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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Midnight Mass

This Christmas Eve, at midnight, I had the great pleasure of attending Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord at St. Mary's Church in Norwalk, Connecticut: Extraordinary Form with Mass setting by Tomás Luis de Victoria sung by an expert choir. This was my first experience of Midnight Mass celebrated in accordance with the 1962 Missal and, God willing, it will be the way I observe Christmas for the rest of my days.

St. Mary's Parish is a leader in restoring the traditional Latin Mass to Catholic worship, even to the extent of making extensive "re-restorations" to their historic church (e.g. restoring the altar rail and moving out the free-standing altar) to accommodate its celebration. Amen, amen.

Photo from the website of the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny, where many other photos of this celebration may be found.

Yellow Peril

From NH Journal:
Outgoing [New Hampshire] Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter implied the Chinese cost her re-election in November and secretly funneled money to help her Republican opponent Frank Guinta during a post-election interview with ABC News.

“They’re in the halls of Congress everywhere,” Shea-Porter said in the interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl. “[A]nd it means, for example, that you sit on a committee and you say something about concern about Chinese influence or something, you don’t even know if in the next election, somehow or another, they manage to send some money to some group that now doesn’t even have to say where they got it.”
Ms. Shea-Porter is a liberal and a Democrat.

(Thanks to the MCJ)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Move Over, Placido!

Merry Christmas everyone! And to make your Yuletide even merrier, please accept with my compliments an extraordinary rendition of Adolphe Adam's beloved classic, "Cantique de Noël" (O Holy Night). Talent like this does not come along everyday but alas! this artist remains anonymous.

Thanks and warm Christmas greetings to John J. O'Sullivan™.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wow, a Bishop with Spine!

Who would believe it? (from Women of Grace.)
By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix is planning to strip a local medical center of its Catholic status tomorrow if it does not meet his demands to guarantee compliance with Church teachings.

The Arizona Republic is reporting that Bishop Olmsted sent a letter on Nov. 22 to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, the same hospital where Sister Margaret McBride gave approval for an abortion to be performed on a woman allegedly suffering from pulmonary hypertension last year. In the letter, the bishop is demanding that the hospital comply with Catholic health-care rules, educate its medical staff on those rules, and acknowledge what is the correct Church position on the abortion that took place. If the hospital’s parent company, Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), does not agree to these demands by tomorrow, he will strip the facility of its Catholic status.

“There cannot be a tie in this debate,” Olmsted wrote. “Until this point in time, you have not acknowledged my authority to settle this question...”

“Your actions communicate to me that you do not respect my authority to authentically teach and interpret moral law in this diocese,” he writes. (Emphasis added.)
If our bishops had shown such firm resolve dealing with predator priests who raped adolescent boys, there is no telling what better repair Holy Church would be in these days. God grant us more bishops like Olmstead.

(Thanks to Augustine)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stop the Presses!

Rep. Ron Paul, in a sympathetic account in, of all places, the New York Times! Who would believe it--even the comments are mostly favorable.

(Thanks to John J. O'Sullivan™)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Slapping Down the Muslim Turk

An Austrian parliamentarian has finally had enough.

This Will Get People's Attention

(From the Dennis Miller Show)

UPDATE: Son of the Big Mo!
Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

A headline liberals can't bear to see: "Bush job approval rating higher than Obama's." Yup, faster than anyone imagined: "This is the first time Gallup asked Americans to retrospectively rate Bush's job performance. And it was a stunning turnaround from his low point of 25 percent in November 2008. The 47 percent number is 13 points higher than the last Gallup poll taken before Bush left office in 2009 and the highest rating for him since before Hurricane Katrina in 2005."

Monday, December 06, 2010

On the Feast of Saint Nicholas

Caution: Low production values but sound theology!

(Thanks to John J. O'Sullivan™)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Awesome Majesty

Storm over Montana
Photograph by Sean Heavy

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

(Thanks to the MCJ)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Going Out (or Coming In) In Style

From Damian Thompson:
Anglican bishop lays his mitre and crozier at the feet of Our Lady as he leaves for Rome
A detail from Bishop Andrew Burnham's final sermon as an Anglican:
But I love the Church of England – the mainstream bit – and shall miss her. She taught me the psalms and the Revised Standard Version. She taught me about music in the service of God. She taught me about the beauty of holiness. Oh yes, the naughty excitement of the Folies Bergère may be available in Anglo-catholic worship but the dull dignity of cathedral worship, the seemliness and the decency, is something I shall also miss. I have tried to gather some of that up in today’s service. There is nothing more Anglican than Herbert Howells’ Collegium Regale, ‘Let all mortal flesh keep silence’ by Edward Bairstow, one-time organist of York Minster, and the psalm chant by George Thalben-Ball, long-time organist of the Temple Church. There is little more beautiful in literature than the Cranmerian cadences of the traditional language of the Prayer Book, which, rather unusually, we are using today. I shall even miss some of those in the mainstream whom I have known and with whom I have worked.
It is fairly touching His Grace's sentiments mirror almost exactly mine when I decamped for Rome nearly three years ago.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eschewing Sugarcoating

(Of the Irish government's bailout response)

Thanks to John J. O'Sullivan™

If you want to get anything done in the English Catholic Church...

Don't have anything to do with her bishops. William Odie, writing in the Catholic Herald (UK) on Anglicanorum coetibus, reports fifteen years were lost owing to politically correct squishiness.
Why we waited 15 years for an Ordinariate: the inside story
In the words of Cardinal Ratzinger then, ‘what are the English bishops afraid of?’


One day, I received a phone call from Rome. It was from a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose former prefect was now Pope. I was asked for an undertaking to mention to nobody either the name of my interlocutor or, at that time, even the fact that the conversation had taken place. Things were at an early and delicate stage, he said: but there was a real possibility of movement along the lines of the former negotiations. They had read my book. Could we talk?

I told them that I wasn’t as closely in contact with the Anglican side as I had been, for obvious reasons. But there was one thing I was sure of: that the whole thing would be sunk unless the English bishops were kept firmly out of the loop: they should be told nothing. There was a silence. “Your remarks are noted,” he said. But it was clear to me that if the English bishops hadn’t been told yet, that was a decision that had already been made.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cognitive Dissonance

From Washington Whispers in U.S. News & World Report:
Jesse Jackson isn't the only activist that can use corporate boycotts for political purposes. Starting next year, the huge Tea Party organizer FreedomWorks will urge supporters to punish huge corporations like General Electric and Johnson and Johnson for backing President Obama's progressive agenda.

In an exclusive review for Whispers of their plan, FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe says: "Tea Party activists are willing to tackle progressive CEOs just as they tackled progressive politicians. Judging by the results of the midterm elections, progressive CEOs should buckle up, because Tea Party activists are going to give them a very bumpy ride."
This is all to the good. Corporate welfare, whatever its form, is more damaging to the national fisc than that for individuals (it is telling the most heinous villains in Ayn Rand's novels are rent-seeking corporate chieftains). It is high time captains of industry, the putative champions of free markets, are called out for sticking their hypocritical snouts in the public trough.

An additional benefit in calling for corporate boycotts is it further flummoxes the left which, in its unceasing creation of cardboard cutout villains in order to tear them down, has yet to get a full grasp on Tea Party libertarianism. What will the Kos Kidz or moveon.organizers do when there is nationwide call to boycott General Electric or Johnson and Johnson? They can hardly opposed such an action but they can hardly defend those evil corporations either without placing themselves on the same side of those they accuse of being corporate tools and stooges. The internal conflict will surely be excruciating; what fun!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Maybe it's my contrarian nature...

