“Before the Second Vatican Council – Langham says with a hint of irony – the only ecumenism was to tell the Anglicans to convert, and there are some who say that this is also the ‘New’ ecumenism.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
ABBOTSFORD, British Columbia, June 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On June 16, 2011, 9-year-old Ayn Van Dyk was taken from her family into custody by the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development, allegedly for her own safety, but against the wishes of her family, says her father.
Four days earlier, Ayn had been playing in the backyard of her family’s home in Abbotsford, British Columbia when she went missing. After frantically looking for her, without success, her father called 911 and a police search commenced. Ayn was found two hours later playing in a neighbor’s backyard.
“It seemingly was one of those storybook endings,” her dad, Derek Hoare, told LifeSiteNews.com. “She ran from the police car and threw her arms around my neck.”
Derek Hoare is a single father of three children, two of whom, including Ayn, have been diagnosed with severe autism. He says he has been the only parental figure in his daughter’s life since birth and the only person able to manage his daughter’s difficulties with autism. Although Ayn has accrued the knowledge of a 9-year-old, due to her autism she has the naivety of a 3 or 4 year old.
When Child Protection Services (CPS) workers showed up at Hoare’s door on June 16 they told him they had a director’s agreement for taking Ayn into custody.
“They told me either you voluntarily hand her over to us or we take her,” Hoare told LSN. “You can’t claim it’s voluntary when you walk up to someone and say ‘Give this to us or we’re taking it.’ That’s not voluntary.”
This document is entitled "Days of Significance" and is explained as follows:
"Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Equitable Schools acknowledges and values the Days of Significance of different countries, religions, and organizations. This document is a collection of dates that are notable for either equity or educational focus, recognized by the United Nations, the Federal Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and the Multifaith Council of Ontario."
So what sort of days will your children be "celebrating?"
How bout: September 23 – Mabon* (Wicca)
Novemeber 20 – International Transgender Day of Remembrance
December 17 - International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
It gets worse. Go on over and see for yourself. I am so tired of this toxic, politically correct nonsense. Oh yeah, they are also teaching children about jihad!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
My friend Michele and I were just about the last ones to leave the Nuncio's garden party tonight. They were literally taking the table cloths off and packing up the tables! When we got out to the lawn where all the many cars had been parked, ours were the last two! But we had a great time seeing old friends. Here are some pictures. What a day to celebrate not only six years of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy, but also his 60th year in the priesthood.
I love you, Papa Ratzinger. Father Z writes about two interesting little signs surrounding Pope Benedict XVI. May he have many more happy, productive years as our Holy Father.
His Holiness recounted something that happened during his ordination to the priesthood, sixty years ago today as I write. The Pope wrote:
We were more than forty candidates, who, at the solemn call on that radiant summer day, which I remember as the high point of my life, responded “Adsum”, Here I am. We should not be superstitious; but, at that moment when the elderly archbishop laid his hands on me, a little bird—perhaps a lark—flew up from the high altar in the cathedral and trilled a little joyful song. And I could not but see in this a reassurance from on high, as if I heard the words “This is good, you are on the right way.”
Now for a personal anecdote of my own.
In April 2005 for Pope Benedict’s first big Mass in St. Peter’s Square to inaugurate his pontificate, and when people were still buzzing a bit about why he chose the name “Benedict”, another interesting bird event occurred.
For that Mass I happily had a break from work for Fox News (I was on a lot as a contributor and doing “color commentary” in those days). For the Mass I was in the press section on top of one of the big “arms” which stretch out from the Basilica, rather close to the Basilica itself in the straight part before the arm curves.
I believe it was just after the sermon of the Mass, in a silent aftermath … no choir singing, no organ playing, no one talking… a raven flew out from behind the Basilica, on our arm’s side, swooped in a couple circles over where the altar was positions, cawing loudly, and then disappeared whence it came.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
To be sure, the Gotham seat's 10.15 Sunday liturgy invariably attracts prominent ecclesiastics on New York trips as its main concelebrants. In keeping with the custom, yesterday's Mass saw the cathedra flanked to one side by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem -- the longtime Vatican diplomat Archbishop Fouad Twal -- and to the other, Archbishop Terence Prendergast SJ of Ottawa, who was in New York to lead lectio divina during a Biblical celebration the day before at archdiocesan headquarters.
Even if the timing of his St Pat's turn was, again, purely a coincidence, it's still worth noting that in a 2007 interview -- two years after Canada legalized same-sex marriages nationwide -- the Jesuit prelate cited the parliamentary move as potentially paving the way toward polygamy in parts North.
While he had heard the argument that the shift of the institution "hasn't caused any great effects," Prendergast said, "Well, just give it time."
Citing 1968's still-controversial landmark encyclical Humanae Vitae, B16's man in Canada's capital added that "Pope Paul VI said if you separate sexual communion from procreation you are opening yourself to a whole series of ills... If you read that text, what he foretold would take place is taking place."
In late 2006, months prior to his transfer to Ottawa, the Montreal native took the extraordinary step of barring a gay couple from receiving the Eucharist, citing the mens' placement of a newspaper announcement of their civil wedding as creating "public scandal." (In New York, unless a coordinated strategy is agreed to -- and, given the spread, that would seem unlikely -- any potential decisions on that front would fall to the respective diocesan bishops.)
