Friday, May 25, 2018

A Timely Ember Collect From the Sarum Rite

When I pray the Daily Office, I sometimes supplement it with the collects from the Medieval English Sarum Rite.  The collect for today, Ember Friday, struck me as especially timely (Pearson’s translation from the Latin):

Grant, we beseech Thee, Merciful God, that when Thy Church is gathered together by Thy Holy Spirit, she may in no manner be hurt by the assaults of her enemies.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

I doubt that most who prayed this in Medieval England feared enemies actually breaking into church and attacking those worshipping (although that did happen – ask Thomas Becket and King Henry VI, whose obit was on Monday the 21st).  But in too many areas of the world today, particularly countries like Nigeria with mixed populations of Christians and Muslims, this is a real and present danger.

Let us indeed pray for those who have the courage to worship the Lord and go to church when and where those are dangerous acts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Recommended Books Before a Trip to Oxford

Having reviewed Rowse’s Oxford in the History of the Nation, being familiar with the place and plotting a return later this year, I thought it might be good and helpful to recommend three books to possess for a trip to Oxford.

If I had to recommend one book, it would be the Blue Guide: Oxford and Cambridge by Geoffrey Tyack.  It is a very practical and portable tour guide.  But it does not focus on the touristy or the trivial but on the architectural history of the place and of Cambridge.  It has been a great help to me in knowing what to see and what I am seeing.  Get the 2004 edition and do take it with you to Oxford (or Cambridge).  Yes, I think 2004 is the most recent edition.  Don’t let that worry you; Oxford tends to change very slowly.

I also recommend another book by Tyack, Oxford, An Architectural Guide.  It is not a tour guide per se; it is organized chronologically.  So one may find it mentions a college in several chapters as it builds, tears down, and builds through the years.  Also, it is not as portable.  I know I am not taking this one with me.  But it is the best architectural history of Oxford I’ve come across.  It is very helpful in seeing how Oxford grew and developed through the centuries.  And it is very readable.  But its size and format is not as practical for touring as the Blue Guide.  I recommend reading it before you go.  And perhaps take notes of items you want to remember when in Oxford.

The third book I recommend is very different.  Written by Jan Morris, it is entitled simply Oxford.  Very well written and often lightly humorous, it is a pleasure to read.  It does contain some little known corners of Oxford to find and explore.  But what I find most outstanding about Morris’ book is how it captures the atmosphere of Oxford.  For example, when in the Autumn of 2007 I drifted into a malaise as gloomy as the cold, damp and shortening days, I thought, “Morris told me it would be like this!”

The 2001 edition is small and very portable, so you can take it with you if you like, perhaps to read on the plane.  I won’t be taking it with me this time, but intend to read it once again, for the third time I think, before I leave.

Do you have must-read books about Oxford?  Feel free to let us know in the comments.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Looking Back at the 2007 Latin Pontifical Mass at Oxford

With countless others, I’ve been remembering Dario Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos upon his passing.  He is probably most known for two acts, confronting drug baron Pablo Escobar and for being a major influence behind restoring the Extraordinary (Latin) Form of the Mass, especially the Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 that in effect restored said Form.

It is hard to say which act took more courage.

Remembering the late Cardinal causes me to remember attending the Pontifical Mass at the2007 Latin Mass Society Conference at Merton Oxford.  It was very providential that I got to attend as I had happened to arrive that week for studies and did not even know about the conference until the day before.

And even then I did not fully realize the importance of this conference and its Pontifical Mass.  Less than two months before, on July 7th, 2007, Pope Benedict issued his Summorum Pontificum making the Latin Mass more accessible to the whole Roman Catholic Church.  It came into effect just over two weeks after the conference on September 14th.  The conference’s purpose was to train priests to perform that Extraordinary Form of the Mass.  Yes, I was aware of those basic facts at the time.  But when one is in the middle of something historic, one sometimes does not really get that one is in the middle of something historic!  That was certainly the case for me.

And it did not occur to me then that it may have been the first time a Latin Mass was said in the College of Merton College since the Elizabethan Settlement.  But they so like Latin at Oxford, I cannot be sure of that.  More certain is that it was the first time a Tridentine Mass was said at Merton since Queen Mary.