...but this does not seem to me the big deal the media will surely make it out to be:
Pope Benedict says condom use may be justified in some specific cases, such as when a male prostitute is trying to prevent HIV infection, in a new interview that has the pontiff deviating from the Catholic Church's line on contraception.

The Pope's comments are published in a new book, scheduled to be published next week, entitled "Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times." The Vatican's newspaper published excerpts from the book on Saturday.

While the Catholic Church is staunchly against artificial contraception, Benedict said condoms for male prostitutes may be justifiable "in the intention of reducing the risk of infection."

He also pointed out that condom use among prostitutes is "a first step toward moralization," and said condoms are "not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection."
Since I am reasonably certain male (as well female) prostitution falls outside Church teachings and since I am also reasonably certain prostitutes generally do not look to the Holy Father or the Holy Catholic Church for moral guidance, the undoubted clamorous reaction to this statement of the Pope by media and birth control advocates will be wildly out of proportion to its significance.

It seem to me all the Holy Father is saying is: "Don't compound your already egregious sin by passing along disease to someone else as you commit it." If liberals somehow construe that to mean the Church's eventually blessing of the use of condoms by Catholics, they are bound to be disappointed.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Granny does some Needlework before Boarding the Airplane

(From the good folks at Steotch)

And So it Begins

The Establishment of a Personal Ordinariate in England and Wales

Press release issued by the Catholic Communications Network
Implementation of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus
The Establishment of a Personal Ordinariate in England and Wales

Much has been achieved over many years as a result of the dialogue and the fruitful ecumenical relations which have developed between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. Obedient to the prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ to His Heavenly Father, the unity of the Church remains a constant desire in the vision and life of Anglicans and Catholics. The prayer for Christian Unity is the prayer for the gift of full communion with each other. We must never tire of praying and working for this goal.

During his visit to the United Kingdom in September, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI was therefore keen to stress that the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus: "…should be seen as a prophetic gesture that can contribute positively to the developing relations between Anglicans and Catholics. It helps us to set our sights on the ultimate goal of all ecumenical activity: the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all."i

It is now just over one year since the Apostolic Constitution was published. The Pope’s initiative provided for the establishment of personal Ordinariates as one of the ways in which members of the Anglican tradition may seek to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. As the Holy Father stated at that time, he was responding to petitions received "repeatedly and insistently"ii by him from groups of Anglicans wishing "to be received into full communion individually as well as corporately."iii Since then, it has become clear that a number of Anglican clergy and their faithful do indeed wish to bring their desire for full ecclesial communion with the Catholic Church to realisation within an Ordinariate structure.

In collaboration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in Rome, the Bishops of England and Wales have been preparing for the establishment of an Ordinariate early in January 2011. Although there may be practical difficulties in the months ahead, the Bishops are working to address these at a national and local level.

Five Anglican Bishops who currently intend to enter the Ordinariate have already announced their decision to resign from pastoral ministry in the Church of England with effect from 31 December 2010. They will enter into full communion with the Catholic Church early in January 2011. During the same month, it is expected that the Decree establishing the Ordinariate will be issued and the name of the Ordinary to be appointed announced. Soon afterwards, those non-retired former Anglican Bishops whose petitions to be ordained are accepted by the CDF, will be ordained to the Catholic Diaconate and Priesthood for service in the Ordinariate.

It is expected that the retired former Anglican Bishops whose petitions to be ordained are accepted by the CDF, will be ordained to the Catholic Diaconate and Priesthood prior to Lent. This will enable them, together with the Ordinary and the other former Anglican Bishops, to assist with the preparation and reception of former Anglican clergy and their faithful into full communion with the Catholic Church during Holy Week.

Before the beginning of Lent, those Anglican clergy with groups of faithful who have decided to enter the Ordinariate will then begin a period of intense formation for ordination as Catholic priests.

At the beginning of Lent, the groups of faithful together with their pastors will be enrolled as candidates for the Ordinariate. Then, at a date to be agreed between the Ordinary and the local diocesan Bishop, they will be received into the Catholic Church and confirmed. This will probably take place either during Holy Week, at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday or during the Easter Vigil. The period of formation for the faithful and their pastors will continue to Pentecost. Until then, these communities will be cared for sacramentally by local clergy as arranged by the diocesan Bishop and the Ordinary.

Around Pentecost, those former Anglican priests whose petitions for ordination have been accepted by the CDF will be ordained to the Catholic Priesthood. Ordination to the Diaconate will precede this at some point during Eastertide. Formation in Catholic theology and pastoral practice will continue for an appropriate amount of time after ordination.

In responding generously and offering a warm welcome to those seeking full ecclesial communion with the Catholic Church within the Ordinariate, the Bishops know that the clergy and faithful who are on that journey of faith will bring their own spiritual treasures which will further enrich the spiritual life of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. The Bishops will do all they can to ensure that there is effective and close collaboration with the Ordinariate both at diocesan and parish levels.

Finally, with the blessings and encouragement they have received from Pope Benedict’s recent Visit, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales are resolved to continue their dialogue with other Christian Churches and Ecclesial Communities on that journey towards the communion in faith and the fullness of unity for which Christ prayed.


i Oscott College, 19 September 2010
ii Apostolic Constitution 'Anglicanorum Coetibus', 4 November 2009
iii ibid

Apparently Anglican clergy requesting it will be on the fast track to ordination, "around Pentecost," with "formation in Catholic theology and pastoral practice" to continue after ordination. That seems significant to me. Will we see something similar in the United States?

(Thanks to William Tighe)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Seismic Shift in the USCCB?

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has a well-deserved reputation of being a colloquy of tiresome old post-Vatican II reformers, many of whom seem just plain embarrassed by Catholic teachings and traditions. So at at their annual meeting this year the following was not expected:
BALTIMORE, Maryland, November 16, 2010 ( – In a surprise vote, the strongly pro-life Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York has been elected the next president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at the bishops’ annual general meeting in Baltimore.

Archbishop Dolan’s election departs from the U.S. Bishops’ tradition of elevating the sitting vice president of the conference. Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona had been expected to take the role, but was the subject of controversy in the lead-up to the election over his connection to a Chicago priest convicted of child molestation.

Additionally, numerous Catholic commentators had warned that Bishop Kicanas follows in the path of his mentor Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who is known for his support of liberal movements in the Church. 
There ought not be controversy over Archbishop Dolan and the way he has dealt with priestly rapists of young men (which is what they really are and more accurately described thus). As Archbishop of Milwaukee Dolan, charged with cleaning up the mess left behind by retired and unmissed church vandal Archbishop Weakland, took swift action against offending parties, even going so far as to post the names of priests of whom charges against were substantiated, on the diocesan website.

Not only is Archbishop Dolan more conservative he is relatively young, which is encouraging; that Commonweal and its readers are not happy about this election is more encouraging still.

Friday, November 12, 2010


It was a tad early, even by today's ridiculous standards--before Hallowe'en, even!--but nevertheless, what a nice way to get the shopping season off to a good start, and with a choir of 630! Although it takes place in a Macy's, the store was originally Wanamaker's, a grand old Philadelphia institution. Mr. Wanamaker had an organ installed, one of many that is claimed to be the largest in the world (any organ experts please chime in here with your thoughts), and directed that daily recitals be given for the entertainment of his customers. Macy's, bless their hearts, after absorbing Wanamakers, continues that tradition and judging by the sound on this video, keeps the instrument in superb repair. Enjoy!

(Thanks to Susie)

So Which is It?

