Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Friday, 4 September 2015

Biscuits? Sausage? What Could be Bad?

Is it pathetic that I'm so glad McDonalds will start serving breakfast all day?

The Numbers Game

Every time results of a new poll or survey are released what we "knew" yesterday seems turned on its ear.
No, no, this isn't about Republican presidential; hopefuls - a new Pew study tells us about what "Catholics" in America believe.

And yeah, it's pretty depressing, but not surprising, especially when you consider the catechesis of the last five decades, and how difficult Catholic religious education becomes when the average elementary school Catholic kid seems to have four parents, one of whom identifies but doesn't practice, two of whom identify but don't believe, and one of whom is a functional pagan.

1.I don't think you hafta go to church to be a good person.
2. No one's gonna tell ME --
3. I think you gotta follow your own conscience, but I do like the palms, and bells, and incense, and statues, especially the statues -- you should see this Buddha I just got on vacation!
4. But the Redskins have a home game this Sunday and the tailgating is always AWESOME! Sometimes you just need to prioritize and let the less important stuff go...
one finding of the Pew study has given me great hope.
The study found that Catholics who regularly attend Mass are more likely to adhere to the teachings of the Church.
One could argue the chicken-or-egg question.
Do those who regularly attend Mass do so because they already are committed to the teachings of the Church?
Or, does regular Mass attendance encourage greater commitment to the Church’s teachings?
Now, how can anyone answer that question without the phrase "Source and Summit"?
And yet she does.
I definitely think that folks go to Mass because it’s what the Church teaches.
I also think, however, that the Mass has a power of its own to foster a desire to love Jesus and adhere more closely to his Church’s teachings. The closer you come to Christ – and you can’t get much closer than in Mass – the more closely you will want to follow him.
The Eucharist has the power to transform hearts.
When you go to Mass, you receive the strength and courage you need to more fully live your Catholic Faith and to be able to more faithfully and joyfully adhere to the Church’s teachings.
Repeat after me - Source and Summit. Source and Summit. Source and Summit. Source and Summit. Source and Summit. Source and Summit. Source and Summit. Source and Summit. Source and Summit. Source and Summit. Source and Summit. Source and Summit.

Sometimes I misread subject lines....

You know, and accidentally open SPAM?
Or almost discard something from a brother?

Or mistake a newsletter from a Catholic periodical for sweepstakes news, as in, you can enter ever day to win one of these fabulous....!
Register Daily: Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy Indulgence
Yes, you too can have a chance at one of these indulgences by just going to our website and regi---

Come to think of it, that fits right in with MSNBC's monumental FAIL the other day, huh?

Image result for msnbc sin abortion allow

But act fast, 'cause when they're gone, they're gone!

Eye of the Tiber Author Unveiled

I knew I liked this guy.
I can't remember exactly which article caused the most controversy, but I know that the ones written about the Mass typically get the most heated. If I write an article titled, 'Report: Some 2nd Century Roman Christians Hated Latin Mass Because It Was Said In The Vernacular,' I know I'm gonna piss off liturgical traditionalists. If I write one titled, 'Clown At Circus Mass Reprimanded For Honking Sanctus Horn At Wrong Part Of Consecration,' I know it's gonna piss off whatever the complete opposite of a liturgical traditionalist is. I think they're called Protestants, actually.
And I'm glad he made a joke about hard liquor.
What can I say, the ideas that come to people when they're stotious are hee-larious. And when they try to put them into words pretending to still be sensible - well, that's gold.

I'm feeling a bit off about another of my guilty pleasures - Drunk History. The thing about it is, it doesn't have to be so obscenity-laden, the real humor comes from the anachronistic phraseology.

Image result for " michael cera" "alexander hamilton" phone
"So Alexander Hamilton calls his girlfriend, er, his wife...."

Yeah, that was your mistake, identifying the nature of the relationship between these people, barely out of the 16th century.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Then I Guess I'm Looking Forward To His Presidency

"I will be so good at foreign policy it will make your head spin.

Image result for linda blair head spin

”But obviously, I’m not meeting these people, I’m not seeing these people.
“I think by the time we get to office, they’ll all be changed. They’ll be all gone....Those are like history question – do you know this one, do you know that one?"
This guy will know thisstuff  "when it’s appropriate. I will know more about it than you know, and believe me, it won’t take me long."

Well all righty, then.

I can't help it, I like tenors....

Jonas Kaufmann's Nessun Dorma: The Puccini Album comes out September 11.
I would feel that way even if he didn't look the way he does.

