Friday, December 05, 2014

Дедушка Мороз: A Russian Santa in Lansdowne, and more

  • Seriously loving Christmas in Delco, with a touch of European class. Here, apparently a visit from the Russian Santa, Grandfather Frost (not to be confused with the charitable but heretic-punching St. Nicholas, whom the Russians long ago adopted; his Gregorian feast day is tomorrow and a gift-giving day in some countries), in front of a neighborhood's Christmas tree.
  • Advent purists sound like the Grinch.
  • Politically correct war-on-Christmas looniness, fittingly in Puritan Massachusetts. Teaching seems overwhelmingly a liberal guild; a PTA tried to cancel a trip to see The Nutcracker because, duh, there's a Christmas tree on stage.
  • By the way, much of our (mainstream) Christmas is really "nostalgia about nostalgia," not about Christ; the whole Dickensian thing, model railroads, the tree Prince Albert imported from his Germany, etc. Not bad, just often off-kilter. Yes, nostalgia about church can turn into that.
  • "Why my husband and I canceled Christmas." John and Lisa Henderson’s decision to cancel Christmas gift-giving for their children has brought the couple a wave of attention. Spoilers and commentary here. I have mixed feelings not about what they did, which is fine, but because they made it public. That's not how you discipline your kids, at least in this case, in my opinion. The headline Mrs. Henderson wrote for her slick blog is clickbait; they didn't really cancel Christmas (the gist: charitable work that turned out to be fun, instead of presents from Mom and Dad; the boys are still getting gifts from grandparents, et al.). I'm guessing they're devout evangelicals or Mormons (Utah). Sure, the spoiled little boys needed to learn this. ("Entitled" is fancy talk for spoiled.) The old coal-in-the-stocking lesson but they actually pulled the punch, suitable for boys that age. Great. What I object to is this lady's self-righteously, publicly shaming little children (essentially for... being little children, who by nature don't know better yet) in front of the world (as in the World Wide Web); moral grandstanding/preening as obnoxious as when SWPLs do it with political correctness. Talk about cyberbullying!
  • Roissy: Why and how women avoid consequences. This all gets back to the Fundamental Premise. Women are the biologically and reproductively more valuable sex (men are the culturally and civilizationally more valuable sex)... Since this sex difference in blame apportioning and accountability is biological in nature, there will never be a program or seminar or rehabilitation camp capable of overturning it. The most you can do is point it out so the worst excesses of it aren’t codified into law by raving feminist lunatics and nancyboy beta suckups. An example: sex withdrawal (the male analogue of sex withdrawal is resource withdrawal. Ask a wife how she’d feel about that!)
  • God-wottery. Msgr. Barnes on a difference well known to Anglo-Catholics between their British and American versions. The Brits think thous and thees are twee (fakey quaint); we clung to them as Catholic trads often do Latin, for the same culture-wars, anti-Sixties reason (I love Latin — beautiful, being Italian's mama, an unchanging template, and a world second language — but one of my slogans against liberal jibes is "It's Not About Latin™"). So I use them for that sentimental reason, not the common modern misconception that thou's the formal you. (From knowing Spanish, Latin, and Russian I know exactly what it really is, the familiar you.) I've called this the "Masterpiece Theatre" phenomenon or "without honor in your own country." Historical stuff made in England but popular only in America. In England, the Prayer Book was used AGAINST A-Cs as Monsignor has written before; in my option, then, making the British ordinariate use a Prayer Booky missal is dumb. Stick to Pope Benedict the Great's Novus Ordo and the Tridentine Mass. So the British ordinariate is or should be just regular but conservative Roman Rite but with married priests. P.S. If a worthy successor to Pope Benedict really wanted to boost traditionalism, in English-speaking countries he'd allow the English Missal as an option; no more ammo for liberals because no more problem of Latin! Next to no mainstream Catholics want Latin again, and that's fine. P.P.S. The late, great Bishop Mote of the Anglican Catholic Church could take or leave thous and thees; he used them out of obedience as for him it was about doctrine, as a man of substance. P.P.P.S. Lest we forget, unbelievers from America's founding fathers to Bishop Pike all used the old Prayer Book.
  • Home will always be my first full Anglo-Catholic experience, a little wooden frame church that had been extremely Anglo-Catholicized along the way so it had just about every traditional Roman Catholic liturgical and devotional item you can imagine crammed into it, including two side altars and confessionals. In short, a modern liturgist's nightmare.
  • Old-school American WASPs on average were excellent hosts to the church thanks to their religious liberty. The church flourished here right before Vatican II so I'll never go anti-American (American as opposed to Americanist). I can compare: I lived in the mother country, much more hostile to the church than here. The irony (Brits love irony) you see living in England: reminders of the church are everywhere but they hate the church. (Catholics are numerically and proportionally far fewer than in America. No mass immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe as happened here.) Probably barely tolerated for the Polish guest workers now that the Irish have stopped going to Mass.
  • Watched the live "Peter Pan" on NBC. You could tell they're not English but the accents were good enough to suspend disbelief. It captured the magic of when Broadway shows were mainstream entertainment. Christopher Walken didn't work as Captain Hook (nice idea on paper: creepy actor as the bad guy) but he gets a gold star for trying.
  • Bill Cosby. He's quit (or was asked to quit?) Temple University's board, which looks like an admission of guilt, and the Navy's revoked his honorary CPO rank. (The only other honorary chief I know of was the lovable Ernest Borgnine, a WWII Navy vet.) I've long known he's not the cute characters he plays (he hung out at the Playboy Mansion in the '70s) but wow. Still, although the statute of limitations has run out, I take the approach "innocent until proven guilty." The media have convicted this man for clickbait. Hooray for the rule of law; it protects the innocent. Financially he'll be fine (he never has to work again) but his career is over. As credible as the numerous accusations seem, Cosby still deserves "his day in court" rather than the piecemeal ostracism that is occurring ... for our collective benefit, not necessarily for him.
  • From the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny:


