Sunday, August 31, 2014

How to leave the church the right way, and more

  • The right reason to leave the church. As Newman alluded to, the ultimate authority is God as seen through a well-formed conscience. If you really believe we are in grave error, go. To Orthodoxy. To Protestantism. To Islam. Etc. It also reminds me of the late liberal Fr. Andrew Greeley writing something like: Don't leave us because we spend lots of money on cathedrals and churches but because we believe God reaches out to us through matter made sacred such as holy places and beautiful art.
  • Intellectual dishonesty: The few konvertzy who try to act out “the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are equally the church.” (Fr.?) Dale's earlier post.
  • Some Orthodox really like conservative Catholics even as they're upfront about opposing Catholicism. True dialogue; no bull. Pope Benedict repeated Catholicism's true-church claim and the Russians nodded knowingly; he was talking their language. Then you have the Orthodox — Mostly in the West? Liberals like St. Vladimir's Seminary? — who take their text from Catholic liberals' misreading of Vatican II. "You no longer teach that you're the true church — great! We were right." Superficially friendly to us; they're ecumenical. But on terms that are actually hostile to us. Because that misreading of the council is not what we really teach.
  • Byzantinophile Catholic relativist talking point: "The Uniates have no right to exist." I'm not ashamed of the Unias: they came to us so, given our true-church claim, like the other side's, we were conscience-bound to bring them in. That said, we're right now not to solicit; we want to bring the whole Orthodox communion back to us.
  • Metropolitan Kallistos: I love, therefore I am.
  • Boston's Holy Trinity Church up for sale.
  • The SSPX is a last resort; Defcon 1. We're nowhere near that level, more like Defcon 4. In the '80s it was Defcon 3. I'm not leaving the church for a cult with the church's trappings: spiritual pride there.
  • Opus Dei leaves me cold, except in Oxford, where it was like Brideshead Revisited. Talked to a recruiter over 25 years ago. They're like lay Jesuits, not interested in high liturgics. Fine; nobody HAS to be. Of course there are different legitimate Catholic schools of thought, and we don't always get along. Opus Dei is about recruiting the elite and having them work in society, in the "real world," towards Catholic goals. "Cooperators" don't even have to be Catholic or even Christian. It has its place but it's not me. I've read St. Josemaría Escrivá's The Way. I appreciate it.
  • 11 of the best #ThingsJesusNeverSaid.

Not going to war over ISIS

Smart quote:
I don't think the threat from ISIS is a serious threat to our citizens here at home. I think that the government owned media is trying to instill fear in Americans so that we will be cool with another war, or a resumption of an old one. The military industrial complex who own our government, and our media, need a a new war. Afghanistan and Iraq were cool, but now they are winding down. They tried to start one up in Ukraine, and Syria, but there was no mandate from the people. Now, the media has started a new propaganda blitz. ISIS is EVIL. I agree, they are evil, but they are way over there, a bunch of peasants who got hold of our military equipment when we left. The stuff will wear out, no spare parts, etc. Maybe they will stage another 9/11 to get your backs into the new wars, but they won't be able to do anything of significance without inside help.
Also: war isn't our only weapon nor hand-wringing our only option.

Around the parish

This is Ivy Hall, ironically not ivied. 100 years ago Philadelphia's Overbrook section, my parish's territory, was posh like the Main Line suburbs across City Avenue a few blocks away. I think this was the home and studio of a ballerina. Anyway, it's our unofficial hall for very grand occasions, when the undercroft (where we have coffee hour one Sunday a month) and the official hall in our former convent (we lost our nuns when we lost our school, now a charter school) aren't enough. The archdiocese doesn't own it; a parishioner, my ex-boss from a former part-time job, does. A conservative Catholic social center. Met Fr. George Rutler here twice. His former secretary from Good Shepherd, Rosemont, went Greek Orthodox; she's a parishioner at St. Demetrios (which is Greek, not convert) near home. I met her here too. And she and Father are still friends.

This is really the Memorial Church of St. Paul. St. Thomas, Philadelphia's historic black Episcopal congregation, moved here in recent years. At one point, when it was deep in West Philly, St. Thomas had become Anglo-Catholic, for a few reasons. The Episcopalians were being a little condescending, thinking blacks "like that sort of thing" so it's fine for them; the historic Anglo-Catholic commitment to social ministry (yes, at their best they had small-o orthodoxy, Tridentine liturgics with panache because it was done for the love of it, and social ministry), and if you were a seriously Anglo-Catholic priest you didn't have much of a future in Episcopalianism so they put you in the ghetto parish. Anyway, interestingly the congregation isn't exclusively black. Sometimes they have Sunday festivals displaying outside the flags of the British Caribbean islands many parishioners come from; historically they were A-C too but now they're on board with women priests (so that makes them New Anglo-Catholics, as hard as that is for me to say; Anglican authority is church authority to them).

What's the story again about Anglicans and red church doors?

Pardon me; does your church have a porte-cochère? But of course!

Processional: it's good to be home. Several of us are Anglo-Catholic alumni but we didn't start this here! A priest inspired by Pope Benedict did.

