Sunday, February 12, 2023

Political canonizations

Insight I got at a recent Sunday-morning after-service church coffee time (often my breakfast) from one of the few parishioners on the same page as me on matters ecclesiastical (we have our differences but mad respect): both the canonizations of Josaphat (Kuntsevich) of Polotsk on the Catholic side and of Alexis Toth on the Orthodox one were politically motivated nasty statements about a rival church (people who switched churches and/or took people with them), not about figures the people were devoted to. In what I call the "infallible Sportsmen's Club" (the bar in the church basement or hall), my view of the church in down-home Pennsylvania and Ohio, the aging Slavic parishioners are devoted to St. Nicholas and St. Panteleimon, etc., not to these.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

What's so great about the traditional Mass?

Suscipe, Sancte Pater...

Fr. Stravinskas clearly didn't really want the traditonal Latin Mass but high-church Novus Ordo, which Interwebs Catholics have dubbed reverent Novus Ordo. Catholic Anglicanism made me so "high-church" it is. Beware official churchmen who talk about "enriching" or "accompanying" you. Meaning "we're going to enrich the f*ck out of you." Anyway:

Why besides preference and nostalgia does the TLM matter? There are sincere Catholics who think: we have the teachings and the sacraments so what's your problem? Why is this old Roman/Gallican mashup missal better?
  • The Mass is both a gathering of the faithful to pray together and learn the Bible and the continuation and fulfillment of the Jewish temple, Christ's one sacrifice being pleaded on our altars. The TLM's generations of evolved ceremonial — a form of Christian community too — drive that point home, that this is a solemn place where sacrifice is offered.
  • 2- and 3-year reading cycles don't work. People retain what they hear and read in the course of one year. They forget things they read and hear only every two or three years.
  • Often it's not so much what the Novus Ordo says but what it doesn't say. So much was edited out, including from the readings. Because like Cranmer, Bugnini didn't believe in much Catholic teaching anymore.
  • It's strong Christian community; people have prayed this way for literally many generations. Similarly, the rosary.
The new service is a Mass, because the church's teachings can't change so that authority is implicitly behind it. But the old is better. Latin is nice — international, precise, unchanging in meaning, a gateway to the classical world, and pretty — but this is not about Latin.

Can the TLM be enriched? Yes, without a rewrite. The goal of the old liturgical movement, which many young trads have reached, yes, thanks to the example of the Novus Ordo: active participation. Congregations Gregorian-chanting: goals. Just as I like to say, there was room for Catholic reform but the 1960s weren't it.

It's also what Western Rite Orthodoxy usually resembles and would be more like if it were honest, living up to the words of John of Shanghai and San Francisco: Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must be Eastern. The West was fully Orthodox for a thousand years, and her venerable liturgy is far older than any of her heresies.

In Lucca, Italy: Et introibo ad altare Dei.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Real Catholic renewal, false religion, cultural sellout in the Ukraine war, and more

