Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

A Question Addressed to the Synod Fathers

Just wow.
I remember long ago hearing something to the effect that, "you cannot keep a promise you have not made."
(This was in the days when virtually the entire western world seemed to be saying, "it's just a piece of paper.")
How much harder might it be to try to keep a promise that even the historic witness to that promise says is negotiable, mutable, bendable, breakable, ephemeral - less, even, then "just a piece of paper"?
Nothing, a convention.
Let's be adult about this....
Bishops, will you cast your lot with a few privileged and aging prelates from countries in which the Church is dying? Or will you follow Christ and stand up for the truth and beauty of marriage? Will you champion the most vulnerable of your flock?
For a woman who has chosen, or perhaps been chosen by, a very traditional role of Catholic wife and mother, Rachael Marie Collins packs a hella punch.

Is the adversary down for the count?

How fortunate I am to have have the models of married love I have had.
And how lucky Mrs. Collins' children are.

Craft Activities With Children in Religious Ed

Last year in Sunday school I had a group that really, really liked to do skits, so basically any story or situation on which I wanted to concentrate in a given class, I wrote up a quick sketch, trying to use the exact number of people who would be begging to take a role.
(Because yes, there were inevitably whines of "I only got one line! My brother has two..." answered with "Yeah, but yours has seven words and both of mine are only three, you have more, it's not fair!"; as well as cries of terror, "I have too many lines, I can't say three lines, why did you give me so many lines??!?@?!???")
Anyway, this year, nobody much wants to act, and although they are great with vocabulary and analogies, no one is keen on writing anything down.

Strangely, I don't actually need much in the way of activities, because they are far more inquisitive than any class I've had so far, we may not get to what I planned to talk about, but we have great conversations because they ask great questions and are quick to make connections and go off on worthwhile tangents.

But still, I do like having some craft ideas at the ready.

Probably any Catholic working with children already knows about this, or has favorites of their own, but Catholic Icing is new to me, and has some wonderful ideas, (I'm especially looking forward to adapting this to other seasons, if I get up the nerve to risk dye with a group that has two or three hyperactive guys....)
craft tie dyed crosses from leftover easter egg dye

Monday, 5 October 2015


EffCap is the pronunciation of an acronym for what is, essentially, the way every Christian is called upon to react to Liturgy, his duty, when it comes down to it.

F. C. A. P. He must, yes, MUST, try to engage in -F-ull, -C-onscious, and -A-ctive -P-articipation.

None of this needs to be perceptible to anyone but God, it must be said. He does not owe the song leader decibels, nor the celebrant visible attention as indicated by gaze locked upon him.

The "action" is most importantly, interior.

But do not neglect the way one may aid ones fellow in the pew by strong singing when called for, how one can teach children and neophytes in the vicinity by modeling postures and gestures!

Sadly, I have lately had recourse to a newer term and acronym - "EffCrap." The "r" is for "raucous."

Full Conscious Raucous Active Participation? NEVER called for!

But alas, it is ubiquitous.

I always enjoy Colin Mawby's "Vivace" newsletter. If you don't subscribe to the newsletter? so do it already!

Anyway, the latest issue recounts this horror-
In some churches it has become fashionable to applaud the musicians at the conclusion of a service. ... I write as a liturgical musician, but I question whether this is right.
The main purpose of liturgy is the worship of God. ...
One of the problems of the liturgical reforms is that many services have become man-centred rather than God-centred and applause underlines this approach.
Does a congregation ever applaud God or the Word of God? I have never experienced this although I recall a church where after the Consecration the priest called out: “Three cheers for God: hip, hip!”
Can you even?
I can't....

Respecting the World's "Rich and Varied Ethical Standards’

Yes, that's what the world has, "rich and varied ethical standards."

And people who aren't... "morally flexible," fail to go along to get along.

Sour pusses! Cranks!! Mushroomfaces!!!

