Friday, September 29, 2006

you may now email me

Friends, you may now email me. At the bottom of the sidebar, on the right, just above the "I Power Blogger" button (whatever that may be), you will see a link that says "Email Father WB." Clicking on it should cause your computer to ploink up a little email window for you to contact me. As you like.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

bishop griswold talks to himself

Below is Bishop Griswold's letter in response to (1) the Camp Allen Letter, and (2) The Kigali Communiqué . +Griswold still seems not to understand the issues as articulated by the bishops at Camp Allen, or the Primates at Kigali. That he still doesn't get it just further illuminates (if further illumination were necessary) the fact that our divisions are no longer bridgeable. We cannot work this out among ourselves. God can work it out, surely. But if ECUSA insists on yoking herself to the dissenting American dioceses while God is working these issues out in his own way and time, then ECUSA will have chosen to annihilate the dissenters. And how is that love? I will repeat here what I said to +San Diego (as though he or Griswold read this blog): For the love of God, let us go in peace.

Here is the letter, with certain bits highlighted and commented upon by me:

My dear brothers and sisters:

We have all received within the last days a letter from the bishops who gathered at Camp Allen at the invitation of Don Wimberly. As well, you may have seen an unsigned communiqué sent from a gathering of primates and others from the global south which was held in Rwanda. Let me share some reflections about these two meetings with you.

With regard to the gathering in Texas, advance and follow-up information about this meeting suggest an involvement by the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is important for you to know that the Texas meeting was in no way held at the Archbishop’s initiative nor was it planned in collaboration with him. The two bishops from the Church of England did not attend as delegates of the Archbishop, nor were they empowered to speak on his behalf except to give the message that “the bishops meeting are bishops of the Catholic Church in the Anglican Communion.” The Archbishop has always encouraged exchanges of views, as have I. Therefore, I appreciate the concern of those who attended the Texas meeting for the faithfulness of our church. At the same time, such encouragement does not necessarily imply affirmation of or agreement with points of view expressed in the course of such exchanges.

I would like to observe here that our House contains many points of view held by persons of unquestionable faith whose desire is to be faithful to the mind and mission of Christ. Because of this, I have seen during these nine years how unhelpful it can be for us as a community when we separate ourselves from one another by signing, or not signing, statements. As we have learned, position statements can easily occlude the more subtle dimensions of agreement and disagreement, which is where our deepest engagement with one another can occur. As much as we draw comfort from those who share our own point of view, it is important for us on all sides to realize that truth in its fullness cannot be contained in any one perspective.


The fact that some among us feel we did not go far enough in responding to the invitations of the Windsor Report while others feel we have gone too far is to be expected in a church in which people hold differing theological perspectives. We are making our best efforts within our church to be faithful to the Windsor process, and I am gratified by how we, for the most part, are comporting ourselves as brothers and sisters in Christ.

The letter from Texas said it is the clear sense of the signers that “the General Convention of 2006 did not adequately respond to the request made of the Episcopal Church by the Communion through the Windsor Report and the Primates at Dromantine.” It says that this view is “consistent with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Holy Cross Day letter to the Primates.” Given the very nuanced and cautious way in which the Archbishop expresses himself, I think it is important here to refer back to that letter and what Rowan actually said, and I quote: “It is also clear that the Episcopal Church has taken very seriously the recommendations of the Windsor Report; but the resolutions of General Convention still represent what can only be called a mixed response to the Dromantine requests. The advisory group has spent much time in examining these resolutions in great detail, and its sense is that although some aspects of these requests have been fully dealt with, there remain some that have not.”

I note here that Archbishop Robin Eames, Chairman of the Lambeth Commission which produced the Windsor Report, says in his introduction: “This report is not a judgment. It is part of a process. It is part of a pilgrimage toward healing and reconciliation.” As such, I believe the “Windsor process” is a process of mutual growth which calls for patience, mutual understanding and generosity of spirit rather than stark submission.

