Thursday, September 30, 2010
But right after World War One, in Frankfurt, Germany the Institute for Social Research – they wanted to call themselves the “Institute for Marxism” but that was too on the nose – was left wondering why the world communist revolution — predicted as a certainty by Marxist social science – was not leading to the international revolution of the proletariat, the actual common working man.
And they figured out that capitalism – damn it! – was providing enough comfort and material gain, enough of an increase in the working man’s standard of living – that it just simply wasn’t going to happen. Ever.
Now, one kind of person might look at this and say, hooray! People’s lives are getting better – guess we weren’t needed after all.
But not these guys. These guys felt they had to bring heaven to earth.
And so they asked themselves: if the vanguard of the revolution wasn’t going to be the worker, then who would it be? And the answer they came up with was: the dispossessed.
The Neo-Marxist revolution would not attack the capitalist economy – that was too successful. The target of the new Marxist revolution would be the Culture.
Marxist philosophers like Antonia Gramsci, and later, Saul Alinski – personal hero to such present-day fellow travelers as Chris Matthews, Hillary Clinton and, of course, The President of the United States – started to create narratives – stories – about America. This rapidly evolved into a philosophy called “Critical Theory” and the idea of Critical Theory was to attack the dominant culture – that would be us – from all sides, simultaneously.
For instance, Black Americans would be told that their labor built the entire country, while White Americans merely sat back and essentially stole everything. Black slave labor did build the cotton economies of the Southern Confederacy, but the entire Confederacy had less factory capacity than New York City alone.
Nonetheless, many black Americans today have been taught that all of this belongs to them and not the truth, which is that that they were, and are, an integral and essential part of the group effort that built this country together.
Likewise, women are told that we live in an evil patriarchy, where all men are tyrants and potential rapists, determined to keep them in a form of domestic slavery, instead of being their partners and helpmates and husbands and protectors.
Gays are told not that this is one of the most inclusive and forgiving societies in the history of the world, but rather home to knuckle-dragging, murdering Neanderthals – when in plain sight, across the seas, one and a half billion Muslims routinely hang or stone or crush to death innocent people merely because of their sexual practices.
And on and on.
And when you try to argue against this social weapon of theirs, this Narrative, this lie that they tell again and again, well then, prepare for their counter-attack, which is called Political Correctness – the attempt to put the argument out of bounds before it can be had.
They use terms like Hate Speech and Racism. They want to put our arguments and rebuttals out of bounds so that they don’t have to hear them or deal with them. They have to exclude those arguments because if they don’t, those arguments are going to kick their asses and they know it.
And by the way: charges of Racism only work on decent people. You go up to a Klansman or a Nazi and call them a racist, and they say “duh!” Of course they’re racists. They’re proud of being racists. But you go up to someone who is not a racist, a person who finds racism appalling and disgusting, and tell them what they are saying is racism – even when it not only isn’t racism, but is in fact the opposite of racism– well, they’ll shut up. Mission Accomplished.
The objectives of the Frankfurt School, of Gramsci and Alinski in their assault on the culture, were laid out in detail and were very clear: Eliminate not only the voice, but the very idea of reason. Destroy history. Delegitimize shared morality. Medicate instead of discipline children. Promote the idea that problems are so complex that only elitists, experts and academics can discuss, let alone solve them. A later pair of American Marxist philosophers developed what became known as the Cloward-Piven strategy: overwhelm America’s social systems – welfare, health care, immigration, etc. by telling people they were owed things, and by intentionally overwhelming them, cause them to collapse – leaving nothing but smoking wreckage, and no where to turn but to the government.
But above all, for this Frankfurt school strategy to work, it needed to foster resentment, envy, hopelessness and despair.
And it’s been spectacularly successful.
My fellow Americans… we are in an information war, a battle of narratives, and if that analysis is true then you and I are the last best hope of the last best hope. We are, together, soldiers in this narrative war for America and for civilization.
So can we win?
It was said that Archbishop Ramsey was fond of going for long walks. One day someone from the mental health facility wondered off and the police were notified. Well as it happened the police came upon the Archbishop who was on one of his walks. They asked him his name and he told them that it was Michael Ramsey. The police then said “and what is it that you do Mr. Ramsey?” to which he replied “I was the Archbishop of Canterbury.” At this point the police asked him to get in the car.
It was sickening and fascinating at the same time. One of those radio documentaries the CBC used to be so good at, where you had to stay in the car until it was over.
You can listen to it here.
Foley saw no problem with his engaging in homosexual sex during his off-hours, i.e. when he was not wearing his Roman collar or seeing people in the office of his rectory. He decided that clerical celibacy was an impossibility, that no one was perfect, that priests were not angels who landed on earth from heaven, and that he wanted to reform the Church from within.
His rationalizations, his . . . you just have to listen.
I believe the Holy See will be generous. That's what the Holy Father has asked of his bishops.
The real issue, as manifest in the two letters from American bishops and the lengthy fisking of Archbishop Hepworth’s letter in the Continuum blog by Canon John Hollister of the Anglican Catholic Church, is that of the degree of absorption Anglican groups will suffer on going into communion with Rome. I attended the Portsmouth meeting in October 2007, and was present at every session. Archbishop Hepworth was clear about everything: we were to profess the Catholic Faith as in the Roman Catechism, give the Roman theologians nothing to say. Simply we assent to the Church’s teaching. Secondly, we were to ask for a corporate solution, something on the lines of a prelature or a uniate church with a degree of autonomy. We were not talking about asking Rome for a concordat of intercommunion, because we all knew this was unrealistic, and that Rome doesn’t work like that. There is full communion, or no communion with a variety of ways to tackle the problem of ironing out the obstacles that impede communion and maintain a state of schism. I found the Archbishop to be honest about everything. We were to take a humble approach, not ask too much from Rome or lay down conditions other than wanting to be received corporately in the respect of our Anglican patrimony, and we determined to ask the Holy See for guidance. They surely know better than we do about what will work and what will not.
What came out from Rome in October and November 2009 was not only a response to our request, but also that of the Forward in Faith bishops who were going to Rome at various times for secret meetings. For three American bishops and a number of English clergy, the issue is absorption. Absorption into what?
The answer is absorption into an ecclesial organisation that has had a long record of totalitarianism, authoritarianism and legalism. The feared factor is the spectre of clericalism and the long shadow of the Inquisition. What is most feared is that Rome has some ulterior motive for creating such difficulty for Anglicans that we will become discouraged and go away, or give up our personalities and our very humanity to become an anonymous part of a machine. The anti-Rome Anglicans will tell us that everything will be done in such a way as to break us, destroy our continuity by taking away our clergy, disqualifying them from receiving Catholic ordination or putting them into training and having the laity attend Mass in the modern Roman rite in their local parish while they wait five years for their old priest to get the proper level of training in a seminary (whilst his wife and children have to live in the street and starve). Were that to be the case, the Ordinariate scheme would be totally unacceptable and impossible to implement in the real world.This is a real fear, and our Anglican groups will need to receive reassurance. I am given to believe that the ordinariate scheme is going to be generous in order to make it implementable and realistic: priests in pastoral ministries would be dispensed from formal seminary training and allowed to study by correspondence and occasional residential sessions. But, we will see.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
North Dakota bishop leads procession at abortion clinic amid protests
Fargo, N.D., Sep 29, 2010 / 12:51 am (CNA).- In time for the upcoming Respect Life Month of October, Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota presided over an annual Mass and led a procession over 700 people to a local abortion clinic last Saturday, encountering oppositional protestors for the first time.
The Diocese of Fargo estimated that on Saturday, 700 to 800 people from St. Mary’s Cathedral processed to the local Red River Women’s Clinic, North Dakota’s only abortion facility in downtown Fargo. Director of Communications for the diocese Tanya R. Watterud told CNA that Bishop Aquila led the procession several blocks, carrying a monstrance with Blessed Sacrament and also sprinkling the clinic with holy water amidst pro-abortion demonstrators.
Well, we liked Metropolitan Hilarion when he was saying this to the Anglican Communion:
The Catholic-Orthodox theological discussions, taking place in Vienna this week, hit a snag when the leader of the Russian Orthodox delegation lodged an emphatic dissent against the consensus that the early, undivided Church recognized the primacy of the Bishop of Rome.
