Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The politics of nostalgia and more

  • From Modestinus: The politics of nostalgia. A long lecture that as far as I can tell is a Catholic critique of the modern versions of liberty and democracy.
  • From Bob Wallace: How can you tell if machines are being used for good or bad purposes?
  • Pastor H.R. Curtis: As Theodore Darlrymple's thesis in his worldview-shifting book, "Life at the Bottom," has it: the rich and powerful can manage to live outside of traditional morality and gender roles because money is a great insulator. But the New Morality and the New Family and the Feminist Ideal don't work so well in the real world. Which is what we should expect: disregarding the Word of God and the Order set down therein....well, one simply should not expect that to work.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What libertarianism is not, and more

Monday, April 28, 2014

Depression 2.0 and more

  • From Theden: Depression 2.0: decline is the new normal.
  • Modestinus: A point I have made to my friends, although a bit crude, still holds weight. If my Eastern European forebears from a century or so ago walked into a Byzantine Rite Catholic Church today, particularly one situated in “the old country,” they would recognize far more than be surprised at what is novel or “updated.” If my same forebears did the same in a Roman Rite parish, they would be scandalized to the point of spitting on the floor before storming out the front door. Yes, the Church is more than a liturgical rite; however, its ethos counts for a lot. The ethos of today is not like the ethos of yesterday, and there is no reasonable argument to be made that could convince any sane man otherwise. No, I don’t believe that means the Church isn’t the Church, but she, at the behest of more than just bureaucrats in Rome, behaves quite different now than she ever did before.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Low Sunday at my parish, and more on St. JP2

Looks like we have a new priest on the roster for my Mass. He does the very proper thing Fr. Pasley does at Mater Ecclesiæ: he unpins the maniple from his arm and lays it on the pages of the missal before going up to the pulpit. That's because it should only be worn when actually celebrating Mass; the sermon, for example, is a pause in the Mass. Fr. Hunwicke says that Anglo-Papalist priests used to unpin the maniple at the altar to read the Book of Common Prayer aloud, then pin it back on to whisper Catholic prayers.

In front of the Lady altar is a temporary John Paul II shrine with two second-class relics on display: a zucchetto (skullcap) JP2 gave to the Mercedarian Order (which while not always high-church has always been sound on doctrine) and a rosary he gave to the pastor.

JP2 took the hits from the secular world for defending the teachings of the church, and he gets a partial credit for moral support of the fall of the USSR, but he wasn't a great Pope. Personal holiness is not necessarily the same as being a great Pope. (Celestine V: holy man, disastrous Pope.) Sede vacante can happen but hasn't.

I heard once that as a bishop, Karol Wojtyła was so non-confrontational with the Polish Communist government, unlike the lion of the Polish church, Cardinal Wyszyński, that some thought he was a collaborator. When he was elected Pope, embattled orthodox Catholics hoped he'd bring the conservatism of the Polish church to the universal church, rolling back the effects of the council. He didn't. He seemed to be on board with the space-agey thinking of the council, like the architecture the Communists built in Poland: streamlined style for modern man. In America in the '80s, if you were sound on doctrine, the official church told you to forget old-fashioned practices and be a charismatic instead: an enthusiasm imported from conservative Protestantism when ecumenism was cool; it filled the void left by the destruction of traditional Catholic practice. "Be open to the Spirit." So again, not a great Pope.

That Vatican II didn't condemn Communism is one of the mysteries of the 20th century. I don't think it was simply to bring some measly observers from the Russian Orthodox Church to the council. I wouldn't be surprised if the Vatican-Moscow agreement story known among traditionalists is true: that the Vatican secretly made a deal with the USSR, much like, around the same time, President Kennedy secretly caved to end the Cuban missile crisis.