It also needs to be said that the assessment of the responses of the Episcopal Church to the Windsor process is not the responsibility of self-chosen groups within the Communion. At the April 2006 meeting of the Joint Standing Committee of the primates and the Anglican Consultative Council a small working group drawn from different parts of the Communion was identified to consider the actions and decisions of our General Convention. They will communicate to both the Joint Standing Committee and then the Primates Meeting in February. The Archbishop has repeatedly underscored the need to allow this process to unfold.


The General Convention in Resolution A165 affirmed our commitment to the Windsor process. From my perspective, being faithful to the Windsor process – and the Covenant process which is integral to it – calls for patience and rules out actions which would preempt their orderly unfolding. In my view, portions of the Kigali statement that take issue with the actions of the Episcopal Church in advance of hearing from the advisory group, and before the Covenant has an opportunity to be developed, are inconsistent with the Windsor process, as are continuing incursions of bishops from other provinces into our dioceses. Patience and respect for one another and our provincial structures are required on the part of us all.

The communiqué from Kigali recommends that there be a separate ecclesial body within our province. The suggestion of such a division raises profound questions about the nature of the church, its ordering and its oversight. I further believe such a division would open the way to multiple divisions across other provinces of the Communion, and any sense of a coherent mission would sink into chaos. Such a recommendation appears to be an effort to preempt the Windsor process and acting upon it would create a fact on the ground, making healing and reconciliation – the stated goal of the Windsor process – that much more difficult to achieve.


Having said that, I am well aware that some within our own Episcopal Church are working to achieve such an end. Efforts, some more overt than others, toward this end have been underway since before the 1998 Lambeth Conference. More recently, the Colorado-based organization called the Anglican Communion Institute has posted on its website a paper outlining a four-part strategy toward a new “Constituent body” in the United States, rather than the Episcopal Church, which would participate in the development of an Anglican Covenant. Though the Texas meeting included consultants who are part of the Anglican Communion Institute, I know this goal is not shared by all of the bishops who signed the letter from Texas.

The Kigali communiqué questions Bishop Jefferts Schori’s ability to represent all of our dioceses. The role of primates [1] is to bear witness as fully as possible to the life and complexities of their own provinces. I have sought to bring to the primates’ meetings the wide range of opinions and the consequent tensions within our own church. I have every confidence that Katharine will do the same. Furthermore, the voices from dioceses that the Kigali communiqué fears will not be heard seem to be well represented among the primates themselves. [2]



I am in full agreement with the Kigali communiqué’s declaration that the challenges facing our Anglican structures can be a distraction from the work of the gospel. I am glad to know that a great deal of time at Kigali was devoted to such concerns as poverty eradication, HIV/AIDS, peace building and evangelization. Here I note our own church’s commitment to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, and pray that our mutual concerns will allow us to work together for the healing and reconciliation of the world, and thereby find the source of our healing and reconciliation as a Communion.


I end these reflections with a quotation from one of our great Anglican spiritual guides and teachers of prayer, Evelyn Underhill. The coming of the Kingdom is perpetual. Again and again, freshness, novelty, power from beyond the world break in by unexpected paths bringing unexpected change. Those who cling to tradition and fear all novelty in God’s relation to the world deny the creative activity of the Holy Sprit, and forget that what is now tradition was once innovation; that the real Christian is always a revolutionary, belongs to a new race, and has been given a new name and a new song.


May we indeed be guided by the creative activity of the Holy Spirit as we continue through these challenging days, and in the fullness of time may our various divisions find their reconciliation in the One in whom all things have been reconciled, making it possible for us — with one heart and one mind — to sing a new song.

Yours ever in Christ,


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

irritating journalistic commentary

An irritating article from "D Magazine" in Dallas. The author appears to take the attitude of St. Michael and All Angels as the paradigmatic best response to all the current mess. In other words, to my mind, a lukewarm fiddling while Rome burns. Or, in the words of St. Michael and All Angels' junior warden, "We’re a big tent at St. Michael. ... We are not going to take any radical action one way or another. Our bottom line is that we are not separatists.”

