Sunday, November 30, 2014

War-on-Christmas shark chum from a Muslim, and more

  • Imam: Saying "Merry Christmas" is worse than murder. To give him credit, he's not attacking our festival of sentiment, gifts, and snow, but the Incarnation: that God was made man (suffered for our sake, died, and rose); all else is commentary. He's evil, not stupid. Yeah, freedom of religion protects us too, but if you try to take our freedom away, then out you should go, as in deported. Don't like the majority's religion here? Fine, Akhmed. Don't move here. Stay in your Mohammedan homeland away from us infidels and make it as good as our country (by the way, that's what the Statue of Liberty, "Liberty Enlightening the World," really means, not immigration — yes, it's still a problematic liberal message from the godless "Enlightenment"). If you can't, say, because your religion's limiting, that's not our problem. If I were president, we'd buy your oil, not support Israel, and stay off your turf; the rest is up to you. The American- or British-born who cop this attitude are pseuds unless they move to a Mohammedan country including ISIS, giving up their infidel Western passports so they can't come back. By the way, I feel similarly about anti-Western converts to Orthodox Christianity (estranged fellow traditional Catholics with an attitude problem). The hyperdox Hermans who pollute the Internet, not the principled high churchmen left homeless by Anglicanism but who don't accept Catholicism.
  • Mass: Ad te levavi animam meam. And some good ecumenism, Cranmer's collect, different from ours, basically a beautiful sermonette: Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
  • A couplet via Bishop Williamson: The Church needs living Popes, however bad. Kill off the Church they won’t, however mad.
  • Officer Darren Wilson quits the police. Awful. Political correctness and the power of a mob drove out this man. This is not about individual rights, libertarians, or "democracy"; it's a blow against the rule of truth, of objective reality, upon which our rule of law should be based. Also, way to live down to the ghetto stereotype.
  • r/K selection theory. The Anti-Gnostic: In my opinion, the future wars will be K-selected versus r-selected. I expect the K-selected will win eventually, because historically they always have. The farmers always beat the hunter-gatherers except where the farmers just can't be bothered and withdraw instead. It won't be pretty--war never is--but it will be prettier than it would be if the r-selected were to take over.
  • "There is no American Dream": Why one US professor believes the national ethos is an illusion and the country has the same level of social mobility as medieval England. The irony with today's egalitarianism (pretending everybody's the same except for cultural-Marxist identity politics/"spoils"): inequality is rising as Face to Face describes (he says it's cyclical).
  • I wonder how much of Black Friday mayhem is staged. Just advertising as publicity, a media urban legend? It all seems gamed, hyped up for the struggling working class. I haven't seen mobs storming Nordstrom's, Saks or Bloomingdale's. Not storming Macy's (or Federated) dept. stores. Just Wal-Mart, etc. Never thought of that angle. Turning the proles on each other for a kind of entertainment: gladiatorial games.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ecce Dominus veniet

  • Advent is upon us as of I Vespers tonight; time to adjust to Alma Redemptoris Mater after Salve Regina's long yearly run. Prepare ye the way of the Lord.
  • Which means secular Christmas is upon us. I don't know how true it is anymore but in a more Christian America, the Protestants would want to come home, such is the power of the Incarnation. They forget they don't like us, put up statues of Jesus and Mary, light candles, and sing in Latin.
  • Fr. L: All the churches in the Western developed countries are seeing numbers decline. The reasons are complex, but there are two big culprits. One is simply that people are busy doing everything else on a Sunday. When the civil authorities stopped keeping Sunday special it was bound, eventually to lead to a decline in church attendance... However, there is a more profound reason for the drop in church attendance. I don’t think many people really understand (anymore) what church is FOR. In 50 years the American Catholic Church will be sound but small; the mainline will have all merged as it shrank (becoming Episcopalians even if not using that name; having bishops).
  • Meanwhile, where religion isn't just a lifestyle accessory: Before being killed, children told ISIS: "No, we love Jesus." There are still Christian martyrs.

Ferguson and more

  • Ferguson, Mo.: "No charges"; hooray. Justice; hooray for the rule of law. I support Officer Darren Wilson as I did George Zimmerman. But the media ginned up a race riot. (And the liberals get to vicariously enjoy all that righteous black rage from the comfort of their whitopias.) This headline regarding the story reminds me why I don't read libertarian sites much anymore: "Grand jury gives killer cop a pass." Reflexively anti-authority (daddy issues); anything an agent of the state including a cop does is bad. Grow up.
  • By the way, congratulations to Officer Wilson on being newly married; I wonder how his part of the country is for affordable family formation.
  • Do Republicans deserve Catholic support? A "lesser of two evils, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good" practical argument; better the Stupid Party than the Evil one. I vote Republican locally (state) but not nationally (except for Ron Paul in two primaries, the reason I became a Republican again) since 2000. I may not be a libertarian anymore but have voted LP for president since then (except for sitting out '08). First voted LP in '92; felt so subversive. Lew Rockwell was my red pill 15 years ago, getting me to think outside the box consistently, so 9/11 didn't surprise me THAT much and I didn't get all gung-ho about the war in Iraq. "Libertarians serve a purpose but it isn't a viable political philosophy in the real world. A critique but not a program." Paul should have been president; Rand's not his dad.
  • There's nothing more to say about American Thanksgiving, really our harvest festival, naturally religious with a nice Eucharistic message. But the Puritans as the start of America is a government-backed myth (thanks, Lew Rockwell); it really began with corporations of Anglicans (Cavaliers? Tories?) in Virginia seeking a profit (Jamestown).
  • Bob Wallace gives thanks: Thank white men for civilization.
  • This story may be culture-wars shark chum but if it's true it's an outrage: Boy, 5, forced into adoption with gay couple pleads: "We want to stay with our gran and grandad." He and a sister. Why is a tiny minority with a mental problem calling the shots? (It's a parody of Christianity, trying to stand up for the historically oppressed.)
  • I'm not on a anti-Dreher kick personally but have been clued in that his Benedict option (named after St. Benedict) is really a sellout. Anyway, I can't resist Daniel Nichols' pithy summation of it: "For special Christians to play church while eating kale or something." Nothing wrong with having great taste or the means to enjoy nice things. But if you're trying to sell a sellout, then no.

Friday, November 28, 2014

"Called by Christ to heal": Dorothy Kerin and the charm of DIY Catholicism

Born today in 1889: Dorothy Kerin, as far as I know a devout and probably holy English Anglo-Catholic (though this article doesn't mention that) with a healing prayer ministry. More. The Chapel of Christ the Healer at Burrswood, "a Christian hospital and place of healing" she founded, shows how close she was to the church, but with A-C panache:

Patrimony. Holy eccentrics and congregationalism as a hedge against Modernism: all part of the charm. It can teach us a thing or three.

Regrettably, it seems she and Burrswood so identified with the Church of England that it's now mainline; even the Catholic chaplain is a laywoman.

Would that this ministry and chapel were under traditionalists or the ordinariate.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dr. Olsen asks: "What is an Anglo-Catholic?"

On rite thinking.

“What makes the language of Rite I inherently more Anglo-Catholic than the language of Rite II? Is it our equivalent of Latin, or something?” Yes. Everybody has a liturgical language. For many small-e (non-Anglican) evangelicals it's the originally Anglican King James Bible. My liturgical English is old-school Anglican.

Having "been there," because of my dad's marriage conversion before I was born, I've long asked similar questions since becoming an aspiring Anglo-Catholic 35 years ago (by the way, my dad came back; unlike me, he liked Vatican II). Is an Anglo-Catholic what he popularly was thought to be, somebody who wants to be Roman Catholic, old or new-school, like I did? Sometimes. Or like the old high churchmen and today's liberals (but not liberal like the "Enlightenment" to mid-century skeptics or Bishop Schori for that matter), someone for whom Anglican authority is the final authority? "Rome's nice, a real church with real bishops and all, but we don't need corporate reunion; we are the church at its best." So ecumenism becomes self-limiting; nobody thinks the churches will get back together, the accomplishment being that the sides are no longer trying to kill each other.