There is an older recording of  the title track which is... pretty awful. So I'm not utterly in thrall to Kaufmann's looks and acting, (which is stupendous,) I can be discriminating.

I would quibble with NPR's critic, Tom Huizenga, who says, "While he may not project the thrilling Italianate muscle of Franco Corelli in Puccini's biggest hit, Kaufmann's brawny, burnished tone is gorgeous."

That's exactly what I thought as I listened to the title track, omw, the best aspects of Corelli in his prime! (Without any of the, sorry, Franco, extravagant gulping.)

"Well, I Read It On the Internet, So It Must Be....."

I have heard over and over, from many people, that in the olden days, (that's right, during which I was alive,) many, many Catholics -- mostly lay people, but some priests, and it wouldn't surprise me to learn some bishops could be included in this group -- got their ecclesiastical news from the secular media.
"Time Magazine says that Vatican Two ordered us to..."

"The Star Ledger says Pope John XXIII wants us to..."

"According to the Gazette-Journal, Catholics no longer have to...."

"From now on, it said on WCBS, Catholics don't believe...."
"A guy on the radio said that from now on Catholics are allowed to..."
I don't think anyone would deny this led to a great deal of confusion, and the dissemination of disinformation, and some bald untruths -- utter, agenda-driven LIES that "everybody knows" to be "true."

And I wouldn't say it was the fault of media or of the Church structure itself, since the Church was used to moving slowly, and there was a protocol to who needed to be informed and in what order that information was to come, that was not always observed or even known by people in the press, (this was taken advantage of by the unscrupulous fringes of the Church, but I digress.)

It isn't only in matters ecclesiastical that such protocols obtain.
I remember standing in my Mother-in-law's kitchen, having just told her that we were going to be married, when I hung up the phone Himself was trying to dial, (no, not really "dial", but push buttons,) with a very firm, No. I don't care who you're trying to call, sibs, or ex-wife, or best friend, but not before I get my Mom on the phone to give HER the news.

So, is the Catholic Church reliving the sixties?

I mean, it seems unlikely, in this day and age of instant communication, but can it be that the Holy Father's letter regarding, no, revealing his indulgences for the Year of Mercy was so off-the-cuff that,
"a question also arises as to why there was not a direct communication to the SSPX. The communique from the SSPX indicates that they only learned about it via the press. Generally, grants of faculty are communicated directly to the cleric to whom the faculty is being granted or to the cleric’s superior where appropriate." [emphasis added.]
I get that canon law and that kind of thing has changed since the Holy Father studied for the priesthood, but, um... isn't that the reason why people in positions of ENORMOUS authority and influence and responsibility have advisors?

Captain Picard Has Left Star Fleet For the Catholic Priesthood

Image result for john corapi

I kid.
It's actually some good news about someone I'd forgotten about, (although Himself's dead-on vocal impression of Fr Corapi sometimes gets trotted out when there is Church news about any priest, or we hear a speaker with a particualrly rotund declamatory presence.)
Not sure how reliable any of the links in the source chain are, but there you have it -
At Renew America Catholic reporter Matt Abbott makes a statement about Father John Corapi, who dropped off the radar screen about four years ago after apparently leaving the priesthood.
A bit of good news to share: A reliable source has informed me that Father John Corapi, a popular priest among orthodox Catholics who departed public life after a tumultuous period a few years ago, remains in the priesthood and is re-establishing his spiritual life.
What does this mean?  Is father permitted to say Mass or hear Confessions?  Is he living in a monastery?  At some point will we hear something vindicating Fr. Corapi?  Will he return to public life one day?  I would have to guess that if he could he would.
There's no indication he'll be returning to public life anytime soon, if ever. However, it's nice to know that Father Corapi can at least be a quiet prayer warrior during this extremely difficult time in the Church and world.
I won't go into the particulars about what transpired in the past – it's water under the bridge – and I'm sure there's information on the Internet (some of it more reliable than other information, obviously) for those who may not be familiar with the situation. Plus, those who really didn't pay attention to him in the first place likely don't care one way or the other about his current status.
Father Corapi was very popular.  Many thousands were catechized and strengthened through his ministry.  He was not politically correct.  He was a conservative Catholic and a military man.  He was not reluctant to call out his superiors if he thought necessary.
The bottom line is that we all are wounded and spiritually/morally fall often (I know I do!). We just have to try our best to keep moving forward in faith in this "valley of tears." A very difficult task, I must say. That doesn't mean condoning moral corruption or remaining silent about it, but we all need God's mercy.
I've never seen anything convincing about the accusations against Fr. Corapi but it isn't surprising that his own leadership moved against him.  That kind of thing happens to faithful and effective Catholics at times.  Slander, false accusations, bogus proceedings and judgments.  It's entirely possible.  I did however, see an entire Catholic media fall on him based on the internal conclusions.  I'm not satisfied that a bishop, a tribunal, and some hearsay are the last word on him.  I think few people know what actually happened.
It's true he acted quite odd and he's not saying anything.  What would you do if your enemies tried to crush everything you'd built and forced you to end your life confined in some facility run by heretics, homosexuals, and cutthroats?  He might have been looking at that possibility.  I'm not concluding he's a victim.  I'm just saying that it wouldn't be so unusual if he were....
In order for Father Corapi to be a fraud he would have to have been a fraud all along.  I can see a man sinking, but he was once faithful priest and a clear thinker.  Sin can darken a mind, but it doesn't easily conquer someone with faith and with a conscience formed like that.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

