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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

At Her Best

The Anchoress takes on reliably heinous Maureen Dowd of the New York Times for her piece on Governor Andrew Cuomo:
[Cuomo and his father] talk at least once a day, and he says he values his father’s advice on any issue the “always rational” Mario chooses to weigh in on. 
It is a stark contrast to the Bush 43, who was still afraid of his dad’s shadow as president and avoided talking issues with 41.

Oh, you dishonest, hate-obsessed, sniping harpy, you know damn well that if Bush 43 had talked to his father every day, you’d have crucified him for it with a gem on the order of: “The boy-pwince needs to tawk to Poppy evewy day, or he can’t find the Owal Owwice!”
And for the finishing touch:
I disagree with Andrew Cuomo on many things, but do think he is smart, and that he was grown from his own “pugnacious” beginnings into a person who — having endured a few tumbles — tries to be reasonable and respectful. That he politely endured what had to be an interminable phone call with this sniggering perpetual 14-year-old speaks well of his mannerliness and his patience.

Too Smart for Socialism

First Arlo Guthrie, now John Lennon! I wonder how many other '60s icons were secret conservatives? From the Toronto Sun:


Lennon was a closet Republican: Assistant


John Lennon was a closet Republican, who felt a little embarrassed by his former radicalism, at the time of his death - according to the tragic Beatles star's last personal assistant.
Fred Seaman worked alongside the music legend from 1979 to Lennon's death at the end of 1980 and he reveals the star was a Ronald Reagan fan who enjoyed arguing with left-wing radicals who reminded him of his former self.

In new documentary Beatles Stories, Seaman tells filmmaker Seth Swirsky Lennon wasn't the peace-loving militant fans thought he was while he was his assistant.


He says, "John, basically, made it very clear that if he were an American he would vote for Reagan because he was really sour on (Democrat) Jimmy Carter.
My father, whom I cannot say disliked popular music because I don't believe he listened to it ever in his entire life, nevertheless owned that John Lennon had superior intelligence and ability but sadly misused it, particularly regarding his drug use and his influence on the youth culture. I think this bit of news about Lennon would have pleased him. I, actually, am not terribly surprised, nor should anyone familiar with the lyric to his song Revolution. And it's hard to believe the rest of the Beatles would agree to George Harrison's Taxman going on the Revolver album, let alone leading it off, without harboring at least some sympathy for the message contained in it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Guess There'll be a Lot More Boys Named Sue

Back in 1971 country music great Lester Flatt, commenting on the cultural upheavals of the times, sang a classic called: "I Can't Tell the Boys from the Girls." Now, forty years later, in Sweden (where else?), those words have now become mandatory.

Preschool Bans Use of Words 'Him' and 'Her' 
STOCKHOLM (AP) — At the "Egalia" preschool, staff avoid using words like "him" or "her" and address the 33 kids as "friends" rather than girls and boys. 
From the color and placement of toys to the choice of books, every detail has been carefully planned to make sure the children don't fall into gender stereotypes. 
"Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing," says Jenny Johnsson, a 31-year-old teacher. "Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be." 
The taxpayer-funded preschool which opened last year in the liberal Sodermalm district of Stockholm for kids aged 1 to 6 is among the most radical examples of Sweden's efforts to engineer equality between the sexes from childhood onward.
Thanks to William Tighe.

Where Did They All Go?

A friend writes:
Did you ever meet this guy?... He was one of the kindest souls I ever met. Your old church used to turn out men like this the way Ford made cars. What a sad change!
Obituary from the (Lewiston, Maine) Sun Journal:

Rev. John L. Scott, Jr.