The old high churchmen really loved Cranmer's new order of things ("Catholic and reformed"; "Catholicism minus popery"); today's liberals love having women priests and same-sex blessings. The successors to the old high churchmen deny a connection.

A lot of high churchmanship in the Episcopal Church seems less related to old high churchmanship and Anglo-Catholicism than ecumenism that was fashionable 50 years ago; Roman Catholics were cool because of Vatican II and, partly based on a false notion that Catholicism no longer taught it's the true church, a lot of people thought union was right around the corner. So you started having non-A-C priests go by Father (unlike in England), weekly Communions, chasubles, and aumbries just about everywhere, along with Rite II, the Novus Ordo-fication of the Book of Common Prayer. (Trial liturgies too and unofficial official new books in England.)

Interesting how Anglo-Papalism and its Roman Missal usage have been virtually unknown in the Episcopal Church, about the only historical examples being St. Clement's, Philadelphia, and St. Gregory's Priory now Abbey. The liberals really wanting to stay Roman Catholic so pretending they are (maybe with some residual liberal Roman Catholic hostility to high churchmanship) are probably more prevalent, though a minority of Episcopalians. (As my friend Archbishop Peter Robinson says, such converts going back to Bishop Pike have been liberal and noisy but not that influential.)

A-Cism pointed the way to Rome for me and many others, so it's still hard for me to say this, but "Anglicanism is it" is the heir to the A-C moniker. You're on a back-to-basics track (away from the boomers?) paralleling Pope Benedict's renewal, credally orthodox, and unlike Roman Catholic liberals you love the traditional Mass. Thank you.

And: you adopted "and also with you" to be ecumenical based on our bad example 45 years ago. To be ecumenical now, and to be true to your own tradition, might the Episcopal Church take a step back to "and with your spirit" in Rite II to line up with Pope Benedict's reform? Or might hostility to Rome's stands on the sexes and sex squelch that? The end of ecumenism as we knew it?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

An early Anglo-Papalist, "the body of Christ," and more

  • Fr. Paul Wattson's cause for sainthood. Much more than a social worker. One of the Episcopal Church's only Anglo-Papalists, the OPPOSITE of liberal ecumenists. He gave up on corporate reunion and came into the church in 1909, a year after the Episcopalians allowed other Protestant ministers to preach in their churches. Fr. William McGarvey, his curates, and about a third of St. Elisabeth's Episcopal Church in Philadelphia came in at the same time for the same reason. Before the ordinariates, "groups of Anglicans" (anglicanorum coetus, as in the ordinariates' charter), namely religious orders (monks, friars, and nuns) that imitated the church's (because they really believed), have come in semi-corporately, allowed to remain together. The American All Saints' Sisters of the Poor, full "penguin"-habited nuns, are now what they were long taken to be, as part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
  • "Is the Holy Eucharist the real body of Jesus Christ or is it 'our brother'? Does this matter?" A favorite strawman of '70s libcaths, outluthering Luther (our wayward brother who took hoc est enim corpus meum seriously even though he denied the Mass). The late Bishop Tony Palmer (a Protestant) speaking for Pope Francis: "What is striking is that he (Pope Francis) awakens us to the fact that the real Communion is not the Bread, but the brother... Pope Francis is saying: this is what we find in the true communion. We find each other. We find our brotherhood. We find our brother and our sister that we thought we'd lost. When we look for Bread, which we think we need, we are going to find our brother, which is what we really need." The right answer is they're not mutually exclusive. Our Protestant host culture thinks they are.
  • Fr. Mitchican: "If I were the next presiding bishop." I wish a gentleman like him were. Not my fight but I like him, even though he's an ex-Catholic fine with women priests. Because although the Episcopal Church has the right to defend its property (just like any NRA pro-Second Amendment conservative) and enforce its teachings and rules (as we do ours), he's trying to serve Christ, not sue congregations for trying to leave... and then sell their buildings, for less than the congregations offered for them, to Muslims: the mainline in a parody of Christianity is nicing itself out of existence while the Mohammedans laugh, screwing over the infidels (the National Cathedral incident). By the way, paralleling Pope Benedict's Catholic revival, I think they're heading back to basics with liberal high church (they even love our Mass); Bishop Schori's liberalism is boomer passé.
  • No White House chapel. Mentioning American civic religion's would-be Westminster Abbey (much nicer than our tacky Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception) just now reminds me of this observation from Jeff Culbreath: "Does the White House have a chapel?", asks my daughter Amanda, totally out of the blue. "How many square feet is it?" The White House is 55,000 square feet and has 132 rooms, including a bowling alley, a gymnasium, and movie theater. But strangely and inexplicably, it does not have a chapel. Well, for Protestant presidents, the de facto chapel has been St. John's Episcopal Church (mainstream so it's now liberal) across the street from the White House. I appreciate Jeff's paleo and trad point; a country about nothing spiritually seems like hostile territory for the church. Yet America's been better to us than the mother country with its anointed Christian monarch and coped episcopal state church! Rather than being a Burkean fantasy, Britain is more liberal than here ("we don't DO religion"). In America, the choice was between neutrality (like how Disneyland's Main Street, USA has no church; creepy — the border South's Silver Dollar City and the South's Dollywood have them; Knoebels in upstate Pennsylvania has a '50s-style sign listing all the local churches) and having a Protestant state church (Main Street as the Know-Nothings then and now want it; no papists); the deists who started this enterprise did a pretty good job. By the way, I'll always give President Obama credit for teaching himself how to bowl.
  • Jeff on the War on Christmas: I promise not to be offended if you wish me "happy holidays." I believe you are sincere and mean well. However, I have to ask: to which holidays are you referring? Every holiday from Halloween to New Year's Day? Or just the holidays I choose, my choices being unknown to you? Do you even care? Let's be frank, shall we? In the United States. Christmas is The Holiday and the only reason "happy holidays" exists. The "holiday season" does not exist for Hanaukkah or Kwanza: it exists for Christmas and Christmas alone. Without Christmas, you have nothing but cold, rain, snow, and fog. These other holidays are either obscure to most Americans, or else they do not demand a season. Christmas alone has a legitimate season from December 25 to February 2, as well as the pre-season of Advent: the others are just single days on the calendar. Go ahead, try to revive the mythical pagan Yuletide or Winter Solstice and see how far it takes you. It's a dead end. Once it could be assumed that virtually everyone in your community either celebrated Christmas or had respect for those who do. Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians and Baptists — divided by creed and custom — could find some welcome common ground in civic celebrations of the birth of Jesus Christ. Without Christmas, "happy holidays" is just an empty politically correct nothing, and it threatens to make nothing out of other minor holidays as well. /end rant! "Happy holidays" is better than a golden-era nonsectarian way to be nice, "Season's greetings," and it has its place at work where you have to be interfaith or secular (where you're including Jewish customers, etc.), but yes. Hanukkah is the equivalent of the feast of SS. Peter & Paul, minor. Orthodox Jews know they live in a Christian country and aren't offended by our Nativity scenes, etc. Kwanzaa is made-up; blacks don't celebrate it. (They celebrate Christmas and go to churches that teach homosexuality is wrong.)

Cars at Johnson's Corner Farm, Medford, NJ

Let's motorvate. '58 Pontiac Star Chief. A beauty with a story. Third owner's had it since '65, when he was in high school; his dad was the Pontiac dealer in Vineland so when this car was returned, he got it. Many thanks for sharing your car and your story, Jim and Donna Vertolli.

'47 Studebaker, historic because it was the first American postwar car design, even beating the heroic Preston Tucker by a year. I love quintessential '40s car design but this ponton postwar look is cool too (best of that bunch: the '49 and '50 Mercury Eight coupes). Update: Kaiser/Frazer had a new design for '47 too.

