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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Heiliger Dankgesang

For reasons I have never been able to fathom I always associate Thanksgiving with the music of Beethoven. I was therefore most pleased to hear on the car radio, while driving to the family Thanksgiving gathering, that the program director at radio station WQXR, New York's only(!) full-time classical station, had felt likewise and scheduled an all-Beethoven play-list. Particularly appropriate, I thought, was the airing of String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132, which Beethoven composed after recovering from a a serious illness. The ethereal (like so much of late Beethoven) third movement is entitled: "Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart" ("A Convalescent's Holy Song of Thanksgiving to the Divinity, in the Lydian Mode"). More transcendent and eerily beautiful music simply does not exist; the master was surely hearing the voice of God as he penned his thanks to Him in music.

Now home from a most splendid repast, I thought it appropriate to cap off the day by listening to the grandest Beethoven work of them all, the Ninth Symphony, via an historic recording (Furtwängler, Philharmonia Orchestra, Lucerne, 1954, for you enthusiasts out there). Sitting here, sipping from a small glass of decent scotch (with a splash), I feel particularly cognizant of the rich blessings bestowed upon me by an ever-loving God. Your Bloviator has had his share of adversity over the years (the early to mid-nineties were particularly brutal) but always managed to land on his feet, thanks be to God. And while my life can hardly be described as all bliss all the time, I nonetheless have much to be thankful for: a nice place to live, family and friends, a job I actually enjoy and, most of all, since 2008, the joy of having embraced the full Catholic faith.

Whatever your faith, or even if you have none at all, I wish every one of you a happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Good Multi-Culti

From the Wall Street Journal:

An English Thanksgiving, 1942

American soldiers followed in the footsteps of 17th-century Pilgrims and sat in the pew of Miles Standish. 


...In those dark days, Americans took special pleasure in displaying their homegrown holiday to the Mother Country. The English were dubious at first but slowly realized they were being invited to share in something very special.


U.S. Army Cpl. Heinz Arnold warms up the pipes in London's Westminster Abbey. Getty Images
Read it all, truly inspiring.

Friday, November 18, 2011

This is the Last Straw...

Enough, I hope, to drive even the effete progressives from New York's credentialed class into the arms of the Libertarians. The New York Times (credit where credit is due!) reports on the latest outrage of the bloated public sector, directed at a venerable New York institution:

Inspector Visits Sardi’s. Free Cheese Ends.



It was a tradition at bars like the ones in Sardi’s in the theater district: a communal cheese pot with a knife sticking out, and some crackers. First-nighters or late-nighters grabbed the knife and a cracker, spread the cheese — cheddar — and ate. Some called it dinner [all-too-true!--ed.].

Now, after a health department inspection that complained about “food not protected from potential source of contamination,” the communal pot is gone.

Other bar-food staples like peanuts and pretzels in little bowls? Sardi’s has taken them off the bar, too.

Anyone who wants cheese and crackers has to order them, and will be served his or her own pot of cheese and a couple of crackers wrapped in plastic. And now there is a price: Unlike the communal cheese pot, which was free, Sardi’s is charging $3 for a small pot of cheese and a couple of crackers and $5 for a large pot.

######

“It has to do with the health department,” said V. Max Klimavicius, the president of Sardi’s. “It’s gotten to the point that the way they’re applying the health code is so rigid, we can no longer have what we always had. The way it is now with the health department, as they say, a good inspector has to find violations. They come with flashlights and look in every corner.”

“It’s just mind-boggling,” he said. “Nobody’s happy.”

Of course nobody's happy, save for zealous and overpaid unionized government workers who relish the opportunity showing we-the-people who really is in charge. Those cheese pots were the perfect accompaniment to a gin martini (straight up with olives)...or two...or three; they really laid a nice base. The hope expressed above this egregious act might lessen New York elites' support of overwhelming and overweening government is, of course, in vain. What's more likely to occur is should they find themselves in Sardi's for a drink (one doesn't go there for the food, of course) and learn that the friendly earthenware pots stuffed with Wispride® have been banished by the germ police, they will shake their heads slightly, make a sad utterance how it must be for the best, followed by--more loudly so everyone will hear--a snarky comment how awful American cheese is, then flag down the waiter and order du fromage Selles-sur-cher (tres cher!) that is much more in keeping with people of their education and intellectual pretensions.















