Saturday, August 27, 2016

"The Language of Love in Qur'ān and Gospel"

Gordon Nickel, "The Language of Love in Qur'ān and Gospel" (Academia) - thorough, scholarly, helpful:
"This study [demonstrates] that there are indeed significant differences between the materials on love in the Qur'ān and Gospel, both in language and theology. It is not simply a matter of different meanings being expressed by the scriptural terminology of love in New Testament Greek and Qur'ānic Arabic. Rather, the difference extends to the characterization of relationships which are envisioned to exist among God and people."
[Hat tip to E.E.]

"What It's Like to Chestfeed" ~ the problems of the transgendered

Rod Dreher, "Problems That The Other America Has" (American Conservative, August 24, 2016):
... I am not interested in understanding the bodies or experiences of women who think they’re men who are bitching because nobody understands what it’s like to want to suckle your child at the breast you had cut off.

What I am interested in is trying to get inside the head of a coastal elite media that is obsessed with decadent crap like this. I think we can safely say that the people in J.D. Vance’s book aren’t readers of The Atlantic.com (one of my favorite websites, by the way), nor are most people in my part of the world who are out there mucking houses, feeding flood victims and doing their laundry. I get that. No magazine or web publication can be all things to all people all the time, nor should it try to be.

[I]f you read The Atlantic, The New York Times, and other publications edited by coastal elites, you would think that the travails of transgenders was the worst social problem facing America today. The bizarre degree of coverage and interest says little about transgenders and everything about the priorities of the media gatekeepers.

... I submit to you that most people in the elite media are far more concerned about the difficulties of a breastfeeding transman than they are with the struggles of a single mom in Appalachia trying to keep her kids from falling into opioid addiction, or the flood victims from Livingston Parish who tear up when you give them a package of toilet paper (this really happened), because they have nothing, not even that. I believe that our colleges are turning out graduates who are trained in the obsessions of the professoriat, such that they cannot even see their own country anymore.

As I keep saying, I am not for Donald Trump, and think he does not have what it takes to be president. And I’m certainly not for Hillary Clinton, who is the epitome of what’s wrong with our Establishment. But this kind of thing — showcasing the woes of the chestfeeding freakshow — is what makes me glad that the Trump people are throwing a brick through the Establishment’s window. Elites in Washington, New York, Boston, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood spend more time worrying about whether or not a transman can get his (“his”) baby to suckle at his absent breast, and society’s shameful indifference to that, than they do worrying about most any struggle in the daily lives of poor dumb rednecks and coonasses in Jesus Land.
Wow!

[Hat tip to JM]

Florence Foster Jenkins (movie)

Guy Noir contacted me with some remarks about this article by Megan Basham, "Florence Foster Jenkins" (World, September 3, 2016). Noir remarked:
I have not seen the movie, "FFJ."

I still can not bring myself to risk any Meryl Streep project after sitting through the effrontery that was "Mamma Mia!", and deciding she might be as self-indulgent as Streisand.

But even if this new movie is somehow affecting, as one singer-friend told me it is, this review offers a window into the modern (post-modern, or whatever you want to call it) mindset. "They're happy, so what's the conundrum." That in a nutshell is the worldview that pervades the culture in which we find ourselves.
Granted, "Mamma Mia!" was pretty appalling, despite what the greying Woodstock generation regards as good nostalgic music. Yet Streep is a terrific actress, nonetheless; just as Hugh Grant may be, to whom (in his earlier career) my own reaction is as viscerally negative as Noir's is to Streep here.

The Basham article in World magazine says that this historical 'dramedy' offers an inescapable sense of sadness. Indeed.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The New Ben Hur Falls Short of the Original Classic


So says Monica Migliorino Miller (Crisis, August 26, 2016), and I agree.

Despite impressive special effects in the naval battle scene and the chariot race, the most important part of the original narrative, the supernatural Christian faith that gives meaning to the whole in the original novel, is denatured in the movie, flattening out the vertical dimension of repentance and rebirth into horizontal banalities about overcoming hate and restoring ruptured human relationships.

But read Dr. Miller's account for a superlative analysis.