"A much purer form of Byzantine Christianity"

From here:
The Orthodox have retained a much purer form of Byzantine Christianity than Byzantine Catholics. At least here in the USA. All of the Byzantine Catholic Churches (also UGCC) I know of here in eastern PA have no Vespers, Compline, Orthros, Parakleses, and Akathist services. They hold the Divine Liturgy on Saturday evenings and Sundays, like their Novus Ordo-loving Roman Rite brothers do (Mass on Saturdays to fulfill your Sunday obligation). They never talk of the Jesus Prayer or even promote it. Go to Byzantine Seminary Press, and see if they even carry prayer ropes!! You will not find any. The Orthodox just do a way better job at showing the world the riches of Byzantine Christianity. It's a plain fact. I have seen it with my own eyes, and experienced it. At the Second Vatican Council, Byzantine Catholics were told to de-Latinize themselves and return to their own traditions. I think in all fairness the Melkites are the only ones who have made any effort. The Ukrainians and Ruthenians? Forget it; some of them promote the Rosary, and their chanting, if you can call it that, is horrific. I can go on and on. My personal view only!
"The Orthodox have retained a much purer form of Byzantine Christianity than Byzantine Catholics." True. The Catholic Church rightly offers both the unlatinized and latinized forms of the rite, and officially favors the unlatinized, but unlatinized Byzantine Catholics need more support. A number of converts to Byzantine Catholicism get frustrated by what you describe and become Orthodox. Unlatinized: the Melkites (Arabs) and the little Russian Catholic Church, mostly non-Russian Americans.

In my experience, born Orthodox don't talk about or promote the Jesus Prayer either. That they do is a Western myth about Orthodoxy. Prayer ropes are a monastic practice, actually part of the monk's or nun's habit.

Also, Byzantine Christianity is only a means, not an end, so I can't buy denying that the Catholic Church defends the list of beliefs I consider essential (God, Christ, the Trinity, the hypostatic union, Mary the Mother of God, bishops, the Mass, and the option of using images in worship), so that I or others may chase a "purer" ritual form, that is, claiming that the purer ritual form IS the church.

Me, I have a modest unlatinized Russian icon corner on the back wall of the living room: metal Russian crucifix, icon lamp, "Old Man Trinity," Mary, and St. Panteleimon (most of the icons are from a departed old Russian man); the bedroom, while largely "noble simplicity" but with my hats hanging on the walls, is all Latin Catholic (holy-water font and Sacred Heart picture) with the windowsill as a gradine or symbolic altar with metal crucifix, candles, statue of Mary, and reliquary with a relic of St. Augustine (I also have a relic of St. John Neumann). There's a big Latin wall crucifix in the front room. The kitchen has a couple of framed tributes to St. Clement's including an image of the saint; a portrait of Pope Benedict is on the fridge. Rome's home but the Greek Catholics are an option. I even wear a three-bar crucifix. I have various office books for both rites (like my 1957 hand missal, nothing really new in 50 years, just originals, reprints, translations, and abridgements) and my rosaries, one at home for walks around town and another in the car. Devotionally you can do anything you want, and hooray for old latinized forms, but I'm not the kind of Catholic who wants to plonk down a Divine Mercy picture or statue (nice devotion, by the way) in a Byzantine setting; I respect rites' integrity.

The Orthodox might tell you to throw out a lot of your Latin Catholic prayer books and devotional articles; Catholics don't do the reverse, on principle. We include the East.

By the way, I like Leonid Ouspensky's rather recent idea of icons as halfway between Latin Catholic pictures and statues and a sacramental presence.

St. Clement and more

  • St. Clement. Picture, a print of which is on my wall: From the narthex of St. Clement's Episcopal Church, Philadelphia (formerly Anglo-Papalist Tridentine: would-be Catholic).
  • Mass: Dicit Dominus: Ego cogito cogitationes pacis, et non afflictionis: invocabitis me, et ego exaudiam vos: et reducam captivitatem vestram de cunctis locis. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.
  • Part of being a Catholic is to live in the past in the present. Just like I do in secular life.
  • The return of Mormon polygamy? Freedom of religion vs. social evils. Anyway, as somebody who's round-tripped, I see two problems with Mr. Dreher's "influx of ex-Catholics into Orthodoxy" scenario. It doesn't make sense to react against a hypothetical Catholic acceptance of divorce and remarriage (impossible in Catholicism, by the way) by joining a church that has long made excuses for it. (Mormons can change doctrine. We can't.) Second, while Catholicism recognizes Orthodox sacraments, to really become Orthodox you have to deny Catholic sacraments have grace, or at least accept being in communion with people in good standing who think your whole Catholic sacramental life was a fraud. To which I said long before coming back to the church, "No, thanks." As appealing as Orthodox high churchmanship is, that ultimately turned me against it. As for liturgy, I have my traditional Mass and Pope Benedict's reformed Novus Ordo, good enough for me, plus Eastern Catholic options. (We include the East. You don't include the West. Western Rite Orthodoxy is a dud because ultimately the Orthodox don't want it.) Byzantium (Moscow) is great but it's not the whole church; I'm not buying. As for the Mormons, they're not really conservatives but if they adopted Teh Gay they'd throw away their ONLY selling point (a bastion of '50s America, accidental from their efforts to blend in, years ago), because it sure isn't the theology (which reads like bad sci-fi; nobody READS his way into Mormonism), and while they've been accused of several things, often true, being stupid, as in stupid enough to "pull a Vatican II," isn't one of them. (I've only known one Mormon that I know of; he was ex and smart.) The Christian (Mormons aren't) Reorganized Latter-Day Saints (Joseph Smith's family) did (they're now less Mormonish and ordain women), now the Community of Christ, mainliners; I wonder how they're doing.
  • How many Protestants include us as part of their vision of the church? Part of Anglicanism's charm, despite the anti-Catholic Thirty-Nine Articles, is they do. The misunderstood branch theory: they thought they were the true church but didn't deny coming from us; we have real bishops and thus are a real church but in grave error, needing the "Reformation," they said. The church is sort of an upright triangle with the reformed English at the apex. The apsidal mural at the Church of the Holy Comforter, Drexel Hill, Pa. Fr. Mitchican's parish (never been but it's practically in my neighborhood), includes the Pope (and it was a low parish!): looks like a seminary chapel with its "hooray for holy orders" theme. Confessional Lutherans, who can be high-church (resembling us), see themselves more as a rival true church.
  • In Britain, in a way the Old Catholics are try, try, trying again. The Utrechtians, now liberal (basically the same as Anglicans), failed there 100 years ago. Bishop Roald Flemestad's Nordic Catholic Church (conservative ex-Lutherans who weren't quite Roman Catholic), affiliated with the Polish National Catholic Church (century-old immigrant schism; liberal founder with conservative parishioners; Novus Ordo clone with married priests), is talking about setting up in England for relatively conservative Anglo-Catholics who've decided not to become Catholic (!). They're not Utrechtians anymore but the relatively conservative rival Union of Scranton (so far, just the Nats and the Nordics). Not ideal but it beats the Church of England. (They have real bishops so they have the Mass.) There was talk of the Free Church of England, founded as anti-Tractarian Evangelicals, joining that union but while they've high-churchified lately (like the later Reformed Episcopal Church, likewise founded to be anti-Anglo-Catholic, they're associated with), that was going too far.
  • Time magazine overturns the ostracism of feminism.