Really, this is so prole.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Breaking News on the Ordinariate

Cardinal Wuerl: the Anglican Ordinariate in the United States will be established on New Year's Day, 2012; the Pope has approved.

Now that that has been settled, the next item up for speculation is who will be the ordinary? I received an interesting tip who that might be back in June but nothing has come of it, yet. We shall know soon enough now.

Also something to ponder here in New York City: which, if any, Episcopal parish here will join the ordinariate? I don't see any obvious candidates. It would be my and many others' fondest wish the parishioners of glorious St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue might embrace the full Catholic faith but the chances of that happy event occurring are just about nil (although there might be a small number of parishioners at St. Thomas who would be in favor). Friends have suggested a few smaller Anglo-Catholic parishes here as possibilities but their demographics (to put it as tactfully as possible) make it extremely unlikely they would elect to become Roman Catholics.

h/t Anglican Patrimony, by way of Augustine.

Out They Go

The NYPD has cleared the protesters out of Zucotti Park, which is, sort of, the mecca of the "Occupiers." This will probably mean the end to this whole sorry business.

UPDATE: I spoke too soon! A judge has ordered the City to let 'em back in, tents and all, pending a hearing at 11:30 a.m.

UPDATE 2: The judge ordered they can go back but without their tents and stuff; rather like being told you can move into a house but not with no furniture. Also, this item:
After the camp in Zuccotti Park was cleared Tuesday, police and protesters again faced off across Lower Manhattan. Some demonstrators tried to set up a new campsite on land owned by an Episcopal church, but police ordered them to disperse and arrested those who didn't comply.
Goodness, that doesn't reflect well at all on the well-off liberals at Trinity Wall Street, which Episcopal church it surely must be; and since that parish owns a good portion of the real estate in the Financial District (courtesy a 19th century parishioner named John Jacob Astor), the Occupiers may have to roam a bit to find a new home. Perhaps the Methodists on nearby John Street will allow them to encamp on their stoop.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nobody Said This was Going to be Easy

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory:
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix has backed away from his ban on using consecrated wine for Communion at most Masses, a decision that was originally met with widespread outcry.

In an explanation of his decision in a letter to the priests of the diocese, Olmsted apologized for his own misunderstanding of church documents, including new guidelines and translations for the Catholic Mass, and for any confusion arising from his previous statement made at a priests' meeting in September.

Father Anthony Ruff, an expert on new translations for the Mass, who criticized the bishop's previous position as a "step backward," said he had never heard of a bishop "retracting so quickly."

"Anything I say could sound like gloating," Ruff said. "I think it's for local clergy and liturgical ministers to find the right way to express their goodwill and happiness with this. 
Actually, it is gloating. When Fr. Ruff states he has never heard of a bishop "retracting so quickly," the word "gloating" fairly springs to one's mind. More important, however, than triumphalism from a fan of bad liturgical English is that the reporter for the the Arizona Republic (whence this story comes) missed the lede. The underlying cause for temper tantrums thrown by the innovators has less to do with the limiting of communion sub utraque specie (under both kinds) than the limiting of civilians, otherwise known as Eucharistic ministers, the opportunity to do so (I'll wager the squawking would have been just as loud had the bishop ruled only clergy celebrants could administer the chalice). Post-Vatican II reformers were hellbent in reshaping Holy Church to resemble that of the groovier and far cooler (not to mention the higher-up-the-social ladder) Anglicans and greater involvement in the mass by the laity, whether they wanted it or not, was essential to that end (ironically, the Anglicans never went so far as to allow civilians to administer the elements, at least no Anglican church I ever attended did).