Low Sunday: Quasimodo Sunday

  • Mass: Quasi modo, geniti infantes, alleluia, rationabiles, sine dolo lac concupiscite, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
  • From Hilary: Bad men cannot unmake the Real, even if they happen to be Pope. If you read only one link in this post, this should be the one. Here Rod Dreher sidles up to the issue Hilary faces head on.
  • Recently Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong, like Msgr. Steenson, wrote something, on Facebook, about being Catholic largely because of Vatican II. The church acknowledging the good in the old American way (freedom of religion) was nice but I'm a convinced Catholic largely IN SPITE OF Vatican II. I'm a trad by default but not one who thinks the whole '50s church was super-pious. I'm not. It's just that what religion I happen to have is pre-conciliar Roman.
  • One of those pick-a-denomination quizzes. My results on this kind of quiz: because my answers include the East, sometimes Orthodox edges out Catholic, because the quiz's writer doesn't know that Catholicism is more than the Roman Rite. Missouri Synod Lutheran is pretty high on the list; Episcopal comes in about sixth place. That's what happened here: Orthodox 100%, Catholic and LCMS tied for second at 88%, and Episcopal at seventh place behind Assemblies of God and the Church of Christ. Tied for dead last at 0%: Unitarian Universalism and the Unity Church (part of the New Thought movement, doubtfully Christian; basically 19th-century New Agers).
  • One more time: On the narrative's big lie about the priestly underage gay sex scandal.
  • The church can't change doctrine.
  • An old article on Episcopal decline. In a way it is still George Washington's church - cut off from Catholicism, in heresy but with a shell of credal orthodoxy, most of whose members lost their faith at the "Enlightenment," just like Washington himself. The Romanticism that begat Anglo-Catholicism plus their semi-congregationalism meant they were able to teach me high church when most in the Catholic Church didn't want anything to do with it anymore, but what I described is still reality. They'll dip below a million members and maybe merge with the other mainliners, Church of South India fashion (meaning they'd all get bishops and become Episcopalians). Modern secular people don't need them anymore.
  • In the church, liturgical authenticities aren't so much crafted (writing a liturgy from scratch, such as the Novus Ordo, is un-Catholic) as very gradually evolving, grounded in our doctrine but also grassroots. The story of every traditional rite and of the Middle Ages. True of both official liturgical and devotional Catholicism
  • From Bob Wallace:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cars: Burlington, NJ

A Corvair club and Rollin' Oldies held a little classic-car show at a big Assemblies of God church, Fountain of Life.

Tomorrow's canonizations

I'm just ignoring them, not trying to deny their validity - I don't have to. There are thousands of saints, most of whom I know little about. John XXIII was a '50s Pope, good-hearted and far less liberal than the lovers of Vatican II suppose. (Things he actually said: Step up the teaching of Latin in seminaries. Don't ordain homosexuals. Bet you won't read those about him in the National Catholic Reporter.) The right people in the culture wars hated John Paul the Overrated. He was a target because he defended the teachings of the church (unlike the current occupant of the See of Peter?). That said, I have no devotion to either of them. Vatican II was a disaster, and I remember what the American church was like under JP2; the liberals ran it, and the English of the new Mass was still an iffy paraphrase. And under JP2 you had the cave-in on altar girls. These canonizations are church politics, promoting the council. Like Francis' papacy, they're the old liberals' last hurrah. Meanwhile, the church in the First World keeps getting smaller. But it's also getting more conservative because conservatives are becoming the only remaining practicing Catholics.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cultural Marxism and more

  • From Ex-Army: On the origins of cultural Marxism. Another name for the Cathedral and political correctness? Interesting but I think it leaves out an important part for Britain and America: the "Reformation," specificially Calvinism, going from bad to worse with the "Enlightenment," when leading English Protestants lost their faith as did their cousins in the colonies, America's founding fathers. Political correctness is a distortion of Western Christianity, the values (peace, charity, justice) minus Christ and the church (or logic for that matter), that's replacing it. Do-gooder foreign-policy interventionists are the descendants of New England Yankees. See Clyde Wilson, "The Yankee Problem in America," and "The Rise of Secular Religion." Maybe what the post describes and the Anglosphere culture I just mentioned met up to form a perfect storm in the West.
  • Steve Sailer at Takimag: Jews weren't always liberal. And they were more welcome in the antebellum South.
  • Gavin McInnes: "Cool" culture is death culture. The glamour of evil: "live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse."
  • From the Anti-Gnostic: Church: recruiting, not reproducing. Cultish, he says.
  • Pope Francis calls a divorced and remarried woman. Waiting for confirmation of this story. Even if it's true, the Pope can't change the teachings of the church (which is why I'm not particularly interested in Francis including spinning him) and Francis wasn't speaking ex cathedra. Infallibility is the church's charism, which includes the papal office, not the Pope's opinions.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Micro Touch One safety razor - somebody else noticed it looks like a Weishi