Friday, November 21, 2014

"Christine" movie car up for auction, and more

  • Ike the ringer. Don't miss the comments.
  • Feel-good trad stuff but noteworthy for the unlikely celebrity quoted: Bill Murray is a Catholic who grew up in the golden era and he misses our Mass.
  • The most mythological feast in Christendom. Presentation BVM. St. Pius V was right to cut it out. I don't believe Our Lady grew up in the Temple's Holy of Holies fed by angels. It's nothing but a poetic retelling of the Immaculate Conception, which, unlike this, is entirely believable because 1) it's invisible and 2) God isn't limited by space and time. Bottom line: East and West believe Mary is all-holy and became the Mother of God.
  • Bishop Conley of Lincoln to offer the Mass ad orientem. For Advent. It's been done before for that reason. It's a start.
  • Trad complaints of being put upon are common but this is worth a look: the priest who saved Holy Innocents in Manhattan is banished to a South African slum while homosexualist parishes get off scot-free. The old liberals are dying but won't go gently. Not with all that boomer entitlement.
  • Got $175,000+? The Christine promotional car will be up for auction at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale next year! That's right, the world's most famous '58 Plymouth. Of the couple dozen Furys, Belvederes, and Savoys bought up and used in the movie (regrettably, many destroyed in the stunts), the intact car used for many scenes went on tours for the film and was in a promotional giveaway (winning postcard) afterwards; it shows up in the auctions now and then. It last appeared at Barrett-Jackson in Palm Beach 10 years ago, sold to a collector in Britain and not seen since. Car auctions are a rich man's hobby; been a non-bidder at two of them (Wildwood and Atlantic City). Reggie Jackson buys collector's cars at them; I think Jay Leno's a hobby mechanic who restores barn finds. I only recently realized the movie's a deadpan black comedy (I have a copy as well as the book, which I've read) making fun of nostalgia like mine and men's relationship with their cars. (It's been described as a male Carrie too.) From what I remember, the book's more straight-ahead horror. Has Stephen King ever considered a revised version fixing all the errors he made about the car? (He wrote the novel without researching the car. Great concept, though: a nearly forgotten, beautiful '50s car with no cult of nostalgia around it, yet.) The movie Christine seems to be a "Furvedere"; of course the Fury name's great for the story but she's got a Belvedere body (whose options included a white roof, red body, and silver-colored trim) with a Fury engine (twin carburetors). ("Ooh, beware of the Belvedere." No.) Anyway, this car (VIN#LP2L11322) is a Fury custom-painted.
  • The Anti-Gnostic: Liberal, anti-fascist whites are getting old and tired, and their children are being killed.
  • Roissy: Basically, the parts of the country with the smallest numbers of nonwhites are associated with the biggest numbers of white p*ssies. This is what the electoral map would look like if only white men had the vote. In such a world, Democrats would be lucky to win student council seats. Washington, Oregon, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts: If it’s hypocritical, sanctimonious white male p*ssies you want as neighbors, these are the places to be!
  • Columbus: my favorite South Jersey bazaar and flea market partly burned down this week. Sad. At least no one was hurt. My guess is it was a kitchen fire; the non-Amish food court was down at that end (the Amish have another whole wing of the building). This is my version of Delaware County, Pa.'s Bazaar of All Nations that opened in the golden era, a long walk away from home, but closed 20 years ago.
  • The Queen and Prince Philip's 67th anniversary. He's in his 90s! The Queen was pretty as a young woman; her sister, Princess Margaret, more so. Lots of twists and turns in that royal marriage. They're distant cousins, which is how they met. Met during the war when Prince Philip was a dashing naval officer besides being handsome. He's never really practiced religion, very English, but was a nominal Orthodox (Prince Philip of Greece, born there but not really Greek, 100% Germanic) who switched to nominal Anglican just in case it was constitutionally necessary (probably not), right before the wedding. She was in love with him so I understand she was heartbroken when he cheated (at top-out-of-sight men's clubs). "Phil the Greek" (ha ha) isn't the gentlest of men but that's fun because he can get away with saying all kinds of stuff she can't, and does.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

In the news

  • RIP Mike Nichols. Beware of lefty nostalgia; he's one they loved. I have no idea what his politics were if anything. Diane Sawyer's hot (face it, that's why she's been on camera; nothing wrong with that) and comes from a great though establishment conservative background (daddy was a Southern politician and she worked for Nixon); the establishment right and left are a Punch-and-Judy show, and you don't get a great media career if you have the right views, except maybe if you were Pat Buchanan decades ago.
  • Hermaphrodites. In the spotlight as one claims to have been intimate with a rather well-known athlete. Making the news as part of World War T (trannies), which is part of World War G (gays); #firstworldproblems. The left claims to love nature except for having sex without babies and babies without sex (so gays can adopt their little eugenic fantasy conceived in a lab rather than an Asian baby), and pretending men can be women (L-O-L-A, Lola), for example. It seems to me DNA (a read of the chromosomes) will tell you what someone with this rare problem really is. Might these people be chimeras with both male and female DNA?
  • "Teenage exorcists." An Arizona minister and cute girls go on an exorcism crusade against Harry Potter. The British press gets to ridicule religion. I've heard nothing but bad about Ouija boards. (Except for one recent article claiming that before The Exorcist they were seen as a harmless game, an excuse to hold your date's hand while using them.) My fifth-grade teacher, who happened to be a Catholic raised before Vatican II, said she and a friend played with one, were scared by predictions coming true, and burned it. The actor Christopher Lee, who's into the occult, says it does psychological damage. Pretty girls with the crosses but I fear they're taking on more than they can handle, if they're for real. The minister father may be sincere or it could be self-promotion (nothing per se wrong with that), or even clever marketing from the Harry Potter franchise. Interesting that he's dressed like a priest; our culture "knows" that's what an exorcist looks like. I'm not biting; as far as I know, Harry Potter is like folklore.
  • The moral-panic truth-o-meter. Takimag's Kathy Shaidle used to be a professional Catholic writer; unsurprisingly, the great priest sex scandal ("Think of the CHILDREN!") disappeared when the media couldn't hide that the perpetrators were gay (and the "children" often weren't children). Fun to watch the left cannibalize itself when it can't hide a story; then its hierarchy of truths kicks in: get whitey, followed by anti-Christian, so girls and gays get thrown under the bus for Mohammedans who abuse them. Got it? Good. Now shut up or you're fired.
  • "Diversity" destroys diversity.
  • Prince Charles reveals his heartbreak at the "appalling atrocities" and "soul-destroying tragedy" facing Christians persecuted across the Middle East. Appropriate and probably sincere speech while visiting an Armenian church in London.
  • Lefty Orthodox hand-wringing. Lesser known than the ethnics or the hyperdox-Herman converts but they exist, and they're peeved. "We don't want to be a high-church sect" so please don't come in, embarrassing conservatives, or change your mind at the door. (Their snotty imitators in the Byzantine Catholic churches are the same way.) If you thought you were buying a hedge against Modernism, think again. Episcopalians with beards. It's Rome or the abyss, folks.
  • True stories behind famous movie locations.
  • The hidden potential of autistic kids. Are standard intelligence tests selling them short? Savants are real.
  • Where have you gone, Sally Starr? A requiem for the Philly TV star. John Boyden and I were talking about that recently: Karen Scioli, Stella from "Saturday Night Dead" on KYW here in the '80s, was one of the last truly local TV stars.
  • Webmasters have managed to make something even more annoying and browser-clogging than pop-up boxes, but just as useless for advertising: sound and video that play automatically. I thought designers learned 15 years ago that autoplay music on a page is a turnoff. What gives?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The emperor of Philadelphia, and more