The author of the article begins to moralize on this theme: "There is too much reading of the fine print and too little awareness of the big picture. And there is history: of such purifying efforts have come witch hunts, inquisitions, wars, generations-deep hatreds."

Then the author sagely urges us to take a lesson from history: "...consider [Queen] Elizabeth [the first]," he says. "Refusing to allow the kingdom-threatening Catholic-Protestant struggle to tempt her to 'make windows into men’s souls,' the monarch many consider England’s best laid out the bottom line of unity: 'There is only one Jesus Christ, and all the rest is a dispute over trifles.' "

The irony, of course, is that in order to enforce ecclesial unity under her headship, Elizabeth savagely persecuted those who could not, in conscience, accept her self-granted role as supreme head of the Church in England, killing more dissenters from her religious policies than either Henry VIII or her sister "Bloody" Mary. Only Elizabeth officially had them killed for treason and sedition, rather than doctrinal dissent. Maybe because, to her, schism was worse than heresy. But I imagine that kind of nuance was lost on those she killed.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

the difference between christianity and islam

My friend, confrère, and interlocutor, Drew, at the Shrine of the Holy Whapping has posted some very shrewd things about Islam and Christianity, spurred on by the Pope's recent insightfulness. The Shrine is here. MM pointed this out to me. Read more here. Read it all here.

It occurred to me the other day that the Christian God is not "Great." To say that God is Great ("Allahu Akbhar") is NOT, as it is in Islam, the central tenet of our religion. The Christian God is Good...and Goodness takes the form of Good Friday and a death on the Cross. The Crucifixion, and the theology and spirituality of the Cross, is what Islam so desperately needs. Because Allah is "Great" and can suffer no dishonor, no harm, Allah's prophets, likewise, can suffer no dishonor. This is why the Muslims are uber-sensitive about Mohammed. It is also why the Muslims abhor the idea that Jesus Christ was Crucified: they believe Jesus Christ existed as some manner of prophet, and because Christ was a prophet, could absolutely not have suffered the ignominy of the Cross.

dear bishop duncan

Watch this fascinating interview with +Pittsburgh.

There's a link to Anglican TV in the "links" section of the sidebar.

HT: Tex.

This online video is a ministry of

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

some principles

Continuing a theme I began in a previous post about my concerns for the unity of "the Network" -- what with parishes leaving it because they just can't stand the administrative connections to ECUSA that being in a Network diocese entails.  I am posting my thoughts on some Anglican Catholic principles.  I would really like to know what you all think.  I know that Roman Catholics among you (for example) will deny number 3 below -- that Anglicanism is essentially a catholic form of Chrstianity, but Anglicanism has always understood itself thus, and I am assuming that it is so.  When I stop assuming that, I will leave Anglicanism.  But for the rest of you, what do you think?  Is this correct?  Are we right to be frustrated with parishes so eager to be disscociated from ECUSA that they leave (and thereby weaken) Network dioceses?  Here are my thoughts:

(1)  That we are to till the Ground on which we are set:  We are obliged as Christians to thank and praise God through the agency of the One and Only Son of God in our lives, in answer to the One and Only Father’s call to us, preeminently by seeding the particular furrows before which He has set us.  Our attitude should be one of praise (doxa) and thanksgiving (eucharistia), even (especially) in the midst of contexts we adjudge to cause us to suffer.

