Friday, January 28, 2022

Ad orientem is forbidden in the Catholic Diocese of Venice. But...

Frank Dewane, the bishop of Venice, Florida, got word that some of his priests were celebrating the new form of the Latin Church's worship ad orientem

So he's trying to squash that.

Meanwhile, here is a fully-compliant, a-ok with the Ordinary mass in the same diocese.

That is "what serves the common spiritual good of the People of God, rather than private inclination or arbitrary choice."  

That meets his "vigilance over the whole of the Diocese's liturgical life."

Look, I can understand a bishop allowing Sacred Heart-type parishes their peculiarities. But the same latitude should be extended to parishes that face east.

But not in the situationally-deaf "listening church," alas.

In the faux open church, you can do anything with the new order of mass except make it look or sound (how many Latin NOs are there?) anything like what proceeded it. And so it is with the Reverend Dewane: livestreamed hammy pastors with constant ad-libs and close-ups are what mass is permitted to be. A priest facing east--no, hell no and nuh-uh too.

And for all those garbage people in Venice "who[] wish[] to celebrate with devotion according to earlier forms of the liturgy" where they "can find in the reformed Roman Missal according to Vatican Council II all the elements of the Roman Rite"?

Ad orientem is verboten, but Sacred Heart passes muster.

Yeah, that ought to hold the little bastards. What the Rev. Dewane thinks of such retrograde devotion to the Roman Rite is abundantly obvious.

I mean, the above-quoted part about finding all the elements of the old liturgy in the new is 13 percent true. 

To be fair: as Groot would point out, that is better than 12 percent.

And then there's the shredded liturgical calendar, making the Roman Canon optional and thus almost extinct, etc.

Yeah, well, too bad. "Unaltered faith and uninterrupted and living tradition"--because they say so. Arguments from authority are the only arguments that matter in the Latin Church.

Besides, Sacred Heart is part of that continuity because the vigilant bishop says so, too. And you ad orientem types are not--also because the vigilant bishop says so. All the seal of approval you dare to ask for.

A cynic might think that the old rite has to be crushed to destroy the evidence of the before time. The Listening Church does not enjoy questions that suggest it is anything short of omni-competent.

La la la can't hear you!

Anyway, schismo, the bishop's annual appeal is coming up: open that wallet.


Thank you for the prayers!

The worst of it seems (he says cautiously, hoping to avoid after hubris, nemesis) to be over.

Barring the documented double-dip effect, it has not been godawful. The brain fog seems to be in retreat, too, though long stretches of typing can still be a trial at times. Reading has been less impaired, thankfully. I would appreciate the return of the sense of smell, but that can take even more time, worse luck.

My eldest son was also confirmed positive. Home Depot gave him two weeks to get it out of his system, along with some paid leave. Everyone had manageable cold symptoms, or none at all. 

Here's hoping.



Monday, January 24, 2022

Down with covid.


That's both a confirmed-PCR diagnosis and my general feeling about the situation.

Anyway, my case and that of my eldest son are the worst, but they are fairly mild. 

Unfortunately, my brain fog is maddening.

Prayers welcome.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

A fascinating medieval disputation.

The decayed idea that scholasticism can be dispensed with as futile arguments over angels and pins disintegrates quickly upon honest examination. Yes, there is bad scholasticism, but that is light years away from the scholasticism bad! reigning in secular and too many Catholic minds.

For those on the inside, it is a treasure house of carefully-reasoned thought. 

For example: What is the "motive" of the Incarnation?

The Angelic Doctor said that it happened because man had sinned. 

Per the Subtle Doctor, Blessed John Duns Scotus, it was willed for itself. 

An introduction:

Though it has its roots in the writings of the Church Fathers, it did not receive its first systematic treatment until the time of medieval scholasticism. At that juncture, opposing theses were advanced by two of the most authoritative scholastic theologians of the 13th century: St. Thomas Aquinas and Bl. John Duns Scotus. 

The former, which we may call the Thomistic thesis, argued that if Adam had not sinned, God would not have become man. Thomas wrote the following in his Summa Theologica: “the work of the Incarnation was ordained by God as a remedy for sin; so that, had sin not existed, the Incarnation would not have been.”1 Thus, for Thomas, the only reason for the Incarnation is the redemption of fallen man. 