That position is a definite deal-breaker, because the theme for discussion at this session of the joint theological commission is the understanding of papal primacy during the first Christian millennium—that is, prior to the schism that split the Christian world into East and West. The head of the Russian delegation, Metropolitan Hilarion, argued that the primacy of the Bishop of Rome had never been recognized in the East. If that’s the case, the entire discussion is moot.
It’s ironic that such an objection would be lodged by the Moscow Patriarchate, rather than one of the older Orthodox bodies. The Russian Orthodox Church traces its origin back to 988, when Prince Vladimir I made Christianity the official religion of his people. Thus the Russian Orthodox Church entered the Christian world at the tail end of the 1st millennium, and cannot claim any institutional memory of relations with Rome were handled in the early centuries.
Nevertheless a Russian prelate is certainly entitled to his opinions on the history of Eastern Christianity. Moreover, the opinions of the Moscow Patriarchate cannot be lightly dismissed. The Russian Orthodox Church is by far the largest of the Eastern churches. Any movement to restore Christian unity must include the Russian Church; without Russia, the Christian world would remain dramatically divided, East from West.
Relations between Moscow and Rome have improved markedly during the past 5 years, and Vatican officials specializing in ecumenical affairs see real promise for closer ties. But relations between Moscow and the other major Orthodox patriarchates have been troubled recently. The Russian delegation walked out of the last previous round of Catholic-Orthodox theological talks-- not because of any Catholic-Orthodox dispute, but because of a quarrel between Moscow and Constantinople over the seating of an Orthodox delegation from Estonia. The Moscow Patriarchate has frequently challenged claims that the Patriarch of Constantinople should be recognized as the arbiter of disputes among Orthodox prelates.
There is a pattern here. Other Eastern churches agree that the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has a certain degree of authority over other Orthodox patriarchs—not as a superior, but as a “first among equals. The Moscow Patriarchate objects to that understanding. Other Orthodox churches recognize that in the 1st millennium, before the East-West schism, the Bishop of Rome enjoyed some authority over other bishops—although the extent of that authority is still subject to discussion. But Moscow rejects the premise on which the discussion is based. In short, Moscow rejects claims that any other Christian prelate, in Rome or in Constantinople, has any authority over Russia.
In 2003, the Russian Orthodox Church had to suspend contact with the Episcopal Church in the USA due to the fact that this Church consecrated a self-acclaimed homosexual ... as bishop. The Department for External Church Relations made a special statement deploring this fact as anti-Christian and blasphemous. Moreover, the Holy Synod of our Church decided to suspend the work of the Joint Coordinating Committee for Cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Episcopal Church in the USA, which had worked very successfully for many years. The situation was aggravated when a woman bishop was installed as head of the Episcopal Church in the USA in 2006 and a lesbian was placed on the bishop’s chair of Los Angeles in 2010.
Similar reasons were behind the rupture of our relations with the Church of Sweden in 2005 when this Church made a decision to bless same-sex “marriages”. And recently the lesbian Eva Brunne has become the “bishop” of Stockholm.
What can these churches say to their faithful and to secular society? What kind of light do they shine upon the world (cf. Mt. 5:14)? What is their ‘salt’? I am afraid the words of Christ can be applied to them: If the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men (Mt. 5:13).
But his latest salvo against the primacy of the Bishop of Rome will give ammunition to renegade Anglo-Catholics, I am sad to say.
To read memoirs of pre-Vatican II Catholicism is, often, to visit a glorious world of great aesthetic beauty and unambiguous, doctrinally certain religious identity; with the eternal Mass, the perfect work of worship, at the living center of a parish life of great vitality. But the picture can be so compelling, so all-enclosing, that it creates its own skepticism: How could something so perfect have collapsed so suddenly, and with so little protest on the part of its supposed beneficiaries? The default position of many in my generation (born in the Sixties) was to simply believe that the nostalgia is phony in the first place: The Good Old Days were actually pretty awful, and once people realized they had a choice they said goodbye, good riddance, and don’t let the door hit you on the rear end. But Australian scholar Geoffrey Hull has come forward with a rather more specific explanation. In his new book, The Banished Heart: Origins of Heteropraxis in the Catholic Church, he says it was one of the key underpinnings of the pre-Vatican II culture that planted the seeds of that system’s destruction.
In Hull’s thesis, the Sixties revolution in Roman Catholic practice was in large measure a result of the Counter-Reformation and Vatican I centralization of power in the papacy: In the traditional understanding, the pope was the “custodian” of tradition — but the response to the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution made Catholicism expand that role significantly, from “custodian” to “arbiter” (the quoted words are Hull’s). The need for a strong defense against outside attacks on the Church made Catholics rally around the pope, in the name of orthodoxy, little intending that that same power could eventually be deployed in the interest of heterodoxy. (They might in this sense have benefited from an understanding of O’Sullivan’s First Law: “All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.” In this ecclesial case, of course, the contrast would not be the political one between right-wing and left-wing, but rather one between tradition and experimentation.) Hull writes: “There was a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the spirit of ultramontanism and the general acquiescence of Latin[-rite] Catholics in the Pauline liturgical revolution. Or, put another way, ultramontanism is the difference between the rebellious, strong-minded Catholics [who resisted Protestant changes in] 1549 England and the conformist, unthinking ones of the decades following the Second Vatican Council.”It’s a fascinating notion, and there is at least a kernel of truth to it: If you’ve been rallying around authority for as long as your culture can remember, that authority can indeed develop a momentum of its own — even at the expense of what the authority is designed to protect.
Here is Fr. Hunwicke's take on what happened in England, with Angl0-Catholic bishops trying to find a way to stay in the Church of England with some respectability as they wrestle with interpretations of papal authority.
After 1992, we waited for the "Leaders of the Catholic Movement" to come up with something; to do something resolute and virile. They came up with an Act of Synod which, essentially, sold the pass (there are growing numbers of women priests in every diocese) but enabled those gentry to retain palaces and cathedrals; seats in the House of Lords and - perhaps the really insidious temptation - the trappings of status and deference. They even delicately distanced themselves from the groundroots organisations, such as Forward in Faith, which raised the money and did the fighting and took the opprobrium ("It's the tone we don't like"). Now a new generation of such "Leaders" has decided that, after all, just one organisation more really is the solution to all our problems.Most interesting.
If founding yet more Societies were the solution, bully for wilfn'hilda. But does anybody seriously suppose that our opponents are suddenly going to cave in and allow such an organisation to have jurisdiction and the necessary autonomies? And even if women bishops don't jump over the numerical hurdle in the next General Synod ... well, does anyone doubt that they will in the one after? And even if that innovation were per impossibile held permanently at bay, how can any Catholic see ecclesial integrity in a 'Church' in which more than half the presbyterate will very soon be female? Or in a 'Society' sponsored by bishops who, while they salve their incomprehensible consciences by declining physically to taint their own hands with the touch of female hair, nevertheless ordain women by proxy and license and institute them to the cure of souls ("which is mine and thine") and treat them in their dioceses as in every respect de facto priests? Ordained women, wearing stoles priestwise, participate liturgically with these bishops, and Bishop Hind has even established forms of priestly ordination in his diocese in which the collegial imposition of hands by the presbyters present includes the participation of women 'priests'. Are such compromised men as this the toughies who will put on their boxing gloves and "take it if we are not given it" and be prepared to break the Law and face down the bailiffs?
Perhaps I had better not be too rude about the Society. If the English RC bishops were to succeed in so smothering, tying up, and impeding the local Ordinariate, that the Holy Father's generous intentions were cleverly frustrated, I suppose some among us might have to fall back on wilfn'hilda. But I don't see how, to any real Catholic, it can be plan A. I don't see how it could even be Plan B. Plan Z, fifteen times removed, a bastard begotten on the wrong side of the blanket, is just about the best it could be.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
All this at once, in just two days, might fry the synapses of normal people -- but then, normal people didn't spend their formative years as Latin Mass traditionalists in Manhattan. That experience alone should inure anyone to the bumpy psychic ride of opposites violently yoked together, thundering down the tracks of a rickety roller coaster, groaning to fly off the rails. You really haven't lived till you've listened to a 31-year-old altar "boy" throw a screaming hissy fit about Pope Paul VI, in a coffee-hour crowd of rumpled anti-Masonic activists, European monarchists from Queens, and a woman dressed in cardinal's robes (she's saintly, bless her heart, just a little . . . eccentric).