Those were joyous days indeed for traditionalists in and outside the Roman Catholic Church, me certainly included.  I do not think most Catholics realized how good they had it under Benedict at the time. 

Back at that time, I mentioned the good sermon.  It so happened it was delivered by Vincent Nichols and may be found here.

If one wishes a taste of the conference held the following year, also at Merton, that may be found here.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Queen Goes to Church

You’re 92.

Your Grandkid just had a huge wedding the day before.

Do you get some needed rest and skip church?

HECK, NO!  (Or however The Queen says that.)

Friday, May 18, 2018

On Opinionated Books and Book Titles

I finished A. L. Rowse’s Oxford in the History of the Nation.  And it proved to be a good overview of the subject.  I can recommend it with qualifications to be mentioned.

One of the stronger passages of the book looked at the impact of World War I on the students of Oxford.  It was certainly the most poignant.  As he wrote:

…There was no conscription until 1916, and all the finest young men volunteered for service.  There followed the massacre of a generation . . .: hundreds of names of the dead are inscribed on the walls of the bigger colleges. . . . at Christ Church, New College, Balliol and Magdalen . . . .

He includes poetry from young Oxford men who served.

In a previous post I mentioned this is an opinionated book.  Rowse went a bit far in his opinions in his chapter on the 19th century.  He descended into unedifying catty speculations about the sexuality of this and that important figure.

But as a whole, I found his openness about his opinions refreshing.  I’ve long thought that if one has strong opinions and agendas, it is usually best to be open about it.  That is one reason I and so many have contempt for the “mainstream” “news” media and for academia – instead of taking pains either to be balanced or to be honest that they are not being balanced, they push slanted propaganda as scholarly or as “news”.  It can get downright fraudulent.  I much prefer, even enjoy as I did Rowse’s book, openness in expressing well one’s opinions.

Many of the older books have such honesty even in the titles, which can be quite fun.  Anyone recognize An Universal History of Christian Martyrdom, Being a Complete And Authentic Account of the Lives, Sufferings, and Triumphant Deaths of the Primitive as Well as Protestant Martyrs, in All Parts of the World from the Birth of The Blessed Saviour to the Latest Periods of Pagan and Catholic Persecution, Together With a Summary of the Doctrines, Prejudices, Blasphemies and Superstitions of the MODERN CHURCH OF ROME?  That is the title of the 1837 edition of the work originally written by . . . John Fox.

A prized book in my library is a 1713 edition of The Indictment, Arraignment, Tryal, and Judgement, at large, of Twenty-Nine REGICIDES, the Murtherers of His Most Sacred Majesty King Charles the First, of Glorious Memory . . . .  I enjoy reading that title, with appropriate emotion, to visitors.

After Sunday Mass at Pusey House, take a look at the books on the shelves in the reception room as you drink your sherry.  The vehemence of the titles from opposing sides of the Tractarian controversy may amuse.

Certainly there is an important place for balanced dispassionate books.  But if one decides to promulgate opinions and agendas instead, one might as well be honest about it.  That is more fun anyway.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Reality Check: The FBI Spied on the Trump Campaign

For any who may think my concerns about the revival of totalitarianism may be overwrought or paranoid, I present a reality check: the FBI under Obama and Comey spied on the Trump campaign.  There’s really no denying that anymore.

Let me put it a different way.  The FBI under Obama and Comey spied on political opponents in the midst of a presidential election campaign.

I thought this was the U. S. A., not the U. S. S. R.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Communist “Christian” Anglican Idolaters March in Sri Lanka

I’ve been trying to be nice or at least nicer lately – I really have – but then George Conger makes me aware of this march.  And, no, I will not be nice about this brazen display of idolatry with deceptive “Christian” veneer splattered on it.

The former Bishop of Kurunegala and other members of the Workers Christian Fellowship (WCF) held their annual May Day march in Colombo last week. . . .
Wearing stoles and a cope covered with the hammer and sickle symbol, the Rt. Rev. Kumara Illangasinghe, who served as the fourth bishop of Kurunegala in the Church of Ceylon from 2000 to 2010 and was a member of the Anglican Consultative Council’s Standing Committee, and clergy from the Diocese of Colombo, along with trade unionists marched on May 1 in the Colombo’s Fort area to mark International Workers’ Day.