Is Marco Rubio, the newly elected Senator from Florida, a Catholic or a Baptist? Damian Thompson of the Telegraph notes that while Rubio claims he is a Catholic, he attends services at a Southern Baptist church. Your Bloviator was an early admirer of Rubio's and it makes no difference to him where Rubio worships. One cannot, however, be a Catholic and a protestant at the same time.

Rubio should declare what he is and explain and apologize for this seeming duplicity. He has a bright future; it would be a shame if he blew it over a relatively minor matter.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

To the Next 50 Years?

From the Catholic News Agency:
Vatican Radio reported Nov. 10 that the head of the English Anglicans, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, will travel to the Vatican next week. He is to take part in celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Nov. 17.
After mutual assurances of their good health and a discussion of the weather in Rome, what else will they talk about?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

To call this a sea change...

...would be an understatement. Watch out, Bernanke.
The Fed’s worst nightmare... Ron Paul to chair Monetary Policy Subcommittee

For years, the Federal Reserve had a good friend in their pockets when Congressmen Barney Frank was chairman of the Monetary Policy subcommittee. That is about to change, and taking Barney's place is the one man who would see the Federal Reserve dissolved.

That man is Congressman Ron Paul...
Among the things the Federal Reserve System is charged with is to "maintain the stability of the financial system and contain systemic risk in financial markets." What cost a dollar 1913, the year of the Fed's creation, cost $21.57 in 2008; there have also been some undeniable unpleasantnesses in the financial markets since then. Res ipsa loquitur; it's time for a fresh approach.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Program Note

A pal of your Bloviator, the Rev'd Jason Catania, Rector of Mount Calvary Church in Charm City, will be a guest on the Mr. Raymond Arroyo's program, The World Overon the Eternal Word Television Network, Thursday, November 11 at 8 p.m., where, presumably, the whys, wherefores and possible shoals to be circumnavigated as he and his parishioners prepare for their upcoming crossing of the Tiber will be discussed. Ought to be interesting.

Friday, November 05, 2010

I guess it beats going to church

More religion-product from the Episcopalians, the "Seusscharist:"

(Thanks to Augustine)

The President and His Lapdogs

From the Associated Press: Obama acknowledges his message didn't get through

No possibility, apparently, that the message did get through, loud and clear. Replied to, even.

UPDATE: I guess what's most irritating about that headline is the use of the word "acknowledges." "Acknoweldges" to whom, I wonder.

There is still the assumption by the President, his base and MSM that the transformation of this country into a social democracy will be embraced by the people when it is expained to them in simple enough English, accompanied by pictograms if necessary, that it finally dawns on the benighted idiots what a wonderful world is planned for them.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Joined at the Hip?

The New York Times: National Parks Reach Out to Blacks Who Aren't Visiting

The Onion: African-American Boycott of L. L. Bean Enters 80th Year

(Thanks to Justin Martyr)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Day Sermon

I am not particularly excited about the expected Republican blowout in today's elections. The Republicans have disappointed far too many times for me to hold out hope this time they will get it right. I fully expect within days or even hours after the election to hear some Republican party leader talking about "reaching across the aisle." Then we will know, yet again, we have been had. Back to work.

What I am hopeful about this election, however, is for something much bigger than any Republican landslide: the mortal wounding of the so-called New Left, which got going in earnest in this country in 1964-65 with the Free Speech Movement at U.C. Berkeley, spread like the plague and has been with us ever since, doing staggering damage to our culture, education, industry, cities and the public fisc. It is the pernicious New Left in all its manifestations, not just small people like Obama, Pelosi and Reid, that the people are voting against in this election.

If the Republicans actually do get the message, obviating a third party, what they might do in the wake of their victory is to continually pass legislation shutting down or defunding the most egregious examples of abusive government (ObamaCare would be a fine place to start). The legislation will be vetoed, of course, and there likely will not be enough votes to override but it hardly matters; they should just keep doing it, over and over. If the people see their elected officials battling corrupt left-wing power-mad elites every single day, their hopes will be raised and they will rally round their representatives. Then, perhaps, we may see the long-overdue crushing of the 1960s radical left.

I've heard he abused dihydrogen monoxide when in college

Participants at the Rally for Sanity were asked if "Obama is a Keynesian?"

Thanks to John J. O'Sullivan™

Monday, November 01, 2010

The State of the Church in Austria

From the Eponymous Flower:

Linz Bishop "Concelebrates" with Women in Priestly Robes

The relationship of ludicrous vestments to ghastly innovation must surely be a direct proportion (further examples here).

(h/t Augustine)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

From the PB's Mouth

From the Living Church:
In a deposition taken in October 2007, regarding a multiple-properties dispute in the Diocese of Virginia, attorney Gordon Coffee asked Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori: “If the congregations had decided to join the Roman Catholic Church, would you have pursued litigation?”

She responded: “If the Diocese of Virginia had negotiated an agreement that seemed to provide appropriate value for the property, and if it were a decision that did not seem to be contrary to our mission strategy, yes, I could see that that was possible.”
That should bode well for the Church of Mount Calvary in Baltimore as it prepares to cross the Tiber. Still, they might want to keep handy a certified copy of that deposition for possible use as an exhibit.

(Thanks [again] to Augustine)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The State of the Church in Switzerland

From the Canadian Press:
Swiss Catholics distribute condoms, against papal teaching, as part of AIDS awareness campaign

By Frank Jordans (CP) – 12 hours ago

GENEVA — Catholic churches in the central Swiss city of Lucerne have sparked controversy among believers with an AIDS awareness campaign that involves giving teenagers condoms bearing the slogan "protect thy neighbour as thyself."

The churches started handing out some of the 3,000 condoms Monday as part of an effort to engage young people, many of whom may be turned off by the Vatican's long-standing opposition to the use of condoms, said a spokesman.

"We needed something to appeal to people who wouldn't dream of talking to the church about that kind of issue," Florian Flohr told The Associated Press.
No doubt, in time these churches will start distributing contraceptives and making referrals to abortion clinics.

Remember: bad as things may appear for Holy Church in the United States, they are far, far worse in Europe.

(Thanks to William Tighe)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Let's Make a Deal

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland has released a statement regarding yesterday's vote by the parishioners of Mount Calvary Church in Baltimore to approve its vestry's motions to leave the Episcopal Church and to seek full communion with the Holy Catholic Church. The statement, while expressing regret at Mount Calvary's decision, is notable in that there does not appear to be the animosity or the veiled threats found in past statements issued by Episcopal Church headquarters on 815 Second Avenue in New York when other parishes or diocese have announced their departures. In that Mount Calvary is the first Episcopal parish to leave for Rome, not a competing Anglican organization, they may well be able to do so without too much ado, as the Presiding Bishop herself has suggested of departing parishes some years back.

There is, toward the end of the statement, this boilerplate reiteration of the Episcopal Church's stance on parish property.
Regarding the physical property of Mount Calvary Church and its assets, Canon 7,Section 4 of the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church states:All real and personal property held by or for the benefit of any Parish, Mission or Congregation is held in trust for this Church and the Diocese thereof in which such Parish, Mission or Congregation is located.”
That paragraph was almost certainly included at the insistence of diocesan lawyers, looking to reserve the rights of their client, as all lawyers must do. Of greater interest is the paragraph that follows:
The bishops and the Standing Committee will work with the remaining parishioners of Mount Calvary to discern the future ministry of the parish and its urban community.
Notice there is no suggestion that the few parishioners of Mount Calvary who choose not to pope and remain Episcopalian may expect to retain the fairly substantial holdings of the departing parish. That, to me, implies not only is the Diocese of Maryland open to making a deal with Mount Calvary but that they already are in negotiations with the parish and well advanced toward an agreement.