First, I love "Pawn Stars." Figured out early on that it's staged - come on, they've got a camera in their faces; it has to be (ditto "American Pickers," which I like too) - but I don't care; it's a more entertaining version of PBS's "Antiques Roadshow." Anyway, I recently noticed that Rick Harrison's selling a Chinese copy of my two '50s-'60s Gillettes, the Micro Touch One.

A few years ago I tried the ultra-shiny chrome Weishi, a copy of my Gillettes. The twist-to-open knob jammed after a couple of months. My 50-year-old razors still work. My daily shave is a '60s one I got as new old stock (unused; new condition) - the only difference from the '50s is the handle's painted black. Edwin Jagger cream from England, Astra platinum-plated blades from Russia, a badger-hair brush on a metal stand, and of course a hot shower and hot water in the sink, and I'm good to go. Makes shaving an art form and fun; it's second only to a straight razor at a barbershop. If I want to see a nice finish, I just polish the Gillette with a shammy and Scrubbing Bubbles.

Bet the Micro Touch One is a Weishi.
Just go on eBay and buy an antique razor for the same price. It'll last forever, and give a better shave, I'm sure. I love my 1955 Gillette.
USA! USA! The golden-era USA, anyway.
Maybe we can negotiate?
"It's $19.99."
"How about $5? It's just a stinkin' Weishi."
"I'll do $15."
"How about $10? Don't you read shave forums?"
"OK, $12; that's my final offer."
"OK, and free shipping; shake on it."
(Cut to Chumlee shaving with it segment, cuts self, Old Man gives him hard time.)
More plus shaving tips.

It never really was a high-end shop but a scuzzy place to pawn stuff for last-minute gambling money, etc. I understand now it's about half that stuff and half merchandise related to the show (I♥CHUMLEE T-shirts, etc.); the stars (owners and Chumlee) never come out except for filming. The childlike Chumlee, Corey's friend, was hired at the shop to do the show because he's colorful; the producers were right as he's viewers' favorite (Chumlee merch is the best selling).

