Friday, September 05, 2014


  • You've been Dolanized. I don't pay attention to this clown or Pope Francis for that matter (Catholicism, thank God, is not clericalism), but: I wonder how long it’s going to take before the Cardinal Archbishop of New York realizes that he will have earned no new friends — the people he’s trying to charm are still going to hate him and make fun of him — and alienated the old ones who would have normally been his most loyal ones? And: From an authentic Catholic perspective, he's become irrelevant. Unfortunately, he occupies a very visible spot. The damage to the Faith he's willing to entertain so he can rub shoulders with the powerful and pictures of him guffawing and palsy-walsying with influential politicos can be seen on glossy magazines is painful to witness. Churchmen have been doing this since Constantine (we all know he was a mixed blessing: we're not a snobbish cult but the windfall he gave us has its own temptations) but this particular aspect of Vatican II as it's played out in Protestant America has long bothered me, ever since my first try at being in the church, in the '80s. The whole American Catholic notion that being Catholic means having your picture taken with the president at parties, getting federal money for social programs, and cheering for Notre Dame football and Villanova basketball, nothing to do with that artsy-fartsy high-church liturgical stuff or that doctrine your steerage ancestors believed in; Thomas Day's explained American Catholics' anti-high church cultural bullsh*t. That's what the American church under John Paul II was like, so I have no devotion to him. We are our own worst enemies, what with that and the clergy's Great Underage Gay Caper. No wonder some thoughtful people go for schism or a mainline simulacrum (Episcopalianism) instead. I know Rod Dreher has an ax to grind against the church, and he might really be an agent provocateur trying to get Catholics to surrender the public square, but the truth is, no matter where it comes from. This also reminds me of the Anti-Gnostic's warnings: Catholic churchmen will keep hitching their wagons to social democracy even as it's dying, and the Pope could well end up the Patriarch of the Former Spanish Colonies. Most of St. Paul's churches are now the stomping grounds of Mohammed. And this is not the sedevacantist Bishop Daniel Dolan, but he's not the answer either: a cult with the church's trappings, not the church; run.
  • By the way, if you think schism is the answer to clerical corruption, "it is to laugh." As far as I can tell, American Orthodox jurisdictions (denominations within Orthodoxy) are cheerily corrupt little clergy mafias, of course ethnic-based; the first non-Slavic OCA metropolitan, elected for show ("We are too the universal church!"), might have run afoul of that. And they have their own hidden sex scandals. OCA: descendants of ex-Catholics pretending they're Russian.
  • One reason Catholics do not say if someone is saved or not: Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God. — 1 Cor. 4:5
  • Bottom line with me and Russia: At worst Putin is completely irrelevant to me as an American; he's not bent on world domination like a real Soviet. At most he's a new Constantine; if so, be wary and persuade him to accept Catholics, which I admit is a long shot. Who was it, Nixon? The one who said Russia will never be our friend but we can't afford to have it as our enemy. The neocons, some of the people who love Red Dawn as much as I do, seem to want to use the Ukraine as an excuse to go in and remake the place in Protestant America's image. One, the man's got a huge empire (11 time zones, the Union of Soviet Orthodox Conservative Republics), a natural-gas hold on Europe, and nukes. (When you're sitting pretty like that, it's easy to fall into thinking Russianness or Americanness is universality.) Remember the Germans at Stalingrad? Two, how's that working out in Iraq?

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