Wednesday, October 01, 2014

True Catholic simplicity, what's wrong with Anglo-Catholicism, and more

  • Catholic tradition is on the side of the poor. With a long example describing what's wrong with Anglo-Catholicism. Semi-congregationalism can work as a hedge defending tradition as well as promoting closely knit parishes (church polity except the Pope and bishops is negotiable) but high churchmen are wrong about Anglicanism's nature. (Fr. Rutler: the pseudo-Catholicism harms would-be Catholics in the long run, keeping them out of the church and setting them up for hurt when the illusion crashes down.) So apostolic zeal for the poor degenerated into snobbish homosexuals. Actually I was so innocent and/or clueless as a teenager that it was a few years before I realized much of what was around me was gay. (But in my first A-C church experience, the old ultra-A-C rector was married.) But orientation's not a sin. Many such A-Cs are now Catholic: they really believed. And thank you, Pope Benedict, for making the local church hospitable to traditionalists.
  • From Ex-Army: Realistic libertarianism.
  • From Steve Sailer:
    • L.A. mortgages 2003 vs. 2006.
    • Female Secret Service agents aren't actually buttkicking babes like in blockbuster movies. "Gonzalez then proceeded to run through the entrance hall to the cross hall of the White House, past the staircase that leads up to the first family’s residence. He was confronted by a female Secret Service agent, who[m] he overpowered." Wasn’t there a big feminist putsch a couple of years ago, using a prostitution scandal as a pretext, to turn the Secret Service over to female control? How’s that working out for the Obamas? Sounds like Michelle Obama’s feelings of feminist solidarity evaporated at the thought of her family being murdered in their home by some random male loony who can overpower a female Secret Service agent.
    • How feminism holds women back from high achievement. Much of the appeal of feminism is that it encourages women to do what they always felt like doing anyway: take everything personally. But to succeed at the highest level, you need some objectivity, which feminism hates. Feminists see objective reality as a conspiracy out to make them feel bad about themselves.
    • Do we have fewer cults or do we just not notice them?
    • If only Google were diverse. "Cathedral" doctrine, a distortion of the Western and Christian values of fair play and charity: businesses would be better businesses, militaries better militaries, etc., if we have 50/50 racial and sex quotas for "equality"... just BECAUSE, OK?
    • The dumbing-down that encourages. The rise of the lumpenintelligentsia is a major development of Internet Age journalism. Below from Salon is a self-portrait by somebody named Daisy Hernandez of a modern Salon-type scribe in all her self-absorption, racism, sexism, wounded amour propre, dimwittedness, and general cluelessness. This Hispanic is embarrassed: ¡Cierra la boca, chica!
  • Crucifix and Stations covered: Jews observe High Holy Days in Catholic church. Catholic Family News is accused of being anti-Jews (of course Catholicism is anti-Jewish: the New Covenant supersedes the Old; before 3 p.m. Good Friday the head of the church on earth was Caiaphas, afterwards it was St. Peter). Be that as it may, this isn't apostasy or heresy but embarrassing. I can't imagine the early church (the one the liberals sometimes say they're emulating, just like the Protestants), the Orthodox, or 19th-century Anglicans doing this. Same reason we shouldn't rent or lend our churches to Protestants, which canon law allows. I don't think the local Catholic bishop in the early centuries A.D. was "ecumenical" by letting the Valentinian Gnostic or Arian bishop do ordinations, etc., in his cathedral. All of which, like the ancient churches now, thought they were the true church. Primordial and apostolic belief as William Tighe says.


  1. Yikes. Douthat's just not paying attention. I think cults are actually proliferating. They may not be as obviously kooky as Jonestown, but they are spiritually abusive and dangerous nonetheless.

    Some Protestant parachurch organizations have become authoritarian and hyper-controlling. So have mega-church "chains" started by self-appointed "vision casters" (yes, they use that term; don't ask me what it means) like Mark Driscoll and CJ Mahaney. Some sectors of Independent Fundamental Baptist-ism are as cultish as all get-out. And Elder Ephraim's Orthodox monasteries here in America have a well-deserved cult reputation.