Bishop Olmsted deserves credit attempting to contain one of the more egregious liturgical reforms of post-Vatican II, one for which there was no crying need other than that the protestants did it, and one deplored by our present Pope. The bishop has shown spine in the past. What a pity he felt it necessary to cave following the inevitable shrill complaints from innovators concerning the chalice (it is uncanny how fiercely Eucharistic ministers guard their turf--like lionesses watching over their cubs). Holy Church will never recover from her Procrustean protestantization in the1970s with feckless actions like this one from the Bishop of Arizona.

h/t Angelqueen.org

Monday, November 07, 2011

From One Oracle to Another

The Christian Science Monitor (a fine newspaper indeed, even if I have certain difficulties with the rather peculiar theology of its owners) poses an interesting question:



Berkshire Hathaway doubles stock purchases. Does Buffett see something big?

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. invested $23.9 billion in the third-quarter, the most in at least 15 years. Is Berkshire Hathaway seeing something on the horizon?



I think I can answer that. I asked another oracle, which has never let me down, the following question: "Will Barack Obama be re-elected president?" and the answer was


Great minds think alike.

Showing Them How

Another person has crawled out of the woodwork to allege Herman Cain made unwanted advances to her, this one represented by the notorious (and downright bizarre) lefty ambulance chaser, Gloria Allred. One of the three or four conservatives in Hollywood, screenwriter Andrew Klavan, explains why we should let this matter proceed, unfair as it may seem.
But there’s a reason it’s unfair—a reason it should be unfair. There’s a reason we right wingers vet our candidates while the left adulates theirs, a reason we condemn our miscreants while the left elevates theirs, a reason our news outlets cover stories that the left covers up.

The reason is: we’re the good guys. We have to do what’s right. The left doesn’t. Sorry, but that’s the way it works. It’s the price you pay for defending what’s true and good, the price of holding yourself to a high moral standard. Our politicians have to be better than their politicians. Our journalists have to be more honest. Even our protesters have to behave with decorum and decency—and still suffer being slandered—while theirs can act like animals and commit acts of violence and lawlessness and spew anti-semitic filth and still find themselves excused and glorified.
We really have no choice.















Attorney Allred introduces Exhibit A at a press conference.

If Buckley were Still Alive

Neal B. Freeman speculates how the present republican candidates would fared with the late William F. Buckley, Jr.. Romney, for example:
First, he would have summoned the Republican stalwarts for catechismic instruction. Mitt Romney, invited to dinner at 73rd Street, would have been given a pass on gun control, abortion, immigration and universal health care. Bill believed that every human being is endowed by his Creator with the unalienable right to flip-flop, though Bill might have regretted, in Mr. Romney's case, that it had been exercised so vigorously.

Instead, Bill would have bored in on what he perceived to be a lacuna: namely, the widespread presumption that Mr. Romney can fix our broken economy with an economic plan that is manifestly inadequate to the challenge. Mr. Romney would have squirmed through the evening. Bill would have barely survived it. He hated to drink alone.
Read it all, an exemplar of drollity, as WFB, Jr. might have put it.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Social Justice in Zuccotti Park, One Tent at Time

Randy male Occupy Wall Streeters in Zuccotti Park have made things so bad for their filly counterparts separate quarters have had to be erected for them. From the New York Post:
It’s a safe house from the sex fiends.

Zuccotti Park has become so overrun by sexual predators attacking women in the night that organizers felt compelled to set up a female-only sleeping tent yesterday to keep the sickos away.

The large, metal-framed “safety tent” -- which will be guarded by an all-female patrol -- can accommodate as many as 18 people and will be used during the day for women-only meetings, said Occupy Wall Street organizers.
Sadly, the menfolk are displaying a cynical and shocking insensitivity to the poor gals' plight.
Some of the male OWS protesters remained in denial over the growing number of sex attacks.

“Sexual harassment gets called rape, and it’s not,” one scoffed when told of the women’s tent.
This poor thing, however, insists she's a victim.
The grope victims include Kara Demetropoulos, who told The Post she was fondled in a tent last Saturday night after accepting a man’s offer of a place to sleep.
Has our society become so depraved a respectable gal can no longer bed down with a stranger in a tent for fear of being molested? Alas, chivalry is dead after all.

