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Thursday, April 14, 2016

What other words of Christ reflect an ideal?

You know--one of those things we might not have to give full assent to in order to be in full communion, and just sorta muddle along giving the best response we can according to our modern conscience.

I'm thinking Matthew 16:18-19--for starters. 

Just like the various Credos saying nothing about sex and marriage, they also don't talk about a pope. Can't be that essential. 

Not when conscience is king.

Why not? Once you've opened up that can of serpents, your defenses quickly boil down to varieties of special pleading.

Don't worry about it--go and get your wafer.

Welcome to the Unraveling.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

And so it begins.

Per the Pope's right-hand Jesuit and member of the inner circle

Father Antono Spadaro, the Italian Jesuit who was an influential figure in the meetings of the Synod on the Family, now writes that Pope Francis has removed all restrictions on the access of divorced and remarried Catholics to the sacraments.

Father Spadaro's controversial interpretation of Amoris Laetitia-- which appears to contradict the claims that the Pope made no major changes in Church teaching or discipline-- appears in Civilta Cattholica, the Jesuit journal that Father Spadaro edits. 

Civilta Cattholica is regarded as a semi-authoritative source because its contents are approved in advance by the Vatican Secretariat of State. Father Spadaro has worked closely with Pope Francis as adviser and translator, and reportedly helped to draft the apostolic exhortation.
In Asia's largest Catholic nation:
After collective discernment, your bishops will come up with more concrete guidelines on the implementation of the Apostolic Exhortation. But mercy cannot wait. Mercy should not wait. Even now, bishops and priests must open welcoming arms to those who have kept themselves out of the Church because of a sense of guilt and of shame. The laity must do no less. When our brothers and sisters who, because of broken relations, broken families and broken lives, stand timidly at the doors of our churches – and of our lives – unsure whether they are welcome or not, let us go out to meet them, as the Pope urges us to, and assure them that at the table of sinners at which the All-Holy Lord offers himself as food for the wretched, there is always room. O res mirabilis manducat Dominum pauper, servus et humilis…O wonderful reality that the poor, the slave and the lowly should partake of the Lord. This is a disposition of mercy, an openness of heart and of spirit that needs no law, awaits no guideline, nor bides on prompting. It can and should happen immediately.

Just in case you'd like to try to bullshit me and tell me that the Philippine Bishops aren't talking about the Eucharist...the Latin quote is from the Panis Angelicus of St. Thomas Aquinas himself. You know--the hymn the Angelic Doctor wrote for the Feast of Corpus Christi?

And right next door in Chicago:
Asked in what specific situations he would allow a divorced and remarried person to receive Communion, Cupich refused to rule anyone out.

“I wouldn’t exclude anyone,” he said. “I would like our pastors to have discussion in [sic] all of those folks who are in these kinds of situations. … I know in my experience as a pastor, if you’ve seen a marriage then you’ve seen one marriage. There is no instance that can be replicated. Every situation has its variables that are part of it.”
Now what? That's easy.

That which I was told in no uncertain terms was impossible must now be defended tooth and nail against faithless objectors. Papal Positivism requires no less.

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought."

Just a slight edit.

'You are a slow learner, Winston,' said O'Brien gently.

'How can I help it?' he blubbered. 'How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.'

'Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become pastoral.'

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Time to ban a word: "Confusing."

Not entirely, of course--but its misuse. 

Frequently, people will describe something as "confusing" when it is really something else.

The word they are actually looking for is "discordant."

Let the wordsmiths at the Oxford Dictionary help us out:
1 Disagreeing or incongruous:
          the principle of meritocracy is discordant with claims of inherited worth

          1.1 Characterized by quarreling and conflict:
a study of children in discordant homes
2 (Of sounds) harsh and jarring because of a lack of harmony:
bombs, guns, and engines mingled in discordant sound
strike a discordant note
Appear strange and out of place:
         the chair’s modernity struck a discordant note in a room full of eighteenth-century           furniture

Put another way: when someone insists on inserting surprise heavy-metal guitar solos into Mozart concerts or extended vuvuzela blats into stagings of kabuki theatre, it is not "confusing," it is discordant

Claiming to such is "confusing"--especially when it happens over and over again and loses any element of surprise--is suggestive of a closed-head injury.