There are worse ways to spend one's twenties. I could have been living out in the suburbs at a parish built or wreckovated in the 1970s, yawning on a padded, snot-green pew, as "Gather Us In" was strummed incompetently on a guitar. You know the kind of church I mean -- where banality and comfort set the tone, where the stark strangeness of the divine and human sacrifice that is the Mass are swathed and obscured in a mauve haze of cozy emotional uplift, to the point where kneeling before the Host seems a crude and archaic gesture. Beauty at such a place would seem . . . out of place, like a laurelled Olympic athlete in a Grecian tunic stranded at an overweight biker's bar. Just so, a studied mediocrity of music, preaching, and artwork has come to prevail in modern churches. The sanctuary, once the site where the Holy of Holies was honored as best the impoverished congregation could sacrifice to afford, becomes instead God's refrigerator, where all our slapdash art projects are pinned by plastic magnets. A doting, senile grandma, God loves us just as we are, so our half-baked efforts are plenty. As I've found myself muttering on the way out of such places, "Nothing's too crappy for God."
Given the alternative, I'm proud to stand with the oddballs. I'm glad I was one of those weird enough to insist -- in the face of all apparent evidence -- that the Church's historic liturgy wasn't dead, that it would someday be revived and embraced throughout the Church around the world. Wherever that fugitive, exquisitely un-modern creature poked up her head, we hunted her -- in crumbling Armenian chapels filled with puzzled Ecuadorians, in abandoned Italian parishes kept alive only to conduct Mafia funerals, in mental hospital chapels where the bishop consigned us "crackpots," or forgotten graveyard chapels where we tried (it seemed) to raise the dead. We chased her down the nights and down the days, we chased her down the arches of the years; we chased her through the labyrinthine ways of canon law, and pastoral provisions. And at last, by the grace of Pope Benedict XVI, who chivalrously conducted the holy lady out of hiding, we welcomed her, still-blinking, back into the light.
According to reports, Coulter charmed her audience of 150 at the HomoCon fundraiser for GOProud with a number of jokes, admitting that it must have been difficult to come out of the closet and tell their parents that they were conservatives.
Coulter also told the HomoCon audience that they ought to support the pro-life movement, since “as soon as they find the gay gene, you know who's getting aborted."
For some reason, Blogger is preventing me from posting an excerpt.
Indeed, we are entering a new era in which we will all be able simply to be Catholics with our ethnical and cultural characteristics. We will have entered ordinariates as groups, and we will continue to know our fellow Catholics as those we have known for years. The human element is vital. If Rome goofs up on this, we would only be able to say that the leopard never changes its spots. However, there has been a profound change in the Roman Catholic institution since the election of Benedict XVI, and this change was already prepared by his long years as Prefect of the CDF!
I do find it regrettable that the TAC was not brought into the discussions between the Forward in Faith bishops and Rome in the spring of 2008, since Bishop John Broadhurst was with the TAC in Portsmouth in October 2007, and I greatly enjoyed his company. He was fully involved in our own in-house talks, and we listened to his advice and the fruit of his long pastoral experience. I do think that the two ships are at last slowly responding to their helms.
Rome essentially responded to two main requests from significant Anglican groups, each subdivided into smaller diocesan and parish units. It also transpired that the Apostolic Constitution just as well answered the requests of smaller groups of laity and clergy, as well as a large number of individual converts to the Catholic Church, some of whom would be interested in recovering their former cultural and ethnical identity. Without the TAC, Rome would never have given a response, and without Forward in Faith, the response would have taken much longer.
Things haven’t always been so. I have a long memory, and if that fails me, my hard disk and backup files have an even longer memory. Last March, I was very concerned about how we in the TAC were accused of wanting some kind of monopoly and told to “modify our expectations”, whilst a certain retired prelate of the Church of England wrote sneering comments about the TAC in England to the extent of suggesting we were behaving like vagante groups! They, including the blog moderator who booted me out of his list of contributors a month ago, seemed to want to airbrush the TAC out of everything (which is the signal being sent out by their diocese going it alone towards an ordinariate — independently of the rest of the TAC). This is our show, because we are Establishment, and we are in the club! Why do we need a church in a certain English city when there is a perfectly good Forward in Faith parish just five minutes down the road? It probably did not occur to the good Bishop that we have different liturgical customs, and do not wish to be in communion with a Church that ordains women, to the priesthood and in a few years also to the Episcopate. I pray that there has been a change of heart over the last few months, because this is a matter of trust. If we are betrayed – by anyone – the entire ordinariate project will fail and souls will be lost.
It is high time we got talking to each other and recognising each other mutually. Our Bishops have been talking to each other throughout, Archbishop Hepworth with Bishop Broadhurst, and many others. Lies are told to say the contrary, but I trust my Archbishop.
Another lesson that will be learned is that the ordinariates are not only for Americans like the older Anglican Use community. Surely, there will be an Ordinariate in the USA, and it will consist of the Anglican Use community, remnants from the ACA and whatever other groups there are. It looks to me as though the English Ordinariate will be very small, and will not have the appearance of an Establishment Church. There will be ex-Forward in Faith communities and ex-TTAC communities worshipping together in the makeshift chapels we are used to, or perhaps at different times if we are using different rites within what Rome is going to allow (revised Anglican Use, modern Roman and old Roman).
Let us forgive each others sins, faults of good judgement, and if we have committed serious sins of calumny and detraction, reparation must be made. We must make this effort for the sake of unity in accordance with Christ’s will.
H/t Scaramouche and FFoF
How can the settlement freeze be the make or break issue when, during the ten months that the freeze was on, Abbas refused to negotiate at all with Israel?
How can the settlements be the make or break issue when the Palestinian response to the forced removal of the settlers from Gaza was not peace but war?
How can the disputed territories be the issue when Israel has twice now offered to give up more than 90 per cent of these territories to the Palestinians, only for them to refuse it twice point blank (and in 2000 start a campaign of terrorist murder against Israel instead?)
Why is Israel blamed for xenophobic and religious nationalism when Abbas has said repeatedly that the Palestinians will never accept Israel as a Jewish state? Why isn’t he blamed for xenophobia and religious fanaticism?
Why is Israel blamed for ignoring civil rights when the Palestinians -- along with the Observer, Roger Cohen and all who want every last settler out of the territories -- are campaigning for the ethnic cleansing of every single Jew from a future state of Palestine?
How can Salaam Fayad be ‘very serious’ about peace with Israel when he stormed out of a meeting with Israel’s deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon after Ayalon refused to approve a summary of the meeting which said ‘two states’ but did not include the words ‘two states for two peoples’ – a walk-out that tells us that even the supposedly super-moderate Fayad refuses to accept that the goal is the ‘two state solution’?
Monday, September 27, 2010
As a psychiatrist, I see the problem this way: approximately 50% of the US population is in deep psychological denial about radical Islam (and its deathgrip on all of Islam) and demonstrate a psychological phenomenon known as identification with the aggressor first described by Anna Freud:Anna Freud wrote a seminal book in the 1936, "The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense" in which she attempted to categorize many of the unconscious defenses people sue to keep themselves unaware of disturbing thoughts or feelings. Identification with the Aggressor is a particular defense mobilized by people in traumatic situations of victimization. In this defensive maneuver, the person who is being threatened or abused, is traumatized by terror and rage; they are helpless in the face of these overwhelming feelings and their psyche is unable to function. Once the immediate threat is over, they have a limited number of ways to deal with the terror. One way is to become like the abuser (which is why so many abusers were themselves abused in their childhoods). This is not a conscious behavior. No one decides that they want to do to someone weaker and dependent what was done to them or that they want to be "just like" their abuser. However, when one's life depends on the actions of another person, the particular terror and helplessness is an impossible combination. To survive, one must find a way to feel close to and understand the powerful and frightening authority figure. This is as true for abused children as it is for victims of horrible crimes. It is the basis of the Stockholm Syndrome. The victim must see the perpetrator as a potentially kind, even loving, person. They form an intense emotional bond with the person. It is that relationship that is evoked and feels protective when they are overwhelmed in the future.
If you want to understand why the postmodern liberal/progressive hordes have gone all squishy and gutless and that their useful idiocy sanctions their (and our) victimhood by terrorism; and if you want to understand why these same progressives stand up and defend proudly and loudly their interpretation of the US Constitution as a suicide pact; then you need to understand how fear makes people stupid and blind. And how lack of insight keeps them that way.