Yet here's a lass who isn't at all pleased about OWS management's enlightened decision to provide separate but equal quarters for the fair sex.
One woman was also against the structure, saying the protesters who put it up took her tent down without notice to make room.

“I’m pissed! I pretty much just got evicted,” fumed Angelina Isfreed, 32, after returning to find her tent taken down. “I won’t be staying there.”
Angelina? Kitten? I know you and your comrades believe property is theft but one essential principle of property ownership and the laws enforcing it is to make it difficult to be deprived of your space just because others think they know better what to do with it. Consider this a learning experience.

Of course, when one protected group is accommodated, others will demand same.
More people may have to move. The protest organizers plan to put up seven more large tents, including ones for gay and transgender people, co-ed tents and a medical tent.
Soon to be followed, no doubt, by tents for people of color (one tent per hue, we'll assume), the handicapped, differently-abled, physically challenged and, if there's any social justice at all in Zuccotti Park, a tent for the least understood and most discriminated against minority group, sex offenders. Then all will be swell in Zuccotti Park and the protesters can get back to doing what they're paid for.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Matthew 26:40

Your Bloviator received an S.O.S. recently from a Catholic friend who was in a bit of a state because the local parish (where I don't attend Mass much these days),after having announced a 24-hour adoration, apparently fell down on the job rounding up volunteers to man the event, especially during the wee small hours. The upshot is I will be rising before the dawn tomorrow morning and trudging to a probably unheated church and attending our Lord a couple of hours.

While I will confess to feeling a smidgen put out initially when volunteering to stand in for those whose talk is more impressive than their action, on the other hand, if there is a worthier activity than spending time in the Divine Presence I don't know it. Besides, Jesus only asked for one hour from his disciples; I'll be giving him two. This is a good thing.

My Blind Item for the New York Times

From the New York Times Caucus:

The Early Word: Flying on Another’s Dime

Today’s Times:
  • Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has accepted more than 200 free flights worth $1.3 million on private planes as governor, Mike McIntire reports, including some for trips that involved official duties of interest to the planes’ owners, For instance, the head of a Texas oil refinery paid to transport Mr. Perry to a meeting where he urged Mexican officials to consider more business with Texas oil companies. While his trips do not violate state ethics laws, Mr. Perry stands out for taking private flights to complete activities related to his job as governor.
Gee, that's a great scoop, NYT. Here's another one, my gift to you: there's another government executive who constantly flies all over the place in a jet plane much, much bigger than Governor Perry's, at a cost of about $100,000 an hour, also courtesy of the taxpayer and causing huge disruptions wherever he appears. Unlike Governor Perry, however, this government executive's administration is largely considered to be a failure and his expensive trips, rather than for the furtherance of the people's business, are nothing more than thinly-veiled campaign appearances for his re-election. The executive's name escapes me for the moment but I'm sure the Times, with its renown investigative prowess, can ferret it out in no time. It might even win you another Pulitzer. Run with it (and you're welcome)!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Ars Brevis

From here (not the Onion):
BERLIN (AFP) - A cleaning woman at a German museum who mistook a sculpture for an unsightly mess has destroyed the valuable artwork beyond recognition, a spokeswoman for the western city of Dortmund said Thursday. 
The cleaner at the city's Ostwall Museum went to work on the Martin Kippenberger installation titled When It Starts Dripping From the Ceiling, which was valued by insurers at 800,000 euros ($1.1 million), she said.

The late contemporary master had created a tower of wooden slats under which a rubber trough was placed with a thin beige layer of paint representing dried rain water.

Taking it for an actual stain, the cleaner scrubbed the surface until it gleamed.
No doubt the poor woman will be fired. She ought to be given a raise and a promotion.