Mass: Deus, in adjutorium meum intende. Epistle: "The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." Gospel: The Good Samaritan. "Who is my neighbor?" Fr. Matthew said the church is like the inn, taking care of us put-upon travelers until Jesus returns.

Commemoration of St. Raymond Nonnatus, a friar in the order in charge of the parish. Which explains the white vestments. The Mercedarians were originally a medieval Spanish order that put it all on the line, volunteering to take the place of Christians captured by the Mohammedans. Makes me proud to be part Spanish.

Images of the old America, and more

It looks like the Episcopalians in the University City section of Philadelphia have sold some real estate near what's now their cathedral ("The Cathedral," formerly the Church of the Saviour); must be worth a lot. I imagine they don't draw much of a congregation; Center City just over the Schuylkill is overserved with liberal high church for gay culture vultures, and Hindu engineer Drexel U. and Jewish Penn (an Ivy) aren't interested. University City also has UniLu, University Lutheran Church, around the corner and east on Chestnut Street; charming golden-era (mid-century) modern with great liturgical taste though ELCA liberal (the Episcopalians' merger partner); a sign says "Student Congregation," probably more like "Wishful Thinking." Kids are at Hillel, practicing the faiths of India, or likely not worshipping. (The neighborhood is where I first had Indian food.) Penn's always been secular, by the way.

The Church of the Saviour's a fine 19th-century Romanesque basilica that by the golden era had been high-churched with a nice eastward altar with six candles; all gone. But you could throw a baldacchino over their new altar, face east, and have chant echoing off those stone walls, and we'd be in business.

Update: The story behind the construction.
In 2012, facing a $3.5 million bill to renovate its bell tower, current cathedral dean Judith Sullivan petitioned the Philadelphia Historical Commission for permission to demolish its parish house and rectory, both NRHP-certified buildings. They would be replaced with a 25-story apartment building wedged between the cathedral and Chestnut Street. The demolition was approved.

Maybe Philadelphia's Episcopalians are taking a cue from Trinity Church, Wall Street, one of Manhattan's richest landlords (nothing per se wrong with that). When the congregation dies out and the endowment funds start to run out, go into real estate.

Visible: the Catholic parish church, St. James, long merged with St. Agatha's to the north (now creepily condominiums — sacrilegious), a fine "plant" (sacrament factory) marred by, among other Vatican IIisms, a piano in the sanctuary when I was last there. The Newman Center's next door. Such were places to avoid 20-30 years ago, but the Catholic religious revival among the young's been under way for about 25 years; the few kids who are practicing Catholics likely want the real thing, not an imposter. (Notre Dame has a traditional Mass.)

Englishtown and Hightstown, NJ.

At the flea market in Englishtown a Coptic gentleman had this picture of Pope St. Kyrillos VI, "father to the Egyptian Christians and miracle worker," a crucifix, images of St. Michael and St. George, an icon of St. Mina, and a Western image of the suffering Christ blessing his shop.

The sexes, the Great Reset to patriarchy, and more

  • From the Anti-Gnostic:
    • Briefly, why gay marriage is wrong.
    • When the Great Reset happens and the secular democratic Novus Ordo falls, then what's going to replace it is patriarchy. But when you think about it, secular democracy is itself dependent on armed men with weapons enforcing the Novus Ordo, so it looks like it's patriarchy all the way down. Feminists may as well take up the fight against gravity, meaning they will ultimately never be successful, and they'll cause a lot of damage along the way. Patriarchy is the organic order. We can look at August's point from both the ecclesial and political perspectives and sadly conclude that the USA, not being a real Nation, can perforce never have a real Church.
  • Opus Publicum vs. John Zmirak.
  • SSPX Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. The society is Catholic. Video.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Metropolitan (Patriarch) Sviatoslav: not the answer

Major Archbishop Sviatoslav calls for support for (the) Ukraine('s revolutionary government).

He's a politically correct wuss (political correctness is a Christian heresy like the Russians being in schism, Your Beatitude), the EU's bitch. No, thanks. I'm Catholic and always will be but he makes Putin look good in comparison. We need a new Constantine (venerated as a saint in the Byzantine Rite), not churchmen like Metropolitan Sviatoslav. Not what I want for the new Ukraine, and I have no problem with Ukrainians wanting to be independent. I am still hoping for a conservative, Catholic-friendly version of Russia, not this. Sure, except for things like this, I'd love it if the Ukrainian Catholic Church became the state or at least national church. People rightly point out the Russian Orthodox Church is Erastian (Eastern Orthodoxy is a state creation that exists to hate the Catholic Church) but so is this, a bane of Eastern Europe. I'm no Communist or schismatic (Russia's now a weird but understandable mix of Soviet nostalgia and Orthodoxy), but Metropolitan Sviatoslav's government has neither my opposition nor my support; in fact it is completely irrelevant to me. Try again, Your Beatitude.

Russia was right to annex the Crimea. The Crimea is Russian because its people want it so. Same principle as the revolution this year in Kiev. The people didn't like something the duly elected government did (Yanukovych got a better from Russia than the EU) so a mob overthrew it. Pot, kettle.

The Kyivan Patriarchate is Orthodox in about the sense the SSPX is Catholic.