(Thanks to Augustine)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mount Calvary Church Update

Three weeks ago I broke the news the vestry of Mount Calvary Episcopal Church in Baltimore had voted unanimously to approve two motions severing the church's ties to the Episcopal Church and requesting full communion with the Holy Catholic Church via Angliconrum Coetibus. The rector of Mount Calvary, the Rev'd Jason Catania, announced a special meeting at which the parishioners would vote on the vestry's two motions. That meeting was held today and both motions have passed by a substantial margin, nearly 85 percent. Now begins the rather involved matter of making Fr. Catania, his staff and parishioners Catholics; it will not happen overnight.

Now also, I suppose, begins the waiting game with the Episcopal Church, how it will react to this "Dear John letter" from one of its flocks. Will it cut a deal with Mount Calvary to allow the parish to retain its property or will Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, through her consigliore David Booth Beers, pour out her fury upon them as she has done to so many other departing Episcopal parishes? This time, of course, the mighty forces of the Catholic Church might possibly come into play but my guess is Holy Church is loath to get into a legal brawl with the Episcopalians and vice versa.

One thing is certain, however: the parishioners, the heart of any church (the blessed company of all faithful people), of Mount Calvary are leaving the Episcopal Church, with or without the property. Both sides will need our prayers.

Personally, I'd rather see them all hanging at the yardarm

But this will suffice:
Nine suspected pirates had to row themselves back to the Somali shore "with their tails between their legs" after the British Navy confiscated their whaler, moved them into a tiny boat and blew up their motor and weapons, an international naval task force said Monday.

"One cannot help but get a sense of satisfaction at the sight of a bunch of chastened suspected pirates being landed ashore, tails between their legs and the tools of their trade disappearing with a boom and a flash of flame," British Col. Mark Gray said in a news release.
The advantage to meeting out the more draconian punishment is, of course, it assures the thugs will never doing it again. Still, just seeing them humiliated is a major accomplishment in these wimpy times and a cause for cheer.

(h/t Shrine of the Holy Whapping)

Bad Opera

Read of the troubles facing a new production of Dvorak's Rusalka, posted recently on an opera Listserv, at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. The, er, singular notions of the production director are a microcosm of opera in general in twenty-first century Europe.
"They'd been miming it up to the dress rehearsal, but on that occasion, he showed up with a real deer corpse and said he expected the singers, soloists and chorus, to skin the animal on stage and cut it up - he also wanted everybody involved in this spotted with authentic animal blood. Oh, it gets worse. Several people complained about the smell, and he made some kind of comment to the effect they had better get used to it, because he had ordered a fresh deer corpse for each of 12 scheduled performances, and besides, that stench is what the world really smells like and he hopes it wafts into the auditorium. He also had a fish tank containing both the soprano and real fish, which explodes at the end, dumping her and the fish into a watery grave, but the aroma of the dying fish was so acrid they switched to rubber fish, over his furious protestations. In any event, somebody in the company "ratted" on him to the press, and there was a front-page headline in the Abendzeitung including a fairly graphic description of what has been going on, and what was being planned. That brought a whole bunch of government officials and animal protection advocates into the discussion, to which the response was "the dead animals have already been ordered from the butcher." When some serious reservations were raised from both sides of the political aisle, to which the theatre director fumed: "It's just a cheap excuse for the yellow press to distract its readers from the significant issue of artistic freedom, and besides, in 'Rusalka', deer hunting figures significantly in the plot". Hello? In any event, the "yellow press" and the politicians won, and, although they admitted there is no specific law prohibiting the use of dead animals in theatrical performances (by law, however they must be thrown away and under no circumstances be made available as food.) The deer will be plastic - they are also hanging all over the stage. My friend in the chorus said: "With every new director, the theatre dips just a little deeper into the toilet." I'm waiting for the reviews when some pseudo-intellectual nerd of a critic discusses the revolutionary vision of a visionary producer hamstrung by the advocates of the cheap and trivial. Somebody has already used the expression "Bambi-Hugger" in reference to the animal protection people."
One of the favorite deep-sighing laments of the left in this country is our meager public funding of the arts in comparison with that of the enlightened Europeans; but for the chronic financial worries of our cultural institutions a thousand flowers would bloom. In Germany the opera is a ward of the state; no companies need concern themselves unduly over funding. The result is outrageously high ticket prices (when you don't have worry about revenue from the sale of tickets, you don't have to worry about what you charge for them) and megalomaniacal directors who are indulged, at public expense, whatever perverted fantasies they please themselves to see enacted on the stage by others. The result of this toxic combination, not surprisingly, is row upon row of empty seats.

It is ironic but true the moment cultural institutions stick their snouts in the public trough, they no longer are accountable to the public. They don't care. They don't have to.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wilt I love me, comfort me, honour, and keep me in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep me only unto me, so long as I shall live?

A possible revenue generator for declining Episcopal Churches in this narcissistic age: solo weddings (from MSNBC):
Chen Wei-yih has posed for a set of photos in a flowing white dress, enlisted a wedding planner and rented a banquet hall for a marriage celebration with 30 friends.

But there is no groom. Chen will marry herself.


"It's not that I'm anti-marriage. I just hope that I can express a different idea within the bounds of a tradition," she added.
Now that is a concept the Episcopal church can enthusiastically embrace.

(h/t Instapundit)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Words Can't Express His Sorrow

New York Post Columnist John Podhoretz is really, really, really, really sorry he called New York State gubernatorial candidate Kristin Davis (left) a "hooker." He did so in his column October 19th, when writing about the recent and oh-so-dignified candidates' debate, and the poor thing was so upset she called her lawyers, who issued a press release threatening to sue. So, tale between the legs (metaphorically, of course), Podhoretz, in his column today, apologizes profusely for calling Kristin Davis a hooker,  doing so nearly 40 times by my count.

It turns out, you see, the little lady has a legitimate beef: Ms. Davis "spent four months on Rikers Island after pleading guilty to one count of promoting prostitution." Which, of course, makes her a pimp, not a hooker. Silly Mr. Podhoretz, you should know better! I'm so glad you're man enough to own up to it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


From Politico:
President Obama has canceled a visit to a Sikh temple in India to avoid wearing a head covering that could make him look like a Muslim, The New York Times reports.

Visitors to the Golden Temple, a spiritual center in Punjab, must cover their heads with material that can be tied, and can’t wear baseball hats. The Times notes that “Sikhs in the United States have often been mistaken for Muslims.”

“It is very unfortunate that even the White House is conveying the message that there is no difference between Muslims and Sikhs,” H. S. Phoolka, a Sikh lawyer, told the paper.
Stop the hatred!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jumping the Shark

The President will announce soon he is appearing on the Discovery Channel's "Mythbusters."

Have we reached the point where even the liberals find this guy embarrassing?

(h/t Instapundit)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Blessed are They that Will Mourn: For They Shall be Comforted

My blogger colleague Christopher Johnson of the Midwest Conservative Journal asks, concerning the President's recent statement at a fundraiser that "fear and frustration" drive voters: "Why would any intelligent political party think that 'Vote for us or you’re an effing moron' is a sound electoral strategy?'"

The answer, of course, is they do not think that; electoral strategy is not their intent. The President is fully aware he long ago squandered his ability to persuade even a single member of the opposition to come around. He speaks solely to the remaining faithful, giving a "pre-postmortem," you might say; an anticipatory salving of the wounds about to be inflicted in the electoral catastrophe to take place three weeks hence.

This Comes as No Surprise

The Simpsons are Catholic (from CNN).
Homer Simpson - perhaps the most profane character and worst father ever to headline a mainstream American television program - is Catholic, the Vatican's official newspaper has declared.