An effective dialogue requires that I engage my faith in a dynamic way. It implies an identity, but a dynamic identity, and so we return to what we spoke about earlier: What is Christianity? The event of Christ, by which he gives himself as a gift to mankind to be the way, the truth and the life, is open to dialogue at 360 degrees. But if I reduce Christianity to a question of doctrine only, then I reduce it to a dialogue of a purely speculative kind.
Certainly, Christianity implies a doctrine and a moral teaching, but they are incarnated in the life of a person and in the life of a community. Therefore, if I practice the Christian life for what it is – ‘the good life’ which the Gospel documents and witnesses to, then I can go and dialogue with everyone.
To have the Catholic faith in its fullness is "having the mind of Christ" and, while good, sound doctrine in black and white must be congruent and inspired by the Spirit of Jesus, it is no substitute for transformation by the Person of Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Which is why I am uncomfortable with those who have all the right doctrinal arguments because they can make an argument from the authority of the Magisterium---out there---but would not seem to know a fruit of the Spirit if it could fall off a tree and hit them on the head.
My father had a malignant brain tumour. He first realized something was amiss when he perceived an odd smell that no one else noticed and that didn’t correspond to anything around him. This turned out to be the first of several olfactory hallucinations. Over time, he had seizures, started substituting words, and almost completely lost his ability to speak.
I found my father’s interpretation of his illness almost more painful than the illness itself and the possibility he might soon die. You see, he explained that he was prepared to suffer and even die for the sake of my brothers and me. (Being a United Church minister, he didn’t ever use the term “offering it up,” so far as I can recall, but he’d done his MDiv thesis on the theology of suffering, and we now figure he probably was influenced by a Catholic approach to redemptive suffering.) He had always been rather stoic with regard to illness, not wanting anyone to make a fuss over him, and in this he stayed true to form.
So, okay, I didn’t want my dad to die on me, and he was resigned to whatever happened to him, even to the point of sometimes declining to take what we thought were reasonable steps to improve his circumstances. Passivity’s not that unusual, I suppose, when one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Still, you’d think I’d be grateful for his generous offering of his suffering for my sake.
I was not grateful.
My father, I found out, my beloved father was offering his illness and possible death for the sake of my deliverance from homosexuality. Which he and my mother even said was demonically inspired.
At this point I have to pay tribute to the man who was then my lover. He was living in the States and took several days off work, maybe as much as a week, to visit me and comfort me, at considerable personal cost. To say this isn’t at all to condone the sexual component of our relationship, which was gravely wrong; it’s just to acknowledge that elements of genuine love and generosity on his part were present in spite of our highly irregular situation. Upholding the true nature of marriage and the proper ends of sexuality doesn’t require dismissing everything that goes on within a gay relationship. I’ll give my ex credit too for breaking up with me later, but that’s another story.
On Father’s Day, I honour my father for one of the hardest and most thankless tasks a parent can carry out, namely, saying no. Fathers generally try to provide for what their children need, as Jesus remarks by way of illustration of the even greater love shown by our heavenly Father: “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?” (Luke 11:11-12). But when the son is confused enough to ask for a scorpion, as I did in seeking my father’s blessing upon the way I was misusing my body, who will be man enough to say, “No, son, out of love I cannot give you that”?
Alan has a beautiful testimony. I also like the fact that he honors elements of genuine love and generosity that can and do exist in homosexual relationships and that his journey is not all tied up in some neat little bow at the end. In other words, he is not preaching "cure" but a journey to holiness, chastity and self-control.
Monday, June 27, 2011
The Bishops cannot be faulted for not having a clearer grasp of the particular elements of our patrimony, since many self-defined Anglicans do not really follow the classical Anglican way. Moreover, those of us who aspire to do so have not set forth the matter clearly and concisely.
To further complicate the matter, the fact that the majority of those clergy and congregations that so far have entered the first Ordinariate in England — the motherland of the Anglican Way — use the English translation of the Roman Missal instead of any version of The Book of Common Prayer tends for now to obscure the fact that outside England, the classical Prayer Book tradition is very much alive and well. (The reasons for this are complex and beyond the immediate scope of this paper.)
Another reason why there is uncertainty about the content of the Anglican heritage may well have to do with its very pervasiveness — it is a part of the general environment of anglophone European culture, especially its literary culture. The two most influential monuments of English literature are The Book of Common Prayer (1549ff.) and the Authorized Version of the Bible (1611), commonly known as the King James Version, which in very real ways have formed not just the cadence but the content of Western civilization in its Anglo-American form.
In the interests of removing the uncertainty about its nature and form, it is the purpose of this paper to set forth some of the key elements of the Anglican patrimony and in the process to foster a better understanding of it among the Latin Rite Catholics — particularly our Fathers in God — with whom we soon will be joined. These are things which we value and believe constitute the precious heritage of the Anglican way of being Christian, and which we hope to offer for the enrichment of — and where necessary correction by — the Catholic Church.
Bishop Carl Reid celebrated 21 years in the priesthood on the Feast of Corpus Christi last Thursday. In our parish hall on Sunday, we marked the occasion with a chocolate cake baked by Barb Reid, our "matushka" or mother of our parish, our priest's wife.