So we had a leading “bishop” of the Anglican Communion involved in this.  As for the stoles with hammers and sickles, see the photo for yourself over at Anglican Ink.  Given the tens of millions murdered by Communism, they might as well be wearing swastikas, too.  Hey, if you’re going to march for totalitarianism, why not go all the way?    

As for the Workers Christian (sic) Fellowship, here’s the sort of thing they push, from a 1984 pamphlet (emphasis mine):

We have already made the point that the Living Christ is at work in the faiths and movements for human liberation [meaning Communism.  “Slavery is freedom” and all that. - .ed]. Christ is the Word or expression of God, the Logos, the Dharma and the Dynamic of History, who provides all human beings coming into existence with the means of salvation, the path of liberation in their own religio-cultural contexts. Thus when for instance a Buddhist or Hindu finds salvation, it is by the grace of Christ as we would term it that this happens and he is incorporated then into the new life of God's Kingdom even if he knows nothing of Christianity. And it is through the sacraments of Buddhism and Hinduism, through the message of morality and the self-giving life that such salvation is normally transmitted and received. 

And that’s just some of the idolatry WCF pushes. Communion, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Marxism all mixed up with a token Jesus.  Jeroboam has nothing on these people.  And it has surely gotten worse since 1984 if that’s possible.

(NOTE: Please do not take this as a knock on honest Hindus and Buddhists.  I’d much rather sit and talk about religion with these - and have done so - than with phony LibChurch idolatrous apostates who dishonestly still call themselves Christians.  Nor should this be taken as a knock on newer Christians and seekers who need to learn and are willing to do so.)

How should Anglicans respond when a bishop serves this sort of garbage? He should be denounced as the deceptive idolatrous heretic he is.  It should be made very clear to all who can hear that he is no Christian but a liar who dresses up as a so-called bishop to deceive people so they become as damned as he is.

Do you think I am being overwrought?  Let’s flip it.  What if the stoles did have swastikas?  What if the bishop and clergy were pushing a mix of Nazism and Hinduism and were saying God uses that to save people? What actually occurred was every bit as bad.  And one who does not see that either needs to gain some knowledge of history or lose some selective indignation.

I love Anglicanism, but many Anglicans do have a bad habit of going easy and looking the other way and even rewarding and advancing such, as is the case with Illangasinghe, when there should instead be outrage and denunciation and casting off.

St. Paul’s approach is much better than the typical nice Anglican one:

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Gal. 1: 8, 9

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

A. L. Rowse on Georgian Oxford

As part of my preparation to return to Oxford I am refreshing my knowledge of the place, including reading A. L. Rowse’s Oxford in the History of the Nation.  It is an openly opinionated book, and I may remark more on that aspect at a later time.  And Rowse’s opinions rub me the wrong way here and there.  But I was glad to see we agree on 18th century Oxford:

…of course the ‘torpor’ of Georgian Oxford was greatly exaggerated by nineteenth-century reformers. . . .

The fact was that the facilities for work and cultivation of the mind were there for anyone to make use of who wished – and remarkable men always learn more on their own than from dons, except for occasional tutors of exceptional gifts….

And his chapter on the period goes on to praise other aspects of 18th century Oxford, particularly the new buildings such as the Radcliffe Camera.

Back to how best to learn, my issue is not so much with tutors as my tutor in 2007 is one of the best, and in hindsight a good tutor in 2011 would have kept me from becoming stagnant.  But the pressure to write, write, write to prove, prove, prove one’s learning is my main complaint.  And we can blame the 19th century reforms for the proliferation of written examinations in Oxford.  I am unsure of the origin of weekly essays in the tutorial system.  (Can anyone inform or link me on that?)

Now there has to be a good amount in writing in a well-rounded education, and the process of organizing and writing down one’s thoughts itself teaches.  And learning is of limited use if one does not also learn to express and apply it.  But at some point, writing can devour reading, listening, and learning.  I admit this becomes more of an issue for older students with limited energy.  (Sometimes, I wonder how I did all I did as an undergraduate!)