"Few know it, and he does all he can to hide it. But it is true," Luca Possati writes in Sunday's Osservatore Romano.

OK, Homer snores through the Rev. Lovejoy's sermons.

Yes, he relentlessly humiliates his evangelical Christian neighbor Ned Flanders.

But the show is one of the few in American life that takes religion seriously, a Jesuit is arguing - from grace before meals to an (admittedly off-kilter) belief in the afterlife. 
It is, after all, the religion for slackers.

One and the Same

A recently published book by Yale historian Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, documents how Hitler and Stalin (as Glenn Reynolds puts it) "enabled each other's crimes." We need to see more of this.Communism and Nazism have far more in common than differences yet for decades the left has successfully managed to preserve itself from the taint of the Nazis, even though that word itself is an acronym for Nationalsozialisten and even though the two ideologies work to the the same end: earthly utopia and the extermination of those who might thwart it.

Comes the day the image of Che Guevara is regarded with the same abject horror as that of Josef Mengele the left will be a spent force.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

No Choice

From Damian Thompson comes word that the Right Rev'd John Broadhurst, Bishop of Fulham in the Anglican diocese of London and also Chairman of Forward in Faith, "is to resign his post later this year to join the Pope’s Ordinariate." Well, bully for him but I cannot say I agree with Thompson's (or whomever wrote the headline for his Telegraph blog) assertion his Grace's move is "an earthquake in Anglo-Catholicism," significant though it is. Anyone mindful what has occurred in the Anglican Church these past forty years, particularly in the western hemisphere, should come to the reasonable conclusion that Bishop Broadhurst could do no other.

The Church of England, furiously playing catch-up with its American counterpart so that it, too, may shout triumphantly: "Look how progressive we are!" is, like the Episcopal Church, so far down the road to apostasy it cannot possibly reverse course. With Pope Benedict's uncommonly gracious invitation to Anglo-Catholics to embrace the full faith in numbers, Bishop Broadhurst has realized, as every orthodox Anglo-Catholic in England and abroad has or will, the moment has come: if one cares about the well-being of his soul, there is no possibility of remaining any longer in the Anglican Church.

The dramatic events described above will, I think, make things rather difficult for those Anglican parishes that profess "Catholic worship" yet stray from Catholic teachings. As the number of orthodox Anglo-Catholics heading Romeward increases to a steady, albeit non-torrential, stream (as I believe it will), those Anglo-"Catholics" remaining behind will not only appear increasingly and glaringly protestant (which they are, of course) but also (and sadly, in a way), as they continue their practice of elaborate pre-Vatican II choreography liturgies with accompanying frippery, downright ridiculous.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The True Face of Socialism

From the Telegraph


The right of doctors to refuse to refer women for abortions on conscientious grounds is under threat from the Council of Europe.

A draft resolution would end the opt out and compel medical staff to carry out the procedure itself against their wishes if patients have nowhere else to go for the treatment.

It also calls for a register of doctors who object to abortion on conscientious grounds and a complaints mechanism for women who feel aggrieved by a refusal of a doctor to either grant an abortion or to perform the procedure directly.
This is, of course, only the beginning. Depend on it, if the resolution passes it will be but a short while doctors are required to assist in suicides and euthanasia.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Ideal Anglican Bishop

As explained by Sir Humphrey Appleby in Yes, Prime Minister: the best candidate is a "modernist," i.e. an atheist without saying so (he would lose his stipend). No doubt the same good counsel applies to the Episcopal Church on this side.

The late Nigel Hawthorne was one of my favorite actors of all time. It's hard to believe it was the same man who played such disparate roles as Sir Humphrey, Archdeacon Grantly in the Barchester Chronicles, Georgie Pillson in Map and Lucia and, most movingly for me, C.S. Lewis in Shadowlands on Broadway, of which I was fortunate enough to catch the closing performance in 1991.

(H/t Fr. Rutler)

Friday, October 01, 2010

What They Would Really Like to Do to Us

An environmentalist fantasy: its creator says he was trying to be funny. See how funny you think it is.

(Thanks to the MCJ)

Not to be Overlooked

Not getting anywhere near the attention Mount Cavalry Church in Baltimore has for its impeding journey to Rome but still worthy of our notice and prayers is tiny Saint Columba's Traditional Anglican Church in bustling Fernley, Nevada, which recently announced the "parish as a body has voted to accept the offer of the Holy See and join an Ordinariate." Godspeed!

Saint Columba's website proclaims they worship "God rather than man," which really says it all; losing sight of that simple but profound principle is how the Episcopal Church ended up the secular humanistic disaster it is today. Saint Columba's uses the 1928 Episcopal Prayer Book (but recognizes all seven sacraments) and their website wryly notes "the liturgy contains more Scripture in an hour than the average evangelical service presents in a year."

The parish fled the Episcopal Church a decade ago for the safe harbor of a breakaway Anglican organization known as the Episcopal Missionary Church, an institution not known to me until now (there are many, many of them). Now that the ice has been broken, as it were, and some of the fragments of the Episcopal Church diaspora appear at last to be headed for Rome, perhaps, along with individual parishes, the time has come for the numerous breakaway Anglican organizations, those of Anglo-Catholic leanings at least, to think long and hard about the Holy Father's invitation to embrace the full Catholic faith via Anglicanorum Coetibus.

(Thanks to The Anglican Use of the Roman Rite)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Coming Home

The vestry of Mount Calvary Church (Episcopal), a small but historic Anglo-Catholic parish in Baltimore, has voted unanimously in favor of two resolutions: first, to leave the Episcopal Church and second, to become an Anglican Use parish in the Holy Catholic Church under terms of Anglicanorum Coetibus, the apostolic constitution announced last year by the Vatican that provides for "personal ordinariates for Anglicans entering full communion with the Catholic Church," while allowing them to retain most elements of Anglican worship using a modified version of the Book of Common Prayer.

The rector of Mount Calvary, the Rev'd Jason Cantania, has sent his parishioners a letter (posted below) announcing a special meeting on October 24th at which the vestry's resolutions will be voted upon by the parish. Fr. Catania writes: "The result of these developments is that the Archdiocese of Baltimore now stands ready to welcome Mount Calvary as a body into full communion with the successor of St. Peter, and the process of establishing ordinariates in various countries, including the United States, has begun."

While certainly a dramatic move, the impact of Mount Calvary's departure for Rome remains to be seen. The number of Anglo-Catholics in the United States has always been relatively small and after thirty-some years of increasing heterodoxy in the Episcopal Church, many of those not having gone theologically "soft" have already left, most to breakaway Anglican churches, a few to Rome. Not all, though, and I can think of celebrated Anglo-Catholic parishes in Philadelphia, New York and elsewhere that will regard with great interest the doings of Mount Calvary. Ultimately, however, I suspect most of them, having a visceral dislike of the Holy Catholic Church, will elect to accommodate the Episcopal Church's continuing innovations--or simply look the other way--and stick it out until the bitter end.

Liturgy and music loving Catholics in the Baltimore area, however, should rejoice at Mount Calvary's impending Tiber crossing for that church is celebrated for both. Since there are not many Roman parishes in the region for which the same may be claimed, I predict average Sunday attendance at Mount Calvary will rise more than a little if the church becomes an Anglican Use parish.

It is my understanding the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, while saddened by Mount Calvary's decision, has indicated, happily, its willingness to negotiate an amicable separation that will permit the parish to keep its property. It is also believed there will not be objections from 815 Second Avenue in New York in as much Mount Calvary is leaving for Rome, not another Anglican entity. Let us pray it is so.