  • True reform: Cavadini, Healy, and Weinandy admit that many traditional Latin Massers are fulfilling Vatican II's objective of "active participation," thinking it's a victory for them (C, H, & W) and trying to rub it in. Trying to call TLMers hypocrites. Rather, I say: wonderful! Mission accomplished. Renewal! It is the Novus Ordo being a good influence on the TLM, but these writers do describe the legitimate liturgical movement before the council, which did the same thing; this has fulfilled its goal, to teach Roman Catholic laity to know, love, and use the traditional services to the fullest. In other words, to have Catholic renewal, you didn't have to rewrite the worship services. So Vatican II was unnecessary. The TLM I used to go to on Sundays is a dialogue Sung Mass. So, according to C, H, & W, if you actively participate at the TLM you're just a "self-selected" snob (Cardinal Roche: those damned kids and their computer web!); you must use the worship service "intentionally structured to elicit and emphasize active participation." The venerable Thomas Day, the great explainer of the American Romish Church, good, bad, old, and new, has mentioned what I've seen, that many rank-and-file Romans don't make a sound in church, barely putting up with C, H, & W's Spirit-filled worship. And NOW who's worshipping religious form?
    • C, H, & W go charismatic on us, like the protestantizing ones in the 1970s: use the new Mass exclusively or you're blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. "The Spirit’s work of renewing the liturgy ... a defiant denial of the Spirit’s activity," etc. Here's a rebuttal from Peter Kwasniewski at 1 Peter 5: Games people play with the Holy Spirit.
    • When that doesn't work, the C, H, & W types can always fall back on a good-old-fashioned threat: obey! Do it or you're out of the church, not Catholic anymore. Implied: you're going to hell! Nothing on the ground has changed for me ecclesiastically, such as the Orthodox rite I live in, which I guess isn't really Spirit-filled because it's old, or maybe it's part-time Spirit-filled when the Romans are trying to be ecumenical or something, but, because I won't help suppress the TLM, if Bergoglio or a successor and his crew bother to kick me off the team, so be it.
  • Bergoglio appointee Robert McElroy's piece is a perfect example of present-day counterfeit Christianity. No more "sin no more, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me"; edited out. Stop harping on sexual sin: pretty convenient when your priests are infamous for chasing teenage boys. Then he thinks throwing one reference to the Trinity on it will fool Christians. The rest of it often does because it still rips off Christian ethics. And this gets rewarded with a red hat. Bergoglio and his wrecking crew are trying to destroy the church. This is no drill.
    • From the good Fr. Z(uhlsdorf): Just the facts, ma'am: how to make a short good old-fashioned confession. Kind and number of sins. Deep dives, conversations, are spiritual direction, eldership and spiritual fathers in Orthodox lingo, where it's really a monastic thing; something like most people "living in the world" I don't do. Confessors and queues don't have time to do that; make an appointment for it. I've found that keeping my distance from priests works best for me, certainly in the Catholic Church. Anyway, yes, examining your conscience to sincerely confess all grave matter in thought, word, and deed (yes, I just quoted Cranmer's Prayer Book), even if you fail but are sincere about sinning no more, is the golden way, the King's Highway, classic Catholicism; Orthodoxy too though they don't have the helpful distinction between mortal and venial sin. Their old school is to confess everything about once a year to receive Communion once a year or hardly more. Anyway, this is a staple of Catholicism that the Cardinal McElroys want to get rid of, leaving you with... mainline Protestantism, churches people don't go to anymore. Christianity's daughter religion among the elite and social climbers, wokeness, uses Christian ethics (so it sounds and feels right) but doesn't need churches. The schools and mass media will do.
  • Yep, Christianity's numbers are falling, especially mainline Protestantism. Normie Catholics are assimilating into extinction, Spirit-filled Novus Ordo services notwithstanding. Shane Schaetzel brings up two other interesting things. One, mainline Protestants are nicer than most Catholics about keeping old-fashioned worship services for people who want them; none of Bergoglio's or C, H, & W's "Obey the Spirit or go to hell!" vicious nonsense. (Fr. Feeney with crappy guitar hymns!) I'd like to hear them turn parochial and bigoted on a dime: "Oh, yeah? Well, I don't care! They're not Catholic and neither will you be." As Thomas Day has mentioned, Episcopalians know this worship option as Rite I, the services that still have thous and thees (ad orientem is okay too), on which the Anglican Use ordinariate Mass (looks and feels like the TLM) is based. Romans such as C, H, & W, and their Pope for that matter (but not all Roman bishops), are foaming-at-the-mouth anti-Rite I options: TLM and "reverent Novus Ordo." Second, Schaetzel's plan to keep the kids, sound doctrine, a traditional worship option, and relevance to the kids without compromise/pandering, sounds exactly like Benedict XVI's hermeneutic of continuity and my understanding of what Catholicism is until Bergoglio started tearing it down. "Hey, man; kids are turned off by your dogmatism." Okay, boomer. They don't take your church seriously either.
  • From NLM: no, Africa's not a Vatican II success story so no, contra Professor Biggest Beans at Villa-No-No University, you're not a racist for seeing that the traditional Mass is better. Inculturation is fine but anyway.
  • Temperamentally conservative churches are nice — not cults — but not enough. Rod Dreher: I can imagine that at least some of the conservatives are not at all ideological. When I was growing up in a Methodist church in the 1970s and early 1980s, you could call it conservative, but its conservatism had almost nothing to do with doctrine or politics, and everything to do with the fact that the congregation cherished stability, and wanted things to stay the same. I went through a brief period of Evangelical intensity when I was twelve and thirteen, and asked my mom to take me to worship at the local Baptist church, which I believed took doctrine more seriously. It wasn't that our family's Methodist parish was liberal, but rather that it avoided taking stands on anything, and folks seemed to like it that way. Its conservatism, at least during my childhood, was entirely temperamental. Point is, the term "conservative" can mean different things. The Episcopal parish I grew up with was like that as are the old ethnic Orthodox churches, the "Sportsmen's Clubs" (bar in the hall) I like. Sitting ducks for liberals to take over, as has happened to mainline Protestantism.
  • Meanwhile, in the Ukraine, the global American empire and its NATO vassals' proxy war on Russia has an ecclesiastical/cultural component. Both the Patriarchate of Constantinople's fake Orthodox church there — the real one's under Moscow — and the Uniates of Galicia, the Ukrainian Catholic Church (in the name of Vatican II on religious liberty and, related, American democracy), are spiting Russia and turning their backs on the country's culture by adopting the "Revised Julian Calendar," functionally the same as the Gregorian one, so Christmas is moving to Dec. 25, etc. I think they're keeping the Orthodox date for Easter, as most new-calendar Orthodox do. (The articles are in Ukrainian; shouldn't be a problem for your browser to translate.) Calendars are rules, not doctrine. This move is reminiscent of the Novus Ordo. Apparently "I stand with Ukraine" is really more Coca-colonialism; "let's remake the Ukraine in America's image." Today church allegiance and the church calendar, tomorrow the flag of many colors over the Kremlin. Reminds me of that Pizza Hut commercial with Gorbachev in it: in the Western narrative, East Slavs are dumb drunks running a gas station, willing to sell out their culture for some American trinkets. I wonder if the Ukraine's American puppet government (since 2014) will switch the country to the Latin alphabet. That'll show 'em. I used to like to say that most don't know that the Catholic Church has at least two Christmases. Not in Bergoglio's dream world of a "unitary" rite.
  • From Pastor Peters, one of the good guys, in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod: know what your church teaches.
  • Video: The FBI et al. are blacklisting traditional Catholics as a "hate group." Like that article in The Atlantic about their scary assault rosaries. New England Yankee Puritanism lives on in wokeness. More from the National Review (yeah, I know; don't trust normie Republicans).