 Margot Wallström, the Swedish foreign minister, denounced the subjugation of women in Saudi Arabia. As the theocratic kingdom prevents women from travelling, conducting official business or marrying without the permission of male guardians, and as girls can be forced into child marriages where they are effectively raped by old men, she was telling no more than the truth. 
Wallström went on to condemn the Saudi courts for ordering that Raif Badawi receive ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up a website that championed secularism and free speech. These were ‘mediaeval methods’, she said, and a ‘cruel attempt to silence modern forms of expression’....
Saudi Arabia withdrew its ambassador and stopped issuing visas to Swedish businessmen. The United Arab Emirates joined it. 
The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, which represents 56 Muslim-majority states, accused Sweden of failing to respect the world’s ‘rich and varied ethical standards’ — standards so rich and varied, apparently, they include the flogging of bloggers and encouragement of paedophiles. Meanwhile, the Gulf Co-operation Council condemned her ‘unaccept-able interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.'
Really, shouldn't whatever man has charge of her put a sock in it, since she has been so unwomanly as to speak out herself, refusing to put a sock in it?
A speech she was supposed to deliver to the Arab League was cancelled, Saudi Arabia recalled its diplomats and Sweden almost lost a billion in arms sales to the Kingdom.
But that's old news, what is the hen crowing about now?
as desperate migrants trek towards Sweden, and neighbouring EU countries balk at accepting refugees, Wallstrom, a former EU commissioner, insists that the rest of Europe must join Sweden and Germany in shouldering the burden. “We have to find solidarity and help each other out. We have to share responsibility for the refugees based on our shared values . . . If one country is putting up a fence, and another is opening up, this is not sustainable,” she says....
The migrant crisis has prompted Wallstrom to increase calls for global action to halt the violence generating the exodus to Europe. “How do you fight rape as an ideology?” she says, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. “When women are sold on a modern slave market as pieces of meat it’s time that the international community reacts at the highest level, shows it has the means and strength and tools to stop it . . . Violence against women must be defined as a peace and security issue.”
Really, what is the world to do with these outspoken women who don't know their place?  Why can't they be meek and mild, like, Oh, I dunno...
Image result for virgin mary kicking heresy's ass

When did "civil liberties" stop....

.... meaning "my right to do things without government interference" and become "my right to have the government interfere to make you do things I want you to do" instead?

And did the ACLU rewriet its chrater to reflect this?

"Standing up for what you believe is right" =/= "standing up for your rights," or at least it didn't use to.

After the repeal of prohibition was anyone convinced that he had a right to alcoholic beverages such that places did not serve it should be compelled to do so?
Does the right to bear arms compel anyone to sell them?
Does freedom of the press require that a newspaper publish every jackhat's letter to the editor manifesto?

Or has bleeding your adversaries with continuous meritless lawsuits become a noble practice?
Trinity Health Corporations, one of the largest Catholic health care operations in America, is seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union over its refusal to provide women with abortion services at their medical facilities.  ....
The health group adheres to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ ethical and religious protocol for medical practice, which includes the refusal to perform abortions and tubal ligations within their hospitals.
These directives for Catholic health services from the USCCB have been consistently followed by Trinity Health Corporation hospitals, which also cover various other medical issues from palliative care to birth control.
The ACLU and the ACLU of Michigan are suing Trinity Health over allegations that pregnant women are being denied "emergency health care" - specifically abortions - when they seek care at their hospitals. The ACLU is also underscoring Trinity Health’s refusal to perform operations such as tubal ligations on pregnant women because of the medical directives they follow.....

The ACLU has long opposed Catholic hospitals operating according to Catholic teaching. The ACLU and the group the MergerWatch Project co-authored a 2013 report that claimed the growth of Catholic hospitals was a “miscarriage of medicine.”
The report says the ACLU’s work in this area is supported by the “generous support” of two anonymous donors as well as the Arcus Foundation, the Herb Block Foundation, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Scherman Foundation.
[emphasis supplied, I just thought it might be a good idea to note who is funding the attacks on Catholic practice.]

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Overheard During My Nap Between the Gospel and the Credo

"Jesus, as far as we know, was not married."

The Tridentine Low Mass as a "Sane and Solemn Tonic" to Liturgical Shenanigans

Kevin Di Camillo has a lovely piece at NCRegister about his discovery of the Extraordinary Form.