The Scotistic thesis, on the other hand, argued that the Incarnation was willed by God from all eternity prior to any consideration of sin, and thus it would have come about even had Adam not sinned. For Scotus, God created the world and everyone in it for the sake of Christ, sin or no sin. Christ, then, was not an afterthought of God, but rather the first thought, so to speak. 

The essay focuses on the Scotistic Thesis for the Universal Primacy of Christ and is an excellent explanation of it.

Definitely worth contemplating.

Because the left lung should always know what the right lung is doing.

The schism within Orthodoxy has somehow gotten even uglier

In Orthodoxy, each patriarchate has authority over its own canonical territory, in which no other patriarchate can interfere, and Africa belongs by ancient tradition to the patriarchate of Alexandria.

But in Moscow they have broken with this very tradition, invading another’s camp, thereby doing to others what they have never tolerated for themselves. Last December 29 the synod of the Russian patriarchate established its own exarchate for Africa, with two dioceses: the first based in Cairo and with jurisdiction over the northern part of the continent, the second based in South Africa, for the southern part. The two dioceses have been supplied with 102 priests, who have switched from the patriarchate of Alexandria to obedience to Moscow.

The new exarchate has its headquarters not in Africa but in Moscow, and has been entrusted to Archbishop Leonid of Vladikavkaz, with the title of exarch of Africa.

The reaction from Alexandria was immediate. On December 30 Patriarch Theodore II expressed his “deepest sorrow at the synodal decision of the Russian Patriarchate to establish an Exarchate within the normal limits of the jurisdiction of the Ancient Church of Alexandria.” And he announced that the affront would be discussed at “an upcoming session of the Synod of the Patriarchate” at which the “relevant decisions will be taken”: that is, at the session already convened on January 10 in order to proceed also with the appointment of the successor of the deceased metropolitan of Kampala and all Uganda, Jonah Lwanga, a personality of prestige and of exemplary spirituality, an African pillar of the Alexandrian patriarchate.

 Yikes. Just...yikes.


It is to laugh.

Rest assured, paternalistic hierarchs, there is nothing that excites contempt or incites animosity more than your words and actions. 

Now that you have shot the messenger, you can safely return to planning the next round of parish closings and property sales. 


Thursday, January 13, 2022

Adam DeVille has a proposal for genuine synodality.

Genuine: as in not the "Are you using the TPS cover sheets for the Bishop's Annual Appeal?" variety.

And I'm on board with all of them.

 (1) Synods in every diocese where clerics and laics are on equal footing with voice and vote to meet annually in full session, and as often as necessary between sessions in a standing or permanent synod.

(2) Synods in every diocese that vote annually on the bishop’s proposed budget, priorities, and policies, including those governing liturgical rites.

(3) Synods in every diocese which, during their annual meeting, have a right to pass a motion of censure or non-confidence in their bishop for egregious abuses of money, power, and sex.

(4) Synods in every diocese that meet to elect a new bishop when the old one dies or retires.

(5) Synods in every ecclesiastical province that elect the metropolitan archbishop and function under his presidency as disciplinary tribunals for diocesan bishops charged with various forms of malfeasance, including covering up sexual abuse. These synods can depose bishops if found guilty, but bishops can appeal to #6, below, and ultimately to Rome if necessary.

(6) Synods in every region or country that meet to elect a patriarch or catholicos under whose presidency the synod will function as a court to try archbishops, and as an appellate court to hear appeals from metropolitan synods.

(7) Synods in every country that elect a slate of electors to be sent to the next papal conclave. After all, as Pope Celestine I (422–432) said, “the one who is to be head over all should be elected by all.”

In a church where godless, murdering Communists get a say in who the bishops are and how the faithful worship, there is no good reason I should not, either.

But that's not going to happen right now. Vatican II is just the triumphalist sequel to Vatican I decked out with ostentatiously-humble buzzwords on flair buttons. Accompanied by the time-tested Lord Vetinari approach to manufactured consensus.

Because the only thing the current iteration of Rome loves more than chasing after foreign princes, gods and fads is her own power. 

And yet, fortunately for her long-term well-being, the demographic trap door is opening under her feet. Humility will follow with the realization that she is not supposed to be a serial personality cult but the Body of Christ. When it does, all sorts of possibilities will open up.

It can't happen too soon, but, alas, it won't happen in the lifetime of us older coots.