While in Pittsburgh, I had a wonderful conversation with an Eastern Catholic about the role of married priests, the ministry of their wives, and how their families are the heart of parish life. The Roman Catholic hierarchy does not seem to appreciate this charism. In fact, someone else in Pittsburgh, a Roman Catholic, spoke about how acceptance of our married priests might make some celibate Catholic priests resentful that they could have married and perhaps not have gone through as rigorous seminary formation and become priests through Anglicanorum coetibus.
My response--though not necessarily all I said at the time: the married priesthood is not some kind of cake walk and chastity within marriage is also difficult and requires the help of the Holy Spirit. As my new Eastern Catholic friend and I talked about, one's family is on display for the whole parish and that can make one's holiness or lack thereof, and one's influence on one's wife and children up there for everyone to see in bold relief. But it also gives a parish a chance to really get to know their priestly parish family and to see how beautifully they grow in the Lord over the years.
Eastern Catholics have often expressed to me how difficult it has been some times to be understood by the much larger Roman Catholic Church and to preserve their distinct patrimony, which includes a married priesthood. It will be much, much harder for us, as many are already interpreting the Apostolic Constitution to mean that only this generation will include married priests and celibacy will be the norm in the future. We need to rediscover the beauty of the celibate priesthood---else where will our future bishop/ordinaries come from?--but I hope and pray we can persuade Rome about the charism of the family at the heart of a parish.
Speaking of family, one of the aspects that has been painful in our coming into the Catholic Church is that the stress on individual conversion does not seem to recognize our sense of family within our parishes. We do not want to leave anyone behind. And we want our shepherds to remain our shepherds once we are Catholic. The Roman Catholic I spoke to in Pittsburgh talked about some being only interested in the Apostolic Constitution because they are attached to their priest. Well, it's more complex and nuanced than that. If we wanted to convert individually and become Roman Catholics, we already have many, many choices of good parishes to join and a wonderful archbishop, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, whose authority would be a joy to be under. But we hope to come in like immigrants family-class, with our church family as intact as possible. That means we want our spiritual fathers, our shepherds, our priests, to lead us in. It's not a matter of stupid people "attached to their priest" like they are cult leaders, but the sense of unity, of family, that we have in our parishes that we hope to preserve. This too is Anglican patrimony, no?
Meanwhile, the sign up sheet for interest in a Canadian Ordinariate is filling up. Thankfully, our Ottawa church family is remaining together. Let us continue to pray for unity and for God's will to be done.
Here's a link to a story I wrote about it. I will go again. It is amazing:
OTTAWA - As Caravaggio’s personal life unravelled, his paintings became more deeply spiritual, perhaps due to his need for mercy, says an art historian and expert on the 17th century Italian master.The picture shows Sebastian Schütze explaining one of Caravaggio's early works, Boy Bitten by Lizard.
The more sorrow he experienced, the more spiritual his work became, said University of Vienna art historian Sebastian Schütze at a June 15 preview of the National Art Gallery’s international loan exhibition Caravaggio and His Friends in Rome that will be in Ottawa until Sept. 11.
As the hot-tempered artist became “the bad boy on the run” after having killed someone in a duel, his work became richer and more reflective and less inclined to show off his technical virtuosity Schütze said.
The painting that closes the exhibit, St. Francis contemplating a skull, was painted around the time that the artist fled from Rome, and shows a deep sense of spiritual reflection.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I was born on Father's Day and this year my birthday and the day we honor dads coincided again last Sunday. My husband had to work that day, but left a card (which I opened) and a present (which I did not until he came home) on the dining room table. The card said, "Count your blessings not your candles." Inside: "No one wants to wait forever for a piece of cake." Which cracked me up. I can imagine him laughing when he picked it out.
I went to church that morning to celebrate Trinity Sunday and the bulletin noted that the flowers on the altar were in memory of my dad. He died in March 2004 on a day that usually falls in Lent. The worship, as usual, at our little Anglican Catholic church, was glorious.
Then after church, my friend Mary and I went out for Vietnamese bun on Wellington St. near Preston and the food was terrific.
Then home and time to open my present, which was a new digital camera with many fancy features I have yet to discover. I ordered take-out Indian food from my favorite Indian restaurant in Ottawa---Bombay Masala---and Tony made his famous margueritas.
My son Sam called and I spoke to my grandson, Benjamin, who I could overhear bragging to his cousin, "My nana's name is Nana!"
I had a manicure the previous day, something I've only done about three times in my life. It's fun to have bright red nails.
The eve of my birthday, John McKillop, who I have never met, sent me via email a copy of his play, which I read that night and thoroughly enjoyed.
And on Facebook, something like 70 people wished me Happy Birthday---from friends and nephews and uncles and cousins and old friends and new. It was a great day. Thanks everyone!
While we in the Traditional Anglican Communion welcome the teachings of Vatican II---Anglicanorum coetibus would not have been possible without them---many of us are watching with interest how Pope Benedict's desire to heal the schism with SSPX will work out. There have been rumors there might be some kind of Ordinariate structure offered; there have also been rumors that theological talks have failed.
Here is something most interesting from SSPX Bishop Fellay on progress with Rome:
H/t Father Z
Already two years ago, in 2009, I requested a meeting with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, because of the difficulty of the contradictions that we are always facing. I do not exaggerate the word “contradiction.” What does it mean? It means that we receive from Rome contradictory messages; some will tell you this and some will tell you that. It’s not only divergence; it’s contradiction.