September 21, 2010

Dear Friends in Christ,

I write today to inform you of a special meeting of the Congregation of Mount Calvary Church which has been called by the Vestry for Sunday, October 24, following the 10:00 am Solemn Mass. The purpose of this meeting is to vote on two resolutions which have been unanimously approved by the Vestry. They are as follows:

Resolved: In accordance with Article 12 of the amendment to the Charter of Mount Calvary Church, Baltimore, adopted April 10, 1967, the Vestry of Mount Calvary Church hereby determines that The Episcopal Church (formerly known as the “Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America”) has clearly, substantially, and fundamentally changed its doctrine, discipline and worship, and that Mount Calvary Church should become separate from and independent of The Episcopal Church. The Vestry therefore calls for a special meeting of the Congregation of Mount Calvary Church to be held on Sunday, October 24, 2010, following the 10:00 AM Mass, to affirm and enact this resolution.

Resolved: That Mount Calvary Church, upon separation from The Episcopal Church, seek to become an Anglican Use parish of the Roman Catholic Church.

Most of you are fully aware of the history which has brought us to this point. That history extends all the way back to the 19th century, when Mount Calvary became well-known, throughout Maryland and throughout the Episcopal Church, for its adherence to Catholic faith and practice. Indeed, to some it was notorious for its “popish” ways, and in fact for many clergy and people over the years (including two of my predecessors as rector), Mount Calvary has been their last stop before “crossing the Tiber”. The immediate process which brings us to this historic moment began with a Vestry retreat in October 2007, where it was decided unanimously that Mount Calvary should explore the possibility of becoming part of the Roman Catholic Church. Since then, two crucial events have occurred. The first was the reception of the All Saints Sisters of the Poor, our own parish sisters, into the Catholic Church in September 2009. The second was the announcement the following month of Anglicanorum Coetibus, the Apostolic Constitution calling for the creation of “personal ordinariates” (essentially non-geographical dioceses) for groups of Anglicans entering the Roman Catholic Church while retaining elements of their tradition. The result of these developments is that the Archdiocese of Baltimore now stands ready to welcome Mount Calvary as a body into full communion with the successor of St. Peter, and the process of establishing ordinariates in various countries, including the United States, has begun.

While I know that the vast majority of you are enthusiastic about making this transition, I realize that some may still have questions and concerns about the prospect of entering the Roman Catholic Church. In the weeks ahead, prior to the congregational meeting, I will invite a series of guests to speak about their experience of life in the Catholic Church and to answer questions. Some of these guests will be well-known to you; indeed they will include former parishioners and clergy of Mount Calvary. I think all of them will be helpful in allaying any fears there may be.

Let me conclude by saying how truly grateful I am to be leading Mount Calvary Church at this moment in time. When I became your rector over four years ago, I had not the faintest idea that this would be the journey we would take together. Nonetheless, there is not a doubt in my mind that this is the work of the Holy Spirit and truly the will of God, not simply for me, but for Mount Calvary. This is not about rejecting our past and our heritage, but rather fulfilling it. We have before us the opportunity to carry with us the richness of the Anglican tradition into full communion with the wider Catholic Church. I therefore ask that each of you pray that God’s will be done in this place which we all love so dearly as we approach this momentous decision.

Yours in Christ,

The Rev’d Jason Catania, SSC

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Blind Leading the Blind

The Pew Forum recently tested a sampling of Americans on their knowledge of religion and not surprisingly, we didn't do very well. A shorter version of the test is available on line and you can take it yourself. I did and while I will never make any claims to scholarship, I managed to get every one of the questions right, as any reader of this blog should. Nevertheless, getting all the answers to some remarkably dumb-ass questions places me, according to Pew, in the 99th percentile of the American public.

Most appalling, however, is that only fifty percent, on average, of Catholics tested answered correctly the bread and wine become the the actual body and blood of Christ during communion. What in God's name goes on in Catholic schools and confirmation classes these days, other than the passing around coloring books of Bible scenes and pamphlets describing where the priest is allowed to touch you?

Sacrificing Oneself for Status Quo

Mr. Jann S. Wenner, society leader and publisher of an old and established journal for the elderly well-heeled, steels himself and services our President--for the good of the nation.

Friday, September 24, 2010

"He Loves His Damned Old Rodeo as Much as He Loves Me...

"Someday soon, goin' with him, someday soon."
(Judy Collins)

Cowboy lassos animal-rights protester.

(Thanks to Justin Martyr)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Just How Mad are They, Even in New York?

This mad:
Flame-throwing Republican Carl Paladino is within striking distance of overtaking longtime gubernatorial frontrunner Andrew Cuomo, a shocking new poll finds, according to our State Capitol Bureau Chief, Ken Lovett.

Among likely voters, Democrat Cuomo has a paltry 49% to 43% lead over Paladino, the maverick Buffalo businessman who won a shocking and decisive victory last week in the GOP primary against Rick Lazio, the Quinnipiac University poll finds.
Other polls show a greater gulf between the two candidates but the fact it is a contest at all is simply astonishing. Cuomo, presently the state's attorney general, has been considered a shoo-in by most pundits (and has acted that way) while Paladino is regarded as a gadfly (to put it politely) at best. He recently attacked Cuomo as not having "cojones" for refusing to debate him and described Manhattan as "home to smug, self-important, pampered liberal elitists" (having lived in Manhattan for many years, I can concur) and that he would "send state police into the city and 'every other sanctuary city in the state to pick up illegals [sic] and turn them over to the feds.'"

The leaders of New York's Republican Party, the wimpiest Republican organization in all the land, are naturally appalled by all of this and advising other candidates to keep Paladino at "arm's length." They may come to regret that.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

'Cause There's No Nicer Witch than You

Not enjoying success skewering Republican Delaware senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell over her views on masturbation, the Democrats and their media poodles are now waxing ecstatic over superannuated talk-show host Bill Mahre's dredging up, from twelve years back, footage of her confessing she once dabbled in witchcraft. Furthermore, Mahre is extorting O'Donnell (although neither he nor the media will use that word) by threatening to run more damaging clips of her until she agrees to appear on his show. Ms. O'Donnell duly canceled her Sunday morning TV appearances today and is no doubt taking stock.

Whether or not this revelation deals a body blow to the O'Donnell campaign remains to be seen. Regardless the outcome, however, one may safely venture Ms. O'Donnell is not, perhaps, the most stellar candidate ever to have run for office (though by no means the least) and what's more, the average Republican voting in the Delaware primary was surely well aware of that. Nonetheless, that is whom they picked, over a much more "qualified" political veteran and choice of Republican Party officialdom, which only drives home the degree of their dissatisfaction with status quo. I happen to think Christine O'Donnell still has a chance at beating her hard-left Democratic opponent and that this witchcraft "scandal," along with other alleged gaffes Bill Mahre choses to reveal, will have little effect other than to provide further adolescent titillation for those on the left.

And Further Still...

My old friend Justin Martyr, who will never be recruited for the diplomatic corps, writes:
Poor Pope Benedict. He has two perfectly nice palaces in Rome, is well north of eighty, and hates crowds -- but he has to go through the motions of all these witches' Sabbaths just because il Papa Polacco loved the nightlife.
Don't sugarcoat it, pal. Still, there is no denying Holy Father has a great deal of work remaining. As I watch him spend precious moments in endless receiving lines, shaking hands with undistinguished pols and Methodist ministers, I cannot help thinking his time left on earth might better be spent at home.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

And Continuing the Grousing...

