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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)