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Monday, July 30, 2007

Motu Perpetuo

Matthew at Shrine of the Holy Whapping has posted a series of neologisms; egregious puns using the word "Motu" (as in Motu Proprio). My favorite is "Motumouth" which he defines as an "elderly priest who can still do Low Mass in ten minutes flat, with a homily thrown in as a bonus." Ba-DUM-bum!

It brings to mind Hilaire Belloc who insisted Low Mass could be celebrated in that short time (no doubt true when done in Latin). Belloc attended Mass daily, often painfully hungover, and staggering into church could be heard to mutter, "Oh, what we must endure for our holy religion." If the unfortunate priest celebrating Mass that morning proved to be a laggard and went over the prescribed ten minutes, Belloc would ostentatiously stand up, pull his watch from his pocket and stare at the dial.

(Thanks to William Bryk and the New York Press).

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ite Missa Est

In light of the recent motu proprio: Summorum Pontificum recently issued by Pope Benedict XVI (and also the fact my present church is being led by substitute teachers the rest of the summer), I played hooky Sunday and attended a Latin Mass at St. Agnes Church on East 43rd Street. It was a joyous experience. It was wonderful to see in an RC church orthodox practices Anglo-Catholics take for granted such as the communion rail and ad orientem. It was wonderful to hear chant intoned expertly and the congregation responding enthusiastically. It was also wonderful to hear the Latin words (when they were meant to be heard) and with the help of the missal and a veteran Catholic friend it was not at all difficult to understand what was going on. One thing that struck me is how quiet much of the Latin celebration is, especially during the Canon. While I suppose that quietness is to what critics of the old rite are referring when complaining of priests muttering at the altar, to me it is absolutely appropriate. If one truly believes he is experiencing the actual presence of Christ an appropriate expression of awe is in order: shaking hands and chatting up your neighbor is not, reverential silence is.

I wonder how many of those frequently vociferous critics of the Latin Rite have actually experienced it and if they have, how recently. I find it hard to believe any of them, were they to attend a Latin Mass at St. Agnes, would still be opposed to it. Then again, religious innovators, in their zeal, are deaf and blind to the beautiful so I suppose it's possible. Look what they have done to much of Anglican worship and gotten away with it. Look also what they have done to Roman Catholic worship but thanks to His Holiness, may not get away with it much longer. Benedicamus Domino.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Next time you hear or read snide comments from certain western quarters about "polygamists" and "primitive animists" among orthodox African Primates, you will want to keep in mind an essay by the Archbishop of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi in First Things. Some excerpts:

At the recent consecration of the fourth bishop of the Karamoja diocese, the preacher was the bishop of a neighboring diocese whose people have historically been at odds with the Karimajong (principally because of cattle rustling). At the end of his sermon, the preacher appealed for peace between the two tribes and began singing a song of peace. One by one, members of the congregation began singing. By the end of the song, the attending bishops, members of Parliament, and Karimajong warriors were all in the aisles dancing . . .

[T]he African tradition of polygamy and divorce at will left many women neglected and often destitute. The biblical teaching of marriage between one man and one woman in a loving, lifelong relationship liberated not only women but also the institution of marriage and family . . .

And finally:

Martyrdom, however, is not a thing of the past. As recently as 1977, the archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Janani Luwum, was martyred at the hands of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. Archbishop Luwum spoke out boldly against the injustices and atrocities of Amin. This, however, ushered in a swift and merciless reaction from Amin. The archbishop’s home was plundered during a 1:30 a.m. raid on February 5, 1977. This brought a piercing censure of Amin from the Ugandan House of Bishops. Church leaders were summoned to Kampala and then ordered to leave, one by one. Luwum turned to Bishop Festo Kivengere and said: “They are going to kill me. I am not afraid.”

On February 16, 1977, Amin had Archbishop Luwum arrested on trumped-up charges of treason. Thrown into a cell with several other political prisoners, the archbishop said, “Let us pray.” Then they were taken to Amin himself, brutally beaten, and shot to death. “While the opportunity is there, I preach the Gospel with all my might, and my conscience is clear before God that I have not sided with the present government which is utterly self-seeking,” Janani Luwum wrote. “I have been threatened many times. Whenever I have the opportunity I have told the president the things the churches disapprove of. God is my witness.”

Orthodox Anglican Churches in much of Africa are quite reformist-Protestant and I cannot always agree with their expression of the Faith. That said, can anyone doubt +Orombi and his brothers and sisters in Christ are genuine, heartfelt and inspiring witnesses for Him? Read it all.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Why Do They Hate Themselves?

Many of us were heartened recently learning of the utter failure of Al Gore and Company's "Live Earth" extravaganza, a world-wide series of concerts of over-the-hill millionaire rockers who, while using gazillions of watts of electricity, sang their old, all too familiar tunes and scolded those foolish enough to buy tickets to the silliness over their shameful and wasteful ways.

Hardly any news there, Ms. Barbra Streisand has been engaging in such rank hypocrisy on her website for years. Mark Steyn, however, in a typically droll account of the flop concert series, illustrates further the wackadoodle world of environmentalists by quoting UK Prof. John Guillebaud (who enjoys the singular title of Professor Emeritus of Family Planning and Reproductive Health at University College, London) urging Albion, in order to reduce global warming--sorry, it's climate change these days--to cut back on her births by the rate of one kid per family. Britain's fertility rate at present is 1.8 children per couple. To maintain the present population requires a rate of 2.1 per couple so not only is the learned professor urging the suicide of the British nation, he wishes she would look slippy about it.

There is something unnerving about the enviros despising their own species. Since most of them seem also to subscribe to Marxist notions of redistribution of wealth, I wonder if it might be a corollary of the hatred of those who succeed in free markets, i.e. the species that has come out on top in the animal kingdom has done so at the expense of the lower orders and must therefore be punished. On the other hand, environmentalism might also be likened to a crude sort of religion, one where salvation is possible for no one; Calvinists who don't believe in God.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

From the Society Pages

Comes word from Dr. Mabuse the joyous news of nuptials between Mrs. Jane Felix-Browne of Cheshire, England, a 51 year old grandma and Mr. Omar Osama bin Laden, son of Mr. and Mrs. Osama bin Laden (which Mrs. not specified) of a cave somewhere, 27 and eligible bachelor (sort of: he only had one wife at the time). The new Mrs. bin Laden is the old-fashioned, Christian type: while she's had five previous husbands, she's had them only one at a time. Mr. bin Laden is (ironically) in the scrap metal business. The happy couple were married recently in Egypt and the blushing groom has applied, not surprisingly, for a visa to visit England.


I think young Omar should expand his horizons a bit. Since he's already gaming the system to get entry to the UK, why doesn't he shoot for the moon and the good ol' U. S. of A. as well and find himself an aging American bride, too? I have the perfect catch for him: Cynthia Sheehan. Not only is credulous Cynthia available, she's threatening to run against right-wing reactionary Nancy Pelosi for the 8th Congressional District of California. Since that district includes San Francisco, she stands a chance of winning. If young Omar manages to bag Sheehan and she makes it to the halls of Congress, why he'll be sitting pretty indeed.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Once to Every Man and Nation . . .

On Saturday, July 7, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed, thirty-seven years after their chronological demise, the 'sixties are finally over in the Roman Catholic Church. In a motu proprio, "Summorum Pontificum" His Holiness lifted most restrictions on use of the 1962 Missal. Not only will every priest be able to celebrate the Mass using it, he will be expected to do so should the faithful in his parish request it and will have to answer to higher authorities should he decline their request. While this edict will not necessarily be the silver bullet to the folk and clown Mass, new-age mush, dreadful music and sloppy liturgy found in so many Catholic Churches both here and abroad, it does serve notice to all Catholics in the future the Holy Father expects serious, proper and grownup worship to be available in every Catholic Church from September 14th onward. This motu proprio is a singular and propitious event in modern Church history.

The Papal edict is good news for all traditional worshipers but at the same time should provide cause for thought and even consternation among orthodox Anglo-Catholics. In as much orthodox Anglo-Catholics eschew the radical innovations in the Episcopal Church of the past thirty years, the ordination of women and the spoliation of the Prayer Book being the most egregious examples of many, the recent news from Rome gives rise to a question: given the deplorable and ever deteriorating state of the Episcopal Church, why should an orthodox Anglo-Catholic remain within her embrace rather than seek reception into the Holy Catholic Church? The time has come for all orthodox Anglo-Catholics to face up to the fact though we are Catholics in a very liberal (and, sadly, dying) Protestant church, owing to our undeniably glorious liturgical and musical heritage we hesitate embracing the fullness of the Faith by going over to Rome. Without visiting the idolatrous nature of such obstinacy we should bear in mind this past weekend, whether he was aware of it or not, the Holy Father extended an invitation to us to reconsider our reticence.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Pin a Medal on the Man

From the (Scotland) Daily Record:


A hero cabbie who took on the Glasgow Airport terror suspects told yesterday how he booted one of them in the privates.

Alex McIlveen, 45, kicked the man, whose body was in flames, so hard that he tore a tendon in his foot.

But he said last night: "He didn't even flinch. I couldn't believe he didn't go down.

"A doctor told me later I'd damaged a tendon in my foot."

The burned suspect was named last night as Khalid Ahmed, a Lebanese doctor.

He is critically ill with burns at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, where he is believed to have worked.

As Christians we must deplore violence but there are exceptions. I believe this is one of them.

Thanks to Bro. Rob

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

  • John Hancock
  • Samuel Adams
  • John Adams
  • Robert Treat Paine
  • Elbridge Gerry

New Hampshire

  • Josiah Bartlett
  • William Whipple
  • Matthew Thornton

Rhode Island

  • Stephen Hopkins
  • William Ellery


  • Roger Sherman
  • Samuel Huntington
  • William Williams
  • Oliver Wolcott

New York

  • William Floyd
  • Philip Livingston
  • Francis Lewis
  • Lewis Morris

New Jersey

  • Abraham Clark
  • John Hart
  • Francis Hopkinson
  • Richard Stockton
  • John Witherspoon


  • George Clymer
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Robert Morris
  • John Morton
  • George Ross
  • Benjamin Rush
  • James Smith
  • George Taylor
  • James Wilson


  • Thomas McKean
  • George Read
  • Caesar Rodney


  • Charles Carrol
  • Samuel Chase
  • William Paca
  • Thomas Stone


  • Carter Braxton
  • Benjamin Harrison
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Francis Lightfoot Lee
  • Richard Henry Lee
  • Thomas Nelson, Jr.
  • George Wythe

North Carolina

  • Joseph Hewes
  • William Hooper
  • John Penn

South Carolina

  • Thomas Heyward, Jr.
  • Thomas Lynch, Jr.
  • Arthur Middleton
  • Edward Rutledge


  • Button Gwinnett
  • Lyman Hall
  • George Walton