Layoff and recovery, the end of the American dream, and more

  • hibu cuts jobs across the company. I was one of an estimated 300 laid off in King of Prussia. I'm not all that bitter. Great pay while it lasted, good training, and a year and a half of solid experience writing Web content at a real company, not the online freelancing I had before, so I am really out of the print business after nearly 20 years. No longer chained to a sinking industry. hibu essentially rewrote my résumé, so I got to market myself as a different person from two years ago. 10 days after being given notice I had another job in the same field, this time for a new, still small but nimble office of a German-owned company that has no print product; it's all Internet. A pay cut for now... back to what the newspaper paid. So I didn't lose anything. Deo gratias.
  • Learned on the job hunt: Facts about the modeling biz and scouting for it. Answered an ad and was called in as part of a cattle call for, of all things, a talent scout's job for a modeling agency. Of course it wasn't right for me - the job would have involved approaching people cold and taking down their names, phone numbers, and email addresses, and IF the agency signs them up, you get a commission. Worth showing up for the presentation. Educational and entertaining. For example, only about 2% of the population can be high-fashion runway models, a certain tall height and size and with certain looks, so that the designers don't have to worry about size when making expensive custom prototypes of clothes. Pack up the clothes, go to the next city, and they fit the models, no problem. The window of opportunity for such people is ages 16-22; they can literally become millionaires just because of nature and luck. Prospects can come from anywhere but some people just throw away the chance of a lifetime. A girl was discovered working at Target and was signed up for a TV appearance and several photo shoots just for starters; she blew off the TV appearance because, she figured, someone else could fill in for her just like at Target. (TV shoots are costly; you have to have lots of union crews doing their respective jobs, so delays can be disastrous financially. So this girl was through.) Small thinking; small life. Again, if she was a little smarter, she would be a millionaire now and possibly a household name like Heidi Klum. Most modeling and acting jobs are literally for all kinds of people for all kinds of ads and shows.
  • Holy Week and Easter. This year is one of the rare ones when all of apostolic, “Catholic” Christianity is in sync. Modestinus: It’s always wonderful when East and West can commemorate these holiest of days in unison. By the way, Greek Catholics in their traditional homelands use the Orthodox date for Easter (Greek refers to rite; most of them are western Ukrainians), as I understand Roman Riters in Greece do.
    • A Catholic diocesan bishop will go to Greek Orthodox Easter Vespers. Wonderful! The right kind of ecumenism. Bishop McManus will be the guest of Metropolitan Methodios shown above.
    • But of course there's this reality: Two metropolitans in Greece send an anti-Catholic rant to the Pope. Old stuff to anybody who's hung around online Orthodox. The thing is, while we have defined doctrine about them, seeing them as an estranged part of us, not Protestants, they have none about us, so these two's view, that we are frauds, is an acceptable opinion in their church. When they're backed by your teachings, you are who you are in communion with. Just like I'm pro-Russian (Христосъ воскресе! Christ is risen!) despite the Russians not liking us (and the Ukrainian Catholics joining an anti-Russian revolution in their country didn't help in that regard), because I'm what I am, and part of our calling is working for the unity of all the apostolic churches (yes, under Rome, but ideally as a loose federation of conservative churches, almost like the Orthodox; phase out the Novus Ordo), I say to Mets. Andrew and Seraphim: Χριστός ἀνέστη! (I love saying that at Greek diners and pizzerias in the spring; after a split second of surprise I get back: Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη! Indeed he is risen!) And better a bishop who believes in one true church than the wrong kind of ecumenist (indifferentist, which would say there's no church). The right kind of ecumenism's great, but the great apostolic family (which equals Catholicism's criteria for valid orders) won't reunite in the Catholic Church any time soon. By the way, the Ukrainian Catholic Church siding with the Kyiv Patriarchate is like when the Episcopalians host Dignity and Roman Catholic Womenpriests to spite us.
    • Easter facts. Of course the theological among us say it tops Christmas, but Christmas won the hearts of the people over this feast long ago.
  • From Bob Wallace: The American dream died in February 1973. When real wages stopped going up. (Right before that, sure, "turn on, tune in, and drop out" to go slumming for a bit, because you had the luxury of being able to drop back in whenever you wanted.) Interestingly the same time the, yes, evil Western cultural revolution that started around 1968 just about completely took over the mainstream.
  • From Cracked: Growing up in Communist Romania. A pro-capitalist true story. Ceausescu allowed "Dallas" on Romanian TV as anti-capitalist propaganda and it backfired. The Romanians, beaten down into poverty by a system that obviously didn't work, loved J.R.'s high life and wondered how they could have it. The rest, as they say, is history.
  • In the news: A high-school English teacher quits over the government hindering real education. Good points and very heartfelt, but libertarians will note that turning kids into cogs for "the Machine" was always the "progressive" goal of modern (post-Industrial Revolution) schooling. It's the left's fault, going back more than a century. Public school really is a lot like jail, and it's hell for a lot of kids, such as the dreamy and creative. Update: she gets it. Can we escape the Matrix?
  • From Takimag: Feminist fallout: a roll call of regret. Most women would be happier at home raising a family, and many are just going through the motions by choosing careers.
  • From Roissy: Social distrust is up among millennials. I saw some of this at the old job. The kind of observations a whole blog, Face to Face, is dedicated to. New to me: "to catfish" means "to pretend to be someone you're not online by posting false information."