If the Liturgy Does Not Compel You To Be a Better Person..

...then you fail in the service you are commanded to render to your fellows, (man, woman,; black, white, pink, tan; born, unborn, living, dead.)
If serving your fellows, does not compel you to a more profound and solemn worship of the Triune God, than you are failing in the service you are commanded to offer God.
The two greatest commandments in a nutshell.
More than worth your time.
Father Nix, (new to me.)
"Planned Murderhood and Liturgical Abuse"
(You thopught they were unrelated?)
When I was sidewalk counseling at an abortion clinic last Friday, it hit me that it’s good that there’s actually a few priests and bishops speaking out against Planned Parenthood, but there’s still something worse than abortion.
“For no crime is there heavier punishment to be feared from God than for the unholy or irreligious use [of the Holy Eucharist.]”—Council of Trent, De Euch v.i., 16th century.
This could either refer to sacrilegious Masses or sacrilegious reception of Holy Communion.
Of course, the interior state of a person who is receiving Holy Communion can never be judged by another, especially based on exterior indications.  However, a priest or a bishop who publicly tramples the rubrics of his rite commits a public act of sacrilege, calling down upon him “the heaviest punishment to be feared from God.”
Consider four frequently-broken rubrics found in a post-Vatican II document called Redemptionis Sacramentum:
1) “When Holy Mass is celebrated for a large crowd – for example, in large cities – care should be taken lest out of ignorance non-Catholics or even non-Christians come forward for Holy Communion, without taking into account the Church’s Magisterium in matters pertaining to doctrine and discipline. It is the duty of Pastors at an opportune moment to inform those present of the authenticity and the discipline that are strictly to be observed.”—Redemptionis Sacramentum 84
2) “The chalice should not be ministered to lay members of Christ’s faithful where there is such a large number of communicants that it is difficult to gauge the amount of wine for the Eucharist and there is a danger that more than a reasonable quantity of the Blood of Christ remain to be consumed at the end of the celebration.”—Redemptionis Sacramentum 102
3) “Only out of true necessity is there to be recourse to the assistance of extraordinary ministers in the celebration of the Liturgy.”—Redemptionis Sacramentum 151
4) “If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.”—Redemptionis Sacramentum92....
We should return to my original topic:  What does obedience to Redemptionis Sacramentum have to do with ending abortion? Read Exodus 25 and Exodus 26.   The chapters contain God’s instructions to Moses regarding Divine Worship.  The Ark and the Tabernacle had to be fabricated exactly as God said—down to the centimeter.  In Exodus 25-26, following the “legalistic rules” of worship does indeed come before social justice.   Hence, in the New Covenant, for “no crime is there heavier punishment to be feared from God than for the unholy or irreligious use [of the Eucharist.]”—Trent.   Redemptionis Sacramentum is a lot easier to follow than the Trent, and yet it’s still being ignored by “conservative” pastors.  If we eschew the minimum of God’s request on worship, how can we ask Him to end abortion?
In fact, any priest or bishop who preaches the hard truths of marriage while not fulfilling the minimum found above in Redemptionis Sacramentum may be the very person Jesus spoke of when He said: “You load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.”—Luke 11:46.  So-called “conservative” pastors are often the worst culprits in persecuting the few priests and laity who wish to hold to all of Redemptionis Sacramentum.   At least, I have to honor the “progressives” for their consistency:  They don’t hypocritically pretend to fight the Unborn Holocaust or this Liturgical Holocaust.  Some even have genuine zeal for their own pet-projects.
I don’t think we priests can sincerely ask God to end the Unborn Holocaust until we have collectively become obedient to Him in ending this Liturgical Holocaust.  It would cost us little more than short-lived popularity.  Until then, it may be costing unborn babies their lives.