Of course we think about it and ask why it is the case. Where does it come from? Our understanding is that, in Rome, as in the whole Church, there are different currents. To simplify, let’s call them the progressive and conservative currents. There are certain churchmen who are close to us and who like to see us be fostered. But there are others who hate us, this being the only phrase which correctly describes their behavior towards us. They hate us and they are in Rome. Sometimes things come from them and sometimes from the others.
Let me give you an example which took place last September. A priest, who used to belong to a religious order, and who had just joined us, received a letter from his former superior. He was told that he was no longer a member of his order and that he was excommunicated. To this letter was joined a letter of confirmation from the Congregation in charge of religious in Rome, stating the following: “Father is indeed no longer member of your order because he is excommunicated as he has lost the Faith by joining the formal schism of Archbishop Lefebvre.” This letter was dated last September!
So I went to Rome and asked the Secretary of the Eclessia Dei Commission what this was all about. He did not even let me finish the passage which I was reading from this letter before he said: “I know already. We–the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith–have told the Congregation for religious that they do not have the right to say something like that. They are incompetent, and they have to revise their judgment.” He then continued: “This is what you have to do with this letter” and acted like he was throwing it away. That’s the gesture he made! In other words, take it and put it in the trashcan. So one authority in Rome is asking me to throw away another Roman authority’s decision. Is that not a contradiction? He continued by saying the following: “You must tell your priests and faithful that not everything that comes from Rome comes from the pope!” I said to him: “It’s impossible. How do you want the faithful and the priests to be able to make that judgment? What comes from Rome, comes from the pope! Or else one might say what pleases me comes from the pope and what displeases me does not come from the pope!”
I like Bishop Fellay's call for a Rosary Crusade, which is close to what the Holy Spirit has called me into to combat the discouragement and contradictions facing the Traditional Anglican Communion's desire for unity with the Holy See (my bolds):
Therefore, don’t get caught up in all these illusions. But at the same time, don’t let discouragement touch you. It’s true that this fight is long but we cannot change that. The devil remains the devil and we are not going to make peace with the him. It’s going to last as long as God wants, but we have all we need for this fight: grace and the support of God. So we must continue in this fight with serenity and without discouragement. It’s so clear that we are blessed by God. The traditional Mass that we are celebrating is nurturing the Christian spirit inside of us, the spirit of Christ, which teaches us that we have to stay away from the world, to make moderate use of earthly goods, and that what is most important is not here on earth. What is most important is God, heaven, our eternal destiny.
My dear brethren, if I call you to this Rosary Crusade, it’s precisely to help you get out of these traps, both of illusion and of discouragement. In this prayer, in this chain of roses which unites us to the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are sure to be under her protection and to be fighting the right fight. She will lead us! Do not fear; the good Mother is not going to abandon her children. Be generous, be really generous in these prayers. We cannot expect good things for the Church through human means. No, we expect them by supernatural means and prayer precisely is one of the mightiest means we have.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
The Moon Brothers, who have produced this film, sent me an email with the link to the documentary, and said this:
It doesn't matter if you agree 100% with this guy's fight; what matters is that his fight will allow us the freedom to speak our minds without fear from the Thought Police (and that is doubly true for bloggers, don't you think?)
Watch the trailer. Write a comment. Blog about this. As filmmakers, it's our job to start conversations. This is one conversation we think is worth putting out there.
P.S. Here are some quotes about the documentary...
"An on-the-edge expose of the anti-free speech forces at work... worth watching for adults to be captivated, informed and equipped." -- Ted Baehr, MOVIEGUIDE.org
"A stunning documentary which covers both sides of the issue." -- Paul L. Maier, PhD, Bestselling Author
The Moon Brothers
I will be covering the Supreme Court case. Sounds like a film for the Free Thinking Film Society to bring in.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Greetings from Pittsburgh, where I just participated in a panel entitled Rules of Engagement: Blogging and the Catholic Church for the Association of Roman Catholic Communicators of Canada, which is meeting prior to the big Catholic Media Convention here that starts tomorrow. Bill Steinburg Toronto Archdiocese Communicatons Manager took the photos. Very interesting discussion. More later, maybe.
Monday, June 20, 2011
French parents were seen as authoritarian, as were French teachers. Children were to be corrected, not pampered. They were taught respect from their earliest years, such as shaking hands with adults and answering questions directly, be it to Mademoiselle, Madame, or Monsieur. The manner of teaching was different from the American way, but no one I knew objected to the final results.
The method was by rote, whether it was writing the alphabet or the teacher's dictée (dictation) in the child's notebook. In art, a given subject was copied on the same line. However, time was set aside to draw a dessin libre (a picture of one's choice). Homework was assigned daily.
Children must learn to conform. There were no allowances for individual differences. Initiative and open discussion were discouraged. All instruction was alike and accepted without question. One must pay attention -no talking in class. There were good marks for achievement, but ridicule from teachers and other children for improper behaviour. Even during recess, which, at the Cours Montaigne, might include a walk to the Bois de Boulogne three blocks away in good weather, play time was usually done in an orderly manner.