Monday, January 10, 2022

Almost two years and mountains of data later, and our Top Men can't tell the difference.

The difference between "with" and "from" when it comes to coronavirus deaths, that is.

Because, in various important contexts, starting with treatment, dying with Covid-19 is a critically-different phenomenon than dying from Covid-19. 

At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that distinction is still unknown for some reason:

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC still hasn’t set up a system to distinguish causation from correlation, [CDC Director Dr. Rochelle] Walensky admits.

* * *

The CDC’s data reporting website makes no such distinction at all. It’s not a case of waiting a few weeks for their “death registry” to catch up. All of its data on admissions and deaths are entirely correlative and always has been. The causation data simply doesn’t exist, and it never did.

This is important for more than just deaths when it comes to public policy, but let’s start there. The failure of the CDC to impose reporting requirements for degree of causation in deaths correlated to a COVID-19 diagnosis has left us completely unable to gauge risk and craft public policy with Omicron. We know from hard data that Omicron is far more transmissible than earlier variants, but we have no idea how dangerous it is otherwise. And even if we have that eventually with Omicron, we don’t have comparative data from other variants. My friend John Hinderaker at Power Line has done some fine work in using excess-mortality rates to determine actual risk in the pandemic, but this is only a secondary measure that is less reliable than the kind of measures the CDC should have had in place by mid-summer of 2020.

However, this failure has a broader impact than just on reported deaths. The lack of causation data on hospital admissions prompted a major media hysteria last month when COVID-correlated pediatric admissions suddenly jumped. Reporters jumped to the conclusion that Omicron had turned potentially deadly for children — even while no one could point to an Omicron-caused death in the entire world.

Some might say we have systemic problems at the CDC (and FDA, while we are at it).

Some would be correct. 

Friday, January 07, 2022

Rest in Peace, Sir Sidney Poitier.

The ground-breaking star has left us at age 94. As with Jackie Robinson, he had to walk a fine, clean-cut line. 

But like Robinson, he was a thunderbolt who blew open the doors.

Although often simmering with repressed anger, his characters responded to injustice with quiet determination. They met hatred with reason and forgiveness, sending a reassuring message to white audiences and exposing Mr. Poitier to attack as an Uncle Tom when the civil rights movement took a more militant turn in the late 1960s.

Mr. Poitier with, from left, Katharine Houghton, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967). He played a doctor whose race tests the liberal principles of his prospective in-laws.
Credit...Columbia Pictures

“It’s a choice, a clear choice,” Mr. Poitier said of his film parts in a 1967 interview. “If the fabric of the society were different, I would scream to high heaven to play villains and to deal with different images of Negro life that would be more dimensional. But I’ll be damned if I do that at this stage of the game.”

At the time, Mr. Poitier was one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood and a top box-office draw, ranked fifth among male actors in Box Office magazine’s poll of theater owners and critics; he was behind only Richard Burton, Paul Newman, Lee Marvin and John Wayne. Yet racial squeamishness would not allow Hollywood to cast him as a romantic lead, despite his good looks.

“To think of the American Negro male in romantic social-sexual circumstances is difficult, you know,” he told an interviewer. “And the reasons why are legion and too many to go into.”

Mr. Poitier often found himself in limiting, saintly roles that nevertheless represented an important advance on the demeaning parts offered by Hollywood in the past. In “No Way Out” (1950), his first substantial film role, he played a doctor persecuted by a racist patient, and in “Cry, the Beloved Country” (1952), based on the Alan Paton novel about racism in South Africa, he appeared as a young priest. His character in “Blackboard Jungle” (1955), a troubled student at a tough New York City public school, sees the light and eventually sides with Glenn Ford, the teacher who tries to reach him. 

May God rest his soul.

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

The pandemic's other death toll.

The head of OneAmerica insurance said the death rate is up a stunning 40% from pre-pandemic levels among working-age people.

“We are seeing, right now, the highest death rates we have seen in the history of this business – not just at OneAmerica,” the company’s CEO Scott Davison said during an online news conference this week. “The data is consistent across every player in that business.”

OneAmerica is a $100 billion insurance company that has had its headquarters in Indianapolis since 1877. The company has approximately 2,400 employees and sells life insurance, including group life insurance to employers in the state.