Monday, April 14, 2014

The show

  • The long goodbye: And for me, except for sweet Megan Draper — someone whom many other viewers absolutely detest — the entire "Mad Men" crew has become so much less likable over six seasons that I've almost detached from their fates. I care about them but have said something similar. Except sweet Megan and Trudy, every main character belongs in a circle of Dante's hell. Entertainment: it's a soap opera for people who don't think they watch soap operas, plus Madison Avenue was insane then. This could have happened.
  • “The Don” still has his hat; all’s still right with the world, barely. Matthew Weiner is smart enough to know that the ’60s weren’t the Sixties to most people. The Sixties were there but didn’t become mainstream until a couple of years later. The show’s alphas have changed little if at all; the opposite, insecure trend follower Harry Crane, has looked ridiculous the past few seasons.
  • Who else found the symbolism a little pretentious? Self-congratulatory stuff for the “yuppies” who are the show’s main viewers? SWPL overthinking?
  • Forbes commentary. Someone's said I'm a Man Out of Time. Thank you.
  • Neve Campbell’s still beautiful after all these years.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Busywork in the fields of the Lord, and more

  • From the Anti-Gnostic: Busywork in the fields of the Lord.
  • Which started here with relatively liberal Orthodox: American Orthodoxy loses people like crazy as they become less ethnic. True but the answer isn't the pat one of de-ethnicizing, which for them would be suicidal. The Anti-Gnostic: the church works best when it's the Church Local, which is the Church Ethnic. As long as you don't worship the ethnicity. Of course I'd love it if the Greek Catholic parishes (Greek refers to rite; they're usually Slavic) in the old no-longer-ethnic American Rust Belt neighborhoods figured out how to convert the local blacks to "Orthodoxy that's Catholic" but I don't know how.
  • From Tea at Trianon: The death of the greasy spoon.
  • From Face to Face: Planned obsolescence and conspicuous consumption.
  • SWPL hand-wringing about Christian seders. As always, liberal Protestants are trying to be nice. Good point that Judaism now isn't Judaism in Jesus' time. The liberals seem to be aiming at a two-covenants theory (so what was Jesus' point?); a sound answer is a seder might be educational to learn Christianity's origins but the new covenant has superseded the old. The Jews are no longer the chosen.
  • From LRC: College is good for some people. If you want to go into a field that has high earning potential (engineering, medicine, accounting, etc.) or you really like a certain subject and want to dedicate your career to it even if it may not be the best financial decision, go for it. But don’t go to college just because as Colin Hanks says in “Orange County,” “that’s what you do after high school!”
  • Spring in Philadelphia.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Why churches lose the young, and Catholic-Lutheran ecumenism

  • From Rod Dreher: Why churches lose the young. Because people in almost all American churches are infected with what Harold Bloom called the American religion, or we're Protestantized and don't know it? Unless there is a specific adult in a teenager’s life who shows the teenager by example and in the context of a meaningful, long-term relationship how an adult incorporates Christian faith into daily life, no program, camp, mission trip, youth group, worship style, musical trend, Sunday school, church reform, updated pastoral style, modernization, or even catechetical class will make a statistically significant difference. ... Teenagers and emerging adults believe in and practice “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism” not because their parents and their local church have failed to teach them otherwise, but precisely because that is what their parents and their local church are actually teaching them.
  • Joint Catholic-Lutheran commemoration of the "Reformation" in 2017: too far? Maybe. I agree with the church and the mainstream Lutherans that justification was, after all, a non-issue. But Luther did become a heretic. That said, ironic considering his place in history, Lutherans, certainly the conservative ones I like, such as the Missouri Synod, who wouldn't be involved in this, are very close to us. Christ-centered, liturgical, etc. I feel for them in a way I don't for other Protestants; they're our cousins. (How many other Protestants have always defended using the crucifix? Luther kept it.) So talk, by all means. Teach so that like Fr. Richard John Neuhaus they may come in. But like I say, ecumenism's played out. We know what the other side teaches and we're not trying to kill each other anymore. That's as far as it'll go. Catholic teaching - Trent - of course can't change so the Lutherans would have to convert. Not the merger thinking of the mainline Protestants with their denominations. The one true church, our holy mother, the church, the infallible church, is foreign to them. In the end of course all this joint statement can say is pious rhetoric - again, our doctrine's not negotiable - but this sort of thing arguably sends the wrong message, like Vatican II did and as Pope Francis seems wont to do. In the Sixties, many people thought the church had really changed so a merger was about to happen. Nobody really believes that anymore and few care.