When I came for Steven one morning after school, I noticed that the children all had been given workbooks with a picture on each page of one letter of the alphabet with objects or animals corresponding to it. Steven had no workbook. I asked the teacher why, and her answer was in keeping with the criterion for the age group: "He cannot even draw a house yet." She gratuitously added, "He has no sense of group discipline. He wants to touch and see everything and has very little patience to wait until things are given to the children by the teacher. He is not aggressive with other children, just with things."
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Alinsky's success with the Council propelled him into national recognition as the organizer of what Agnes E. Meyer of the Washington Post called the "orderly revolution."(58) Alinsky's fame was bolstered by publication of his book Reveille for Radicals,(59) which became a national bestseller.(60) Jacques Maritain called it "epoch making."(61) Alinsky was a featured speaker at national Catholic convenings from this time through the 1960s.(62) Invitations to organize came from cities throughout the nation, and within every campaign Catholics played a prominent role.(63) Through these activities Alinsky developed hundreds of relationships with Catholic leaders. Alinsky's friendship with Thomistic philosopher Jacques Maritain is perhaps the most fascinating Catholic connection. As Bernard Doering has shown, Maritain and Alinsky were close friends and influenced one another's work. Doering's articles "Jacques Maritain and America-Friendships" and "Jacques Maritain and His Authentic Revolutionaries" raise fascinating questions and issues within and about this friendship, questions still to be answered.(64) Maritain was so enthralled with Alinsky's writing and organizing that in 1958 he personally urged Archbishop Montini of Milan, the future Pope Paul VI, to meet with Alinsky.(65) The Archbishop met with Alinsky in 1965 to explore whether community-organizing could work in Italy.(66)
My evidence establishing Alinsky's influence on the CHD provides one component of the historical work necessary to undertake the project of theological reflection on the role of community organization in 20th-century America. Still to be further explored is the theology of CHD's founders, its North American option for the organized poor, the intellectual roots of Alinsky's theory, as well as the hermeneutical and interdisciplinary examination of the encounter between U.S. Catholic social thought and American Pragmatism. Without a doubt, the CHD is a unique resource within the North American theological enterprise.
So instead of walking along sun-kissed pavements towards the Mediterranean and the friendly coffee bar, I walked through wet fields towards and then away from the North Sea to the local Co-op. There I bought groceries and a pumpkin seed roll but not, alas, a coffee, for the Co-op does not have a coffee machine, as I only noticed today.I was inclined to be gloomy, which is a true sign that I am assimilating, for an ordinary Canadian would have revelled in the pretty Scottish woods, the purple Scottish bluebells, the white clover, the pink dog roses and the red cultivated roses run amok. I, however, having just returned to Lothian from Lazio sighed for the brilliant pink and purple bourgainvillia, the Roses of Sharon and the jasmine. Oh oh oh.But on returning to the Historical House I made a single cup of coffee, instead of my usual three, and I made toast with jam as Hilary would have made it. And now I shall put the kettle on for tea. Excuse me for a moment.***On Thursday after reading Hilary my post, I donned my bathing suit and more eccentric beachwear and returned with Hilary to the beach. I forgot my towel, but sat comfortably in the sand and tiny pebbles. One of Hilary's friends came by just as she was ready to swim and took her away to where the swimming was better. I shuffled over and lay on Hilary's towel with my green dressing gown over my legs and holding a pink umbrella over the rest of me so that there was no direct contact between the skin and my beautiful skin. A red-brown elderly lady regarded me speculatively. A golden-skinned auburn-haired young lady beside me minded her own business and read her book. She had a green bikini; it suited her.When I had had enough burn-proof toasting, I decided to have a swim. Hilary's flat has been without hot water for several days, and we had been making do with pots of hot water boiled up on the stove. We hadn't done that yet that day, and I was longing to be clean. So I stripped right down to my leopard-print bathing suit, took off my hat and my sunglasses and marched into the water.The sun, as you can imagine, was amazed and gratified. It slicked back its hair and oozed right over."Buon giorno, bellezza," it crooned."Yeah, yeah," I said. "You get fifteen minutes of my time."
Most interesting article in the Atlantic by Caitlin Flanagan. H/t FFoF
In fact, no one could be more irrelevant to the California of today, and particularly to its poor, Hispanic immigrant population, than Chavez. He linked improvement of workers’ lives to a limitation on the bottomless labor pool, but today, low-wage, marginalized, and exploited workers from Mexico and Central America number not in the tens of thousands, as in the ’60s, but in the millions. Globalization is the epitome of capitalism, and nowhere is it more alive than in California. When I was a child in the ’60s, professional-class families did not have a variety of Hispanic workers—maids, nannies, gardeners—toiling in and around their households. Most faculty wives in Berkeley had a once-a-week “cleaning lady,” but those women were blacks, not Latinas. A few of the posher families had gardeners, but those men were Japanese, and they were employed for their expertise in cultivating California plants, not for their willingness to “mow, blow, and go.”
Growing up here when I did meant believing your state was the most blessed place in the world. We were certain—both those who lived in the Republican, Beach Boys paradises of Southern California and those who lived in the liberal enclaves of Berkeley and Santa Monica—that our state would always be able to take care of its citizens. The working class would be transformed (by dint of the aerospace industry and the sunny climate) into the most comfortable middle class in the world, with backyard swimming pools and self-starting barbecue grills for everyone. The poor would be taken care of, too, whether that meant boycotting grapes, or opening libraries until every rough neighborhood had books (and Reading Lady volunteers) for everyone.