If you think the church will get a better deal from the EU, etc., by trying to appeal to their religious-liberty and human-rights rhetoric ("liberté, egalité, fraternité"; "progress, liberalism, and modern civilization"), hiding behind the Jews, Mohammedans, et al. (no, I'm not supporting persecution), rather than standing on the church's truth claim, you're mistaken.

Reminds me of the Anti-Gnostic's point: too many Catholic churchmen will keep hitching their wagons to social democracy to try to get a good deal for the church or themselves. It won't work for the church.

Metropolitan Sviatoslav reminds me of the Ukrainian Catholic priest I heard almost 25 years ago apologizing for "sexist language." (By the way, women don't like male feminists.)

This isn't the principle or the courage that enabled the Ukrainian Catholic Church to survive heroically underground for over four decades in modern times.

Cognitive dissonance: you expect Russian Orthodoxy minus schism and instead get a Byzantine Rite version of the Archbishop of Canterbury ("sharia promotes Ukrainian values — Nostra Aetate!") or the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.

His official title is major archbishop; his predecessor Josyf (Slipyj), a gulag survivor, began using the title of patriarch; fine with me.

The trouble isn't that the Russians believe in a true church; it's that they're not it, only part of an estranged part of it.

The first Eastern Slavs and Eastern Christians I knew well, 30 years ago, were Ukrainian Catholic exiles from World War II; my first traditional Catholic liturgy was Ukrainian.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Ukraine, the Rat Pack, a beautiful car, and more

  • Ukraine’s president today declared that a "Russian invasion" of his country was underway and the United Nations' Security Council called an emergency session to discuss the latest crisis involving allegations of Russia's overt support for [the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics]. While I appreciate Cold War nostalgia (I voted for Reagan and loved Red Dawn), these. Countries. Are. Not. Our. Problem. Anymore. Not Communist anymore (no longer out to get us) and we don't really trade with them (some Russians own what used to be Pennsylvania's Mobil stations; big deal). Best wishes to the independent Ukraine: may it be both conservative and Catholic-friendly, like Russia minus schism.
  • Study finds all-consuming self-pity best way to win back ex-partner. What's this? The SWPL snobs at The Onion actually AGREE with manosphere common sense like Roissy? He could have written that parody.
  • "Birth of the Blues." Always liked Benny Goodman's recording of that.
  • Cruise Night, K & G Speed Shop, Broomall, Pa.

Why is every online byzantinophile Catholic forum overrun with relativists and liturgical fetishists?

I'm not talking about online Orthodox; they're understandable. I mean there is no place online (anymore?) where Byzantine Catholics who believe in Catholicism (and their friends such as yours truly), unlatinized and latinized (the fora: "the latinized form has no right to exist"), are welcome. It's not really love of the rite; it's anti-Western snobbery, like online Orthodoxy's waiting room. Facebook fora are as bad as byzcath. Trying to talk somebody out of leaving the church? You're a judgmental bastard. Catholicism's the church? How gauche. Predictable and tiresome places: religion there is a game. (Fake religion: self.) It's a shame because it's a great rite; they're making it look bad to good Catholics. Catholics and Orthodox can't even really talk to each other there. The "ecumenical" version of Orthodox there glom onto Catholic liberals' misreading of Vatican II ("Catholicism no longer teaches it's the true church") to justify being in schism (they seem amenable to the church at first but they're really not); the Catholics there are all branch theorists agreeing with them ("that's right; we're both the church — Catholics are in schism"); a made-up religion that's not really Catholic. You can be as unlatinized as you-name-it (the Melkites, the Russian Catholics, St. Elias in Brampton) but if you speak up for the magisterium, you're John Ireland or some other ignoramus trying to turn them into Roman Riters against their will. Assumption: "Roman Riters are ignorant." Get over yourselves: you discovered the rite last week, relatively speaking; you don't know better than the church. Yassas (γειά σας), folks. Goodbye to the lodge (doctrine is for dummies; indifferentism is for the enlightened: sound familiar?).

Does anybody know of any loyal Catholic boards about the Christian East or any nonsectarian ones about it where loyal Catholics are welcome? Because a REAL Catholic/Orthodox dialogue would be good.

Fr. Serge (Keleher) was an unlatinized Byzantine Catholic by choice/calling who believed in Catholicism. (Having passed through Orthodoxy, he saw through it.) Eternal memory.

Nice Orthodox

A Catholic turned Orthodox writes:
I follow the example of St Silouan in his response to a zealous archimandrite in the Orthodox Church:
Father Silouan’s attitude towards those who differed from him was characterised by a sincere desire to see what was good in them, and not to offend them in anything they held sacred. He always remained himself, he was utterly convinced that ‘salvation lies in Christ-like humility’, and by virtue of this humility he strove with his whole soul to interpret every man at his best. He found his way to the heart of everyone to his capacity for loving Christ.

I remember a conversation he had with a certain Archimandrite who was engaged in missionary work. This Archimandrite thought highly of the Staretz and many a time went to see him during his visits to the Holy Mountain. The Staretz asked him what sort of sermons he preached to people. The Archimandrite, who was still young and inexperienced gesticulated with his hands and swayed his whole body, and replied excitedly, ‘I tell them, Your faith is all wrong, perverted. There is nothing right, and if you don’t repent, there will be no salvation for you.’

