Sunday, May 24, 2015

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

  • Pentecost: Spiritus Domini replevit orbem terrarum, alleluia. Book of Common Prayer translation of the Mass's collect and readings.
  • Margaret Thatcher: If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing. Including being liked! Something the Anglicans have never understood. "Comprehensiveness, or else" (just like what the Anglosphere has become, "the Cathedral" of political correctness) has resulted in less than half of Britain being nominally Anglican, and (honestly, not different from Catholic countries now), few of those go to church or (unlike Americans) believe in God. The English Civil War, the "Enlightenment," and the Industrial Revolution finished the job for the "Reformation." England, still painfully obviously once Catholic, was lost to Christ (John Wesley and the Tractarians being among those trying to win it back for him). Catholics ("the Rrrrromans") became a distrusted minority there (but one in which you could find high church after Vatican II if you were looking for it; thanks to Benedict the Great, Philadelphia has caught up!), although there are now more churchgoing Catholics than churchgoing Anglicans in England; "the Italian mission to the Irish" Polish now. The Episcopal Church tells the world what it wants to hear, but next to nobody goes to it. In my town, after a century they shut down almost seven years ago.
  • The Church of England is required by law to display a complete, accessible Bible in all its places of worship. Obviously of Protestant origin. Conservative Protestants (from evangelical Baptists to Bob Hart Anglicans) can point to that as holding their idea of the church accountable to an unchangeable standard, like we do with church infallibility (which encompasses scripture and papal infallibility); liberal ones would say it enshrines private judgment, as if laity without study can make sense of all the contradictory sex and violence in the Old Testament and the code in some of the New, such as in the Apocalypse/Revelation. Of course they can't, and the liberals' idea of the church claims far more power, really to change scripture, than the Pope does. (Fr. Hunwicke: the Pope's just a caretaker.)
  • Damian Thompson: Gay marriage will split the Catholic Church. Of course the church is indivisible; people leave. Per the creeds, there can't be two true churches (the Orthodox are still an estranged part of us, still having bishops and the Mass). Catholics have a Magisterium whose teachings on homosexuality can’t be changed without the Church deciding that it has the authority to scrap them. At which point some traditional Catholics will up sticks to the modern equivalent of Avignon and we’ll have two popes. Or three, if dear Benedict XVI is still alive. The church, even the Pope, doesn't have that authority. (The Anglicans think they do!) The Pope's office, not his person, shares in the church's infallibility, so Benedict the Great still being alive is irrelevant; he is no longer Pope (but the church can re-elect him, right?). Thompson seems to agree with me that the sedevacantist scenario can happen. Right now, we're not even close. (Thanks to Benedict, the English-speaking Catholic world is better off than we ended up under Paul VI and John Paul II.) At Catholic Defcon 2, if the local church stops teaching the faith once delivered, that would come into play. If the See of Peter is vacated by apostasy and/or the powers that be (the New World Order, the Cathedral) puts in an antipope, but the diocese (the basic unit of the church: your lawful bishop; your parish priest is his stand-in) still teaches the faith, I think you can stay. If not, go to the SSPX. Defcon 1 is persecution, such as under the Soviets or ISIS; we would do what Ukrainian Catholics did in that land: go underground.
  • Anglo-Catholic alumni note: déjà vu. The SSPX scenario is like what Bishop Chambers and those other good souls founding Continuing Anglicanism (not really Anglicanism but '50s American Anglo-Catholicism as a church unto itself) were trying to do, thinking the Archbishop of Canterbury had their back for saving Catholic order (they thought he'd drop the Episcopalians for them). If the Anglo-Catholic Episcopal dioceses put their money where their mouth was and left, as the last three did 30 years later over homosexualism, maybe? Moot. (And those three dioceses are in a denomination that ordains women, and an ex-Catholic is Bishop of Quincy. What's the point?)
  • The future of God. Increasingly godless Americans vs. historically and newly conservative, Orthodox Russians? I hope the Russians are a new Constantine, at least for themselves. Let's bring them back into the church one step at a time, honestly, not trying to break them up or of course trick them. Stay out of the war in the Ukraine. They would be a non-Novus Ordo boon to the church, helping to clear that out of here.


  1. The Church of Russia is the state church. Russians are similar to Anglicans. We are English therefore we are CofE, we are Russian therefore we are CofR. The Church of Russia affiliation is less religious and more national. The Russians wanting a real religious revival are a small minority in contrast. Religion takes its seat behind the Russian State. Everyone who wants a great Russia wants Orthodoxy. The Orthodox are known for their dislike of formal education and catechism. The connection between Orthodoxy and Russia is more fluid than stable. It is a fluid which takes on any shape which the Russian State wants it to take.

    1. The Church of Russia is the state church.

      Maybe in practice (not necessarily bad) but not officially.

      Russians are similar to Anglicans. We are English therefore we are CofE, we are Russian therefore we are CofR.

      In that, yes. Lots of countries are like that. Certainly the Greeks, for whom Orthodoxy is the state church, and even the irreligious Swedes, for many of whom being Church of Sweden is like being a citizen, even though they never attend.

      The Orthodox are known for their dislike of formal education and catechism.

      Not so sure about that. They adopted scholasticism and catechisms by the 1800s, only using our methods against us, claiming to be the church. The modern fashionable academic Orthodox don't like that, attacking it as part of their version of anti-Westernism. Hmm. Contraception and maybe women deacons are OK, but rational thought such as the scholastics is evil Western influence. I smell a rat.

      The connection between Orthodoxy and Russia is more fluid than stable. It is a fluid which takes on any shape which the Russian State wants it to take.

      Good point.

  2. The level of catechism and religious knowledge amongst Greek Catholics and Orthodox is the butt of many jokes amongst Polish Roman Catholic clergy. Even though the Orthodox started to print catechisms and accept the Schoolmen's methods, the majority of Orthodox were against Catholic style catechism. There is a joke, that once a Catholic priest entered an Orthodox church, where he saw a woman with child. There was an icon of St. Michael the Archangel crushing Satan. The women said to her child, "baby, kiss Bozia's tale." Bozia is an affectionate title for God among Slavs. "Kiss God's tale, my son" ;)


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