Davison said the increase in deaths represents “huge, huge numbers,” and that’s it’s not elderly people who are dying, but “primarily working-age people 18 to 64” who are the employees of companies that have group life insurance plans through OneAmerica.

“And what we saw just in third quarter, we’re seeing it continue into fourth quarter, is that death rates are up 40% over what they were pre-pandemic,” he said.

“Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three-sigma or a one-in-200-year catastrophe would be 10% increase over pre-pandemic,” he said. “So 40% is just unheard of.”

The full story, stemming from a conference held in Indiana, can be found here.

The cascade effects of this thing, including the policies pushed during it, are going to be with us for years. And the idea of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for governmental actions during the pandemic grows more sensible by the hour.


Monday, January 03, 2022

"Average used-car price nears $30,000...."

I have never spent more than $12,500 on a car--and that was a two year old 1995 Buick Skylark.

Nice car--all the bells and mid-90s whistles.

Not even close since, and with that in mind, it should {?} be clear I've never bought a new car.

Right now, our family vehicle is a 2005 Expedition XLT--literally totaled, thanks to being t-boned in a rural smash-up over the summer. 

It's still driveable, albeit an embarrassment to be seen in, so we still use it. But for how much longer? We're playing with house money, and it's running out.

However, the current used car market is insane, and it does not appear that we will be able to replace it with anything other than a similar wreck.

 “I’ve never seen anything remotely close to this — it’s craziness,” said Schrier, who has been selling autos for 35 years. “It’s quite frustrating for so many people right now.”

When the government reported that consumer inflation rocketed 6.8% in the 12 months that ended in November — the sharpest jump in nearly 40 years — the biggest factor, apart from energy, was used vehicles. And while the rate of increase is slowing, most experts say the inflated vehicle prices aren't likely to ease for the foreseeable future.

The blame can be traced directly to the pandemic's eruption in March of last year. Auto plants suspended production to try to slow the virus’ spread. As sales of new vehicles sank, fewer people traded in used cars and trucks. At the same time, demand for laptops and monitors from people stuck at home led semiconductor makers to shift production from autos, which depend on such chips, to consumer electronics.

When a swifter-than-expected economic rebound boosted demand for vehicles, auto plants tried to restore full production. But chip makers couldn’t respond fast enough. And rental car companies and other fleet buyers, unable to acquire new vehicles, stopped off-loading older ones, thereby compounding the shortage of used vehicles.

Bleak as the market is for used-car buyers, the computer chip shortage has also driven new-vehicle prices higher. The average new vehicle, says, is edging toward $46,000.

Even so, prices of used cars are likely to edge closer to new ones. Since the pandemic started, used vehicle prices have jumped 42% — more than double the increase for new ones.

Grover Cardinal Dill.

One of the following people to the front left is a klutzy toady who apes with shrill cartoonishness the mean-spirited gent who gives him whatever prominence he possesses.

The other is a fictional character portrayed by Yano Anaya in the classic film A Christmas Story.


A good branch manager always rigorously enforces the latest memos from HQ. Note the good practice posing with a picture of the CEO while next to said CEO.

On the other side of the world, murderous communists pick bishops for the Catholic faithful it routinely disappears in the world's most populous country.

"Religion with Chinese characteristics" = "German Christians 2.0."

But that's OK with Rome. Dialogue is a jealous god, and sometimes you have to sacrifice Catholics to totalitarianism to keep it going.

However, advertising the Latin Mass in a parish bulletin? Kill it with fire!

Meanwhile, you, non-subject of the People's Republic? You get the result of the manic, ahistorical centralization that has possessed Rome since the beginning of the 20th century.

The odor of Late Stage Clown Church grows more pungent by the day.

[Update: For context, here is an acceptable form of liturgy for the ordinary of Chicago, worthy of advertisement in the parish bulletin. Unlike ad orientem celebrations, you don't need the the Cardinal's permission to omit the greeting, penitential act, or opening prayer.

I'd say good to know, but we already know bishops really don't give a shit about what happens at a NO mass--so long as it isn't anything that smacks of the TLM. Other than that, have at it and your shepherd will shrug. He's a busy man, after all--he has another large round of parish closings to plan for.]

The GOP Garbage Squad.

Nine awful human beings whose views are unworthy of the slightest respect. Especially after caterwauling about spending money on Ukraine, no...