"But the Birds... SIng"

Mons. [I don't care what Facebook says,] Charles Pope reflects most wonderfully on the voices of creation, and Joseph Ratzinger's proposition regarding them and the right order of our worship of the All in All.

As an unacceptably loud person, I know I have much to learn and much to accomplish in this regard.

It's a noisy world in which we live, and I find I seldom help to alleviate it.
Consider, then, this remarkable analysis by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, written back before the Internet and social media had turned up the volume even more. He paraphrases an insight by Gandhi, applies it to his analysis of our times, and then proposes a healing remedy to restore balance:
I would like to note a beautiful saying of Mahatma Gandhi … Gandhi refers to the three habitats of the cosmos and how each of these provides its own mode of being. The fish live in the sea, and they are silent. The animals of the earth scream and shout; but the birds, whose habitat is the heavens, sing. Silence is proper to the sea, shouting to the earth and singing to the heavens. Man has a share in all three of them. He carries the depths of the sea, the burden of the earth, and the heights of the heavens in himself. And for this reason, all three properties also belong to him: silence, shouting, and singing.
Today—I would like to add—we see only the shouting is left for the man without transcendence, since he only wants to be of the earth. …
The right liturgy, the liturgy of the Communion of the Saints, restores totality to him. It teaches him silence and singing again by opening him to the depths of the sea and teaching him to fly, the angels’ mode of being. It brings the song buried in him to sound once more by lifting up his heart. …
Right liturgy … liberates us from ordinary, everyday activity and returns to us once more the depths and the heights, silence and song … Right liturgy … sings with the angels … is silent with the expectant depths of the universe, and that is how it redeems the earth (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger Collected Works, Vol 11, Theology of the Liturgy, Ignatius Press, p. 460).
This is a remarkable analysis and application of liturgy and cosmology to the issues and imbalances of our day! It is in the vein of “Save the Liturgy, save the world.” For indeed, only in the worship of God do we find our true selves. Only in the liturgy is our true personality formed. The human person in his glory unites the material and spiritual orders. We are capable of pregnant, expectant silence; of the joyful shout of praise and the Gospel going forth; and of the song of Heaven.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Some TV, For Instance, Is "Eroding My Inner Sea Wall"

Brilliant phrase from Quentin Letts:" 
There is a danger, when reporting trash, of elevating that trash, of normalising it and eroding our inner sea walls of revulsion."

And I don't even have the excuse that I must watch ion order to on the coarseness that passes for family entertainment.

Reading Fr Hunwicke

I am always sorry when I realize I have forgot to check in on Liturgical Notes, that is, Father Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment, in some time, but then delighted because there is so much to read.

And some of it is even within my understanding!!!!!

Anyway, some thoughts of his connecting John the Baptizer, (who came up with that silly sounding translation, which we heard for a while?) and Synods  and bishops and what a jolly thing it is letting bygones be bygones:

Off with his head?

As History and S John Paul II both teach, the Rosary has been/is a flexible devotion. I sometimes recall my great Patron by saying these decades: The Annunciation to Zachary; the Visitation; the Nativity of S John Baptist; the Baptism of Christ; and the Decollation of S John Baptist.

In this delightfully hypersynodical age, what a very topical festival today's commemoration is. How sad it never occurred to S John Baptist to make clear to Herod and Herodias that all would be tickety boo about their interesting and fulfilling 'union' if only they performed an episcopally-authorised 'Penitential Path'.

Anyway, the Good News is that nobody has decapitated Cardinal Marx.