(2)  With what seed we are to seed the furrows to which providence has brought us:  We are obliged as catholic Christians to maintain – that is, we are obliged ourselves to live and to proclaim to others -- the one faith, the one doctrine and the one service / devotion / sacrifice of the One Body of Christ, the One Church.  We are obliged to affirm what the whole Church has taught, to submit ourselves to the discursive content of the faith of the One and Only Body of Christ; and we must take care that the acting-out of our praise (doxa) and thanksgiving (eucharistia) is after the pattern of the praise and thanksgiving of the One and Only Body of Christ.  This issue is multi-faceted, but involves historical considerations, as well as considerations of particular intentions.
(3)  We are obliged as Anglican catholic Christians to accomplish (1) and (2) by means of the doctrine and devotion of Anglicanism, in sacramental communion with Anglicans the world over.  This is our chief obligation as Anglicans, and is how our catholicity is maintained, i.e. we maintain our communion with the One Body of Christ through our  sacramental union and communion with all Anglicans.

(4)  The Apostolical authority through whom a parish's sacramental communion with Anglicans the world over (cf. 3, above) is mediated and maintained is that of the Bishop of its diocese (for bishops are the heirs of the graces of apostilicty bestowed by our Lord, including that of apostolical unity for which the Lord himself prayed.  The apostolical prerogatives of Priests - including the grace of unity - are not theirs per se, but are derived only from the agency, and through the consent of, their Ordinary).  This derivative apostilicty of priests from their bishops is how ecclesiological integrity and coherence are maintained in the Catholic Church, and are hallmarks of it.

(5)  It is permissible (and incumbent upon) a priest and parish to disregard and violate 4 (above) in and only in the case that the bishop, under whose authority that priest ministers the Gospel, has himself violated 3, thereby removing his see, and the clergy and parishes under his oversight, from the unity of doctrine and devotion shared by Anglicans the world over.

isn't it odd? [warning: irony follows]

This would be funny if it weren't so sad. Muslims were so enraged that the pope suggested that their religion might be "violent" that they burned some churches, shot a nun to death (along with her bodyguard), and threatened to blow up the Vatican. Man, the pope is so misguided.

Friday, September 15, 2006

our lady of sorrows

Today is the commemoration of Our Lady of Sorrows, or in former times, the Seven Dolours (or Sorrows) of our Lady. Now, before you Evangelicals get outraged about this sort of thing, think about what it is. Devotion to, and the commemoration of, the "Seven Sorrows" of our Lady, is just sort of a channel for your piety, and it leads right to the incarnate Savior, because all of our Lady's sorrows have to do with various aspects of the Incarnation of Christ. There's nothing more "evangelical," in the strict sense, than internalizing the gospel, which empowers you then to preach it (our Lord first heals the deaf mutes ears, and then loosens his tongue). Contemplating our Lady's Seven Sorrows, is therefore just a way to focus our minds on seven gospel events, seven aspects of Jesus' life and death. And focusing on his life and death, in prayer, is a pretty important and fruitful thing to do. Our Lady always points to our Lord.

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin are:

1) The Prophecy of Simeon, from Luke 2.34ff: "...and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, 'Behold, this child is set for the fall nad rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also [hence the swords in Marian iconography]), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.' "

2) The flight of the Holy Family into Egypt, from Matthew 2.13ff: "...behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.' And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, 'Out of Egypt have I called my son.' "

3) The Loss of the Child Christ for Three Days in the Temple, from Luke 2.43ff: " ...and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day's journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. After three days they found him in the temple..."

4) Jesus, Carrying the Cross, Meets his Mother, from Luke 23.27ff: "And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them said, 'Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, "Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!"...' "

5) Mary Watches Jesus Suffer and Die on the Cross, from John 19.25ff: "But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag'dalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home."

6) Mary Receives the Body of the Lord, Taken Down from the Cross, from Matthew 27.55ff: "There were also many women there, looking on from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him; among whom were Mary Mag'dalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zeb'edee. When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathe'a, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed. Mary Mag'dalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the sepulchre."

7) Mary Watches Jesus' Body Being Laid in the Tomb, from Luke 23.55f: "The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and saw the tomb, and how his body was laid; then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment."

