Thursday, October 23, 2014

Canada's heroes, and more

RIP Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

  • Don't underestimate the Canadians, as retired Mountie and Parliament Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers showed courage under fire in the best British tradition. The country's more liberal and less religious than the U.S., arguably more Protestant (Catholic immigration came here), so SWPLs love the idea of it, but I like to think stories like these, much of which is history I didn't know (the SS usually fought to the death but surrendered to Canadians), are the true spirit of the place. In related news, another crazy convert to Islam. Oh, and bring back the Red Ensign.
  • Battling Newman's ghost. Someone the Anglicans still have to reckon with.
  • What happens when there are no more churches? Somebody else who grew up conservative Episcopal (yes, that used to be a thing) in the midst of the yucky '70s and is thankful. On the demise of the St. Clement's, Philadelphia we knew; if this had happened as recently as 10 years ago I would have felt similarly. But Benedict the Great fixed English Novus Ordo, giving Catholics roughly the same baseline we had with the 1928 Prayer Book; better in fact if not artistically. So no despair here. The Episcopalians got control of their building back and we got another traditional Mass in Philadelphia. Sort of like the U.S. and Canada both claiming to have won the War of 1812.
  • A new religion? [M]ore than half the bishops present at [the Extraordinary Synod on the Family] ... have already switched religion. Not really news and no, the church wasn't compromised. Traditionalists already knew that the bench of bishops is rife with dissent. Given that we live in an unserious age with unserious people committed to their unserious religion, I have a hard time imagining a forceful schism arising out of anything the bishops do or say. The neo-Catholic apologists will be on hand to whitewash over the obvious while an increasing number of traditionalists find themselves pondering sedevacantism. Meanwhile, the liberals will rejoice for a time as they preside over a dying remnant of what used to be the Holy Catholic Church. The church, of course, will continue, but perhaps not in the way we suspect.
  • Adultery is adultery, except when we decide to ignore it. #thingsjesusneversaid. How I hate dissembling screeds such as this! Again, underneath the traditional liturgy and the ethnic folklore, they have the creed and little else. Which was a friend's correct verdict on Kallistos (Ware) after reading The Orthodox Church.
  • A tour of the ballistic missile submarine Redoutable (photos).


  1. Wasn't Mauruice Duplessis who wanted the Red Ensign to be replaced? A Catholic Premier of Quebec.

    1. The popular understanding, which might be true, is Canada erased its British ties in its new flag to please Catholic Quebec.

      Actually Canada's almost the same as under the Red Ensign, only now it has its own constitution, passed by the British Parliament because Canada couldn't agree on it, the British Parliament no longer does anything for Canada, and "O Canada" is the national anthem, as hockey fans know. The Queen's still head of state. There are little reminders everywhere that Canada's still British under an American veneer, from "colour," etc. - actually pushed more AFTER the new flag - to "zed" to "been = bean" to "sorry," both the attitude and the pronunciation.

      I've said that Canada's more secular, maybe even more anti-Catholic, and leftist than the U.S., just like the mother country and other British countries (such as Australia: lots of lapsed Methodists and Presbyterians, few Catholics, and the Catholics aren't 100% accepted - just like Canada).

      But there's enough of the half-WASP anglophile Anglo-Catholic romantic in me to agree with the Popes historically that it's better to have a flag with the cross and the red blood of Christ (the Union Jack and the Red Ensign are profoundly Catholic, even though they stand for hostile Protestant countries), an anointed Christian king, and a state church with bishops, copes, mitres, and ancient cathedrals, and PERSUADE all that to return to the family, than to side with republicanism to try to overthrow it all, the Irish way.

      And I don't underestimate that hostility: England is creepily self-aware, haunted by the church with its place names and old parishes, deliberately saying "I will not serve."

      Anyway, being anti-British this way doesn't make sense historically for Quebec either. King George III kept his word to them, preserving their Catholicism. Likewise in the other American colonies: we weren't under English religious law, so the Crown actually defended free churchmen AGAINST the Anglicans in one case (Anglican priest moved into a Baptist town and tried to impose Anglicanism). In the American Revolution and I think the War of 1812, the American side wanted to grab Canada at the time, including Quebec, and convert Quebec to Protestantism.