But enough whinging.  I am thankful that, God willing, I will get learn on my own at Oxford in 18th century fashion, often in monumental 18th century buildings, without pressure to write.  With Rowse, I see the advantages of that.

But, of course, I intend to write and edify here.  I can’t forget my readers.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

The NRSV and the ACNA

On the official Facebook page of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), I have been alarmed to see how many clergy use the NRSV as their main translation of the Bible.  Perhaps I should not be overly alarmed.  I doubt those who answered a question about Bible translations were that representative of ACNA.  At least I hope not.

But it does appear use of the NRSV is more prevalent in ACNA than I had thought.  So now is a good time to remind that it is not an acceptable translation. 

For one thing – and this one thing is enough to disqualify it – it puts gender neutrality above faithfulness in translation even when gender neutrality changes the meaning.  For example, back in 2007, I discovered the following enormity from the NRSV.  Daniel 7:13 is translated:

As I watched in the night visions,
I saw one like a human being
coming with the clouds of heaven.
And he came to the Ancient One
and was presented before him.

Of course, “like a son of man” is much more accurate and of very long standing.  And “son of man” is a messianic term of great import in both the Old and New Testaments.  To neutralize that into “like a human being” is inexcusable and makes one wonder what liberties are taken with the rest of the text.

Yes, NRSV users say there is no perfect translation, etc.  And indeed there isn’t.  But taking such obvious and intentional liberties with the text disqualifies a translation. It is hard to see the point of using the NRSV at all when there are superior, more faithful translations out there.

So why would any ACNA clergy use it as anything more than a supplement?

Friday, May 04, 2018

Francis Schaeffer’s Last Book - The Great Evangelical Disaster

For the first time in decades, I picked up and read my well marked copy of Francis Schaeffer’s The Great Evangelical Disaster this week.  And I noticed more the sadness of it than I did in my callow 20’s.  In both the preface and text, Schaeffer acknowledged his health was failing, and he died a few months after publication in 1984.  This was to be his last book.

I think his health affected the book.  He told in the preface of his hospitalization with a deadline to meet.  With help he made the deadline.  But the result does not seem as well written or as tightly reasoned as his earlier work.

Nonetheless – and this is part of the sadness as well – it is a prophetic work as noted elsewhere.  Most of what he decried in culture and church in the West have only gotten worse.  Perhaps his saddest statement comes early on:

It is a horrible thing for a man like myself to look back and see my country and my culture go down the drain in my own lifetime.

Though younger now than he was then, I can certainly relate.

As for his warnings about the direction of Evangelicals, he may have seemed alarmist at the time.  But the Neo-Evangelicals of today have pretty much proved him right.

Personally, I used to be a happy reader of Christianity Today.  But a few years ago, I cancelled my subscription.  I was gladly active in InterVarsity in my college years.  (By the way, the leader of my chapter at the time was one Mark Dever.)  But with their pushing Black Lives Matter and more, I am thoroughly alienated from them now.  I am thankfully not at that point with evangelicals within ACNA, but I have been disturbed by what I see more than once.  Too much of what I fled when I fled mainline denominations decades ago I now see among evangelicals.  That is one reason I do not refer to myself as evangelical.

Schaeffer’s warnings about American culture have proven too true as well.  Have I mentioned this is not a happy read? 

And, although I revere the man, I concede his last book is probably not his best book.  Nonetheless, it should not be neglected by those who acknowledge the importance of Francis Schaeffer and of his critique of church and culture in the West.  Nor should it be overlooked by those concerned by the current direction of evangelicalism.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Francis Schaeffer on “Evangelical Accommodation to the Socialistic Mentality”

With its [Neo-Evangelical*] call for justice and compassion it sounds at first like it is the same as, or very close to, what Scripture teaches on justice and compassion. . . . But what they are in fact taking about is “another gospel” . . . with disastrous consequences theologically and in terms of human rights and human life.
Francis Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster

(*”Neo-Evangelical” is my term, not Dr. Schaeffer’s to my recollection.)

