Monday, August 11, 2014

The church simply is, and more

  • Scaring up a case against the Pope. A rival true-church claim evangelizes online so of course it's mostly converts. From the classic Anglicans to the Abbé Guettée, same old. Clever sophistry. Plausible cases, but I have no reason to build a plausible case against him: he defends the apostolic faith. Florence has explained the filioque, and the church's official Greek version of the Creed still doesn't have the insertion. You could build a logical argument, based on a premise of faith, that the planet Uranus is made of green cheese. In every age since Christ, among all men in all conditions and all cultures, the Catholic Church simply is.
  • Not to put too fine a point upon it, but so is the Evil One. I'm sure it sounded clever to you at the time. Same old, same old: on the Web a catechumen can play at being a bishop or theologian; yes, this will end well. In a good Russian word, prelest. Not to put too fine a point on it, but we don't equate the Orthodox tradition (which is entirely Catholic) with the Evil One. That the Orthodox or Orthodox wannabes equate us with him pretty much explains why I'm Catholic.
  • Your vocation is not about you. As I was saying.
  • Hats off to Larry. Yesterday at Mass we had the commemoration of St. Lawrence, a Roman deacon who had a man's courage and maybe a touch of game, cracking wise: "Turn me over!" while literally being grilled to death. (And so important he kept his vigil and commemoration in the '62 missal?) We don't need to stupidly self-consciously try to market to men; we have plenty of source material to appeal to them, not least our Lord, taking on the deadly mission of taking the hit for us.
  • In my opinion St. Philomena, the famous one, isn't real. Somebody goofed. So she was out of the missal and breviary in '61, nothing to do with the council. According to Donald Attwater there's also a real St. Philomena but she has no cultus. That said, Catholics who love the famous one tend to be sound on everything else; the church treats her like private revelation. The proof she existed turned out to be a misreading but there's no proof she wasn't. So believe if you want to. Lots of things in the church are opinion/negotiable, even church polity (lay chancellors, parish ownership, how priests are chosen and assigned - we have long had clerical marriage in the Eastern rites) except for the papacy and episcopate.
  • So, what do you call the Anglicans if not fake? "Anglicans." The really curious can Google the church's belief on that. Not my place. Yes, I believe Apostolicae Curae; only logical. But the Vatican refers to Anglican and other clergy with courtesy titles: Justin Welby, Arcivescovo di Canterbury. The only qualifier I add if necessary is "the Anglican bishop," etc. That's the only theological disclaimer you need - no need to be rude. So, "the Episcopal priest," not "the priestess," etc. See, I'm not angry at the Episcopal Church anymore. They accidentally were a refuge when Vatican II made the church inhospitable in America, but that's not what they're about; they weren't what I wanted them to be. So I thank them and leave them in peace.
  • Some say Prohibition was part of Protestant America's war on Catholic and high-church Lutheran (German brewers) immigrants. That the Mafia stepped up to fulfill massive customer demand may have confirmed their contempt, but they created the problem and in this case the Mob was just serving a healthy need. By the way, the first English settlers, including the Puritans, loved beer: in England it was a safe alternative to dirty water. Of course Episcopalians drink (where two or three are gathered, there is a fifth); Methodists didn't.

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