Saturday, October 18, 2003

Requiescant In Pace
Patric McCarthy, ten year-old boy from Bourne, MA died, apparently of exposure, in the woods of New Hampshire.

A 25 year-old soldier from Wakefield, Ma, Staff Sgt. Joseph P. Bellavia, gave his life fighting to pacify the city of Karbala, Iraq.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen

Saint Luke
Today the Church honors Saint Luke, the only one of the evangelists not to have been born Jewish. Luke was from Antioch, the second city of Roman Empire, was a physician who spoke Greek as his first language, and appears to have been a monotheist even before his conversion. He was a close associate of St. Paul. He accompanied Paul on much of his missionary work, and stayed by his side during his captivity in Rome. He appears to be the author of not just the Gospel of Luke, but also of the Acts of the Apostles. His prose style is considered the best of the four evangelists.

OK, Expelling Them Was Correct, But Why Only Now?
I agree with the decision of the pastor of this New York Church (if it was his decision: I have my doubts) to expel two members (a homosexual "couple") from the choir on the grounds of scandal. They went through the form of a so-called marriage ceremony in Canada this year, and have received much publicity.

But if the article is to be believed, they have been together since 1978: twenty-five years.

Why were they not considered a scandal then and at every moment since then? They were a scandal. With a homosexual couple participating weekly in the parish choir for 25 years, the parish appeared to be blessing non-celibate relationships between homosexuals.

I don't care if they were enthusiastic members and good singers. They did not belong there.

Why is it only now that they have been expelled from the choir? Did the pastor(s) think that a homosexual "couple" were fine and fit members of his choir so long as they did not get "married" (and by the way, I strongly recommend heavy use of quotation marks and the term "so-called marriage" for every gay "marriage" one encounters, just to show that it is not right, fitting, and proper, even if it is lawful, and as a sign that we will never accept these things as legitimate).

It looks to me as if the Archdiocese of New York got wind of the thing when the publicity hit the New York papers, and put pressure on the pastor to act (note how he referred questions to the chancery). This is an unacceptable situation that was allowed to fester in that parish for far too long. Such a "couple" should never have been allowed to participate in the elevated positon of choir members, which sort of implies that they are OK as far as the parish was concerned(though, of course, they are free to worship there).

Friday, October 17, 2003

Anglican Leaders To Robinson: Step Aside
Thanks to Lane Core for the link.
This was more than I expected from them. I must give them credit for seeing things pretty clearly. I don't see how you can read this as anything other than a firm invitation to Robinson to step aside for the good of the Anglican Communion.

If his consecration proceeds, we recognise that we have reached a crucial and critical point in the life of the Anglican Communion and we have had to conclude that the future of the Communion itself will be put in jeopardy. In this case, the ministry of this one bishop will not be recognised by most of the Anglican world, and many provinces are likely to consider themselves to be out of Communion with the Episcopal Church (USA). This will tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level, and may lead to further division on this and further issues as provinces have to decide in consequence whether they can remain in communion with provinces that choose not to break communion with the Episcopal Church (USA).

I doubt he will do this. He seems determined to wave the bloody shirt (or the red flag, if you will) in the cause of gay rights. But perhaps he will see reason. The pressure is now all on him.

If he does not, I think the right of the Roman Catholic Church in America will be significantly strenghtened by an influx of conservative Episcopalians crossing the Tiber. And the Episcopal church will drift further and further towards what will in effect become Unitarianism: do-good liberalism with a vaguely Christian feeling to it). The accretion of new allies in the fights about the state of the clergy in our own Church would be a good thing. And anything that tends to weaken an heretical or schismatic body in the long term, also is a step toward restoring the unity of all believers.

Of course, in the short term, there could just be an organiztion of conservative Episcoplians, who set up in opposition to the liberal establishment. Over time however, I think Rome would work as a magnet on such a body, provided, of course, that we don't go wobbly on such issues, as liberals of all stripes want.