"Tragedy," "Unjust," "A Defeat," "Agonizing Decision"

Yes, yes, all of those, and women do experience and remember their abortions as an "existential and moral ordeal."
But as I expected, or at least feared, Pope Francis has not couched his beautiful gesture in language of a precision to forestall the distortion we know the enemies Enemy of life will attempt to disseminate.
Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.
One of the serious problems of our time is clearly the changed relationship with respect to life. A widespread and insensitive mentality has led to the loss of the proper personal and social sensitivity to welcome new life.
The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realising the extreme harm that such an act entails.
Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe they they have no other option. I think in particular of all the women who have resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonising and painful decision.
What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father.
For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.
May priests fulfil this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.
"Changed relationship with respect to life"?
And other priests provide "a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed," so we need never go into that?
I understand that in the extension of this [eternal] lifeline, it may not be the acceptable time to do so, but does he ever really go into it?
I wonder if this merciful gesture also offers accessories, purchasers and abortionists themselves a new path to absolution and the lifting of latae sententiae excommunications which were incurred through their "insensitive mentality"?

Well, God's ways are not my ways, and I would make a lousy pope, so what do I know?

Our Evolving Definition of Marriage

I. Can't. Even.
(Couldn't open the NYTimes article which this photo accompanied, but i believe it's about courthouse, or bureau, or civil marriages?)

If Only the Establishment Clause's Power Could Be Used For Good and Not Evil?

Well lookie, lookie. They can!
(Seriously, I have always thought that - even when I was a kid and didn't, AFAIK, have a single Satanist, Muslim, Wiccan, Hindu or Buddhist among my acquaintance, I wondered if the people who were still fighting the lost cause of "prayer in school" had considered how they would react if their children happened to be in the class of a devout person not of the Judeo-Christian persuasion who led the children in a prayer of which the parents might not approve.)
(I didn't put it like that, don't think I knew the phrase "Judeo-Christian heritage," my thought were actually more along the lines of, wow, what if Mrs. Abercrombie was a pagan and we prayed to Minerva? That would be cool!)
In a society that sometimes seems to be doing its damnedest, (word chosen with care,) to silence certain religious voices in public debate, it is nothing short of bizarre that anyone would seek to deny the expression and action -- perhaps that should read "expression IN action"? -- of a non-religious entity's voice.

Have we not all the right to act in accordance with our morals and ethics, whatever their source, to try to create a society that is moral and ethical, as we define those things?
Not necessarily to prevail, but certainly to call upon them in making our decisions as to what promotes the common good?
A federal judge on Monday sided with an anti-abortion group in its challenge of a key birth control provision of the Obama administration's health care overhaul.
The decision from U.S. District Judge Richard Leon adds to the legal debate surrounding the law's requirement that contraceptives for women be included among a range of cost-free, preventive benefits offered to employees.
The 29-page opinion held that March for Life could be exempt from the requirement, known as the contraceptive mandate, even though it is a non-religious organization that opposes abortion on ethical grounds rather than religious ones.
March for Life, which holds annual anti-abortion marches in Washington, was founded in 1973 following the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade opinion that established the legal right to abortion. The organization contends that life begins at conception and opposes coverage in its health insurance plans for methods of contraception that it likens to abortion.
So legally you can be "not religious, but spiritual", (even if the hearer of such a statement is "not honest, but interested.")
Speaking of being interesting - I wonder how many of the individuals who make up that "non-religious entity" are very religious indeed. I'll bet a high percentage.
(Me, I often if not usually interpret"spiritual but not religious" to mean "I know what I really ought to do, but I prefer to do what I really want to do, and besides, I like to sleep in." Especially since most of the people from whom I happen to have heard it over the years are in professions in which any idiot knew you couldn't really do much of anything if you didn't, whaddya call it? .... oh, yeah,  practice.)

Year of Mercy Shocker

I'm glad I changed my home page to the Catholic World Report, it's far more interesting, and edifying to sign on to than click bait about the latest Jendashian hijinx, or the Secret Insurers/Doctors/Bankers/Car salesmen Don't Want You To Know!

This, while it headlines the more widespread faculty to absolve of the sin of a procured abortion, (not sure why, but my vague impression is that in at least one diocese in which i lived the bishop had already extended it to all his priests. Don't know how widespread this is.)

And I'll be honest, the way the article is written,  I'm thinking yet again that His Holiness could have... parsed? his words a bit better. The full text, which I will look for now, may clear that up for me.

But this, to me, is even more wonderful because it speaks of a reconciliation not just between sinner and the Body of Christ, but reconciliation, a binding up of a deeper wound on the Body of Christ, a rift in its very structure. And frankly, dealing as it does with a wing of the Church with which Francis is too often complained not to be in sympathy, it is beyond amazing.
In another significant move, Francis has also allowed priests from the Society of St Pius X to “validly and licitly” hear confessions during the Holy Year.
“This Jubilee Year of Mercy excludes no one,” the Pope said in his letter, explaining several bishops have informed him of the society’s “good faith and sacramental practice,” albeit combined with an “uneasy situation from the pastoral standpoint.”...