You Just Can't Make this Stuff Up

Surprisingly, the venue for the event below is not an Episcopal Church; the Jesuits have nothing to do with it either. No, this time it's the Lutherans but not surprisingly, it takes place in San Francisco. I do wonder, though, what the people responsible for entertainments like these will do when California goes bankrupt, there's no money left and they find themselves having to work for a living. What can they do and who in God's name would ever hire them?

UPDATE: One group has as a suggestion for these people. Personally, I don't think they're good enough for McDonalds.

A big h/t to Christopher Johnson at the MCJ. Be sure to read his take on it; you will not regret it.


2011 - 6th Annual Faith and Feminism, Womanist, Mujerista Conference

November 11 - 13, 2011

Home | PURPLE | Conf 2011 | 2011 Wksp | Calendar of Events | Directions | Contact Us | About Us | Goddess Rosary | Meet the Staff | Spirituality/Gift | Yoga | Megan's Ordination | President's Message | East Bay | Registration | Pamela Parker | Children | Drum Cr

Nuesrta Senora Maestosa Inspired by La Virgen de G
ShilohGaudalupe.jpg
© Shiloh McCloud




5th Annual Faith and Feminism – Womanist – Mujerista Conference
Sponsored by herchurch San Francisco
November 11-13, 2011
at herchurch 678 Portola Dr. San Francisco

Theme: The Feminine Face of God/dess – Paradigm for justice and empowerment

Key Note Speakers:
Jeanette Rodriguez, Ph.D.Institute for Theological Studies, Seattle University
Max DashuSuppressed Histories Archives, Oakland, CA
Mary Streufert, Ph. D. - Lutheran Feminist Scholar, ELCA Women and Justice, Chicago
Artist in Residence: Shiloh McCloud
Schedule and Workshops and leaders – see below

registration limited to 150 - so sign up ASAP
Childcare vailable during keynote presentations and workshops


Friday November 11

Friday morning options:

10:00 AM – 12:00 noon – Sacred Walks
11:00 – 12:00 Interplay
11:00 – 12:00 Kundalini Yoga
Chapel/Sacred Space available throughout conference
1:00 – 2:00 PM
Registration
Galleries Open
Altar Building
Individual Reiki Sessions Available
Labyrinth
2:00 – Conference Opening
2:30 Keynote: Dr. Jeanette Rodriguez
The Nahuatl Interpretation of Guadalupe
and its Implications for the Faith and Empowerment
3:30 Simple Group Interplay
3:40 Open Conversation (response to presentation)
4:30 – 6:00 PM
Workshops, Artist Reception, Drumming Circle
6:00 – 7:00 PM Soup and Salad Bar
7:15 PM Welcome, Sacred Drums, Sacred Dance, Chanting
8:00 PM Keynote speakers share their story/encounter with the Divine Feminine
10:00 PM (optional) Ananta performs "Elemental"
and guided Meditations with Lady Lorean of Isis Oasis
Saturday November 12
9:30 AM Welcome, Inclusive Hymns
10:00 AM Keynote: Max Dashu
Goddess of the Americas
11:30 InterPlay Full Group Movement
11:40 Open Conversation (response to presentation)
1:00 Lunch
2:30 Keynote: Dr. Jeanette Rodriguez
Guadalupe and the Feminine Face of God/dess
3:30 Simple Group Interplay
3:40 Open Conversation with Both Keynote Presenters
4:30 – 6:00 Workshops, Drumming Circle
6:00 – 7:15 Dinner
7:30 – 8:45 Mary Cassatt – the Musical Performance by Katie Ketchum
Sunday November 13
8:00 AM labyrinth
Yoga
9:00 AM Keynote: Mary Streufert, Ph.D.
9:45 Chanting/Jazz Choir with Katie Ketchum
10:30 herchurch worship - Liturgy of the Divine Feminine
12:00 Lunch
1:15 – 3:00 Workshops
3:15 - 3:30 Closing Ritual
Teas, Wine, Snacks available after conference in the Gallery Annex