Now I know this isn't the best historical-critical methodology at work here (though its not as bad as you might think); but anyway, who cares? Your missing the point, if that's the point you want to make. Just like people who read the first part of Genesis and start talking about (for or against) Evolution, are missing the point. The point here is to contemplate the great mystery of the Incarnation, and to contemplate it through the eyes of one who loved Jesus deeply -- for our contemplation is always to be infused with love -- that is, in order for your contemplation to be effective, it must be affective, and devotion to our Lady's Seven Sorrows is a way of intentionally sublimating your intellect to love, a way that likewise engages the imagination. It is a very rich devotion.

what pope benedict said that was so controversial

For what its worth, I agree with him. Read the whole thing here.

Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded [by Mohammed] to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels," he turns to his interlocutor somewhat brusquely with the central question on the relationship between religion and violence in general, in these words: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

The emperor goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. "God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably ("syn logo") is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats.... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...."

The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: Not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality....

As far as understanding of God and thus the concrete practice of religion is concerned, we find ourselves faced with a dilemma which nowadays challenges us directly. Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true?

I believe that here we can see the profound harmony between what is Greek in the best sense of the word and the biblical understanding of faith in God. Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words: "In the beginning was the 'logos.'"

This is the very word used by the emperor: God acts with logos. Logos means both reason and word -- a reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


From Fr. Daniel Martins:

[The Liberals] are simultaneously correct and clueless. (If I knew how to say that in Latin, I surely would!) Yes, good order is being subverted. Duh! To stretch an overworked metaphor, Shall we take a vote by orders before we rearrange the deck chairs? A new thing is emerging, and order gets subverted when major change--yea, a seismic shift--is in process. Anglicanism is reinventing itself. (If I weren't so well-schooled in Anglican humble understatement, I might be tempted to say that God is reinventing Anglicanism.) The Elizabethan Settlement has frayed past the point of being restitched. We need--and will, I believe, get, and sooner than we might think--a new constitutional basis. Not all who call themselves Anglicans today will like what emerges. It will be different than the informal bonds of affection that, along with Wippel's, have held us together in the past. It won't feel like our grandparents' Anglicanism. There will be more uniformity of faith and practice. Provincial autonomy will not trump interdependence. Structures of authority will be clearer.

In the meantime, we wait, sometimes patiently and sometimes with great anxiety. It's like watching a sculptor chip away at a block of marble. We trust that there's a work of art in there somewhere, but we can't see it yet, and that makes us really, really nervous because we desperately want to know what it's going to look like.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

' the manner how to recite the rosary '

From Jesus, Maria Joseph, or The Devout Pilgrim of the Ever Blessed Virgin Mary in his Holy Exercises, Affections, and Elevations. Upon the Sacred Mysteries of Jesus, Maria, Joseph. Published for the benefit of the pious Rosarists, by A.C. and T.V. Religious Monks of the holy Order of S BENNET. Amsterdam 1657

[And I am taking it as excerpted in A Book of Hours and Other Catholic Devotions, Canterbury Press, 1999.]

[And here, by the way, is a PDF File containing a diagram of the Rosary and enumerating the prayers associated with the beeds, etc.]

In the first place you are to settle yourself reverently in the divin presence, and (seriously recollecting your senses) to cast of all evagations of mind and extraversions, (which is the generall preparation to all Prayer.)

2ly To the end your understanding and will (both which concur in all well-order'd Prayer and Meditation) may be profitably employed; you may please to remember these two rules...

The First Rule (which concerns the actions of your undertanding) is, To Present before the Eyes of your Soul that mysterie, wheron you are to meditate, as even then acted in your presence.

As for Example, The mysterie whereupon you intend to make your meditation, is, The Nativity of our Saviour: Imagin your self standing in a privat corner of the poor Bethleem Stable, beholding, hearing, and admiring all that there passed in that sacred night: run over in your mind the condition of the place, and the circumstances of the Persons, and think what were their thoughts, affections, words, actions: above all consider who it was, that appeared to the World in this mean equipage: to wit, the Son of God, the King of Glory, the Monark of the whol Universe: then ponder his love to mankind in generall, and to your self in particular &c. [Bold emphasis, mine - Fr. WB+.]