Having said all this, let me be very clear about one thing: many of the leaders of the postmodern progressive movement--the dead-end socialists and communists from the previous generation and their ilk-- are not in psychological denial at all. They know exactly what they are doing and their goal is nothing less than the destruction of western civilization.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
She has a must-read article at American Thinker. My bolds:
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is a religious and political organization. Close to the Muslim World League of the Muslim Brotherhood, it shares the Brotherhood's strategic and cultural vision: that of a universal religious community, the Ummah, based upon the Koran, the Sunna, and the canonical orthodoxy of shari'a. The OIC represents 56 countries and the Palestinian Authority (considered a state), the whole constituting the universal Ummah with a community of more than one billion three to six hundred million Muslims.The OIC has a unique structure among nations and human societies. The Vatican and the various churches are de facto devoid of political power, even if they take part in politics, because in Christianity, as in Judaism, the religious and political functions have to be separated. Asian religions, too, do not represent systems that bring together religion, strategy, politics, and law within a single organizational structure.Not only does the OIC enjoy unlimited power through the union and cohesion of all its bodies, but also to this it adds the infallibility conferred by religion. Bringing together 56 countries, including some of the richest in the world, it controls the lion's share of global energy resources. The European Union (EU), far from anticipating the problems caused by such a concentration of power and investing in the diversification and autonomy of energy sources since 1973, acted to weaken America internationally in order to substitute for it the U.N., the OIC's docile agent. In the hope of garnering a few crumbs of influence, the EU privileged a massive Muslim immigration into Europe, paid billions to the Mediterranean Union and Palestinian Authority, weakened the European states, undermined their unity, and wrapped itself in the flag of Palestinian justice, as though this would supply some protective system against the global jihad, which it endeavored to focus on Israel.Religion as the main aspect of the OIC emerges from its language and its targets. It seems that the OIC is restoring in the 21st century the Caliphate, the supreme controlling body for all Muslims. In their Charter (2008), Member States confirm that their union and solidarity are inspired by Islamic values. They affirm their aim to reinforce within the international arena their shared interests and the promotion of Islamic values. They commit themselves to revitalizing the pioneering role of Islam in the world, increasing the prosperity of the member states, and -- in contrast to to the European states -- to ensure the defense of their national sovereignty and territorial integrity. They proclaim their support for Palestine with al-Quds Al Sharif, the Arabized name for Jerusalem, as its capital, and exhort each other to promote human rights, basic freedoms, the state of law (shari'a), and democracy according to their constitutional and legal system -- in other words, compliance with shari'a.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
I write about Her here at The Anglo-Catholic:
There are some in the Anglican Continuum who say they want Christian unity, too, but in order for it to happen either the Roman Catholic Church must repent and/or be willing to accept into full communion (or "inter-communion") churches that do not hold the dogmata that were defined after split between East and West. We are seeing this point of view also expressed now in the unfortunate backtracking of some of the bishops in the Anglican Church in America.
They perhaps see the position now taken by the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) bishops who are faithful to their solemn declaration in 2007 and their signing of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) perhaps as capitulation or a surrender of Anglican identity.
I see it differently. I think it had everything to do with Archbishop John Hepworth's call for all of us, from the bishops on down, to examine our hearts and minds to make sure there was nothing in us that forms a stubborn impediment to the unity that Jesus Christ prayed for.
What happens when you lay aside your "rights" to any particular doctrine or stance and you approach God with a naked desire for the Holy Spirit to reveal the Truth without the blinders of prejudices or stiff-necked assumptions?
What if you pray that the Holy Spirit will tear down every lofty thought and every imagination that holds itself up against the knowledge of God?
Does He not promise us in Scripture that if we seek, we will find; that if knock, it shall be opened unto us? Will He not shed a light on our path, and show us the direction we must go?
I believe it is in that kind of humility that the faithful TAC bishops have approached Christian unity. They have prayerfully studied what the Church says and how the Catholic Church sees herself. Through the power of the Holy Spirit that have come to see that Her understanding of Herself is true.
They have come to see that She cannot depart from this view of herself as the Church founded by Jesus Christ and on the primacy of Peter, because to do so would be a violation of her mission and her very essence.
Some can only hear the Catholic Church's claims as a kind of triumphalism or prideful supremacy. I see this reaction as similar to the way people react to the Jews being referred to as the Chosen People. Some hate the Jews for that, as if they are lording it over everyone else, but Jews themselves might see that designation as as a terrible burden and responsibility to be lived out.
The Church cannot be except what She is, even if the reaction against this is totally negative, as it was when Dominus Iesus was published 10 years ago. Can you remember the worldwide huffing and puffing as various Christian "ecclesial communities" reacted hotly against being described as "defective"?
But it could have been either Bishop Carl Reid (then Fr. Carl) or Bishop Robert Mercer, who calmly accepted the description of the TAC as defective. "Because we don't have the pope," one or the other said.
And Deacon Fournier at Catholic Online writes about Her here in the context of the Traditional Anglican Communion's approach to the Holy See:
Contrary to some limited understandings of our age, Christianity is not about "Me and Jesus". The Christian faith is about me and you - and the entire world - IN Jesus. The Church is to become the home of the whole human race. She is the new world, the seed of the kingdom to come. There is no real Christianity without the Church. We now live our lives in a participation in the Trinitarian communion through our life in the communion of the Church. She is God's great gift to us in Jesus Christ. The Church is not simply an organization, not "Some - Thing", but "Some -One", the Risen Body of Christ. We are called make our home within her.Above is a picture of Archbishop John Hepworth that went strangely missing from The Angl0-Catholic blog yesterday.
Friday, September 24, 2010
There is a basic and common sense empirical human reality: wherever humans construct and perpetuate an environment in which females and their sexuality are demonized and are pushed into invisibility, homosexual behaviour among men and the sexual abuse of young boys by older men always increases.
Things are finally showing signs of moving in the United States.
Father Z also reports on this.
Well, as soon as you move over, you’ll cease to be Anglicans. I deliberately misquote, because I am not interested in polemics against a Catholic cleric who said something of that kind about Anglicans contemplating joining a future Ordinariate. Of course, this ceasing to be Anglican (to become a Catholic) is full of ambiguity, so I feel I should clarify things a little.
I can see three essential ways of being Anglican, and this will determine what we would keep or let go on finding ourselves under Roman Catholic authority.
Go on over and read the whole thing. Very interesting. Of course, he nails it with the third way:
3. Cultural / ethnic definition: We are Anglicans like French Catholics are Gallicans. See some of my old articles: Gallicanism – Erastianism – The Counter Reformation and Anglican Patrimony – Jansenism – Anglo-Jansenism and Immobilism. We refer to our ethnical roots as English people or English-speaking people living in countries like South Africa, Australia, the United States, Canada or other places where the sun never set on the British Empire in the old days. For the most part, we originated in a family belonging to the Anglican Communion. We only ever learned about the existence of the 39 Articles if we read for Orders and went into the Ministry. None of us took all that very seriously, and moved with the various Catholic and ritualist movements that evolved in our Church. We are cradle Anglicans like cradle Catholics! This upbringing gave us a feeling of attachment that is no different from the sense of belonging experienced by Ruthenians, Ukrainians, Russians, Greeks, Serbs and people from all cultures and sensitivities. On discovering the Catholic view of everything, we become aware of our roots in the pre-Reformation Church, and why an Englishman can feel that he belongs when living in Normandy.
On being incorporated into an Ordinariate, it is obvious that we will no longer be members of the Anglican Communion or jurisdictions in formal and canonical association with the Lambeth Conference or the Queen of England. It is also obvious that we will believe in the Catholic doctrines rather than give credence to the 39 Articles and the Black Rubrick. We may continue to love the cultural value of our Prayer Book, Cranmer’s English prose, and our morning and evening choir offices in particular, but we will continue to follow our Catholic pilgrimage we began as Anglicans. Becoming Catholics (in the institutional sense) would be fulfilling what we already are as Anglicans in this third way of understanding the word. This is to be a hermeneutic of continuity and not one of rupture.