I am, of course, disposed to give a friendly hearing to the ideas of anyone who flat out says,
"I had no 'reaction' to the 'new Mass', no axe to grind, no animosity— only a vague curiosity as to why Pope Benedict (who, if nothing else, was obviously a bona fide genius......) would 'bring back the Latin Mass.'" [emphasis supplied]
And although our experiences were very different, he shared this question with me - what is this strange thing that so many find "so appalling"?

It was the irrational virulence of that ... hatred is not too strong a word... that demanded of me to experience something so apparently frightening and powerful.
It is, of course, easy to throw the new Mass under the bus, and that is (a) wrong, and (b) not my point. My point is simply that in a world where we each have more email, voicemail, texts, meetings, and Skype-chats than we could possibly digest in a lifetime, the Tridentine Mass offers a complete contemplative oasis. You have the right to be silent when you pray. True, on Sunday at the Novus Ordo, we SHOULD sing "loud-and-proud"— but at Low Mass you can be, you MUST be, silent before your God.
This I found (and find) wonderfully fulfilling — and terrifying. “Fulfilling” in the sense of theosis: as the Mass culminates in Holy Communion, one is literally filled with the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is, of course, absolutely true in the Novus Ordo as well— but this is “terrifying” in that the quieter it is the more one is AWARE that this is happening. Christ becomes present again, and we are about to receive him in perfect silence— not even an "Amen" after communicating.
I'll just add, I myself prefer a diffident dialogue Mass, but different strokes...

Saturday, 3 October 2015

"But at least this pope guy isn't like that awful one he replaced..."

I put that heading in quotes, and no one actually said that.
Well, I said it, but I was being sarcastic, mocking the position taken by... never mind.)

On one fringe of the Catholic cloth, and one side of the political divide, I believe, on very little evidence, a writer puts a particular construction on an event.
On another, a different slant is put on that event, by means of putting a particular construction on words from an unnamed source, some of which may or may not have supported that construction, since after using direct quotes, we lapsed into free indirect speech, a style much beloved of writers of fiction or those wishing to put their own slant on matters that actual quotes would not support.
On the basis of that, still others claim that one person involved in the event is a liar. 
Which may be, but it would be unfair, actually impossible to say so with no more evidence than someone else's misconstruction, and I don't see anywhere that any particular thing the woman so accused said is contradicted by anyone in a position to know.
The only "official" statement actually speaks more to the various construction various partisans are putting on the event rather than anything the woman in question said.
A semi-official spokesman who previously admitted he knew nothing about it, was nonetheless bravely willing to go on record of how it "would" have been, how it must have happened even though, um... he wasn't told and wasn't there.
 the pope would have been given a list of people who were invited to bid him farewell as he departed Washington, but was unaware of the details of the... case or any possible implications of the meeting.
Furthermore, this semi-official, rumored-to-be-litigious, spokesperson,
"believed the pope would have been given a list of names of the several dozen people who were invited to the embassy to bid farewell as he left Washington, but was unaware of the details of [the]case or any possible implications of the meeting."
But he was glad to,
"hypothesize that the reception amounted to a receiving line-type event, with people in various rooms [hm, how many in each room?] on the first floor of the embassy to greet the pope and receive a rosary from him.
And while in the official statement we read only,
The only real audience granted by the Pope at the nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.
... everyone upset about right-wingers making too much of this other meet-and-greet are dancing with glee and putting up billboards at the Vatican's thereby affirming... um, former students, (that's all anyone not "reading into" it would get from the official statement.)

But apparently besides being a "former student" (is that the pc term for such people?) this person engages in homosexual activity.
The Rev. James Martin, editor at large of the Jesuit magazine America, had cautioned in an article this week that the pope meets many well-wishers on his trips, and that news of the meeting... had been manipulated.
“I was very disappointed to see the pope having been used that way, and that his willingness to be friendly to someone was turned against him,” Father Martin said in an interview on Friday. “What may originally have prevented them from issuing a statement was the desire not to give this story too much air. But what they eventually came to realize was that they needed to correct some gross misrepresentations of what had happened. It shows that Pope Francis met with many people on the trip, and that she was simply another person who he tried to be kind to.”
Not sure if he's talking about the gay guy here or the other dealio, (do the young folk still say that?) but I assume his principles apply equally.