The Staretz heard him out, then asked, ‘Tell me, Father Archimandrite, do they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, that He is the true God?’
‘Yes, that they do believe.’
‘And do they revere the Mother of God?’
‘Yes, but they are not taught properly about her.’
‘And what of the Saints?’
‘Yes, they honour them but since they have fallen away from the Church, what saints can they have?’
‘Do they celebrate the Divine Office in their churches? Do they read the Gospels?’
‘Yes, they do have churches and services but if you were to compare their services with ours—how cold and lifeless theirs are!’
‘Father Archimandrite, people feel in their souls when they are doing the proper thing, believing in Jesus Christ, revering the Mother of God and the Saints, whom they call upon in prayer, so if you condemn their faith they will not listen to you ... But if you were to confirm that they were doing well to believe in God and honour the Mother of God and the Saints; that they are right to go to church, and say their prayers at home, read the Divine word, and so on; and then gently point out their mistakes and show them what they ought to amend, then they would listen to you, and the Lord would rejoice over them. And this way by God’s mercy we shall all find salvation ... God is love, and therefore the preaching of His word must always proceed from love. Then both preacher and listener will profit. But if you do nothing but condemn, the soul of the people will not heed you, and no good will come of it.’
From Saint Silouan the Athonite, by Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov) (Essex, England: Stavropegic Monastery of St. John the Baptist, 1991), pp. 63-65.
Flip the sides and this is true. There are lots of nice Orthodox; ethnic, knowing who they are, and having nothing to prove.

The fellow who posted this wrote:
I was born to a Roman Catholic family and baptized as an infant but was largely unfamiliar with the Latin rite to be honest since I was born post Vat. II and from the time I was young, we went to a Greek Catholic parish until I became an adult... I became Orthodox not because of my issues with the papacy. I still have a great deal of admiration for the popes. I loved JPII and basically grew up with him. In fact I've seen two popes in my lifetime in person — Paul VI as a child, and John Paul II in my youth... My own issues were somewhat more 'practical' and less 'theological' in nature. The filioque (or rather "lack of it") was not something of an issue for me since as a Byzantine Catholic, we did not recite it. For me it was about the availability of the parishes and sacraments. Look into most phone books in any given town and you'd be hard pressed to find a Greek Catholic parish and that was my first issue... Second was the calendar or rather 'paschalion'. I often went to my parish and celebrated ours and then visited an Orthodox just to celebrate it with them later when most of the Eastern Churches celebrated it (I was not well aware of Greek Catholics who celebrated Pascha according to the Julian paschalion)... Also, another issue for me was that in the Greek Catholic parishes, I was always considered an 'outsider' and a 'Latin' because I was not baptized into the same rite and they were mostly from that tradition because of heritage, in the Orthodox Church, I knew that although there were ethnic parishes too, that Orthodoxy had been established worldwide among non-European peoples for generations and the way the missions were established were quite different from the way Roman Catholics missionized many peoples (i.e. Russians among the Native peoples of Alaska). I still have a great respect for my Catholic sisters and brothers, including the Latins, as my family is mostly and devoutly Catholic. We pray together at home — including the rosary when my mother was alive. I know there are 'differences' and many will judge me from both sides and misunderstand me. I've been questioned by people from the Latin side who questioned my 'catholicity'; as well as Orthodox who have called me a 'uniate' at heart (using it as a pejorative, I believed). I'm ok with that... I pray and wait for the hierarchs to decide and come to some unity in my lifetime, but I won't hold my breath... If the arguments in this group are any indication... (and the reactions I've gotten or lack of support from people), then it may be a long time indeed before we work out our differences... If I have ever said anything to offend anyone, I ask their forgiveness. God bless.
I understand converting as you did, out of love for the rite and wanting to be "the real thing" in it, because, after all, it IS the Orthodox rite. But of course I don't agree with doing so, because even if you're nice, like you and St. Silouan, you've turned your back on us, denying we are in any sense the church, because that's a valid opinion in Orthodoxy. Stopped kidding myself about that many years ago and took a long walk home.