A handy song on my Shuffle.


Clive Staples is certainly looking more prescient after yesterday's bomb-laden logorrhea.

"The real reason I cannot be in communion with you [Catholics] is not a disagreement with this or that Roman doctrine, but that to accept your Church means, not to accept a given body of doctrine, but to accept in advance any doctrine your Church hereafter produces. It is like being asked to agree not only to what a man has said but also to what he is going to say."

Now, of course, those who told me that the pope could do no such thing will now attempt to convince me that it's fine since the pope did it.

Reducing Catholicism to nothing more than the cult of the current chairwarmer.

Put another way: wait 35 years for a more congenial cleric, and the pillar and ground of the truth will tilt in a different direction.

What's the point again?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The politics of personal destruction, redux.

This is just...loathsome, repellent, disgusting--you name it.

And it's not just the fact a young mother of two is being put through the ringer of false accusations and scurrilous, giggling insults, bad though that is.

It's the fact self-declared Christians like Sarah Huckabee (daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee) won't disassociate themselves from it.

Even though her dad is quite visible and audible about the persecution of Christians when it suits his political purposes.

If nothing else, this primary season has been very instructive, revealing a dazzling, if oily, spectrum of true colors. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

God rest her stout soul.

When the Almighty made Rita Rizzo, He vaporized the mold

Starting a Catholic TV network from scratch in northern Alabama? 

Why not?

So Mother Angelica did--and it took flight and became a powerhouse.

Rest well, good and faithful servant. And pray for us.

I'd get more irritated with this silliness if it had any traction.

Don McClarey notes the daffy attempt to link arms manufacturers with the suicide bombers in Brussels. "Merchants of death" are a thing with the Bishop of Rome, and he thumps that tub a lot.

Of course, it's not like the weapons makers are marketing suicide bombs larded with nails and glass (all the better to maim you with, infidel), but no matter.

Nevertheless, I'm not put off by this one. Why? Because the usual ultramontane suspects haven't really taken up the same mantra. Its self-evident fatuity is apparently a bridge too far--thanks be to God.

Happy Easter to you and yours!

El Greco, The Resurrection, circa 1608-1610.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

I'm cool with this.

Draft projection has Lions taking an OT.

It's certainly a need, and keeping the Franchise upright is absolutely essential. 

The problem with the Lions is that they have so many service-engine-light needs that they're almost certainly not going to contend for a playoff spot this year. 

But I guess we'll see if Bob Quinn managed to pack some Patriot magic with him before he left Belichick's Thronehall.

On the bright side.

Behold the latest Pricemobile!

It's a 2004 Buick Rendesvous, back from the long-vanished era when Tiger Woods was still a viable commercial pitchman.  

So now we have two motor vehicles that fall within the lifespans of our beloved children. My next new car will be my first...I'm thinking sometime after I retire, maybe.

But this is a nice replacement for the 2000 Regal, which was always a mechanical warrior, doing everything a powertrain should do. That strongly influenced me toward another Buick.

That, and of course, my middle-agedness.

It had 115,900 miles, but was well-cared for by one owner. It seems immensely practical (a third row seat means I can tote seven, including myself, or fold that row down for a trip to Costco) and has a peppy 185 hp V6. It's also a CXL version, which means it has a lot of bells and whistles to make me happy--moonroof, premium sound, heated front seats, premium wheels. Heather's all right with it, but cars don't thrill her much, one way or the other. She develops an appreciation for them over time, but that's it.

Yes, it's basically the bastard child of an SUV and a station wagon, and I'm fine with that.

I can do better than that.

I can remember a time when the focus of Holy Thursday was the Mass of the Lord's Supper and not the latest staged political gesture involving the latest select group members' tootsies.

Instead of turtles, it's politics all the way down these days.