Tuesday, February 24, 2009

One final post for the day!  Angelo Scola went right to one of the central themes and missions of this blog in a recent essay in defense of Christians speaking out and applying their principles in the public square.  I've made green one line that especially highlights one of my priorities in the caption below: 

It seems to me that people often lose sight of the heart of the matter: every faith must always be subjected to a public cultural interpretation. It is an inevitable fact. On the one hand, this is because, as John Paul II wrote, "a faith that did not become cultural would not be fully welcomed, not entirely thought out, not faithfully lived." On the other, since the faith – Jewish and Christian – is the result of God's compromise with history, it inevitably has to do with the concreteness of life and death, of love and pain, of work and rest, and of civic action. For this reason, it is inevitably the object of different cultural interpretations, which can be in conflict with each other. 

In this phase of "post-secularism," there are two cultural interpretations of Christianity in particular that are at odds with each other. Both seem reductive to me. 

The first is the one that treats Christianity as a civil religion, as mere ethical cement, capable of acting as a social adhesive for our democracy and for the European democracies in grave distress. If such a position is plausible in those who do not believe, its structural insufficiency should be evident to those who do believe. 

The other, more subtle interpretation is the one that tends to reduce Christianity to the proclamation of the pure, unadorned Cross, for the salvation of "everyone else.

Moloch has not died-An Escondido Priest's well-said letter


broken family, liturgically speaking

I think it's fair to say that, liturgically speaking, I'm the product of a broken family.  I was raised with the Novus Ordo, but have come to recognize it's failings.  I attend the Tridentine Rite somewhat routinely, and my appreciation for this liturgical heritage goes beyond a mere fondness.  It's very confusing for someone like myself no know of nothing but the new order and to suddenly discover the greater depth, mystery, symbolism, and reverence of Tridentine ways all of a sudden.  It's like a parent you never met is suddenly introduced to you, I'm supposing.  It's all the more frustrating to think that, perhaps, the parent you did know, the one that raised you, was not being fully truthful, fully revealing.  Controversies over translation of lines like Pro Multis, for all or many did Christ shed his blood?  That controversies that have stemmed from Vatican II's abuses, which I was wholly ignorant of for most of my life, are the parental equivalent of a divorced family with one parent hiding the other's existent, with no mention of their part in our shared past.  

Archbishop Ranjith  has been put to work on the task of restoration and reconciliation.  Catholic Culture (a link is permanently posted toward the bottom of this blog) recently posted the following in an article:      

The writings of Cardinal Antonelli, Archbishop Ranjith says, help the reader "to understand the complex inner workings of the liturgical reform prior to and immediately following the Council." The Vatican official concludes that implementation of the Council's suggested reforms often veered away from the actual intent of the Council fathers. As a result, Archbishop Ranjith concludes, the liturgy today is not a true realization of the vision put forward in the key liturgical document of Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium (doc).

Specifically, Archbishop Ranjith writes:

Some practices which Sacrosanctum Concilium had never even contemplated were allowed into the Liturgy, like Mass versus populum, Holy Communion in the hand, altogether giving up on the Latin and Gregorian Chant in favor of the vernacular and songs and hymns without much space for God, and extension beyond any reasonable limits of the faculty to concelebrate at Holy Mass. There was also the gross misinterpretation of the principle of "active participation."

To conclude this post, I'll borrow/paraphrase from G.K. Chesterton: The man that makes the  most progress is not the one who continues to just plod along...it is the one who realizes he took the wrong fork  in the road and is first to turn back correct himself.  

Oh, Bama's Department of Justice

Family Research Council, FRC, recently sent out messages about David Ogden, a defense lawyer nominated to be second in command at the department of justice, DoJ.  Apparently Ogden has a background working with the ACLU (an institution that once "kicked" me out of their DC HQ because I wore an Ashcroft pin and stood in the corner at their anti-Ashcroft press conference) in defending people being prosecuted for crimes involving pornographic images of children.  

I Quote FRC's message:

In the brief he filed for the ACLU, Ogden said the videos were not child pornography at all.  He argued that the children’s genitals were not clearly visible and that the videos should therefore be treated as just another art form with full protection by the First Amendment.  Even more outrageous was Ogden’s claim that if the Nather tapes were child porn, then librarians everywhere would fear prosecution!  Libraries had images of clothed minors, he argued, any of which could be subject to prosecution limited only by a subjective test of lasciviousness.  

This argument was clearly absurd, and thankfully the court concluded it was also legally wrong.  On June 9, 1994, the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment against Stephen Knox for violation of federal child pornography law.

President Obama has nominated David Ogden to a high-level position in his sub-cabinet -- not a position in agriculture or defense but
the number two position at the Department of Justice, the Department charged with prosecuting adult and child pornography violations.  The porn industry is so excited by the prospect of having one of their allies in this key position that they have not been able to contain themselves.  XBiz, a leading “adult” newswire, called Ogden a “strong pick,” and porn attorney Colin Hardacre of Los Angeles said Ogden’s nomination is “a good sign for the adult industry.”

Oh, my!  Oh, Bama!