The Byzantine Rite is better than the Novus Ordo, but a Catholic becoming Orthodox is worshipping a rite instead of God.
I am saddened and sorry that you feel that you feel I have "turned my back on you," or that I "deny" you are in any sense "the church", because that's not me, nor has it ever been my opinion nor feeling. You can ask anyone — any Catholic (or non-Catholic) who has known me all my life. Having said that, I understand why you feel the way you do as many who have converted to Orthodoxy from the See of Rome, have felt as if they have and no longer identify as such, even "in spirit" with their Catholic sisters and brothers, Latin or otherwise. I have never turned my back on Rome or those in communion with her. We have a mural icon of Saint Peter at the parish I attend currently, next to Christ, and on the other side St Paul. I always kiss the foot of the Apostle Peter, as I once kissed the old worn-out foot of his statue in the Basilica named for him in Rome... others may not understand, but St Peter does. That I may not be 'officially' in communion with those who fill the shoes of that fisherman, is not for anyone else to judge... God may yet bring me in union with them some day... When St John Paul II passed from this life, my brother (a Roman Catholic) and I both drove over an hour away to the Cathedral in Los Angeles to attend a memorial service for him. A reporter asked us in an interview for a paper why we drove so far. We simply said: "Because we grew up with him as the Pope of Rome and want to honour his memory as is befitting him." If his current successor would come to visit my town and were I blessed enough to approach him, I would kiss his ring as any Catholic, then introduce myself as an Orthodox brother: let others talk as they wish. Forgive me.
God forgives. I tried being like that too. I think you might come back, because in your heart of hearts you know we are the church.
We are the Church! ...we just happen to be broken at the moment. We mortals only know 'moments'... remember that, John, but God knows and understands eternity. To Him, eternity is but a moment. ...something to think about.
The trouble with well-meant "we're all schismatics" or "the church is broken" or "we're both the church" is they really mean "there is no church," which neither Catholicism nor Orthodoxy teaches. It's not fair to us or to the church you've embraced. However, it resembles us more than them, because we hold that they are an estranged part of us, with no heretical doctrine and having bishops and the Mass. Doctrinally, they are agnostic about us: they are the church, period. Someday you will have to choose between us and them.

Someone else chimed in:
It only looks like that to those that wear blinkers, John.
Sounds gnostic and Masonic: the churches' teachings are for the dumb masses while the enlightened have the real brotherhood. No, thanks. I'd rather be a boring old Roman Catholic.

Meanwhile, unlatinized Byzantine Catholicism seems to have an agent provocateur or at least has shot itself in the foot:
Simply put: we do not care a whit what the Latin view is on anything. Go in peace, brothers, but GO!
That board, with its fantasy church (gnostic pseudo-brotherhood) in Byzantine garb, neither Catholic nor Orthodox, really HATES unlatinized Byzantine Catholicism, as it does latinized, and I imagine doesn't really like the Orthodox either. Fake religion is a lifestyle accessory for one's wonderful self.

Disappointing from the parish priest of St. Michael's Russian Catholic Church in New York, which I've been to several times and have always recommended. Size doesn't matter; truth does. This obscure jurisdiction seems to "get it": they love everything Orthodox except schism. At least they seemed to until I read this.

Better: Bitten by the Golden Bow-Wow: Pitfalls of East/West dialogue. Anti-Western snobbery. Yes, I respect the rite but the Mass is the Mass, for example.

A biographical sketch of Pusey, and on conservative Christians trying to be cool

"Join me in spreading the gospel."

  • A modern Anglican Evangelical writes and posts a bio of Pusey. This lady's husband. Not anti-high church. Right; Anglo-Catholics weren't Catholic wannabes to begin with (the Tractarians) and some still weren't. But those became the Episcopalians now: liberal high church. "We don't need Rome" means "we can change the matter of the sacraments of orders and matrimony" (some Anglicans don't think they're sacraments), and in theory change anything. Fallible church, invented to serve the state (which the Oxford Movement actually rebelled against, claiming Catholic divine institution and authority, better than Rome, for Henry VIII's and Cranmer's creation), where everything is changeable by decree, or now, synodal vote. Unlike Catholic liberals, they love the church's trappings (part of their charm), from claimed apostolic bishops to quotable saints to birettas, but they don't think the church as we know it is really necessary. Of course the Tractarians weren't liberals; they feared, with our teaching about the papacy, that we were! Newman on the development of doctrine (not itself part of our doctrine but so useful it might as well be) tried to set them straight. Pius IX on Pusey: "He's like the campanile, calling the people into the church but he stays outside." A movement that began to prevent people from coming to us (and reacting against a state reaction to its emancipation of Catholics: the Irish didn't go to the Anglican Church so why not downsize it there?) ended up imitating the church, before the movement turned liberal. Fr. Mitchican's "Biblical Catholicism" is... man-made, the conclusion Newman came to.
  • Interesting follow-up to Rod Dreher's post yesterday on the Rev. Mrs. Warren (I know that's not grammatical): For conservative Christians, is trying to be cool/chasing respectability a dead end? The article in full. In a sense, absolutely yes. Certainly in an America that's secularizing, becoming less literate about religion: I told one of my Jewish secular co-workers about attending church camp and he immediately assumed it was like “Jesus Camp.” I responded “no, it was Episcopal.” We all know that means, right? Episcopal Jesus Camp. But he didn’t get that memo. Christians were Christians were Christians, in his book. In another, no: my suspicion given me by another that Dreher might really be telling us to give up and be schismatic high-church dhimmi, cute, harmless, quaint conservatives (if you can't buy out-and-out unbelief or the halfway house of liberal high church) in a "post-Christian" society. Surrender the public square. To which, as General McAuliffe said to the Germans in the Ardennes, I say "Nuts!" We may be driven underground as Catholics in the modern Ukraine were, not that I'm saying that will happen soon. But we should learn from our recent history.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Colleges trying to force non-Christians on Christian student groups, conservative Anglican women priests, and more

