Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Et Verbum caro factum est. Everything else is commentary. Mary of course is not eternal but is the Mother of God.

Where God and the flesh meet is the flashpoint of all rebellion, all heresy. Lucifer and his angels wouldn't minister to man. Then man said no to God. All of man's rebellion breaks down into three categories: who Jesus is, what the Eucharist is, and sex. The rest - infallible vs. fallible church - follows from that.

  • Catholicism, including Byzantine Catholicism, and Orthodoxy: Delatinization good and bad. Modestinus hits another one out of the park. Their true-church claim is anti-Western. Ours isn't anti-Eastern.
  • Ukraine aftermath. Filled up the car at Lukoil this past Saturday to celebrate with the Crimea.
  • I have to give liberal high church, the Episcopalians, credit. If I were living mostly in my head and decided to try to invent a church, it has a lot of appeal. Credal orthodoxy, the same sacraments, and high-church, just like us (and not like Catholic liberals). But women are beautiful, so let's ordain them, and be nice to gays by having them marry. Trouble is, reality doesn't work that way. You don't get to invent a church. You receive the one handed down to you from Christ and the apostles. And besides, like lots of things the elite invents, meaning to appeal to the masses, it doesn't. (Sort of like how folk-pop has never been the music of the masses.)
  • The rise of secular religion. Picking up where Clyde Wilson's "Yankee problem" article and Bottum's own First Things article about the fall of mainline Protestantism left off. Exactly. The Cathedral/political correctness/secular humanism is Anglo-American Calvinism without Christ. English-speaking Calvinism lost its faith at the "Enlightenment": the Pilgrims' denomination is now among America's most liberal. America's still Protestant; the North just doesn't go to church anymore.
  • American St. Patrick's Day has passed again. From what I can tell from the Drexel and Penn kids here, it's merging with Mardi Gras. You can search the blog for yearly "everything you thought you knew about Ireland is wrong" posts. (For example, the church and the Irish nationalist cause aren't synonymous.) American St. Pat's is about Catholics succeeding here, so even though I'm not Irish, besides it being about a saint, it's my holiday too.
  • My parish is partly Italian, having sort of merged with an Italian national one (still open for one Mass on Sunday as a "worship site"), so at our monthly coffee hour (one of Anglo-Catholic alumni's contributions to our parish culture?) we had St. Joseph's pastries, sort of a cross between doughnuts and cannoli. Jesus' stepfather; in the East a forgotten man. I wonder why. It's too bad that St. Joseph's Day is eclipsed in America by St. Pat's, because it's so close after, like me-too/also-ran. Besides Italian parishes' festas - St. Anthony, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Assumption, etc. - Italian-Americans have a secular holiday far away from the big green party, Columbus Day. I celebrate: I stand on South Broad Street in South Philly for the parade, and from the grand marshal's car Jerry Blavat makes a crack about my hat. Tradition.
  • Fred Phelps. I learned from Cracked that he was once a respected civil-rights lawyer. I can't name a conservative Christian who took him seriously. He always struck me as being just like a liberal trying to make fun of conservative Christians. So like others I've thought that maybe he was a false-flag operation, or as another blog put it, he was a live-action version of an Internet troll. Actually, I remember when secular culture was mean to homosexuals and conservative Christians taught mercy because "they have a problem." Now we're demonized for believing they have a problem. Sunshine Mary: why are we bowing to the demands of 1.7% of the population anyway? Such as demanding to preach in a big American Catholic holiday parade. They are allowed to march. They just can't preach. Like the Russian law they were so bent out of shape about, setting off more media putdowns of the Russians: you may live in peace; just don't try to indoctrinate our kids.
  • That apocryphal high-school principal's speech ending political correctness/identity politics at his school, actually a column, not a real speech. Well and good, a reset to normal America around 1960. I don't care what color you are; you are here to learn math. That said, the paleoconservative's/Dark Enlightenment's rebuttal: family and ethnic ties are normal. (Normal people are loyal to family, ethnicity, and town; liberals say they love humanity but really hate people, so they fetishize the alien and hate their own kin.) Trying to take them away from students is really a kind of liberalism: making cogs for the state. So I'd say the gist of this column is only a relative good, not an absolute one.
  • The Lutheran Satire: Frank the Hippie Pope. Our conservative Lutheran cousins nail the problem. The only part where they're wrong is the end. Vatican II happens to be right there, and the church doesn't declare who is going to hell; mortal sin means risking hell. More. As Christopher Ferrara says, stay Catholic, no matter what happens in Rome. The nature of the papacy is that the Pope can't change the teachings of the church, so this low-church media clown isn't really my problem. I go to my Mass and send Peter's Pence once a year, and that's that.


  1. Christopher Ferrara is absolutely right about that. Stay in the Church, because (to use a bit from Audio Sancto) even if the waves are right out of "the Perfect Storm," and the captain and the crew are slugging it out in the wheel-house, you stay on the boat because the Barque of Peter will never, never sink and will get where it's going!

  2. Pope Francis is a 77 year old man with one lung. With modern medicine, it's entirely possible that he'll live to 102 and spend another quarter century looking like an idiot on the Chair of Peter, but it's also quite possible we'll see someone else long before 2039 (maybe someone worse, but probably not). Either way, the Hippie Catholics are headed for the grave or nursing homes by then; they can do a lot of damage on the way there, but nothing like the attack they mounted in the '70s.

    In a way, the disaster of Vatican II is another piece of historical evidence for the Church's divine origin. If the Church were a merely human institution, the revolution of the '60s would have triumphed completely and utterly destroyed Her. G.K. Chesterton once wrote about the "Five Deaths of the Faith"- five times when the Catholic Church was, by all appearances, completely hollowed-out from within and ready to collapse at the slightest disturbance, or confronted by hostile forces that nearly overwhelmed Her (look at a map of Christendom in the 9th or 10th centuries sometime). In the 20th century, we saw both. Without the grace and protection of God, we'd be worse off than the Episcopalians by now.


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