  1. Anonymous8:43 pm

    Don't be so quick about the BCP and the Ordinariates. In Canada, most ACs were what can be called Prayer Book Catholics or Prayer Book Plus. This was the use of many of the Anglican Church of Canada parishes which morphed into the Ordinariate. Kilometrage may well differ in other countries.

    1. So Canadian A-Cism was much like American, attached to the Prayer Book. British A-Cism wasn't.

  2. I can assure you that there are plenty of Anglo-Catholics in the British Prayer Book Society.

    1. But in England, Anglo-Catholicism mostly turned into what its opponents thought it was, would-be Roman Catholics. Those who weren't that tended to be Percy Dearmerish liberals, so they're on board with women priests. Like the old high churchmen they believe in something they consider Anglicanism; "we don't need Rome." (Episcopalianism's modern fantasy of a feminist, homosexualist Catholicism; it DOESN'T attract converts from the unchurched.) I'm guessing those are the A-Cs you're referring to. Also, Anglican high church, even when it's liberal, isn't like Catholic liberals; they love our traditional Mass and their own traditional language. (Catholic liberals eradicated Latin; the Church of England and Episcopal Church ended up keeping "thou" versions of services as an option.) Clergy of both sexes and many theological views do 1662 Evensong in England. (Even if it's mostly in cathedrals as performances for Japanese tourists.) Maybe the English Prayer Book Society's that way: not a conservative theological statement like in America (what became the Continuum) but simply part of Anglicans' love for high culture.

    2. There are liberal Anglo-Catholics in the Prayer Book Society, but there are also plenty of conservative Anglo-Catholics, some of whom support Forward in Faith.

      Of course, Anglo-Catholic prayer book fans don't follow the 1662 format strictly and will incorporate authorised and unauthorised deviations.

      But you are right, that many more conservative Anglo-Catholics are Novus Ordo lite. As a life-long non-conformist, I have always wondered what the point of that was. Why dress up as a Catholic when you can be a real Catholic?

    3. Of course, Anglo-Catholic prayer book fans don't follow the 1662 format strictly and will incorporate authorised and unauthorised deviations.

      The equivalent of the American Missal, an unauthorized customization (Tridentine Romanization) of the American 1928 BCP that still had the BCP as its base.

      The first high churchmen after 1559 did the Prayer Book as is, broken canon and all. The early Tractarians continued that; they weren't about ceremonial either. (All these were about defending Anglicanism, not trying to be Roman Catholic but the opposite.) But Anglo-Catholicism was partly from the Romantic movement reacting against the Industrial Revolution and nostalgic for the Middle Ages; when it hooked up with the Gothic Revival going on at the same time, you had the first ritualists, who started doing the BCP dressed up as Sarum (Directorium Anglicanum), arguably following the letter of the Ornaments Rubrics, long ignored. I don't know if they tried to mend the canon yet. The American Prayer Book never had the broken canon, as it was based on the Scottish book. The second generation of ritualists started the imitation of the then-current practices of the Catholic Church that we think of as Anglo-Catholicism.

      Why dress up as a Catholic when you can be a real Catholic?

      Because a lot of those priests were practicing, unrepentant homosexuals; such are staying in the Church of England. (Society of St. Wilfred and St. Hilda, SSWSH = "Swish.") Others were married and adopted the papalist view later; that seems to be the base of the UK ordinariate. The priest who created my first full Anglo-Catholic experience was an American version of that; he had a St. Joseph side altar in the church and promoted the Green Scapular devotion... and had a wife and kids.

    4. The gay tendency has always put me off Anglo-Catholicism as a modern movement.

    5. You're not the only one: Archbishop Peter Robinson and Fr. Dwight Longenecker have said the same. My introduction to Anglo-Catholicism didn't have that problem (or I was innocent enough not to see it) so I didn't know about it until I was already attached to A-Cism, after a few years.

    6. Also:

      Why dress up as a Catholic when you can be a real Catholic?

      From my experience in the '70s and '80s: because Vatican II resulted in the real Catholics hating their own history and culture, throwing it away, so if you wanted to "dress up as a Catholic," often a friendly, largely independent Episcopal or C of E parish seemed your only option, unless you wanted to learn a different culture by going Greek (as in Greek Rite; usually Ukrainian) Catholic.


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