  • Colleges trying to force non-Christians on Christian student groups. The Christian heresy of political correctness (niceness as a weapon; very WASP) strikes again. Am I the only one here who sees irony in a female Anglican priest arguing for a mechanism to prevent "theological drift" in campus religious organizations? No. Then again, as someone born Episcopal and much formed by Anglo-Catholicism (my late rector offering novenas that "the scandal of the attempted ordination of women be removed from the Anglican Communion"), I would. I'm not mad at the Episcopalians anymore but it's still hard for me to admit that liberal high church is the New Anglo-Catholicism; if like the common man you identify Catholicism with Rome (our holy mother, the church), it is a massive betrayal of what some of us were trying to do as Anglicans. Sure, I did a double take. Started reading Rod Dreher's post assuming she's liberal. To this Catholic it doesn't make sense: the original "drift" of course was the "Reformation" (the Christian heresy that begat secular humanism/political correctness); I call good-hearted ACNA (they're not about self but Christ) "Slightly Less Liberal Protestant Denomination." So Cranmer's and Hooker's "reformed Catholic" religion allows for changing the matter of a sacrament (Anglicans are undecided if orders really is one)? Guess so. But it's fairly clear she's of the Evangelical persuasion (rare among American Anglicans; they could always leave for other denominations) and isn't claiming to be a Catholic priest. She's pretty. Pope Francis as imagined by Damian Thompson: "Join me in spreading the gospel." Of course such are more likely to come into the church the EWTN "Journey Home" way with other evangelicals (some do), not the ordinariates. Anyway, I agree with the post's point: this oppression is insane; illogical. Against freedom of religion. What it obviously really means: We all know the real reason for this, behind the legalistic pettifogging, is that those who’ve gotten themselves in charge are hostile to Christ and Christianity. Whatever is pretended to avoid the animus being perceived as blatant as it is. Trad/paleo rebuttal (not an endorsement): is arguing for pluralism part of Dreher's suspected surrender propaganda for conservatives, actually joining the other side and becoming part of the problem? The SSPX exists because it objects to religious liberty and ecumenism; It's Not About Latin™ and neither am I. (Latin's a template and the church's international second language, and it's beautiful, the mother of Italian.) Me: in that department, as in much else, America 50 years ago worked. We had arrived in American society without compromising (America even liked us: Going My Way?); we did not need Vatican II.
  • Quip from the Rad Trad, remembering that experimental Masses facing the people were done in America in the '50s: Reform of the Reform? No, try FORGET the Reform. Sounds good to me. Since Vatican II didn't define doctrine, no problem. Let it collect dust on the shelf, a cautionary tale for the future against blind faith in never-ending progress, the '50s' Achilles' heel.
  • The Fifties vs. the '50s. As I keep explaining to Donna, people 50-60 years ago didn't have little chrome and checker-tiled diners in their basements with new 45s stapled to the walls. (What the hell are you doing?) They walked to neighborhood places like the former Walt's like I did until recently. A post about Grease on Facebook got this started: Cute, average Sandy for most of the movie, yes. Fits the period. Although the music in some scenes was pulling towards the '70s. The travesty at the end? No. Musically and visually the scene ruined the movie, it was a bad lesson for the kids (girls, to get boys to like you, completely change who you are), and Sandy became a weird time traveler from the '70s (cf. most seasons of "Happy Days"). Grease is a mixed bag. The Fifties (concept courtesy of Sha Na Na, a bunch of Columbia students making fun of Italian-American resistance to the Sixties) are part of the real '50s; the fake Fifties are full of anachronisms. This movie was an example of that. John, I'm afraid the best thing about the '50s was Ike reading Zane Grey novels (ever been to Ike's house in Gettysburg, btw? Pretty nifty.) The movies and literature of the decade are crammed with the nascent '60s like a bad zit ready to pop. For this country at least, give me any time prior to 1914. As I now say, beware when the left gets nostalgic; that's what they're on about. Anyway, haven't been to Gettysburg yet. 1. I remember the old Middle America (Nixon's Silent Majority) fading away from 1968 to 1972. 2. Mid-century ("the '50s"): prosperity, technological advances (we're STILL flying B-52s), AND the old values (friend born in '53: "the grownups were still in charge"), so you had beautiful design (such as car design and space-age architecture: googie/doo-wop), for example; lots of experimentation (orchestral music and cool jazz; rock wasn't really radical: a continuation of boogie-woogie/r&b) but not a lot of ugliness. I see what you're saying, though, about the rot having set in. Faith in unending progress was standard. Ended up wrecking the church and the larger Western society. That's what Vatican II was about.
  • Pro-abortion propaganda on PBS. Now that just about everybody has the Internet and cheap cable, do we NEED PBS? Years ago PBS would never have dared act so blatantly. With the entire pro-life movement called extremism like the Taliban, etc., nobody should be surprised by this. Years ago the Silent Majority was still at least passively pro-life and pro-straight. Guess the frog-in-a-pot brainwashing worked: "I'm personally opposed but" or worse.