In his letter, Francis expressed his confidence that solutions to recovering full communion with the priests and superiors of the Society could be found in the near future.
In the meantime, “motivated by the need to respond to the good of these faithful, through my own disposition,” he declared that those who approach priests of the Society for confession during the jubilee “shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins.”
 Let us all find our "holy doors" through which to walk

Monday, 31 August 2015

There is Nothing New Under the Sun, My Fellow Liturgical Musicians

Wait...  here we are with a new book treating of beloved characters from an old book... hmm, I shall have to consider the paradox.
Let us exchange the previous axiomatic cliche ['zat redundant?] for "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

I don't read novels anymore, literally, none.
About twelve years ago I went from voracious consumption mostly of literary novels and classics, never fewer than a half dozen stacked up on the floor on my side of the bed, didn't matter as long as they were light enough, (literally, of a low enough weight, so as not to strain wrists or eyesight in bed,) several a week, (when is the new AN Wilson coming out, I must know!!!!!!!! and oh, look I never read this Charlotte Bronte novel, PLEASE let it be as good as Villette!!!!!) to zero.
 I still read tons, but just, somehow, not novels, and I can't figure it out.

But that's really not my point.

Himself is crazy for his Kindle, and is reading Go Set... and made me read a passage that had me in stitches.
From the time of Jean Louise’s earliest ecclesiastical recollection, Maycomb had sung the Doxology in one way and in one way only:


a rendition as much a tradition of Southern Methodism as Pounding the Preacher. That Sunday, Jean Louise and the congregation were in all innocence clearing their throats to drag it accordingly when out of a cloudless sky Mrs. Clyde Haskins crashed down on the organ

PraiseGodfromwhomall Bles—sings—Flo—w

PraiseHimallcreatures He—re Bee—low

PraiseHimaboveye Heav’n—ly Ho—st

PraiseFatherSonand Ho—ly Gho—st!

In the confusion that followed, if the Archbishop of Canterbury had materialized in full regalia Jean Louise would not have been in the least surprised: the congregation had failed to notice any change in Mrs. Haskins’s lifelong interpretation, and they intoned the Doxology to its bitter end as they had been reared to do, while Mrs. Haskins romped madly ahead like something out of Salisbury Cathedral.
Jean Louise’s first thought was that Herbert Jemson had lost his mind. Herbert Jemson had been music director of the Maycomb Methodist Church for as long as she could remember. .... He had devoted thirty years’ spare time to his church, and his church had recently rewarded him with a trip to a Methodist music camp in South Carolina.
Jean Louise’s second impulse was to blame it on the minister. He was a young man, a Mr. Stone by name...
Mr. Stone had long been suspected of liberal tendencies; he was too friendly, some thought, with his Yankee brethren; he had recently emerged partially damaged from a controversy over the Apostles’ Creed... [but he] was tone deaf.
Unruffled by Herbert Jemson’s breach of allegiance, because he had not heard it, Mr. Stone rose and walked to the pulpit with Bible in hand.
[Jean Louise] felt amusement turning into indignant displeasure and she stared straight at Herbert Jemson throughout the service. How dare he change it? Was he trying to lead them back to the Mother Church? Had she allowed reason to rule, she would have realized that Herbert Jemson was Methodist of the whole cloth: he was notoriously short on theology and a mile long on good works.
The Doxology’s gone, they’ll be having incense next—orthodoxy’s my doxy. ...
Mr. Stone had pronounced the benediction and was on his way to the front door when she went down the aisle to corner Herbert, who had remained behind to shut the windows. Dr. Finch was faster on the draw:
“—shouldn’t sing it like that, Herbert,” he was saying. “We are Methodists after all, D.V.”
“Don’t look at me, Dr. Finch.” Herbert threw up his hands as if to ward off whatever was coming. “It’s the way they told us to sing it at Camp Charles Wesley....The music instructor... taught a course in what was wrong with Southern church music. He was from New Jersey,” said Herbert....
“He said we might as well be singing ‘Stick your snout under the spout where the Gospel comes out’ as most of the hymns we sing. Said they ought to ban Fanny Crosby by church law and that Rock of Ages was an abomination unto the Lord....He said we ought to pep up the Doxology.”
“Pep it up? How?”
“Like we sang it today.”...
“Apparently,” [Dr Finch] said, “apparently our brethren in the Northland are not content merely with the Supreme Court’s activities. They are now trying to change our hymns on us.”
Herbert said, “He told us we ought to get rid of the Southern hymns and learn some other ones. I don’t like it—ones he thought were pretty don’t even have tunes.”
Dr. Finch’s “Hah!” was crisper than usual, a sure sign that his temper was going. He retrieved it sufficiently to say, “Southern hymns, Herbert? Southern hymns?”....
“Now, Herbert,” he said, “let us sit quietly in this sanctuary and analyze this calmly. I believe your man wishes us to sing the Doxology down the line with nothing less than the Church of England, yet he reverses himself—reverses himself—and wants to throw out … Abide with Me?....What about When I Survey the Wondrous Cross?”
“That’s another one,” said Herbert. “He gave us a list.”
“Gave you a list, did he? I suppose Onward, Christian Soldiers is on it?”
“At the top.”
“Hur!” said Dr. Finch. “H. F. Lyte, Isaac Watts, Sabine Baring-Gould.”
Dr. Finch rolled out the last name in Maycomb County accents: long a’s, i’s, and a pause between syllables.
“Every one an Englishman, Herbert, good and true,” he said. “Wants to throw them out, yet tries to make us sing the Doxology like we were all in Westminster Abbey, does he? Well, let me tell you something.... your man’s a snob, Herbert, and that’s a fact.”
“He was sort of a sissy,” said Herbert.