And let me see, has Pope Francis ever said any little thing that his handlers and spokespeople have had to, I dunno, "walk back" a bit?

Maybe once or twice.

Oh, dear, I have gone on....
Because what I really asked, SERIOUSLY???!?!??? about, was this piece of idiocy, which provoked my title -
"Nobody in the Catholic Church wants another Regensburg,” said [some assistant professor at some college.] He was referring to the backlash after Pope Benedict XVI, Francis’ predecessor, gave a speech in Regensburg, Germany, that appeared to denigrate Islam.
“This was not as serious as Regensburg, when Benedict read his own speech,”[the sometime writer for HuffPo and America]  said about the meeting ... “But the pope has to be able to rely on his own system, and in this case the system failed him. The question is, was it a mistake, or was it done with full knowledge of how toxic she was?”
What's the Italian for nincompoop?
The meeting ... was clearly a misstep, [the Italian professor] said, “because the whole trip to the United States he very carefully didn’t want to give the impression that he was being politicized by any side.”
He added, “And this thing is the most politicized thing that you can imagine.”
Let's see, what can I say, without using inappropriate language?
Oh, I know...
"______ "

"Your Majesty, the people have no bread!"

I never met her, of course, but I've always wondered if Marie Antoinette's most famous advice, (apocryphal or not,) that her subjects should make do with brioche was not sarcastic, but clueless.

People just are, sometimes, you know?

I had a roommate in actor housing once, and one night after the show while a bunch of us were watching Ironweed, Missy pipes up and says, with a thoughtful frown, You know, if I were gonna be a bum, I think I would do it somewhere warm.

Yes, Missy, me too, if I were an unemployed alcoholic, homeless by self-imposed exile after accidentally killing my own child, living in Albany at the height, or I guess, depth of the depression, I too would head for Hawaii on my jet, or perhaps ask Mater and Pater to book me a sleeper car to the Gold Coast every winter.

She was, indeed kind of spoiled rich, but she wasn't mean.

We may judge actions, but we shouldn't, we can't judge intentions.

But I do all the time.

Most recently, in my head, I mocked a site, (and whoever put it together,) six ways to Sunday, after being tempted with promise of ways to organize ones closet, (I am the sort of slob who loves to read about non-slob environments, I just don't live in one, or put any effort into creating one.)
Among the "hints"?
Make room for a vanity!
       Why don't you put a comfy plush chair in your closet?
                     Wouldn’t pondering your outfit be more enjoyable on a sheepskin rug?
It occurs to me that these people have no idea what a closet is.
It occurs to me that these people are ninnies.

 It occurs to me that I have much work to do in the marginalize not lest ye yourself be marginalized department.

I need the Faith.
You have no idea how much nastier I would be if I was not a Catholic. Without supernatural aid I would hardly be a human being.                                                                                  - Evelyn Waugh

Is Our Ecclesiastical Fabric Unravelling On Every Side?

Bearing in mind that in most woven cloth there is capacity for fringitude on all sides, both the right and left selvages of the Church find causes for cheer and causes for displeasure in the actions of the Holy Father.

Oh wait, let's switch from domesticity to pugilism for our metaphor -

In this corner, because, you know, judge not, except when your judgement coincides with mine...,
Impugn the faith of a left-leaning mayor from Rome, nobody bats an eye...
Image result for joker mind loss
 ...meet with a murderous Communist dictator from Cuba, everybody loses their minds!

...and in this corner, because its the Church's mission to be welcoming to all except those I won't welcome,
Meet with an old friend and student who happens to be gay, nobody bats an eye...
Image result for joker mind loss
 ...shake hands with a county clerk from Kentucky, everybody loses their minds!

"Marginalize not, lest ye yourself be marginalized, " said the good book, IIRC.