There Is No Joy In Boston This Morning
Once again, the Red Sox have come up short of absolute victory. The span of years without a World Series title stretches to 86. Let us put that in perspective. My father was born in 1920. I was born in 1964. In neither of our lifetimes have the Red Sox won a world championship. This year will not even go down with those 4 pennant-winning years that the team has earned since then.

But what would an American League title have been without a World Series title? A little patch of ground that hath in it no honour but the name. It has never been just about beating the Yankees (we've done that many times in the regular season over the years, and have won four pennants), all the hype about the so-called "Curse of the Bambino" aside. It is about a World Series victory. And we were not even really close to that this time.

Wait 'til next year? That sounds to me like Linus in the Pumpkin patch. "I'll find a pumpkin patch that's real sincere. Just you wait, Charlie Brown." Remember what the doll on the Island of Misfit Toys said in Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer? "I haven't any dreams left to dream."

It could be worse. We could be Cubs fans.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

A Royal Martyr
On this date in 1793, France's Queen Marie Antoinette was murdered by the Jacobins. For a long time, Queen Marie Antoinette has been defined by her enemies. Her popular reputation now is that of a frivolous libertine who deserved what she got. But that was not the view of her contemporaries not in the grip of the Jacobin fervor for destruction of religion, society, and order.

The great statesman, and founder of conservatism, Edmund Burke had this to say about Her Late Most Christian Majesty in Reflections On the Revolution In France:

It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just begun to move in, glittering like the morning star full of life and splendor and joy. 0, what a revolution! and what a heart must I have, to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream, when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her, in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honor, and of cavaliers! I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult.

But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded, and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Never, never more, shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom! The unbought grace of life, the cheap defense of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise is gone. It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honor, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness

Twenty-five Years
This is the 25th anniversary of the ponificate of John Paul II, clearly the greatest papacy of the second half of the 20th century. John Paul, as I have said many times, has done much to strengthen the doctrine and discipline of the Church. Even without his long fight in alliance with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to bring down Soviet communism in Eastern Europe, he would be remembered as a truly great pope.

Some small-minded folks have faulted some of the things he has done. True, no one is entirely happy with everything a pope undertakes in a long pontificate. He could have been more pro-active regarding perver priests. He could have been more forceful in chiding and removing liberals whose devotion seems to be to the programmatic "reforms" they favor rather than to the Church. He might not have been so free with apologies where none were really called for. That is life.

I have often quoted Burke on the defination of conservatism (he used it as the definition of a statesman). He must combine the disposition to preserve with the ability to reform.

The Church that John Paul II inherited from Paul VI amd John XXIII was in need of preservation and reform. Too much had been allowed, and not enough demanded. The "Spirit of Vatican II" was in danger of overwhelming the letter of Vatican II and everything else that had preceeded it. And liberals, having developed a taste for concession, expected much more.

What the Church got was the most comprehensive statement of orthdox Catholic doctrine ever, in the form of the new Catechism.

What we got was the option of adding four new Luminous Mysteries to the Rosary, having the effect of making the devotion of the Rosary more Christ-centered, and less "Mariolatrous."

What we got was the addition of nearly 500 new saints to the calendar, prividing role models for all nations, and revitalizing the cult of the saints in general. At the same time, there was no more playing ducks and drakes with traditional feast days.

We got a new openess towards the traditional Latin Mass through the indult allowing its celebration at the discretion of the local ordinary, and the sanctioning of a new priestly order devoted entirely to the sacrifice of the Mass according to the 1962 Missal, the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter.

We got numerous encyclicals on the interior economy of the Church, including the Eucharist, human life, the responsibility of Catholics in the public sphere.

And when liberal nuns went too far and had themselves "ordained" as Roman Catholic priests by some fakir from an heretical and schismatic sect, they were promptly excommunicated.

John Paul II has preserved much. Those close to him, Ratzinger, Schoenborn, Arinze, would preserve more. He has refoirmed prudently without throwing out the old, but adding to it.

There is much to celebrate in the pontificate of John Paul II. I hope all will pray for him as he tries to complete his ministry to the world. May he give witness for the Church against the world, and continue to lead Christ's One True Church on earth against the powers of darkness that seek to compromise it and engulf it.