John L. Scott Jr.
1923 - 2010
PLANTATION, Fla. — The Rev. John L. Scott Jr., 86, of Auburn and Davie, Fla., died peacefully on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at Westside Regional Medical Center after a long illness.
He was born in Lewiston, March 27, 1923, son of John L. Scott Sr. and Alice Beaumont Scott. He enlisted and served with the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during World War II. In 1945, he graduated from Bates College and continued his studies at Seabury Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., graduating in 1949.
He was ordained priest on March 25, 1950, at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke in Portland. During his 59-year ministry, he touched countless lives in the communities and congregations of St. James Church, Old Town, All Saints Church, Springfield, Mass., Grace Church, Amherst, Mass., St. Paul's Church, Norwalk, Conn., the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, New York, N.Y., Trinity Church, Lewiston, St. Michael's Parish, Auburn and, for the past 17 years, he served as a retired assistant priest at St. Benedict's Church in Plantation, Fla.
Active in the 1960s civil rights movement, he was honored to march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala. He also served as chaplain and professor of religious studies at St. Hilda's and St. Hugh's Independent School in New York, N.Y., from 1974 to 1983.
A man who lived in constant awe and wonder of the Lord's divine creation, ‘Father John' will also fondly be remembered enjoying the simplicities of more ‘earthly' pleasures: breakfast with the ‘regulars' at Roy's Hamburgers, a burger and hot chocolate at Taber's on a cool summer evening and companionable conversation overlooking another ‘most memorable' sunset from the porch at Taylor Pond. One phrase guided his life from beginning to end: "Our Father who art in Heaven..." Indeed!

He married his beloved wife, Barbara S. Grant in September 1954; she predeceased him in August 1994...
In answer to the question no, I never met Fr. Scott (at least I don't recall it), which is somewhat surprising given he ministered in locales near where your Bovina Bloviator was calved, raised and educated and summered as a youth. But in a way, I did know the late Fr. Scott, or at least many his sort. Once upon a time the Episcopal Church (and Anglicanism), for all her myriad flaws, managed to produce bevies of splendid priests like Fr. Scott. Yes, their theology might have been a little week; yes, they might have been reluctant to take firm stands on moral matters and heterdoxies that were already rearing their ugly heads when I was but a lad, but there was also a genuine decency and goodness--godliness, you might even call it--among them, which substantially made up for whatever their theological deficiencies.

Unfortunately, without magisterium, decency and goodness were no match for the innovators, who in the 1960s began picking away at the chinks in the Episcopal Church's facade, their task no doubt made easier by the liberal leanings of church patricians like Bishop Paul MooreJohn Shelby Spong and possibly (if he were liberal, which he probably was) even priests like the late Fr. Scott, albeit unwittingly. Beginning, perhaps, with the unprosecuted heresies promulgated by Bishop Pike (a divorced and re-married Catholic who washed up on the shores the Episcopal Church, like so many of her gadflies), by the late 1970s the innovators had accrued sufficient power to effect the spoliation of the Prayer Book and ordination of women. The destruction has continued to the present day, to the point where the Episcopal Church must have seemed barely recognizable to Fr. Scott at the time of his death. He, similarly to so many other clergy I have known, most likely put on the blinders, did his level best to mind his flock and ensure that services were conducted with a modicum of decency (whichever Prayer Book was used), paying as little attention as humanly possible to the astounding goings on in the church at the national level.

So what has happened to all the righteous Episcopal priests like Fr. Scott? They are still around (these two, for example) though in far fewer numbers. With most of them getting along in years, when they eventually retire they will be difficult to replace (younger sound Episcopal priests, we must pray, will accept the invitation from the Pope via Anglicanorum Coetibus to embrace the full Catholic faith). Additionally, Management of the Episcopal Church is hell-bent on getting as many women into the pulpits as they can, by whatever means, particularly in those few remaining parishes still insisting men alone may stand in the place of Christ and act in His Person.

William Thomas Manning (1866-1949), Bishop of New York, when asked if salvation could be found outside the Episcopal Church, replied (possibly with tongue in cheek): "Perhaps so, but no gentleman would care to avail himself of it." Having traveled so far down the road to perdition, today no gentleman would care to avail himself of the Episcopal Church, especially as clergy. Say a prayer, however, for those splendid and godly gentlemen clergy of her past. They were truly grand.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Now Here's a Fine Idea for a Blog!

CATHOLIC BEER REVIEW


The Perils of Drunkblogging

From the Huffington Post:

My President Palin would lead us through a national cleansing, like Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution. Nothing as violent, however, not at first. Maybe she might let school kids scribble with crayons on the paintings in the Museum of Modern Art. I've never met a soccer mom who wanted a Picasso refrigerator magnet. Or she might close all the high-brow music schools and inaugurate the kind of music that gosh darn real Americans like: harmonica, the musical saw, and tapping your foot to the radio while driving a pickup. What more do we really need?