I may write about Schaeffer’s last book, The Great Evangelical Disaster, and may apply the above quote more directly in due time.

Monday, April 30, 2018

John Fenwick on When Unity Efforts Fail

A number of papers from the aforementioned Anglican Patrimony Conference have been posted.  The one most intriguing to me is by John Fenwick, Primus of the Free Church of England and a key player in attempting to coordinate orthodox Anglican efforts in the U. K.

He reveals some very interesting history from the inside of the Canterbury-Rome unity push in the 70’s:

It was in the heady days of ARCIC 1. The Final Report had been sent around the Provinces of the Anglican Communion. Most of the responses were positive. It was expected to be officially endorsed at the forthcoming Lambeth Conference. The Vatican response was expected imminently. There was a feeling that something momentous was about to happen.

Prior to my appointment to Lambeth I had been lecturer in Christian worship at Trinity College, Bristol. Shortly after my arrival in the Ecumenical Affairs office, Christopher asked me to do some preliminary thinking about a liturgical project. (As Christopher put it, there’s no point in having a dog and barking yourself.) The project was what liturgical form the restoration of communion between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church might take. That was a heady request for a junior staff member! The most recent unity scheme around was the Covenant for Unity based on the Ten Propositions. That had proposed a day of liturgical events including the consecration of bishops. I remember working with that model and envisaging a service where the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury might jointly consecrate the first of a new generation of bishops whose Orders would be recognised by both Churches.

We were that close! Or at least so it seemed to some of those closely involved.

In retrospect that moment was a high water mark. The tide has been going out ever since.

As some may remember, the Vatican’s response not only did not come before the next Lambeth Conference as hoped; it did not come until 1991.  And not only the timing, but also its content was disappointing.

Even more disillusioning has been the Church of England’s liberal drift since then.  That leads Bishop Fenwick to make an interesting hypothesis:

I want to suggest that the Vatican’s 1991 response fits a pattern that has characterised ecumenical endeavour in the past half century – namely that unity initiatives have been halted by the refusal of what one might call the more conservative partner to act, and that as a result, the other partner has felt itself free to move further away from the historic Christian consensus.

I do not claim that what I am going to say has been rigorously historically tested, nor am I able to do so here, but I think the possibility of a pattern is worth considering.

And that pattern is simply that there seem to have been several occasions when the more conservative partner in a dialogue, by failing to take bold action, allowed the less conservative partner to move further away from traditional faith and practice.

And he gives other examples of this occurring, including failed efforts between Old Catholics and Eastern Orthodox.

This pattern indeed merits consideration.  When jurisdictions are in the midst of unity efforts, their focus is often on how would merger/intercommunion affect us.  And that is certainly important.  But how it would affect the other party and the whole church, the Body of Christ, should not be overlooked.  And Fenwick does not let us ignore that, often for the disappointed party, a “move further away from traditional faith and practice” occurs after unity efforts fail.

Of course, in such cases we do not know what would have happened if unity efforts succeed.  For example, in the case of the Church of England and Roman Catholics, would Rome had been importing more liberalism to its harm? Would more Protestant-minded Anglicans feel pushed out of the Church of England?  I personally suspect the failure of ARCIC did more harm that what might have happened if it succeeded, and Fenwick seems to think that as well.  But we do not know.  And, yes, jurisdictions have to consider the stresses and pressures greater organizational unity may cause.  I sometimes wonder if the Anglican Church in North America, in its well meaning haste to bring Anglicans together, has not given such issues enough consideration.  If not done right, organizational unity can beget more disunity.

Nonetheless, Bishop Fenwick well reminds us that the good of the other party should be considered.  (And the bishops of the Reformed Episcopal Church have done just that in joining and remaining in ACNA.)  We should avoid causing sister churches to stumble by turning them away without very good reason.