I think we should be very clear in our use of words and concepts. Many of us, in the Continuing Churches in particular, have not been Anglicans for years in the institutional meaning. We left the Church of England, ECUSA or others a long time ago. Many of us ceased to have the least interest in doctrinal formularies that developed in the thick of the sixteenth-century dialogue of the deaf between two sets of men who believed that Tradition was static and everything had to be proved to be explicit in the New Testament and early Church history.
Catholic clerics are famous for narrow-mindedness and wanting to assimilate all cultures into doloristic Spanish and Italian counter-reformation Catholicism, against which the reaction after Vatican II was massive, and Indian Catholicism has become a pastiche of Hinduism! There is a moderate position between forcibly latinising Lebanese Christians in the seventeenth century and Latin American syncretism mixing Voodoo, Santa Muerte, rosaries and holy images in one shop window! Crusty old British army officers in the nineteenth century, swaggering around with handlebar moustaches and bull whips, used to say about the “wogs” that they would understand English if you shout at them loud enough! Portuguese Jesuits in sixteenth century Kerala behaved no differently with the Thomas Christians. For information about these historical events, I recommend reading Dr Geoffrey Hull’s The Banished Heart.
I have difficulty in believing that we live in a more enlightened period. We have had Latin imperialism for centuries, which even physically persecuted East Syrian and Byzantine Catholics. Then we had the excesses of inculturation in Africa and Latin America – still the Jesuits, and I would hope we are coming to a moderate position between Scylla and Charybdis.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Not by coincidence, I think, no sooner has the Pope left Britain than Fr Dermot Fenlon, one of the “Birmingham Three” Oratorians mysteriously sent into exile, has broken his silence in an article for next month’s Standpoint magazine. It’s about Newman’s burial and, reading between the lines, I’m guessing that a bitter dispute about the mortal remains of Blessed John Henry Newman formed part of this controversy.Fr Fenlon is disgusted by the myth that Newman wished to be buried next to Fr Ambrose St John because the latter was his “boyfriend”.
Fr. Dermot Fenlon writes:
Before he died, Cardinal Newman left specific instructions. He wished to be buried at Rednal, outside Birmingham, in the ground reserved for the Fathers and Brothers of the Birmingham Oratory. "I wish with all my heart," he wrote on July 23, 1876, "to be buried in Father Ambrose St John's grave — and I give this as my last, imperative will." On February 13, 1881, he added a postscript: "This I confirm and insist on, and command."
Why this imperative? Did Newman have an intimation that his body might at some time be exhumed, in accordance with the practice of the Church for the beatified? Did he fear that his remains might be translated for veneration in the City Church of the Oratorians at Birmingham? Did he wish to circumvent that, per impossibile?
Apparently so. Why?
Newman was in no doubt about the intercession of the saints. His deep sensitivity to the spirit of a place, its genius loci, extended to the cemetery. His studies in the early Church had impressed upon him the centrality of the "holy places", where the saints were buried. Just as the catacombs, outside the city, were the natural gathering place of the faithful for prayer and mutual support, so did they become the supernatural ground of posthumous miracles and healing. The saints' burial places became the focal points of th
e nascent Church. And in the Early Church, the faithful wanted to be "buried near the saints".
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
My novel The Defilers touches on the issue of false memory and ritual satanic abuse. Now a woman who had become convinced her father had molested her after "recovered memories" came out in therapy, realized the molestation had never happened. Interesting.
One of the problems with mental illness is that an organic disorder, a chemical imbalance, a nutritional deficiency causes mental noise or feelings of depression or anxiety and we have a natural tendency to supply a narrative to explain why we're feeling so low. It's got to be caused by some traumatic event, so we search our pasts for the origin for our woes. But it just may be we need some Vitamin B 12 in a form we can absorb or more Niacin or fish oils.
During the 1980s and 1990s, tens of thousands of Americans -- most of them middle-class, 30-something women in big cities, like me -- became convinced that they'd repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse, and then, decades later, recovered those memories in therapy.
In the years leading up to that mass panic, I was working as a feminist journalist, writing exposés of child sexual abuse, trying to convince the world that incest was more than a one-in-a-million occurrence. In the process, I convinced myself that my father had molested me. After five years of incest nightmares and incest workshops and incest therapy, I accused my father, estranging myself and my sons from him for the next eight years.
In the early 1990s the culture flipped, and so did I. Across the country, falsely accused fathers were suing their daughters' incest therapists. Falsely accused molesters were being freed from jail -- and I realized that my accusation was false. I was one of the lucky ones. My father was still alive, and he forgave me.
Why write this book now?
In 2007, I was out for a walk with someone I wasn't even that close to. She asked me if I'd ever done anything I was ashamed of and had never forgiven myself for. And without hesitation I said, yeah, when I was in my 30s I accused my father of molesting me, and then I realized it wasn't true. She stopped walking and stood still, just staring at me and she said, "The same exact thing happened to me." When I came home from that hike I started calling people I had known back then and speaking to some of the therapists I had seen during that period. With the exception of my ex-lover, every other person I talked to who had accused her father in the '80s and early '90s now believed she had been wrong. Being a journalist, you realize there's a story there.
Now then, what did Pope John intend by convoking the Second Vatican Council? He himself gives the answer in the sermon he preached at its opening session in October 1962. He pointed out that the Council was to be “predominately pastoral in character.” Its purpose was not to define any new doctrines, but rather to challenge all Catholics to a “renewed…adherence to all the teachings of the Church…as it still shines forth in the acts of the Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council…The substance of the ancient doctrine is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another.”
After reminding us “that the truth of the Lord will remain forever,” he added that the opinions of men, often imbued with errors, “vanish as quickly as they arise…The Church has always opposed these errors. Frequently she has condemned them with the greatest severity. Nowadays however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity.”
So what is one to make of the “spirit” of Vatican II, which has given rise to so much confusion in the church? Is that what John XXIII intended? I feel the answer to that question may be found in an entry that he made in his diary while still in the minor seminary. In his journal, he stated that his favorite passage of the Imitation of Christ was chapter 23 from the third book, entitled, “Four things that bring great peace:
1. Strive to do the will of others rather than your own.
2. Prefer to have less rather than more.
3. Seek the lowest place and to be beneath all others.
4. Desire that God’s will may always be carried out in your life.
Behold such a one reaches the fullness of rest and peace.”
To the objection that these are pietistic sentiments of an immature seminarian, I would point out that on becoming bishop in 1925, he chose as his episcopal motto, Obedientia et Pax (“Obedience and Peace”) – a synthesis of that journal entry – which became his guiding light.
In my opinion, the real fruit of Vatican II has yet to be realized. The new Pentecost that we prayed for so ardently during the years preceding the council, and the New Evangelization that Pope John Paul II predicted for this century have yet to be seen. They will indeed be realized when we Catholics, of whatever theological persuasion, focus our eyes on the Lord Jesus, and follow not some nebulous “spirit” of Vatican II, but what the council documents actually contain.
.- Christopher West, the popular author and speaker whose presentation of Pope John Paul II's “Theology of the Body” has provoked controversy, will return from a six-month sabbatical with a new multimedia show this weekend. Maintaining that his goal is to correct common misconceptions of Christianity, West added that he is most often criticized by members of “the religious right.”
His upcoming show, titled “Fill These Hearts: God, Sex and the Universal Longing,” is a collaboration with the young folk-rock group Mike Mangione & The Union. West's teaching will also be illustrated visually through film and sand paintings. The show was initially developed for Sydney's World Youth Day in 2008, and performed earlier this year in New York City.
The performance at Colorado Springs' Pikes Peak Center this Saturday will be West's first public appearance since his announcement of a six-month break in April. His “personal and professional” sabbatical followed a spate of critical comments from Catholic theologians and authors, such as Dr. Alice von Hildebrand and David Schindler, who claimed that West was ignoring the weakness of human nature and presenting an overly sexualized vision of Christianity.
West was also criticized for comparing Pope John Paul II to “Playboy” founder Hugh Hefner in a 60 Minutes interview, a comparison he said was misconstrued in the television profile.
Speaking to the Colorado Springs Independent last week, West said that his motivation is not to offer a new Gospel, but “to blow the lid off the common idea of what Christianity teaches,” which he has described as puritanical and negative. “Christianity isn't an invitation to starve,” he explained, but rather “the invitation to a banquet that really feeds the hunger.”
Dr. Alice von Hildebrand had this to say about West's arguments against Puritanism.
