Monday, November 03, 2014

All Souls

  • Death and then what? Too often, trying to be nice, modern Catholic funerals are merely Protestant memorial services ("memorial Mass") and/or de facto canonizations. Like the political spectacle for Ted Kennedy.
  • The late Anglo-Papalist Fr. Franklin Joiner on the holy souls.
  • Must Greek Catholics believe in purgatory? The short, catechism answer is yes. The educated Catholic answer sounds like: "We do not deny that doctrine of purgatory is ONE way of elaborating on the dogmatic belief that those who repose in the Lord require purification, and that prayers for the dead are efficacious to that extent. But purgatory is a Latin theological concept based on Latin methods and presuppositions." Well and good, representing the unlatinized approach. Educated Catholics know that the church has many schools of theology and spirituality. But the rank-and-file answer is still right: all those schools must accept our doctrine. Prayer for the dead (which the Orthodox assiduously do) logically presupposes an intermediate state, which is all purgatory is. (But logic's not the schismatics' strong suit.) Anything else, such as universalism in the form of apocatastasis, would violate free will. Besides getting to heaven, unlatinized Catholics' calling is to express our teaching in Orthodox terms, showing it's compatible, not to deny our teaching. (If you really don't believe we're the true church, I'll show you the door.) By the way, All Souls is only in the Roman Rite calendar.
  • Orthodoxy in a pluralistic society. More generally, how do you survive and thrive when you claim to be the true church when your country is a culturally Protestant religious mall? (Church-shopping and "the American religion.")
  • Holy Innocents spared in ArchNY closings. Part of Cardinal Spellman's New York has a shot at remaining while the great conservative revival AND the great downsizing (the Vatican II "renewal's" real result) continue over the next 50 years.
  • The case against children's church. It's the same reason that "Youth Mass" doesn't really work. I participated in "Children's Mass" and "Youth Mass" for some 12 years and found that what typically happens is that the children and the youth then come to the conclusion that going to church is a child or a teen phase that they grow out of. It is far better to stick with a single style of inter-generational church service.
  • Communicatio in sacris the Arab way.
  • Secular Christmas is here, even though Advent I isn't for another four weeks: I've put away the air conditioner, put up the storm windows, bought eggnog, and worn a topcoat for the first time this season, Toys for Tots has started collecting, and the Pennsylvania Lottery has started running its Christmas commercial. I guess the kickoff is now Halloween. Most of you know that real Christmas STARTS on Dec. 25 and lasts through Epiphany (the 12 days of Christmas), and even after that trailing off until Candlemas (Presentation, Purification) Feb. 2. I didn't understand that as a kid (pumpkin carols, anyone?): I thought Christmas started with Thanksgiving and ended midnight Dec. 25. Now the tree, wreath, and window lights come out on Advent I (when Salve, Regina changes over to Alma Redemptoris Mater) and stay up till Epiphany. It's the most wonderful time of the year: celebrating God becoming man makes the Protestants want to come home; they join us in putting up statues of Jesus and Mary and singing in Latin.


  1. One of the reasons "tis a privilege to live in Colorado" is that Christmas decorations in the Denver area generally stay up through the National Western Stock Show which runs in mid-January. Sure, the reasoning is off, but the result is ok.During the few misspent years I spent in California, I was shocked to see every visible sign of Christmas torn down during December. Feh.

  2. S Peter Mohila readily accepts the dogma of Purgatory, but with a difference; the Orthodox do not believe in a cleaning fire or suffering in Purgatory; but that souls are cleansed by the prayers of the faithful.


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