Monthly Archives: January 2009
We have had a spate of exciting news these past two weeks. So much good news that I have noticed a certain pattern forming. That pattern usually comes in threes, so I’d like to introduce the Rule of Three theory. The Rule of Three is a theorem that states good news comes in threes.
First we have Pope Benedict XVI having the excommunications on the Society of St. Pius X (S.S.P.X.) lifted on January 21. Then we have rumors that the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (C.D.F.) possibly offering the Traditional Anglican Communion (T.A.C.) entry into the Catholic Church on January 29. So there needs to be a third piece of good news percolating somewhere some would think?
Hattip to our commenter Phillip. When Raymond Burke was Archbishop of Saint Louis he was a tireless advocate of the unborn and also tireless in taking to task those who supported abortion. His elevation to be head of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature in Rome has not diminshed his zeal for the pro-life cause. In an interview in October of last year he stated that the Democrat party risked transforming itself into the party of death.
In many ways, I am a natural Democrat. I do not have a problem, in principle, with large government or higher taxes that increase wealth distribution. I was against the War in Iraq. I favor amnesty for illegal immigrants (or at least I favored many of the plans we were assured were ‘not amnesty,’ which looked a lot like amnesty). I favor health care reform, including higher taxes, as long as the policies in question have a strong empirical foundation. While I have concerns about taking on large amounts of debt, I do not have a principled objection to the recent stimulus package (provided it actually is a stimulus package).
But I can’t call myself a Democrat.
Bearing has an interesting post up which I suspect reflects the political experience of many serious Catholics over the last twenty five years. The whole thing is worth reading, but I’m quoting it extensively because I think the point she’s making is interesting and widely applicable:
I entered full communion with the Catholic church at the Easter Vigil in 1993, when I was a freshman in college…. A couple of years after that, I had a second conversion in which I was forced to realize that I could not be simultaneously a believing Catholic and a supporter of legal abortion. (Why it took me so long is another story again. Hint: There were some serious problems in that particular RCIA program.)
So there’s a new You-Tube video spreading around meant to be the final word in exposing the hypocrisy of anti-abortion advocates. In what many seem to believe is highly telling, an interviewer asks a group of demonstrating pro-lifers that, should abortion be declared illegal, if they would punish women who had abortions. Apparently the confused looks, murmured “I don’t know, I don’t think they should be punished,” and the otherwise general indication that they hadn’t thought much on the issue, somehow shows that pro-lifers do not believe that abortion is murder, or even the taking of human life. There is a huge amount of self-congratulatory straining of shoulders, clapping themselves on the back for having discovered this one-shot knockdown argument.
Bravo to the 177 Republicans, every member of the GOP in the house, and the 11 brave Democrats, who voted against the 819 billion Bankrupt the Nation Act of 2009. This pork laden monstrosity may well serve as an example for future historians, along with the Bailout Swindle of 2008, as the culminating acts of fiscal madness that led to the decline, at least temporarily, of the US as an economic power. This also sends a message to the Public: ” You wanted change? This is the change you are getting.” This policy is now owned lock and stock by the Democrat party. If it works, something I think unlikely in the extreme, they will be in power for a generation. If it does not, 2010 and 2012 might be very good years for the Grand Old Party. In either case, the public is going to be given a clear choice next time around.
On January 25, 1959, Pope John XXIII announced his intention to call a Church Council. This is a good time to consider the results of Vatican II.
October 20, AD 2009, New Developments: Vatican Announces Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans! To read more on this click here.
Updates at the bottom of the post ? (‘nothing’s been decided’ & ‘unlikely’)
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is reportedly recommending that the Traditional Anglican Communion (T.A.C.) be offered the status of personal prelature. The Traditional Anglican Communion is a group of approximately 400,000 Anglican’s that have broken away from the Anglican Communion seeking to preserve their Anglo-Catholic traditions. They formerly requested entry into the Catholic Church in 2007. These reports are emanating from an Australian Catholic weekly called The Record.