Two quick links

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The post-employment economy, and more

Monday, April 07, 2014

John Paul the Overrated and more

  • Groups seek to halt John Paul II’s canonization. I have no devotion to John Paul II. His papal name, a tribute to Vatican II, pretty much says why not. Assisi, the Koran incident, and altar girls. That said, this story, these groups, are suspect. In other words they want to stop the canonization for the wrong reason. The mainstream media are ginning up mainstream Western anti-Catholicism by calling the scandal "pedophilia." Actually, good Wanderer-reading Catholics, REAL Catholics, blew the whistle on those crimes and were blown off by liberal bishops. Now the liberals are on the bandwagon of righteousness, hiding the problem of homosexuality, calling the problem pedophilia, and even using it to attack the conservative Catholics who first attacked the problem. Calling for liberal "reforms" like having priests marry like Protestant ministers, women priests, and yes, teaching that homosexuality is fine. By the way, when many of these crimes happened, the secular left was sort of OK with sex with kids. (NAMBLA didn't come out of nowhere. Those golden-era public-service films were right. Homosexuals try to recruit and seduce teenagers. Tried it on me twice. That's my answer about gay scoutmasters.) If John Paul the Overrated is sainted, no problem. I'll just keep not venerating him. I have Jesus, Mary, and the traditional saints East and West. John Paul who? The petition is signed by Catholics for a Free Choice. What did I tell you? How, pray tell, is stopping predatory gay priests related to the "noble cause" of baby murder? (The feminists' sacrament, parodying the Incarnation and the Eucharist. "I will not serve.") By the way, didn't/doesn't Playboy fund that group? (The sexual revolution: pig heaven for alpha players and ultimately nobody else. Playboy: more sex for players, while at least before the Internet, the losers were stuck paying for Playboy's product. How convenient as Dana Carvey used to say.)
  • Brendan Eich. If you had told someone in the golden era that, say, General Sarnoff, head of RCA and NBC, would be forced to quit his company for holding the radical, offensive notion that two men or two women can't marry each other, he would have told you that you were crazy. (One of neoconservatism's points: the Jewish gentlemen of the old left rightly hated the hippies.) This society's in a death spiral. Hint: the state has an interest in promoting the common good, and marriage is ultimately about producing children, for that good. Any other definition of marriage, such as for mutual happiness, from no-fault divorce and remarriage to same-sex pseudogamy, isn't about that good. So the state shouldn't call it marriage. Also, freedom of association. Homosexuals only have the right to live unharmed like anyone else ("hate crime" = thoughtcrime); one should have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. Ludwig von Mises: money's money, so discrimination is self-limiting because it's self-defeating. The state has no right to redefine reality.
  • Outrageous historical denial. Not of an acceptable (substitute) religion, of course, such as the magic number "six million" about you-know-what ad nauseam (Bishop Williamson and science: try "hundreds of thousands"), nor "the Burning Times" when wonderful, woman-affirming witches were burned by the hundreds by evil Christian white men (false), but... the church's early martyrs in the Roman Empire. So says pretty theology professor Candida Moss. Why I don't give places like Notre Dame a second thought. Vatican II and the Land O'Lakes compromise (break with the bishops, get government funding) shot them in the foot; they're only about sports as big business, and I don't follow sports. Granted, as educated Catholics before the council such as Donald Attwater knew, many legends of the saints are just that, fanciful and not part of the faith. But this rewriting of history comes close to heresy. No surprise. Our Protestant host culture, even in the North where it doesn't go to church anymore and has turned into political correctness, wants to assimilate us.
  • Quo vadis? To those who are in or know about the Catholic Church: what do you think will happen to it in 50 years? My line: Most kids don't go to church, but Catholics who do tend to join the trads and the reform-of-the-reform conservatives. The liberals are dying. So the American Catholic Church will still be here, and will be almost traditional again, but will be much smaller. (As Pope Benedict envisioned.) Other say Pope Francis is the sign of things to come as Third World/Global South liberation theology will essentially take over so traditionalist and conservative First Worlders will be sidelined at best. At best orthodox but low-church. Churchmen will try to keep their power and influence by continuing to align with liberal democracy (as they have been doing since Vatican II) even as that fades (we're becoming the Third World: no real republic anymore and no more middle class; a few very rich and a lot of very poor). So you won't see bishops heroically excommunicating pro-abortion politicians - they want to keep having their pictures taken with the president to show that Catholics have succeeded in America. And giving tenure to professors like Dr. Moss.
  • From Takimag:
    • Mass cisteria. A flint-faced New England farmer was out walking his hedgerows one day when he chanced upon 2 Sodomites in the midst of their abnormal gyrations. He cocked his head to one side and took in the scene, and after a moment, said: "I hate to break it to you fellas, but you can't have a baby doing it that way."
    • Gaytheism.
    • Gilding the Bagel. New York City is the capital of the world. Been there many times.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Passion Sunday