Andrew Jackson's inauguration in 1828 was disrupted when a mob burst into the White House, tracking in mud, breaking the china, and eventually turning the lawn into a drinking bout. Sarah has the style to make this an official event. The Jackson mob dropped so much cheese on the floor that it ruined the White House carpets, so my advice is for Sarah to skip the buffalo wings and hand out beer bongs.

--New-Age self-help guru Mr. Deepak Chopra, apparently after knocking back his seventh Bacardi Breezer. A lithium tab with a Gatorade chaser, he'll be his old self in no time!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Plan B for Fr. Corapi

I had never heard of Fr. John Corapi until just a few days ago when I read of him on pal Inigo Hicks blog. A man who had had a wild time of it in his life,  Corapi later found religion, was ordained a Catholic priest (by Pope John Paul II, no less) and attracted a large and devoted following (always dangerous for a priest) via the media and his website. Fr. Corapi got into hot water recently over accusations he had violated his vows by engaging in improper relations with a female employee. His bishop thus suspended him from priestly duties pending results of an investigation. Apparently the investigation was not going favorably for him and on June 17 Fr. Corapi announced, on blog and YouTube, he was quitting the priesthood.

At this point only God, Fr. Corapi and, we hope, his confessor know the truth in this affair. Fr. Corapi might have, however, better served his interests by issuing a short statement along the lines of: "I am withdrawing from the priesthood and public life until charges against me have been resolved. I ask your prayers." By instead posting a bitter, recriminating and rancor-filled diatribe against accusers and bishop, Corapi obviously has not learned from the recent tawdry example of Rep. Anthony Weiner that noisily going after one's accusers neither makes them, nor their accusations, go away. Furthermore, by quitting the priesthood the investigation of Fr. Corapi will cease immediately, I should think, and we may thus never know the validity of the charges against him.

Should the charges against Fr. Corapi turn out to be true, and I truly hope they are not, I hope he will not follow the example of another popular, and now former, Catholic priest and media star, also with a large, mostly female following, Fr. Alberto Cutié. After flagrantly carrying on an affair with a divorced woman, Fr. Cutie, also noisily (and without required permission from his bishop), resigned his orders. Shortly afterward, with great fanfare and media hoopla, he was received and later priested into the Episcopal Church. Despite the media circus over Cutié's conversion, however, by coming into a declining church whose dioceses' souls frequently number fewer than that of the typical Catholic parish, Cutié has, unsurprisingly, quickly faded into obscurity, which, given his loud and angry departure from the priesthood, might be the best thing for Fr. Corapi, too.

UPDATE: After further thought I have altered the last paragraph in this post to make it a bit less snarky. Fr. Corapi is obviously going through a horribly difficult time, whatever the circumstances; we must pray he has the strength and faith to get through it intact.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Evensong at the Dominican Priory Church of the Holy Spirit (Blackfriars) in Oxford


From New Liturgical Movement:
On 15 June 2011, six months after the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was established in England and Wales, their first Ordinariate liturgical celebration was held in the Dominican priory church of the Holy Spirit (Blackfriars) in Oxford. The celebrant and preacher was Mgr Andrew Burnham, assisted by the deacons James Bradley and David Elliott. The Precentor was the Ordinariate deacon local to Oxford, Daniel Lloyd.
My goodness, awfully Catholic, isn't it? I must say it may take this ex-Episcopalian a little while to get used to red copes and monstrances at this most Anglican of rituals but on the other hand, that is what Anglicanorum Coetibus is all about: Catholic worship incorporating elements of the Anglican provenance.