Of Acting Out and Clamorous Exhibitions at the Vatican

Hanging out on Friday evenings, I have a couple/three chores, repair any clothes needed for the weekend, (you know, like loose buttons, anything much more is waaaaaaay beyond my competence, not to mention unnecessary calling upon my rapidly diminishing ability to thread a needle); check over the lectionary before the communion service at the nursing home; often wash my hair or change the sheets, (so that I don't suddenly realize an hour after I should have retired on the next night so that I can have, okay, not my wits, but at least one or two of my wits about me for the trial of Sunday school.)

Generally, nothing is very pressing, and while making phone calls, or watching a movie or television not demanding my full attention with Himself, I'll do a little surfing.

You know, tomorrow's news tonight.

Last night there seemed to be a hubbub outing some poor guy as a homosexual, a guy who worked at the Vatican, and to be honest, I thought something along the lines of, oh, those mean ultra-orthodox bloggers, and, yeah, most of social media is pretty much public, but what is with these fishing expeditions....

Will I ever learn?

This is the Liturgy in my twenties, and my dogged refusal to see that things are as bad as the Rad Trads say they are all over again. (I just realized, because my parish was okay, I was the one wondering how Nixon could have been elected, since, "Nobodly I know voted for him...")

But you gotta love the way vatican spokespersons phrase things, no? (Is that Fr Rosica responsible for the English tranlsations, I wonder? If so, bravo.)
“Regarding the statements and interviews released by Msgr. [K. C.] must be considered -- notwithstanding the respect warranted to the events and personal situations and reflections -- the choice to make such a clamorous exhibition on the vigil of the Synod’s opening seems very serious and irresponsible, since it seeks to impose on the Synodal assembly undue media pressure.”
[Certainly he] will not be able to continue performing his previous duties at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Universities, whereas other aspects of his situation are under the competence of his diocesan ordinary.” [emphasis added]
I suppose he could have stripped to a leotard and made the announcement through interpretive dance in the middle of St Peter's Square on the opening day of the synod, so maybe he wasn't just trying to make spectacle of himself...
Image result for bad interpretive dance

Friday, 2 October 2015

"How could Nixon have won? Nobody I know voted for him!" said English Language Assistant to Holy See Press Office Film Critic Who Lived in "Special World"

Although Fr. Rosica had been very involved in Pope Francis’ visit to the United States last week and was aware of the details, he said that no one really knew about the meeting with Davis and her husband until the Pope had returned to Rome.
Um, Father? Apparently someone did. (Unless the Embassy was  holding an open house?)
It..... well, it just wasn't you.

Oh, maybe they sneaked in as someone else! Were groucho-nose-and-glasses used? 

You know, I really don't care much about what beloved  prelate met with what trending right wing "heroine" and what "connected" journalist knew and when he knew it.

What fascinates me is the scrambling to pretend it is principles that obtain, in any way, to positions taken by commentators, journalists, pundits and professional rolodex dwellers. (In all seriousness now - one national network seems to know exactly two Catholic priests in the entire country.)
It's all about party lines, about prejudice against, (or for,) positions taken by ones foes, (or allies.)

One "news" outlet is at pains to assure us that whatever occurred, it meant nothing, or at least, every little, (which is indeed probably true.)
But the director, editor of that outlet was previously, and not that long ago, at pains to inform us that it was "a very big deal," (not his words, but those in the msm story in which he is quoted.)
These are his words:
“It’s a substantial change of direction for the Catholic Church, not just a symbolic move, .. In the past, such groups or individuals would never be formally acknowledged in any way — not even a response to a letter — for fear that some could view such an attitude as approval. Now Francis is saying the Church must cast aside such fears.”
That was for a group of people appearing under their own names who had previously tried to get tickets using the name of their dissenting gay organization who this time just called themselves a ""a group of lay people accompanied by a sister," who were greeted with a handshake anonymously sitting in an audience, in a crowd of several dozen tens of thousands, and the people in that group were each given a rosary and a few words by the Pope  "didn’t get the shout-out, but... were very, very close."

You know, so this was very significant.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Pope Francis, and a Little Abbacadabra

The Donald looks not very impressed.
No, not that "Donald," the cardinal archbishop of Washington.