  • The emperor of Philadelphia. Frank Rizzo, our Big Man in politics, a good-hearted tough guy on the right side of the culture war; all the right people hated him. The trouble was he was in over his head as mayor so his way of trying to bail out Philadelphia was to curry favor with the feds. He didn't know how to govern as a conservative. Find one who can and I'd welcome him as a caudillo. When he died I went to the viewing at the cathedral and shook hands with his fireman brother and his son, now a city councilman. Here he is with Pope John Paul II. Word is Francis will be here next year. That's nice. I might go.
  • Feedback on the change allowing the ordination of married Eastern-rite Catholic priests in the West. Some people just can't take yes for an answer. I step in here. Read the whole thread for a revival of the old debate on Christianity being propositional or tribal; it's both!
  • The Extraordinary Form and the Eastern churches.
  • Mattingly: Two clashing Orthodox takes on doctrine — past and future.
  • Cardinal O'Malley's quip on women priests. I tell the same joke to put people at ease but I think with a stronger ending: if I could invent a church that I thought would please as many people as possible, including me, it would resemble the high-church Society of Catholic Priests in the Episcopal Church. (Yes to the creeds, old church is fun, but otherwise liberal.) The kicker is reality doesn't work that way; we don't get to invent a church, we can't change the matter of a sacrament, and besides, chicks don't dig male feminists. Cardinal O'Malley is not being heretical but he's being unduly apologetic about being orthodox.
  • "Romanorum Coetibus." Ha. Ha. This joke's kind of stale. Seriously, it's been done. As Dale Griffith notes, the Episcopalians adopted the Foreign Rites Canon so they could do false-flag ops (parishes using the Roman Rite) in their effort to separate Catholic immigrants from Rome and make "real Americans" out of them. The occasion for that was their adopting at least two independent Italian parishes, St. Rocco's, Youngstown (closed), and St. Anthony's, Hackensack (still open and still conservative but under a flying bishop who ordains women), plus their association with the Polish National Catholic Church as a kind of ethnic junior varsity. It never comes true for the Episcopalians because Catholic liberals are less credally orthodox and hate high church. For example: once at St. Clement's, Philadelphia I saw Richard Giles, Fr. Liberal Wreckovator himself, celebrate the English Missal Tridentine Mass, silent canon and all. (He's English, a former Anglo-Catholic ordained in '66 so that's what he was taught in seminary.) Name a Catholic liberal who'd be caught within a mile of that Mass. Plus Catholics' people sense tells them no: "I don't go to the true church; why should I bother with yours?" I'd bet you an old silver certificate that their condescending efforts at "Hispanic outreach" ("la Santa Misa en Español," plus women priests and gay marriage, pressing issues in Mexican and Puerto Rican communities, to be sure) are similarly undersuccessful. White liberals don't get it.
  • From Jim's Blog:
    • The decline of Google due to egalitarianism.
    • No enemies to the left, no friends to the right. Every so often I see someone reeling in shock and horror that we cannot possibly tolerate any connection with Person P, because they have some connection with person Q, who went to an event that was also attended by person Y, who has some connection with person Z, and, gasp, shock, horror, person Z has some connection with the “extreme” right. Meanwhile posters, badges, and tee shirts of notorious communist mass murderers continue to sell well, and checking academic syllabi, one regularly reads questions of the form “explain why this noted communist mass murderer was amazingly wonderful, and why those whom he had eradicated were vile scum of the earth”, which questions usually contain very clear hints as to exactly what the answer is supposed to be. If one follows this policy, and one’s friends and enemies also follow this policy, then one’s enemies are one’s friends and one’s friends are one’s enemies. Thus the tea partiers and rinos quarrel for republican pre-selection, but, once republican preselection is over, the tea party allies with the rinos, the rinos ally with the democrats, and the democrats ally with the foreign enemies of America. The right acts towards the left the way an abused woman acts towards her boyfriend. Hence the pattern of inner party and outer party. The permanent government is innermost, then then democrats, and the republicans are the outer party.
  • From Takimag:
  • Airguns, BB guns, and airsoft. How they differ.
  • The failed time-capsule '57 Belvedere: can she be saved? I don't get how they didn't seem to realize what would happen when you stick a car into a concrete bathtub underground with no water-mitigating system for 50 years. Like no one had any experience in building basements or tunnels or bunkers for that matter. If she's no longer drivable, keep her in a museum.

Anglicanism and the Catholic liturgical movement

High Mass versus populum in 1957.

Even without the Oxford Movement I'd still rather go to an 18th-century Georgian low-church 1662 BCP Holy Communion than a contemporary suburban Marty Haugen Novus Ordo, and don't think they really have all much in common.

The old Low Church north-end celebration has something of the dignity of the old Low Mass at "sparrow farts" for the working men going to the bakery or the steel works. The
Novus Ordo Missae often comes across as folks disrespecting sacred things with official sanction.
Because Cranmer and the Georgian English, at least before the "Enlightenment," still had enough in common with the medieval Catholic Church to make that appealing. But the "Enlightenment" was making its inroads in English culture; basically almost all the English Calvinists (Anglicans being odd Calvinists with bishops) lost their faith. Ever hear of King's Chapel, Boston? Colonial Anglican church that went Unitarian. Still has the Georgian beauty and pretty Prayer Book, but it's not Christian. Just an extreme version of what many Anglicans were thinking. Also, Cranmer's and the Prayer Book's Eucharistic prayers for all their beauty and credal orthodoxy are subtly heretical; they've never been approved for Catholic use.
Evangelicalism and the Oxford Movement were both reactions against the Enlightenment. The Old High Churchmen held the line, but seemed old-fashioned in comparison.

Cranmer's 1552 revision of the Canon was decidedly written against the traditional theology. However, the changes are subtle, apart from the very obvious butchering into three parts and spreading them around the service. The weaknesses, from an RC POV, of 1549 are less obvious, and Wily Winchester could spin it into Catholic orthodoxy.
Been to Wily Winchester's (Bishop Stephen Gardiner) tomb. Right, both the Wesleys and the Tractarians were trying to win the English people back for Christ.
On the other hand, from the point of view of the Congregation of Rites, 1549 would still need work. That said — is there still a Congregation of Rites or has it been subsumed into CDF?
The Scottish and American Canons are a different subject and were studied in detail by Fr. Echlin S.J. back in the late 1950s, and he was fairly favourable to the Scottish version, and to a lesser extent the American. Needless to say, neither is by Cranmer.
The Congregation of Rites has been clunkily renamed the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. Liberals like renaming stuff in pretentious bourgeois bureaucratese, probably because the old name is too Catholic (Mass -> Eucharist or "we're really Protestants now; 'Mass' is for dumb backward Catholics", confession -> Reconciliation, parish -> parish community, unction -> Anointing of the Sick, etc.).

Again, the church has nixed the American Prayer Book Canon. The Ordinariate Mass uses the Roman one.
Regarding the Anglican Holy Communion service, what is the purpose or symbolism of facing northwards?
Starting in 1552 (?), the Communion service was done in the round in the old choir (chancel), with the table put down the center lengthwise. The priest in surplice and scarf (his old Catholic choir habit) stood in the middle, at the north end of the table, facing half the congregation.
John, doesn't Brown in his biography of Augustine note that the Mass as celebrated in Hippo was celebrated with the congregation standing around the altar?
Standard rebuttal to liberals who say they want to play early church (be Protestant): OK, I'm game. Public confession, to the bishop and the whole congregation! Only one chance to make your confession, then afterwards, no more sex, even if you're married! And you can't go to Communion and have to do public penance, like clean up the highway in an orange jumpsuit, for five years! Make the sexes stand separately in church! No pews or chairs in church!

.... Where did everybody go?
I'm just saying that there was a period of greater informality in the liturgy in the early Church, something that the Anglican reformers may have been trying to recapture as part of their effort to de-sacralize the liturgy as was then-practiced in pre-Reformation England. I am completely on board with the idea that there were practices in the early Church that were not optimal, and which fortunately over time Holy Mother Church has properly reformed or discarded.