Getting used to the following in Catholic churches, however, will be absolutely effortless.
Music, of course, is an important part of Evensong, and the choir directed by Alistair Reid, with Richard Moore on the organ, offered a musical feast drawn from the Anglican patrimony. In his homily, which will be available on the Ordinariate's website soon, Mgr Burnham spoke again of the distinctive contribution which the Ordinariate could bring to the Catholic Church, particularly in the liturgy, and the music we heard last evening was evidence of this. The beauty of yesterday's Evensong and Benediction, which was almost entirely sung in the vernacular, and executed with precise and reverent but unfussy ceremonial was most encouraging, and seemed to me to lead the way in a reform of the Reform.
I suppose it's possible some misguided idiot might slip in a Haugen/Haas atrocity at a Catholic Evensong observance but I suspect the people that enjoy the glop of the former will eschew the glory of the latter thus will keep their mitts off of it. Oremus.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Catholic Church in Austria: Defining Deviancy Downward

Watch the abomination as reported below, a putative celebration of the Mass, and savor the spectacular horror. Then wonder to learn it has been perpetrated three times this past year and will be yet again this coming June 26th: the so-called "Western" (as in cowboy) Mass, with the imprimatur of the ineffably bewildering Cardinal Schönborn of Austria. It is tempting to rattle off a list of the atrocities to be seen (e.g. ashtrays for smokers, take-out food and the Confederate flag) but far better to watch the video in its entirety--you don't want to miss a thing. If it is not yet exhausted, stretch your capacity for wonder one more time and ask yourself why, oh why, will the Holy Father and the Vatican not drive a stake into the heart of these monstrosities.

It's a well-worn trope on this ol' blog but worth trotting out once again: however deplorable the state of Catholic worship in America, it is far, far worse in Europe and with its continued celebration of the "Western Mass," the Church in Austria may well be comfortably ahead in the race to the bottom.




UPDATE: a warm welcome to fellow afficianados of liturgical grotesquery at Bad Vestments.

h/t New Advent.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Save Your Breath, Your Grace

His Grace, Archbishop Cranmer (whose blog, despite my poping, is essential reading and one of my favorites) is in high dudgeon over old news: Katherine Jefferts Schori, 'Sidin' Elder of the Episcopal Church, applied some voluptuous padding to her wafer-thin resume before she was hand-picked elected five years ago to her present position: it seems she made herself the dean of a non-existent school of theology. What Archbishop Cranmer does not realize is many of us appalled by Ms. Schori's elevation knew all about the scandal at the time. Many bloggers (though not this one, alas) screamed bloody murder but Management at the Episcopal Church was hardly ruffled; it mattered not in the slightest. The only thing that did was Ms. Schori's furthering their innovative agenda and by that standard she has proved a superb choice and a spectacular success.

His Grace Cranmer posits the possibility of Ms. Schori being dismissed over this matter, breach of contract or somesuch. Not a chance. To Episcopal Church management, as with all those on the left, truth is infinitely malleable, to be bent, shaped and formed in whatever manner necessary to serve a greater good, in this instance innovation. Church hierarchy is delighted with Ms. Schori and with her mission of badgering and harassing the few remaining orthodox clergy and parishioners who demur out of the church, we can be confident Ms. Schori will serve out her term unmolested. Trust me on this, Your Grace.

It Looked Promising...

But Hollywood never fails to disappoint. The Tree of Life: Pantheistic twaddle.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fr. Al Swims the Bosphorus

Fr. Al Kimel, once a priest at the Church of the Holy Communion (Episcopal) in Charleston, SC and author of the scholarly and thoughtful (if occasionally opaque to these eyes) blog Pontifications, found himself unhappy with the Episcopal Church (for plenty of good reasons), which he wrote elegantly of in his blog. He left the Episcopal Church, embraced the full Catholic faith, and later was ordained into the Holy Catholic Church. He did not have a happy time of it ( for plenty of good reasons), also writing elegantly of it in his blog.

Now comes word Fr. Kimel has left the Catholic Church and was to be ordained into the Russian Church Abroad on Pentecost. I wish Fr. Kimel well and pray he finds himself happier in the east than the west. I also pray he will not find the distress, which seems to have followed him from the Episcopal Church into the Catholic Church, has followed him along into Orthodoxy.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Ordinariate in the United States

The view from Rome:



Only two Episcopal parishes thus far, we may not see that many more. As I have written before, most orthodox Anglo-Catholic parishes and individuals within the Episcopal Church (which are proportionately fewer than those in the Church of England) have already left, aligning themselves with various "alphabet-soup" breakaway Anglican organizations. With the Ordinariate, I imagine we will see the few remaining Orthodox A-C parishes still in the Episcopal Church taking the swim.