However, according to von Hildenbrand, “Christopher West’s presentations consistently use language that lacks sensitivity, thereby obscuring the good inherent in marriage and the marital embrace.”
She accuses West of being “obsessed by puritanism,” saying that he leads one to believe that this is “the one great danger of our time.” “In our sex-saturated society, to concentrate all of one's efforts on this deplorable deformation, is to beat a dead horse,” she writes. “Puritanism was never the universal problem he imagines (in the Church or outside it); and today it is barely a speck on our cultural landscape.”
On this point, she says West mischaracterizes the theology of the body when he calls it a “revolution.” “It is simply false to claim that the Church has, until recently, been blind to the deep meaning and beauty of sex as God intended it,” she writes. Rather than being taught that sex is "dirty," she says her generation was instead given a “sense of ‘mystery’” around sexuality.
West’s “hyper-sexualized approach,” she says, will only “aggravate” sexual temptation. Further, she also accuses him of ignoring the Church’s “one successful remedy” to such temptation: “asceticism, the spirit of renunciation and sacrifice.”
“It is sheer illusion to believe that moral perfection can be pursued without this purifying discipline,” she maintains.
I have friends on both sides of the Christopher West divide. I find the debate interesting.
Perhaps West would call that "purifying discipline" puritanism, eh? But I think that might be a mistake.
I'm sorry that he does not seem to get what she was driving at and instead seems to be trying to marginalize her and others with concerns as part of the Religious Right.
Doesn't he realize that those who coined the term see him as the "Religious Right," too?
Monday, September 20, 2010
Survey the world’s statist systems of every stripe, from soft to hard. One sees either failure and misery or stasis and lethargy. At the most extreme, a North Korea is turning into a Neanderthal society where subjects eat grass. Castro’s Cuba is imploding, and the Great Leader in his dotage is now renouncing his communist catastrophe. Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela proves that an even an oil-rich exporter can destroy itself with self-imposed socialism.
Read all five.
1) Policing the police. There is no check on an omnipotent government. We see that already with the hundreds of tax cheats in Congress and the White House, and the embarrassments of a Tim Geithner or Tom Daschle. Who oversees industry when industry is run by government?
Another agency? Do you sue in federal court to stop state industry pollution, when the payout will hamper the ability to pay the federal court staff itself? When I take brush to the dump, I am careful to tarp the pickup bed (I know the dangers of, and fine for, flying debris). When I am behind a municipal garbage truck, I both expect to be splattered by flying garbage and know there is no punishment for the driver; he is tenured and his agency part of the same system as the sheriff’s.
When I see a Greyhound bus driver drive erratically, I expect he can be sued or cited by government. When a municipal bus driver recently almost hit me at a crosswalk — its driver smoking and text messaging all at once — I knew there was little redress. What is the transportation agency worried about — losing market share when it is a monopoly? Government is necessary, but the least is better than the most.
President Obama has never said a word about honor killings of Muslim women. Secretary Clinton has never said a word about female genital mutilation. General Petraeus has never said a word about the rampant buggery of pre-pubescent boys by Pushtun men in Kandahar. But let an obscure man in Florida so much as raise the possibility that he might disrespect a book – an inanimate object – and the most powerful figures in the western world feel they have to weigh in.
Aside from all that, this obscure church’s website has been shut down, its insurance policy has been canceled, its mortgage has been called in by its bankers. Why? As Diana West wrote, why was it necessary or even seemly to make this pastor a non-person? Another one of Obama's famous "teaching moments"? In this case teaching us that Islamic law now applies to all? Only a couple of weeks ago, the President, at his most condescendingly ineffectual, presumed to lecture his moronic subjects about the First Amendment rights of Imam Rauf. Where's the condescending lecture on Pastor Jones' First Amendment rights?
When someone destroys a bible, US government officials don’t line up to attack him. President Obama bowed lower than a fawning maitre d’ before the King of Saudi Arabia, a man whose regime destroys bibles as a matter of state policy, and a man whose depraved religious police forces schoolgirls fleeing from a burning building back into the flames to die because they’d committed the sin of trying to escape without wearing their head scarves. If you show a representation of Mohammed, European commissioners and foreign ministers line up to denounce you. If you show a representation of Jesus Christ immersed in your own urine, you get a government grant for producing a widely admired work of art. Likewise, if you write a play about Jesus having gay sex with Judas Iscariot.
So just to clarify the ground rules, if you insult Christ, the media report the issue as freedom of expression: A healthy society has to have bold, brave, transgressive artists willing to question and challenge our assumptions, etc. But, if it’s Mohammed, the issue is no longer freedom of expression but the need for "respect" and "sensitivity" toward Islam, and all those bold brave transgressive artists don’t have a thing to say about it.
From the strictly impartial BBC Sunday programme at Cofton Park, a classic discussion of the subject of women priests between Tablet editorial consultant Clifford Longley, Tablet director Tina Beattie and the Tablet’s favourite bishop, Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton – chaired by Tablet trustee Ed Stourton.
Tina Beattie announces that the Anglican ordination of women priests was “prophetic” (like many Tablet ladies, she is endowed with Doris Stokes-style powers of prophecy) and that the Catholic Church will ordain women despite John Paul II’s definitive statement that the Church has no power to do so, ever.
Over to you, Bishop Kieran. Will there be women priests in 100 years’ time?
“Well, according to Pope John Paul II, this was a definitive statement, wasn’t it, so… [laughs] I couldn’t possibly comment.” Cue knowing sniggers from Tabletistas.
First the Holy Father:
“The other matter I touched upon in February with the Bishops of England and Wales, when I asked you to be generous in implementing the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus. This should be seen as a prophetic gesture that can contribute positively to the developing relations between Anglicans and Catholics. It helps us to set our sights on the ultimate goal of all ecumenical activity: the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all. Let us continue to pray and work unceasingly in order to hasten the joyful day when the goal can be accomplished”.
Now Fr. Anthony:
The goal of all ecumenism is the restoration of full ecclesial communion. It is all well to develop friendship between Churches, and this is what the Holy Father is doing with the Church of England. The door remains open, and charity, friendship and mutual respect remain in place. But, that relationship is going no further whilst the Anglican Communion ordains women to the priesthood and episcopate. This goal of the restoration of full ecclesial communion is now only possible for groups of Anglicans who are ready to make their commitment to enter communion with the Successor of Saint Peter and profess the entire Catholic Faith. But, this full ecclesial communion, so desired by us all, is quickly qualified by a new and prophetic context – the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all. This is going to be an exchange of gifts. We have as much to receive as we have to give. We would be giving our tradition of sacred vernacular liturgy, our music, our spiritual tradition, everything we have discussed in our blogs over the past year. We would be receiving back the ancient patrimony of patristic and medieval Catholicism, something we have been seeking to do since the days of the Oxford Movement in our separation and estrangement from both Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy. We have also assimilated the patrimony of Counter-Reformation Catholicism with our use of the English Missal and decoration of some of our churches in Baroque style. We celebrate the feasts of Saint Theresa of Lisieux and the Curé d’Ars among so many other canonised men and women of modern times. We accept the Catechism and the best of twentieth century ressourcement theology. We will never cease to learn and marvel at the wisdom of the one Church of Christ.
This discreet snatch leaves me with hope that Anglicanorum Coetibus was not something published in haste and the subject of brushing under the carpet or back-peddling. The Holy Father really does want this, and I think we can confidently wait for the details to be given in new announcements and the establishment of the first Ordinariate.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
The Pope ended his homily today with these words by Cardinal John Henry Newman:
Praise to the Holiest in the height
And in the depth be praise;
In all his words most wonderful,
Most sure in all his ways!
I hope we sing them today in our little cathedral.
Praise to the Holiest in the height,
And in the depth be praise:
In all His words most wonderful;
Most sure in all His ways.
O loving wisdom of our God,
When all was sin and shame,
He, the last Adam, to the fight
And to the rescue came.
O wisest love! that flesh and blood
Which did in Adam fail,
Should strive afresh against the foe,
Should strive and should prevail.
And that a higher gift than grace
Should flesh and blood refine,
God's presence, and His very self
And essence all-divine.
O generous love! that He, who smote
In man for man the foe,
The double agony in man
For man should undergo.
And in the garden secretly,
And on the cross on high,
Should teach His brethren, and inspire
To suffer and to die.
