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.


  1. On that whole forum thread thing, it kinda reminds me of an interesting discussion I had with an Eastern Catholic recently.

    They liked the fact I was one of the "Good" trads, but they said one of the problems with trads was they showed up in Byzantine parishes "just wanting a byzantine liturgy, but never to actually be Eastern."

    Here in America, Byzantine Christianity already has a really tribal caricature, and it suffers from being a small church honestly getting smaller. I don't see how those kind of attitudes help. It reminds me of trads in latin mass parishes who when a priest comes in and doesn't do every motion flawlessly they complain. But even the most bitter of trad doesn't complain about people coming to the Latin Mass without being fully trad.

    If they are coming to Mass and not being a jerk about things, what's the big deal?

    1. Yes and yes. Thank you. Byzantine Christianity, especially Byzantine Catholicism, is terminal in this country, but the ethnics in the parishes aren't snobs or traitors like the online convert peanut gallery.

    2. Anonymous2:50 pm

      I'm not excusing it, and have never experienced it myself in person, but I can see anyone not being delighted about being "second choice." In a sense it's like telling a woman you will marry her ... because your first choice isn't available.

      They may also be wounded from all the Latins that spend six months in the parish and then disappear. Once bitten. Again, it doesn't make it right.

      Also I submit that Christian hope in Providence extends to Greek Catholicism in the US. Of course not to the extent that the whole Catholic Church will not be defeated; however, if it suits God's inscrutable Providence to raise up the US GCCs, then all the human evidence and sociology to the contrary will add up to nothing.

      Therefore, in charity and as a brother in Christ, I humbly ask that you consider expressing your diagnosis about the ECC's situation in the US in such a way that may not lead our weaker EC brothers to defeatism; but instead, while being realistic, yet contains a measure of hope in Providence.

    3. I think its the same problem a lot of trad parishes face. We really need to be more welcoming to the sojourner, and we need to get beyond our church walls and bring people there, even if they need some work. Don't we all?

      I'm personally glad the Byzantine Church I visit on occasion has always been nice and friendly. I know it's only an internet minority, but an internet minority is still really annoying.

  2. 'You can bank on Frank" Rizzo came to grief in more or less the same way that "Mayor for Life" Marion Barry did: outside his core community his thuggish antics and traditional big city politics were no longer winked at. Being "conservative" in any modern sense was utterly beside the point: Rizzo was firmly in the tradition, but unlike his Anglican counterparts in NYC and Baltimore, he didn't know how to do it right.


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