But all of that is gone now.
The state is broken, bankrupt, mean. The schools are a misery, and the once-famous parks are so crowded on weekends that you might as well not go, unless you arrive at first light to stake your claim. The vision of civic improvement has given way to self-service and consumer indulgence. Where the mighty Berkeley Co-op once stood on Shattuck and Cedar—where I once rattled the can for Chavez, as shoppers (each one a part owner) went in to buy no-frills, honestly purveyed, and often unappealing food—is now a specialty market of the Whole Foods variety, with an endless olive bar and a hundred cheeses.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Many of my Anglican friends have long held that for them the major barrier to their return to full Communion with the Catholic Church is precisely the banality of post-Conciliar parish liturgies and what Digby Anderson has called the ‘oikish translation of the Mass’. In response to the question, ‘what is it that Anglican Catholics could bring with them as a small gift on their trip to Rome?’ Anderson suggests better translations of the Mass and the moral sensibility associated with the idea of the gentleman, including the cult of understatement and self-deprecation and traditional manners.
When I read Anderson’s article, published in the magazine New Directions, I thought he has nailed it.
It is true that much contemporary Catholic liturgy is banal. When he was a Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger compared it to the Hebrew’s worship of the Golden Calf and said that some contemporary liturgies could be described as acts of apostasy. He suggested that there is a problem when liturgy becomes self-centric rather than theo-centric and he noted that this self-centric tendency is defended by exactly the same argument that the Hebrew’s used for bringing on the golden calf. Ratzinger believed that the Hebrew leaders were not so stupid as to confuse the golden calf with God – they knew that the calf was not God – but they thought that they needed to bring God down to the level of the people and representing him as a calf was the way they went about this.
In his book The Feast of Faith, Ratzinger wrote:
The Church must not settle down with what is merely comfortable and serviceable at the parish level, she must arouse the voice of the cosmos and, by glorifying the Creator, elicit the glory of the Cosmos itself, making it also glorious, beautiful, habitable and beloved. Next to the saints, the art which the Church has produced is the only real ‘apologia’ for her history…The Church is to transform, improve, ‘humanise’ the world – but how can she do that if at the same time she turns her back on beauty, which is so closely allied to love? For together, beauty and love form the true consolation in this world, bringing it as near as possible to the world of the resurrection. The Church must maintain high standards, she must be a place where beauty can be at home; she must lead the struggle for that ‘spiritualisation’ without which the world becomes ‘the first circle of hell’.
Given these attitudes, I think it is fair to say that Cardinal Ratzinger would have been more at home in an Oxbridge college chapel at Evensong then in the average suburban parish with people singing songs written by Marty Haugen. Being forced to listen to “Gather Us In” is my idea of landing in the first circle of hell.
A number of scholars have tried to come to grips with why it is that contemporary suburban parish culture is so philistine. There are books with names like Why Catholics Can’t Sing and As Ugly as Sin. I would say that there are at least 4 reasons, perhaps many others:
First, there was the influence of Jansenism. This was a heresy that began in what is now called Belgium in the 17th century, spread to France and then onto Ireland since Irish priests were trained on the continent to avoid persecution while later French priests escaped to Ireland to avoid persecution. From Ireland strains of the virus spread to the New World, including Australia and New Zealand. The Jansenists were opposed to sensuality in all of its manifestations and thus in favour of low liturgy. What Anglicans have often regarded as some of the more peculiar Catholic attitudes to sex can also be found to have a Jansenist pedigree.
Second, the neo-scholasticism which was regnant in the Catholic academies between the late 19th century and the beginning of the Second Vatican Council was not especially interested in beauty. The neo-scholastics cared a great deal about truth, and thus about getting the doctrine right, or using the right linguistic formulae, but the realm of beauty was hardly on their radar screen at all. Scholars have argued that the scholasticism which developed in the post-Tridentine baroque era was characterised by a number of dualisms, and in particular a tendency to separate spirituality from dogmatic theology which had the effect of fostering a compartmentalisation of the intellectual and affective dimensions of the faith. In its most extreme forms this gave birth to a dry theology dominated by doctrinal formulae (at one extreme) and saccharine devotions (at the other extreme).
Friday, June 17, 2011
In many ways, MacMaster has only done in a more extreme, unrestrained fashion what is now commonplace in the media: discovered himself, forged an identity for himself, through other people’s political struggles and their seemingly more exotic existences. In projecting himself into Syria, imagining that he was a lesbian called Amina Arraf clashing with the Assad regime, MacMaster has taken to its perversely logical conclusion the modern trend where journalists and activists try to give a bit of meaning to their lives by morally leeching off foreign upheaval. His creation of a ventriloquist’s dummy through which he could spout his supposedly ‘authentic’ political feelings mirrors the modern-day fashion for turning put-upon foreign peoples, especially Middle Eastern ones, into vehicles for the working-out of middle-class Westerners’ existential angst.