Care should also be taken in missionary efforts where there are existing Anglican jurisdictions.  Accordingly, Fenwick, in his conclusion, let it be known he still has mixed feelings about the consecration of orthodox bishops in the U. K. outside of existing jurisdictions.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with Fenwick’s paper (I agree, at least for the most part.), it contains most interesting insight not often presented.  Read it all.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Gavin Ashenden On the Church, Cultural Marxism, and the Secularist State

At the Anglican Patrimony Conference this past week, Gavin Ashenden gave an excellent talk and paper on the dangers the secularist state presents to the Church today, particularly as it more and more imposes Cultural Marxism.  I commend it to you particularly as I’ve also noted the dangers of a revival of totalitarianism.

The conference remembering the 50th Anniversary of the publication of Ramsey’s The Gospel and the Catholic Church held at St. Stephen’s Oxford had a stellar line up.  And I have been informed other papers from the conference will be posted very soon.  So you may hear more.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Autistic Children and Liturgical Worship

Charlotte Riggle has written a thoughtful post on loving and accommodating autistic children and their families in church.

Which reminds me of a young man who has opened my eyes to how liturgical worship can be a very good fit for autistic children.

A few years ago, when he and his parents visited my church from out of town, the boy was clearly fascinated by our traditional low church Anglican worship.  So much so that he would not stay in the pews but went up, stood right beside our rector and very closely watched everything he did, especially as he consecrated the bread and wine.  The boy was quiet and not at all disruptive about it.  And our rector, who has a wonderful gentle heart, continued without interruption, taking it all in stride as did everyone else.  If anyone was uncomfortable, it was his parents, of course.

Recently he and his father visited again.  He had grown more self-controlled and more sociable.  But he still clearly loved liturgical worship.  In fact, he was now regularly an acolyte at his home church, and we let him acolyte during our Holy Communion service as the Crucifer.  He proved a quick learner and performed his duties very well.

Anyway, I am throwing this experience out there.  I am no expert on autism (although I have worked with autistic people perhaps more than most).  But my understanding and experience is that autistic people like a degree of order.  So traditional liturgical worship might be helpful in that regard as long as the priest and congregation takes any mild disorder a child might cause in stride.  I am certainly glad to have seen that first hand.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Return to . . .

With Oxford’s Trinity Term just beginning, this seems a good time to announce what I have hinted at – God willing, I am finally returning to England and to Oxford this Autumn.

As in 2011, I will an independent student studying in 18th Century fashion if you will.  My focuses of study will likely be English Church History and Dante.  And this time, with a superior place to reside and armed with Vitamin D, I hope to last the entire Michaelmas Term.  And I will post of my experience here, of course.

I also have planned briefer stays in York, Cambridge and Windsor.

If you have suggestions for what I should see and do (especially inside information on Oxford opportunities.  As I once heard at Pusey House, “they don’t tell anyone what’s going on around here.”) or have anything else helpful or would just like to meet me then, feel free to comment on this or a subsequent post and leave a way to contact you if necessary.  I moderate all comments, so – don’t worry – I will not post anything of a private nature.  People have gotten in touch with me privately via the comments before.

I have chosen this time because it will be the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1.  So information on events and lectures remembering that would also be appreciated.  I will be staying in Oxford for Remembrance Sunday weekend.

And prayers would be appreciated as well.  The last time I had a trip to England planned, my knee prevented it.

Monday, April 23, 2018

“Stringent Consequences”?? Oh My!

From the Sunday Times via Ancient Briton:

The Church of England has warned its American sister church that it could be kicked out of the global Anglican family if it forces priests to use a gay-friendly marriage ceremony that relegates the importance of bearing children.

In a strongly worded eight-page letter, William Nye, the Church of England’s secretary-general, told the Episcopal Church that it could face “stringent consequences” if it replaced the marriage rites in its Book of Common Prayer with a gender-neutral ceremony that removed all reference to procreation.

Stringent Consequences?!? My, oh, my!  Only one sugar cube with their tea at Lambeth!  That’ll show ‘em!

Pardon my snark, but fifteen years of seeing the Church of England in inaction since that fateful year of 2003 has made me slightly skeptical about any alleged will power of that august institution when it comes to apostates.  Warnings that once might have made one pause now just make one laugh.

Which, on reflection, is very sad.  I remember when I and other orthodox Anglicans actually had some hope that the Church of England would help set the Anglican Communion aright….

