Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Here and There . . .

An irregular roundup of blogs, articles and commentary.
  • Lack of Meaning: a Hidden Form of Suffering, a reflection on a short story by Flannery O'Connor peppered with a few good quotes from Fr. Giussani and Msgr. Albacete -- from Deep Furrows, another 'Communion & Liberation' blogger Fred K.

  • In November 2005, a group of liberal Catholics reported Cardinal George Pell (!!!) to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. American Papist has the details.

  • Gerald Augustinus (Closed Cafeteria) posts some photos from an Amazing Parish - St. John Cantius in Chicago. "It offers the Novus Ordo Mass in both Latin and the vernacular, as well as the Tridentine Mass. Its imposing historic church, solemn liturgies, devotions, treasures of sacred art, and rich program of sacred music has helped many Catholics rediscover a profound sense of the sacred." What a parish!

  • To Love as Jesus Loves is the Core of the Gospel Theophilus (Vivificat) reflects on Deus Caritas Est and the contemporary examples of St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

  • DREADSILENCE: A 'Gay' Man Goes To Confession, by John Heard (aka DreadNought) February 4, 2006:
    Staring at the monstrance, I felt a quick movement in my soul. I should go to confession. I trampled it. I didn't have time for a proper examination of conscience. Oh but you know what you want to confess already a little voice said. I agreed, but the priests at this church are a little liberal, I wanted my penance serious and my admonitions against sin couched in familiar, 'orthodox' language.

    But Christ is Christ anywhere the voice said, . . .

  • Open Source Theology -- picking up on an observation by Nicholas Carr ("The open source model is not a democratic model. It is the combination of community and hierarchy that makes it work. Community without hierarchy means mediocrity"), Curt @ Northwestern Winds notes its application to ecclesiology.

  • Development and Negation - During the past six months, Dr Michael Liccione wrote a series of articles on the Catholic Church and the development of doctrine, with special attention to the themes of extra ecclesiam nulla salus, limbo, abortion, usury, religious freedom, marriage, and contraception. Michael’s analysis of these issues is outstanding. In order to make it more widely available, Alvin Kimel has gathered all the posts together on one page.

  • In a February 17th editorial, Tom Roberts of the National Catholic Reporter lashed out at Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus, "a self-appointed arbiter of orthodoxy," chastising him on his certainty "[of] what is best for all Catholics, since his conversion in 1990 and subsequent ordination to the priesthood in this denomination." On February 22, writing from First Things' blog On The Square, Fr. Neuhaus took Mr. Roberts to task:
    Implicit in Roberts' remarks is the frequently encountered assumption that “converts” have no business telling “cradle Catholics” how to be Catholic. I discuss this in some detail in my new book Catholic Matters. When I was received into the Church and ordained, Avery Cardinal Dulles–himself a former, if nominal, Presbyterian–told me that, no matter how long I lived, I would always be viewed as a “convert priest.” He added that there are both plus and minus factors in that, and he was right.

    Please do not misunderstand. I have been very well received in the Catholic Church, far beyond my deserving. Whatever hostility I have encountered comes almost exclusively from Catholics who have misspent their lives in trying to jettison those features of the Church–clarity of doctrine, apostolic authority, richness of sacramental piety, et al.–that make Catholicism so compelling to converts. . . .

    It is possible that at no time in modern Catholic history since Newman and his friends entered the Church in the mid-19th century have so many distinguished thinkers from Protestant denominations become Catholic. You may be sure that none of them thought he was joining “this denomination.” They understand themselves to have entered into communion with the Church of Jesus Christ most fully and rightly ordered through time. And they did so with eyes wide open to the problems that have prompted some cradle Catholics to try, fortunately in vain, to turn the Catholic Church into just another denomination.

    (I'd like to note here The editor certainly wasn't the first to adopt a condescending tone to Fr. Neuhaus' status as a convert).

  • From The American Inquisition, "blogging under the patronage of the Glorious and Venerable Servant of God, Queen Isabel of Castile," a demythologization of King Henry III:
    History books often paint a rosy picture of Henry VIII- sure, he had a lot of wives, but he was generally a jolly guy, right?