The reason they were drawn to it, the reason this made-up blog could become a source for serious journalists, is not hard to fathom. It is because it pressed their political buttons, it massaged their moralistic worldview. Indeed it seems to have been designed to conform to the modern liberal tendency to reduce all foreign conflicts to simplistic morality tales, in which profound political complexities are airbrushed away in favour of flagging up the victimisation of (ideally gay) individuals by faceless rulers. Unable, or unwilling, to get a handle on what is really happening in Syria, to analyse or account for the inspiring uprising and serious violence there, journalists and activists glimpsed in this blog the opportunity to promote a fairytale version of events instead, complete with a pretty Cinderella-style figure (only gay) and the ugliest Ugly Sisters you could ever imagine (only male). That serious journalists fell for MacMaster’s fiction speaks to a profound crisis of objectivity in the modern media, and a preference for simplistic moralism over the tough task of reporting.Indeed, many contemporary journalists and activists share something important in common with MacMaster. No, not a penchant for telling outright lies, but certainly a desire to discover themselves, to give their run-of-the-mill lives a shot of political adrenalin, by creaming off the experiences of ‘exotic’ Arabs or Africans or Asians.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
In planning for the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus, a program of priestly formation was developed that would allow for a concentration of study in the areas of historic theological divergence in anticipation of ordination to the priesthood. The CDF approved the modified program of priestly formation and authorized its use.
With the encouragement of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the leadership of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston’s Major Seminary, Saint Mary’s, agreed to implement the priestly formation program. A Saint Mary’s faculty member, Father Jeffrey Steenson, has been instrumental in designing the specific elements of this program, in collaboration with Cardinal DiNardo and myself. Father Steenson is the former Episcopal Bishop of the Rio Grande, who was received into the Church in 2007. The formation program will be available on site at the seminary and also through distance learning facilities.
In mid-April, Anglican clergy seeking ordination in an Ordinariate were directed as part of the process to submit dossiers to me by May 16 for eventual review by the CDF. Since that time, completed dossiers have been sent to Rome for evaluation.
Those Anglican clergy whose dossiers are granted a Nulla Osta by the CDF, indicating that they are eligible to proceed with the approved priestly formation process, will be directed to provide additional information to the CDF. This information will include the results of criminal background checks, a psychological evaluation, a letter of resignation from their Anglican entity, a Votum from the Delegate or Ordinary, and a Votum from the Catholic bishop where the candidate resides, who will have been invited to interview him, either personally or through a delegate. If possible, a Votum from the candidate’s former Anglican authority will also be included.
During this time, those candidates responsible for a congregation will be guiding the catechetical formation of their people, utilizing the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, as has been approved by the CDF. Candidates will be encouraged to invite speakers from the local Catholic community.
Once the second set of documentation has been sent to the CDF, a candidate will cease celebrating the Anglican Eucharist. When a rescript has been issued and received, he may be ordained to the diaconate immediately, with the intention that his subsequent priestly ordination would coincide with the reception of his parish group into full communion.
This last part is good and I hope the same thing happens in Canada.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Kevin Libin's delicious account of the "human rights'" industry's latest gab fest is one such article.
Here's a taste, but do go over and read the whole thing:
Organizers were sensitive enough to provide a Quiet Room for delegates to “pray, meditate or simply sit in a quiet space.”Support from various government and corporate sponsors recognized in the program wasn’t ranked by anything so competitively bourgeois as Gold, Silver and Bronze. They were instead categorized by “Human Rights Level,” “Diversity Level” and “Inclusion Level.”
Such delicacy is to be expected from a conference created by and heavily populated with the men, women and, to be properly and fully inclusive, straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning folk who run Canada’s Human Rights agencies. These are the commissioners, tribunal lawyers and mandarins — if that isn’t an Asiaphobic term — who spend careers examining all manner of “rights” complaints, from the entitlement to microwave smelly food in the office (Saadi v. Audmax) to the right not to have to listen to your boss drone on about the bestselling book The Secret (Young v. Petres). The rest of the 250 delegates swarmed in from governments, corporate human resource departments, NGOs, universities, unions and, of course, the law firms who have turned human rights litigation into a robust revenue stream.
The conference theme, which runs through Wednesday, is “New Realities, New Directions,” and there certainly seemed to be a sense early on in the program that the human rights business may need to readjust its orientation to increasingly complex modern circumstances.
For instance, Daniel Weinstock, a University of Montreal philosophy and ethics professor, seemed to tempt sacrilege, drawing heavily on the classical liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill, and daring to question whether the “cultural rights” that have washed up on the shores of societies such as Canada’s may be, in fact, more dangerous than helpful. When ethnic groups are granted hands-off “sovereignty” in the name of multiculturalism, he pointed out, it can mean a bad deal for “internal minorities.” Women and homosexuals, in other words, don’t celebrate quite as enthusiastically when traditionally patriarchal communities win the government-blessed “right” to keep their Old World ways here.
It was startling enough to say such things moments after Barbara Hall’s speech. The former Toronto mayor who, as chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, once seemed to publicly lament that the law didn’t give her enough power to do something about “Islamophobia” in the mainstream press, had praised the remarkably diverse crowd for all the progress in eliminating discrimination, while reminding them it was still a serious problem.
BTW, when I was at the Conservative Convention 2011 on Saturday, I interviewed Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, who is a friend of free expression and old fashioned, genuine civil rights, the kind people in the West fought and died for.