The second Rule (which concerns the action of your will) is, That you pass speedily from speculative discourses to devout affections, and self-reflections, as for example, had you been in the Bethleem stable aforesaid, how diligently would you have employ'd your self in the service of little Jesus, and his loving Mother? How willingly would you have pick'd up sticks, made a fire, ayr'd his swaths, and fetch'd or carry'd whatsoever might have been usefull for their solace and succour, &c.

Such like reflections will rayse enflamed desires, and firm resolutions in your soul of better loving and serving both the Son and Mother for the future, and of suffering for his sake, who suffered so much for yours, &c.

And in some such manner you may conclude each mysterie by some particular resolution (drawn from the subject of the meditation) either of correcting such an imperfection, or of exercising such a vertu: and assure your self, that if you presently apply your self to the practice of such well made resolutions (humbly imploring the divin assistance therein by the blessed Virgins Intercession:) you shall find it a most speedy and efficacious means to the amendment of your life, the extirpation of vice, the implanting of vertu; and finally much conducing to your generall advancement in all sorts of spirituall Perfections.

3. You may also represent to yourself the sacred Virgin.

Sometimes as sitting or kneeling in her silent and solitary retreat, and attentively listening to the Angell Gabriels Salutation and Embassy.

Other times, as infolding gently her Sweet Infant Jesus in her sacred arms, imbracing him tenderly in her bosom, suckling him lovingly at her breasts, watchign him carefully with her eyes, cherishing him affectionatly with her kisses, contemplating him devoutly with her heart.

Other times as painfully wayting on him from place to place in the time of his Passion, sorrowfully standing by him at the foot of his Cross, cheerfully rejoycing with him at his Resurrection.

Other times, as gloriously reigning in Heaven, mercifully vouchsafing to hearken to our prayers, and piously presenting them to her Son.

Or otherwise according to the serverall mysteries, and sutably to each ones gust and devotion.

4. You are also here to be exhorted to propose to your self the cause (whether common or particular) which moves you now to the recitall of Rosary: as for example, I intend now to prayse my Lord God for the benefit of my Creation, Redemption, Vocation, &c. or, In the honour of my Saviours sacred Nativity, bitter Passion, glorious Resurrection, admirable Ascention, &c. Or I intend to render thanks to my Creator for such a particular favour as for my own, or my friends [good, or] any other privat or publick benefit. Or, I intend to implore the divin assistance for the overcoming of sucha Temptation, extirpating such a vice obtaining such a vertu. Or, For a good success in usch an affair; Or, that I may make a happy progress in my Studies, &c.

Consider therefore briefly at the beginning of your prayers, what it is that you chiefly intend: and if it be any temporall or worldly benefit which you desire to obtain, be sure you demand it not absolutely, but only conditionally, as thus: If it please the divin Majesty, and that it is for my good and his glory: I humbly beg a happy end of such a Law-sute: success in such a journey, prosperity in such an undertaking, &c.

5. Then taking your Bedes in hand, or having this your Book open before you: begin your Rosary with the sign of the Cross: saying,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Amen.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

more liberal blockheadedness, this time from +san diego

Read this letter from the Bishop of San Diego to his diocese. I read it and weird emotions well up inside of me. Anger? Not really. Frustration? In part. Its more, I suppose, just bewilderment. How can someone think like this? It really is the most incredible kind of refusal to understand. Here is what I would say to people like that...