Kathy the Carmelite Needs Our Prayers
She is taking an hiatus from the Internet due to the need to build her marriage. Please remember her and her husband, and us Fitzpatricks, too.

That Was A Nice Victory For the Red Sox
Who knows if Red Sox fans will be smiling tonight? But forcing a seventh game was sweet. It sure is a lot better than what Cubs fans are facing this morning. We may face the same thing in less than 24 hours, but at least the Sox are still playing today.

Go Red Sox!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

This Is Not a Good Sign
Justice Scalia has recused himself from consideration of the Pledge of Allegiance case. I may be wrong, but I think that pretty much guarantees that the Pledge's "under God" phrase will be found unconstitutional by the Court.

God help the USA.

The Great Anglican Confab On the Gay Non-Celibate Bishop Starts
I doubt that the leaders of the Anglican Communion will have the guts to do what they ought to do, repudiate the election of Robinsopn, and make it clear that no non-celibate gay man, or woman can be either a bishop or priest of the Anglican church. It would take something miraculous on the order of a second Transfiguration, and maybe not even that, to get the oh-so-liberal Anglican divines to see the one objective truth, even though it is staring them in the face.

What they will do, is try to strike some sort of compromise. They will utter lots of nice-speak (they are even greater masters of that peculiar dialect than our own Catholic hierarchy). Robinson will stay bishop of New Hampshire. There will be no general statement of principle against the ordination of active gays. Then, behind the scenes, there will be pressure on Robinson to take some other position for the good of the church. When he agrees, the crisis will be defused. And a valuable teaching opportunity will be squandered.

Cardinal George Has Some Kind Words To Say About the Latin Mass

Will the Judicial Murder of Terri Schiavo Start Today?
A federal judge has ordered the feeding tube that is keeping her alive removed. Governor Bush has honorably tried to thwart the actions of the husband, who by some accounts appears quite culpable for his wife's downturn. But the Florida and federal judiciary have lined up on the side of the Culture of Death. There is no big surprise there as the judiciary goes wherever the "cultural elites" want it to (otherwise there might be some very awkward moments for the judges at social functions).

God rest Terri's soul when the inevitable happens. God have mercy on her murderers.

Things Look Bleak For the Red Sox
They are going back to New York for up to two games trailing the Yankees 3-2 in the series. Of course, where there is life, there is hope. But I have noticed how Red Sox fans have been distancing themselves from the fortunes of the team for the last three games. They have lost the bluster they had after the victory in game one. They have been down the road of disappointment a few times too often to invest much real hope in this year's model.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Father Schall On Hilaire Belloc
Courtesy of the not-always unbiased or reliable (but often useful) Seattle Catholic.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Lady Thatcher Turns 78 Tomorrow
Her firm leadership mirrored Ronald Reagan's here in the States, and in some ways paved the way for him. She took on the leftist unions, and broke their power. She stared down the IRA/Sinn Fein terrorists, and held them at bay. She cut taxes, controlled the money supply carefully, fought back against the Argentines in the Falklands, and was a dependable and steady voice for liberty, and Western preparedness and strength in the monumental and successful final phase of the clash of civilizations with the Bolshevik tyranny. She served longer than any 20th century British prime minister. In the end, she was not turned out by the British people, but by a cabal of very small men in her own party. She served Her Majesty, the Conservative Party, the British people, and Western civilization magnificently.

Lately, she has been the voice of one crying in the wilderness, warning Britain of too close an entanglement with Europe. Sadly, her speaking voice has been stilled by several minor strokes within the last year. Her life has been further saddened this year by the death of her husband Denis. Her book Statecraft was published last year, and was issued in paperback this year. Recta Ratio hopes that she will continue to be a beacon for liberty and the true interests of Britain and the cause of Western Civilization, at least through the written word, for years to come.

Would that the Republican Party could recruit some women with her grit and views to run for the Senate, and maybe more. Instead, we get sob sisters like Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, who might as well be Democrats, for their voting records. Sadly, Margaret Thatchers are as valuable and rare as Ronald Reagans and John Paul IIs.

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