Idle speculation: I wonder if any orthodox "medium-high" parishes (e.g. St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue), seeing their A-C high-church brethren safely climbing aboard Peter's Barque, will be tempted to do the  same. It seems to me as long as they faithfully observed the order and rubrics in the Book of Divine Worship, they could effect a "lower" celebration of the Mass Holy Communion: leaving off extreme smells and bells and bowing and scraping, thus preserving some their good protestant integrity, but at the same time being united with a Church whose apostolic succession and sacraments are unquestioned, unlike (and increasingly so) those of the Episcopal Church.

 (Readers of a more scholarly bent than I should feel free to rip this speculative exercise to shreds.)


(Via the Ordinariate Portal, with thanks to Augustine).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Too Little, Too Late

Forward in Faith links to a short and, I think, rather sad address from Fr. Jonathan Baker, the Secretary of Forward in Faith and Bishop-designate of Ebbsfleet, wherein he greets and wishes well catholic worshipers remaining in the Church of England. After expressing thanks to the Archbishop of Canterbury for his concern for Anglo-Catholics he asks prayers for, among other things, "a renewal of the catholic faith in the Church of England" and vocations.

We must wish His Grace well, of course, he is godly man but he is also on a fool's errand. For all their warm gooey words on being inclusive and tolerant of differing points of view, the forces in the C of E opposed to orthodoxy, just like their Episcopalian counterparts, are anything but; their actions have proved it. The late Fr. John Neuhaus (himself a Lutheran convert to Catholicism) memorably stated some years ago: "Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed." The corollary of that is, every optional innovation will sooner or later become mandatory. That, too, has been proved, over and over again.

Orthodox Anglo-Catholics in the U.S. recognized this years ago and began to leave; in a few years there will be none left in the Episcopal Church. Many Orthodox Anglo-Catholics in England, however, seem to hang on, hoping against hope for deliverance from their lot (which, one could argue, has already occurred in the shape of Anglicanorum Coetibus, if they would but recognize it as that). Alas, the appointments of Fr. Baker, as well Fr. Norman Banks, as the Anglo-Catholics' episcopal protectors will not accomplish their survival. The best the flocks of those two bishops may hope for is a few more years maintaining their orthodox practices and beliefs relatively unscathed. Eventually, however, the daemons of innovation will, for the final time, turn their attention to the remaining orthodox Anglo-Catholics in the Church of England, thus ensuring their inclusion as Anglicanism founders on the shoals of secular humanism.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Why I Love the New York Post (a continuing series)

Front page headline in today's print edition:
WEINER: I'LL STICK IT OUT

Mystery Solved

Did you ever wonder why the Dalai Lama is such a darling among our credentialed class and causes Hollywood movie stars to swoon in his presence? This despite a moral outlook more or less in accord with the teachings of the Catholic Church, that the western elite find so appalling? Here's why: he's one of them.


DALAI LAMA TO CHINESE STUDENTS: ‘I’M A MARXIST’



    In speaking to a group of students in Minnesota last week, the Dalai Lama cleared up any uncertainty regarding his political views. “…As far as socio-political beliefs are concerned, I consider myself a Marxist,” he told the audience.
    According to Religion Dispatches, one student questioned this statement, asking if this view of the world contradict the Dalai Lama’s philosophy:
    The Tibetan leader answered that the Marx was not against religion or religious philosophy per se but against religious institutions that were allied, during Marx’s time, with the European ruling class.
    For in the end, you see, to the elite, as long as you espouse the confiscation of property and redistribution of wealth, all your are sins forgiven.

    Thursday, June 09, 2011

    Criticism is Not Disloyalty

    Fr. Hunwicke, a Church of England clergyman on his way to Rome, has announced his ordination into the Holy Catholic Church has been "deferred," apparently over "misunderstanding" concerning his blog, a must-read for thoughtful traditionalists on both sides of the Tiber. He announces he is closing the blog down "with immediate effect" and is deleting "comments on it (or emails sent to me) which are in any way whatsoever critical of the Catholic Church."

