiction, because they seem outside the church, not under the Pope. (The same reason Bishop Williamson didn’t claim to be the Bishop of Winona; even in a state of emergency in the church, only the Pope can give jurisdiction; in disasters and cases of imminent death, the church supplies jurisdiction so a laicized priest can absolve, etc.) Today it’s clearer and fair that born Orthodox get the benefit of the doubt about schism, so Orthodox bishops are an estranged part of the church, having apostolic authority over their own people, other born Orthodox. (As my old buds in the Russian Catholic Church say, ‘We have bishops! They just happen not to be Catholic right now.’ There is no Russian Catholic bishop now either.) We believe the Orthodox are local churches (true defined doctrine, true bishops, true Mass); Protestants, even our high-church cousins, are not churches (‘ecclesial community’ is polite Vaticanese for ‘not a church’).

There is a hardline allowable Catholic opinion, made famous in the church years ago by Fr Leonard Feeney, that says all non-Catholics are going to hell. But I’m not saying that. That’s our equivalent to the hardline Orthodox one that says the church is a fraud.
So we just need to restore our broken communion and the rest of the problems you mention can be addressed one by one and resolved by common accord.
The only way that can happen according to Catholicism is if the Orthodox accept Catholic defined doctrine about the nature of the papacy. Not the same as ultramontanist opinion, unlike what many think. The Pope’s at the top of the chain of command but historically is laissez-faire; traditional Catholicism largely runs itself. (Vatican II was an aberration and bad mistake, of course nothing to do with doctrine.) He’s only used papal infallibility a few times the last couple of centuries to rubber-stamp what Catholics have long believed. Getting upset about the Pope is a red herring. Mostly a cover for Western liberals who really hate him for being Catholic; he can’t change the church to be what they want. (Right: they want more papal power, like what a mainline denomination claims for itself.)

The similar name to the man who should have been president in ’52 makes me wonder if it’s the same family.

Not news: mainline minister twists scripture

I don’t know why Chris Johnson dwells on the Episcopal Church. If you want to be Protestant, be happy with some nice conservatives such as our Missouri Synod Lutheran cousins, the PCA or the Southern Baptists.

Anyway, their presiding bishop praised the satanic.

Well, the ‘Reformation’ is about private judgement so there you go: the conservatives don’t have a leg to stand on in Protestantism; the liberals automatically win.
Like letting Episcopalians think that they can determine what God’s laws should be if He would just listen to the wise counsel of Episcopalians.
Yup, that’s the mainline.

As for that and claiming something satanic is good...

I hope mainliners aren’t really as arrogant as what I quoted, though in practice they are. To be fair to them, they do hold themselves accountable to something bigger than themselves, in principle. They hold political correctness’s (a Christian heresy) ‘truths’ about women’s and gay rights to be self-evident. They obviously don’t answer to the plain meaning of scripture (which they think is for idiots; higher criticism freed them from that, substituting a kind of nominalism or deconstructionism, and besides, most of the English lost their faith at the ‘Enlightenment’ so unbelieving Episcopalians aren’t news) or to church tradition (‘papist superstition’; as Bill Tighe says, I wonder what Henry VIII and Elizabeth I think of the result of what they did; Luther too).

Meanwhile Anglo-American culture jumps to political correctness’s conclusion, superseding churchy middlemen such as the Episcopalians and other mainliners. 86 the Jesus talk and stay home, play golf or go to brunch on Sunday mornings. Membership drops like a rock. Some denominations will go out of business; others will merge (as the Episcopalians have with ELCA, the Swedish version of themselves).

Other than loving and missing the pre-Sixties America our Protestant hosts created, a good home for Catholics, I don’t care.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The latest episode of the show

Last episode tears it: this show, namely Don, is porn for women.

Politics and the pulpit

Regarding politics, the place of pastors, including the Pope, is to preach on its goals, its ends: the golden rule (the libertarian non-aggression principle: no person or government may initiate force against another), don't be selfish (be just, share), etc. Any one political party or program, the means to those good ends, has no place in the pulpit. (A priest shouldn’t tell his parishioners which party or candidate to vote for.) Lots of well-meaning Christians’ economics (democratic socialism), Catholic and mainline alike, is naïve about how the market works, causing more problems. By the way, I have brother trads who think I’m as liberal as the mainline because I believe in religious freedom and the free market, instead of buying into Catholic churchmen’s monarchism (a trad thing), democratic socialism or distributism (third-wayism). The Catholic Church is apolitical: monarchy, dictatorship, republic, as long as Catholics are free, it’s all good.

Kermit Gosnell is mainstream

Of course I’m glad Kermit Gosnell’s going to jail (proud to say I once was in a pro-life demonstration in front of his place, with some saintly older Catholics, 15 years ago, long before his crimes were known). But predictably, the new establishment’s spin/damage control will work. The ‘pro-choice’ narrative is doctrine in American culture, promulgated by the elite. (Rather like how Communist symbols are considered cool or at least cute and quaint; they killed more people than the Nazis. So much for lefty peace and love.) Gosnell could have killed those babies in plain sight and gotten away with it, it’s so bad now. Because people are selfish; throw sex into that mix and you get these horrors. Middle America’s been cowed, from being at least passively pro-life to ‘I’m personally opposed, but’. (Also a generational changing of the guard: Middle America isn’t ’50s people anymore, Nixon’s silent majority, but children of the narcissistic Sixties — do your own thing = every man for himself, so you lose, babies — and their 2.4 children, in lefty lockstep. The new establishment. In the old America even Teddy Kennedy was nominally pro-life to please his Irish Catholic base, as Al Gore was to please Tennesseans.) Nothing will change. This sin will still cry out to heaven for justice. The only difference between Gosnell and your local abortion doctor is of degree, not kind. Gosnell is the Democratic Party in scrubs: the Evil Party. (The Republicans are the Stupid Party: last voted for them for president in 2000 and plan never to vote for their mainstream candidates again.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The feminist utopia

Roissy writes here:
A feminist utopia is a million beta males under the heel of an alpha male state, toiling for the pleasure of fat women. Men paying through the nose for Obamacare, while women enjoy luxurious savings.

A simple resource theft and redistribution from men to women. A theft, because the women exchange no sex for the reward of the men’s resources, which is the natural system of male-female barter that feminist and equalists wish to subvert and reconstitute for the benefit of women alone.

Next Big Things that weren't and aren't

  • Reggae dominating pop music.
  • Hispanics in America as a political power and dominating the culture. Remember 25 years ago when Madonna sang lines in bad Spanish? Her market research was wrong. I don’t hate them like Sailer seems to (I’m one of them: a grandmother was a Spanish-speaking Catholic) but HBD’s true. The answer is neither shutting people out nor affirmative-action quotas but pure, individual meritocracy. Fair: immigration screening to let in only the smartest and hardest-working; we answer to our own citizens first. I don’t care what color you are; you’re welcome to move here, and to apply for jobs or take entrance tests. Disparate impact is not racist nor the government’s business. Egalitarianism is false and thus unfair. Sailer’s right that Republicans are wasting their time trying to court a Hispanic vote; Hispanics are largely apolitical anyway. The answer in our society is not white power or Hispanic power but individual rights (a northern European concept) so all our clans can get along.
  • The charismatic movement. They’re still around. They and us trads are the only American Catholics who still go to Mass, a minority in the church. (They’re the ones who raise both hands at the Our Father.) But they’re not the force they were thought to be 30-40 years ago. After the council the liberals favored them because ecumenism was cool and charismatics don’t worship like trads. But because they’re an offshoot of conservative Protestantism (the Assemblies of God for example) the libs got tired of them.
  • Ecumenism. Passé as society’s become less churchy. Plus it’s self-limiting. Charley Wingate rightly described it: unlike mainliners 40 years ago, we know union won’t happen; the churches understand what the others teach and aren’t trying to kill each other anymore. That’s as good as it gets.
  • American Eastern Orthodox converts. Owen White called this. The boomlet’s over. In the end you’ll see a couple more Western whites there but mostly continued stolid decline (as Bill Tighe says of their cousins the little PNCC) with most of the few converts remaining people like Tom Hanks, basically nothingarians (ex-Catholics and ex-Protestants) who marry into it (yep, the plot of My Big Fat Greek Wedding), which is great for them. A folk Catholicism that should reteach the official church a few things; now that’s good ecumenism.
  • Episcopalianism, the self-styled ‘cool Catholicism’ that does whatever secular culture wants (all of the pageantry, none of the guilt, har har). The whole mainline is passé. Ex-Protestant liberals have superseded it, and Catholics, including Bad Catholics who don’t practice and disagree with the church, don’t bother with an imitation even if it tells them what they want to hear; they know better.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Catholicism and Orthodoxy: 'this doctrine's for me but not for ye'? False.

The Catholic Church isn’t trying to double-deal you with a claim that Greek Catholics don’t have to accept some Catholic defined doctrines. It doesn’t say that, because it can’t.

Living with the past: classic cars in space-age Wildwood

The Oceanic Motel right by the boardwalk, across from the Convention Center. A friendly, no-frills base for going back in time.

The spring boardwalk classic-car show was a bit of a bust partly due to the weather. Also, someone at the Oceanic explained, there was a split in the local car club so the hotel association took over the spring show at the last minute. And before Memorial Day, Wildwood is still pretty dead.

That said, it was about time Wildwood and I found each other. Because besides the beach and the kiddie arcades, the place lives on ’50s nostalgia. Not just fake diners but real places including space-age motels and neon signs. They call it doo-wop architecture here.

In fact near the Oceanic is the Doo-Wop Museum, more about signs and furniture than music, from art deco from the ’40s to the space age trying to be ultramodern but with the older culture’s sensibility. Society hadn’t gone to hell and people were happy and hopeful. Guess that’s the magic. A sexy time.

The ’60s weren’t the Sixties. A friend remembers the Atlantic City boardwalk in the summer of ’65 when all the ’50s stuff was still there.

Anyway, off-season Wildwood, full of real places from the golden era, on a car-show weekend with the old cars simply on the road and parked around town, is a way to go back 50 years if you’re looking for it.

’60 Impala. That’s what I’m talking about.

Of course the museum has a map of all the ’50s and ’60s motels in the Wildwoods so I was all over that. Walked about half of it.

The Mass barn: St Ann’s Church, part of a parish merger, Notre Dame de la Mer. Interesting architecture, not what I expected. It’s old but designed more like a town hall, basketball stadium or Protestant church than one of ours. Like I said, a barn built for big summer congregations. They took the basilica form and turned it sideways. Instead of a chancel and apse at one end, the sanctuary’s along one of the long walls with the entrance at the other long one. So the church’s wider than it is long, with the columns and basilica arches going along with that. Most of the space is filled with galleries of pews, again anticipating summer Sunday crowds.

Going there is like taking a health check of the Roman Rite outside my semi-trad parish. First sign: the merger; the institution’s shrinking in this country because of the council and assimilation into our post-Protestant host culture, even in Italian New Jersey. Second sign: the friendly priest is from Uganda; no American vocations anymore. Third sign: Pope Benedict’s reformed text so no conscience problem even though I don’t like the new Mass. Fourth sign: even in Novus Ordo New Jersey, signs of Benedict’s high churchmanship: tabernacle back in the center, and organ prelude and Anglican hymn at the end. But it’s still Novus NJ: bad hymns, altar girls (the libs have been flogging women’s ordination for 40 years; not going to happen) and worst, the squad of Eucharistic ministers, including older people who should know better. We need 20-30 years of a younger Benedict to clean this up. Fifth: at the Our Father, from all the outstretched hands you can see that besides us trads, most Catholics who go to Mass are charismatics, a movement once strong, in the ’70s and ’80s, often presented in the parishes as the only alternative to Modernism. I’ve known Korean War vets who ended up charismatic. Lots of charismatics in this non-trad place.

Breakfast on the boardwalk after Mass was at the Olympic Flame. Not retro; old. The fakers can keep the cutesies (Elvis, Marilyn and 45s all over the walls, etc.) and the overpriced modern food; I’ll take the real thing in a 50-year-old booth with bare white walls, good, unpretentious food, something more like 1963 prices, yes, the old music playing, and wishing the Greeks a happy Easter season: Χριστός Ανέστη. Christ is risen.