  • Mass: Judica me, Deus. Low Mass with no altar boys because the archbishop or at least a bishop was coming to the later Novus Ordo Mass (our Mass is the parish's main one). The celebrant is Fr. David, one of two young resident friars who do our Mass; another priest on our rota is Fr. Brannan, a Jesuit ordained in '63. (Fr. Check from "St. Clement's Jr.," Holy Trinity Traditional Latin Mass Community downtown, is our supply priest.) The priest at the side was the guest preacher, from Nebraska. (With the Fraternity of St. Peter?) This is our Victorian exposition-chapel church: short sanctuary with the front pews of the nave right by the altar rail; no choir stalls. Anyway, it was great to have a quick half-hour Low Mass because I was off to a flea market afterwards.
  • A Christ-centered sermon from Fr. Robert Hart, since the Prayer Book readings are the same as ours today. Some of the right kind of ecumenism.
  • Strange religion I: Narco-saints. Corruption of folk Catholicism from the never-catechized. Jesús Malverde and Santa Muerte.
  • Strange religion II, SWPL edition. Wicca. Made-up religion from the ’30s. Christianized, not really paganism. Apostate Christians invented this: like the mainstream now (political correctness, also called the Cathedral), it's Christian ethics minus Christ. Real pagans believe in the gods they worship, sacrificing an animal for example to try to get the god to do your bidding, like a contract. Or the word-faith movement in Protestantism: send the preacher money, and God owes you what you want, right? An easy trap in thinking that of course Christians fall for. Anyway, Wicca seems to appeal to some women. More from Bob Wallace.
  • We don't worship the Pope. From blogger Dale Price: "Frankly (no pun intended), I don't get this pope, and I'm no longer interested in trying to get him. He's going to recede to the background of my spiritual life, he and his intentions the subject of the regular family rosary, remembered as part of the liturgy on holy days of obligation, and... that's it. Like it was in the old days, before instant information made it possible for someone to be omnipresent." My approach to him all along.

Byzantine snobbery

I recently read the horrible news that St. Elias Ukrainian Catholic Church in Brampton, Ontario, burned down. Nobody was hurt, thank God. On an unofficial Byzantine Catholic message board I remarked on this great loss: "At North America's showplace of high-church, pure-rite Ukrainian Catholicism. Very sorry to hear that." Which got this answer: "Really? 'Pure-rite'? Only a 'High Church' Latin Catholic would phrase this loss as you did. I have to take offense with your tone deafness." That's the way of that particular online culture, like its even more obnoxious anti-Catholic cousin, online Orthodoxy. A compliment from one of the great unwashed is beneath them. Defend moderate traditional latinizations as well as the pure unlatinized form of the rite, as I do, and get smacked with the 2x4 on their shoulder. Thank God you don't encounter that attitude much in person from ethnic parishioners, who are mostly older and not online, but that attitude's a big reason why I don't worship in that rite anymore.

Our goal is neither to turn Orthodox into Roman Riters nor make them into copies of the Greek Catholics past or present. The calling of our unlatinized Greek Catholics such as the Russian Catholics (who aren't ethnic; they're mostly non-Russians), St. Elias in Brampton, and the Melkites is not to snag individual Orthodox or groups of Orthodox but to show all the Orthodox that becoming Catholic isn't the negative thing they fear it would be, a taking away of their traditions. That said, nor should we try to hellenize, russify, or romanize the old latinized Greek Catholics and even former Greek Catholics (ACROD, for example).