I best move on.  Neither temper nor depression becomes me.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Fr. Hunwicke’s Unboring Take on the Boring Subject of Women’s Ordination

The Venerable Fr. John Hunwicke, like many, is bored beyond tears and then some by the subject of Women’s Ordination.  But with rumblings of a push within the Church of Rome for WO, he has reluctantly but colorfully provided the service of what may be in store as only he can.  His observations from long experience certainly apply to other jurisdictions that may have to deal with the issue.  Some highlights:

(3) …if you with strategic good sense start off instead with deacons [as was the case in the Church of England and elsewhere], you can get the laity used to seeing vested females buzzing around the Sanctuary and having "The Reverend" attached to their names. And such ladies will not be as divisive as women priests because the validity of no Sacrament depends upon the diaconate. Then you can move on to women priests, starting off by placing them carefully in churches where they will be 'pastorally acceptable'. Only when you have successfully completed that phase will you move in for the final kill. You see how the trick is worked. Rather Bergoglian, really, in its 'gradualism'. But it is a fundamentally dishonest trick. Crooks, the lot of them!

(4) It will be suggested that those opposing WO are people who "'have problems" with female sexuality or just with women anyway. I remember actually once being told that I must have a phobia of menstrual blood. Quite a conversation-stopper ... 

I can imagine it was.  But Fr. Hunwicke advises to get used to it:

In other words, if you choose to fight this battle within the Catholic Church, you will need to be ready to have some immensely vile personal attacks made upon you. Our opponents, generally speaking, possess neither decency nor shame. Feminists of either sex are rarely Gentlemen! You will need a very thick skin.

He said it.  I didn’t. . . .   But he could have gone further actually.   In addition to being bored to death, those who do not recognize women’s ordination will be not only be vilified, but risk being ghettoized.  See the Philip North affair.

By his own admission, Fr. Hunwicke’s post is practical, not theological.  But it is the practical, namely seeing women’s ordination in practice, that has turned me from a tolerant agnostic on the question into a wary opponent.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

“It’s Time for Catholics to Face the Truth About the Papal Confusion”

Over at OnePeterFive, Steve Skojec is a provocative observer.  I do not agree with all he writes, but he is right when he notes there the persistent denial concerning Pope Francis:

Although the number of Catholics vocal about their concerns with the pontificate of Pope Francis has grown in recent months, a strange phenomenon nevertheless continues to assert itself: a kind of cognitive dissonance in which the faithful seek to find any explanation, no matter how far-fetched, to reassure themselves that what is happening can’t really be as troubling as it seems.

And the same can be said about many Anglicans.  Yes, I understand that important public figures can be misquoted.  But again and again we have this pattern:

1. Pope Francis says something or is quoted to say something out of line with orthodoxy. 
2. The Vatican issues a denial/non-denial somewhat along the lines of the Pope didn’t mean what he said.
3. Those who cannot deal with the possibility of the Pope being a Jesuit heretic engage in their usual denial and pour scorn on those open to said possibility.

Now I do not know if the Pope is a heretic.  But I sure as Hell know there is something seriously wrong with the man.

Just how much is wrong with the man I do not presume to know.  I do know he is a Lib/Left Jesuit (But I repeat myself.) who should never had been made Pope, and I am not about to engage in denial about it.

Skojec posits that the influence of Peronism explains much about Francis.  I am unsure of that.  But it gives me an excuse to repost this fun anecdote about Juan Peron:

The story is told that Perón, in his days of glory, once proposed to induct a nephew in the mysteries of politics. He first brought the young man with him when he received a deputation of communists; after hearing their views, he told them, “You’re quite right.” The next day he received a deputation of fascists and replied again to their arguments, “You’re quite right.” Then he asked his nephew what he thought and the young man said, “You’ve spoken with two groups with diametrically opposite opinions and you told them both that you agreed with them. This is completely unacceptable.” Perón replied, “You’re quite right too.”

And that sounds too much like Francis, does it not?  Perhaps that explains much of the denial about him.  His defenders hear just enough affirmation of their views from him to keep defending him – no matter what else he says or does not say to others.