    Hunwicke has been critical, often sharply, of many of the post-Vatican II reforms that caused so much damage to the Church. He may have touched a nerve of someone in the English Church's hierarchy, someone for whom criticism of contemporary liturgical practices is tantamount to disloyalty. Most certainly that is not the case for this good and pious cleric. Let us pray the matter is quickly resolved. The Church could use a priest of Hunwicke's intelligence, thoughtfulness and wit.

    Wednesday, June 08, 2011

    Worthiest Art Thou at All Times to Be Sung

    Comes word of welcome early fruits of Anglicanorum Coetibus:
    Solemn Evensong & Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament will be celebrated by the Oxford Ordinariate Group at Blackfriars, Oxford, at 7.30pm on Wednesday 15 June, by kind permission of the Prior and Community.
    For those not aware Evensong is an Anglican institution, an amalgam of Compline and Vespers, that dates back over 500 years and is perhaps the loveliest service in the Anglican provenance. It may now be celebrated in the Catholic Church and that is happy news. If you are fortunate enough to have taken in Evensong at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue (Episcopal) in Manhattan you surely understand why. If you not, you may do so at the church's website (click here to hear a recent celebration). The Anglican musical tradition is unlike any other; "ascetic opulence" might best describe it, glorious and soaring but without a trace of sentimentality or excess (some might even say it's chilly), unlike that heard all too frequently (though less so these days) in St. Peter's Basilica.

    Couldn't possibly happen, of course, but how pleasant to imagine St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue becoming an Anglican Use parish.

    h/t Inigo Hicks

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011

    Anodyne Atrocities

    Tony Woodlief, writing in Image, about Bad Christian Art:
    I’m convinced that bad art derives, like bad literary theory, from bad theology. To know God falsely is to write and paint and sculpt and cook and dance Him falsely. Perhaps it’s not poor artistic skill that yields bad Christian art, in other words, but poor Christianity. 
    [snip]
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s warning against cheap grace comes to mind, a recognition that our redemption was bought with a price, as redemption always is. The writer who gives us sentimentality is akin to the painter Thomas Kinkade, who explicitly aims to paint the world without the Fall, which is not really the world at all, but a cheap, maudlin, knock-off of the world, a world without suffering and desperate faith and Christ Himself, which is not really a world worth painting, or writing about, or redeeming.
    Read it all. Extending Woodlief's analogy, is there any doubt the music-product perpetrated against worshipers in most Catholic churches these days is the sonic equivalent of Thomas Kinkade paintings?

    h/t Conservative Blog for Peace

    Monday, June 06, 2011

    Don't be Too Quick to Answer

    Read the following, which I found on the website of St. Luke's (Episcopal) Parish, Bladensburg, MD, soon to be departing for Rome.
    Our Liturgy

    "The Eucharist is above all else a sacrifice' (Dominicae Cenae, 9). It is one and the same sacrifice as that of Calvary; each day the priest stands on Golgotha as he offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (cf. John Paul II, Holy Thursday Letter to Priests, 1988, passim). This sacrifice of Calvary, which is permanent and definitive, the eternal source of man's Redemption, is perennially re-presented through the ministry of priests in a sacramental unbloody manner at the Mass. Thus Christ's definitive act of self-donation as Victim for our sins is made present to the faithful that they may offer themselves ever more perfectly in union with Christ the Mediator between God and man." -Rev. Augustine Mary Hedderman M.V.A.

    Therefore, we can truly say with St. Thomas Aquinas, "The celebration of Holy Mass is as valuable as the death of Jesus on the cross."
    I wish every Catholic pastor would read that declaration then ask himself the following:

    1) Do I agree with it?

    2) If the answer is yes, do the Masses celebrated in my parish live up to it?

    "We are Ordinariate Bound!"