Catholics More Catholic In Their Thinking If Practicing Catholicism, Survey Shocker!

So says a Knights of Columbus/Marist poll.
Both practicing and non-practicing Catholics see the following issues as important, although practicing Catholics are more likely to see the value of these issues:
    • Daily prayer (96 percent/practicing vs. 79 percent/non-practicing).
    • Following the teachings of the Church (93 percent/practicing vs. 70 percent/non-practicing).
    • Receiving the sacraments (93 percent/practicing vs. 61 percent/non-practicing).
    • Attending Mass regularly (89 percent/practicing vs. 42 percent/non-practicing).
In addition, 83 percent of practicing Catholics think it is important to belong to a parish andabout half of non-practicing Catholics (48 percent) see this as important. About three quarters of practicing Catholics (72 percent) believe it is important to go to confession at least annually, and about four in 10 (39 percent) of non-practicing Catholics say the same.
A more notable contrast was in beliefs about the Eucharist. About two-thirds of practicing Catholics (65 percent) say the Eucharist is the true presence of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, a similar number of non-practicing Catholics (64 percent) say it is just “a symbol.”
I'll tell you, the only faintly surprising thing, at least if you follow his coverage by either saecualr or Catholic media, is about the Holy Father.

If you took newspapers and Catholic bloggers at their word, you would "know" that "conservative" Catholics hate Pope Francis.

But I think it is safe to say, that what are termed "conservative" Catholics, you know, the ones who were thought to be clutching their pearls at Laudato Si, are more faithful regular in their Mass atendance, reception of the sacraments, etc.
(No, I don't have a poll or survey to cite just now.)
But guess what? approval of Francis goes up among  the practicing.
Among all Americans, Pope Francis enjoys an approval rating of nearly six in 10 (58 percent). Among non-practicing Catholics the number grows to seven in 10 (70 percent), but among practicing Catholics, the number jumps to more than eight in 10 (83 percent).
That's right. Sorry to disappoint you neo-con Catholic newsmen and rabid anti-Francis bloggers on the one hand, and the never-saw-a-heresy-you-didn't-give-equal-time-to progressive presbyteral talking heads on the other, in other words, all you bemoaning "papal positivism," for one reason or another.

Catholic Schools Promoting Catholic Teaching - the Unmitigaged Gall !!!!

Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield IL seems to be under the impression that those schools in his purview are for the creation of virtuous persons!

Oh, my God, is there no end to the wickedness of Papists?

He seems not to understand that his Church is just a collection of arbitrary rules and suggestions, that have no place in the making of moral and ethical decisions!
How dare he foist his opinions and his beliefs on people who are just looking for a cheap alternative to prep schools, (as indicated by the way, according to stats provided by one of the secular news outlets that has its panties in a bunch the percentage of non-Catholic attending Catholic school in the diocese jumps from elementary to high school,)?

And if parents of a child in the school are publicly flouting what those wacky Catholic Christians is mandated by God's law or by natural law he's, oh my God, I can hardly bring myself to type this --- he's insisting that they dialogue!
Yes, that's right, you're not seeing things, he wants them to come in for a [shudder] MEETING.