I mean, fine, sir, dont' agree with us. But why keep insisting that we believe and preach the same things you do? (I want to hollar) LISTEN TO ME! We don't! It is time to stop pretending. Your religion, right reverend sir, this "new and holy thing in our midst," as you call it, belies many of the central assumptions of ours. No one thinks "they sky is falling," as you put it. But it simply makes no sense for us to continue to be chains around each other's necks. Our faith and yours are different faiths. Why should we continue to live as though they were the same? We will impede the proclamation of your new faith, and you impede the proclamation of our old one. So let us go! We're not trying to stop you carrying on with this "new thing" - if it is of God, if it truly is "holy," as you say, then it will be blessed -- and good luck to you (who are we to prevent it?). But in the meantime, we just can't be a part of it. Our consciences will not allow it. Quit insisting that we can. Quit insisting that your "new thing" is no big deal. You are not speaking for us when you say it is so. It is a big deal to us. Quit insisting that everything is alright as far as we are concerned. We are here to tell you definitively: IT IS NOT. We are very sorry for the inconvenience, but we just can't go with you. We don't believe what you believe. LET US GO.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

latin mass narrated by +fulton sheen

This is pretty terrific. Fr. Cantrell posted it first. Its Roman, obviously, but the narration and explanations of the ritual are largely applicable to the mass in general, inasmuch as much of the eucharistic ritual elements are common to various rites.

Friday, September 08, 2006

what do i fear?


Invariably when congregations depart, they seek affiliation with other Anglican jurisdictions. “Departure to the Global South by these congregations will have the dual effect of deepening the incoherence of Anglicanism in the United States and weakening, perhaps fatally, the Network dioceses,” the [Network] bishops concluded.

Read the whole thing here.

This is what I had expected would happen, though in the heady days and weeks after General Convention, it seemed, and I was hopeful that, there was a coherence emerging among the orthodox, that they were being galvanized by a common purpose.

Alas, perhaps I hoped too soon. It looks less likely now that the orthodox (most coherently expressed in the Network) will hold together. And why? Because all these congregations keep "opting out" not only out of ECUSA, but out of their own relatively like-minded dioceses. This state of affairs is very frustrating to watch. For one thing, it belies the possibility of a Catholic / Evangelical alliance, and therefore severely undermines the Network.

I think these churches that are opting out of comparatively solid (Network) dicoceses are tinged with Donatism. They seem to be after an ecclesial, or a doctrinal "purity" that they just won't find this side of paradise. The Catholic Church has always been a little sloppy, because humanity is pretty sloppy, and the Anglican expression of the One Church is no different. But orthodox parishes, I believe, have an obligation to their fellows who are trying to maintain fidelity to Anglican Apostolicity with as much ecclesial integrity and coherence as possible. These opt-out parishes are doing a huge disservice to orthodox Anglicanism in North America. I am afraid they are going to kill it -- that we will wind up with a bunch of independent congregations, in a kaleidoscope of jurisdictions, justified by an appeal to nothing but personal (or parochial or congregational) preference, and allied by little other than the self-description "Anglican." If that.

By the Coming of the Holy Ghost, Good Lord, deliver us.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

the rhetoric

Here is an article that says something annoying. Actually, it says a number of annoying things. The one I am thinking of is the facile use of the term "reconciliation" pioneerd by ++Griswold. Ugh. The quote I am thinking of:

"The Lambeth Conference in 2008, rather than being a vehicle for reconciliation, is much more likely to be the catalyst for formalizing this division."

What can this mean? "Reconciliation" can only be understood here as meaning that the proponents of homosexual practice get to continue doing what they are doing while continuing to call themselves "Anglican" in the same sense as those Anglicans who maintain fidelity to the Apostolic teaching. In what sense is this "reconciliation"? Reconciled to what? To whom? How reconciled?

This article also embraces another of my pet peeves: it says that the issue for conservatives is clerics (and others) who are "openly" homosexual. That's not the problem. Who cares about "open" homosexuality? The problem is action. Not openness.

Monday, September 04, 2006


(The point of this post is this).