The Church is an organic institution, and like all organic institutions, it changes over time. As Newman pointed out, the test is whether the changes deepen and build upon previous practice to draw us closer to the ideas encapsulated by the apostolic tradition. This was, fundamentally, the problem with the Reformation — it was change away from the apostolic tradition, not towards it. There was lots to critique about the late medieval Church — just as there is lots to critique about the Church in any day and age.
Anglicanism quietly ditched the less formal approach as time passed because they found that it led to all sorts of abuses. Gradually, Tables went back against the wall, were railed off, and with the frontal and two candlesticks required by Laudian best practice, began to look like altars again. The Eastward position seems to have had a brief vogue under Charles II as they grappled with what 'north side' and 'before' meant in the context of the 1662 BCP. Then for about 150 years north end facing south was all but universal before the debate was reopened in the gap period between the original Tractarians and the early Ritualists. A wooden reading of the 1662 rubrics would suggest that one stood at the north side/end for the liturgy of the word, then moved in front for the actual Lord's Supper to celebrate facing east. The Roman Church is having to deal with a similar case of the liturgical mumps right now, and hopefully it will be resolved by making the NOM more traditional, and the 1962 Missal more accessible so that every parish has at least occasional TLM, and the larger churches have a frequent TLM.
Little known: you CAN do the TLM facing the people and the Novus Ordo facing "east." Famous examples of the former are old churches in Rome such as St. Peter's where the altar literally faces east so in recent centuries, Mass has been "facing the people," accidentally. Also, some liturgical-movement priests in the '50s would sometimes have Mass facing the congregation to be instructional, to teach them what goes on at Mass. And a few liberalish bishops (yes) and priests played with it. There are pictures from America, in the '50s, of Catholic churches, including Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral, doing it. Rather like stray rubrics in the Prayer Book, there are hints in those of the Novus Ordo assuming an eastward celebration. All Vatican II says is the altar "should be freestanding" in order for the celebrant to walk all around it to cense it. Under Paul VI, half the parishes in the Diocese of Rome remained eastward-facing; John Paul the Overrated ended that.
GIRM and the 1962 Rubrics make it clear that the altar should (note word) be freestanding to allow (note that word too) Mass facing the people. The idea that altars must be freestanding, and Mass must be said facing the people is a myth. The Brompton Oratory did an ad orientem (AO) celebration of the NOM every day when I lived in London, and probably still does. John Paul the Overrated - I like that!
Do 1962's rubrics really say the altar should be freestanding? Sacrosanctum Concilium came out in '63 and the changes didn't start until '65 (series of modifications to '62 until the NOM).

Right; the Brompton Oratory is one of my favorite places, doing "reform of the reform," high-church Novus Ordo, when it wasn't cool. I could find such in England because I was looking for it.
Basically. The Roman Rite has required the altar to be freestanding 'wherever possible' in the 1940s. What changes between 1962 and 1965 is that the directive is altered so that, whilst the requirement for altars to be freestanding wherever possible remains unchanged, in new buildings, it is a required that the altar be arranged so that the Mass may be said versus populum (VP). The all but mandatory VP Mass came in with the 1965 Rubrics. The RC parish in my home town dragged its feet for a long time; other places may have been slightly ahead of the curve. One of the family reckons they were already doing VP in her home parish when she was confirmed in 1964.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles under one of the church's unsung heroes, Cardinal McIntyre, remained fully Tridentine throughout the '60s; he retired at the beginning of 1970 after the archdiocese had to go Novus, and he only said the old Mass, assisting at a parish, until he died about nine years later. Cardinal Spellman didn't want the changes either but implemented them.

As far as I can tell, McIntyre's only "sin" (he's accused of being a racist but had a racial-harmony committee since 1948) was he wouldn't stand around and listen to some white Sixties radical Catholics tell him how wonderful they were; he had an archdiocese to run.

I'm fairly sure the old liturgical-movement ideal behind the 1940s requirement was that the priest could literally walk around the altar to cense it, like in the old Roman basilicas, ideally with a baldacchino over the altar. The versus-populum craze might have been nothing to do with that, originally, although part of the liturgical movement was playing with that even then (based on faulty scholarship, assuming it was ancient?).
Right, John. One of the interesting things about the NO is that many of the parts that have a central place in the current liturgy (like the Gloria and the Creed) aren't as ancient as some of the parts that got excised. The liturgical movement folks got caught up in some seriously anachronistic thinking (the creed is so important to us, how could it not be all that important to the early Church in the liturgy?). They forgot that the past is a foreign country.

The Roman rubrics try to enforce the layout of the late classical Roman basilica throughout the Roman Rite, but that idea came a bit unstuck in northern Europe, so it is a freestanding altar was under a baldachino and you walked around it to cense it. The Mass was celebrated facing east no matter which end of the building the altar was placed at. The VP celebration is ill-digested third-generation liturgical-movement stuff.
The liturgical movement at its best DIDN'T want to revise the Mass; it only wanted to teach the laity about the existing Mass, with the goal of most parishes having a congregationally chanted High Mass every week. They were fighting the popularity in Irish America of Low Mass junked up with sappy hymns, and the council betrayed them so the American Catholic norm is still Low Mass junked up with sappy hymns, only the text was less Catholic with the first translation, it's still, in most places, lower-church than before (which priests and laity like because it's easier to do), and the hymns have guitars and sound like Peter, Paul, and Mary or the Seekers minus the talent.
Bull's eye! I personally think the Liturgical Movement went off the boil c. 1945 when an influential section thereof moved from restoration to reform. I think the older movement wanted what Anglo-Catholics had — chanted offices; a simple Sung Mass on Sundays and HDoO, with Low Mass on other days and early on Sunday.

I see the low Mass as a very natural and legitimate evolution of liturgical practice. Just as the shape of the Roman rite was textured by the experiences of the Church post-Constantine, and just as the formal development of the Baroque high sung Mass was a result of the Counter-Reformation, the development of low Mass, starting in the fields and the monasteries, is part of the history of the Church and part of the liturgy's development.
Low Mass has its place. It's shocking to see old copies of Worship magazine from the '40s. I did back when I worked at our local seminary. While the English-speaking Catholic mainstream was still Cardinal Spellman and The Bells of St. Mary's, some liturgical-movement priests had switched from restoration to reform, sneering among themselves at their people just like radicalized priests did decades later, making fun of "pious dollies," etc. In some parishes, the churches were wreckovated in the '50s but the old Mass and its rubrics minimized the damage.

I'm fine with space-age/doo-wop/googie architecture for churches because they were built for the old religion so they work.
Vatican II's Sancrosanctum Concilium stated quite explicitly that Gregorian Chant should be given pride of place in the ordinary (as in routine) worship/music at mass. I'm still waiting . . . .
Probably rhetorical sleight of hand not meant literally as "the Rhine flowed into the Tiber" (Germanic radicals hijacking control of much of the church, although the heretic Bugnini was Italian). It and other '60s Catholic documents play the game of praising an old practice, then discarding it a few lines down by making it optional. Thus went Latin, eastward celebrations in America, and "fish days" (time was classical Protestants including Anglicans fasted: everything now thought weirdly Catholic was originally simply Christian) as the Anglo-American Protestant mainstream thought we were getting with their program (witness the hubbub about Pope Francis: question the church's teachings and make the cover of Rolling Stone).

Also, It's Not About Latin™ (liberals: "You're stuck on LATIN!") but believe it or not, according to Michael Davies, in the '50s next to nobody in the Catholic Church asked for the vernacular and those who did were considered cranks. Latin's beautiful (Italian's mother), a template because it doesn't change anymore, and a world second language, so it always has a place in the church, but if nobody wants to go back to it regularly for Mass, no problem. I love and use Anglican English. Witness the English Missal, the Anglican Breviary, and Winfred Douglas' Monastic Diurnal, all ours for the asking.

(Peter Anson: there was a tiny vagante church in England exactly like the Roman Catholic Church except they wanted two doable things, married priests and the vernacular for services. He wryly notes that no Catholics signed up.)

Photo: Fr. Reynold Hillenbrand at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Hubbard Woods, Illinois. Still charming because it's still the old Mass. The Midwest was a center of this proto-liberalism.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Churchgoing circa 1900

The usual Anglo-Catholic parochial thing of Sung Mass on ordinary Sundays, and Solemn High on special occasions.
All these years I never knew that. Because Good Shepherd, Rosemont and St. Clement's, Philadelphia had and have High Mass (Solemn High) every Sunday, which is supposed to be the Roman Rite norm.

So my Catholic parish having Sung Mass (with modified ceremonies of High Mass, allowed by indult) on Sundays is historically normal.

