Saturday, November 15, 2014

American Greek Catholic epitaph, "hand over the Uniates," and more

  • Opus Publicum on church, East vs. West again. When the Russians demand that we hand over the Uniates (never — they could kill most Catholics with their nukes but they can't destroy or co-opt us), are they asserting their true-church claim or accidentally admitting they think we're a sister church and that Byzantium is not in fact universal? Former Orthodox priest Dale tells it like it is.
  • Photo: Ex-St. Peter and St. Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church, Clifton Heights, Pa. Built in 1967; the town at least used to be a Slavic enclave (its Roman Rite parish, Sacred Heart, used to be officially Polish). Clergy then assumed the changes would make the church even bigger and better. (By the way, this parish took self-latinization and modernization too far. Went there once.) The epitaph for the Greek Catholic option in the Philadelphia area and, I think, in America.
  • The effeminization of the priesthood. If not for the conservative revival (which "progressive" churchmen in '67 or even now never wanted or expected: the Holy Spirit in action), the priesthood would be an old, gay ghetto. Rather like the mainline ministry: middle-aged women and gay men. The priesthood in this country, like the church, is and will be much diminished but not gone.
  • Pope Francis watch: actually I don't follow him avidly in the news but I noticed these. See, for traditional Catholics, the Pope's a distant figure on Vatican postage stamps whose name is whispered in the Canon at Mass and to whom we give our Peter's Pence envelopes once a year for his chosen charities. He's not our rock star by nature, even though Benedict XVI was "the Great." I don't watch EWTN. The New Yorker wants to give him "a seat at the roundtable of American governance" and he's invited Patti Smith to play at the Vatican's Christmas concert. She's talented, but... this is like his making the cover of Rolling Stone. It's NOT that these people support the church's teachings. Reminds me of the first "Catholic" retreat I went on, as a teenager, having been blessed with culturally old-school Episcopalianism. The first music I heard there? The Beatles and Arlo Guthrie; the Masses were all Dan Schutte, etc. Couldn't articulate it at the time but can now: here was a church that had lost its nerve and given up.
  • "Catholic faith and practice, which is what Anglo-Catholics follow, is something defined not by us (such as by general conventions) but really is self-defining — that which is the faith and practice of the Undivided Church or in other words that which is believed and practiced by most Christians." Essentially what I believe.
  • More and more Americans are outside the labor force entirely. Who are they?
  • There's nothing noble about the mass slaughter of World War I.

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