Joke – I can’t resist

Sitting on the side of the highway waiting to catch speeding drivers, a State Police Officer sees a car puttering along at 22 MPH. He thinks to himself, “This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!” So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over.
Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old ladies — two in the front seat and three in the back – eyes wide and white as ghosts.
The driver, obviously confused, says to him, “Officer, I don’t understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! What seems to be the problem?”
“Ma’am,” the officer replies, “You weren’t speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers.”
“Slower than the speed limit?” she asked. No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly… Twenty-Two miles an hour!” the old woman says a bit proudly. The State Police officer, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that “22” was the route number, not the speed limit. A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out her error.
“But before I let you go, Ma’am, I have to ask… Is everyone in this car ok? These women seem awfully shaken and they haven’t muttered a single peep this whole time.” the officer asks.
“Oh, they’ll be alright in a minute officer. We just got off Route 119.”

Anglican Orders

Pope Leo XIII’s Apostolicae Curae (On the Nullity of Anglican Orders) Promulgated September 18, 1896.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York respond: Saepius Officio
Answer of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Bull Apostolicae Curae of H. H. Leo XIII on English Ordinations.
I re-read Saepius Officio this morning. Ah, yes, I am confident in my priestly ordination. Foolishly so, perhaps, but confident none-the-less. We tend to cast out each other all the time. Too bad for us.

Not bad for melodrama

Here is an interesting article from the National Catholic Reporter.
What do you think? How does this relate to what may be happening within the Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church?
Not bad for melodrama
A year ago we lamented in this space the disappearance of the U.S. Catholic bishops. Well, we meant that in a metaphorical sense. They hadn’t actually disappeared; they had just become far less visible on the national scene than in an earlier era.
Here’s how we put it: “We are watching the disintegration of a once-great national church, the largest denomination in the United States, into regional groupings bent on avoiding the spotlight and the big issues.”
We noted that there was war and starvation everywhere; fresh clergy sex abuse reports out of Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Spokane, Wash., to name a few; 20 percent of U.S. parishes without a pastor; a Congress poised to reduce health care coverage and food stamps; the United States accused of torture and keeping combatants in secret prisons; and so on. And the bishops had nothing to say. They would talk only to each other about internal church matters.
We are compelled, then, to report that the bishops have not entirely disappeared. For they gathered again, in Baltimore this year, and, continuing their trip inward, issued documents on such burning issues as birth control, ministry to persons with “a homosexual inclination,” and how to prepare to receive Communion. Now, none of these matters is unimportant. Don’t get the wrong impression. We’ve had documents aplenty about all of them before. And these topics — unlike the war in Iraq, say, or what it means to have a president and vice president endorsing torture — are even covered in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Continue reading

Over and over again

I keep listening to this over and over again. I just cannot get past how incredibly beautiful and haunting is:
Praise the Lord O My My Soul (Greek Chant)
Vespers (All-Night Vigil), for alto, tenor & chorus, Op. 37
Composed by Sergey Rachmaninov
Sung by the USSR Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir with Irina Arkhipova
Unbelievable, particularly Irina Arkhipova and those who sing the Basso Profondo part!

iPod Shuffle – 4:20 pm

Here is what the mighty iPod gave up to me this later Tuesday afternoon – and yes, it is almost dark outside. Blah.
1. Jon Brian, Magnolia, from the ‘Magnolia’ soundtrack
2. The Russian State Symphony – Rachmaninoff, Hymn of Praise, from ‘Sacred Treasures’
3. Sarah Brightman, Scarborough Fair, from ‘La Luna’
4. Joi, Asian Vibes, from ‘One and One is One’
5. ‘Till Tuesday, What About Love, from ‘Welcome Home’ (brings back memories of sitting in my drawing and graphic design classes doin’ work and listenin’ to tunes)
6. Sarah McLachlan, Mary, from ‘Fumbling Towards Ex…’
7. Benedictine Monks, Anon: Santus Dominus Deus Sabaoth,
8. Berlin, Take My Breath Away, from ‘Top Gun’ soundtrack
9. Aimee Mann, Beautiful, from ‘The Forgotten Arm’
10. Moby, Bring Back My Happiness, from ‘Everything Is Wrong’
11. Skott Freedman, I’d Like to Think I Would, from ‘Some Company’ (simply a beautiful song!)
Fr. Jim Tucker of Dappled Things:
The rules, for bloggers who want to play:

Get your ipod or media-player of choice, select your whole music collection, set the thing to shuffle (i.e., randomized playback), then post the first ten songs that come out. No cheating, no matter how stupid it makes you feel!