The first traditional Catholic liturgy I ever got to go to was at a Ukrainian Catholic parish nearly 30 years ago; the families of World War II refugees, the priest a refugee himself, pastor since 1951.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and more

  • Catholicism and Orthodoxy:
    • From Owen White: On leaving Orthodoxy and on Catholicism and Orthodoxy generally. I almost didn’t post this because I don’t want to give the wrong impression that Catholicism hates the Orthodox tradition or is trying to break up their churches instead of seeking corporate reunion, but this post and thread are too good to pass up.
    • Relatively liberal Orthodox’ take on that. I thought the priest's first answer to me came up short. Reminds me of when I asked the late Fr. Peter Gillquist in person about contraception and didn't get a straight answer. (Mainstream Orthodox have changed on this to be just like ’50s mainline Protestants and modern evangelicals; plausible but not the full faith. The Pope's the last man standing in Christendom.)
    • Cardinal Kasper once said there is no such thing as "the Orthodox Church"; there are only Orthodox churches. True in the sense that there's only one true church; the Orthodox are real particular churches like the Ukrainian Catholic Church or the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, only separated from us. But that doesn't mean we're trying to break up their communion. We want to bring them all back and not change their traditions.
    • I'm all for a loose communion of traditional churches as long as it includes the Pope.
    • From the Anti-Gnostic: Modernity, church, tribe. Interestingly, the Roman Church is strongest where she actually behaves like a Local Church: Croatia, Poland, Ireland, Italy...
    • Anti-Catholic stuff from a convert Russian Orthodox priest in England. The Ukrainian revolution, specifically the American backing of it, and the Ukrainian Catholic Church’s understandable (historically) support of it, shortsighted (political Uniatism) and losing the Catholic big picture of bringing all of the Orthodox back, have done to Catholic/Russian Orthodox relations exactly what I was afraid of. Some Catholics say that complete reunion is a pipe dream; it probably won't happen but witnessing to it is still part of our calling.
    • I like to say that my High or Sung Mass is essentially the Orthodox Liturgy minus icons. (Icons are great but not necessary.) Which come to think of it is what the Nestorian (Assyrian) and Armenian rites are like. The Nestorian Eucharistic prayer (consecration), which doesn’t have the words of institution ("This is my Body," etc.), is the oldest anaphora still in use; ours, the Roman Canon or Gregorian Canon, is second. I think the two Byzantine ones are in the top five.
  • Languages:
    • From Ex-Army: Slavic languages are closely related. Russian and Ukrainian are very mutually intelligible: My impression of Ukrainian's relationship to Russian is what the relationship of Southern and Standard American English would be if the South had seceded and decided to spell everything slightly differently, and make words like "poke" and "sody pop" and other regionalisms the standard words, and regard dialectal formations like "He knowed what I wanted, but he done something different" standard grammar. Much closer than English to its most closely related large language, Dutch, which is close to German. Dutch is what English would have been if the Normans hadn’t conquered England. English of course is Germanic but in the Middle Ages was half-Frenchified, like it's trying to pretend it's a Romance language; that's the English we understand and still speak.
    • The fight to keep diacritical marks in Polish.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street is one of the best movies I've seen. Scorsese's still got it; up there with Goodfellas. Interesting how his casting rewrote history a little.
  • Derb at Takimag: This I believe. Pretty good but I can anticipate the paleo-conservatives' and Catholics' argument that his individualism is a kind of liberalism. That said, he balances it out with ethnic and nation-state loyalties, humanity's normal state of affairs. (Sailer: liberals have leapfrogging loyalties, romanticizing the foreigner - "diversity," "multiculturalism" - as a way to hate their Christian kin. They "love humanity" but hate people.)
  • Music: The Bachelors, “I Believe.”
  • Photo I happened to find: The Bristol Drug. Co. Pharmacy, Santa Ana, CA.