Workshops Details clickhere
FRIDAY
Sacred Hiking with Kristen Hansen
Friday at 10 AM
Kundalini Yoga
Instructor Alison Newvine
Friday 11 AM, Sunday 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Interplay - Amy Shoemaker
Friday 11 AM, Friday 4:30 – 6:00 PM, Saturday 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Talking to Goddess, Powerful Voices from Many Traditions
Dr. D’vorah Grenn
Friday 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Women Body Modifications as spirituality? by Artist Sybil Erden
Friday 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Drumming Circle - Drumming Priestess Dionne Kohler
Friday 4:30 – 6:00 PM, Saturday 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Chanting with Musician and
Isis Priestess Katie Ketchum
Friday 4:30 - 6:00 PM
SATURDAY
Divine Feminine in Songs and Stories
by Dr. Jann Aldredge Clanton
Saturday 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Creative Writing - Lana Dalberg
Saturday 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Our Lady (hands on art) Visionary Artist Shiloh McCloud
Saturday 4:30 – 6:00 PM, Sunday 1:00 – 3:00 PM

Hildegard Von Bingen -- Sister Elena Kelly

Saturday 4:30 – 6:00 PM

Drumming Circle
Drumming Priestess Dionne Kohler
Friday 4:30 – 6:00 PM, Saturday 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Interplay - Amy Shoemaker
Friday 11 AM, Friday 4:30 – 6:00 PM, Saturday 4:30 – 6:00 PM
SUNDAY
Hands on ART: Tree of LifeVisionary Artist Shiloh McCloud
Saturday 4:30 – 6:00 PM, Sunday 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Bring Guadalupe into your spiritual practices – Dr. Kimberly Rae Connor
Sunday 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Kundalini Yoga
Instructor Alison Newvine
Friday 11 AM, Sunday 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Church and State,
N.O.W -Mona Lisa Wallace
Sunday 1:00 – 3:00 PM
The Unconscious Mind by Design
by Priestess Shamana Cea Hearth
Sunday 1:00 – 3:00 PM


Enter supporting content here

Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran
678 Portola Dr. San Francisco, CA 94127
Call 415-731-2953

This is not Something You See Every Day

From the Baltimore Sun:

Archdiocese of Baltimore welcomes new order of nuns

All Saints' Sisters of the Poor left the Episcopal Church two years ago


 By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun


The Archdiocese of Baltimore added a new religious order of nuns Tuesday, its first in decades and one that began as an Anglican community.
The All Saints' Sisters of the Poor left the Episcopal Church for the Roman Catholic Church two years ago. By a decree from the Vatican, they are now an official diocesan priory, or order, the same designation carried by the School Sisters of Notre Dame or the Daughters of Charity.
"We feel we have broken ground," said Mother Christina Christie, leader of the community and a nun since 1966.
Yesterday, All Saints' Day, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, all 10 members of the Catonsville convent individually professed perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience "for the rest of my life in this world." Then each signed her profession at the altar before nearly a dozen priests and bishops.
The good sisters are getting along in years (thus giving additional, if unintended, significance to "for the rest of my life in this world") and it will behoove them to seek out more vocations. This should prove an easier task now that they are part of the Holy Catholic Church; religious orders of a traditionalist bent (which the All Saints Sisters of the Poor are, as one look at the pic below will tell you) are doing rather well these days recruiting new religious, even as those orders that bear-hugged the noxious post-Vatican II reforms seem to be in irreversible decline. While the outlook for Anglican orders, which resulted from the Oxford Movement and the Catholic Revival of the nineteenth century (and always struck this writer as as slightly incongruous, even as an Anglo-Catholic) is probably even bleaker than that for the Episcopal Church.
For the newest community, it will be business as usual in their lives of prayer and service, said Christie. Now that they are an official religious institute, they can re-open their novitiate and welcome new candidates to their community. Since their change of denomination, there have been several inquiries, she said.
"We are not expecting a mad rush to join us," she said. "But we will take those that God sends us."
May she be pleasantly surprised.

                                                        Proper nuns
                                                                                   

Look Carefully


H/t John Beeler.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

What the Luftwaffe Couldn't Do...