As some of you know, during the Fall of 2001, I stayed for a month with a community of Benedictines in Italy. Their monastery is in Norcia -- anciently "Nursia," the birthplace of St. Benedict himself, and his sister Scholastica -- in Umbria. The monastery's basilica church is built on the Roman period house where the holy twins were born.

Its a terrific place and its story is very interesting: monastic life was re-established at Norcia in late 2000, after having been absent since 1810, when Napoleon evicted a community of Celestines. The vision of Fr. Casian, the current prior, who had been living in Rome with a very small community of monks, was for the proclamation of the gospel consonant with the call of Vatican II (real Vatican II, not the siprit thereof) for a return to roots. Thus after times, a time, and half a time, religious life returned to Norcia: Benedictinism pure and simple: the full, sung, Latin office, daily mass, all charged with a spirit of apostilicity, hospitality, and honest evangelism, in the truest sense. This place is a real icon of the civitas dei: their walls are called salvation, and all their portals, praise.

And so it is. The community has tripled in size in the last five or six years, and also happens at the moment to be 100% American.

But the point of this post is that they have a new website! And its pretty impressive. Visit it. And donate money to them, if you can afford it. They will put it to good use. I promise. And its easy: they've got a little paypal link in the "giving" section of the website. Seriously: give them a little money, whatever you can afford. And tell your friends. Its a very worthy cause.

a musical interlude

And now, prompted by this afternoon's trip to Tower Records, we move on to the (perhaps less interesting) question of: what is on Father WB's ipod? And before you get all indignant and start clamoring about how ipods aren't anglo-catholic, take a moment to reflect on the fact that the Queen owns one, as does the Pope -- which to my mind makes them both anglo and catholic, and therefore pretty definitively anglo-catholic.

To the point: Q: what's on my ipod right now? A: Several things you should consider putting on yours.

Bob Dylan's new album, Modern Times

Many people don't like "new Dylan." I'm not one of them. The band he's playing with these days is pretty tight (not in the Earnest Hemingway sense), as tight as any he's ever played with (including THE Band), and this album is God-haunted and good. The first track, Thunder on the Mountain, is particularly terrific.

M Ward's new album, Post War

M Ward makes music that all sounds the same: good. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. He hasn't fixed it; and I recommend this album just as much as I recommend his others. M Ward sounds to me kind of like Chuck Berry after the death of a lover. The second track, To Go Home, strikes me particularly: "God its great to be alive / takes the skin right off my hide / to think I'll have to give it all up some day." Trite + several layers of the ironical = profound.

Bonnie "Prince" Billy's newish live album, Summer in the Southeast

I've blogged before about how I think Bonnie Billy is most comparable to John Donne. I stand by that. And, like Bob Dylan, he is both genuinely poetical and genuinely God-haunted. The questions he raises are worth considering. E.g. "Why can't I be loved for what I am: a wolf among wolves, and not as a man among men?" And after you consider such questions, you should give your life to Jesus (as should the Bonnie "Prince" -- but I don't think he reads my blog, and I don't know his email address). This one might be for fans only.

Next we have Steve Earle's bluegrass classic, The Mountain

It truly is a classic. I bought this album when it first came out, in 1999, but it was stolen out of my car in New Haven, along with most of the rest of my cd's, before I had gotten around to MP3-ifying it. So I bought another copy of it today. Highlights include the whole album. But some highlights hilightorum (as it were) are Dixieland (though Earle seems to be rooting for the wrong team), Harlan Man, and Carrie Brown (which also happens to have been my great-grandmother's name).

And continuing the country classics theme, lastly we have the recently released Gram Parsons The Complete Reprise Sessions

It comes with a half-interesting booklet, some radio interviews, an extra cd's worth of alternative versions of songs, and such like nuggets. But the meat of the thing is the meat of Parsons' musical career in general: his two solo albums, GP and Grievous Angel. And on a personal note, before dropping out of Harvard, Parsons had been in some kind of a cappella group with my uncle at the Bolles School.