Tarring genuine populism, and more

  • More deflection. My hypothesis is that leftists have realized social democracy — to the extent it works — must perforce be national social democracy (like the "national" in national socialism) because that's really the only way you get everybody putting their shoulder to the wheel to fund things like old-age pensions, neighborhood schools, medical clinics, etc. Otherwise, it's just an ethnic spoils fight, like what we have now. Therefore, the instant any bit of genuine economic populism, any sustainable social safety net, any true monetary or fiscal reform threatens to break out, it must be instantly conflated with identity politics lest some actual national unity and pride occur. American populist movements might end up actually being ... American. I.e., Hate.
  • The State exists to serve The Nation rather than Nation serving State. And though it’s not difficult to see why this stance would lead liberal bots into motherboard meltdowns, it does lead one to wonder…why else? Why else would groups of like people ever form and empower a state apparatus, if not but to serve their interests? Swedes originally created a state and drew boundaries for the benefit of Swedes. No one else. There are approximately 8 million Swedes in a world of 7+ billion. If they do not stand as their own advocates, none will. I will wager that not a founder of a single western state did so with the intention that his creation would find its purpose in dispossessing his posterity. That the media takes pains to reassure its cud-chewing consumers that this fundamental premise of government is Nazi! should explain all one needs to learn about the veracity of its reporting.
  • Even if it's true, Ron Paul still have been president. "I'm shocked, I say, shocked, that politics are dirty." He's better than the rest of them.
  • How drumming is done. Buddy Rich outkrupaed Krupa. That's music. "John Lennon? Never heard of her."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What cops really do, and more

  • Old war correspondent Fred Reed on what cops really do.
  • Pat Buchanan: How to defeat ISIS. An intelligent alternative to another war or hand-wringing. Hold the Saudis (the fundamentalist Sunnis who were most of the 9/11 hijackers) and others accountable. A smart cop knows how to de-escalate (don't meddle in Mideast politics, and stop supporting Israel, and there will be no more 9/11s; stop the "homeland security" political theater), and anyone who's been in a war doesn't want to go again.
  • The rise of the state. The period covered is 1300–1648, and Van Creveld begins with the struggle against the church – a struggle against faith in the church and toward faith in the state, it seems. Of course opposing faith and reason — the common-knowledge "history" of the Renaissance and "Enlightenment," "freeing" us from the church... for what? — is a strawman. St. Thomas Aquinas' thought is the epitome of reason, standing on the shoulders of Aristotle: seeing the world as it really is and conforming yourself to objective truth.
  • From Fr. Longenecker:
  • Mormonism. Also, Fr. Gommar De Pauw.
  • The decline of stoicism during status-striving times. It can be cold but there's something to be said for northern European reserve. Also, humility, a Christian virtue, vs. the well-meant self-esteem our kids are fed.

Hey, look, a distraction, and more

  • Deflection. The Israeli-Palestinian debate, and: Across the ideological spectrum, Americans must be badgered, hounded, shamed, deflected toward noticing everything but their complete disenfranchisement in their own homeland.
  • Msgr. Ronald Knox on the A-bombs.
  • Bob Wallace remembers growing up. Intelligent criticism of the manosphere. The map is not the terrain but the manosphere is a map.
  • The war against whites is massively incentivized. Rather, one white group's war on another (Tutsis vs. Hutus) with nonwhite proxies.
  • The Don still didn't win an Emmy. The show ended this summer; of course we've yet to see the end. But Jon Hamm seemed to drop hints as to who's in the final episode.
  • In case you didn't know, Damian Thompson has moved completely to The Spectator. Speculation about Pope Francis. The first non-European Pope was elected to do one thing: reform the Roman Curia, the pitifully disorganised, corrupt and lazy central machinery of the church. He is determined to pull it off — but he’s 77 and has part of a lung missing. When he looks at his watch during long Masses in St Peter’s, it’s not just because elaborate services bore him. He knows he may not have much time. ‘Two or three years and then off to the house of the Father,’ he said this week. Was he serious? You can never tell. ... Like many Jesuits, Francis isn’t interested in liturgy. This is actually good news for traditionalists, because it means he won’t clamp down on the Latin Mass (with one baffling exception: the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, a new order whose use of the Old Missal has been brutally restricted). ... he wouldn’t alter Catholic teaching on sexuality. Because the Pope can't.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

American black lockstep

Takimag's Kathy Shaidle:
If Taleeb Starkes, who is black, could wave a magic wand and change one thing about his “community,” what would it be? I figured he’d pick violence, education, or family structure. Instead, to my surprise, Starkes said he’d abolish his race’s corrosive cultural conformity.

The word “urban” effortlessly became the new “black” sometime in the 1980s. If it’s really just a euphemistic code-word invented by whitey, that doesn’t explain why blacks themselves have so eagerly embraced it.
Why black churchgoers voted overwhelmingly for not-really-black abortion ghoul and now sellout-to-the-gays Barack Obama (homosexualism isn't black).

"Blacks themselves have so eagerly embraced it." I've wondered why, only a few years after civilized black gentlemen dressed like Don Draper preached a Western ideal of universal brotherhood, so many embraced Islam (I think most are still Protestant), the Black Panthers, and blaxploitation movies: resegregation and whitey's worst stereotypes. Falling hard for cultural Marxism. (And liberal whites' proxy war on conservative ones.)

That said, at work a black man half my age has told me that writing copy for rap-music sites is as foreign to him as it is to me (yes, I've pulled it off: just do enough Google research).

Clashing lefty pieties and Islam

When white liberals try to make pets out of Third World Mohammedans.