Watching the live feed of the Holy Father's visit to England yesterday I was impressed by Evening Prayer at Westminster Abbey, in which the Pope participated. The music was glorious: a superb mix of Bach, Byrd, Purcell (who was the Abbey Organist for twenty-five years), Elgar, Reger, Duruflé, Wesley, Stanford and Howells, all performed and sung magnificently.

In short, it was an embarrassment to any music-loving Catholic. I can't help wonder if the Anglicans did this just to rub it in. If so, they succeeded.

Let Me Count the Ways

While leafing through the hymnalette at the vigilante mass this evening I came across a ditty called "How Can I Keep from Singing?"

Hoo boy, where do I begin?

Well It Is the Catholic Church, After All

From the Guardian:

Pope's astronomer says he would baptise an alien if it asked him

An alien – 'no matter how many tentacles it has' – could have a soul, says pope's astronomer


Speaking ahead of a talk at the British Science Festival in Birmingham tomorrow, he said that the traditional definition of a soul was to have intelligence, free will, freedom to love and freedom to make decisions. "Any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has – has a soul." Would he baptise an alien? "Only if they asked."

Guy Consolmagno, who is one of the pope's astronomers, said he would be "delighted" if intelligent life was found among the stars. "But the odds of us finding it, of it being intelligent and us being able to communicate with it – when you add them up it's probably not a practical question."
And I do like this:
Responding to [Steven] Hawking's recent comments that the laws of physics removed the need for God, Consolmagno said: "Steven Hawking is a brilliant physicist and when it comes to theology I can say he's a brilliant physicist."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How Did I Miss This?

Arlo Guthrie a Republican? Yep, this quintessential hippie-songster of the 60s (I could probably still recite most of Alice's Restaurant if I put my mind to it) and son of the quintessential commie-folkie of the 30s put an "R" next to his name several years ago. He seems more on the Libertarian side, though, which is all to the good (even if I don't agree with the entire Libertarian platform) because that is the way the Republicans must go if they are going to survive. Read what Guthrie had to say about Ron Paul, whom he endorsed(!) for president.
Dr. Paul is the only candidate I know of who would have signed the Constitution of the United States had he been there. I'm with him, because he seems to be the only candidate who actually believes it has as much relevance today as it did a couple of hundred years ago. I look forward to the day when we can work out the differences we have with the same revolutionary vision and enthusiasm that is our American legacy."
I couldn't agree more.

Thanks to DP

The Company They Don't Keep

The Republican Party has been taking it on the chin recently for its churlish reaction to recent defeats of party-approved candidates by the Tea Partiers; Karl Rove in particular has been excoriated for his trashing of Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell after her upset victory over Michael Castle, a long-time party hack. Castle himself has graciously refused to endorse her.

Tea Partiers, however, instead of decrying poor-sport whining mainstream Republicans should bow their heads in grateful thanks, for they have received a great gift. The abnegation of the Tea Party and its goals of substantially smaller and limited government, something most Americans whole-heartedly support, by Republican leadership removes a great liability from Tea Partiers: their party's being associated by the Democrats with Republican leadership. And the Democrats won't have Karl Rove to kick around either (not that anyone cares).

UPDATE: Thank you John Kerry!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Goodwill Gesture

The Taliban in Afghanistan are using pages ripped from the Koran as packaging material for heroin and and sending children out into the streets to sell it. I trust the usual suspects in mainstream media will decry this despicable act of Islamophobia.

The wacko evangelical who kept threatening to burn copies of the Koran might better have sent them all to the Taliban, as a gift from his congregation, for use in their shipping department.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Sweep Out the New and Bring in the Old

Fr. Rutler on the Shrine to Cardinal John Henry Newman being erected at the Church of Our Saviour in New York City, to be dedicated and blessed by Archbishop Dolan on September 23 [emphasis added]:
The shrine is in the place of one of four confessionals. Many confessions are heard daily in the parish. This fourth confessional, after Vatican II, was enlarged to serve as a Reconciliation Room with chairs and other furnishings. Later, that use was ended and the space served for storage. It visually blocked the St. Jude shrine. The carvings have been preserved and the original woodwork has been restored to its original dimensions.

(Thanks to New Liturgical Movement for image)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Straight to Nowhere

Instapundit links to blogger mistermix at Balloon Juice, who writes of a recent massacre in Buffalo, New York, where eight people were shot and four of them died. The local newspaper looked into the backgrounds of the victims and found that nearly all of them had extensive criminal records. For its trouble the Buffalo News caught much flack from community activist types. Balloon Juice argues, correctly I think, the newspaper actually performed a public service for its readers, whom we assume are mostly law-abiding citizens: by revealing the sordid pasts of the victims they may be reasonably assured they will not meet such violent ends themselves. Balloon Juice goes off the rails, however, in the last sentence: "The sad fact is that the Buffalo News is giving the people what they want and need: context, in the form of code-words that classify the violence that is in large part a side-effect of drug prohibition."

It's pretty much de rigeur among Libertarians (which is one of the reasons I cannot count myself among their numbers) that all drugs should be legalized, that people have the right to do to themselves whatever they like, even commit suicide on the installment plan. Up to a point, I concur, but when Libertarians also argue the legalization of illegal drugs will lower crime by eliminating a major source of it, I must part company with them.

To believe legalizing drugs lowers crime one must also believe the neighborhood dope peddler, when deprived of his livelihood, will go in search of licit employment. Not at all: he will instead try his hand at car theft, gun running, armed robbery, extortion, you name it. Drug dealers are not wannabe accountants or doctors who for want of opportunity go to the dark side. They ply their trade not just for the lucre, which is undeniably attractive, but also for the glamor, excitement and respect they think that violence and criminality will earn them in their rotten neighborhoods (sadly, they are greatly encouraged in their twisted ambitions by our utterly corrupt popular culture). To argue drug dealers will go straight when their contraband become legal is as ridiculous a notion that the mafia would disappear with the passage of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Forward to the Past

I'm on an Anthony Trollope kick these days (right now working my way through the Barsetshire novels, nearing the end of Framley Parsonage). I'm reading his works on a digital reader, which is a marvelous device indeed; I recently bought "50+ works" of Trollope online for the princely sum of $5.69, impressive, I think.

I also think this is the future for the distribution of literature. There will always be a market for fine hardbound editions, of course. They are still best way to read while curled up in a comfy chair by the fire (somewhere buried in the family book collection there's a nineteenth-century complete editions of Trollope's works I intend mining for this weekend) but with crappy paperback editions costing upwards of $10 these days, and the price of digital readers coming down, I think we will see their demise relatively soon.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Where's the JumboTron?

This is the structure the hierarchy of the Holy Catholic Church in England will erect for the beatification of John Henry Newman by the Pope when he visits later this month.


I wonder whom they despise more, Newman or the Pope?

(Thanks to the MCJ)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Getting Exactly What They Deserve

Wall Street bankers, shocked, shocked that Barack Obama, who received seventy percent of their campaign contributions two years ago, are now deserting him in droves and raising money for the Republicans instead. How were these soi-disant financial geniuses so duped by Mr. Hope and Change? Simple: They thought he was one of their own.
Mr. Obama was viewed as a member of the elite, an Ivy League graduate... president of The Harvard Law Review — he was supposed to be just like them. President Obama was the “intelligent” choice, the same way they felt about themselves. They say that they knew he would seek higher taxes and tighter regulation; that was O.K. What they say they did not realize was that they were going to be painted as villains.
What utter fools. If the Republicans have any sense at all (I know, I know) they'll steer clear of these bozos, and their money: they'll only be a millstone around their necks.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Media Darlin'

A couple of liberal feminists writing in yesterday's New York Times are absolutely furious with Sarah Palin. Despite her regressive and benighted outlook and despite the non-stop verbal assaults from virtually the entire mainstream media, she just keeps chugging along, gaining supporters and, worst of all, receiving more and attention from the same mainstream media which reviles her, more attention than all "real" feminists combined. How dare she! The Democrats better get on the stick, they growl.