[Hat tip to Dr. Echeverria who treated me to a 3-D screening of Ben Hur last Saturday]

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Attention Catholic teachers and home schoolers: announcing new ancient history textbook


The eminently capable Phillip Campbell, who teaches history at St. Augustine's in Ann Arbor, with its highly-regarded classical curriculim, has just published the first volume in a series of 5th-7th grade-level history textbooks (publisher: TAN Books). The First volume is entitled The Ancient World: The Story of Civilization. Available with the textbook is a Test Book, Teacher's Manual, Activity Book, Timeline, Drama CDs, and Streaming Lecture Series.

If anyone is looking for a 5th-7th grade-level ancient history text written from a faithful and richly-informed Catholic perspective, look no further. This is what you want.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Superlatively thorough analysis of Laudato Si


This [also available here] is an analysis of Laudato Si, the Pope's "environmental encyclical," by 'Boniface', the moniker by which the author of Unam Sanctam Catholicsm is known. It is the most thoroughgoing analysis of Laudato Si that I have seen with penetrating evaluations and criticisms of those parts of the work that are bound to confuse and possibly mislead the faithful, yet not without appreciation for all that is positive.

This is one of those treatments that reminded me of how simply reading an ecclesiastical document, such as an Apostolic Exhortation, Encyclical, or Vatican II document, doesn't necessarily mean one has understood it. It takes a great deal of insight and background to analyze ecclesiastical documents; and reading this analysis, I thought to myself: I didn't realize half of what was in there. Good heavens! This is illuminating.

For example, the author points out how most conservative commentators objected to Pope Francis's critiques of western-style capitalism, whereas ironically he found these parts far from problematic: "they are," he writes, "some of its strongest parts."

By contrast, the parts that the author does find problematic may surprise some, especially in terms of the detailed analysis.

I wish I had time to do a justice to this analysis of Laudato Si that even approached something comparable to that which the author does to the Holy Father's work. Alas, the tyrannical business of the beginning of a semester prevents me.

But check out the work for yourself. It's an eBook and can be purchased here or here. It's entitled: Laudato Si: The 40 Concerns of an Exhausted Layman.

Cardinal Burke: Holy Father will need to offer clarification


David Gibson, "Cardinal Burke insists he is serving Francis, not opposing him" (RNS, August 22, 2016):
“We can’t understand this document to be magisterium in the way other documents have been because Pope Francis simply has a different approach to the papacy,” the cardinal said. “In his documents he mixes his own thoughts and approaches, which are personal, with questions of doctrine.”

Burke says he knows some disagree with him, but he said that he and “many serious-minded people” in the church hierarchy are calling for Francis to issue a follow-up document.

“I trust that something will have to happen also because some very formal calls for clarification are in process and they simply will demand a response,” Burke said, “not in any kind of hostile or aggressive way, but simply for the sake of souls because people are getting confused.”
Read more >>

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tridentine Community News - Rail Car Chapels; Juventútem Michigan Leaders to Wed; TLM Mass schedule


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (August 21, 2016):
August 21, 2016 – Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Rail Car Chapels Private rail cars have long been the province of politicians and the wealthy, but did you know that some have been outfitted to serve as Catholic chapels, hosting the Tridentine Mass? The Catholic Extension Society built at least three such cars. The St. Anthony Chapel Car is an early example, dating from 1908 and made out of wood.



A later example from the Extension Society is the St. Paul Chapel Car, made out of steel. The below diagram indicates that it contained a Communion Rail, organ, and behind the altar, priests’ living quarters. Even in regions such as Europe where rail travel is still a principal mode of long-distance transportation, it’s difficult to imagine that such a conveyance would be built today. Despite the cramped surroundings, it was still possible to hold an organ-accompanied High Mass in a dignified architectural setting. What a testament to the faith of the Catholics of that era.



Juventútem Michigan Leaders to Wed

Juventútem Michigan board members Michelle Harrison and Paul Schultz will marry each other at St. Thomas the Apostle, Ann Arbor, at 2:30 PM on Sunday, September 4. Everyone is invited to attend this Mass and to pray for their happy marriage. Fr. Zach Mabee will celebrate the Solemn High Mass for the Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost. Wassim Sarweh and singers from Windsor’s St. Benedict Choir will assist the Mass with Palestrina’s Missa Papæ Marcélli.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 08/22 7:00 PM: High Mass at Our Lady of the Scapular (Immaculate Heart of Mary) – Wassim Sarweh will provide the music
  • Mon. 08/22 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Immaculate Heart of Mary)
  • Tue. 08/23 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (St. Philip Benizi, Confessor)
  • Sat. 08/27 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (St. Joseph Calasance, Confessor)
  • Sun. 08/28 9:45 AM: Pontifical Missa Cantata at OCLMA/Academy of the Sacred Heart (Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost) – Celebrant: Bishop Donald Hanchon
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for August 21, 2016. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan


Tridentine Masses This Coming Week


Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
  • Wed. 08/24 7:30 AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Bartholomew - 2nd class)
  • Wed. 08/24 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (St. Bartholomew - 2nd class)
  • Wed. 08/24 7:00 PM: Distribution of Holy Communion with lectionary readings of the day at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Bartholomew - 2nd class)
Thursday
  • Thu. 08/25 7:30 AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Louis IX - 3rd class)
  • Thu. 08/25 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (St. Louis IX - 3rd class)
  • Thu. 08/25 7:00 PM: Distribution of Holy Communion with lectionary readings of the day at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Louis IX - 3rd class)
Friday
  • Fri. 08/26 7:30 AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Feria - 4th class, or St. Zephyrinus - 4th class)
  • Fri. 08/26 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at a href="http://www.sspxmichigan.com/#!schedule/c24jx">St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (Feria - 4th class, or St. Zephyrinus - 4th class)
  • Fri. 08/26 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat, Detroit (Feria - 4th class, or St. Zephyrinus - 4th class)
  • Fri. 08/26 7:00 PM: Distribution of Holy Communion with lectionary readings of the day at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Feria - 4th class, or St. Zephyrinus - 4th class)
  • Fri. 08/26 7:00 PM: High Mass (periodically) at St. Joseph's Church, Detroit (Feria - 4th class, or St. Zephyrinus - 4th class)
Saturday Sunday
* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins." These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites. Also please note that St. Joseph's SSPX Chapel in Richmond has moved to Ray Township, at 57575 Romeo Plank Rd., Ray Twp., MI 48096.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

National Catholic Register: "Satan fuels Islamist violence against Christians"

Deacon Nick Donnelly, "Satan Fuels Islamist Violence Against Christians" (National Catholic Register, August 10, 2016)
COMMENTARY: The beheading of Father Jacques Hamel was clearly intended as a deliberate desecration of the Church.


The brutal murder of 86-year-old Father Jacques Hamel by Islamic State terrorists on July 26 is an evil beyond the comprehension of all decent and moral people. The fact that Adel Kermiche and Abdelmalik Petitjean chose to attack a priest celebrating Mass and cut his throat as he knelt at the foot of the altar takes this act into the realm of demonic evil. The archbishop of Rouen told the congregation at Father Hamel’s requiem Mass that his dying words were, “Get away from me Satan.”
Read more >>

Related: Richard Ducayne, "Paris Archbishop calls God of Islam 'God of Death'" (CM World News, August 1, 2016): The French Archbishop, Andre Cardinal Vingt-Trois, has openly called the God of Islam, Allah, the "God of death" and even compared Allah to the pagan god Moloch, who demanded human sacrifice.

Putin vs. Obama: Who Occupies the High Ground?

Michael Matt, "Putin vs. Obama: Who Occupies the High Ground?" (The Remnant, August 20, 2016).


I realize this is anathema to the majority of both right- and left- wing US media. Russia is, in the public mind, the remnant of what Reagan called "the evil empire." Still, I have no idea why the U.S. is positioning its nuclear weapons increasingly closer to Russia and the Ukraine. Yes, I know about the amassing of Russian troops there. But that's hardly unprovoked. I frankly don't know what to think about Putin. I know of his nefarious KGB connections. I also know of his ostensible Christian connections and defense of public virtue. My hunch is that the chief reason he is demonized by the Western media is not because of the skeletons in his closet but because, like Trump, he is not 'owned' by the corporate interests of the international globalist financiers, like George Soros.

Friday, August 19, 2016

When Vatican gender politics has you feelin' weary, just crank up some of these tunes and pour yourself a good Cabernet

In particular, listen to this version of "Delta Dong," by Tanya Tucker with the new lyrics provided by our indefatigable Amateur Brain Surgeon in "Controversy erupts as Vatican considers accepting female to male seminarians [sic]" (Mick Jagger gathers no Mosque, August 15, 2016).

It's enough to make a tear come to your eye, ain't it ...

Michal Sean Winters's Discontent with Abp Chaput's critique of contemporary politics

By Card. R. Trueman. In First Things. Very good.

