Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Monsignor Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz SJ of the Galactic Twitter Hyperspace Amoris Laetitia Planning 'Splaining Council Congregation

“Answers to dubia are devices that allow some people to reconcile point A to contradictory point B very fast while other people reconcile point B to point A very fast. People who believe point C, being a point contradicting both A and B, are often given to wonder what's so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to understand it, and what's so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to understand it. They often wish that people would just once and for all work out what the hell they wanted to believe and be able to laugh when people compare them to one of Brad Dourif's more unsavory characters.”
"Crewman Lon Suder?"
"But what ARE the answers? no one will tell us!"
“But the answers to the dubia were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
 “That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
 “Yes,” said Cardinal Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in a footnote on page 237 of the longest document in papal history - I stopped counting at 59,000 - and in a contradictory private letter, which was marked... well, 'private', and they were in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”
 "Well, there you are."

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Why the hate?

I wonder why some elderly people, who were raised with the old Latin Mass, nevertheless hate it. And I ask myself: Why so much rigidity? Dig, dig, this rigidity always hides something, insecurity or even something else. Rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.
But who am I to judge?

The Pope said this, or something similar.

I think....

The Poor, the Marginalized, the Outcast, the... Shepherd?

I reflected on something listening to the readings this morning, not for the first time.
I'm sure everyone has heard the standard Christmas sermon more than once, the one where the shepherds play a large, heart-tuggin part.
"Isn't it remarkable," says Father, "that the angel firt gives the glad tidings to the lowliest of the lowly, the shepherds. Shepherds was despised by decent people in the first century, they were not allowed -"

Wait a minute.
David was a shepherd.
Abraham was a shepherd.

God promises, over and over again in the Old Testament, to send a Shepherd to govern His people! was He thus threatening to shame them?

Or, despite what The First Nowell says, are sermonizers making too much of the poverty of the shepherds the better to preach on the purported "preferential option for the poor"?

(Exodus, of course, instructs the chosen people NOT to "favor the poor in a lawsuit".)

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

"Purposefully Making Christ Anonymous"

A compelling faux dialogue between an older parish priest and a younger.
A bit of polemic, some improbable as conversation, but it covers some very important matters about liturgy, the "new evangelization", misguided empowerment of the laity, and above all, catechesis - that is, the handing on as if an echo The Truth.
If the standards are set low, it sends the message that what is taking place is not of great importance.  Therefore it makes sense that about 70 % of Catholics do not believe in the true-presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Even our social-justice events rarely speak the name of Jesus and give him the glory in such activity.  We have pushed God aside as a politically incorrect name to avoid mentioning.  We are purposefully making Christ anonymous, and someone who loves Him wouldn’t do that…ever.

Chomsky is Right and He's Wrong

In sharing this, I wish to declare up front that I believe in climate change, I believe human agency is behind some of it and I believe there are steps we can take to either slow or exacerbate it.
I know to some FbTw & IR LFs this means I am only common-sensical, to other Fb Tw & IRL Fs that I am a Useful Idiot. Fine, not germane to my point.
My point is that hyperbole helps no one convince others, and ignoring or belittling others' priorities is unlikely to sway them to your POV.
And I believe anyone of faith, (and despite the rise of the "nones" we are mostly people of faith, even if we belong to the Temple of I'mNotReligiousButI'mSpritual,) anyone who believes that this life is not the whole of our existence, would have trouble with this line of reasoning:
"Humans are facing the most important question in their history..."
Because yes, they are, but,
...whether organized human life will survive in anything like the form we know."
ain't it.
The most important question is faced by each of us individually and in concert, and we face it today and we have all faced it throughout human existence.
The long term inhabitability of the rock on which we live only matters in so far as it is useful to us in the pursuit of virtue, which lies in valuing our fellow man.
Damaging the earth and the environment is wrong because it makes the lives of the least fortunate among us harder or even impossible.
That is why, pace Pope Francis, care for the earth, specifically, will never be one of the chief works of mercy - hypothesizing some sci-fi scenario of destruction of this planet from without, and mass emigration to some other world in some other star system possible demonstrates that preservation of this particular planet and its environment is only a means, not an end.
Care for Creation (which I believe is what the Holy Father said,) is vital, morally speaking, care for the earth no more so than care for the sidewalk in front of my house on which my neighbor might tip.
So any agenda, any plan, any ideology for arriving at the best we as a race, as a species can be, that prioritizes the atmosphere, a river, other species, in other words mere resources while countenancing the murder of our inconveniently resource-grabbing unborn fellow human beings, is so self-contradictory and short-sighted as to be doomed to failure.
Strangely, the author of the article seems to realize it deep down:
The consequences of this election cannot be understated, and we will have to live with them forever.
Why yes, yes we will.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Amoris Laetitia - Pope Francis Explains It All For You

Wait now, what?
No, of course not. But the request has been made, the dubia submitted.
Out of “deep pastoral concern,” four cardinals have taken the very rare step of publicizing five questions they have sent Pope Francis in a bid to clear up “grave disorientation and great confusion” surrounding his summary document on the Synod on the Family, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).
The cardinals — Italian Carlo Caffarra, American Raymond Burke, and Germans Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner — sent the five questions, called dubia (Latin for ‘doubts’) to the Holy Father and Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on Sept. 19, along with an accompanying letter.
You've gotta admire the charitable persistence of these men.
And this seems an apt quotation with when considering what the ambiguities we so far have concerning the Holy Father's document:
The Church is intolerant in principle because she believes; she is tolerant in practice because she loves. The enemies of the Church are tolerant in principle because they do not believe; they are intolerant in practice because they do not love.
-- Rev. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange O.P.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Mutatis Mutandis

"We should remember why the [changes happened] in the Roman Rite - it was in response to the Council ....which, while not mandating [them] did ask for greater visibility. It’s a judgement call! 

Hmmm... what is being discussed here? The celebrant turning around? the altar moving closer to, or even into the nave? the tossing of the tabernacle veils? The glass kool-aid pitchers?

Strangely, no - not even the correct council! It's the disappearnce of the rood screen curtain in the wake of Trent.

All things are changing, but not as much as we might think.
Patterns, you know.

Because. Human nature.

Is it safe to come out?

So, anything goin' on?
I was ambivalent about casting my vote[s], I am ambivalent about the results.
But truly, it would be an ill wind that blew nobody good, and I am quite positive somebody will be blown.