Because, you know, the Worship of God and Salvation of Souls.

Oh the humanity!

Do you suppose the Catholic parents of a child in an evangelical protestant school are within their rights to insist that when the kiddies are doing art projects, or working on memorization that utilize scripture, that they not use the KJV, or NLT or NIV,  little Mary Bernadette will use the NAB, thank you very much?
Or is it only Catholics who provoke these diatribes when they promote a way of life that's, um, Catholic?

Can you imagine if an Islamic school in the US told the owner of a liquor distributor who wished to enroll his kids in a madrassa to be prepared, that the were not going to avoid  the Muslim teaching on alcohol just to please him?
Or a Christian Scientist, (or do I mean Jehovah's Witnesses?) school agreed never to mention their attitude toward blood transfusions?
Or a group that engaged in ecstatic dancing promised a parent of a denom that forbade dancing that they would water down or gloss over  their religion for him?

Or any religion whose teachings included any stances that were counter-cultural which ran a school?

Would the State Journal-Register be whinging about that?

Here's the document for Springfield that parents are asked to sign.
Oh, you're not Catholic? Who is forcing you to enroll your kids there?

There's an old saying in community theatre that too many star wannabes and drive-by members of the organization don't realize that it's more about "community" that "theatre."

Well, many parents, Catholic and non-, and of course the secular media, don't understand that Catholic Schools are and should be more about Catholicism than Scholarship. The latter is an accidental, and its purpose is to reinforce the former.

The money thing, the tithing?
I don't know about any of the parochial and high schools in Springfield, but in any other diocese of which I've had any knowledge even the out-of-parish, out of the Faith tuition didn't begin to cover the actual costs per student.

The sacrifices made by the teachers, (most could get much better money elsewhere,) and the average PIP, (most of whom, childless or not, do not have children in the schools in question,) are to build up the Faith, to build up the Church, to produce good Catholic, to - I can hardly believe this needs saying and I know when it is said it is roundly mocked - TO SAVE SOULS.

Here endeth the rant.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

If ONLY Clothes Made the Man! Gotta See a Man About a Cassock

(I say "if only" because I have one, and if it had superpowers, I'd gladly give it away.)

This is really quite fascinating, a writer, in Esquire Magazine, puts on the "uniform" of different occupations, and discovers that, if the cassock only change him a bit, it certainly changes the people around him.

A quibble -
The salesclerk was a former Dominican priest. There is fashion among the priests, he said. It's rare for an American priest to wear a cassock outside the church. But, he said, it's becoming more common: "It used to be considered a little vain. But you go to the seminary now and young priests insist on the cassock. They're more conservative and they want to be seen as committed."
He thought I could pass. "Just look like you're going somewhere on church business."
At that, the third-generation owner of the store stepped out of her office to tell me that she disagreed. "No priest would wear that in public."
Ummm... I'll grant her, it's rare most places in this country, but the trouble is, this was done in Chicago, one of the few cities where you actually can see such a thing, and the man doesn't have to be from the Eastern Churches.
Generally, when you wear a uniform, no one will touch you. Except the priest. People will touch a priest. On the wrist mostly. It happened to me twelve times, just a tap in the middle of a conversation. An assertion of connection, an acknowledgment of some commonality I could not fathom. Weirdly, the priest's outfit was the most physically demanding uniform to wear. All day with the hugging, and the kneeling to speak to children, and the leaning in for the selfies....
 sweeping the city with the hem of my cassock hither and yon was more like being a beautiful woman than it was representing myself as a celibate guy who lives in a two-room apartment in Hyde Park. I'm telling you: People lingered in their gaze, without lust. I was a fascination, looked at fondly so many times that fondness itself seemed the currency of the world to me. It made me like the world better....
People want to believe.  Especially people in need. All day long, I was faced with homeless men, homeless families, crouched in the street. Sometimes they reached up to me, touched my wrist. Twice I was asked for a blessing that I could not give. Not in the way they wanted. I started wishing that I were capable of performing a service for the world. And I found I could not do nothing. The uniform comes with some responsibility; otherwise, it is just a party costume. I started kneeling down, holding out a ten-dollar bill, and saying, "I'm not a priest. But I feel you." And I couldn't do it once without doing it a couple dozen times....
It's easy to put on a cassock. And it's really not easy to wear one at all.

Like the news, only important...