Jennifer Rubin in Commentary gives us the how and why Palin effected the coup. It's no great secret: Palin's views are in agreement with vastly more Americans than those of liberal feminists (who never in forty years have come close to enjoying any substantial support among the populace). We should also note, however, why Palin has had such an easy time winning the unceasing, if unloving, embrace of the media: she's hugely entertaining and never dull, i.e. the opposite of liberal feminists. (Q. How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb? A. THAT'S NOT FUNNY!)

The New York Times, Andrew Sullivan and all mainstream media may despise Sarah Palin with every inch of their fiber but people take far more note of reports and opinion pieces about her over, say, the head of the National Organization for Women (quick, can you name her or remember the last time you read something about her?). It must be a bitter pill indeed for MSM to realize its unceasingly negative coverage of Sarah Palin has no effect whatsoever on her popularity, other than to increase it, but don't expect media to leave off coverage of her anytime soon: even denizens of the Upper West Side of Manhattan will lap up anything about Palin while relegating to the coffee table, open but unread, the twelve-page interview with Elizabeth Warren Oops! It's one Terry O'Neill--what do I know, or care--(to answer the pop-quiz above) in the New Yorker, to serve as a forlorn prop to their bona fides should unexpected guests drop in.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Malkin in the Middle

There's another religious controversy taking place in New York City aside from that of the mosque an imam with very questionable links wants erected near the site of the former World Trade Center, one that has not incurred quite the argy-bargy of the other but one worth noting anyway.

Back in May the Catholic League, an advocacy group that gives liberals conniptions, headed by Bill Donohue (whom I find admirable, if a bit of a blow-hard) requested the Empire State Building's management illuminate the top the building in blue and white on the occasion of the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, which is today. Management refused, stating that it violated their policy of not honoring "religious figures." Many people squawked and inconsistencies from the past were noted but the Empire State Building's owner, Anthony Malkin, stuck to his guns and thus has received stinging criticism, particularly from the Catholic League. Meanwhile, loathsome organizations like Catholics [sic] for Choice and others just as bad have lauded Malkin's decision. Despite, however, the miserable company Malkin keeps in this matter I must also support his decision, for two reasons.

One: it's Malkin's building. Despite considerable efforts of liberals these past fifty years to thwart them, we still have property rights in this country; he can do what he likes with it.

Two (and, I suspect, the real reason for his saying no): should Malkin have granted the Catholic League's wish to honor Mother Teresa you can be sure the very next day Muslim organizations would have demanded equal time, insisting on a tribute to the Ayatollah Khomeini or some other such charmer. If they were turned down the shrieks of a double standard, bigotry, racism, hatefulness, divisiveness etc. from them and their water carriers at the New York Times and others in mainstream media would be deafening. Others would follow suit and ere long Malkin would be fending off demands from the likes of Scientologists, demanding tribute to L. Ron Hubbard, and atheists, demanding same for Madeline Murray O'Hare. Litigation would be inevitable and soon every day of the year and then some would be spoken for.

Malkin made a wise and prudent decision for these absurdly multicultural and litigious times.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Omnis Traductor Traditor

From the Smoking Gun:
AUGUST 23--The Department of Justice is seeking to hire linguists fluent in Ebonics to help monitor, translate, and transcribe the secretly recorded conversations of subjects of narcotics investigations, according to federal records.

A maximum of nine Ebonics experts will work with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Atlanta field division, where the linguists, after obtaining a “DEA Sensitive” security clearance, will help investigators decipher the results of “telephonic monitoring of court ordered nonconsensual intercepts, consensual listening devices, and other media.”
Let us hope the DEA exercises caution when selecting these experts; we surely would not want a mistranslation that could lead to mishap. Perhaps Barbara Billingsley, 94 years young, could be persuaded to come out of retirement one final time to assist her country?

(Thanks to For What It's Worth.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Tide in the Affairs of Men

From the American Thinker:
There comes a moment in a failing presidency where the incumbent, through some single gesture, action, or statement, crosses a certain line from beyond which there is no return. Through his own will and behavior, he so underlines his failings, so frames his negative image, that no further action can ever erase it. Fate, accident, and circumstance have nothing to do with it. It is the president himself who puts the period at the end of his own sentence.


With Obama, we have an abundance of riches: the multiple vacations, the legal harassment of the state of Arizona on behalf of illegals, the clownish response to the Gulf oil blowout. But when historians come to select the moment when Obama went over the edge of the world, I think they'll find the great Iftar mosque speech of August 13, 2010 hard to beat.

Read it all. Ultimately, I think, historians will judge the great tragedy of the Obama presidency as less the hapless flailing of a man hopelessly out of his league than the sad fact we the people of the United elected this incandescently incompetent four-flusher president, despite many, many indications he was not up to the job. The damage done to the American image abroad will be incalculable, perhaps less so with the Europeans, who seemed as taken (in) by Obama as the Americans were, but the goings on in Europe these days are of far less concern to our nation than those in the Middle-East and Asia. Leadership in those regions saw right through the putative Obama mystique and began exploiting his weaknesses from the start. That exploitation will grow in inverse proportion to their respect for the President and the nation.

It is only a matter of time before Iran goes nuclear and the Chinese, with a quasi-belligerent leadership holding a substantial portion of the vast American debt will feel hegemonically tempted as never before, as our president grows weaker and weaker in international esteem. Assuming President Obama is able to ride out the rest of his term, it's going to be a rough couple of years. If this nation is so favored to elect a grownup president president after Obama is gone, he will assuredly have his work cut out for him; hitting the reset button will not be an option.

UPDATE: Letting the cat out of the Cellophane bag: He's not that smart.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Highest Bidder

Your Bloviator is finally getting settled after the traumatic experience of moving from Manhattan to the mainland United States, i.e. the Bronx (which is partial explanation for the dearth of blogging these past weeks). Moving (something I have done all too many times in my life) presents one the opportunity for ridding oneself of unneeded items. The new digs are far more spacious than the old but (and I suspect this is a phenomenon of ageing) I find myself increasingly appreciative of clear, uncluttered space and thus decided the time had come to dispose of a good portion of the many, many CDs in my possession, a perquisite of my employment in the music industry.

Most of the CDs were classical and I hoped, rather than throwing them away, to present them to an organization that might be able to use them. My first thought as a Catholic convert was the school attached to my new and thriving parish in the Bronx. I left a voice mail with the school offering them the large number of discs. A few days later I got a friendly message from the headmaster thanking me for my offer but declining it; he could see no use for them in his school. I was disappointed of course and contemplated chucking the whole lot until a friend suggested I contact the nearby Jewish old-age home to see if they might be interested. Indeed they were; I heard from one of their "activities directors," or some-such, a musician himself, who was thrilled with my offer. Earlier this evening I drove the discs over to the home and met the fellow, who was nearly effusive with gratitude, marveling at "the happiness they would bring" to his charges.

My love, even passion, for classical music goes back to my infancy but Catholic or no, I also realize despite the fact that the majority of our great composers were Catholic, there would be little or no classical music in this country these days were it not for the Jews. So while I am sad my Catholic parish school can't find a use for my classical CDs, I am delighted no end a Jewish old-age home can and they will receive many more of them from me in the future. It's a mitzvah, you see: a blessing for them and a blessing for me. Thanks be to God.