Praise to the Holiest in the height,
And in the depth be praise:
In all His words most wonderful;
Most sure in all His ways.
Thus these words of Pope Benedict XVI about Cardinal John Henry Newman (from Father Z's blog with his comments in red and emphases) have a special significance.
Let me begin by recalling that Newman, by his own account, traced the course of his whole life back to a powerful experience of conversion which he had as a young man. It was an immediate experience of the truth of God’s word, of the objective reality of Christian revelation as handed down in the Church. This experience, at once religious and intellectual, would inspire his vocation to be a minister of the Gospel, his discernment of the source of authoritative teaching in the Church of God, and his zeal for the renewal of ecclesial life in fidelity to the apostolic tradition. At the end of his life, Newman would describe his life’s work as a struggle against the growing tendency to view religion as a purely private and subjective matter, a question of personal opinion. [We return to a major theme of this Pope’s pontificate and this Visit. There are many people who would forcibly eject any Christian voice from the public sphere. This is especially true in the case of a Catholic voice. Even many Catholics who are not entirely faithful to the Church’s teachings are complicit in this.] Here is the first lesson we can learn from his life:  in our day, when an intellectual and moral relativism threatens to sap the very foundations of our society, Newman reminds us that, as men and women made in the image and likeness of God, we were created to know the truth, to find in that truth our ultimate freedom and the fulfilment of our deepest human aspirations. In a word, we are meant to know Christ, who is himself "the way, and the truth, and the life" (Jn 14:6). [The British Humanist Association needs to get this part straight.]Newman’s life also  teaches us that passion for the truth, intellectual honesty and genuine conversion are costly. [Bearing witness – martyrdom] The truth that sets us free cannot be kept to ourselves; it calls for testimony, [Martyrdom.] it begs to be heard, and in the end its convincing power comes from itself and not from the human eloquence or arguments in which it may be couched. Not far from here, at Tyburn, great numbers of our brothers and sisters died for the faith; the witness of their fidelity to the end was ever more powerful than the inspired words that so many of them spoke before surrendering everything to the Lord. [NB] In our own time, the price to be paid for fidelity to the Gospel is no longer being hanged, drawn and quartered but it often involves being dismissed out of hand, ridiculed or parodied. And yet, the Church cannot withdraw from the task of proclaiming Christ and his Gospel as saving truth, the source of our ultimate happiness as individuals and as the foundation of a just and humane society.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Mary and Original Sin (II)
By original sin we mean, as I have already said, something negative, viz., this only, the deprivation of that supernatural unmerited grace which Adam and Eve had on their first formation, —deprivation and the consequences of deprivation. Mary could not merit, any more than they, the restoration of that grace; but it was restored to her by God's free bounty, from the very first moment of her existence, and thereby, in fact, she never came under the original curse, which consisted in the loss of it. And she had this special privilege, in order to fit her to become the Mother of her and our Redeemer, to fit her mentally, spiritually for it; so that, by the aid of the first grace, she might so grow in grace, that, when the Angel came and her Lord was at hand, she might be "full of grace," prepared as far as a creature could be prepared, to receive Him into her bosom.
John Henri Newman
Letter to Pusey, 1866
Sadly, however, some people still take them at their word and have a therefore very skewed picture of the people of the United States or of conservatives, especially Christian conservatives.
The Binks writes:
~ ITEM: Via e-Mail: “Hi All I just spoke to Marc Lebuis of Pointe de Bascule, he is asking all our assistance in posting on the developing situation in Edmonton – this concerns the attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated MAC in Ottawa to establish a school in the Alberta township of Lessard please link to his post, get this talked up as much as possible. The MAC in Ottawa openly claims allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood – these are scary mofo’s – more info on the Muslim Brotherhood in Canada.” ~
This is the link to the Pointe de Bascule post please repost. ~
~ NOW, MOST PEOPLE have not heard of The Muslim Brotherhood, or if so, perhaps think it just another jihad-minded group out of the Middle East. Not so much.
Imagine if Hitler chose infiltration instead of bliztkrieg, swaying popular opinion, recruiting ordinary folks into dozens of groups and associations, seeking a politically active critical mass in Western societies to eventually call for the open Nazification of countries one by one: not that all must become official party-members, but that existing laws would be reshaped and re-written to uphold National Socialist ideas and ideals, and all must live under them. Stalin nearly made a Communist version of that subversion work in Europe after WW2– and Austria, Denmark, France, Italy and even England were under threat.
That’s the work and masterplan of the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood (or MB). The MB is the ideological brains-trust and guiding spirit behind much of modern Islamism & Jihadism, from the 1950s onwards, in particular.
And Canada? You’re now in the crosshairs. ~
Here's some interesting commentary from Father Z about the Holy Father's visit to Westminster Abbey:
We must make that claim. We must. Or people will be lost. I pray that I will never be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.
Rowan Williams is clearly smart and eloquent. You have the sense in listening to him that he is so smart and eloquent that he doesn’t have to rely on anything other than his eloquence. Anglicans don’t have teaching authority. They are left with being persuasive, eloquent, charming. The C of E is lucky to have him right now. If they didn’t, if they had someone who wasn’t eloquent, they would be flying apart even faster than they are.
On the other hand, Pope Benedict, who is clearly able and willing and happy to rely on the authority of his office, doesn’t have to worry about the sound of his mellifluous tones floating back to him, or seeing the rapt attention in the faces of his listeners. All he does is deliver his straight forward message, eloquent in its authority and force, if not in its delivery. Pope’s have an advantage that way.
Williams today spoke of the need to be persuasive through the example of lifestyle, etc., and not through political organization or clout in the public square. He seems to shy from clear articulation of what Pope Benedict is perfectly comfortable with saying in the public square. I am open to correction if I am wrong about this, but this is my impression.
In that speech at Lambeth Palace, Benedict said "we Christians must never hesitate to proclaim our faith in the uniqueness of the salvation won for us by Christ". In the paragraph before Benedict was taking about pluralism and other religions. In making his interfaith point, he points to what secularist humanists do (deny the transcendent, holiness, the true grounds of human dignity, etc.). Then Benedict did something that, it seems to me, Williams won’t do. Benedict said, I repeat…: "At the same time, "we Christians must never hesitate to proclaim our faith in the uniqueness of the salvation won for us by Christ." Williams’ talk does not say anything like that.
I am not saying that Archbp. Williams doesn’t believe in Christ. I am not saying or hinting at all that he is shy about naming Christ. It is just that when it comes to the issue of the Christian voice in the public square, the Archbishop of Canterbury doesn’t talk at all like the Bishop of Rome. He will name Christ, truly, but he won’t make Benedict’s claim.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Now here is an English version---shortened quite a bit--on Zenit.
"The apostolic constitution was not meant to detract from ongoing ecumenical relations with the Anglican Church of Canterbury, which represents millions of people around the globe," Gyapong clarified.
She noted that there has been a "desire for unity" for many decades, explaining that "since the 1960s, there were huge hopes under Pope Paul VI and Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsay that there could be a healing of the rift so that the 'sister churches' could be 'united but not absorbed.'"
The author explained that the Traditional Anglican Communion in particular "has come to see that the ministry of the Pope, the ministry of Peter, is essential, not only as a sign of Christian unity, but a needed juridical authority to ensure that the faith as received from the eyewitnesses of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is passed down intact from generation to generation."
She said, "Our bishops signed the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the altar Oct. 5, 2007 in St. Agatha's Church in Portsmouth, England, signifying, that 'we accept that the most complete and authentic expression and application of the catholic faith in this moment of time is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Compendium, which we have signed together with this letter as attesting to the faith we aspire to teach and hold.'"
"As a lay person, a journalist and non-theologian," Gyapong noted, "I make no claims to know everything that is in the [catechism], nor that I would understand everything in it."
"But I have come to see that I can no longer be a little pope in my own mind, choosing and deciding for myself which doctrines I will believe and which I will discard," she added. "So, I choose to come under the authority of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church for what I believe."
The author affirmed that "having an apostolic faith is crucial to our finding freedom in Christ and the freedom to live as we ought to live."
"Many Anglicans are in a difficult discernment process right now," Gyapong affirmed, "some adopting a 'wait and see' attitude to see whether they really will be able to retain their Anglican identity while being full-members of the Roman Catholic Church."