    Wrong. The aim of this post is to demonstrate how Henry VIII deserves none of his good reputation- that he was a homicidal maniac, self-absorbed, obsessed with making a name for himself and driven by his sexual urges to a reckless and damning degree. He deserves no honor, no fame, no repute- he was disgusting, egotistical and incompetent, not to mention a generally bad person. And now, with this (admittedly heavy) burden of proof, I shall proceed. . . .

  • Comparing liturgies: the standards of judgment are objective, by Philip Blosser (The Pertinacious Papist: "A common response to the question of the relative superiority or inferiority of the new or old Mass is to couch the question in terms of preference. This is to utterly skew the issue, recasting the debate in the framework of subjective perceptions rather than objective properties. . . ."

  • What is Social Justice? -- a substantial reflection from Hank's Eclectic Meanderings (drawing upon Michael Novak's article on the same in First Things).
  • Filling up MySpace, by Matthew Meehan (MercatorNet) - a word of warning about "Social networking sites on the internet" and the dangers they pose to your teenagers. Likewise, here's Father Robert Sirico on "The Market, the Movies, and the Media" Religion & Liberty August 2005.

On a lighter note . . .

  • Overindulgence on "Fat Tuesday" - An Autobiographical Sketch, by Justin Nickelsen (Ressourcement): "While some celebrated Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras “flashing” each other and participating in other such acts of debauchery (a favorite Dostoyevsky term) in New Orleans, I spent my day of “rebellion” doing other ... sinful things."
  • Hip to the culture and hopping to the trends, Carl Olson talks about the "Emerging Church" phenomenon in various Protestant denominations:
    As an Evangelical, I heard and saw similar things come and go on a regular basis. There was a lot of big talk and loads of ambition, but far too much rootlessness, confusion, theological ambiguity, cliche hoarding, name dropping, and lack of structure/authority. Which is why I finally wrote the "The Un-Church Phenomenon Lexicon" a brief guide to the language found in these various movements/groups.
    Carl Olson might appreciate Purgatorio's "You Might Be Emerging If . . ." and "Deconstructing Starbucks", from That Is Not My Blog. =)

  • Beyond Parody - The politicization of childhood continues apace - Mark Shea on the book Why Mommy Is A Democrat, "bringing to life the core values of the Democratic Party in ways that young children will easily understand and thoroughly enjoy." As Mark notes, they appear to have left out a section.

  • Jeff Miller (Curt Jester) mentions something I hope I never get assigned as penance.

  • Joe Koczera (Novitiate Notes) on Cornbread and beef stew in Jesuit life. It's a Jesuit tradition.

  • Alvin Kimel (Pontifications) on The Tyranny of the Ubiquitous Song Leader:
    I don’t know where in the world she came from, and and I don’t know why the brethren put up with her. All I know is that the one feature of the contemporary Roman Mass that I despise most is the Ubiquitous Song Leader. You know who I mean. She stands in front of the congregation and sings into the microphone, upraising her hand(s) whenever she wants the congregation to sing along with her. She dominates the liturgy. Not even the celebrant at the altar enjoys such an imposing presence. All eyes are turned upon her. Thanks to the amplification, her voice drowns out everything and everyone. She is everywhere. . . .
  • Also, Carl Olson Comes Clean about his Television Habits, proving that Ignatius Press folk -- in the words of Mark Brumley -- "aren't always in deep meditative prayer or only working the soup kitchens or merely organizing the overthrow of the secularized establishment of the West Coast or devoting themselves wholly to training a cadre of albino killers or up at odd hours writing posts on the Insight Scoop or writing the next IP classic book." Carl Olson's preferences in television watching closely mirror my own, especially his preference for HOUSE. Meanwhile, Jimmy Akin's favorite shows are entirely predictable -- I always knew he was a SciFi geek. ;-)

    Now, if only Stephen Hand would disclose the television watching habits of the staff over at TCRNews.com. Admit it, Stephen, you're a closet fan of Jack Bauer. ;-)

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