Due to the unprecedented volume of traffic it can be difficult to access The Record website. I can only surmise this is because of the excitement that this bit of news must be generating among Traditional Anglicans as well as faithful Catholics and various observers from Canterbury.
Again, this has just been reported within the last two hours (1:50am Central Standard Time). Here is the following posted information from The Record:
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has decided to recommend the Traditional Anglican Communion be accorded a personal prelature akin to Opus Dei, if talks between the TAC and the Vatican aimed at unity succeed, it is understood.
Today is the feast day of one of the greatest saints of the Church, and one of the greatest intellects to ever walk this globe: Saint Thomas Aquinas. Here is an essay on Saint Thomas written by G.K. Chesterton before he wrote his biography of the Dumb Ox. Amazing what a great mind, and a greater faith, can accomplish in one brief life.
Some people think that the most important division is between those who believe in God and those who do not. Others say the true dividing line is between conservatives and liberals. Yet more regard humanity’s separation into men and women to be all important. Rubbish!!!
Apparently Mark Shea, one of the Catholic Blogosphere’s sage’s, has gotten caught up in all the hoopla surrounding President Obama’s ascension inauguration. He has succumbed to change. After six years and eight months of staying faithful to what I believe to be the Sand Dollar template that Blogger offers, Mr. Mark Shea decided to change, in the spirit of bipartisanship, the template he uses for his blog (Catholic and Enjoying It!) from Sand Dollar to Minima Lefty.
Mark Shea, a proficient blogger, writer, and apologist. An insightful and sometimes provocative Catholic with his interminable style of debating has shocked, shocked I tell you, the Catholic blogosphere with this switch to Minima Lefty! In one bold stroke Mark Shea has decided to thumb his nose in the face of traditionalists.
I must confess that when I read yesterday that Pope Benedict had lifted the excommunications against the four SSPX bishops, my first thought was not rejoicing that this suggested that a million semi-schismatic Catholics around the world might soon be fully returned to the fold, but rather, “Oh brother, does this mean that Bishop Williamson is now our problem?”
Though we’ve had our share of loopy bishops in union with the pope, Williamson takes episcopal antics to new levels. He’s been known to issue letters discussing how women have no business going to college, the dangerous modernist threat which the movie The Sound Of Music poses, and more sinisterly has recently flirted with holocaust denial.
Thus, I was encouraged to see that Bishop Fellay, the Superior General of the SSPX, has issued a statement saying, “I have forbidden Bishop Williamson to issue any public opinion on any political or historical matter until further notice.”
Now there’s something I can say Amen to. Perhaps we may hope that the SSPX will not only become fully reunited with the Church in the near future, but will fail to embarrass liturgically traditional Catholics in the process. Deo gratias.
Being a contarian sort of creature, I’ve been wanting for some time to write a post on why the progressive instinct is sometimes the right one. I’m quite certain that neither conservatism nor progressivism, properly understood, is the only possible view for the moral and reasonable citizen — and yet I find myself impeded in this by being in fact a very temperamentally conservative person.
First off, I’d like to suggest that as most precisely used “conservative” and “progressive” (I’m avoiding the term “liberal” here because it strikes me as having an even more confusing and increasingly imprecise meaning) are very relative terms. The progressive seeks to change current social structures, attitudes and political institutions in order to make them better. He seeks to progress. Conservative seeks to preserve existing structures and institutions, and when he accedes to change he urges that it be done slowly in order to avoid the disruption which rapid change often results in.
I would argue that there are some times when we should follow the progressive instinct, others when we should clearly follow the conservative one, and many in which it is a matter of debate which should be followed.
Doug Kmiec, the subject of a few posts on this blog, here, here, here, here and here, has indicated , hattip to Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia, that he believes he is still in the running to be ambassador to the Vatican, presumably his reward for turning his back on the pro-life cause and shilling for Obama last year. Professor Kmiec has also been apparently been glancing at some of the blogs that have taken him to task, hattip to Jeff Miller at Curt Jester.