She continued: "But I believe the first ordinariates will be like mustard seeds that will blossom and grow and become increasingly attractive not only to Anglicans but to all Christians who find a beautiful liturgy prayed with meaning helps the whole congregation enter into the mystery of the once-and-for-all Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
"The Ordinariates will be part of the liturgical renewal the Holy Father hopes for -- but the beautiful liturgy will also be married to a full-hearted embrace of the Catholic faith, with teaching from the catechism by priests and bishops who believe what it says, without having their fingers crossed behind their backs, or reducing the supernatural Word of God to a metaphor."
Da anni avete chiesto al Papa la piena comunione con Roma. Come mai? Quali sono i tempi? Che risposte avete avuto?
Gyapong: Quando è stata fondata la Comunione anglicana tradizionale (Traditional Anglican Communion - TAC), nel 1990, con il radunarsi delle diverse chiese del movimento “Continuing Anglican” sparse nel mondo, una parte della sua missione era proprio quella dell’unità dei cristiani.
La parola “continuing” si riferisce a quegli anglicani che hanno ritenuto di non poter rimanere nella Comunione anglicana di Canterbury dopo che alcuni sinodi anglicani avevano iniziato ad approvare le ordinazioni delle donne risalenti alla fine degli anni Settanta. La considerazione era che in una religione rivelata non si possono cambiare i sacramenti voluti da Dio, come l’Ordine sacro, attraverso meccanismi democratici, o consentire alle ultime scoperte o tendenze della scienza di violare le Scritture e la Tradizione.
I Continuing Anglicans, tuttavia, senza il Ministero del Papa, sono diventati una sorta ti “Alphabet soup” (zuppa di lettere) di acronimi di chiese divise tra loro, talvolta per conflitti personali, altre volte per un diverso intendimento di cosa significhi essere anglicano.
La TAC è l’unico gruppo di Continuing Anglicans che si è reso conto che il Ministero del Papa, il Ministero di Pietro, è essenziale, non solo come segno dell’unità dei cristiani, ma come una necessità di avere un’autorità giuridica che assicuri che la fede, come ci è stata tramandata dai testimoni oculari della vita di Nostro Signore e Salvatore Gesù Cristo, rimanga intatta da generazione in generazione. Alcuni dei vescovi membri della TAC desideravano l’unità dei cristiani sin da quando erano ancora nella Comunione anglicana di Canterbury.
Il vescovo Robert Mercer, in pensione nel Regno Unito, ha partecipato al dialogo dell’ARCIC (Anglican - Roman Catholic International Commission) negli anni Ottanta, quando era Vescovo di Matabeleland, nello Zimbabwe. Ma il desiderio di unità risale ancora più indietro. Sin dagli anni Sessanta vi erano grandi speranze, sotto Papa Paolo VI e l’Arcivescovo di Canterbury Michael Ramsay, di poter ricucire lo strappo, cosicché le “Chiese sorelle” potessero essere “unite ma non assorbite”.
Ma per Mercer questa speranza è stata spazzata via quando la Chiesa anglicana ha iniziato a deviare rispetto a ciò che aveva in comune con la Chiesa cattolica e con quella ortodossa. Egli ha abbandonato la Chiesa anglicana ed è poi diventato vescovo della Chiesa cattolica anglicana del Canada, che fa parte della TAC.
Ufficialmente, anche se solo per la TAC, i primi dialoghi informali sull’unità si sono svolti nei primi anni Novanta. L’allora Primate, l’arcivescovo Louis Falk era presente, con l’attuale Primate, l’arcivescovo Hepworth, allora sacerdote anglicano con funzioni di esperto o consigliere. L’esito sostanzialmente è stato questo: continuare a crescere, non creare troppi nuovi Vescovi, e continuare a coltivare buoni rapporti con la Chiesa cattolica romana locale. I dialoghi informali avevano sostanzialmente lo scopo di ottenere consigli su come meglio procedere.
La TAC ha continuato a crescere e a fare ciò che gli era stato chiesto, e poi ha cercato consiglio su come fare per presentare una richiesta formale. L’Arcivescovo Hepworth ha girato il mondo visitando i diversi sinodi della TAC per assicurarsi di avere l’avallo dei Vescovi, dei chierici e dei laici, prima di presentare la richiesta formale. È stata indirizzata anche una lettera al Papa per chiedere consiglio su come fare. Il Santo Padre ha risposto dicendo che la richiesta formale doveva essere indirizzata alla Congregazione per la dottrina della fede. Nell’ottobre del 2007 la Conferenza dei vescovi della TAC si è incontrata a Portsmouth, in Inghilterra, e ha inoltrato la richiesta formale di entrare in comunione con la Sede di Pietro.
Credete in ciò che dice il Catechismo della Chiesa cattolica? Cosa è per voi l'Eucaristia?
Gyapong: I nostri Vescovi hanno firmato il Catechismo della Chiesa cattolica, il 5 ottobre 2007, sull’altare della chiesa di Sant’Agata a Portsmouth, in Inghilterra. In questo gesto hanno dichiarato: “Accettiamo che la più completa e autentica espressione e applicazione della fede cattolica, in questo momento storico, si trova nel Catechismo della Chiesa cattolica e nel suo Compendio, che abbiamo sottoscritto insieme a questa lettera, come attestazione della fede che aspiriamo ad insegnare e a mantenere”.
Come persona laica, come giornalista e non teologa, non pretendo di conoscere tutto ciò che è nel Catechismo, né di comprendere tutto ciò che insegna. Ma sono arrivata alla conclusione che non posso continuare ad essere un piccolo papa di me stessa, scegliendo e decidendo da me quali elementi di dottrina accogliere e quali rifiutare. Gran parte della mia formazione nella fede, l’ho vissuta da adulta, come evangelica protestante, e gradualmente ho capito che invece di comprendere prima di credere era meglio seguire il consiglio di Sant’Anselmo che dice “credo per comprendere”.
Quindi scelgo di mettermi sotto l’autorità del Magistero della Chiesa cattolica in base a ciò che credo. Avere una fede apostolica è fondamentale per trovare la libertà in Cristo e la libertà di vivere come dovremmo vivere.
Non essendo teologa non posso spigare il mistero dell’Eucaristia, ma posso credere che Gesù è pienamente presente – corpo, mente, anima e divinità – nel Santissimo Sacramento e che Lui ci nutre e ci purifica e ci manda, uniti a Lui, per essere le Sue mani, i Suoi piedi, la Sua voce, per proclamare il Suo amore e la Buona Novella della salvezza ad un mondo in rovina.
Con la costituzione apostolica Anglicanorum coetibus è possibile avvicinare alcune comunità anglicane a Roma. Cosa ne pensa?
Gyapong: Credo che, inizialmente, il numero degli anglicani che si uniranno agli ordinariati sembrerà piuttosto esiguo, secondo gli standard globali. La TAC, rispetto alla Comunione anglicana, è piuttosto piccola. Molte delle persone di Forward in Faith, che è piuttosto numerosa nel Regno Unito, ma meno negli Stati Uniti, in Australia e altrove, dovrebbero lasciare stipendi sicuri, tradizioni musicali, palazzi bellissimi e i laici per i quali sentono una responsabilità pastorale, se decidessero di andare via.
Esiste un grande ostacolo: “l’ignoto”, il dover “prendere il largo”, come si dice. Molti anglicani si trovano oggi in un difficile processo di discernimento. Alcuni adottano l’atteggiamento del “wait and see” (aspettiamo e vediamo) per verificare se saranno veramente in grado di mantenere la loro identità anglicana pur diventando membri a pieno titolo della Chiesa cattolica romana.
Ma io credo che i primi Ordinariati saranno come i semi di senape che germoglieranno, cresceranno e diventeranno sempre più attraenti, non solo per gli anglicani, ma per tutti i cristiani che ritengono che una bella liturgia, vissuta con partecipazione, aiuti l’intera congregazione ad entrare nel mistero del Sacrificio unico di Gesù Cristo.
Gli Ordinariati faranno parte del rinnovamento liturgico auspicato dal Santo Padre, ma la bella liturgia si sposerà anche con l’abbraccio accorato della fede cattolica, con l’insegnamento del catechismo da parte di preti e vescovi che credono in ciò che dice, senza dover incrociare le dita dietro la schiena o ridurre il mondo soprannaturale di Dio a una metafora.