[Hat tip to JM]

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan


Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Sunday Monday
  • Mon. 08/15 7:30 AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 1st class)
  • Mon. 08/15 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 1st class)
  • Mon. 08/15 12:00 Noon: High Tridentine Mass at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 1st class)
  • Mon. 08/15 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat, Detroit (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 1st class)
  • Mon. 08/15 7:00 PM: Ad ordientem Novus Ordo Mass celebrated by Archbishop Allen Vigneron at Assumption Grotto, Detroit, followed by Eucharistic procession (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 1st class)
  • Mon. 08/15 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph's Church, Detroit (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 1st class)
Tuesday
  • Tue. 08/16 7:00 AM High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin - 2nd class)
  • Tue. 08/16 8:00 AM: Low Mass (call for Confession schedule) at St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (St. Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin - 2nd class)
  • Tue. 08/16 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Canada (St. Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin - 2nd class)
  • Tue. 08/16 7:00 PM: Distribution of Holy Communion with lectionary readings of the day at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin - 2nd class)
Wednesday
  • Wed. 08/17 7:30 AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Hyacinth - 3rd class)
  • Wed. 08/17 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (St. Hyacinth - 3rd class)
  • Wed. 08/17 7:00 PM: Distribution of Holy Communion with lectionary readings of the day at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Hyacinth - 3rd class)
Thursday
  • Thu. 08/18 7:30 AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Feria - 4th class, or St. Agapitus - 4th class)
  • Thu. 08/18 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (Feria - 4th class, or St. Agapitus - 4th class)
  • Thu. 08/18 7:00 PM: Distribution of Holy Communion with lectionary readings of the day at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Feria - 4th class, or St. Agapitus - 4th class)
Friday
  • Fri. 08/19 7:30 AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. John Eudes - 3rd class)
  • Fri. 08/19 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at a href="http://www.sspxmichigan.com/#!schedule/c24jx">St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (St. John Eudes - 3rd class)
  • Fri. 08/19 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat, Detroit (St. John Eudes - 3rd class)
  • Fri. 08/19 7:00 PM: Distribution of Holy Communion with lectionary readings of the day at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. John Eudes - 3rd class)
  • Fri. 08/19 7:00 PM: High Mass (periodically) at St. Joseph's Church, Detroit (St. John Eudes - 3rd class)
Saturday Sunday
* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins." These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites. Also please note that St. Joseph's SSPX Chapel in Richmond has moved to Ray Township, at 57575 Romeo Plank Rd., Ray Twp., MI 48096.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Dreher: "The Problem of Uncertain Trumpets"

Rod Dreher, "The Problem of Uncertain Trumpets" (August 12, 2016):
Maybe you heard that our Catholic vice president, Joe Biden, recent recipient of the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame, presided over the wedding of two of his male staffers recently ...

Not a peep was heard from the Catholic bishops about this [UPDATE: Three peeps were heard, and three cheers for these bishops. — RD] — and this got Protestant theologian Carl Trueman to thinking. Excerpt:
... I have made it clear before that I believe Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option seems to build on the most realistic premise: that we must despair of national politics delivering anything for us and refocus on the local. This, as Dreher has pointed out again and again, will require withdrawal from certain spheres.

But I suggest that it will mean more than simple withdrawal. It will also require the drawing of certain lines and thereby the exclusion of certain people from church circles. We cannot bring clarity to the identity and testimony of the church unless we draw some pretty clear boundaries about who belongs and which beliefs and behaviors are legitimate....
As Carl says, if the most prominent Catholic elected official in the country can voluntarily preside in a secular capacity over a same-sex wedding, and not get disciplined by the Catholic hierarchy, something has gone very wrong. It’s not that the Church — Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, whatever — has to weigh in on every single issue. But come on, this is the Vice President of the United States. Carl is right: a church that will stand for anything stands for nothing.

The Protestant Trueman goes on to say:
As of this moment, the leadership of all of our churches in the U.S. leaves much to be desired. Mainline Protestant denominations sold out to the world two generations ago. Evangelicalism is full of vibrant enthusiasm but lacks any intellectual depth or consistency when it comes to social teaching. Confessional Protestants are such a small minority that we are barely noticeable. Key to the religious future of the United States is the Roman Catholic hierarchy. It alone has the status and the potential cohesion to make a difference. All of our hopes depend upon the Roman Catholic Church taking a clear and bold stand.

Yet therein lies the problem.
Read more >>