It's funny when lefty pieties clash: what outranks what? Do they have a "hierarchy of truths" like Catholic liberals? Does using the Mohammedans against Western Christendom outrank feminism, etc.? We oppress women, etc., they say, then they make excuses or look the other way when their Third World "pets" do worse. Funnier still would be them as dhimmi; party's over.

Then there's Chicks Dig Jerks, Mohammedan Edition: alpha Tamerlan Tsarnaev (who wasn't an alpha until he got religion) got an educated SWPL babe to give it all up and convert to Islam for him, so he could dominate her and she could have his babies. I'll bet Dzhokhar (Jahar) gets love letters in prison. Don't listen to the feminist stuff girls say; watch what they do. Leif Erikson wishes he did; becoming evangelical wasn't good enough.


Liberal vs. conservative flavors of purity, and more


Monday, August 25, 2014

"Traddies," the Sixties, and the shaming of an evangelical

  • "Traddie." I knew coming back into the church I'd have to identify as a kind of traddie, which is fine but it's not my whole identity, because this enterprise isn't mainly about me.
  • The Sixties and religion.
  • Mark Driscoll. Buck the elite in this country and watch the accusations fly. Not that there aren't bullies and other scoundrels pretending to be martyrs. What I wonder is if this stuff breaks most evangelicals; how willing they are to be shamed. They got Driscoll to apologize. Extra credit: in the '70s, which side, the left or the right, loved and enabled Jim Jones?

Marriage 2.0 and more

  • From Bob Wallace:
    • Marriage 2.0. How no-fault divorce ruined everything, to which we can add contraception, which the Rockefellers and their friends intended to keep the nonwhite population down and, mission accomplished, neutralize (neuter?) America's then-big Catholic minority; assimilate them. (Vatican II: while the church never compromises its doctrine, we fell for this. A "new" church for the space age. America swallowing up its Catholics is the untold story of the 20th century.) Redefine marriage so it's not about reproduction and thus society anymore, rather, it's about how the couple feel about each other, nothing more, and all hell breaks loose, as kids from broken homes will tell you.
    • Eudaimonia.
    • Women and the Wall. The trouble is modernity's artificiality, not to be confused with civilization, which builds on nature, is at odds with women's instincts. Many women appear to suffer from delusions — "I'll go to college, pretend I have a career, then find Mr. Perfect, quit my job and have husband, home and children... what happened?!?!"
    • "It’s not the cads, it’s the tramps."
  • Mainline Protestant and liberal Catholic thinking doesn't work for them: “Secular society has outgrown the church; the church is outdated. So the problem is the church isn’t yet liberal enough!” Watch numbers plummet. Repeat.
  • Murder by cherry-picking. Race riots such as Ferguson. The civil-rights movement has always had its problems (all principled conservatives opposed it at the time for constitutional reasons; freedom of association) but the romance of MLK, the nostalgia, is for the golden era; gentlemen seeming to preach a Western ideal of universal brotherhood and equal opportunity. (The only other men in Philadelphia who dress like me are blacks from the period going to church.)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sights and sounds of the weekend: vintage shops and flea market

Drexel Hill, Pa.:

Somerville, NJ:

A mecca in the old Woolworth's. Better still, there's a rival shop across the street.

On pedestrians-only Division Street, Incogneeto, or as I call it, Gimbels 50 years ago.

The difference between me and them is for me it's not kitsch.

Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Moorestown, NJ.

A flea-market Sunday. The good thing about Pope Benedict's Novus Ordo at my parish is it's still my parish: organ prelude and postlude, Anglican hymns for the processional, offertory, and recessional, white-gloved altar boys ringing sanctus bells in stereo, and the altar rail in use.

Broomall, Pa.

Delaware County Community College:

Beware the left's nostalgia. What a horrible character.

Max the German shepherd. My dad growing up in the '30s had a dog like him as a protector, Rex.

It's almost a law: you must give a dog like that a one-syllable name like Duke.

I understand they're almost as smart as we are.

Oh, boyohboyohboy. Dogs are so demonstrative.

For the Indian wannabe or would-be Buddhist on your list.

We weren't CBers but this brings back a fun memory.

The curé style for priests. Catholicism East and West: come for the faith, stay for the hats.

A ramble: my black fedora (like a priest's) has a story. Found it in a Runnemede, NJ antiques shop: a life-size figure of Frank Sinatra was holding it out to me. It fits perfectly.

Road warrior: '48 Plymouth, really the last model year of the beautiful cars of the '40s (design was static because of the war), as '49 was a complete redesign with unibody cars, arguably the first '50s cars.

A little book full of still useful facts including an atlas.

Hamilton ashtray. Now Toucan Sam and his mate are the symbols of good fortune, guarding my change.

The little '58 Chevy's from Wildwood.

Gripe: had to get new speakers and found them packed in a hard clear plastic chrysalis I cut myself trying to open. Maybe styrofoam is out among the politically correct but you'd think the leftist poseurs in big business wouldn't waste so many resources on packaging. (Conservation and stewardship of God's creation are of course good. I avoid using plastic bags.) Not when their sound system's at stake, I guess. Rather like swipples hate corporations except the ones that make things they like. Anyway, the speakers work great: playing Mel Tormé perfectly.