Anglican Uniatism

I just finished reading a rather longish paper (41 pages) given by Fr. Aidan Nichols, OP, for the Anglican Use Conference in 2005. It is an interesting paper tracing the developments of the Catholic expression within Anglicanism. He ends up talking about the hope of reunification of the Western Churches, particularly Rome and Canterbury.
He writes of the possibility of something like an Anglican Uniate Church where those Catholic elements remaining within Anglicanism come under papal authority but are given rights to their own liturgical traditions and some sort of self-governance.
The “Anglican Use” Roman Rites are for those Episcopalians who could not countenance the ordination of women to the priesthood, who wanted to swim the Tabor, but keep the various English traditions. The Book of Divine Worship is the result – merging strains of the Roman Rite, Sarum, and various Anglican traditions. It is an interesting book. I have a copy.
Anyway, here is the paper. I thought it was interesting reading.

Oh so trendy

I was looking through a service bulletin of a memorial liturgy that my host helped with the other day. On the inside cover was some info on the church and a bit of information on communion.
The communion bit started out, “It is the practice of The Episcopal Church that all people are welcome to come to communion…”
No, it isn’t. When my host mentioned this to the rector – that the Canons had not changed, the Prayer Book has not changed – the rector simply said something like, “well, most everyone is doing it anyway and besides, 70% of the bishops approve it.” At which point, my host asked, “Oh really, during what General Convention was it voted on and changed?” Of course, the rector had no response because the official teaching of the Church has not changed. I really doubt that 70% of the bishops approve of such a thing. I know that our liturgics professor at General, who is young, smart, and up-and-coming, certainly does not agree with it.
As much as “liberals” (that isn’t the right designation, because so many of this group are not really liberals, but are ecclesiastical anarchists – or, perhaps, closeted Congregationalists), as much as this group of people want to complain about the “conservatives” (see above, but plug in the word “conservative” for “liberal”) and their violation of their ordination vows and the Canons of this Church by calling on foreign bishops to “save them” from the evil of The Episcopal Church, they themselves (the pseudo-liberals) are perhaps even worse offenders of violating the Canons, the Prayer Book, and “doing their own thing.”
For the good ordering of the Church, the founders of this Church (who also happened to be the founders of our American form of government), created checks and balances so that what was decided in Convention for the entire Church was thoroughly vetted and well thought through. It is an amalgam of Episcopal and democratic governance that includes the clerical orders and the laity in all decision-making. It is a good thing.
So, now, throughout this Church on both sides of the great divide, we have these groups of people doing whatever they want to do, whatever feels good or right to them, and to hell with the Canons and the Book of Common Prayer. It is anarchy, and chaos is running rampant. This house will not stand.
There are ways to change the Canons and practices of this Church, so go through them. If the outcomes are not what our group likes, whether we call ourselves liberal/progressive or conservative/evangelical, or the great middle, too bad. We then have to decide whether we will be a loyal opposition or whether we will be rebellious adolescents at best and anarchists at worst. This doesn’t give any of us the right to violate vows or Canons. If it becomes too much for us to bear, then we respectfully and quietly resign our orders in this Church and seek out like-minded jurisdictions – perhaps Rome, perhaps Constantinople, perhaps Geneva, perhaps Springfield, MO, or perhaps Salt Lake City. Isn’t this what our new Presiding Bishop has suggested to Bishop Schofield of San Joaquin, and if it is true and good for him then it is true and good for this rector and all those who insist that they know better than the councils of this Church and are “doing their own thing.”
Yes, there is a time for the loyal opposition to engage in a bit of ecclesiastical disobedience, but order must be maintained and those who violate their ordination vows and the Canons must be ready to accept the consequences of their decisions and actions.
I certainly respect those to who believe we should open communion to all people. The disciples weren’t baptized in the name of the Trinity when Jesus instituted the first communion, after all. According to Scripture, there was still a lot they did not understand about what Jesus was truly doing or who he truly was. Yet, they all did decide to give up everything and follow him (with one notable exception). There can be good theological debate on this issue, but we need to have that debate and bring the suggested changes before the General Convention to decide. Otherwise, we cease being Catholic, we cease being Episcopalian, we cease being a Church that functions in deliberation, wisdom, and good order. We become like the tradition I came out of (American Evangelical/Pentecostal/Charismatic) in which the newest trend rushes through every couple of years.