    St Luke's Parish, Bladensburg, Maryland is taking the swim.
    It is with great joy St. Luke's announces its intention to join the Personal Ordinariate of the Roman Catholic Church. We have been discerning the leading of the Holy Spirit since the Holy Father's announcement of Anglicanorum coetibus in October of 2009. Since that time we have been in close dialogue with both the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and the Archdiocese Washington.
    This is a case of letting the cat out of the cellophane bag; St. Luke's Bladensburg is a long-time stalwart of orthodox Anglo-Catholicism. Given the state of the Episcopal Church these days, it would have been astonishing if the parish had elected not to encamp for Rome. Still, it is good news indeed for liturgy loving Catholics in the Archdiocese of Washington.










    UPDATE: I misspelled "Bladensburg." Who knew it wasn't spelled with an "h" at the end? I've corrected it.

    UPDATE 2: Kudos to the Rt. Reverend John Bryson Chane of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, who has shown uncommon grace handling the departure of this parish from his flock. Not only is he not suing them over their property, he has reached an agreement with them that they may lease it with an option to purchase. Whether or not one believes, as Episcopal Church does, parish properties belong to their dioceses (I think they do not), Bishop Chane has handled this matter in a gentlemanly and Christian manner and deserves great credit for it.

    Sunday, June 05, 2011

    Blind Item

    Which popular and erudite Catholic priest, a convert from the Episcopal Church, is rumored to be near or at the top of the Vatican's short list of ordinaries for the first personal ordinariate in the United States? His bishop is said to be leaning on him to accept.

    We could know by the end of the month.

    A Very Good Question

    The ever-wise Inigo Hicks, countering the suggestion by the Anchoress that the entertainment industry is so powerful Christians cannot ignore it but should engage it somehow, asks: "Isn't boycott a mode of engagement?"

    Yes it is, without question. Still, I'm with the Anchoress on this one: my preferred mode of engagement with the entertainment industry is to grind their wretched product under my heels or smash it to bits with a sledge hammer; it's more tactile.

    The Falcon Cannot Hear the Falconer

    The Rt. Rev. Brian Marsh, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church in America, has decided the ACA cannot accept Pope Benedict's offer, via Anglicanorum Coetibus, of an ordinariate wherein Anglicans may be received into the Catholic Church but still preserve much of their worship tradition. The reason for rejection of this remarkable offer from the Pope, it seems, is His Grace's horrifying discovery that when one is received into the Catholic Church one becomes (brace yourself) Catholic. Nobody told him, I guess.


    Bishop Marsh is also chagrined when one joins the Catholic Church one must subscribe to, in entirety, the Catechism of the Catholic Church; the Book of Common Prayer will not obtain in the ordinariate. I can empathize with His Grace: the BCP (the good one, from 1928, or 1662) is not only prayerful (naturally) but also contain some of the most beautiful English ever written; to this day I keep an old and battered 1928 BCP, presented to me at my confirmation, at hand. Bishop Marsh, however, ought to have another look at a key component found in the BCP, the Articles of Religion, then ask himself if it is really that great a mystery or injustice that the Prayer Book is unacceptable to the Holy Catholic Church. Article X on free-will or Article XXII on purgatory should by themselves be sufficient to that purpose.


    I find myself increasingly dismayed by Anglicans who call themselves catholics yet nevertheless find numerous objections to their becoming Catholics, despite there now being a generous provision encouraging them to do so. Organizations like the Anglican Church in America, and its nearly countless alphabet soup counterparts, are where they are today because the Episcopal Church whence they come lacked magisterium to fend off the corrupting influence of our contemporary culture. They can fight the good fight on their own, of course, and  I wish them well, but it seems unlikely, regardless their fervent espousal of Prayer Book and Branch Theory, they can prevail against an enemy even the mighty Catholic Church must struggle valiantly against. Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.

    Wednesday, June 01, 2011

    Change of Pace

    Vespers-Divine Liturgy (Mass) in celebration of the Ascension of the Lord, celebrated at St Michael's Chapel (Russian Catholic of the Byzantine Rite). St Michaels is situated in a building on the grounds of the Old St Patrick's Cathedral on Mulberry Street in lower Manhattan, in a former nunnery, I believe. I assume I will fulfill my obligation by attending this service but will consult with Professor William Tighe (with whom I am attending) about it. I understand he is rather knowledgeable on matters like these.

    I have attended Russian rites before (both Orthodox and Catholic) and my experience was like those who first experienced it centuries ago: "we knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth."