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Thursday, December 20, 2007

An Early Christmas Present

Fr. Kimel's blog Pontifications is back. God is good.

From the most recent posting:

I do not fear the God who is Holy Trinity. I fear my own freedom to turn from this God, to hide myself in an impenetrable egotism and despair which will forever close me to the roar of his love. I fear that my self-will will ultimately triumph over my desire for the supreme and ultimate Good. I fear that I am becoming, have become, a person who declares to infinite Love, “My will, not thine, be done.” I fear also the purifying suffering that I must endure, both in this life and beyond, to free me from my bondage to self and the goods of this world. But I do not fear the God of Jesus Christ. I know that if God does truly exist, then at the moment of my death he will meet me as the Crucified, still bearing the marks of his sacrifice on his hands. Judge and Judged, Priest and Victim, absolver of sins and victor over death—to this Jesus I entrust my future; to his Father I commend my spirit. Amen.

Amen. Amen.

And the Point Being, Your Grace?

From the Telegraph:

The Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday that the Christmas story of the Three Wise Men was nothing but a 'legend'.

Dr Rowan Williams has claimed there was little evidence that the Magi even existed and there was certainly nothing to prove there were three of them or that they were kings.

He said the only reference to the wise men from the East was in Matthew's gospel and the details were very vague.

Dr Williams said: "Matthew's gospel says they are astrologers, wise men, priests from somewhere outside the Roman Empire, that's all we're really told. It works quite well as legend."He said the only reference to the wise men from the East was in Matthew's gospel and the details were very vague.

(Thanks to Bro. G)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This Holiday Season, Don't Forget Universal Pre-K!

Update: Banished Child of Eve writes, "Normally one puts the name of the gift recipient on the card, not the contents of the gift box. Otherwise, the card is at cross-purposes with the wrapping paper. Possibly Hillary has little experience giving gifts."

Excellent point, Eve! Also note most of these "gifts" are actually vast, expensive entitlement programs of unproved merit, to be paid for by the giftees--oh, except for Hillary's "gift" of surrender in Iraq.



It makes a perfect stocking stuffer!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Run for Your Lives

An Episcopalian writes:

To talk theologically [sic] about women's right to choose is to talk about justice, equality, health and wholeness, and respect for the full humanity and autonomy of every woman. Typically, as moral theologians, we discuss the value of potential life (the fetus) as against the value of lived life - the mature and relational life of a woman deciding her capacity to continue or terminate a pregnancy. And we believe that, in general, the value of that actual life outweighs the value of the potential.

Well so what, you may ask, how does the self-centered twaddle above differ from what spews forth everyday from the Episcopal Church? Here's how: the woman who wrote it is a "priest" and she herself had an abortion while studying for the priesthood; a result of a roll in the hay with a fellow of whom she said "was not someone I would have married" and not "a candidate for fatherhood." She does not regret her decision. She had a kid earlier with her now ex-husband but chose to abort the next one, explaining: "Both choices were choices for life: in the first instance, I chose for the life of the unborn child; in the second, I chose for my own vocational life, my economic stability, and my mental and emotional health and wholeness."

These are the narcissists who become priests these days in the Episcopal Church. I should think this woman "priest," along with ex-governor of New Jersey and turnpike restroom aficionado, James "Knees" Mcgreevey, now a candidate for the Episcopal priesthood, ought to persuade any remaining orthodox Episcopalians still wavering to flee. Can anyone now doubt the institution is finished?

(h/t StandFirm)

How it Came to This

On December 14th, the Archbishop of Canterbury issued his annual Advent Letter to the Anglican Communion in which he stated (if I may distill it, boldly and crassly, to a few words): "The Communion is in a mess, something should be done but I'm not sure what. Whatever is done, however, nothing more may be asked of the Episcopalians, they've already yielded as much as they can. To ask for more would be most unfair." The Rev. Canon J. Gary L'Hommedieu of the Cathedral of St. Luke, Orlando, FL. has read the letter and writing on VirtueOnLine, explains lucidly how the Archbishop's letter betrays all that is wrong with Anglicanism and why her prospects for survival are dim indeed. Some excerpts:

The long bluff of the Anglican Communion has been called. There is not a conformity of faith, but at any given moment one might observe parallel expressions of faith. Thus, while we may be joint partners in specific ventures or rejoice in a common heritage, we have no basis to call ourselves a Communion. We are simply a gathering of national or regional corporations that share some things in common -- almost by coincidence. We may cheer each other on, but does that make us a Communion?

///

Communal Anglicanism has come to the birthing stool and given up the ghost. If it was ever anything besides the religious mode of the British Empire (before the sun finally set on it), Anglicanism has devolved into a set of rubrics. The genius of the English Reformation is that it was not a confession, like the great Lutheran and Reformed confessions, but a permissive settlement in which the catholic heritage of Christendom might be interpreted within specified parameters. This free acting out of a common heritage is apparent in the construction of the 1979 American Prayer Book. However, the "permissiveness" is not now that of the Common Prayer tradition, but of the 70's American popular culture.

///

...When Gene Robinson's election was approved, this was the trumping of holy writ by the mandate of culture. No amount of acknowledging the good intentions of the national church community could fudge this.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has tried to do just that -- fudge the crisis of Anglican self-definition. Perhaps he has done so with all the best intentions, or then again, perhaps with sheer political calculation. He is clever enough make a go of either. The one thing he has certainly done in his long awaited letter is bear witness to the self-validating quality of personal experience -- and that of those who otherwise would be disciplined! -- and he has declared their experience inviolable. Experience is now the one transcendent reality remaining after the disappearance of Anglicanism.

L'Hommedieu's essay (and the ensuing comments) is well-worth reading in its entirety, by Anglicans and Catholics alike: Anglicans, so they may understand why that noble Church was nonetheless fundamentally flawed; that she could survive the many controversies over the centuries (albeit often by resort to famous Anglican fudging) so long as the combatants were agreed on the basics of Scripture and tradition, but is utterly helpless against the present assailants who reject even those. Catholics should read it to be reminded once again be on guard against those innovators in Holy Mother Church who would be pleased to follow the Anglicans. They know all to well they are constrained by Pope and Magisterium so work non-stop undermining and thwarting them.

The devil is patient and persevering.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Beers Motel: Christians Check In But They Don't Check Out



Deposition testimony from Motel Manager & Chief Exterminator David Booth Beers, Chancellor of the Episcopal Church:

Question: Does a parish have the authority under any circumstances to withdraw from the Diocese?

Beers: No.

Question: Does the parish have any authority to decide to be part of a different diocese?

Beers: No.

Question: Does the Diocese have any authority to withdraw from the Episcopal Church?

Beers: No.

Question: Are there any circumstances under which the parish would have the authority to withdraw from the Diocese?

Beers: Not as a parish. The congregants could leave.

Question: Are there any circumstances under which a diocese could withdraw from the Episcopal Church?

Beers: No. Oh, with consent. I'm sorry.

Question: You're talking about without consent.

Beers Without consent.

Question: On its own, unilaterally?

Beers: Right. My answer stands.

Question: So if, for example, the -- the National Church would adopt a non-Christian faith and declare holy war on the United States, the Diocese would not have the authority to withdraw?

Beers: No. [emph.added]

Question: And the same thing, if the National church would adopt a non-Christian faith and declare holy war on the United States, a parish would not have the authority to withdraw, is that ---

Beers: That's correct.

(h/t VirtueOnLine)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Department of Redundancy Department

Kentucky Fried Chicken is promoting a new offering called the "Festive Feast" and it's chock full of poultry chicken.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Safe Harbor

Update: The Common Cause Partners, an umbrella group of various disaffected Anglican organizations, including Forward in Faith, an Anglo-Catholic association, have just announced "December 18, 2007 will mark the formal beginning of a 'separate ecclesiastical structure' in North America." This is all to the good, it will provide refuge for all those Christian Episcopalians whose dioceses have no intention of leaving. The concerns I express below about the fate of Anglo-Catholics still stand, however. (h/t the Newbie Anglican)

Over the weekend came the heartening news the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin (Central California), lead by the estimable +John-David Schofield, voted overwhelmingly at its annual convention, for the second and final time, to disassociate itself from the Episcopal Church, making it the first diocese to hightail it from that woebegone institution. As of Saturday, December 8th, the Diocese of San Joaquin is no longer part of the Episcopal Church but is aligned with the colorfully named Province of the Southern Cone, which consists of Anglican parishes found in the southern half of South America (the pointy part). The archbishop of that province, the Most Reverend Gregory Venables (now there's a fine Anglican name), only a couple of months ago extended an invitation to disaffected Episcopal Dioceses in the United States to come unto his fold. We may expect to see within the next year or so three more dioceses, Quincy (Illinois) and Fort Worth, both Anglo-Catholic, and Pittsburgh, evangelical, to follow the San Joaquians to South America. That may seem a good solution for those few Episcopal dioceses remaining which profess Christianity but there is, unfortunately, a fatal flaw and that is the possible inclusion of the Diocese of Pittsburgh; less because it is evangelical than that it permits the ordination of women, unlike the other three dioceses. Indeed, its ordinary, +Robert Duncan (who is a good and decent man), has stated he has no problem with it.

But it is still a problem. Back in the 'seventies, women's ordination was the camel's nose under the tent, the means by which the innovators were able to establish residency in the Episcopal Church. Once inside the host, which was a healthy and thriving institution, they set about the work of its destruction. The Province of the Southern Cone does not permit the ordination of women but by inviting the Diocese of Pittsburgh to join it, it imports the same virus that is leading to the demise of the Episcopal Church. Pittsburgh may claim it is "orthodox" in its beliefs but permitting the ordination of women betrays it as latitudinarian, willing to jettison those parts of orthodoxy that offend contemporary mores. His Grace Venables ought to remember the whole mess began in 1976, in Minneapolis, when the General Convention of the Episcopal Church voted to make legal the illegal ordination of women that had taken place a few years earlier. It was the beginning of the end.

The three Anglo-Catholic dioceses that have left or will leave the Episcopal Church no doubt concur with the Holy Father John Paul II when he wrote :

Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.

How do you compromise with that? You can't and sharing digs with those who think they can dooms the arrangement from the onset as it does, in time, the entire Anglican Communion. Bishop Schofield and his diocese, as well other Anglo-Catholic bishops and flocks who flee, should keep that in mind and, as I have written before, come to regard the Southern Cone as a most welcome but temporary refuge; where they may regroup and be restored before heading off, one more time, to the only safe and logical destination left these days for Anglo-Catholic conservatives.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Cardinal Kasper: "Wouldn't You Rather Swim the Bosphorus?"

The Catholic Herald (UK) reports that

One of the Vatican’s most senior cardinals has dismissed the idea that a breakaway group of Anglicans might be received into the Catholic Church en masse – despite Benedict XVI’s personal support for such a move. Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, told The Catholic Herald: “It’s not our policy to bring that many Anglicans to Rome.” The cardinal’s comments refer to the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), a rebel group which claims to represent 400,000 people. Its bishops sent a letter to Rome last month requesting “full, corporate and sacramental union”.

But the bishops did not send their letter to Cardinal Kasper. Instead they addressed it to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), where, it is understood, they expected a warmer reception.

It has been claimed that 60 Anglican parishes have joined the rebel group since their request became public. Vatican insiders say that Benedict XVI is scrutinising the matter very closely and believes that the TAC is setting out a path that other Anglicans will follow.

Cardinal Kasper may speak more hopefully than descriptively: it is hardly in his and other liberal Catholics' best interests for a large influx of Anglican traditionalists being received into the Holy Catholic Church, especially now, knowing most of them are hardly disposed toward the post-Vatican II radical reforms of the past thirty years. For at the same time the Roman Church was going through the wrenching and destructive reforms which she is only now beginning to shake off and reverse, so too, the Anglican Church, particularly in England and in North America, has undergone similarly destructive innovations. The outcome of the battle for the Anglican Communion as a whole, while not favorable, is still not determined but for England the battle is all but lost and for North America it is lost, decisively.

Weary Anglicans who flee the heresies of the past thirty years and relievedly embrace the full Catholic Faith and her undisputed sacraments, will cast a jaundiced eye upon those in Holy Mother Church who insist she must take the same broad path the Episcopalians and others took, leading to their perdition. Anglicans who pope may be battle weary but they are also battle hardened and are not likely to stand by (as many of us did in the early years of the assault on our former Church) to see a similar fate befall the One True Church, indeed they will fight more fiercely than ever. Innovators in the Catholic Church have good reason to fear and lobby against their en masse reception for they will present formidable and spirited opposition to their heterodoxy.

(h/t Creative Minority Report.)