    Catholic cults? Sure. My goddaughter was in one for 23 years -- a highly controlling "charismatic covenant community" (about 60% Catholic), with an elaborate system of authoritarian "headship" based on the uber-cultish Shepherding and Discipling Movement.

    Side note: For a fascinating series on the covenant-community mothership -- Mother of God in Gaithersburg, Maryland -- google "Washington Post Mother of God Gaithersburg." Great series from the late '90s, I believe. At Mother of God, the self-appointed elders told members whom they could and couldn't marry, how they were to raise their children (very specifically), how often they were to attend meetings (virtually every night, a key "cult" marker), and so on. There was even an elaborate system of spies and snoops to keep members in line! And don't even get me started on the financial stuff -- members being used as slave labor in the group's printing/publishing business while the top "heads" became millionaires! When the community applied for canonical status with the cardinal archbishop, the proverbial sh*t hit the fan, and all the abuses came out into the open. The cardinal reorganized them, kicked out the leadership, and started over. They were lucky. Other "covenant communities" were actually disbanded by the local ordinaries. Yes, cult-like indeed!

    Then, of course, there is Regnum Christi, the lay arm of the infamous Legionaries of Christ. As well as the Legionaries themselves. Still pretty cultish, according to

    Literally hundreds of books and blogs are dedicated to spiritual abuse by cult-like authoritarian religious systems. Maybe no one's drinking poisoned kool-aid anymore. But there's more than enough spiritual poison going around! ;)

    1. America's much less religious than even 20 years ago but I hear you.

      I know the charismatic covenant-community cult problem fairly well, including the Catholic version, although I have never been a charismatic. As you remember, in the '70s, the liberals running the American Catholic Church loved the charismatic movement because it was outwardly anti-traditional and of Protestant origin; ecumenism was cool. So many parishioners, having had the traditional Mass and devotions taken away, took to the movement as it was the only credally orthodox, miracle-believing thing their parishes offered. I've met dear people from the Korean War generation who joined.

      Anyway, that's how and why, at my "Catholic" college (little Notre Dame wannabe with big-business sports, yups in training, fraternities and sororities, and ultra-low-church, politically correct religion — I took off for, alternately, the local SSPX and the local Anglo-Catholics), the heretical campus ministry welcomed the recruiting arm (University Christian Outreach, UCO) of one of those communities, an ecumenical one. It had boys and girls living dormitory-like in at least one house off-campus and recruited some locals too. It was huge for a while: peaked in the '80s. I've heard the same cult stories about it you describe. But the charismatic Catholics were/are based on conservative Protestantism (credally orthodox, sexually conservative) and gradually became really Catholic again; they love Our Lady, stories of her miracles, and Benediction, for example. So their long marriage with the campus libcaths ended. Around the same time, enough fratboys complained about the Bible-thumping recruiters that the college shut down the student branch, a lot of people quit the community, and the charismatic movement including in Catholicism waned so I think the thing is a shadow of its former self, if that. I rented from them for a long time so I lived literally next to them; that ended 15 years ago.

      There was also an official Catholic covenant community around here that blew up like you describe.

      I call the few remaining charismatics the other American Catholics, like us trads, who still go to Mass. You've seen my pictures here. At my vacation parish there they are, fine older folks doing the orans position at the Our Father. As long as they cut out the cult stuff and don't start doing glossolalia at Mass, I think they're welcome, including at my Mass, which more of them are receptive to now. (Doesn't Steubenville have a Tridentine Mass now? Been there once. Low-church but orthodox and very nice.)

      Once when I had a health scare, a Continuing Anglican priest prayed over me charismatically, which surprised me; I'm still here.

      The Holy Spirit is active and miracles can happen.

      But you're right; be careful!


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