...a small bunch of malodorous inchoate commies could: close St. Paul's Cathedral. Douglas Murray writes in the Wall Street Journal:
On Oct. 15, a group emulating New York's Occupy Wall Street decided to set up in the City of London. They originally hit the stock exchange, but after police told them to move on, they've now settled at the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral.

Initially welcomed, the militant campers have spent the last fortnight claiming the area as their own. Dozens of tents litter the cathedral's courtyard; the outdoor walls of businesses surrounding St. Paul's are plastered with messages and posters—some coherent, others less so. Last week the church closed temporarily for the first time since World War II, and the toll of the protesters is sparking public concern for a building that survived the Luftwaffe.
Part of that toll has been the resignation of the Cathedral's chancellor and dean: the former, who is sympathetic to the miscreants and doesn't wish to be around when the police eventually clear them out (as they must) and the latter, who can't see them cleared out soon enough. Murray writes further:
There is no longer one culture in Britain. There are, broadly, two. One of them—remaining dominant at least in name—clings on to the country's traditional, respectable ways. But it is self-flagellating, permanently contrite and never misses an opportunity to abolish itself. The other is constituted of all sorts of narcissisms, special-interests groups and organizations actively devoted to the destruction of our society. Unless the older and finer culture becomes willing to reassert itself, then at some point it too will be completely pushed aside. The culture that wishes to take its place not only asserts itself unapologetically—as it did back in August when riots broke out around the country—but is also not held back by any knowledge, curiosity or pity for what went before.
The States have seen a parallel of this in the decay and disappearance of the once predominant Anglo-Saxon, i.e., WASP, hierarchy and culture. What a peculiar phenomenon it was, hegemons turning on themselves, with their own church, the Episcopal Church, leading the charge. It was inevitable, I suppose. When, in the 1960s, the Episcopal Church (like its forebear the Church of England) placed social change over its already insipid soteriological and moral teachings, the WASP culture lost whatever feeble underpinnings it might have had and would be washed away in the relativistic flood of the later decades.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Diary of a Papist Convert

Note: this occasional series used to be titled Diary of a Newly Minted Papist. Three-and-a-half years have passed since that coin was struck and it is now somewhat tarnished and nicked. A slight revision of the title seemed to be in order.

******

I attended this event,



sponsored by the Catholic Artists Society, last night at this church,

                               Photo by Steve Kelly © 2009

St. Vincent Ferrer, on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Waiting for things to begin (why, oh why can't Catholics begin on time?) I looked about and took in the church. Its extraordinary beauty of course impressed me immediately; I had never been inside it before--or least so I thought. A little later, however, I felt a strong a sense of "Anglican déjà vu," that somehow, impossibly, I had been in the church before. After a time, though, I determined it was not the case but that I was simply reminded of not one but two other churches I did know well, St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and the Church of the Advent in Boston (both Episcopal, the latter where your Bloviator was confirmed an Episcopalian many years ago).

I suppose you can guess where all this is leading and sure enough, after getting home and doing some Googling, I learned all three of the churches had been designed by those godly Episcopalian architects Bertram Goodhue and Ralph Adams Cram. It was a delightful discovery; I am hardly an architectural scholar so it pleased me much to be able detect the signatures of those two in St. Vincent's. Expert or no, this I can aver this about about the churches of Goodhue and Cram: one experiences a sense of great comfort when inside them, rather like being at home, which is entirely appropriate for a house in which our Lord is present.

The Vespers and Benediction were equal to the surrounds: much plainchant and settings of Victoria and Josquin expertly sung, clouds of incense and countless servers; it was a treat for all senses, which is of course the intention. I must confess, though, to feelings of ambivalence when attending events like these, for while they fill me with gratitude and awe I also am mindful how rare they are, how they are the exception not the rule in the present Catholic Church. It is important to remember, however, as we were reminded in the lecture given by the estimable Fr. Uwe Michael Lang following, that the tide has turned for Holy Church and things are improving, however glacially. For that we must be, at once, grateful and patient.