Random Conjectures

"Act locally; bitch globally."

Category: Theology

The Blood is the Life: An essay regarding a diagnosis of the ills currently plaguing the Roman Catholic Church

 

Many of us have noted that not all is well with the Roman Catholic Church. Some are rejoicing over its supposed schism, heresy, or apostasy. Others of us sorrow over its sickness, as one would the illness of one’s mother. We wish there were some way it could be cured. Still others sorrow, but conclude that there is no cure: the only thing left now is to abandon ship, leave the impending shipwreck, and seek refuge in a Church which still lives, wherever that might be found.

Since I for my part believe that the Church of my youth both can and should be cured, I offer the following meditation. I would ask that those who read it consider what I have to say, accept it to the extent that it is true, and correct it where it is false. Read the rest of this entry »

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A (proposed) Open Letter regarding the Restoration of the Sarum Rite

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Those of my seven or eight readers who actually go down below the most recent entry of my poor weblog will note that I have written somewhat about the Sarum Rite, and of its possible restoration in the Roman Catholic Church. Please allow me to tell you why I’ve not been writing much about it, until recently. Read the rest of this entry »

The Impressive Clergyman

I’m sure that most of my seven or eight readers will remember that most impressive scene within that classic motion picture, The Princess Bride, when Prince Humperdinck is about to enact his, er, ‘arranged’ marriage with Princess Buttercup. The court chapel is richly arrayed with tapestries and flowers. The Bride, groom, wedding party, and wedding guests are richly dressed. The altar is gorgeously arrayed. The Impressive Clergyman, who is even more gorgeously vested, turns from the altar to the people, while the organ plays the final cadence of its beautiful music. The Impressive Clergyman silently gestures for the congregation to rise.

And then the Impressive Clergyman opens his mouth. Read the rest of this entry »

An episcopal apology I’d like to hear some day

When I was a child at a Roman Catholic grade school in Southern California, long ago, the practice of the nuns who taught there was to have the students of in each class room line up in their own line at the end of each recess. One morning, the kids in my class room, while in their line, were being particularly loud and unruly, so much so that they delayed the whole school from going in to their respective classrooms by at least ten minutes.

My teacher, a particularly tall and stout Carmelite nun, came up to me, and said, “I want you to apologize to the whole school for the behavior of our class.” I quietly protested to her, “But I didn’t take part in what they did!” And the nun quietly said to me, “I know that. Nonetheless, I would like you to apologize on behalf of your class. Could you do that for me?” I nodded, and in as loud a voice as I could muster, I apologized to the school on behalf of my class.

It seems that these days, I have heard tell of a number of bishops who are remonstrating with their unruly and disorderly flocks. I have remarked here and there about such bishops. I’m afraid that I have not been very charitable with these bishops, and for that, I apologize myself. Read the rest of this entry »

It is better to light one small stick of dynamite, than to curse the silence.

HACAT_V46

This is a wake up call, for me and for my five or six readers now. I’ve mourned the death of my late wife, Beth, for long enough. I have also mourned the death of all that I have loved in the Church of my youth for long enough.

It is time to wake up to what we must become, rather than who we now are. Read the rest of this entry »

I feel much better, now that I’ve given up hope.

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Well, today is my 63rd birthday. It would be better if my late wife, Beth, were here to enjoy it (or for that matter, my first late wife, Carolyn, but as I often say, ‘If wishes were horses, we’d all be knee deep.’). Bur friends are posting greetings to me on my e-mail and my Facebook page. And Beth appeared to me in another dream last night, and we had a nice talk. One accepts one’s blessings with gratitude and humility, if one is wise. Read the rest of this entry »

How my faith (in the RC Church) became mostly dead

Once again, the e-magazine Patheos has given me food for thought. This time, the feast provided was through an essay there entitled ‘How my faith became mostly dead‘. I must say that I feel for the author of that essay: how his faith in God and His Church have slowly dried nearly to the point of nonexistence. I feel for the writer, because my faith in the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the Kingdom of Heaven are, if anything, stronger than ever. But I have little if any faith that the Roman Catholic Church on Earth, as presently constituted, inheres very much in that Kingdom at present, or is likely to come to inhere in that Kingdom during my lifetime. Read the rest of this entry »

Yet another silly rant…

You know, I REALLY should stop reading Aleteia. Yet again, I have found a well meaning article, by what appears to be a really good young woman by the name of Therese Anthony, which article is entitled “Dear Priests: Please Teach Us”. The essay may be found here, and I would invite my four or five readers to peruse it. Basically, she asks Roman Catholic priests to stop feeding us pabulum, and actually to teach us the Faith.

I was tempted to say that I hardly had the heart to disabuse her of her illusions, but that would not be quite true. Needless to say, I wrote the following comment. It seems that the comments I write to Alethea somehow so far aren’t approved for publication. I was also tempted to say that I really would want to know why they are not, but that would not be quite true either. So, here is my comment, God help me: Read the rest of this entry »

Apocalyptic for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed

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Albrecht Durer, ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

For me, I suppose it started, not with The Late Great Planet Earth, but with an idle comment made by a guest of the late William F. Buckley’s television talk show, Firing Line, back in 1979 or so. Buckley asked his guest, a brilliant and consummately educated Jesuit priest, just what the priest thought of Hal Lindsey’s little potboiler.

The priest paused for a second, and then said, “Let me tell you this story. I was at a great Eucharistic Convention which took place in Philadelphia a few years ago. At that convention there was a European Cardinal who spoke warmly, articulately, and knowledgeably throughout that Convention. At its end, His Eminence said to the vast audience there: ‘It is good that we are here together now, my brothers and sisters in Christ. But it is perhaps good also to consider that these may in fact be the Last Days.’

The priest paused again, and then said, “And the following year, that Cardinal was re-named as Pope John Paul the Second.”  Buckley nodded, was silent for a few seconds, and then changed the subject. I was silent too, for a time. But I kept that memory in my heart.

That memory nagged at me, and a part of me for long afterwards has been putting together an occasional fact here and there ever since. Let me tell you what I found. Read the rest of this entry »

An Open Letter to His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan

11 March 2016

Your Eminence,

Please forgive the intrusion upon both your time and your webpage, but I wish to write in response to the excellent question you posed in your recent entry, which may be found here. That question was: “Where is the Catholic Sandy Koufax?” If I understand aright, you meant by this, ‘Where are those Catholics willing to show devotion to keeping the Sabbath, to worship on that day, and to express their worship by prayer, by fasting, and by almsgiving?”

Although I am an Eastern Catholic, please permit me to offer an answer to that question. In doing so, and with all due respect to Your Eminence, I am exercising both my right and my duty to answer your question under Canon 212, §§ 2 and 3, to make known my spiritual needs, to manifest my opinion on matters which concern the good of the Church, and to make that opinion known to the rest of Christ’s faithful. Read the rest of this entry »