As I understand it, some Sunday habits of Catholics around 100 years ago, which Anglo-Catholics imitated:

The very devout going to Communion or those who wanted to get their obligation over with quickly, Communion or not, would go to the early Low Mass. Or the pious would go to Communion given by a priest in cotta and stole from the tabernacle between Masses. Mary Mags, Oxford (Anglican) used to list "Mass and Holy Communion," reflecting an old distinction related to this practice, because for continental Catholics, Communion apart from Mass was normal. Also normal: infrequent Communion. The devout would go home and have breakfast, then go BACK to church for Sung or High Mass, which had the (longish?) sermon and was non-communicating for the laity. Then the fervent would go back home for lunch and some rest and wholesome recreation, and then return to church AGAIN that evening for Sunday Vespers (attendance at which was once taken as seriously as for Sunday Mass) with Benediction. Wow! Now that's a liturgical life, comparable to devout Russian Orthodox going to Vigil (Vespers + Lauds + Prime) for 2+ hours Saturday night so they could confess and commune at the 2-hour Divine Liturgy Sunday morning. Radio, movies, and finally TV killed Sunday-night church for Catholics, Anglicans, and others, but the Archdiocese of Philadelphia still had its rule on the books until about 10 years ago requiring parishes to have Sunday Vespers, long not enforced. (One convent in the city, the Convent of Divine Love, or "the Pink Sisters," has public "reformed" offices including Vespers with Benediction.)

I can imagine ordinary Anglicans back then doing something similar: the pious going to 8 o'clock Communion, then to Choral Morning Prayer (Matins) with the big sermon (the main service half the time when I was a kid), then back to church for Evening Prayer (choral: Evensong).
Around my way the old regime was 8am Holy Communion once a month; then back for Matins or non-communicating High Mass — depending on churchmanship — at 11am; then back again for Evening Prayer at 6.30pm if one was really devout. Some folks though would go to early celebration and Evensong every Sunday. Generally, Tractarian-influenced parishes had 8am and 11.45am Low Masses (they would not have used that term) bracketing 10.30am Matins. Anglo-Catholic parishes would have been more like 7.30am MP; 8am and 9am Low Mass 10.30am or 11am Sung/High Mass, or 8am and 9am Low Mass; Sung Matins at 10am and 11.15am Sung/High Mass. Pretty much everyone had EP at 6pm or 6.30pm. The big problem for the Anglican Liturgical Movement was how to make HC the main service without alienating the MP folks.
"The big problem for the Anglican Liturgical Movement was how to make HC the main service without alienating the MP folks." You have the Episcopal Church's fashionable high-churchification starting in the '30s, thanks in part to Anglo-Catholicism's power then but the mainstream parish version WASN'T really Anglo-Catholic. I guess the Parish Communion movement was like that or part of it, a watered-down Catholic practice minus the Catholic beliefs. Then I think in the Sixties, because Vatican II made Catholics cool for a while and because ecumenism was otherwise fashionable, you had a continuation of that high-churchification plus imitating the Novus Ordo: guitar services and the trial liturgies in England and America leading up to the 1979 Episcopal Prayer Book and Alternative Services Book, now Common Worship. As a kid I took it all at face value, thinking we were about to come back to Catholicism, so women's ordination felt like a sucker punch.

Accents: Received Pronunciation old and new

A young upper-class man (?) and Prince William for you to compare.
HRH the Duke of Cambridge weighs in on Ebola. (He's against it.) Incredibly, some American idiots in the comments are complaining about the fact that he has a "British accent."
Of course, they're brainless. As well, there's nothing more obnoxious than when Americans use that term "British accent". Funny how they call Ireland's accent "Irish", and Scotland's accent "Scottish", but England? They're the "British accent".
Of course there are different Irish (the north sounds different from the south: Gerry Adams vs. Barry Fitzgerald) and Scottish accents too. A Welsh accent is like a New Jersey accent in that I know it when I hear it but can't imitate it.
I confess that I'm no expert in accents myself, and recently made the mistake of assuming that an Australian guest conductor was British. (To be fair to myself, he admitted that he has lived in Europe for some time and watches a lot of British TV.) But at least I don't have a problem understanding Prince William!
As a representative of the British and dominions' head of state, Prince William is politely expressing concern. (I don't believe the authorities for a minute that we're safe. Raise our drawbridge and seal off Liberia.) He has a pleasant speaking voice but it's more downmarket than the clipped, extreme RP of his father and grandmother ("Who is Jupiter?" = "Hoo izz Joopitah?"); compared to them he sounds generally middle-class southeastern, fashionable in England.

I like the cut-glass accents myself, a favorite being Beatles producer George Martin's imitation 1940s BBC RP overlaid on his "cor blimey" London accent. (He took elocution lessons as a young man.) Not exaggerated like the young man in the clip above.

My late rector sounded like a tenor version of him; similar background.

And I love good mid-Atlantic, as in William F. Buckley Jr. and George Plimpton. I can tell now those accents are not English but couldn't as a kid.

Even though I had the honor of living in the motherland (I sound a smidge mid-Atlanticky; the English taught me some of it, such as the yod: new is nyoo, not noo), I admit I'm no Henry Higgins with its accents. As a kid I had trouble telling Australian from English accents but they are in the same family (because Australia was settled much later than America), plus with Cultivated Australian, which is trying to sound English, it's hard to tell. I can tell northern from southern England and "upstairs" from "downstairs" class accents, the difference between the Queen's and Michael Caine's accents, for example. There's "oop north," with now world-famous Liverpudlian being unique because it's part Irish, then the south pretty much sounds alike to me, and then there are the shades of Home Counties/BBC/RP, the Queen's and Prince Philip's speech being the most extreme now. Nobody younger than Prince Charles still talks like that. The Queen has unconsciously, slightly dialed it down over the decades, as linguists have pointed out.

Then there's the famous, originally fake accent of Loyd Grossman, an American-born TV star in Britain; bad fake RP on top of a slight natural Massachusetts accent (yes, some of those vowels are real). Oh, well. Anybody who makes spaghetti sauce and does charitable work (the man is a good adopted citizen: making nice food for hospital patients and saving old churches*; my guess is he's not Christian) gets a pass.

When I was a young boy the Queen sounded very up-market.
The pinnacle of upmarket, a kind of RP only the royals at the time spoke. "Hice" for "house," etc. The Queen used to give her corgis a "pet" on the "hid"; now it's a "pat" on the "head," more natural.
There remains some of the die-hard upper classes around. Fortunately. This chap's family still have estates in Ireland! Most impressed.
The "Young UKIP Supporter" video says it's not a parody but I'm not so sure. Isn't the British upper class usually sort of socially liberal (how they try to do noblesse oblige, social responsibility: Lord Mountbatten calling himself a socialist, for example) while culturally conservative? And they're Protestants and probably Masons; anti-Catholic in that creepy historically aware way. I thought the UKIP was more of a populist party (sort of like our Tea Party conservative movement) not having upper-class support. But you never know.

I understand the uncrowned king, Edward VIII (David, Prince of Wales; the Duke of Windsor) didn't speak "proper" RP, maybe as an affectation (inverted snobbery), even sounding mid-Atlanticky American as a laid-back, fun guy.

*Can we have them back?