I noted that abolishing Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act was not among the policy resolutions that passed this time around. He told me abolishing the clause is already Conservative policy since it passed by a 97 per cent vote at the last election. To refresh your memory, Section 13 puts anyone who says anything "likely" to expose a sensitive individual to hatred or contempt in contravention of the Act and subject to an expensive trial in which rules of evidence and the presumption of innocence don't apply.
He noted that even the Justice Minister voted in favor of this resolution. So Mr. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, when can we see legislation to get rid of this open-ended and illiberal clause?
And even though some of the most "sensitive" people in the world sit on these bodies--people who ask your pardon before daring to eat a banana, for heaven's sake (an episode captured by Libin)--there is no other group, no, not even Islamists, that is doing as much grievous injury, as much long-lasting harm, to our body politic.
Eventually, all Robespierres and Stalins rise and fall. And if we are to be truly free, so must the perversion, the Orwellian laughingstock, we here in Canada have made of "human rights."
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
6. Go to Europe and see the left-wing desired future for America: dense urban apartment living by design rather than by necessity; one smart car; no backyard or third bedroom; dependence on mass transit; political graffiti everywhere demanding more union benefits or social entitlements; entourages of horn-blaring, police-escorted technocrats racing through the streets on the hour; gated inherited homes of an aristocratic technocracy on the Mediterranean coast, Rhine, Danube, etc., exempt from much socialist and environmental law; $10 a gallon gas; sky-high power bills; racial segregation coupled with elite praise of illegal immigration and diversity; and unexamined groupthink on green issues, entitlements, and the culpability of the U.S. Drink it all in and you have the liberal agenda for an America to be.
Monday, June 13, 2011
President of the Montreal Model Railway Club Pierre Lalanne makes an adjustment to a segment of the model at the club in Montreal, Wednesday, June 1, 2011. In a warehouse in Montreal's historic Griffintown neighbourhood, model train enthusiasts have spent 38 years engaging in a labour of love.Inch by inch, they've constructed what is believed to be Canada's largest fully operational model railway. The CANADIAN PRESS/Graham HughesGraham Hughes/THE CANADIAN PRESS
MONTREAL—In a warehouse in Montreal’s historic Griffintown neighbourhood, model train enthusiasts have spent 38 years engaging in a labour of love.
Inch by inch, they’ve constructed what is believed to be Canada’s largest fully operational model railway.
More than 300 people have participated over the years, devoting thousands of hours to building life-like models across an eye-popping, detail-laden, 1,493-metre-long masterpiece.
And it’s about to be destroyed.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
I am far of course from denying that every article of the Christian Creed, whether as held by Catholics or by Protestants, is beset with intellectual difficulties; and it is simple fact, that, for myself, I cannot answer those difficulties. Many persons are very sensitive of the difficulties of Religion; I am as sensitive of them as any one; but I have never been able to see a connexion between apprehending those difficulties, however keenly, and multiplying them to any extent, and on the other hand doubting the doctrines to which they are attached. Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt, as I understand the subject; difficulty and doubt are incommensurate. There of course may be difficulties in the evidence; but I am speaking of difficulties intrinsic to the doctrines themselves, or to their relations with each other. A man may be annoyed that he cannot work out a mathematical problem, of which the answer is or is not given to him, without doubting that it admits of an answer, or that a certain particular answer is the true one. Of all points of faith, the being of a God is, to my own apprehension, encompassed with most difficulty, and yet borne in upon our minds with most power.
PSALM 42. Quemadmodum.
LIKE as the hart desireth the water-brooks, / so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
2 My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God: / when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, / while all day long they say unto me, 'Where is now thy God?'
4 These things will I remember as I pour out my soul within me: / how I went with the multitude, and brought them forth into the house of God,
5 With the voice of praise and thanksgiving, / a multitude keeping holy-day.
6 Why art thou so full of heaviness, O my soul? / and why art thou so disquieted within me?
7 O put thy trust in God, for I will yet give him thanks, / who is the help of my countenance, and my God.
8 MY soul is vexed within me; therefore will I remember thee / from the land of Jordan, from Hermon, and the Little Hill.
9 One deep calleth another, because of the noise of thy torrents; / all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
10 The LORD will grant his loving-kindness in the day-time; / and in the night-season will I sing of him, and make my prayer unto the God of my life.
11 I will say unto God my rock, 'Why hast thou forgotten me? / why go I thus heavily, while the enemy oppresseth me?'
12 My bones are smitten asunder, while mine enemies reproach me, / while they say daily unto me, 'Where is now thy God?'
13 Why art thou so vexed, O my soul? / and why art thou so disquieted within me?
14 O put thy trust in God, for I will yet give him thanks, / who is the help of my countenance, and my God.
PSALM 117. Laudate Dominum.
O PRAISE the LORD, all ye nations: / laud him, all ye peoples.
2 For his merciful kindness is ever more and more towards us: / and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise the LORD.
10 And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give [unto the LORD thy God], according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:
11 And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that [is] within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that [are] among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there.
MAGNIFICAT. ST. LUKE 1:46
4 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, [and] mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
And after that shall be sung or said Nunc Dimittis (or the Son of Simeon).
NUNC DIMITTIS. ST. LUKE 2:29.
O GOD, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by the sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.