Let's see him try and do better!

(Is that Mo Rocca who accepts the challenge?)

Thoughts During Early Morning Rosary

Why am I so annoyed by the old woman who, when it is her turn to lead a decade, loudly prays, Hail Mary, full of grace the Lord is with YOU, blessed are YOU...
But I give a pass to the old man who says, Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy GHOST....?

La donn' e mobile.

"Messy Church"

 Image result for angel facepalm

Father Hunwicke has a post about the appointment of an English church. Both IN England, and belonging to the CHURCH of England.
So, English.
Really, really English.
I was recently looking round an Anglican country church ... and I was struck by the oddity of its arrangements. There were two side chapels. The South chapel was decently set out with a veiled aumbry and a white light (albeit electrical). In the argot of old, we would have used the term 'Moderate High Church'. But the matching altar to the North was arranged for ... prayer. There was a large candle on the step before the Altar, its live flame burning brightly; there were the usual accoutrements for prayer: prayer trees, magical stones; there was an educational display which, among other things, told visitors that the bread and wine of the communion service remind Christians of Jesus.
How revealing; that whoever was responsible for such dispositions had no natural inclination to feel that the place for prayer might just possibly be before the Blessed Sacrament Reserved. Faced with two chapels, she invited people to use for prayer the one which did not contain the Reserved Sacrament (let us not on this occasion get into a discussion about what that aumbry really contained). And the notice board revealed that one was invited to attend "Messy Church", which I suspect does not relate to the French Messe or even to the Italian Messa.
Augustine of Canterbury would be so proud.
(I can only say that when I was young and stupid, when I intended to be a Catholic priest, I intended to be very high indeed, Latin processions and Benediction and all, so it doesn't necessarily follow that nonsense follows from allowing women to play at priestly duties - it may well  be that womenpriests follow from nonsesne.)

Wait, He's Supposed to Love ME, and Welcome ME, and Pray For ME, and Tell ME to Stay Strong...

... and people who agree with me, and have the troubles I have!
Not anybody else!
What kind of lousy Papa is he, anyway?

How could he possibly extend his hand to someone who agrees with the long established Church teaching with which I have trouble?
Image result for kim davis Image result for duddy-burke
(Don't they look like they ought to be best buds?)

In all honesty, I think the great problem, glaringly apparent when you hear statements such as,
"We haven’t seen the kind of policy changes needed to keep people from continuing to leave the church in vast numbers," 
coming from Catholics, or at least leaders of groups claiming to be Catholic, is a complete ignorance of Who the Church is, Who She claims to be.

In the Mass, when you get to what someone I know refers to as the halftime show, after the priest finishes his homily we all get up and Profess our Policy Statement, right?


We profess the Credo, each of us says what he believes.  What the Church believes and what, by belonging to Her, we also believe. We don't recite Canon Law, we don't speak from memory the GIRM, and we don't proclaim the diocesan directives for preparing for the Sacraments.

"Policy"? "Doctrine"? "Teaching"?

Those do not mean the same thing.
Learn, please LEARN the difference between Truth and trend, besides eternal verities and expedient variables.
"I think that the whole teaching that the church has, that [blah-blah-blah] needs to be scrapped," Duddy-Burke said. "I mean, that just needs go away. Until that change happens, nothing else positive is going to really substantively happen for [the person feeling victimized by Church teaching] It’s just really damaging."
You know what's really damaging?
And sin that you are happy to own, and in which you wish to encourage other people?
Even more damaging.

If the Church is not, as She claims, supernaturally protected by the Holy Spirit from teaching error, She is not Who She says She is either, so why on God's green earth would you CARE what She teaches, or what Her leaders think or do or say?
There are plenty of sects that will affirm you and enable you and codify your preferences if they haven't done so already.
But to return to my first point - should the Pope not have visited those in prison? Or, having done so, should he have turned district attorneys and LEOs from his events? Could he not shake the hand of both President Obama and President Castro?

Who would have thought the executive director of Dignity USA was all about exclusion?

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

"The real question, never posed and indeed carefully avoided, is whether the penance for adultery must include ceasing the adulterous activity"

Douglas Farrow, via Xavier Runne II via the Catholic Herald on what the Synod needs to do, and the ways in which the issued Instrumentum Laboris IS.  NOT.  HELPING.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Shark-Jumping and Other Autumnal Activities

I'm old enough to still think of Fall as when the TV "season" starts, and young enough to be interested in... well, in settling on some new binge-worthy must-sees. (Although Jim Gaffigan's summer series was BRILLIANT.)

But what I'm noticing so far is that while there may be the odd good and even slightly original premises floating around, there seems to be a dearth of, what, producers? head writers?
Well, whoever it is whose job it is to take an idea and run with it, make it interesting over time, rather than creating one intriguing pilot and then following it up with a bouillabaisse of filth and gore featuring vaguely the same characters as the previous episode, but not even a single well crafted joke or moving scene.



If "formulaic" sounds too pejorative, let's call it "theme and variations."

Sometimes, "like nothing you've ever seen before!"  is only true because the work so described, "makes no human sense!" and no one ws stupid enough to make it.

(Would you rather have another iteration of your favorite German's Chocolate cake, or a nice slice of one of Letitia Cropley's desserts?)

British TV had set the bar very high, over the years, for long-form but finite serials, and in the US we seemed to have the knack for a while as well.
But alas, eager to milk every last drop from our cash cows, we seem not to have realized that sci-fi or supernatural mysteries at last need to be revealed or solved, rather than prolonged into multiple seasons with illogical and contradictory plot twists, and the Brits are sometimes falling into the same trap.
There should be a limit to how many different series regulars any other regular will become romantically or sexually involved with, and we've had enough of couples who meet, break up, part, rekindle, fight, move in, run away, marry, divorce, get back together - and all for no better reason than, "the scrip says so."

And one last thing - severed heads?

Not an appropriate trope.

Stop.  It.  Now.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Et tu, MSNBC?

Seriously, do major new outlets have NO ONE on their staffs who can even be bothered to learn the terminology of fields on which they report? I mean, they do get paid for it, right?

Do they hire sports guys to write about "the pointy ended leather thingies" got kicked past "those two high wooden sticks"?


They do not.

So why would they let someone say  that a celebrity "opens [sic] Mass for Pope Francis"?

Or that he "delivered the first, or Lector, reading at the Mass"?

I know it's just a little added indignity, to their main purposes in reporting that, as a way of sticking it to orthodox Catholics, but still.

Do they have to be so amateurish while they are insulting us?

Wolves in Shepherd's Clothing

It is deserving of the widest possible dissemination, so I will reprint Fr Hunwick's post on Cardinal Danneel's remarkably frank and damning confession (which some are now attempting to walk back):
During his Inauguration Homily, our Holy Father the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI asked for prayer that he might not "flee for fear of the Wolves".

Now, very usefully, the unspeakable Daneels has blurted out information about how the Wolves described themselves: they were "the St Gallen Group". Their declared purpose was to oppose the mission of Pope Benedict to reconnect the Catholic Church with Tradition. Apparently these lupi see no disgrace in likening themselves to the Mafia.

Interesting. If it is OK for Cardinals to gang together to subvert the Roman Pontiff during Pontificate A, then clearly it must be OK for Cardinals to gang together to subvert the Pontificates of Popes B, C, and D. And if it is OK for Cardinals, the sworn intimate collaborators of the Roman Pontiff, to gang together against him at all, then clearly there can be nothing unOK if mere clerics and laity do the same. Or if there is, please tell me why in simple words of one syllable.

Or is it only after the end of a pontificate that the brave souls who have conspired against the Pontiff have the courage to rubbish him publicly? During his pontificate, did they proclaim their loyalty to him from the housetops? While putting in the boot behind closed doors? And then boasting noisily about their doings as soon as he was gone? Is that how the Church is supposed to operate? I'm uncertain whether to call this 'group' a latrocinium or a lupanar.

What a seedy gang of hypocritical crooks at the very heart of the Church, plotting ... even as I write this and you read it ... to corrupt the imminent Synod of Bishops.

Like the news, only important...