Random Conjectures

"Act locally; bitch globally."

Month: January, 2016

A public service announcement: Carnivale or Meatfare Sunday

Those three or four people who actually read this silly weblog of mine will perhaps by now have noticed that I am an Eastern Catholic. And thus, from time to time, I may happen to relate our quaint and curious customs. This is one of those times.  Read the rest of this entry »


Alas, right now, Blake’s London is not very far away from San Pedro.

I wander thro’ each charter’d street,

Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.

And mark in every face I meet

Marks of weakness, marks of woe.


In every cry of every Man,

In every Infants cry of fear,

In every voice: in every ban,

The mind-forg’d manacles I hear



How the Chimney-sweepers cry

Every blackning Church appalls,

And the hapless Soldiers sigh

Runs in blood down Palace walls


But most thro’ midnight streets I hear

How the youthful Harlots curse

Blasts the new-born Infants tear

And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse

The Sacrifice of Cain

Well, gentle readers, I have completed my series of essays entitled, The Blood is the Life. The thesis of that essay was that the crisis of the Roman Catholic Church can basically be described as an immune deficiency syndrome in the Body of Christ; that the clergy serve the functions of the circulatory system, the blood, and the immune system of that Body; that those functions are impeded in the clergy because of their poor education, and their several disobediences to and ignorances of Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium; and that the present crisis will continue until both laity and clergy disabuse themselves of that ignorance.

That said, a few words to Traditionalists and Modernists may be in order. Read the rest of this entry »

Remedial Education, Year 1, Week 1

As threatened, er, promised, a review of the week’s work: Read the rest of this entry »

Is this really such a good idea?

No, not the Mystical or Last Supper. That, clearly, is one of the best of all possible Ideas which have been given us by the Mind of Christ. Great and Holy Thursday, or as some of you Westerners put it, Maundy Thursday, is the birthday of the Divine Liturgy, which comes before that Feast of Feasts, Pascha; it comes before Bright Monday, the day after Pascha, which is the birthday of the consecration of the Apostles (see John, Chapter 22); and it comes before Pentecost, which is the birthday of the Church.

No, what I am referring to is the recent decision by His Eminence, Robert Cardinal Sarah, of the Congregation of Divine Rites, reflecting a decision made by His Holiness, Pope Francis, to make a change in the liturgical practice of the Roman Catholic Church: that in those churches where the ancient and Dominical practice of the Washing of the Feet is enacted, the twelve people whose feet are to be washed by the High Priest (be he Bishop or Priest), are not to be “twelve men” as was formerly the case, but instead that “Such a group may consist of men and women, and as is convenient,  young and old, healthy and sick, clergy, religious, or laity.” Read the rest of this entry »

Remedial Education: First Year Curriculum

As mentioned elsewhere, I have decided to undertake a self-tuition for the next ten years, in which the first three years will involve a mastery of the Trivium of Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric, and the fundamentals of an updated Quadrivium of Music, Mathematics, Physics, and Visual studies.

As this decision took the form of a New Year’s Resolution, and as we know that most such resolutions go the way of all flash (pun intended), and as I have tried this before, alas, I have decided to articulate a first year curriculum. I also intend on committing myself to weekly progress reports, indicating what I have done in the previous week. I will not be posting these on Facebook, but they should be available to anyone who follows my weblog. Read the rest of this entry »

A public service announcement

There has been quite a lot of rot being talked about the recent death of a rock star. Some trad and con professional religious types (mostly Catholic) have been uttering most of that rot, to the effect that said rock star should not get eulogies, as the rock star in question was a Nasty Person.

This is to remind those professional Christian types that eulogies are only forbidden at RC funeral services. Those mourning outside of those occasions can say or write any damned thing they want.

And, so soon after the Eastern Catholic Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, this is to remind any latter day Pharisees that a truly traditional Roman response to the death of someone would be to say, de mortuis, nil nisi bonum. If you want to be a truly trad RC, why not try starting with that? One might even want to review the Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee, just to see if the shoe might possibly fit.

And this is to remind the rest of us that from all accounts, Mr. Bowie would at this point be better served by our prayers, than by our praises, or our scorns.

Food Experiment #1: Pork Stir Fry


–Two cups sliced onions (one brown, one white)

–Two cups sliced bok choi (aka Napa cabbage)

–One cup sliced mushrooms (alas, white) Read the rest of this entry »

Some healing…

As I have perhaps remarked once or twice, last year was rather tough for quite some time. I’ve been trying to get over it, either by self medication, or by prayer. Until quite recently, though, little seemed to work.

But on the night before last, I had a dream. It started out in the usual way: me driving in a car, my mother’s SUV. Then, suddenly, while I was stopped at a corner, my late wife Beth opened the door and got in. She was more beautiful than I had ever seen before, even in life. I was more filled with joy than on the day of our wedding. I got out of the car and held her, for the first time since her death. Read the rest of this entry »

The Blood is the Life, Part VII (A Modest Proposal)

Well, gentle readers, it is now time to wrap up this little series of essays on the crisis of the Roman Catholic Church. As I have remarked in Parts I-V, I have diagnosed that that crisis is a direct result of the failure of Roman Catholic bishops to exercise their unique charism as teachers, and to teach candidates to the diaconate, the presbyterate, and the episcopate a humanistic, scientific, philosophical and theological education in accordance with the Vatican II document, Optatam Totius.

And the cure to that same crisis (as I mentioned in Part VI) is for those bishops to get up off of their dead, er, cathedras, to teach themselves that above-mentioned tuition, and to begin the task of a remedial education for their clergy and their people.

Of course, knowing what we do of most RC bishops these days, the probabilities of that are obese. In short: fat chance. And for much the same reason, the chances of modern academic seminaries accomplishing that task are equally as fat.

In an ideal world, my modest proposal would be this.  Read the rest of this entry »