      So... God save the Queen and bring back the Red Ensign. After all, the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force just got their identities back, eh?

    2. Have you heard of the historian Fr Lionel Groulx?

    3. Let us say he was never Happy with Quebec under the Crown,so he preferred Quebec be an Autonomous province. Persevering the Faith and the French Language. Instead of being happy that it was saved from the French Revolution,he called the annexation a "Conquest of Slavery".

    4. Understandable since culturally it's a different country from the rest of Canada. Now that, since the Quiet Revolution in the Sixties, Quebec has turned against the church (and how - been there, 30 years ago), the question's moot, and like Scotland it can't make it as a country. That and the historical record: King George III keeping his word.

      By the way, wasn't Newfoundland (interesting place: Irish who sound just like people in Ireland; I met one) better off before it joined the Confederation (Canada, like "the Union" is the U.S.) in 1949?

    5. It remains to be seen if Newfoundland would rediscover Catholicism. However,Fr Groulx anticipated the Modern inependence Movement(albeit Secular nowadays),hence it's Father.

    6. John you stated: "the American side wanted to grab Canada at the time, including Quebec, and convert Quebec to Protestantism"; this is historically inaccurate. Bishop John Carroll, of the Carroll and Darnall family of Maryland, went to French-speaking Canada to try and incite the Catholics of Canada to rise up and support the American Revolution (Please remember that France not only supported the American Revolution with funds, but also with arms and a navy, they effectively one the Revolution for the Americans); but the French-speaking Catholic clergy of Quebec were quite satisfied with their positions of power within the Empire as outlined in the Quebec Act and, in the end, they supported Parliament over the American Revolution, and Carroll was very badly treated.

      In some ways the Church in Quebec is now suffering from its once very cozy relationship with both the Crown and the English Parliament, having misused their political and cultural power in Quebec for a very long time, almost no one in Quebec now practices the Catholic religion and most children are now not even baptised; hence, unlike France, they do not even consider themselves to be cultural Catholics.

    7. John, strange that you should mention the Irish of Newfoundland, it is because of that community that Newfoundland rejected the Union Jack as its provincial flag; fairly recently by the way.

    8. The Americans didn't have a case, the Revolution was really a continuation of the French-British war, and yes, France won it. I'd never read that theory about Quebec's Catholic collapse. They sure hated the church when I was there.

      I knew that Newfoundland's flag was the Union Jack until recently.

      Ontario and Manitoba still fly Red Ensigns as provincial flags.

    9. John,Actually Fr Groulx envisioned a Kind of Quebecois Nationalism that was not Anti-Clerical like the "Patriotes" of the 1830's. But his Ideology ultimately went Kaput in the Hippie 60's.

    10. Yes, Josemaria, but in the end, Quebec nationalism and the failed vote for independence became very, almost violently anti-clerical; blaming the clergy for supporting the suppression of French-speaking national aspirations so that they could continue their cozy power-base founded upon the Church in Quebec's close relationship with the British Empire. We forget that not too long ago, the Catholic Church in Quebec had control over all aspects of French-speaking culture in Canada, from the schools and universities to political control, and it began to be very resented in the 1960's.

  2. To give credit where it's due, the moving cartoon, now celebrated and beloved by Canadians, is by Bruce MacKinnon.

  3. I saw something was off about the explanation for sometimes using red lighting aboard the Redoutable, and a retired naval officer, a submariner, confirms it. It's for night vision, not to signal general quarters.

    The explanation for using red lights is incorrect. During night in the control room -- the underwater "bridge" of the ship (on the surface the bridge is located in the sail on top) -- red lights are lit because the wavelength of the color red prevents night blindness when you go from a lighted space to a dark environment such as peering through a periscope at night or during night ops/sailing when the boat is on the surface. Also, most likely as with U.S. submarines, red lights are not lighted throughout the submarine. Even in Control on my boat, regular (fluorescent) lights were lighted in Control at night with the OOD wearing red goggles until we came up to periscope depth for a periscope observation and for copying traffic (communicatons), etc. It takes an average of 15 minutes to go from a lighted environment to a dark environment before night blindness subsides. Hence the red goggles or red light!


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