Post-Puritanville and more

  • Post-Puritanville. Steve Sailer contrasts conservative post-Puritan Englishmen with liberal American ones (SWPL culture with its roots in New England). Interesting inversion since as a whole, the mother country is more liberal and less religious than here. (Lots of non-Puritans so they're not post-Puritans?) Essentially, most English Calvinists lost their faith at the "Enlightenment," the Unitarians being about 150 years ahead of the mainline in apostasy.
  • Study shows millennials turned off by trendy church buildings; prefer a classic sanctuary. That's great. Interesting counter-trend, though, in our low-church Protestant culture, where the country's biggest church is Joel Osteen's former sports arena, which in Baptist tradition doesn't even have a plain cross. Maybe that's a passing "boomer" phenomenon like liberal Catholicism. Also, many "millennials" are secular. Unlike the boomers and older people, if they don't believe, and again a lot of them don't, they just stop going to church when they're grown, or sooner. But yes, I can see young believers wanting this tradition back. Been seeing it among Catholics for 25 years.
  • The failure of Christian Modernism.
  • Christianity and its heresy, leftism, are rival religions.
  • On my not having a lick of devotion to Pope Paul VI: Pope Paul VI implemented the Novus Ordo Mass. By 1970 or so I felt I gave up so much by leaving my High Church Episcopal faith to become a Roman Catholic. I know that buyer's remorse very well. Evelyn Waugh was heartbroken, after decades of trying to convert people. Frank Sheed and so many others were thrown into confusion. Makes the charming local Episcopal church, if it's still conservative, look good in comparison; you can talk yourself into saying you're not really outside the church (Ever meet Anglo-Papalists? That was more of an English phenomenon.) and why not just ignore the nutty liberals running the denomination? "They don't affect us." Episcopal parishes are semi-congregational. The trouble with Paul VI's English Novus Ordo, or should I say Annibale Bugnini's and ICEL's, is you would have no idea from it what the church really teaches about the Mass. If you knew, it was because you knew the old Mass and just assumed it's really the same (true in Latin). (Catholics tend not to care about liturgical English because we "know" that liturgy isn't really in English.) It WAS more Protestant than what we left behind. Benedict XVI fixed that. That said, Paul wasn't a heretic and he held the line on contraception and took the heat for it. So I have no problem accepting him as a true Pope and the church's decision to beatify him. It's just that he was a bad Pope, and you don't have to be personally devoted to every saint and blessed.
  • And of course the Episcopal Church changed to a point that, in 1977 the conservative wing of the Episcopal Church left, spawning the continuing Anglican Churches. A complicated history my good friend, professional historian William Tighe, knows extremely well. It's disappointing that the Anglo-Catholic Midwestern and Texan dioceses didn't all leave then for the Continuum or the Catholic Church. But they believed in the Anglican Church; they thought the Archbishop of Canterbury would censure the Episcopalians or something. (Wrong since as early as 1970 Canterbury had no theological objection to women priests, so the Americans went ahead.) The Continuers thought something similar, that Canterbury would drop the Episcopalians and replace them with the Continuum as its American franchise, continuing biblical faith and Catholic order. Basically wishful thinking about Anglicanism. I remember that well.

    Anyway, not only did those Anglo-Catholic dioceses not leave (in the end there were only three, and now they and Pittsburgh are in a denomination that defends marriage but ordains women: what?!) but because of Episcopalianism's semi-congregationalism, a lot of parishes stayed put and complained until they turned (or the diocese retook control of them: Good Shepherd, Rosemont) or were closed. St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue, under Fr. Mead, for example, or St. John's, Detroit now under Fr. Kelly. Keep quiet in the media and stay out of diocesan politics, and if you're a full-fledged parish, and especially if you're a rich one (endowment fund), you can more or less be your own Pope.

    Sidebar: the United Church of Christ, arguably the most liberal mainliners, has relatively conservative congregations, because they're the Congregationalists!
  • Whenever I see traditionalist Catholic polemicists arguing that the Novus Ordo resembles an Anglican service I want to ask them, "Have you ever actually been to an Anglican service"? Sure, the Catholics who say that are ignorant but as you know, almost from their beginning, Anglicans were doing church in the round with a table put in the chancel among the choir stalls. What we know as Anglican is mimicking the Roman Catholic Church in the 19th century.
  • Somerville Center Antiques and Incogneeto, Somerville, NJ.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fantastic news for Eastern-rite Catholics in the West: Ordaining married priests is allowed again!

Unconfirmed: word is Pope Francis has effectively rescinded Cum Data Fuerit: Eastern-rite Catholics in Western countries may resume their custom of ordaining married men as priests! (More.) It's been going on in recent years, piecemeal, case by case. That's wonderful! It's not a sellout to Catholic liberals OR to the tiny, Internet-driven claque of quisling Orthodox wannabes in but not of the church ("let's dump our doctrine and then join the true church"). Rather, it's a great example in the liberals' faces of fervent, CONSERVATIVE married priests.
  • It's not doctrine. The church can make and change disciplinary rules such as this. So our churchmen had the authority to ban the ordination of married men in the West.
  • We made a huge mistake that this is trying to right. Eastern-rite Catholics weren't and aren't heretics. The American Roman Rite clergy wanted to keep the discipline of priestly celibacy, but by being so bigoted they pushed a lot of people out of the church for no good reason (the Toth and Chornock schisms).
Married priests aren't a cure-all for our vocations drought.

What WON'T happen:
  • The Roman Rite dropping priestly celibacy. By the way, the East HAS clerical celibacy: not only monks but celibate bishops, who are usually monks.
  • Priests getting married. In theory possible but against ancient custom. The East ordains the married; it doesn't marry the ordained. Priest widowers can't remarry, another form of clerical celibacy.
  • Scads of Roman Riters trying to switch rites to be married priests. It NEVER worked that way, because churchmen are wise to that, the rules protect the integrity of the Eastern churches so no easy switches, and Catholic liberals hate traditional liturgy and small-o orthodoxy so they wouldn't want to switch. (Most such among the young just leave the church anyway.)
  • Traditionalist outrage. That we're all dumb or ignorant is an Internet myth. (Although the blog post that Gabriel refers to is nasty, and he calls them on it. "The Eastern Orthodox practice contradicts the Latin understanding of the priesthood." Wrong and dumb. We and the Orthodox share the priesthood.) Rather, the Novus Ordo has led many devout, sound Roman Riters to go to Greek Catholic churches, either as a refuge or a permanent switch (some people are called to that). My first traditional Catholic liturgy, in 1985, was Ukrainian. Educated small-o orthodox Catholics are all for this.
What probably won't happen but it would be neat if it did:
  • Thanks to this precedent, the ordinariates for Anglo-Catholic alumni get to keep ordaining married priests beyond the first generation, the converts.
  • Better ecumenical relations with the Orthodox, meaning they're one step closer to returning to the church.
  • ACROD, the Johnstown Diocese, for whom this issue is its original, real reason to exist (there are still ex-Catholics in it, in their 90s), comes back to the church. Only logical. But they're angry at us and they've bought the Orthodox line, moving from, allegedly, "Byzantium is second-class" (how Cum Data Fuerit came across, of course) to "Byzantium IS the church," which isn't right either. As for the Toth schism, the OCA thinks it's Russian.
  • The decline of the Greek Catholic churches in America is reversed.
  • There's a vocations boom among ethnic Ukrainians and Ruthenians in America.
  • The dominant Catholicism in America becomes Byzantine, not Novus Ordo.
Top picture: Holy Trinity Greek (Byzantine) Catholic Church, New Britain, Conn.

Second picture: Holy Protection of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church, Denver, Colo.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Neon, chrome, and more

For the month of the dead.

I voted Republican locally this month.

Phila Flea Market, 9th and Spring Garden.

"You must have hated that moose!"

Booth's Corner.

Ernest Borgnine was here in '12.


The Reading Terminal Market: almost sensory overload during a weekday lunch rush. Was in Center City Philadelphia for a job interview. Interesting being a tourist in my own city as I don't get to Center City or Old City that much. The Gallery still stinks; worse than 25 years ago. '70s mall to compete with the 'burbs; initially so successful that Gimbels tore down its big old store (still an empty lot on Market Street) and moved there. The mall started to die when Gimbels did. Even the Kmart that moved into Gimbels' old space is gone. Ghetto. Mostly a food court now for the renamed Jefferson commuter-train station, a Burlington Coat Factory, Old Navy, Five Below, and fye. It's one of Philly's several failed attempts at urban renewal, like the Bourse building, attempted amenities such as a park on Chestnut Street, and the demolished Newmarket.

Old City's great when you take the (expensive) train into town: shops that sell vintage stuff and more.

"Not retro; OLD." Walt's in Clifton Heights is gone as far as I'm concerned (the owner tore down a '50s eatery) but there's still the Olympic Diner, with everything you could want: good food as close to '60s prices as they can, and conversation at the counter. Σε ευχαριστώ!